Tracey Alley - plagiarist

AdmundfortGeographer

Getting lost in fantasy maps
What good little boys and girls you are. You know US copyright law so well! There's no question that she "broke the law". Those good boys at the Mystara Piazza get a nice pat on their little heady-heads for turning her in. Maybe Hasbro will give those nice boys an awesome little gift certificate for their service to corporatized culture...
Shove your patronizing.

Her theft of ideas had little to do with the law at first. It was about her work looking so much like it was set in Mystara that Mystara fans were duped into buying it because it resembled the object of their fandom. When asked about the resemblance she insisted everything was the object of her imagination and completely coincidence.

When someone owes their work on the work of others so directly, honor would assume acknowledging the obvious heritage. That is where the Mystaran outrage grew from, it escalated to narcing on her when she raised the stakes to threaten suing people for "lying" (her claim) about her use of ideas.
 

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billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
What good little boys and girls you are. You know US copyright law so well! There's no question that she "broke the law". Those good boys at the Mystara Piazza get a nice pat on their little heady-heads for turning her in. Maybe Hasbro will give those nice boys an awesome little gift certificate for their service to corporatized culture...
***

The original goal of copyright law was to provide for individual human creators so that they would have a livelihood, for a relatively short time (14 years), while they produce entirely new creative works.

Yet via corporate influence in the legislation of rights law, this has grown into a monster:
  • In the case of natural persons (human beings), the creative works are locked down for the life of the author plus 70 years after they're dead. This provides a pension to a family lineage, who they themselves perhaps have done nothing to contribute to humanity's creative commons.
  • And for works which were authored by legal persons (non-human corporate beings) these stories are locked down for 120 years.

Gigantic media and entertainment corporations have commoditized and locked down our culture and stories and shared mythologies.

The Mystara Piazzites and ENWorlders don't get a medal for pointing out who "broke the law". You do get a medal for sensing what a vibrant, humane, free cultural sector would look like, and enacting that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_culture_movement
https://sites.google.com/site/threefoldnow/free-cultural-sector

If that actually were the law now, that would be all well and good. But it's not. This author could have easily worked within the law but either fails to understand it or chose to flaunt it. This is no principled act of civil disobedience. This is appropriating stuff that isn't hers for her own gain and that puts her in the wrong.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
What good little boys and girls you are. You know US copyright law so well! There's no question that she "broke the law". Those good boys at the Mystara Piazza get a nice pat on their little heady-heads for turning her in. Maybe Hasbro will give those nice boys an awesome little gift certificate for their service to corporatized culture...
***

The original goal of copyright law was to provide for individual human creators so that they would have a livelihood, for a relatively short time (14 years), while they produce entirely new creative works.

Yet via corporate influence in the legislation of rights law, this has grown into a monster:
  • In the case of natural persons (human beings), the creative works are locked down for the life of the author plus 70 years after they're dead. This provides a pension to a family lineage, who they themselves perhaps have done nothing to contribute to humanity's creative commons.
  • And for works which were authored by legal persons (non-human corporate beings) these stories are locked down for 120 years.

Gigantic media and entertainment corporations have commoditized and locked down our culture and stories and shared mythologies.

The Mystara Piazzites and ENWorlders don't get a medal for pointing out who "broke the law". You do get a medal for sensing what a vibrant, humane, free cultural sector would look like, and enacting that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_culture_movement
https://sites.google.com/site/threefoldnow/free-cultural-sector
US entertainment lawyer- and creator of intellectual property- here.

First of all, the motivation to increase copyright duration bean with private copyright holders and their successors in interest- usually families. You complain that the families contributed nothing. People who found companies can pass along ownership of what they have brought to the world to whomever they want, regardless of their contributions to society. Why do you think there should be a different rule for those who write books, paint, create music, etc.?

Second, the duration of 120 years applies ONLY to works of corporate origins.

Third, by any standard of measurement, the amount of intellectual property created AND the number of those living solely off the profits of their creative efforts is greater now under copyright (and other IP) enforcement regimes than ever before.

Fourth, as has been pointed out by others, this person didn't engage in any honorable behavior: the author lied about the origins of certain elements in the works in question, and threatened leal action against those who questioned the explanations given. This was no Robin Hood, this was an unrepentant thief.

Fifth, certain elements of the "Free Culture" movement- like the Creative Commons- foster the sharing of ideas in a way that is entirely consistent with the scope of existing Copyright law...namely, with conditions specified by the creators of the IP. The existing IP regime is merely the default- any IP creator is within their rights to modify the conditions of use to foster the sharing or that IP more freely.
 
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Scrivener of Doom

Adventurer
Oh my.

When I first read the title I was like "what's the big deal, if it's just a fan creation for a home game" ... but if the author is selling products, that's just plain wrong. I assume Australia has some sort of copyright reciprocity with the US to allow appropriate action to be taken.

It sure does.

It's part of the misnamed Free Trade Agreement between Oz and the USA.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter

Folks,

This is not an appropriate venue for discussing whether current copyright law is good, useful or what have you. If you have an issue, please take it up with your duly elected Representatives and Senators. So, please, let it be.

Thanks, all.
 

Ashtagon

Adventurer
@DnDPhilmont

Yes, I reported her to WotC for suspected IP infringement. Guilty as charged. As owner of The Piazza, I have a duty to protect the integrity of the forum I run. Had I not done so when I became aware, it would invite questions as to whether and to what extent my forum protects IP thieves, which in a worst-case scenario, could result in messy (time-consuming and expensive) legal action. It might also get a forum shut down.

I'd also have reported her to the other copyright holders whom I believe have had their IP used without permission, except I don't have the relevant contacts there. I understand though that other people have since made them aware of the situation.

You might be interested in noting too that Bruce Heard (who actually wrote a huge amount of the stuff being infringed upon) is very upset over this, as present copyright law stops him from writing with that IP. When the original, still living, author himself can't use the IP, it makes no sense to defend the "right" of third party writers to use that IP against both the present law and your idealised version of the law.
 

FlareStorm

First Post
I don't post here or use this site much, but it is turning into a Facebook fight. Or it was a Facebook fight that we won. So yay social change? The Mystara Reborn Facebook group has more developments and opinions (which you should join anyways, its for Mystara fans)
 




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