Who Created Ark: Survival Evolved? Find Out In Court!

Ark: Survival Evolved has gathered quite a bit of a following, with players taking to the island in hopes of finding answers while building new technology and training dinosaurs. From riding on a pterodactyl to building a base on a brontosaurus, players are eagerly awaiting the next set of features but they may have to wait as the court answers the question, who created Ark: Survival Evolved?

The question is being raised by Trendy Entertainment, the creators of popular co-operative game Dungeon Defenders. In a lawsuit filed against Wildcard, the studio credit with Ark: Survival evolved, Trendy alleges that game designer Jeremy Stieglitz had in fact been secretly working on Ark since he resigned from his position at Trendy in 2015.

The lawsuit states that Trendy violated his contract which stated he could not compete with his former company and was told: “not to solicit Trendy employees”. If this wasn’t enough on April 27th the Eighth Judicial Circuit of Florida will hear arguments regarding Trendy’s most recent motion and will ask for an injunction until the case is over.

If an injunction sounds bad then you are hearing it right. The injunction would, in fact, stop development on Ark: Survival Evolved and even force Wildcard to remove the game from Steam and stop them from distributing it until the case was closed. Wildcard has yet to file briefs in defence but has requested the case be dismissed on the grounds that the claims are “irrelevant, immaterial, impertinent, and scandalous.”

If you like the game, grab it soon because it may come down to the modders to keep the game alive while the court case is ongoing.

The Big Bang Theory Producers Are Being Sued

We sadly live in a world where everyone can sue everyone for almost anything. This happens a lot and sometimes the lawsuits have more claim than other times. The latest one is one that is hard to place and I think it will end up as a tough call in the courtroom. Warner Bros, CBS, Fox, Chock Lorre, and Turner Broadcasting are among the targets in a new lawsuit against The Big Bang Theory and more specific, the Soft Kittie usage.

The original author of the nursery rhyme isn’t around anymore, but the authors children Ellen and Margaret are suing pretty much anyone involved with the show over the use of the nursery rhyme. The plaintiffs seek damages and profits as well as their attorney fees covered as part of the lawsuit where they say that they never been asked for permission and no royalties have been paid for the use of the by-now famous Soft Kitty rhyme.

The lawsuit was filed on Monday in the Southern District of New York, claiming that the lyrical rights clearly belonged to author and copyright owner Edith Newlin, and that the accused “never contacted or made any attempt to contact Edith Newlin or her successors to seek permission to use the Soft Kitty Lyrics, and Plaintiffs never granted any permission … to do so.”

So far everything seems pretty straight forward, the accused are guilty. But it is rarely that straightforward and especially not when we’re dealing with laws and rights.

Warner Bros bought the rights to use the song from Willis Music back in 2007, which pretty much clears them. Originally the lyrics ran in a Willis compilation called Songs for the Nursery School back in 1937, but that was only on a loan basis and Willis did not obtain any rights besides for that usage. So they technically didn’t have the rights to sell at all. The song, or rhyme, has been used in at least eight episodes of the show, with only slight tweaks, the lawsuit states.

If it was just about a few royalties, then I’m sure that Warner Bros could end the whole thing very quickly, but there’s more trouble. The Soft Kitty song has become somewhat legend and that has been exploited in promotions, advertising, and fan articles. That part makes the whole deal a lot more tricky. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, if we get a verdict at all or if they two parties find an outside agreement.

Orwell Estate Sends Copyright Takedown Over Use of “1984”

George Orwell, a great writer of the classic book Nineteen Eighty Four. A book that describes the future with surveillance and control as themes.

George himself sadly passed away in 1950, currently all his rights are controlled and protected by the Orwell estate. Recently, the estate itself has started to gain a reputation for exerting tight control of copyrights and trademarks. TorrentFreak discovered that Josh Hadley, an Internet Radio host on 1201 Beyond had experienced this first hand. Hadley used the show to gather and distribute his shows and writings.

Before he set up a fully fledged website and store he used Cafepress to sell T-Shirts. Although he never actually sold any shirts in the time that it was running it was noticed by the estate. Last week he received an e-mail from Cafepress informing him that one of his designs has been taken offline due to copyright infringement. The design that breached the law contained the string “1984”:

According to the complaint, the design that he used contains George Orwell quotes. However, the only reference was the four numbers that made up the book title, 1984. Hadley has stated that he is offended by what he believes to be an illegitimate request and something that George Oswell would be against. He told TorrentFreak “First off is the irony of the estate of George Orwell being all Orwellian but second is that you can’t copyright a number,”

Cafepress has kept the designs offline and now listed as pending in his dashboard. He could appeal if he wishes, yet has no plans to do so.

30 Days Returns Now Law In The UK

We’ve all had it before, you’ve gone out and brought something new, something nice and shiny and you get it home, open the package like a child at Christmas and when you go to use it, you find it won’t work. Sometimes it takes a little longer, like that MP3 player you had which worked for about a week and then one day just stopped turning on. How about that phone screen which turned black after two weeks and yet still rings? We have even come across that with video games, when you buy that bit of software and then suddenly half way through the first level you find that it’s taken up all your RAM and your computer is slower than your calculator? Now you don’t have to worry about that, at least not for the first 30 days.

In the UK, on the 1st of October 2015, the Consumer Rights Act came into effect. This is the first time that your rights, or at least those outlining digital content, have been set in law. Previously the best you had was that you were entitled to a refund within a “reasonable time”, if it takes you a week to get around to playing a game and they said you should have played it on the first day, you were in trouble. Now you have one month to claim, and if a repair or replacement is impossible you are entitled to a refund. The refund must, I repeat MUST, arrive within 14 days of the acknowledgement of the claim by the retailer.

What about that game you download only to find it has come with a bunch of hidden bonus features, and not of the good kind. Well if their software has infected your PC with viruses, you could be liable for compensation (cue the automated phone calls).

Have you ever had to request a refund for a fault game? How about a piece of technology that broke just before/after the warrenty period ended?

Thank you Independent for the information.

Thank you Pc Gamer for the image.

eBay Seller Faces $19K Legal Bill After Suing Buyer Who Left Negative Feedback

Ohio-based company, Med Express, is facing a hefty legal bill amounting to $19,250, after attempting to sue an eBay customer for leaving negative feedback. Amy Nicholls purchased a microscope light via eBay for $175, and was charged an additional $12 shipping fee. Unfortunately, she was forced to pay an extra $1.44 in postage costs and became quite dissatisfied with the company’s lack of customer service. Subsequently, she voiced her concerns and left negative feedback regarding the transaction. Unbelievably, Med Express suddenly acted in an audacious manner and claimed that they offered a $1.44 partial refund before demanding the feedback to be withdrawn.

Med Express massively misjudged the situation and Amy refused to alter her original feedback rating. Med Express’ founder, Richard Radey, decided to file a lawsuit thinking Amy would be scared into removing the feedback in an act of complete arrogance. Thankfully, Amy is a strong-willed individual and acquired the help of Paul Levy, an infamous lawyer who campaigns against big-business bullying tactics.

After this information was disclosed to Richard Radey, he suddenly had a change of heart and dropped the case. However, he had a notorious reputation and was involved in a number of similar lawsuits. Levy described Radey’s apology to Ars Technica in 2013 and said:

 “Problem is, I don’t believe a word of what he says,”

Given the chain of events, Levy sought to recoup the legal costs of two lawyers representing Amy Nicholls and another undisclosed individual. After a long dispute, a Medina County, Ohio judge ruled that Med Express and Radey must pay $19,250 to Tom Haren and Jeffrey Nye who were the laywers in question.

This is a fantastic day for consumer rights and most-of-all justice. Med Express underestimated Amy Nicholls’ tenacity and learn’t a very expensive lesson about consumer freedom. Far too many companies take their customers for granted and behave in a disgraceful way. Finally, one of these companies employing bullying tactics has got their comeuppance. If you ever feel the need to leave negative feedback for an unsatisfactory service, do so!

What is the worst experience you’ve had on eBay?

Thank You Ars Technica for providing us with this information.

Hulu Buys Streaming Rights to the Entire Seinfeld Series for up to $180 Million

Hulu just got done striking a deal with Sony Pictures Television for the streaming rights of the beloved show Seinfeld. The deal was for the entire 180 episode series, with Hulu paying up to $180 million. There are varying reports of what the total what the claims are stating are between $700,000 to $1 million per episode.

Hulu has beaten out Amazon, Netflix, and Yahoo for the digital streaming rights to the ’90s classic American sitcom “about nothing”. This no doubt will be worth it in the long run for Hulu as the show is still extremely popular in syndication. There have been varying reports about the actual amount that the deal is for since it hasn’t been made public yet. Though some of the first reporting media outlets are saying figures of between $700,000 to $1 million per episode.

Unfortunately for Hulu customers that want to watch the show they will still have to sit through a few commercials even if they are paying customers of Hulu Plus. The commercials certainly make a lot of money for the streaming service, but also hurts its potential customer base as many users refuse to upgrade to Hulu Plus because they still play commercials.

Thank you, Wall Street Journal for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of tumblr.

EU Commisioner Wants to Abolish Geoblocking

Geoblocking of content is still one of the biggest issues when it comes to obtaining your media legally. You want to pay for it, but you’re not allowed to and everyone loses out.

Europe’s Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, Andrus Ansip, thinks so too and calls it discrimination rather than an issue of marketing. If people want to pay for content, they should be able to regardless where they live.

“In the offline world, this would be called discrimination. In the online world, it happens every day,” Ansip said. “I want to pay – but I am not allowed to. I lose out, they lose out.”

Geblocking is used by almost all big streaming sites from the BBC iPlayer over Amazon Instant Video to YouTube and Netflix, a big problem for users and one of the most common reasons why people pirate software and media in the first place.

“How can this be a good thing? We put up with the situation because there is not much alternative. Now it is time to do something about it,” Ansip added. “There should be no exceptions. Everyone should be treated the same. This is a key principle that underpins everything we want to achieve.”

The EU is currently discussing how copyright legislation in Europe should be overhauled and Andrus Ansip hopes that measures against geoblocking will be part of the new rules, and so do I.

Thanks to TorrentFreak for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of cinecliq