copyright: Imangi threatens Quadrum

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

  1. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5 Well-Known Member

    Nobody can can copyright ideas.

    Nobody can copyright mechanisms either. Some other games use this technique to slide rows and columns, even if they aren't letters.

    Also not something that can be copyrighted. They can still try to take you to court though, but then they could do that anyway no matter what. It would be worth trying to make your game as different as possible, not because of lawsuit threats, but just for the sake of making your game stand out more.

    --Eric
     
  2. QuickWit

    QuickWit Well-Known Member

    Oct 28, 2008
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    Video Writer, Director, Producer
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    extra legal stuff

    Going back to my battle with Paramount they had all kinds of things in their first set of letters and even in the actual law suit that really didn't have any legal reason to be there. What my lawyers told me was that the more stuff they throw in there, the more they think we have to defend, and the more it looks like they are right.

    The bit about the moving mechanisms is a lot like that. Sure what the two of you did is pretty much the same, but there are things like that in many other games. And pretty much 99% of the "match three" games have alike mechanisms. My guess is that they threw everything they could thing of that was similar into their letter to make you have even more of the "oh crap!" feeling.

    Paramount was made because my show "looked like the original" and listed pages and pages of similar things. My response was... "it's a parody... it's supposed to look like the original". All of those pages were thrown out way early in the process.

    Don't get hung up on the little things. Yes... your game looks like theirs, and Yes... it came out first. Just make some things that make it look and play a little more different and they won't be able to bother you... and you'll have a better game in the end anyway.

    As I've said... your game is way too similar for me and I'd be mad if I was Imangi. But if you had some more obvious twists to it (like some of the stuff mentioned here) I'd have to just tip my hat to you and move on. One I just thought of (and it's not all that different) is to have blank squares that can be anything (like scrabble). I love the idea of turning your phone so that the letters can fall in different ways (like Trism).

    Anyway, I admire that you can make games. I'm just a player and dreamer. Don't let them get you down. Make a few twists to it and if they still come after you for the original (which I doubt they will) just show them your work and there is not much you can do.

    I look forward to seeing what you come up with -- with this game and others.
     
  3. orBeaver

    orBeaver New Member

    Oct 29, 2008
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    I think you hit the nail on the head here. Great explanation.
     
  4. rootbeersoup

    rootbeersoup Well-Known Member

    Oct 4, 2008
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    New Orleans, LA
    Like I said, it's intellectual property, not copyright. It's going to be very hard to prove.
     
  5. QuickWit

    QuickWit Well-Known Member

    Oct 28, 2008
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    Video Writer, Director, Producer
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    The proof

    The big point that I'm sure Imangi will try to make is that this game is hurting their sales. They would likely go after damages for that -- if they went after anything. And all they would have to do is find one person who said that they bought Quadrum instead of Imangi for any reason other than "it was different".

    It's really less of a copyright matter than damages. It would be very hard to prove that Quadrum's dev actually, or knowingly, stole anything from Imangi. It's likely they could say he "borrowed" the idea, but unless they have hard evidence that he took their code... you can steal an idea but you can't copyright it.

    But the damages from creating the same thing could be another matter. I'm not saying that Quadrum did that, but it's why he needs to make it look a little different. In the end I'm sure that Imangi will go away when Quadrum mixes it up. The legal process is a long one and no one wants to go through it. It's easy to see that Imangi saw enough to warrant the letter and put in enough legal-ese to make it "pants filling", but i would bet that they just don't want such exact competition (who would). When it's changed they'll move on.
     
  6. Rocketman919

    Rocketman919 Well-Known Member

    Aug 8, 2008
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    Cali-forn-i-a
    sorry but it looks like you did copy imangi. its practically the same game
     
  7. ficbot

    ficbot Well-Known Member

    Oct 21, 2008
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    Okay, you've fixed the '2nd gen only' problem, and I was able to try this game today. It *is* very similar to Imangi, and since that is one of the top-selling iPhone games, it seems unlikely you would convince a judge that it's only coincidence.

    After trying them both, I find I am unable to decide which game I prefer. What I like about yours is the tiles disappearing. You can get this in Imangi, but only in timed mode which lats three minutes. I like being able to play indefinitely. In standard Imangi, I feel too much pressure to make a 'perfect' board. I prefer being able to just make words and enjoy the game; the sliding and moving IS different than Boggle-type action.

    But yours is lacking in the pizzaz factor a little. Imangi has special tiles which are worth more points, and yours has nothing like this. You could also try stuff like in Numba where there are fire tiles that must be used within a certain timeframe, or tiles which change their letter periodically. It just needs something so it is not just making words forever. And (I have this same criticism of your other game) the scoring method is kind of dull. I played for a long time and only had like a hundred points or something. There need to be things a user can do as part of their strategy or gameplay that they know will be worth more points (e.g. using special tiles, multipliers if you make longer words etc.)

    Your game is a little brisker-feeling than Imangi, where you have to click many times to get something to go away. If you add in some other features, you could wind up with a very good game that is much like it is now, but better, and different than Imangi.
     
  8. personaestudio

    Aug 18, 2008
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    Singapore
    First off, I must state that I am a game developer for the iphone and have I.P. that I will protect. I am not an expert on copyright law however, I can say definitely that gameplay cannot be copyrighted. If you check with the US Copyright office, the rules of games cannot be copyrighted only the text of the rules. The only exception would be a patent on the input method, e.g. moving letters with your finger. From the discussion in this thread, I see that both games are very similar. (I have not played either game) As the developer for one of the Air Hockey games (Fingertip sports and us were there on launch day), I understand frustrations from the opposite side. (There are 6 Air Hockey games for the iPhone now) Quite frankly I see this a a ploy by another developer to remove your App from the store. I suggest that you can contact the EFF www.eff.org to see if they will support your case. Unless you game is a complete clone, there is no case for gameplay.
     
  9. CrocStock

    CrocStock Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2008
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    A lot of these points are petty and meaningless and I would suspect this is more of a scare tactic than anything. I would suggest you stand your ground and prepare some differences between the 2 games (Don't buy their game though XD). This news though has certainly has put me off their games as a whole and I hope things go well for you whatever happens.
     
  10. rootbeersoup

    rootbeersoup Well-Known Member

    Oct 4, 2008
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    New Orleans, LA
    I think the makers of Tetris have a better case against the makers of Columns than Imangi has against Quadrum
     
  11. nickels

    nickels Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2008
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    Web Developer / Designer
    PA, USA
    I see this game is still in the app store and now its $.99 - any update on the threats?
     
  12. swarmster

    swarmster Well-Known Member

    Jan 27, 2009
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  13. reinhart_menken

    reinhart_menken Well-Known Member

    May 8, 2009
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    #53 reinhart_menken, Jun 19, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2009
    I'd just tell them a summation of what the people have said here, and kindly inform them in an assuring manner that you had no intention of copying their work, and that you're adding new gameplay mechanics.

    And just don't take the app down, and don't change what's common sense - a word in English goes left-to-right, or top-down; there are just no other way to write it (you could, but...you know what I mean).

    It's as you said, this kind of things cannot be allowed to happen or it would just be common place.

    If they take you to court, take what people have said here with you, and show that they copied off Flight Control (harbour control is WAY too obvious a rip-off).
     
  14. s0mah

    s0mah Well-Known Member

    Dec 25, 2008
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    failing PHY tests
    little town of bethlehem
  15. badmanj

    badmanj Well-Known Member

    Nice find, Swarmster. Absolutely agree - that's a blatant ripoff.

    Jamie.
     
  16. daveak

    daveak Well-Known Member

    As it is still there I would hope the update is that there is no legal basis for the threat, you can not copyright a game concept, your code, your artwork are protected by copyright, but not the concept.

    Before anyone mentions it scrabble games usually get chased down by lawyers, but that is down to trademark infringement on the name, and IIRC the board as well.
     
  17. daveak

    daveak Well-Known Member

    Saw harbor master earlier, hadn't look at the developer, thought it was from the same one.
     
  18. So did you pay the $100,000 or what?
     
  19. nattylux

    nattylux Well-Known Member

    Sep 17, 2008
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    Washington, DC
    Hah.

    You live and you learn, eh?

    We resolved this issue with Kirill a very long time ago, and don't worry - nobody's bank account was hurt in the process.

    But yes. It was kind of stupid. I know this was just a few months ago, but it's about 10 years ago in App Store time, and we were just a couple of crazy kids with a word game idea. Our understanding of the game industry has significantly evolved since then, and we wouldn't do something like this now. The game industry works by improving on existing concepts, and there's plenty of room for competition. Look at all the tower defense games, all the side-scrollers, all the racing games, all the FPS's, etc.

    Finally, as to the Harbor Master/Flight Control issues, I just responded in the other thread:

    http://forums.toucharcade.com/showpost.php?p=310938&postcount=124

    And this thread kind of speaks for itself:

    http://forums.toucharcade.com/showthread.php?t=16320
     
  20. MrSnap

    MrSnap Well-Known Member

    Apr 30, 2009
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    Sigh. How could you seriously not know how the game industry works? Do you really think your word game is any better than say.... Bookworm or Scrabble? Attempting to sue someone is a serious thing and to shrug it off... well, sigh.
     

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