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Monetization and Crowd-Funding of Fangames

Discussion in 'Fangaming Discussion' started by Beamer the Meep, Jul 6, 2020.

  1. DefinitiveDubs

    DefinitiveDubs

    The Voice Maestro Member
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    "Nothing"? That's just simply wrong, that link advertised perks for donating.
    Even if Retro didn't offer perks, that doesn't change the fact that these websites were asking for money in order for people to receive a service themed after an IP they have no permission to use. Even if Omens didn't offer perks, the majority of people had a problem with any money being tied to it, period.

    While Axanar's deal with CBS did induce fear in the community, it was something Paramount could and should have prevented in the first place. A company's stance on this should be precautionary, not reactionary. If they had legitimate concerns about where Trek fanfilms were going, they should've taken measures to prevent them from going there, not sue them out of the blue. It's not the fans' job to police how the IP is used. If these companies want us to play by their rules, then they need to tell us those rules. Instead, they ask us to use "common sense" as if that means anything.

    And in truth, my post was meant to say that the repercussions for Trek fanfilms are overexaggerated. While the guidelines do restrict what fanfilms can be legally sanctioned and promoted by CBS officially, they do not restrict how fanfilms are made, period. CBS is willing to take fans to court if they go too far, but they're also willing to let them crowdfund their projects provided it's for good intentions, and not for financial gain. Star Trek Continues offered its backers on IndieGogo early access to episodes, among other exclusive perks. I know CBS is not Sega, but think about the difference between what Axanar did, and Continues did, and compare that to what Omens did.

    You say it's the "smartest business decision available". If it's so smart, then why haven't SEGA done it already? It's not out of the goodness of their hearts. It's not because they're afraid of bad PR (there's enough of that when it comes to Sonic already). It's because they don't see fangames as a threat, even ones like Omens. And sending a C&D to something that poses no threat to you is one of the dumbest business decisions imaginable. Just look at how that's working out for Nintendo. Nothing about Omens takes away sales of official Sonic games, because it's not being sold. Nothing about it hurts the brand. The Sanic meme has done more to hurt Sonic's brand than Omens has.

    How exactly is Omens a threat? Explain that to me. Because it's not siphoning any money away from official products: it's still a free download, and you didn't have to buy into the demo access if you wanted to eventually play it. You say that them locking exclusive perks behind a paywall and using the IP to fund independent original projects is a major copyright violation. Ok, so do you have a problem with:
    • A music artist locking early access to their remixes and covers of other songs behind a paywall and using the popular covers to build a fanbase and financial backing for independent, original songs? (Hint: That's literally how The Beatles got popular.)
    • A popular Sonic fanartist locking early or even exclusive access to their art, or comic pages, through Patreon and eventually doing their own art with their own characters?
    • Someone like James Rolfe using sales of Angry Video Game Nerd DVDs which use copyrighted music and footage from video games to fund his own independent films and projects?
    The only way you could argue that Omens is a threat is if it's somehow competing with Sega's products, and even then, that's only if you look at them on a surface level. They're both Sonic games, but Sega hasn't made anything that plays like Omens does in over 20 years. It's not sharing the same market Sega occupies, it's filling a hole in it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2022
  2. RDNexus

    RDNexus

    Member
    The Sanic meme did more harm to SEGA? How?
     
  3. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

    Classic Eggman art Member
    First of all, stuff like AVGN DVDs, I don't think had anything to do with this. It's like suing a TV channel talking about upcoming films when that's advertising of those films. Ok, it's not a 1:1 example, but videogame companies aren't doing that kind of business, so they're not entering their realm. In case of YouTubers, either they're irrelevant, in which case it won't go anywhere, or they will be popular enough to grant backlash to the videogame company that sued them (videogames in these case, but any parallel case would be valid). You have to have some sort of religion around your products to do that and stay unharmed (ahem, Nintendo, ahem).

    For actual videogames or anything related in similar ways (fanart of tv shows, for example), sorry, but yes, you shouldn't be doing that and earn any money without consent of the IP owner, regardless of how low is the income of doing so. I'm still thinking why there's so much erotic cosplay based on stuff directed to kids getting money in places like Patreon, and to each their own porn, but I don't think many IP owners will be ok with that kind of practice even if their content is for older audiences.

    In cases like Sonic Omens, you can add to that you're going a step further: even if you're not going for profit, the closest you get to the series standards, the closest you get to be a competitor of the IP owner using their own IP. If you do a better Sonic game than I do, and people start asking you why are you not creating an official game that looks like a fangame like that, you're entering a minefield because they won't start hiring every talented fangame developer they find, and won't let outsiders define what they should be doing. Not as dangerous as people make it sound to be? Maybe, but a stroke of luck can end by losing it all.

    That's why I was so thorough asking where the line is when you make an original IP based on an existing IP, because that could be technically legal, yet plagiarism starts at some point, and profit should not come from something that is still so close to the source material. Direct use of that IP? Out of my yard, please, or I'll shoot you.

    Yes ,everything is illegal, but common sense is also a factor, and it's good to resort to it when you enter this inoffensive but still illegal territory. Retro has a wiki that informs people from what Sega do, which is free advertisement, and removes doing that work from Sega themselves, which means they also can use it for free without paying any actual employee. Yes, there are donations, but Sega is not a wiki company, is a videogame and related media company (such as cartoons or comics), so there's no competition, only gain for them.
     
  4. DefinitiveDubs

    DefinitiveDubs

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    The answer to that is "because it's fucking stupid". All you're going to accomplish is having the community meme on you with no end in sight, and post even MORE porn just to spite you. Cut off one head, and two more grow in its place. Plus, there's so much of it that you can't possibly enforce all of it. It's like Nintendo trying to take down every romsite they see. It's laughable that they believe that deters piracy in any way.

    Plus, you also burn bridges with those artists and ruin any chance of them working for you officially. Did you know that Adam Bryce Thomas got his start drawing Sonic porn on 4chan? And now he's the lead artist on the IDW comics. Imagine if Sega had instead sued him for drawing porn of characters intended for children, and saw absolutely no benefit whatsoever from doing so.

    Flawed argument, since fansites drive traffic away from Sega's own websites, and fan forums such as this one are a contributing factor to what eventually killed the official Sega forums. Yes, they did see fan websites as competition in the 90s, and they had legitimate arguments to do so. They only backed off after their advisors talked them out of it by citing Fair Use and also the classic "who cares lol" defense. Plus, can't you use this argument to say that fans making Sonic Adventure 3 means it's a game Sega doesn't have to make themselves, thus they no longer have to listen to constant demand for it?

    It's strange to me how western PC game studios like Valve, Id, and Bethesda have openly advocated for ways for mod authors to be compensated for their work helping strengthen the brand and help sell their games, yet it's the fans who are telling them "No no, fans don't deserve anything, stop letting them profit from your IP". It's a bizarre topsy-turvy situation that you'd think would be the other way around. I would think fans would be WANTING Sega to encourage better fan content and find a way for both them and the creators to profit from it. I have to wonder how much of this is bootlicking in compliance for the law and helping corporations defend their IP...and how much of it is crab mentality in the community.
     
  5. President Zippy

    President Zippy

    Zombies rule Belgium! Member
    There would have been a Streisand effect for trying to stop him from engaging in fair use, and rightfully so. However, he's still a creep who shouldn't be allowed within 500 yards of a school. Suffice to say, if I were an executive tasked with hiring writers and artists to make a comic book based on video games aimed at children, I would not have hired one Adam Bryce Thomas.

    Other than that, I think it's absolutely ridiculous that copyrights can last more than 30 years, especially when the people who actually created the copyrighted content usually don't own it or receive residuals. Furthermore, no game (or other entertainment) company ever canned a project because it might stop being profitable in 30 years. As much as I share the belief that creations of a man's mind are just as much his property as the creations of his hands, and much more valuable at that, the implication that Bob f***ing Iger and his Blackrock overlords have a legal claim to a cartoon mouse created by someone who died in the mid 1960s is a flagrant insult to the intelligence of a reasonable man.

    And don't even get me started on patents: a monopoly on the right to produce something you have yet to even invent.
     
  6. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

    Classic Eggman art Member
    You didn't get my point yet somehow agreed with me, which leads me to clarify the how since the spirit is already there: I'm not against fan doing stuff, but, when it's for profit, I'm against doing so without having some sort of agreement or support from the official source, especially when you're doing something that goes against their interests or the source material, like, you know, porn with a product aimed at children. Of course, creators of the source content will probably be flattered and cheer fans of their work for their hard efforts to emulate them, but there should be some sort of regulation or those guidelines you mentioned, though I think those Star Trek fan filmmakers go too far already without involving the IP or its owners. And they could have made another Orville and make profit of it. But I digress.

    The best counterpoint to what I intended to say would have be something like "the IP owner wouldn't want invest time and resources handling the bazillion fanworks out there, what you suggest is a fool's errand", because I agree, it's indeed a fool's errand what people like Nintendo want to do, and it's better to wait for someone to catch their attention either in a good or a bad sense and deal with those exceptions accordingly, be it hire or sue them (or whatever else, these are just just examples).

    Now, back to my point, I'm not saying fans should go against fans and be the jury instead of the actual parts involved, what I say is that I wouldn't go that way merrily and complain later because someone sees it wrong, I'd never try to earn money or make an actual name for myself through someone else's stuff. It's indeed wrong that IP creators and IP owners are rarely the same instead of being shared rights between the authors and the companies, and I'm against that too, but that's not an excuse: if you're so talented you can make money out of your work, it should be your own work or at least based on some kind people that agreed to let you use their work. It's courtesy (etiquette?) more than anything else.

    Oh, and I'll add something: even if you were totally right, the way you word things sounds more like the crap you say it's stupid to say than a reasonable argument to have in a civil conversation, so try to be kinder than smarter, because your engaging here with that community you're insulting so lightly. You have an audience to keep pleased, after all.

    Yes, I can't see why having a job ultimately validates where you started or who you really are. It's not like making furry porn or frequenting 4chan sound like something they thought about when hiring him, and there's a lot of people that could have been hired instead without changing the picture you paint that much. If Zippy's right, that's indeed bad press, though I'm not sure to what extend that's an issue to draw stuff as long as he does what he's paid to do without letting other sides of his life taint his work.
     
  7. President Zippy

    President Zippy

    Zombies rule Belgium! Member
    I'm not suggesting that hiring that a pervert would necessarily give him a platform to expose children to smut. What I am saying is that knowing what he does makes me not want to buy anything he made. Not because I'm concerned about how I will be perceived by others, but because I earnestly believe the company you keep shapes who you are, whether slightly or drastically.

    Fear of becoming like the unsavory part of this fandom is the reason I limit my time on the internet and make a point to stay busy. Most of us are not in danger of becoming like Chris Chan or *a certain former administrator of this site who shan't be named*, but even being of the same species as them is hard enough to grapple with. Having over 99% of the same genetic code as a monkey is weird, but realizing you have over 99.9% of the same DNA as people who draw porn based on cartoon animals is like finding out your father is Darth Vader.
     
  8. rata

    rata

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    Trying to be useful somehow.
    Which is no less than the current cancel culture.
     
  9. RDNexus

    RDNexus

    Member
    The Alex Kidd remake wasn't a fan project that got into SEGA's "good graces" or so?
    If yes, too bad none of the completed Sonic fangames ever managed such feat...
     
  10. Beamer the Meep

    Beamer the Meep

    Better than Sonic Genesis... Member
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    That remake is an unusual case. Somehow the development team got the license from Sega, had to have, but there's no Sega logo or "originally by Sega" in credits anywhere I can find. It's like Sega was completely divorced from the project which is unusual. In that case though, they probably went through proper channels to clear the game for sale or it would not be on sale.
     
  11. RDNexus

    RDNexus

    Member
    As another aside... Has anyone heard this?
    Sonic Omens Final Fight theme, amazing.
     
  12. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

    SAY HELLO TO MY CHOCOLATE BLEND Member
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    Sonic Omens is shit, its creators are shit, and no one should be paying attention to it. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk
     
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  13. RDNexus

    RDNexus

    Member
    Well... That's quite the opinion of it... ^^"
     
  14. Jay T.

    Jay T.

    It takes an idiot to do cool things... Member
    You'd be surprised how many furry artists that draw NSFW content (or has drawn) are involved or have been involved with games, cartoons, comics, and so-on, especially these days. Probably even content you've consumed. From what I've witnessed, either they don't know because the artist makes sure to keep it completely out of view, or they don't care as long as stays as far away as possible from their work and it's not illegal/morally wrong.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2022
  15. Shaddy the guy

    Shaddy the guy

    Professional Internet asshole Member
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    I feel like we're getting lost in the weeds here. Horny furry artists are not only a mainstay of official Sonic content since at least 2002 (maybe earlier), but a pretty consistent part of the fandom, including these forums and probably this thread, too. They aren't necessarily hurting anyone, and while I don't know about ABT, implying he belongs on a sex offender registry just for NSFW art is pretty unhinged. You should keep that stuff away from the young audience of the series, obviously, but they seem to be doing just fine at that, and spouting "cancel culture" because it...exists(?) seems a bit overboard.

    The fundamental flaw in Omens was that it endangered other Sonic fan content. Devs do, in fact, deserve compensation for their work, and intellectual property law is kind of a scam. SEGA is not going down no matter what happens here. But what's important is that within that flawed system, you shouldn't be doing objective, knowing harm to other creators, and that's what they were doing. The fact that they also decided to sexualize not a bobble-headed furry but a human child just adds a layer of ickiness, and their bullying of others makes it not worth defending. But even if you removed those things, their main premise was "we can do better than SEGA, so we should make money off their property no matter whom it may endanger" from the start, and that's simply not justifiable.
     
  16. JaxTH

    JaxTH

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    Jack shit.
    Try 1995 AT LEAST. :V
     
  17. Shaddy the guy

    Shaddy the guy

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    Who showed up in 1995? I was thinking 2002 because of Jeff Axer, since I meant "Horny furry artist" literally, and I wasn't counting Butler cause pretty much every woman he ever drew had the same physique.
     
  18. DefinitiveDubs

    DefinitiveDubs

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    See, this is the part I don't understand. Everyone keeps repeating "they're endangering other fan content! they're ruining it for everyone else!" but nobody can explain what that means. What are you afraid of, specifically? What outcome, what actions do you think Sega would take, are you so afraid of happening?
    • The banning of all Sonic fan content? That's absurd. Even Nintendo has never done that, and would never. It's impossible to enforce, and even from a business perspective, it would make no sense. Even if you restricted it to just fangames, it wouldn't make any sense. Sega may want to do...something, but they're not THAT stupid. It's illogical and unrealistic to fear that kind of outcome.
    • The banning of Sonic game remakes? Again: highly unlikely, especially since Omens is not a remake of anything, so why would it affect those?
    • The banning of any kind of fan content having money tied to it? This is the most likely outcome, but uh...isn't that what you wanted all along?
    Sidenote: if you condemn the Omens devs for sexualizing an underage character, I suggest you never consume anything that's ever come out of Japan, because I guarantee you, even Sega is no stranger to that. Not that I personally agree with it, but don't act like Omens is special when it comes to that just because you don't like their product.

    Oh, one more thing: The Sonic Studio dev has a Kofi. Let that sink in.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2022
  19. RDNexus

    RDNexus

    Member
    Wait, what? Who have Omens devs sexualized?
    Nothing on the game and its story hinted at it...
     
  20. President Zippy

    President Zippy

    Zombies rule Belgium! Member
    This is not going anywhere, so I'm going to close with one last comment on the subject, and leave it be. You can respond to it or do whatever else you want with it, but I didn't imply drawing cartoon animal porn is morally wrong; I just said it's disgusting, and I don't want anything to do with it. For that matter, I don't want to associate with anybody who shares details about their sex lives or fetishes unsolicited.

    If someone's a furry, as long as I don't find out about it, I don't care. I'm not interested in learning about other peoples' sex lives, just as I don't share details about mine with others, especially when nobody asked me.

    If that sounds puritanical to some, there is enough space on Earth for us to live our lives peaceably and never interact with one another.