Multiplayer - WotC will ban MTGS as soon as it has it

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Multiplayer - WotC will ban MTGS as soon as it has it

Postby Scytale » Mon Apr 27, 2009 4:38 am

Something to think about ...

There was an article on MTG Salvation announcing that WotC had sent Cease & Desist orders to Magic-League and NetDraft. Basically it challenges MTGO and allows people to play the game without needing to buy the cards. This brought me to thinking about MTGS.

I could easily foresee that the same would happen with MTGS. As soon as MTGS has the ability to support playing the game, then it jeopardizes their business model. They could easily shut down the whole software project and not say, just allow for the multi-player module to be removed.

The only way you could even get close to getting this through would be to hand over the whole card pool aspect to another entity that is in no-way affiliated with MTGS. MTGS then becomes a 'card management' program that supports card pools - one of which would be MTG

Think very careful if this module is worth it.
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Postby gaddlord » Thu May 07, 2009 2:02 pm

I think Magic Workstation is still in the play. If I recall correctly back in time (I had a talk with Detonator) that since they don't have automatic rules checking WotC are not complaining.

I definetely will be very carefull.

Btw where you hae read about the the misfortunate Magic-League and NetDraft?
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Postby Scytale » Fri May 08, 2009 12:19 am

It was on MTG Salvation. The people from Magic-League posted the C&D order in the forums.

Note that MWS separate the card pool from the core program and therefore can support any CCG. Also they only link to a potential MTG database and do not host it thus trying to mitigate the liability.
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Postby gaddlord » Fri May 08, 2009 4:45 pm

I found the post on MTG Salvation and here goes my answer:

http://forums.mtgsalvation.com/showthre ... ost3854219

A fact is a fact. WotC are hunting down everyone trying to monopolize the MTG business. Quite obvious
1. Dragon Studios dissapeared. Apprentice was discontinued. I guess they gave some money to the developer. I tried writing to him several times without response.
You can't kill Apprentice. It is already dead for yeas. Even if they manage to remove all links to it there are still Apprentice 2.0, Daring Apprentice, etc. as Open Source on sourceforge.net
2. Magic Library also mistireously dissaperared from the scene being quite promising at the time
3. Magic Suitcase have received the Cease & Disease letter
4. What's next? Magic Workstation of course!

Even it has not been updated for years it it still the best MTG Multiplayer for $20.

I myself as being the MTG Studio (www.mtgstudio.com) developer have received also a "warning" letter by the WotC legal department few years ago (July 10, 2004).

The letter had the following content:

Dear Mr. MY REAL NAME GOES HERE,

I am corporate counsel for Wizards of the Coast, the sole and exclusive owner of the trademarks MAGIC and MAGIC: THE GATHERING and the sole and exclusive owner of all rights in the Magic: The Gathering? trading card game and Magic: The Gathering Online, including all copyrights and trademarks in the logos, images, characters, and other materials related thereto ('Property"). Wizards of the Coast has registered the Magic: The Gathering trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and in countries around the world. Wizards has also expended large sums of money to advertise and promote products and services sold under its trademark. As a result, the mark has gained strong worldwide consumer recognition and become one of Wizards most valuable assets.

It has recently come to our attention that you have posted and are distributing unauthorized images, descriptions, logos and other material relating to our Property on your World Wide Web site located at http://www.palmroot.com. Pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA"), other federal and state copyright laws, trademark law, and other statutes, you are hereby notified that your actions constitute infringement of Wizards' rights. Your unauthorized use of the MAGIC: THE GATHERING trademark and related materials and your unauthorized distribution of the software MTG Studio on your website constitutes your intent to capitalize on the good will associated with Wizards of the Coast's trademarks, products, and copyrighted materials.

Violation of intellectual property rights carries with it severe penalties, including significant monetary damages, seizure and destruction of infringing articles and the right to seek injunctive relief. Willful infringement can result in the award of enhanced damages and attorney fees. Wizards therefore demands that you:

1) Refrain from any and all unauthorized uses of the mark MAGIC: THE GATHERING, and any confusingly similar names or marks.

2) Immediately cease and desist from all unauthorized reproduction, use of, and distribution of, any and all material infringing on the copyrights of Wizards of the Coast. This includes, but is not limited to, software program(s) designed for Magic: The Gathering deck construction and editing.

3) Send written notice to Wizards of the Coast at the address below by August 1, 2004 confirming that you have complied with the above demands.

If you refuse to comply with our request by the above-stated date, we will have no alternative but to take all appropriate legal action to protect our intellectual property rights. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Wizards of the Coast expressly reserves all of its rights, and nothing in this letter waives any of its rights or remedies.


Very truly yours,

NAME GOES HERE
Corporate Counsel
Wizards of the Coast


What I did is to completely follow their orders and since then MTG Studio has not been "attacked" any more.

The story continues on June 30, 2007 I decided to add a multiplayer to MTG Studio since this is an obvoius addin to the already present deck editor. I decided to play smart and first droppped a line to WotC.

My letter says:

June 30, 2007

Hello,

I have a question regarding the copyright and patents for Magic the Gathering.
I would like to make an a desktop program which is an online multiplayer for Magic.
I wish my program to have automatic rule checking while playing the cards on board.
Am I allowed to do that?
Where I can read what I am allowed to do and what is forbidden?

Thanks in advance.

Regards,

Gad D Lord
PalmROOT, Inc.
http://www.mtgstudio.com


Several weeks later I received the following reply:

July 17, 2007

RE: Permission Request Regarding Online Multiplayer Program for Magic: The Gathering

Dear Gad D Lord:

Thank you for your correspondence dated June 30, 2007 wherein you request Wizards of the Coast, Inc.?s permission to create an online multiplayer version of Magic: The Gathering.

I have reviewed your request and hereby deny it. You may not refer to or use Magic: The Gathering or any of its distinctive elements, including without limitation its trademarks and copyrights, in the manner you request. To do so would constitute copyright and trademark infringement. For any additional permission requests, please be sure to contact Wizards.

We receive a number of requests to use our products in many different ways. Unfortunately, in order to protect our intellectual property, such as copyrights and trademarks, we are simply unable to grant many of such requests.

I am sorry that we cannot accommodate you in this matter. We appreciate your interest in Magic and hope that you continue to enjoy our products.

Sincerely,

NAME GOES HERE
Attorney
Wizards of the Coast

NOTICE: This communication may contain privileged or other confidential information. If you have received it in error, please advise the sender by reply email and immediately delete the message and any attachments without copying or disclosing the contents. Thank you.


So what is the end of the story:

WotC simply refuse the give the bone to shareware, freeware, ...ware developers to develop online play alternatives of MTGO.

I know I can do it. I amost have the engine complete to apply automatic rules checking but I can not sell it - WotC does not allow that. Forget the copyright, they also have a patent over the cards - how they look, interact with each other.

This was discussed also on http://www.magi-soft.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5833

As a warning to everyone developing Magic software "Be prepared to shut down your business anytime. WotC are playing dirty. They know it, we know it."
1. WotC will first shot down your site by contacting your hosting provider and without prior notification to you. This was my case back in 2004
2. Call your provider to see what's going on
3. Write to Wizards legal department asking why they filed a "suspend hosting" request
4. See what they wan't from you to do
5. Do it! I mean DO IT
6. Start complaining to your Magic friends "What kind of bastards WotC are"

That's it. This was my sad story.

Gad D Lord
MTG Studio developer
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Postby gaines » Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:00 am

This is a real bummer, but not surprising as WotC makes a lot of money selling virtual cards and they would loose market share if they allowed for play any other way.

I'm not a fan of their tactics, but I get it and don't blame them for wanting to make money on the game they designed and developed.

That said, I've often dreamed of making my own multiplayer engine that would allow for greater customization and features. The only way I could think of getting away with it would be to make it a generic card game engine which could be easily customized to emulate specific card games. The main reason I haven't pursued this project is that I'm sure WotC would send their legal dogs as soon as the application tried to access their card art.

Just my $0.02
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Open Source Games have always been the Most Succesful

Postby Rondabon » Tue May 17, 2011 11:14 pm

If you measure success in terms of how much money you make, wizard's strategy makes sense. But if you want magic the gathering to be a successful game in the sense that checkers, chess, go, have been successful, i.e., being integrated with the very culture of academia and helping people around the world practice their mental wits, then making the best decks cost 60$ or more is a terrible strategy, as is making their game closed source. Imagine what life would be like if magic was taught to children like chess is taught now, imagine if magic was open source with all sorts of new variants like chess, go, checkers, have all been, realize that as long as wotc "owns" magic it will never gain that sort of widespread play.
The following sentence contradicts this one. The sentence preceding this one makes a good point.
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Postby gaddlord » Wed May 18, 2011 9:34 am

The game is good because it had a good idea in its very origin.
Nowadays it is so popular and big that without substantial funding it will parish.
I do see the reasons why they are so "closed-source" and respect their intellectual property.

I may be able to make a 3D solo play but as soon as it involves multiplayer over the network or automatic rules they will blow me in the void. So we keep quiet and do no multiplayer for the time being.
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Postby Ertzi » Wed May 18, 2011 9:49 pm

Gad, I hope you will never add any features to MTG Studio that even come close to free multiplayer Magic. Wizards will never allow that. Please do not do anything to jeopardize the great software that is MTG Studio in its current form.

Wizards clearly monitor your progress very carefully, so any attempt to make MTG free to play with all the cards ever printed will absolutely never ever happen. They will never even make a faithful representation of the game in digital form themselves. Just look at Magic the Gathering: Tactics and Duels of the Planeswalkers. Neither is truly MTG. Duels is close, but they left out the possibility to freely edit the decks, and the card pool is very small. Tactics is just a joke of a game, and you must still buy booster packs to get new "units". Make no mistake, they did all this on purpose.

Because of MTGO's success there will never be a free MTG digital game of any kind. And I accept that. I am willing to pay for my cards and I respect Wizard of the Coast's copyrights. They made it popular and financed it, so they have the right to use the game as they see fit. I really hope that some day they will release a good, digital single-player MTG game, but I doubt we will ever see the day. I bought MTG Studio because I wanted a tool to manage my cards. That is enough, we play the game all the time anyway in real life. No need for any multiplayer.

So I implore you once more, Gad, be very careful what you try to do with MTG Studio. Because I love the program, and I don't want it to go away.
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Postby gaddlord » Thu May 19, 2011 9:20 am

Ertzi wrote:So I implore you once more, Gad, be very careful what you try to do with MTG Studio. Because I love the program, and I don't want it to go away.


Point taken. I will avoid any potential problems with WotC.
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