Loading YouTube Feed...

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Stop Kickstarter Scams

Kickstarter.com is a beautiful thing. It also has a dark side. It is up to us, the crowd, not only to fund the projects, but to make sure the system is not exploited by scammers and vaporware salesmen.

This campaign called "Praetoria" just came to our attention. The following screenshot is taken from their campaign page:



Without our permission it uses screenshots from Voxel Farm videos to get people to open their wallets. That is not cool. They have not licensed from us, they are not showing any original work. To me that amounts to lying. If you lie to get money, it amounts to stealing.

We have no choice but to point a finger and ask everyone and their friends NOT to contribute to this campaign.

As a rule, we do not allow anyone to raise funds using Voxel Farm. This is to protect funders and the ideal of crowdsourcing in general.

Every week or so we get a request that goes like this: "Dear Voxel Farm: We at Fourcats (or FlyngOx, or whatever) love your Engine. Please let us use your name and artwork to raise funds, then we will be able to afford the license and all will be good." The answer in every case is no. I hope you can see why.

89 comments:

  1. At the bottom of their kickstarter page you can report it and mark it as:
    "Intellectual property violation"

    ReplyDelete
  2. The Praetoria developer also maintains a YouTube channel and a Facebook page on which he promotes the Kickstarter scam. Very low, and very strange.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The page is already changed... SO either you are wrong or they are VERY fast

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We try to clear up any infingement as soon as we can, we were not aware this would cause such an uproar amongst a company we have been talking with for some time and on several occasions mentioned we will be starting a kickstarter campaign, we despise any scams and to be placed in the same category as this is damaging and offensive to us, the project is a genuine project we are trying to raise capital for and we are sorry for any offense caused to the developers of the Voxel farm engine. So we removed these images as soon as Aleric could but whet we mention in the video maybe a little more difficult but we are not scamming anyone and we are genuinely trying to build this game with the intention of purchasing the relevant licenses

      Delete
    2. Surely you could've thought better than to use screenshots of an engine you do not own in order to gain followers... Also come on... $1 million? You can't even reach $20k XD

      Delete
  4. Pictures are gone from the page but still present in their video at the 11:56 mark. Hit them again.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is not a scam. Invisionary has been in direct talks with Miguel about the use of VoxelFarm as the voxel delivery system for the game. It does not claim anything more than needing to raise money to purchase this engine. You all are fucking nuts.

    ReplyDelete
  6. As already said, they're still using your imagery and your product's name in the video, so use Kickstarter's Report function.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Just to clear up any confusion on the topic. We at Invisionary have been in direct conversation with Miguel about acquiring a license for VoxelFarm for use in our games. We did not at any point in the conversation name our project. We still have VoxelFarm listed in our stretch goal campaign as part of the purpose for raising the money so we can afford to purchase the license. We were merely showcasing why it was important for our product to our potential backers to explain what technology we planned to go with.

    At no point in the conversation did Miguel ever state that he was against crowd-funding and that showcasing his product would result in such a ridiculous and hostile response.

    The hostile nature of this blog and the posters here is causing me to reconsider spending the $100,000 required for the license and instead going with a competitor. I would find this to be an unfortunate turn of events as I do have a great deal of respect for Miguel and VoxelFarm.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alaric,

      Maybe you should brush up on copyright and trademark laws and regulations if you're actually trying to defend using screenshots/artwork/etc. that belong to someone else on your page, without actually asking for the consent of said owner. I'm sure you wouldn't want people to pirate your game. Owners of all intellectual property are to be respected -- it doesn't matter WHY you used the screenshots. It only matters that you did without permission.

      Delete
    2. You are taking this completely out of context and twisting it into something it is not. At no point do we claim to have produced VoxelFarm. VoxelFarm is directly credited for the engine and listed as a stretch goal for the project. If you are trying to raise money for something you have to explain what it is and why. Most people do NOT know what a voxel is. Have no clue what it looks like. We were showing them in some very simple photos I might add what it is and why it's important. VoxelFarm was credited for all voxel content!

      Delete
    3. What? When did I say that you were claiming to produce or make VoxelFarm? That is not at all the purpose of my statement. Stop being obtuse. It's the matter that you used someone else's screenshots/artwork without their permission. Also, "was credited for all voxel content!" does not fly. Do you think I can simply use the photographs of someone else on my blog or on my book covers and all I had to do was credit them for being the photographer? You are sadly mistaken about copyright if you think that's all that is necessary.

      Delete
    4. Seriously, I'm starting to think the makers of voxelFarm are complete and total assholes. What gives them the right to say who can and cannot raise money to buy something? If they had claimed to make VoxelFarm I could understand someone being upset. They are asking backers to help them to be capable of affording to BUY it. WTF is wrong with people?

      Delete
    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    6. Actually, Alaric, the answer is NO. And it makes me laugh when people start throwing around "Fair use" to defend themselves when they break copyright. You're like the Youtubers who put entire episodes of series online and state that it's "Fair use." Tell that to the bloggers that used and "credited" people for photographs they took from Google on their site, and had those photographers suing them for damages.

      "Crediting someone" does not give you the right to use anyone else's intellectual assets (and by this I mean pictures, artwork, writing, program, whatever else) without their permission.

      Delete
    7. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    8. NOTE: I am under no circumstance, mindlessly defending VoxelFarm, nor am I saying their response is correct!

      The problem is, that generally speaking, it is generally illegal to feature other people's work (Including screenshots, as they can be perceived as photos of the program) for commercial purposes. Your Kickstarter campaign is meant to earn money, therefore it is a commercial venture. Placing pictures of an engine in there without the owner's permission, is the usage for commercial purposes of copyrighted material without the owners permission. If I am correct, then fair use policies only apply for educational and personal use, not for commercial use.

      Now, I am by no means a lawyer or person who fully knows the law, however I do advice you an your company, to read up on copyright laws and perhaps consult a lawyer familiar with international laws. Because making and advertising games might seem like a great thing, but it is a often a legal minefield and can be very dangerous to trot through without knowledge of how things work.

      I hope this helps.

      Also Miguel and VoxelFarm, perhaps it's better next time to first send the people who use your copyrighted material an e-mail before you post something like this on your blog.

      For both of you: making rash actions is never a good idea.

      Delete
    9. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    10. Good luck getting those $100k to buy from a competitor... It is kind of ironic that Miguel kind of screwed himself over since they were actually planning to buy it.

      Delete
  8. Dear Anonymous#2,

    Funny how your comment here is almost exactly the same as the KS project owner's comment in the comments section when this page was brought to his attention.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do not condone VoxelFarm's behaviour here, however do take into account, that VoxelFarm started by one man doing a hobby, and only recently became a proper company, they'll have some teething pains.

      As I said in another comment however, you are both being rather unprofessional, rather than bashing eachother and eachother's products, start e-mailing eachother. It's better to fix a problem than to highlight it.

      Delete
  13. Again, go brush up on copyright laws and regulations. Just because you are "in talks" with someone to license their program or whatever doesn't give you the right to use their screenshots for your own benefit. If you are in talks with a graphic artist for them to work on your game, do you think that gives you the right to then put up pictures of their artwork on your Kickstarter? Of course not. It's the same here.

    It doesn't matter that you were in talks, or you were going to come to an agreement, or whatever you're trying to use to defend yourself. The fact of the matter is that you jumped the gun, you used someone else's intellectual property without proper permission/authorization, you put those assets up to show other people in order to benefit your company/Kickstarter.

    And now you're crying about how "hostile" people are to you because of this? Give me a break. I'm damnably sure you wouldn't be fine with some other company using your concept art on their website to promote a game they're creating when they're only in talks to partner with you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. You keep skirting the real issue here, which is that you used images without permission. You keep trying to defend that.

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  14. Pretty unprofessional posting private email conversations including tech specs (which afaik aren't publicly available).
    In addition, not sure why you're trying to justify actions which Miguel pretty clearly stated that he does not approve of. Sorry you think it's okay, but it's his work and he doesn't. Apologize, remove the images, and move on!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. That's like saying, "This artist we are thinking of working with should be thanking us for promoting his pictures and grateful we intend to cough up the cash to buy his stuff because we posted his artwork on our website."

      Or: "This musician should be grateful to us for promoting and even wanting to work with him and pay him when we put his mp3s on our website."

      Both without permission.

      I'm sure the artist and the musician wouldn't be as grateful as you think Miguel should be.

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  15. Guys this is embarassing. This conversation belongs in private, get that email correspondance going. 100k $ is not something you spend on a whim. You fucking calculate that decision, according to the needs of your project and the capabilities of the product.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I think this kind attitude truly is the darker side of the internet. Anyway voxel farm is Miguel's baby and is right to defend it. A link to this blog and a wish to license it would have sufficed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is my final post on this blog. Hopefully, Miguel will have the foresight to remove it at the first opportunity he has. Each of the images were linked to his website directly: http://voxelfarm.com/

      We literally did exactly this. We listed our interest in licensing it, showed an image of it which linked to his website and credited him for creating an amazing product. We are extremely sorry that any of this has transpired as we felt we were doing not only the right thing, but the very best way we could.

      Regretfully,
      Alaric LaBrie

      Delete
    2. Alaric, my opinion of you, and your project, just rose dramatically. Good luck on the project... the world needs more games!

      Delete
  17. I don't know who put up this BS, but those assets are listed as BELONGING to Voxelfarm, they do not take credit for it, voxel farm is a product they intend on purchasing for use in their game, if anything it's a promotion FOR voxelfarm. This insinuation that they are stealing assets is purely slanderous and it's people like this that deserve to be discredited. For attacking legitimate and innovative developers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did a quick google search or the images currently on their kickstarter (using google images where you can drag an image in) Didn't find anything, then by looking at the signatures in some of the concept art, they're all by the same person. I believe this is probably a genuine product, but that there have just been some major mis-communications going on here, and that people have acted too hastily.

      Delete
    2. Exactly the case. Originally Praetoria had posted a bit about voxel farm as a product they planned on acquiring for use in their game included images and a video from their site. The whole time giving credit to Voxelfarm. I was under no illusions as a backer that this was a creation of the Praetoria's developers, but of Voxelfarm whom they had given credit to. So whoever wrote this did at too hastily seeing the images and not reading the context is the only thing I can imagine. Since then Praetoria removed the content from their site. Because of voxelfarm's capabilities, as showcased by praetoria, I was actually interested in purchasing their engine. Unless this is resolved and a public apology is announced to Praetoria then I can't even consider that.

      Delete
    3. Oops, didn't want that message to respond to your message Wayne, sorry =P. I will respond to your message in this post though:
      It's true that it might be promotional for VoxelFarm, but if people just go about and take screenshots etc. from other projects, even if they plan on using it, it can be harmful to the owners of the screenshots.
      Here's a hypothetical situation. Imagine the pictures were used in a kickstarter, VoxelFarm doesn't object or doesn't find it. People will start to link those images to the kickstarter project, the project gets a decent amount of money, say 50 000 dollars. Then no game comes out of it, no news from the project, turns out the project leader ran off with the money and never had any intention of making the game to begin with. Now people will link that project with a Scam, and since images of VoxelFarm were linked to the project, in turn, VoxelFarm will be linked with the Scam, making people have an inherently bad view of VoxelFarm.

      The Legal landscape is a hostile and vulgar place, where one has to dance around with immense grace. Unfortunately it isn't completely logical, but that's just how it is.
      Human psychology is also a tricky thing, things (like images) are not always perceived as you think they are. People, especially on the internet, have the tendency to be emotionally extreme, one minute loving something, the next damning it to something worse than hell. Getting people to have the right emotional state about your product is tricky, and parts of your project being outside of your power (like being used by someone else without your permission) can be devastating.

      Delete
    4. I have to agree here. I've been going over all of their media and it looks like they have a pretty innovative idea. The project looks legit to me. I kind of feel sorry for them. It would seem that someone at VoxelFarm made a huge mistake in how they handled this. My opinion of VoxelFarm's developers has been greatly diminished as a result of this blog posting.

      It looks as if not only have they made themselves look bad as a company but also possibly lost a serious customer who, from what I see in the emails posted, obviously had already begun the negotiations with them about getting VoxelFarm.

      Delete
    5. Kamica, I do understand where you're coming from, however kickstarter campaigns can't simply run off with your money. They are legally obligated to deliver on their promised product. So any project which doesn't deliver must return the donations given or face criminal prosecution for fraud. Some project which have succeed, but afterwards found out they were unable to deliver have returned their funds, this is typical in those rare instances. So while I can understand the worry about scams this is certainly not a scam. Even if it were it would not hurt voxel farm people would have heard about them (if they read) and would appreciate their product. I can't think of anyone who would think less about them because a scam put up a picture showing how great they are, didn't follow through with their promise and are now put behind bars in a prison somewhere.

      If Praetoria did anything wrong it would have been not to ask voxel farm first. I don't know if they did or did not. The proper and honorable response before slandering someone first would be to speak to them and ask them to remove those pictures. Especially since this project has only been open for a few days now. The knee jerk reaction is in my opinion simply immature.

      Delete
    6. Good to know, but yea, that was just an example, I'm not saying Praetoria is a scam (I personally doubt it is) but I was just explaining why it's important to be careful when using other people's stuff, and why people and companies can become aggressive when you use stuff without asking =P.

      I still believe the biggest problem here, is that a simple misunderstanding from both sides, has been blown up to massive crap-throw contests...

      Delete
    7. Well, yes, backers automatically get their money back from KickStarter if the campaign doesn't succeed but if it does end successfully, the makers get the money and can do whatever they want to do with it. you no longer have any means to know if they're using your money for their project. That's why we heard so much stories of scammers that simply disappear with the money, some even try to make you believe with false documents that they gave up and sent the money to charity.

      Anyway, it does seem to be a miss-understanding but the KS project shouldn't have used pictures from Voxel Farm anyway should it be for educational purpose. You don't talk about voxels and show a landscape as an illustration, it doesn't help in any way.

      Again, they seem to be young and uninformed giving the structure and content of the overall KS project but still, give them a chance to prove that they can do this.

      Delete
    8. @wayne, that is not how kickstarter works. If they reach their funding goal, they are free to spend it however they like. It is buyer beware, generally investment in projects is done where you feel safe feeling that the person has enough invested in the project that they won't simply give up and disappear. Posting other peoples work is an easy way to show invested time in a project and is wrong, and is why it has made the projecf creators look like scammers.

      Delete
    9. I find it amusing that we're even discussing Kickstarter shovelware as if it's already an established game by an actual developer. A "serious customer"? They would probably need to hire someone who knows how to implement the voxel farm tech, or what a game engine is, before they can license it.

      Delete
  18. Alaric, (also Wayne, and a number of Anonymous [read as Praetoria people])

    First, a quick note on my background on this subject, since I'll be commenting on it below:

    For the last 15 years I have built a vertical market software package, and have been licensing this software to over 30+ major Broadcast and Cable Television networks both in the US and abroad. I work with copyright law, negotiate, write, and modify software-licensing agreements with these corporation's legal teams on a weekly basis.

    I can tell you, and everyone else on this blog, that your understanding of Copyright (and the "right to copy" that its name implies), as well as the other proprietary rights of a work's creator (as in the rights of a proprietor to control the goods they produce) is completely wrong. Common, but wrong.

    You do not have ANY right, ‘fair use’ or otherwise, to post screenshots without the explicit permission from their copyright holder (and if your intent was to do "business", as you claim, you should have obtained that permission in writing, prior to posting his works on your Kickstarter). Further, your usage was patently not ‘fair use’, since you were engaged in solicitation of business while using representations of another's work (whether attributed or not, whether explained or not). Period.

    What you did is against the law in both Canada and the US, as they have pretty good reciprocity regarding copyright statutes. I suggest you read up on these things, or better yet, retain a lawyer and ask for legal advise prior to these kinds of business moves, as you open yourself up to personal liability: http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#107

    EVERY point you, and a number of others have tried to parrot, have belabored above doesn't have any bearing on the issue. If anything, continued discussion only makes you look like some of the many scammers that do exist. If you do truly have a unique and genuine vision for a game that you want to produce, I implore you to quietly go back to your project, before digging an even deeper hole.

    I applaud your removal of the offending content; as you apparently responded quickly, but the continued responses here are downright juvenile (especially your reprehensible act of posting a private business e-mail conversation)... all of this only diminishes yourself, not Voxel Farm, as was your clear intent. The intent to damage another person, directly or indirectly, falls into a whole different area of law.

    The Internet is a more permanent medium than you seem to realize, and if you are serious about the business of creating software, I suggest you pull yourself together before you solidify such a distasteful image of yourself, and your project, that no one will associate with it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well Jonathan; I applaud your efforts of trying to sound like a grand authority and do thank you for add a link to the copyright law and fair use section. While thoroughly confusing and difficult to navigate you can still see that Invisionary is not in violation of the fair use. Also since Invisionary chose to disclose its personal e-mail, as any free citizen is allowed to do, there is no wrong doing their either.

      Delete
    2. Alaric apologized for the issue and has done the right thing IMO, so I think that matter is resolved... However, promoting incorrect interpretations of Fair Use does everyone a disservice.

      Wayne, I think you mistook my intentions. I didn't "try to come off as a grand authority", I merely provided my background knowledge regarding this subject matter, which many fail to do when they assert claims like "you can still see it is not in violation of the fair use".

      Many people spout off all sorts of opinions as fact, without any sort of practical knowledge of the subject, or sources to back it up. It's understandable that you would find copyright law "confusing and difficult to navigate", as it is truly a complicated subject. Thank you for clarifying your knowledge on the matter.

      If anyone else is interested, a simple read through of the Fair Use articles I linked to, is pretty definitive on the matter. The Fair Use clauses specifically outline the exceptions to rest of the body of copyright restrictions; (I.e., if the use case you are defending is listed in this section, the it "may" be fair use. Those use cases are are:

      - "criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research."

      Now, I see franklin norris from that Kickstarter has chimed in claiming "The use of the voxelfarm images and videos was for the educational purpose of potential backers nothing more." Ah, the good old You Tube talisman against copyright lawsuits. Well, now that you have decided upon the use you want to defend, you must continue to read the statute, because a statement matching one of the fair use exceptions does not grant "fair use" on it's own. You must also take into account the rest of the articles which continue as follows:

      "- In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—

      (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;"

      AND

      "(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work."

      Using screenshots of another person's game engine to try and get the public (i.e. backers's) to give you money for your unpublished game is going to fail a Fair Use test for both point 1 and 4 above -- especially when the fair use is promoting another game, and not only a game, but a "voxel based game" that could be in direct competition with any game Miguel makes with his engine (though if the engine was licensed there would be explicit provisions allowing for that competition) -- rather than the use being on a blog about "Amazing Cliff Pictures", to which a Fair Use claim regarding the cliff screenshot might have a chance.

      A good rule of thumb with copyright is: When in doubt, don't! Ask the owner first, and if they say no, ask a lawyer second, if you really feel it's fair use... don't leave yourself open to a copyright infringement lawsuit.

      The approach Alaric and the team took in removing the screens was appropriate, and I say "good on them" for doing the right thing!

      To your final point, Wayne, I agree with you that they have the freedom to re-post their e-mails, since they were not accompanied by a confidentiality notice. But it is definitely not "good business", and frankly was a real turn off to their project. The retractions help tremendously to fix that, but the ongoing assertions don't help much, as it just keeps the issue alive.

      Ultimately, Miguel will probably append the blog and/or chime in about how he feels regarding these steps to fix the issue, I've seen him be fair in similar situations... Personally, I think it has been resolved now that the cantankerous posts have been removed, and the screens de-linked.

      Hopefully both teams can get back to creating great games now!

      Delete
  19. I think voxel farm just shot themselves in the foot.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks for letting me know about this game. Hell I had no idea it even existed. Looks pretty cool.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks we have put alot of work and planning into the game and are very appreciative of your comment.

      Delete
    2. Pretty cool? It looks AMAZING. It also comes off like a complete pipe dream. There's no way they can possibly deliver everything they're promising, and certainly not a beta by June.

      Just because you can imagine something doesn't mean it's feasible to create it.

      Delete
    3. There are several games in plan to be made leading up to the MMO. The beta you're referring to is likely the mobile game. The MMO is planned to be released in 5 years. While yes it sounds like a pipe dream, but mostly it's a game that defies traditional genre stereotypes. It's not impossible with "modern" technology, which is why they're not worrying about making it backward compatible with older technology. It all comes down to coding. Also the unigene engine proves that following that large amount of data can be done. So when it comes down to it, it is a challenge, but is no longer a pipe dream. Also to put a fine point to it they already have the majority of coding down and mainly need to work on assets at this point.

      Delete
    4. Oh yes we have spent some time at length discussing the way we are going to approach the development of this game and everything is feasable and i have alot of the systems already in development, the BETA by june however, this not so much... on kickstarter we have an estimated delivery time this is only for rewards - by all means you could get your BETA Key by June but as is spoken about in the videos it will take time to develop the game to a beta stage, also the length of time is very reliant on what staff we get on board throughout the dev cycle, we currently have an expanding team currently at about 8 developers including me but we still want to recruit several more to work on this.

      I doubt the original blogger here wants to read this but if you have any other questions or concerns you could post them on our Kickstarter page

      Delete
  21. It's beyond doubt that using the images without permission was negligent from a moral point of view and illegal from a legal point of view. The cited object was put into a context without the assurance of the proprietary that he was fine with said context.

    But it's a rather minor offence. It's very plausible that the offenders were just sloppy and assumed that the proprietary would not mind.

    Without any doubt though this misdoing doesn't make the whole project a scam! I would say that publicly denouncing somebody as a scam is a delict, too, and a far more serious one. The reader of this blog entry is led to the conclusion that the kickstarter project was totally illegitimate. Such a behaviour is not mere simple expression of opinion, but an injurious malpractice doing more harm than using artwork without the expressed permission of the copyright holder.

    I think the blog owner should apologize and put his slanderous assertion right.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hmmm... As a regular reader of this blog this is what I see...
    I see Miguel protecting his intellectual property. I see someone looking to essentially steal money from investors by using images without consent. This was further proven by the rapid removal of the content when an issue was raised (or else their project would have been pulled from kickstarter). Further, I see a few different accounts that have never posted here defaming miguels work and supporting this kick starter... It is easy to see what is happening. Its a scam, with the scammer setting up multiple accounts to give themselves the look of being supported/legitimate. For shame.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How do you get out of bed in the morning with such a low capacity for thinking?

      Delete
    2. @Robin Last time I checked scammers don't usually broadcast their identity to the world. I bet you believe aliens abducted Elvis too?

      Delete
    3. While I will agree that Miguel was doing what he felt was right by, challenging the copyright infringement though kickstarter (as a backer we all received a email stating that the campaign was halted til said issue was resolved. (26min later the issue was resolved and the kickstarter campaign restarted))

      By calling the project as a whole a scam the poster of this blog is trying to defame the creators of the kickstarter campaign. I myself am one of those people... I will tell you now the project is not a scam. The use of the voxelfarm images and videos was for the educational purpose of potential backers nothing more. We were not selling them voxelfarm, rather something we intended on creating using voxelfarm as one of many tools.

      This will be my one and only post here so take it for what it is worth to you. Hopefully this will all be resolved by both parties without any legal action. Only time will tell.

      Delete
    4. Thank you anonymous scammer for proving my point.

      Delete
    5. Your definition of "prove" is wrong in any conceivable way.
      You had not point to begin with.
      Even your gratitude is fake.

      Delete
    6. I feel kind of sad for anybody who invests money in this scam. Especially any of the people who purchase the more expensive packages. What are they going to do if the kickstarter reaches its goal, but not any of its stretch goals? A cell phone game for $500+ lol. The low entry price to get the money plus investment points that can only be redeemed if the thing makes it to thr upper stretch goals is super sketchy.

      Delete
  23. What a rollercoaster of a ride! Scandal in the game development world! Posting anonymously, well, that's always a sign of mature and level-headed discussion.

    There are other issues with the kickstarter campaign, even without the misused screenshots, that lead me to think that it will not achieve its goal...definitely aten't getting my money.

    ReplyDelete
  24. The Praetoria guys should consult with a lawyer about copyright law. Unless mutually agreed otherwise, they have no right whatsoever to use any images or other material that is not their own. Since they tread copyright law so lightly (and don't understand it, as inferred from comments made by Alaric LaBrie), I wonder what other copyrighted material is used in all the game's assets and code.

    I wouldn't invest in Praetoria, in the least because of the risk of the game ending up in a copyright lawsuit.

    If anything, this entire debacle should be a warning to any person who would be considering investing in Praetoria, since the actions of Invisionary LLC, its representatives, or the owner has displayed itself as irresponsible, slanderous against Voxelfarm, and immature. (See their Kickstarter comments.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. I'm sorry you think so little of us - we at invisionary take copyright very seriously and this oversite regarding voxelfarm was based on an assumption the prompt removal was not a sign of guilt but more of respect for the voxelfarm as an admittance of a mistake on our part.

      I am not Alaric I'm the programmer of this game and can assure anyone that this issue regarding voxelfarm is the only one of its kind as all the rest of the projects assets are developed in House including any code with the exception of sgt which is one of the officially licenced pieces of technology by us at invisionary - I have coded everything else seen in the project and Alaric developed all of the assets including ships, characters, factory components etc.

      We are appalled at the assumption that there are other copyright infringements in this project, we have worked extremely hard to get what you see on our kickstarter video and it is quite offensive to us to simply assume we take copyright lightly

      Delete
    3. I assume you understand how kickstarter works correct? You are asking people to support you project, and that is risky. Even if you make you funding goals, who is to say you still won't run out pf cash before it is finished? That is why when people look at your project they try to see how much time/money has already been invested. That way they know that you can be relied on. When you post someone elses work (especially without consent), that raises way too many red flags as to the legitimacy of your project. The assualt of random annonymous replies on this site, the replies by your official team that have been pulled, and the constant ignorance of common copyright laws by your dev team are all further indications that a) this project is a scam, or b) this project is legitimate, but being run by someone who will eventually fail due to public relations and/or laesuits.

      Delete
    4. Maclean: Did you know Kickstarter prohibits photorealistic renderings? The reason is that people might mistake it for a finished product when in fact it isn't. When you're running a campaign, any and all materials and images must belong to you and describe the product as it is in the current state. I.e., even if you used public domain images, you'd still be breaking Kickstarter's policy by representing something that your product is not.

      Apart from that: sure, I could make the same mistake on Kickstarter and use images that were not my own and that do not represent my product. Even if I'd removed them almost immediately, then I could still very well imagine that other people think my campaign is a scam. After all, I tried to raise money for my project using other people's intellectual property.

      And you should gracefully accept that you made a mistake, that you corrected it and that you've upset people. Miguel's response is very understandable. There are often scammers on Kickstarter. On first sight, why would he think your project is any different when you're using his material? You should accept that.

      What I find especially appalling is the fact that you (or Invisionary) state that Voxelfarm is irresponsible, slanderous and immature, and that you would be very weary of ever doing business with VoxelFarm and heed a warning to any person who would be considering using VoxelFarm in the future. If that's not slander, then it's very, very close to it. You made the mistake, and you represent yourselves as if you've been bullied by Voxelfarm. That's really low and immature.

      Delete
    5. that comment was not by me

      I do not feel bullied and for the most part understand the reaction, but the broadcasting of this issue calling us a scam is what cranked my gears.

      If they had used the medium provided inside of kickstarter and professionally dealt with us the company as a whole we would have happily removed those images without further complaint, we are trying to make a game here and it appears we made a mistake that could have been resolved peacefully without blatently telling the world that we are a scam, i would understand this if they e-mailed messaged etc and got no response but is it really professional to write a blog post accusing us of being something we are not,

      I quote something in the post that really raised my eybrow
      "they are not showing any original work. To me that amounts to lying. " other than those 2 screenshots everything that we show on our page is legitimate and developed by us there is no fake or pre-rendered pictures on there with the exception of Alaric's mini pets which are a rendering and is stated explicitly on there.

      We do appologise for the use of the voxelfarm images in the first place and removed them on seeing this post - we made a mistake i just wish people would let it lie as it is resolved.

      Delete
    6. A pity that it came to this point :/ But nice that you come here and tell whats up!!
      On the one hand I can totally understand Miguel is sick of people trying to profit from his stuff. On the other he could have mailed you first, get in touch and find out If you are scammers or not.
      In the end that would have been much more interesting! I'd also like to know! As I've seen these poser babes on the facebook page I immediately turned away. That was really too much. I hope Miguel has a deeper insight now and updates his post!

      Delete
  25. Hmmm ... I haven't posted any images / content from Miguels creations but now i'm wondering if I should email him and ask if its ok to link to his blog from my blog? I ask for no money on my blog and use it purely to track my own exploits in to game development but if this is the likely reaction I think I might have to send an email :(

    I'm not going to comment on this argument ... that's asking for trouble.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Paul, that is silly.

      Linking to his blog, or even his company's web pages is never a problem. Art, screens and stuff like that might warrant a formal request, yet links never are, and for the use you describe even direct linking to his art wouldn't be a problem, everyone wants plublicity...

      What he doesn't want, and rightly so, is someone using screenshots of his work, and caption claims reinforcing them, used in a way to pass them off as being from "your" game and "your" technology from your game, especially on a Kickstarter (which by their very inclusion implies that this WAS the technology of the game.)

      As any content creator, it is nice to have other's respect your work enough to ask to use it.

      Yet, in the case you outlined, "commentary" is one of the fair uses, and even use-ing screenshots to comment on "his" work, or as a commentary about what you are trying to accomplish yourself is probably fine, because you are not intending to pass his work off as your own... are you? ;)

      Delete
    2. Learn to watermark all images, add watermark to all videos.
      At the very least it lets others know something fishy is going on.

      Delete
    3. Except Jonathan you are dead wrong on what happened and what the result was. Paul is right to be concerned about what happens if Miguel gets word of him using images from voxelfarm because this entire blog post proves just how terrible the VoxelFarm company is. Either the management is terrible or they have a loose cannon who does not use their brain before their pen.

      Delete
  26. I wouldn't judge Voxelfarm by its PR. The whole focus of this blog used to be the technology aspect of Voxelfarm, which is quite remarkable and developed mostly by one man.
    On the other hand, another of the thousands of you-can-do-anything MMORPG kickstarter projects showing nothing but concept art using another person's work as a placeholder for original content doesn't warrant a whole lot of respect.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Everyone just say they're sorry and move on.

    Life's too short.

    Also, I want more awesome voxel-based games.

    ReplyDelete
  28. This is a scam. Their $100 reward is an exact copy of the Vulture in the BattleTech IP which is exclusively license to PGI by FASA.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Voxel Farm has suddenly became very VERY ugly. This horribly inflamed blog post does the author and the Kickstarter campaign both a great disservice.

    If it had been handled out of the public forum, I am sure it could have been settled amicably.

    Hopefully Miguel and the Praetoria team have both learned something here - albeit the hard way.

    ReplyDelete
  30. .. i think people dont remember that if something is not yours you cant use it or have it... whatever the case is..

    saying thats its for " showing the potential " its stupid..

    ReplyDelete
  31. This is outrageous I've been following this blog for years and am outraged that someone would try to steal your hard work and profit from it. I realize this happens but you do some amazing things and deserve respect and admiration for being such an inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No one tried to steal anything from what I could tell. A small developer tried raising money to buy Voxelfarm and made the grave mistake of using a image from voxelfarm on their kickstarter project. Despite the image being linked directly to the voxelfarm website the author of this blog and the software lost his head acted like a idiot and posted this "illegal" blog. Libel is a serious form of Defamation that is a criminal offense making the author of this blog culpable for damages and possibly landing them-self in jail if they were to be sued and lose.

      Delete
    2. The kickstarter page said they have been in contact with the the developer of voxel farm, and obviously they have not of we would not be reading about this here. You M Janus are a troll, or an idiot.

      Delete
    3. Actually no. If you were reading this blog then you'd of known that Invisionary even so much as posted a part of their email discussion. They were in talks with them. That makes you an uninformed troll or an idiot. Probably both. Oh and Miguel is a fucking retard.

      Delete
  32. As an Indy dev myself. I am shocked. How unprofessional. While they might have been in the wrong. They didn't exactly do anything shady like pretend they created voxelfarm. It looked as if they were singing high praises to the author. To have this happen in result. Shame on voxelfarm. It's quite obvious you hate indy developers cause they can't afford your over priced engine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I disagree, kickstarter makes it very clear that you shouldn't post anything to your project that would make it look like you have made more progress then yiu actually have. By posting images of voxel farm, they violated these terms and agreements. The project had an ultra low entry goal, and this should raise plenty of red flags for any backer. At $100,000 they simply could not live up to any of their lofty promises, this is what makes it vaporware. What is worse, is that any/all negative publicity from vaporware projects will invariably tarnish Miguels reputation. He is not a massive engine developer with a plethora of success stories of companies using his engine. Each and every project using his engine has tremendous impact on his future sales. Hence, he is justified in calling out projects that can tarnish his name. Regardless of whether their true agendas was to milk kick starter backers or of more noble intentions.

      Delete

There was an error in this gadget