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Thatguyinktown

Cunningham v Miller lawsuit, explained.

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13 minutes ago, Thatguyinktown said:

@Ahab there was a motion filed in October, that was granted last month. If the motion was to include the f13 game, that would align with the accelerated release schedule (and also the waffling on whether to release a new content road map). It also explains the rush to get the may 24 patch out, as buggy as it was, because theoretically if they didn't push it out quickly, all that content they created would have to be put on hold.

Now I haven't seen the motion in October, or the may memorandum, so it could be something unrelated, and I'm trying to connect dots that dont actually connect, but, it makes sense, right?

   It does make sense to me... I am no lawyer and only know so much (or really... not much) about the laws in this matter. In truth, we can only speculate with what little we know about it. Even though it makes sense, any speculations that any of us make could be way off.

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8 hours ago, F134Ever86 said:

I thought jasons original name in the script was joshua?

That's a VERY GOOD point... in the original screenplay the son of the killer was named Joshua by the writer.  It was an executive decision on a company level to use the name Jason. This coupled with the fact that the only thing tethering the license to the EMPLOYEE that wrote the screen is Pamela.  Other than that the lore is entirely independent of the screenwriter.  I hope the court has considered this as well...

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3 minutes ago, Ahab said:

   It does make sense to me... I am no lawyer and only know so much (or really... not much) about the laws in this matter. In truth, we can only speculate with what little we know about it. Even though it makes sense, any speculations that any of us make could be way off.

It also makes you wonder about the engine upgrade. Yeah, they lost a lot of players,  but if they couldn't release new content after today, then they pretty much had to race against the clock to get both the engine upgrade and the new content working on it, or else they would have had neither.

Not an enviable position to be in...if that's what happened.

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11 minutes ago, Thatguyinktown said:

It also makes you wonder about the engine upgrade. Yeah, they lost a lot of players,  but if they couldn't release new content after today, then they pretty much had to race against the clock to get both the engine upgrade and the new content working on it, or else they would have had neither.

Not an enviable position to be in...if that's what happened.

   I for one, am glad they got as much content in as they did. I don't care about the bugs... most of them make me laugh. 
   If they hadn't released it soon enough, that would have been a lot of time and money lost. With the content that is in game now, the price tag is more justified... and will be even more so when they get some of these bugs fixed... which seems is pretty much all they have left to do now. It was a gamble for sure, hopefully it pays off. When the game is in much better working order... players will come back. Many of them only have a problem with the bugs.
   The only bug I have any real issue with is players being constantly kicked out of a group when trying to enter a lobby in quick play. I actually didn't get into playing tonight, but I will try again tomorrow. I think if I have enough friends to fill a lobby... private matches will be enough of a workaround for this as the group does not have to join a game. They get invited directly to the game lobby. But it is not as much fun if you cannot fill a lobby.
   Bad reviews about the buggy mess it is... along with many claiming the game is already dead, does not help attract new players to the game. Once some fixes are in... things could change with reviews, but just on the steam community alone, there are two or three threads every day since I bought the game claiming it is dead. Maybe not every day, but it sure seems that way. They have been wrong so far... and I would like to see them continue to be wrong about that.
   I am disappointed with the fact we will not be getting any new kill packs as well... who knows how long this case will take to resolve, but hopefully when it is done they will continue with new content. Chances are, the game will be running pretty smoothly by the time the dust settles in court. I just hope there is still a game around then to add more stuff to.

   Now we wait... With nothing to do but work on fixes and balance and of course, dedicated servers, we should see things turn around shortly... I hope. It is still a waiting game though, all tasks take time... But those dedicated servers for counsels and fixes for bugs are what is needed to draw in new players, and perhaps bring back some players that have put the game down. Jason will never truly die... but he sure is fighting to stand under the weight of all those bugs... let alone the weight of today's news.

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If you think they are going to erode away their profit margin with a burden of lawsuits, no future sales, salaries, topped off with maintaining servers for a couple hundred ever to be declining players you are either naïve or in denial. I give it 30 days before the plug is pulled permanently. 90 tops. Liars don't admit when they are lying even when caught, they just keep right on doing so. In the end you'll get a thank you and some melodramatic BS about how their hearts are broken while they screw you out of your cash and walk off into the sunset.

They had no intention of telling us any of this, they would have already, until someone else broke the story. I sincerely hope no one believes they decided on or found out about this today.

Research the end of Marvel Superheroes for the outcome.

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7 hours ago, MaxRenn82 said:

Don't see why clothes can't be added as they aren't specifically from the movies.  Such a shame.  Even when the court rules he can apparently just appeal it.  

 

And agree they should just release Uber, bugs n all, and patch him at a later date if post June means after June, not including.

When the franchise is under a legal dispute, that means any and all intellectual properties related to it. Yeah Uber Jason is in the game files, yes he is in there, but he is not publicly released. They cannot PUBLICLY release him or the Grendel map because everything in the game falls under the Friday the 13th banner, which is what is being gummed up by Miller in his stupid lawsuit and wanting some monetary compensation for his very minor contributions to the overall franchise. Clothing is the same way, it's new content within the Friday the 13th title which, like I said, is everything included in this game. It sucks, but it is what it is, and I'm sure we'll know something by the end of June but I doubt Miller will win if this goes to court. They will likely settle outside the courts.

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3 hours ago, Avanious said:

I hope Victor Miller jumps into a 10,000 gallon vat of piss, shit and spunk. He's screwing us fans over and trying to take Jason away from us over greed.

Facts

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If the mods think MY posts are "abusive" they would have a heart attack if they saw what is being said about Victor Miller on reddit and Twitter!  😳 

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20 minutes ago, Caliph said:

If you think they are going to erode away their profit margin with a burden of lawsuits, no future sales, salaries, topped off with maintaining servers for a couple hundred ever to be declining players you are either naïve or in denial. I give it 30 days before the plug is pulled permanently. 90 tops. Liars don't admit when they are lying even when caught, they just keep right on doing so. In the end you'll get a thank you and some melodramatic BS about how their hearts are broken while they screw you out of your cash and walk off into the sunset.

They had no intention of telling us any of this, they would have already, until someone else broke the story. I sincerely hope no one believes they decided on or found out about this today.

1) I fully agree with everything you've said here

2) You'd be surprise how moronic the human race truly is. There are still plenty of people here in full blown denial, fully believing that Gun/illfonic will continue to fix a product that has no longer has any means of producing any profit for them whatsoever.

No one is going to willingly buy a product that they know has no future, especially one that is severely lacking in content and is currently bordering on unplayable, with a very good chance of staying that way.

And no one on the team is going to agree to working for free. No money = No work. 

Once the servers are shut down, the game will become fully unplayable, unless the always online nonsense is done away with, then you can murder brain dead bots to your hearts content as any Jason you want, except for Uber, who is fully finished, but they didn't want to give him to us for some reason with the engine upgrade, and now we can't have him ever. 

The reality is we will get one final obligatory patch towards the end of this month that may or may not actually fix anything, then we will either be given dead silence until the servers are shut down a month/a few months later, or they will continue their trend of completely bsing us, right up until the bitter end

No amount of denial will change this. This lawsuit has been ongoing for a couple years now, and barring a miracle, will continue to go on for many more. 

No, this isn't exactly the end of the road here, but we're damn close and looking straight at it.

We have two choices here: Acceptance or denial. 

Whichever one you pick, if you love this game and it's online, truly love it, then put all other games aside for it and play all you can while you still have the luxury of doing so. 

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I don't get why there is vitriol here and on Reddit and Twitter directed at Victor Miller.

If you were Victor Miller, you'd likely sue for the same thing he is.  Even if it doesn't benefit you directly, it benefits your children and your childrens children.  

It's a smart business decision on his part, that frankly he should have done years ago.

It sucks for all of us and it is also why the F13 movie that was slated to be released last year never happened but it is what it is. 

Unfortunately these type of lawsuits drag on for years in the courts until there's some kind of settlement reached with the usual NDA attached.  

For the franchise itself, we'll eventually see another F13 movie but this game is for all intents and purposes dead. 

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1 hour ago, SirMang said:

I don't get why there is vitriol here and on Reddit and Twitter directed at Victor Miller.

If you were Victor Miller, you'd likely sue for the same thing he is.  Even if it doesn't benefit you directly, it benefits your children and your childrens children.  

It's a smart business decision on his part, that frankly he should have done years ago.

It sucks for all of us and it is also why the F13 movie that was slated to be released last year never happened but it is what it is. 

Unfortunately these type of lawsuits drag on for years in the courts until there's some kind of settlement reached with the usual NDA attached.  

For the franchise itself, we'll eventually see another F13 movie but this game is for all intents and purposes dead. 

I am waiting for a statement from the devs on this before I comment any further on this @ShiftySamurai could you give us a clear head about what is actually going on with things if you wouldn't mind?  ...All of this..?  Nevermind I got my answer, holy shit this sucks!   http://www.f13game.com/news/end-of-content/ 

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40 minutes ago, RadikalGamer said:

I am waiting for a statement from the devs on this before I comment any further on this @ShiftySamurai could you give us a clear head about what is actually going on with things if you wouldn't mind?  ...All of this..?  Nevermind I got my answer, holy shit this sucks!   http://www.f13game.com/news/end-of-content/ 

That post only states the end of content for now. When the lawsuit is settled content will almost assuredly be made regularly again. I have a feeling, and I hope I'm not wrong, but I have a feeling that Victor Miller's suit will end be in favor of Cunningham in short order. I hope, at least.

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3 minutes ago, Nickypoolicious said:

That post only states the end of content for now. When the lawsuit is settled content will almost assuredly be made regularly again. I have a feeling, and I hope I'm not wrong, but I have a feeling that Victor Miller's suit will end be in favor of Cunningham in short order. I hope, at least.

Lawsuit is over a year old and is gaining steam. Its not going to end soon. Its end of content bc unless something changes with the suit quick, its exactly that. 

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2 minutes ago, K3ys3r S0z3 said:

Lawsuit is over a year old and is gaining steam. Its not going to end soon. Its end of content bc unless something changes with the suit quick, its exactly that. 

The lawsuit may be a year old but the fact that it is now affecting the game's development, as well as content for Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzles, is new.

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14 hours ago, thrawn3054 said:

Definitely possible but why would a video game that realistically shouldn't have been a commercial success get his panties in a twist? 

 

If you get wind of something you help create from your brain raises over 1 MIL on kickstarter, I am sure thats gets someone a lil heated. Regardless, this is shitty timing for GUN and the fans of the franchise. 

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The movie is 38 years old, why did Miller wait so long to file a lawsuit?

In accordance with the Copyright Act of 1976, authors are allowed to terminate an existing copyright after a period of 35 years, given that they were not a work for hire.  A Work for hire is a work that is created by an employee as a part of their job.  Miller had between June 4, 2014 and June 4, 2019 to serve a termination of copyright.

So was Miller's Screenplay a "work for hire" or not?

This is really the crux of the issue.  While Cunningham, Manny Company, and Horror, Inc maintain that it was a work for hire drafted under a standard WGA contract, they are not able to provide the court with a copy of a contract that states that it WAS a work for hire.  Further complicating matters, Miller's May 7, 1980 sale of the screenplay from Manny and Georgetown Productions, Inc does not reference the screenplay as a work for hire AND lists Miller as the sole author of the screenplay.

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21 hours ago, Thatguyinktown said:

As of the announcement today, Gun and Illfonic cannot release any new content until the above lawsuit is settled.

The Issue

The issue at its core is whether the writer of the original movie can claim ownership over the characters of Jason and elements of the first movie; Cunningham and company claim he cannot, as he was an employee who cannot claim copywrite ownership,  Miller states his work and screenplay was mostly finished for a similar movie before using his previous script for the 1980 Friday the 13th, and can therefore terminate his copywrite agreement.

Why and how does this affect the game?

While the developers did get the rights to the Friday the 13th series that is owned by Sean Cunningham and the company Horror, Inc, Miller's attempt to terminate the copyright agreement means that the rights for the character of Jason and elements of the first 1980 movie are currently in limbo.

Miller's notice of termination lists a date of June 2018, at which point he would like ownership or at least credit for all works related to the character of Jason created after that date. Miller's attorney is quoted saying ""Whereas Miller will thereby recover the U.S. copyright to his original film treatment and screenplay this does not prevent the continued exploitation by Plaintiffs or their licensees of prior derivative works, including the 1980 film and its many sequels; it solely relates to new derivative works after the effective 2018 termination date,"" (Hollywood reporter article). 

Presumably, this includes new Friday the 13th Game Content created post June 2018.

Full court docket from Court Listener:

https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4497508/horror-inc-v-miller/

Cunningham and Horror, Inc filed this 45 page summary judgement in June 2017:

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3863746-Friday-Cunningham.html

Here is Victor Miller's 45 page summary judgement from the same date:

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3863745-Friday-Miller.html

Hollywood Reporter article:

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/friday-13th-producer-points-writers-union-membership-bid-hold-franchise-rights-1012930

 

I'll update this as it develops, and to correct errors.

 

 

So, this guy claims to have written the first screenplay for Jason. But yet, he waits for nearly 40 years to have a beef?? I think this case should be dismissed. It is clearly someone trying to hit the jackpot!!!

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4 minutes ago, kepps-66 said:

So, this guy claims to have written the first screenplay for Jason. But yet, he waits for nearly 40 years to have a beef?? I think this case should be dismissed. It is clearly someone trying to hit the jackpot!!!

The movie is 38 years old, why did Miller wait so long to file a lawsuit?

In accordance with the Copyright Act of 1976, authors are allowed to terminate an existing copyright after a period of 35 years, given that they were not a work for hire.  A Work for hire is a work that is created by an employee as a part of their job.  Miller had between June 4, 2014 and June 4, 2019 to serve a termination of copyright.

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47 minutes ago, Thatguyinktown said:

The movie is 38 years old, why did Miller wait so long to file a lawsuit?

In accordance with the Copyright Act of 1976, authors are allowed to terminate an existing copyright after a period of 35 years, given that they were not a work for hire.  A Work for hire is a work that is created by an employee as a part of their job.  Miller had between June 4, 2014 and June 4, 2019 to serve a termination of copyright.

So was Miller's Screenplay a "work for hire" or not?

This is really the crux of the issue.  While Cunningham, Manny Company, and Horror, Inc maintain that it was a work for hire drafted under a standard WGA contract, they are not able to provide the court with a copy of a contract that states that it WAS a work for hire.  Further complicating matters, Miller's May 7, 1980 sale of the screenplay from Manny and Georgetown Productions, Inc does not reference the screenplay as a work for hire AND lists Miller as the sole author of the screenplay.

Looking at this objectively, we have no idea what happened in 1979, nor do we know what happened back in 2016 when Miller initiated the process to terminate the copyright.

It's the same thing that happened with the Buckaroo Banzai IP a few years back when they were attempting to create a TV show for Amazon. The writer/creator won then, and Miller, in all likelihood, barring any sort of startling development, will win here.  Going after him in "full internet goon rage mode" isn't going to do anything to rectify the situation.  

It would be nice to know what the actual sequence of events was that led to Miller filing to terminate the copyright.  Did he reach out to Horror Inc., first?  Did he simply file and then hope they'd come to the table?  Did Horror Inc. attempt to negotiate in good faith, only to be met with unreasonable demands?  Nobody here knows, and blindly lashing out at Miller without any sort of context or understanding of what actually occurred is irresponsible and reckless.

Besides, even if he wanted to, Miller probably can't make any sort of public comment on the state of the trial, the IP, or anything related to it, including the game. 

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2 minutes ago, Bropollocreed79 said:

It would be nice to know what the actual sequence of events was that led to Miller filing to terminate the copyright.  Did he reach out to Horror Inc., first?  Did he simply file and then hope they'd come to the table?  Did Horror Inc. attempt to negotiate in good faith, only to be met with unreasonable demands? 

In Miller's summary judgement, it alludes to conversations and attempted clarifications as to the nature of Miller's contribution going back as far as the mid-80s.  It led me to believe that he's been sitting on this for a LONG time (despite my earlier posts in this thread yesterday which suggest he only started going after the IP after the game was announced).

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47 minutes ago, Thatguyinktown said:

In Miller's summary judgement, it alludes to conversations and attempted clarifications as to the nature of Miller's contribution going back as far as the mid-80s.  It led me to believe that he's been sitting on this for a LONG time (despite my earlier posts in this thread yesterday which suggest he only started going after the IP after the game was announced).

I actually sat there and read through both motions, Miller first, then Horror/Cunningham.  

Miller lays out a compelling argument, but Cunningham's attorneys have a lot of case law on their side regarding derivative works and undeveloped versus fleshed out characters.

However this thing shakes out, it'll be interesting regardless.

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1 minute ago, Bropollocreed79 said:

I actually sat there and read through both motions, Miller first, then Horror/Cunningham.  

Miller lays out a compelling argument, but Cunningham's attorneys have a lot of case law on their side regarding derivative works and undeveloped versus fleshed out characters.

However this thing shakes out, it'll be interesting regardless.

You can definitely see why this is both such a big issue, in relationship to both the film franchise and game, and also why the case has been taking so long.

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10 hours ago, Nickypoolicious said:

That post only states the end of content for now. When the lawsuit is settled content will almost assuredly be made regularly again. I have a feeling, and I hope I'm not wrong, but I have a feeling that Victor Miller's suit will end be in favor of Cunningham in short order. I hope, at least.

The post says no content in the future as well reread please.

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