“War”? (And why still care)

January 14, 2009 · Posted in Copycats · Comment 

Frequently Asked Question #56:

I understand that you guys are upset about the wholesale theft of your databases and other material, and justly so. However I don’t understand what you hope to accomplish at this point by still complaining about it. AGSI/Matrix have been dismissing your whole argument all along and presenting your case as a “war in the community” that of course benefits no-one. Meanwhile Herman Hum has drained everything valuable from your material and has moved on to “be inspired” by other sources of information (e.g. HUD). Even if he were to publicly acknowledge his acts tomorrow, the results of his behavior cannot be undone. What do you guys aim for by now?

Response:

That is a fair question.

A fitting analogy is a murder trial. Does throwing the murderer to prison do anything to bring back the victim(s)? No, but it provides closure to the victim’s friends/relatives, defuses any thoughts of vigilantism / vendetta, and serves the entire society by making a firm statement that similar acts will not be tolerated in the future.

Which is exactly what AGSI/Matrix should have done long ago. (Not the jail part, but all the rest).

Herman & crew’s actions have been the single biggest reason that content creators (DB & scen designers) have left the game in droves. After all, having your work ripped off down the road is not a great incentive to do stuff.
We warned about this happening long ago. Our warnings were ignored and ridiculed. Shortly after that, content creators started pulling out in numbers.

The powers-that-be would very much like to propagate the image of Ragnar and Herman being two of a kind (and thus in a “war”). They are not. Herman would very much like to have accomplished 1/100th of Ragnar’s work.

It is very convenient for certain “representatives” to lump them together because:
(a) it allows them to present the whole matter as "two kids arguing about something" (ie. something unimportant, and everyone should get over it and move on) rather than a very serious case of plagiarism that has destroyed the content creators’ faith in the IP protection of their creations, and thus driven them away from the game.
(b) it allows them to avoid having to answer some very awkward questions about heir own responsibility/complicity in the matter (AGSI’s president had personally guaranteed IP protection to Ragnar’s works back in 2002. When push came to shove, this commitment was thrown away).

OTOH Herman of course doesn’t mind being put on the same boat as Ragnar. It’s like a 3-man software company being mentioned in the same breath as Microsoft – it makes the small dog feel bigger. It also allows him to brush off the accusations & evidence as mere "hate-filled ramblings" (part of the "war against him", naturally) rather than have to actually respond to them in a reasonable, fact-based & convincing manner. Timeless tactic: where logic may not serve you, use emotion.

So evidently, quite a few people have a vested interest in perpetuating the "war" myth.

Presenting the whole affair as a "community civil war" is very much akin to describing a rape trial as "a war between the victim and the defendant". It’s not. Anyone who is trying to frame it as such has an agenda to hide.