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Games Industry Law Summit – small details, addition to agenda

Games Industry Law Summit
Games Industry Law Summit – small details, addition to agenda
By Sergei Klimov • Issue #76 • View online
Before we dive into the minutiae of the upcoming intellectual feast (also known as the Summit), I’d like to share a little story about the integrity and the difference in defending – or not – studio’s rights.
In early July, world’s beloved president Putin signed a law that prohibited the French producers of champagne to call their wine “champagne” when sold in Russia. Instead, they need to label it as “sparkling wine made in the region of Champagne”, while Russian producers (such as those based in the occupied territory of Crimea) can use the term “champagne” to describe their produce.
The first reaction of the French industry was rather vocal: Russia is responsible for only 0.5% of the global market of French champagne, so a boycott was called for.
French Agriculture Minister Julien Denormandie weighed in on the debate, insisting that only Champagne’s vineyards can truly use the name. “You can imagine the reaction of the French authorities,” Mr Denormandie told Sud Radio.
Apparently, there is no budget for lawyers in the region of Champagne, because instead of filing claims to the WTO, the association of growers just asked some bureaucrats to send… letters of discontent (Mr. Putin must have lost some sleep after receiving these, one must hope) –
Trois courriers, pour l’instant sans effet, des ministres de l’agriculture, du commerce extérieur et des affaires étrangères à leurs homologues russes ont été envoyés pour demander une suspension de cet interdit qui spolie les Champenois de leur propre appellation.
Two months and two weeks later, we finally have a resolution:
  • the producers of champagne will resume sales to Russia
  • they will label champagne as “sparkling wine from France”
  • they will submit their champagne to the “painful process of recertification which requires samples to be sent for analysis”
Et voilà.
As we discussed earlier, the big difference between the approach of companies like Epic Games and other global giants in regard to litigation, is that while Epic is actively and publicly defending its rights, the default choice for many others is to avoid the bad publicity at all costs. Which ends up costing the whole industry more, in the long run.
A few years back, when cheaters were taken to court by Canon’s team and testers who breached their NDA were served with lawsuits, the discussion of whether “this is real” reached as far as the Steamworks dev forums.
It is my belief that allowing counterfeit goods with well-known games IPs to be sold in Europe and in the US, not moderating game forums for scam and avoiding all and any sort of conflict with cheaters at the fear of “enraging the community” goes a long way to creating more problems not just for the top-tier studios (who are rich anyways, and won’t care), but also for the rest of the industry where this becomes a norm.
Let’s talk about this some more this week, over a glass of champagne sparkling wine from the region of Champagne. We’ve got magnums of Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve already in the cooling area!

Weather Update
Grabbed this photo yesterday while on a walk. The beauty of autumn is here.
Grabbed this photo yesterday while on a walk. The beauty of autumn is here.
The weather in Vilnius, for now, is a nice +18C with some wind and sun, but without any rain. The forecast, as of now, is:
Tuesday: +18C, cloudy
Wednesday: +18C, sunny
Thursday: +18C, sunny
Friday: +14C, 80% chance of rain
Please bring something for the weather. We will have a waterproof tent over everyone’s heads, but if the temperature will indeed drop in the night prior to the rain, it could also get windy.
Epic vs Apple
This morning, on a walk with my dog Daisy, she wanted to know: who has won the case? I gave her some opinions, but we couldn’t agree on the outcome. For us as a development studio, the decision sounds like good news. For the rest of the industry? I guess it depends on the way that Apple will execute what it needs to do.
Because there’s a lot of people who want to get to the bottom of “what really happened here”, we’re going to have the “open mike” type of thing during the last half of lunch on Day One, and from 13:00 to 13:30 we will talk about Epic vs Apple with Karin Pagnanelli moderating the discussion and others contributing.
Naturally, we shouldn’t expect attendees from Valve, Google and Epic to offer any specific commentary on the decision, for it would be like someone asking me to explain how in the last Steam Fest we got 4 featured streams while the general limit was 2 (short answer: there was a bug, and we used that unknowingly), but I’m confident that if the discussion takes a more general approach, then these counsels as well as others will contribute their vision for what is at stake, and what’s the ultimate goal of the suit.
The Airport Team is already there
This is VNO airport this morning, and this is the red standee and the red wolf that you need to find, to be guided to your taxi. If lost, just start discussing the Epic vs Apple ruling in a loud voice and other attendees will congregate.
Both Arrivals halls now have the red standee and red wolves installed, with Titas and Joris manning the positions. They will direct you to the taxi that is booked for you. The pick-up and drop-off are complimentary, you do not need to pay anything to the drivers.
The Attendee Box is full of goodness
This is the most fun box that we produced so far, and it’s full of goodness. Everything but 1 item is consumable. Most items are made (and baked!) to order here in Vilnius.
One piece of advice: beware of others trying to steal Osborne Clarke’s ginger cookies! It’s something of an irrational impulse, I suppose, but once you pop that box open, things get in your way until you realise that you just ate through the whole thing.
A pleasant surprise
With 3 days to the Summit, we started moving everything from the warehouse to Hotel PACAI – and discovered, in the process, that we bought earlier (but completely forgot about) eight boxes of French rose wine. So that’s something of a pleasant surprise, then.
We really forgot about our ambitious plans for the wine list from 2019, and just discovered that we are also in possession of 8 boxes of a fantastic French rose.
Here’s the list of complimentary drinks available throughout the event:
Other things are available at the bar of PACAI, charged against your room or with a credit card (though if you want something else, this means we failed in our Summit’s own selection…).
The growing challenges of youth protection
I believe Paul is saying "Ha ha, your team lost, but nice try!" here.
I believe Paul is saying "Ha ha, your team lost, but nice try!" here.
Paul Gardner (pictured above with Vanessa Pareja Lerner, during the finals of LC III) is doing god’s work this year, bringing clarity to one of the most requested topics of youth protection (does it apply to games? which games exactly? and how does it apply?).
Co-opted for his panel are Ted Shapiro and Christian-Henner Hentsch, both pictured below. On behalf of all the in-house folks attending this year, we express our gratitude for this contribution. And if you have any specific questions, please direct these to Paul, Ted and Christian-Henner during the Reception Dinner so that they may prepare for these by the time of the panel.
Ted can get intense when talking about copyright.
Ted can get intense when talking about copyright.
Christian-Henner is quite used to be in the spotlight.
Christian-Henner is quite used to be in the spotlight.
Our very own piece of art
We asked Katya Nemova to create a piece of art based on the Summit’s Red Wolf to be displayed in the lobby of Hotel PACAI for the duration of the event, and later – in communication and, perhaps, to be sold off to raise funds that will see a bunch of trees planted here in the city
For the lobby of Hotel PACAI, we commissioned a Summit-themed piece of art. Mixed media by Katya Nemova. Currently airing to dry.
It is now on display, and you will also find all the sponsor’s flags there – perhaps a good spot for a group photograph? Accepting bids!
WiFi password!
For our post-Brexit friends with roaming charges, as well as for anyone else outside of EU, Hotel PACAI offers complimentary WiFi. The network’s name is Hotel PACAI and the password is Mansion1677. Not sure anyone will remember, but at least you know where to look!
Any emergencies? Shout!
If you’re in need of a shop to buy something like a toothpaste, or if you need a place to have a 1-on-1 meeting, feel free to send Alma and me an email. Best results come from emails that describe everything in the Subject =DD.
Fly safe, sleep well, and see you at the Reception Dinner!
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Sergei Klimov

A newsletter about games industry's legal side, written for the benefit and entertainment of the folks attending (or considering to attend) the annual Games Industry Law Summit in Vilnius.

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Games Industry Law Summit is organized by Charlie Oscar Lima Tango Interactive Entertainment UAB