copyright: Imangi threatens Quadrum

Discussion in 'General Game Discussion and Questions' started by kirill, Oct 29, 2008.

  1. kirill

    kirill Well-Known Member

    I think many of you will find this interesting:
    I just received a letter from Walter Devins, Esq General Counsel for Imangi Studios, LLC, saying that my game (QUADRUM) "is identical to the Work and clearly used the Work as its basis". (Work = Imangi)
    Also he says "Therefore, you have willfully infringed Imangi Studios’rights under 17 USC Section 101, et seq. and could be liable for statutory damages as high as $100,000" - that is, if I don't remove it by November 11. "Imangi Studios demands that you immediately cease...."
    I will post the complete text of this letter later, for now just one more quote:
    "The following is a non-exhaustive list of copyright infringements of the Work:
    1) The goal of Quadrum is the same as the in Work: "Slide rows and columns to combine letters into words" on a grid of letters.
    2) The piece moving mechanics are exactly the same as in the Work - using your finger to slide rows and columns.
    3) Words are formed left to right and top to bottom in crossword fashion in Quadrum, exactly as in the Work.
    4) When you form words in Quadrum, they light up, just like in the Work.
    5) When you clear words from the board, they get replaced with new letters, just like a particular mode of the Work entitled “Speed Imangi.”
    "

    So, does it mean I can not make anymore games where you slide letters on grid to make words? Or game where you have to make words from left to right? Point 2 is a killer - you use finger on iPhone, this is how it works.

    I will not argue - Quadrum has simular mechanics, but still, it's not the same. And, believe it or not - I did not see/play Imangi before releasing Quadrum - was not looking at any word games - just had the idea and wanted to implement it.

    So, would appreciate any educated advices, all the comments are interesting as well.
     
  2. 1337brian

    1337brian Well-Known Member

    Oct 12, 2008
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    Ouch... I don't know what to say, I'm interested in seeing how this unfolds though. Please keep us posted.
    Good luck
     
  3. BATTLE BORN

    BATTLE BORN Well-Known Member

    Aug 14, 2008
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    6) your game is released in the app store
    7) your game may be played sitting, or standing
    8) the title contains the letter 'A', just like Imangi

    am I forgetting anything? I've said it before and I'll say it again...
    why can't the creator of sudoku run around the store threatening devs like a jackass?
     
  4. SLDROFHLA

    SLDROFHLA Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2008
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    good luck. I know you came up with the idea yourself and did not copy from them. could you work out a deal with them? good luck again
     
  5. SLDROFHLA

    SLDROFHLA Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2008
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    exactly right battle born
     
  6. tunawrap

    tunawrap Well-Known Member

    Sep 16, 2008
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    heres a thought: try making it so when you create words they disappear, and more letters fall in from the top. and somehow implement accelometer controls, so like...tilt it to the side to make letters fall in that way. :D i hope you can keep it up if you implement these ideas :(
     
  7. vandy1997

    vandy1997 Well-Known Member

    Aug 27, 2008
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    Fight it. Ask the attorney for the patent filing. And if they are filing for a patent, then fight the patent filing if you can prove that you had the idea before Imangi implemented it. I am all for competition and Imangi didn't create the Word Puzzle format!!

    EDIT: And change the name of your app to Imanji - haha!!
     
  8. SLDROFHLA

    SLDROFHLA Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2008
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    #8 SLDROFHLA, Oct 29, 2008
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2008
    you are giving it away for free, why can they sue? if you charged 10 dollars that would be wrong, but you are giving it out to people

    Edit: whoops. they are giving it out for 99 cents, so I guess lost business, but what about lighter apps? Ezone.com is not suing for copying its lighter idea and giving it away for free.
     
  9. Freegoo

    Freegoo Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2008
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    Even the small devs are playing with copyright/trademarks now.
     
  10. nickels

    nickels Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2008
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    Add some of the stuff suggested in the other thread and your game will clearly be different from Imangi. Then, get a lawyer (hopefully a friend) and respond with all the reasons why your app is different and not a rip-off.
     
  11. rootbeersoup

    rootbeersoup Well-Known Member

    Oct 4, 2008
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    Honestly, they've got no case

    This is pretty low of them
     
  12. 1337brian

    1337brian Well-Known Member

    Oct 12, 2008
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    Damn good question. But it seems sudoko has been "open market" since the 1970's
     
  13. QuickWit

    QuickWit Well-Known Member

    Oct 28, 2008
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    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Looked like Imangi to me...

    Don't know what to tell you other than I didn't give your game a second look because it looked like a game I already had. Sometimes timing is a knee to the groin.

    But if you can prove that you did all of your work without any knowledge of their game you might stand a chance to going up against them. They have to prove that you stole their idea. But keep in mind that you have a "chance", the law is a funny thing.

    A few years ago I had Paramount sue me because I was doing a parody of Star Trek at a playhouse I owned. They went after me for millions even though I was only doing a parody -- like thousands of others (long, but good story). I stood up to them and fought it in court but even with a lot of "free" lawyers helping me it still cost me a fair amount of money.

    It's up to you. Like I said, if you can prove that your idea is original in every way and have proof to back it up you have a fighting chance. You'd have a better chance if you made the game look a little different. Look at all the "matching" games there are out there. The key is that they have a few subtle changes. Look at the things they said are too similar and see what you can do to tweak them. Open some dialogue with them and let them know that this is original but you'll make some changes in the look -- that might help.

    Best of luck...
     
  14. nickels

    nickels Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2008
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    How is it that NeoSameGame, Same Game, BeeJeweled, reMovem, and countless other titles are all clones of the same concept and there is no problem?
     
  15. NotYou

    NotYou Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2008
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    I like your game, but I can't blame Imangi Studios.

    It'd have to be one hell of a coincidence for your game to just happen to be that similar to Imangi. I'm not trying to take sides, but I really don't think you could consider your game an original work. You might have made it yourself, but the concept and mechanics are Imangi.

    Again, I think you made a great game and I hope you keep making more.
    Chromix is a good concept. I remember you telling me personally that it's like nothing I'd ever played. You should keep making games with that frame of mind. I really am looking forward to whatever you're making next.
     
  16. vandy1997

    vandy1997 Well-Known Member

    Aug 27, 2008
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    Just make your app much better than theirs, and then send them a copy so that they can enjoy it as well!!

    You have made two very nice apps thus far, and I applaud you.

    I purchased Imangi, and now I'm going to delete it from my phone because the developer is being a jerk. You can send this post to the developer! :D
     
  17. rootbeersoup

    rootbeersoup Well-Known Member

    Oct 4, 2008
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    I honestly did not even like Imangi and I don't think their idea is all that original anyway
     
  18. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5 Well-Known Member

    None of those are copyright infringements. To quote copyright law:

    Unless you are ripping off their code/graphics/sound effects/music (which you aren't), then they have no case under copyright law. They seem to be confusing copyrights with patents. Unless their game is patented, tell them to get lost.

    --Eric
     
  19. SLDROFHLA

    SLDROFHLA Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2008
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    I just downloaded your game and love it! it is very mean of them to do that to you. Come up with all the differences, add more changes, and present it to them. I will help you with differences. for one, yours is more stone, classic theme, theirs is techno-ish. I am going to give you a great review in the App Store right now, and would like to give them a bad review, however, I don't want to purchase it. Good Luck!
     
  20. rootbeersoup

    rootbeersoup Well-Known Member

    Oct 4, 2008
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    No they are confusing copyright with intellectual property, which is hard to prove
     

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