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The end of GW fan animations?

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  limburger 1 week, 2 days ago.

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    So yesterday I saw this video.

    And this is what their website says:

    Fan-films and animations – individuals must not create fan films or animations based on our settings and characters. These are only to be created under licence from Games Workshop.


    So this most certainly has to do with Warhammer+ and I’m sure there are fan animations that monetize their Youtube videos or have a patreon for their animation stopping them I can understand.
    But wanting to stop all of them? They did get quite a few of their shows from fan animations so I don’t like this.

    I know nothing about ip/copyright law but they probably are allowed to do that but I still think it’s wrong. They are now fighting free PR and a good way to find new animators.

    This really remids me of ye old GW which fought everything it’s fans did.


    • This topic was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by  iceeagle85.
    • This topic was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by  iceeagle85.

    It’s because of Warhammer Plus, they’ve not really paid much attention to the fan films until they set up their own streaming service. It’s all about money….


    Cult of Games Member

    I thought this was in line with the rules they had previsouly to defend thier IP? That didn’t stop any of the fan creations, so I am not sure why this would. I saw this as them offically saying they still had a big legal stick to use if they needed to, not that they were actually going to use it.

    I am in no way an IP law expert so may be way off the mark with this.


    Cult of Games Member

    I suspect the problem will be precedent.

    When they had no animations products of their own they could quietly ignore that they even existed. Whilst we all know they are out there and what the community was up to, legally speaking they could turn a blind eye because they just weren’t playing in the same field.

    Now GW has arrived to play in the same game and they can no longer be wilfully ignorant. They have animations of their own and if they want to be able to defend their IP rights to these they have to be seen to defend them. If they let some people get away with it that sets precedent and others can as well. Intellectual Property defence in law is pretty all or nothing. This is why you get so many cases of giant global corporations taking on some small business that present no threat to them in the least: because if they do, someone who could threaten their bottom line could use their lack of action as precedent that their property isn’t defensible.

    Not that this makes it any less sucky of course. From what I have seen from a few creators starting to talk about it, a lot of them don’t seem to like the terms being offered and are choosing to walk away/find alternative avenues for creation. If it kills this section of the community and stops being a inroad for new fans, does it matter which hand was holding the knife?

    *disappointed face*



    Thats just basically a list of how they intend to handle things going forward.   Its basically muscle flexing and bullying, it is not a legal document as in being legally binding.

    As long as the videos do not break actual copyright law, they can not do anything about them.   However I am sure that wont stop them from trying and throughing around some lawyer weight to bully people in compliance.

    Anyone that did not see this coming, would have to have been blind.



    The thing is that since these are guidelines, not rules, as Arch put it, GW has no way of enforcing any of this stuff. They can try to shut down fan animations, but they really have no legal precedent to do so. Even if a fan animation is taken down or demonetized, it still can be reuploaded, like with SODAZ’ videos, or with The Last Church, and it can be reuploaded indefinitely. The fanbase that produces fan animations is so broad that even if it wanted to, GW couldn’t stamp out every last one, and when people are crediting them in every video, it just reflects even worse on them as a corporation.

    It’s pretty much a really boneheaded move on Gee Dubs’ part, and much like their attempts to copyright “space marine,” is destined to backfire in their faces. The company wouldn’t even exist without the fanbase, so if they try stepping on the fanbase, they’re going to regret it.


    Cult of Games Member

    There is nothing ‘boneheaded’ about this.
    The sense of entitlement of certain folks is appaling.
    And it always is used whenever a ‘big evil corporation’ does things.

    GW owns the copyright on their products and the associated art.
    To use these things need their permission.

    This isn’t new.
    It’s something fans of corporate products have had to deal with since the dawn of time.

    There have only been two loopholes :
    – the parody/review option
    – companies not realising there was money to be had …

    Why is it so damn hard to just ask for permission from the person/entitity that owns it ?
    And yeah … they are going to make certain demands, because they want to ensure their art isn’t used to make them look bad.

    The only thing that you could use to argue against this is the simple fact that GW kind of ripped off and copied existing tropes when they created their worlds. However those days are long gone.

    There is plenty of scope to create not-40k videos and art. You just have to make it absolutely clear that it isn’t official GW and you need to be sure it is 100% your own art and not copied in any shape or form from them.

    It’s easy to allow fan-art of spacemarines, because you can add enough variation so it doesn’t look like the official GW output.
    With animations it gets harder as you’d have to fail the duck test on every level and constantly display a ‘not GW approved’ overlay or something equally stupid ?
    So yeah … GW takes the easy route and says : no unlicensed animations(period) / end of discussion.

    And think of the positive : if you do get a license then you get to use all of the GW art and design …



    I’m not trying to come off as entitled, it just seems like a particularly foolish move on GW’s part since it feels like they’re trying to stamp out creativity. Wargamer Fritz and Arch both looked at this, and there’s a fine line between protecting your IP and controlling it. If someone was purposefully stealing their artwork and passing it off as their own without crediting the original source, like if I took a picture of a painted model off GW’s catalog and said that it was my work, that would be IP theft and a cause to take legal action with appropriate precedent. However, if I were to make a fanwork like these animations on YouTube, such as The Last Church or Death of Hope, giving full credit to them for the IP, saying that I in no way own the designs, characters, or story, yet am still producing work meant to show how much I love the stories and designs, the legal precedent isn’t there, since credit has been given and the creator isn’t passing off the company’s IP as their own. It’s the same situation with Disney trying to stamp out Star Wars fan films; it’s acknowledged that it’s a fan work, full credit is given to the creators of the IP, and no one is out to turn a profit off it.
    Now when it comes to people monetizing GW fan animations on YouTube, that’s when you get into the issue of IP theft, since people are essentially turning a profit off an IP that they don’t own, even with all of the credit given. People treat demonetization as this horrible, horrible thing, but honestly if you’re not making money off the video and are instead making it as a labor of love, like Death of Hope, then you’re in the clear in a legal sense. Forcing people to take down their videos completely, monetized or not, with vague threats of legal action is really overstepping boundaries, even for a corporation like this, since the creators are completely protected by IP law, even with the ridiculous gobbledygook that GW cooked up in its latest press release.
    It also seems foolish from a business perspective that GW is essentially getting rid of “free advertising.” Astartes, Death of Hope, SODAZ’ work, and lots of other fan projects are commercials for their product that they didn’t have to spend a single penny on; whereas now if they get rid of them, they’re now spending money to advertise, meaning they’re cutting into their revenue stream, and are also requiring people to PAY to watch “commercials” through Warhammer Plus. I’m not a legal or business expert, but seeing creativity attacked in this way is disheartening. You’re welcome to disagree with me, that’s all part of the discussion.



    To be honest this isn’t really that new thing. GW has never liked fandom making those fan animations no matter how it shows dedication that those fans have for GW’s games and worlds of those games and how it would be good PR (not to mention free advertising) for GW to let them continue. It must be frustrating for those fans to have used they own time and effort to make those only for GW to step in and have those removed. Of course with Warhammer+ this has only gotten worse so I don’t deny that. Just that this would be recent thing.


    Cult of Games Member

    My name is Alan…And I`m worried it may appear in one of there new books one day… I hate to have to go to court to keep my name then forced to change it because GW is using it 52 years after I was named…



    Cult of Games Member

    Im afraid your name has since been reallocated. Henceforth you shall be known fan#24691


    Cult of Games Member

    @kronosthetraveler you don’t get to decide what is ‘good enough’ to satisfy the owner of an IP.

    Besides … if you really wanted to then you could have asked for a license, just like any other company would have to do if they want to use their stuff.

    No sane artist ever works for ‘exposure’ …
    So why would we expect companies to be ‘happy’ if some twat on the internet decides they are ‘good enough’ to take their stuff and use it as they see fit just because they claim to be a ‘fan’ and wanted to give them ‘free exposure’ ?

    GW doesn’t exactly need ‘free’ advertising.
    Did you forget that their latest box of plastic was sold out within an hour ?
    Who needs ‘advertising’ when they can practically package a turd and sell it if they wanted to ?
    They are practically printing money … which is quite a feat in this economy.

    These aren’t “vague threats”.
    This is what any IP owner needs to do if they want to stay in control of their work, or else the judges will rule that they have given it away.

    And compared to what GW could have done … they’re pretty decent.

    Welcome to The Walt Disney Studios Licensing Website

    What’s the Deal with Using Disney Intellectual Property?

    ““Disney takes the enforcement of these rights very seriously. We protect these rights so that we can continue to provide quality entertainment that measures up to the standards that our audience has come to love and expect. We welcome reports of suspected infringement of any of these rights.”

    The only ‘protection’ these fan animations have is the simple fact that they aren’t on GW’s radar yet.
    And like Disney … if you do get onto their radar then you better pray to the god emperor himself that he is willing to make a deal.

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