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.
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”
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
sparkling wine from the region of Champagne. We’ve got magnums of Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve
already in the cooling area!