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Submission + - Activision abuses DMCA to take knock indie game entirely off Steam

He Who Has No Name writes: We've seen brain-dead, overzealous, and entirely over-automated DMCA takedown requests bring down music and videos, but this may be the first case of an entire video game being knocked out. Earlier today David Prassel, creator of Trek Industries and developer of the not-without-controversy ORION: Dino Horde / Prelude and the early-access Guardians of ORION, posted that his current project had been entirely removed from Steam after a questionable DMCA allegation from Activision. Prassel explains further, "We've made Steam our primary platform, but this has put a definite scare into us going forward considering our entire livelihood can be pulled without a moments notice, without any warning or proper verification. I cannot even confirm that the representative from Activision is a real person as absolutely no results pop up in any of my searches." Image comparisons against at least two of the weapon models claimed to be infringing were posted by Prassel and in at least one thread on reddit in /r/pcmasterrace.

What's more, it appears Activision is alleging not a vertex-for-vertex and texel-for-texel theft and duplication of the Call Of Duty: Black Ops 3 2D & 3D art assets, but in fact an infringing artistic similarity and design of separately created art content — something that the DMCA does not cover (and which more would likely fall under copyright or possibly trade dress).

Since this takedown falls directly in the middle of the Steam Summer Sale — which probably is not a coincidence — and will profoundly impact Trek Industry's potential sales, does this make a case for substantial reform in the appeals & response process in DMCA takedown demands, adding a due process and rebuttal window to prevent takedown requests from being essentially weaponized?

Comment Re:but... (Score 2) 52

The core goal of 'Mechs is to pack a lot of firepower into an easily transportable package that requires a single pilot and can traverse ground like infantry.

Tanks are good - on Earth. When you suddenly have to force project across multiple planets, sometimes with hostile LZs from deorbital burns, and occasionally into completely unknown environments, 'Mechs suddenly have a lot of useful qualities as an overall warfighting system.

Once the technology matures to tie them into a pilot's nervous system for balance and direct neural control - and we are NOT that far off, really - they'll be highly effective as shock weapons and expeditionary warfighting platforms.

Entertainment

MegaBots Raises $2.4M To Create League Of Human-Piloted, Giant Fighting Robots (techcrunch.com) 52

Remember MegaBots? The Kickstarter success story that was raising money last year to pilot fighting robot named Mk II. Labeling it as a contest for world supremacy, the co-founders challenged a Japanese team Suidobashi Industries to a duel with its Kuratas bot. (Which it accepted very gracefully). The idea was to utilize this octane-packed event to sell merchandise products. Here's an update: it worked. TechCrunch reports: Oakland, Calif. startup MegaBots Inc. has raised $2.4 million in seed funding to bring the robot-fighting stuff of manga and anime to a venue near you. According to MegaBots cofounders, Gui Cavalcanti, Matt Oehrlein, and Brinkley Warren, the startup aspires to follow in the footsteps of major sports associations like Formula 1 or UFC. With the seed funding, Warren said, MegaBots will be partnering with a law firm called Latham Watkins to help set up and roll out its league internationally, taking an approach similar to the Olympics. Specifically, MegaBots will be working with Latham Watkins Partner Christopher D. Brearton, who represents the International Olympic Committee, and has helped organized leagues and governing bodies in sports including the NBA, MLB, NFL and others.

Comment Re:LOL WTF no. (Score 4, Insightful) 313

Your analogy would be valid if somebody was reacting to street racing deaths (human behavior) by shouting for speed governors that prevented speeds above the speed limit, tiny gas tank sizes (to require more frequent fuel stops), and convoluted electronic interlocks that had to be painstakingly disabled every time you wanted to use the full performance of a "unregulated racing car" (aka, anything more powerful and sporty than a Nissan Leaf).

There absolutely have been deep investigations of defective and faulty firearm designs. Look at the investigation that was done following the disastrous budget-oriented changes to the M-16 technical data package after the DoD adopted the initial Eugene Stoner design from Armalite (later Colt). The M1911, Browning's masterpiece, was almost entirely a response to the performance and technical failures of existing US Army handguns in the Philippines against the Islamic Moros. The list goes on.

Firearms designers have been very rapid to iterate on failures that are legitimately because of design or technical flaws. They'll even incorporate human factor issues in the designs. But they have absolutely no obligation to purposefully hobble and mangle a sound design based on logical fallacies that claim the changes will somehow (we're not sure how) reduce human negligence.

Comment Re:LOL WTF no. (Score 3, Insightful) 313

Hopefully she'll be indicted here shortly for high crimes with national intelligence, and we can finally watch all her decades of prior crimes catch up with her in karmic glory.

The alternative is having a female version of George W with a slightly different set of political connections at the helm for 8 years... Yecchh.

Comment Re:LOL WTF no. (Score 3, Interesting) 313

I don't think those incidents are anything except illustrations of criminal adult negligence. Their use is to forcefully instruct firearms owners how to secure their weapons in a way appropriate to the circumstances.

What do we do when kids drown in a pool, walk out in traffic, ingest something toxic, or otherwise injure or kill themselves with other inanimate objects due to adult negligence?

We punish the negligent adult.

What is it about the emotional derangement with gun control ideology that somehow imbues franchise to that specific inanimate object and demands IT be changed from an already perfectly functional form, to compensate for blatant human negligence?

You wouldn't be making these suggestions if the kids had stabbed themselves with a loose utility knife, brained themselves with a tire iron, or drank a mouthful of brake fluid.

Comment Re:Errrrrrr, NO (Score 5, Insightful) 313

Those avenues have been heavily investigated, largely to the point of exhaustion, some methods going back over 100 years. Most major handgun manufacturers already incorporate mechanical safeties that prevent discharges from dropping (Glock and others), inadvertent snagging on the trigger (Glock, Springfield, Walther, others), and pressure on the trigger without deliberate grip on the weapon (John Browning in 1911). There are also transfer bar safeties for hammer-fired weapons, disconnectors for striker-fired weapons that only disengage when the trigger is deliberately pressed, and others.

The bottom line is that firearms have been an extraordinarily iterative product for over a century and their use has always demanded reliability as an absolute design factor, which has driven development to perfect elegant mechanical simplicity and dependability. There is no widespread desire by their actual users to introduce the kind of added complexity and "usage blockade" functions that are being advocated by this political effort. The impetus for that functionality is entirely political from people who genuinely loathe firearms and intend to make them as difficult, cumbersome, and unreliable to use, because in their warped impression of firearm usage, making guns that way will somehow decrease "gun violence". It's an irrational and fallacious notion with no basis in fact or evidence, but the people who hew to it are powerful, well-financed, and zealous, so it continues despite having no basis in the real world.

Comment LOL WTF no. (Score 5, Insightful) 313

This administration is about to get a very rude lesson in the difference between their imagination of the market desires for firearms, and the actual expectation of those who use them in the real world.

Firearms as devices have been deliberately pressing for mechanical simplicity and minimal failure points for over 150 years. Adding complex electronics that are potentially vulnerable to deliberate subversion from a distance is a non-starter.

The only police forces that might even consider this are highly politicized ones like NYPD, CHiPS, and the New Jersey State Police. The military will not touch these. They've already done experiments and research on this tech and didn't want to touch it with a 40 foot pole that belonged to somebody they didn't like.

If this tech can't get funded and become mandatory for private citizens even in nations with hideously civilian-disarmament fixated politics like Germany, England, and France, it's going to be a non-starter in the US.

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