e dot dot dot
a mostly about the Internet blog by

January 2020
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
     
 


Take 2 Sues Fan Over Project To Finally Bring 'Red Dead 1' To The PC

Furnished content.


Take 2 Interactive, the famed game studio behind the Grand Theft Auto franchise, is no stranger to our pages. When we have posted about the company, however, it has typically been to highlight how many ridiculous lawsuits and threats it faces over IP from unlikely sources. There was the ongoing battle with Lindsay Lohan over GTA5. There was a strange cease and desist notice sent to the company by the infamous Pinkerton Agency over its accurate depiction in Red Dead Redemption. The point is that Take 2 has been on the receiving end of frustrating intellectual property challenges such that it really should have some perspective on better ways to handle things than to simply be as heavy-handed as possible.But apparently that's a lesson that hasn't stuck. Take 2 Interactive recently filed a lawsuit against Johnathan Wyckoff and several John Does over what appears to be a now-defunct project entitled Red Dead Redemption: Damned Enhancement Project. The goals of the project were somewhat simple. Fans of the series may already know that the original title was never released for the PC, only the PlayStation. The original game was also released several years ago, with now outdated graphics. Using the more recently released PC version of Red Dead 2, the project aimed to put the game map from the original game into its sequel and then update the graphics from the original game to produce a more polished version of the original. Worth noting here is that the gaming public has complained about the lack of a PC port of Red Dead 1 for years, with Take 2 offering no hint that it had any intention of meeting this demand.And yet they filed suit anyway.

In September, however, things started to go off the rails. Project lead ‘DemandDev’ took to GTAForums to reveal that development had been stopped. He didn’t directly state that Take-Two had put him under pressure but complained of being bullied by a corporation.“They done shady stuff getting my private info and contacted my family,” he wrote. “I’ve been contacting people to spread word. I’m not letting them them bully me and keep my mouth shut. I complied and stopped progress but hopefully I can sort out this.”Several months later, sorting it out will now have to be actioned through the courts. On December 26, Take-Two Interactive filed a lawsuit at a New York court against a Johnathan Wyckoff and John Does 1-10.
There are several layers of silliness in all of this. To start, if development has ceased as of the summer of 2019, what is the point of the lawsuit? Unless Take 2 has some kind of proof that this work has continued, this seems purely punitive in the most pernicious way possible. Add to that the fact that this development team is clearly made up of fans of Take 2's property and you have to wonder why threats and lawsuits are a better way to deal with this than reaching out to these fans and finding a way to at least bless their fan project if not bring them into the official fold and make use of their work entirely. We've made this point many times: copyright is not trademark. You can simply make a project official through cheap means without risk of losing your property rights.Finally, Take 2's suit nods at how this project would compete with a Red Dead PC port that Take 2 has had years to provide themselves, but for which it has never shown any interest.
Take-Two’s lawsuit details two matters. The first, the ‘RDRII Project’, aims to add the full RDR1 game map to RDR2. This, the company says, would not only “dramatically change the RDR2 experience but also reduce interest in purchasing a future release of RDR1 or a RDR1 add-on map for RDR2. The company doesn’t state it intends to release either, however.The second targets the ‘Red Dead Redemption: Damned Enhancement Project’ which Take-Two says would utilize game files from Grand Theft Auto V and RDR1 “to vastly improve the graphics and performance of the game” and enable players to play RDR1 on PC, where it isn’t officially available, “thereby destroying the market for an official, updated version from Take-Two, and creating competition for Take-Two’s PC-version of RDR2.”
To be clear, all of that is true... but then where the hell have you been, Take 2? The original Red Dead released just shy of a decade ago. I realize that development cycles can be long, but ten years for a PC port? If the company had intended on doing one to satisfy PC gamers, it would have been nice if it had been completed sometime in Barack Obama's first term. And when a fan project comes along to try and satisfy that desire, the company peels off a lawsuit?Again, Take 2 should know better, having been on the wrong side of IP bullying itself. This was an opportunity for the company to act cool and human, but it chose litigation instead.

Permalink | Comments | Email This Story


Read more here

posted at: 12:00am on 04-Jan-2020
path: /Policy | permalink | edit (requires password)

0 comments, click here to add the first



Techdirt 2019: The Stats.

Furnished content.


Every year, a few days after New Year's Day, we post some stats about traffic and comments from the previous year (we do it a few days after New Year's to make sure that we actually have complete data for the year -- and also, because it takes a bit of time to go through all the data, and other work needs to be done as well). For reference, you can see our previous such posts: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2010. We still use Google Analytics for traffic data, mainly because it's the easiest to use, even though it is increasingly not the most accurate, in part because many of our readers (*cough* including me) will often block Google Analytics from recording our traffic. As we've discussed in the past, most "traffic" numbers are complete garbage, a fact that most people like to ignore because it benefits themselves. However, here we are only using the traffic stats for comparative or relative purposes, rather than absolute purposes -- which seems much more reasonable (i.e., we'll note which stories got the most traffic, but not detail how much traffic, since we're positive that number is inaccurate or misleading).Once again, let's start with where people are coming from. The top of this list is basically always almost exactly identical. The vast majority of our traffic is from the US, with 67% (it's always between 67% and 70%). Number two, as always, is the UK, though this year it jumped up to 6.65% from 5.5%, and Canada remains third at 4.41%. India had jumped to 4th place (from 5th) last year, and it remains in 4th place again with 2.8% of our traffic. Australia is still in 5th with 2.2%. The next five are still the same: Finland, Germany, France, Netherlands, and Sweden, though Finland jumped over Germany to go from 7th to 6th. We noted that last year was Finland's first in the top 10, and this year it bumped up another spot. Not sure why we're moderately big in Finland, but it's cool by me.At a continental level, the Americas represent 74% of our traffic (98.5% of that is North America), Europe 17%, Asia 7%, Oceania is 3% and Africa is 1%. Interesting to think about as we consider whether we can even continue to serve European traffic following the various anti-internet laws they've been passing over there. Overall, Google says we had visitors from 237 countries last year, down one from 238 last year, but up one from 236 the year before. Among countries that have become much more censorial, we notice our traffic has dropped precipitously. We used to get a fair amount of traffic from Russia but it's now barely a blip. We get more traffic from Austria and Denmark than Russia nowadays. We get about the equivalent amount of traffic from China as we get from Russia (i.e., not very much). In Asia, most of our traffic comes from India and the Philippines (with some Singapore, South Korea, Japan, and Pakistan as well). Turkey? We get basically the same amount of traffic as we get from Russia and China. It's almost uncanny that we get nearly the identical traffic amounts from each of those countries.Sometimes it's fun to explore the bottom of the list, which tends to be dominated by single visits from random islands in the South Pacific and various countries in Africa -- but not sure it actually tells us very much useful. It's interesting to see a growing number of visits from Cuba, a country whose internet access still remains very, very limited. We're back down to no visits from North Korea, after it sent us 2 visits the previous year.In terms of technology, it's worth noting that Chrome, while still dominant, has dropped in the level of dominance. Last year it represented 49% of all visits to the site (same as the previous year), but this year it's dropped to 45.8%, with Safari jumping up to 21.5% from 17%. Firefox has dropped from 10% to 6%, which makes me sad as a Firefox user. In news that I'm sure is frustrating to Microsoft (and surprising to everyone), we still get 4% of traffic from Internet Explorer and less than 2% from Microsoft Edge. Most of the other browser traffic is various mobile browsers, so we'll breakdown operating system traffic next. 32% of our traffic comes from Windows-based computers, 28% from Android devices and 27% from iOS devices. Only 10% comes from Macintosh computers, which surprises me. 3% of our traffic is from Linux-based machines. Slightly less than 1% comes from Chrome OS. Oh, and 0.03% from Blackberry, 0.02% from "Windows Phone" and 0.01% from Playstation 4. Wow.In terms of service providers, it's a little difficult to tell, because Google Analytics records the same ISP in many different ways (i.e., there's "Comcast Cable Communications LLC" which is listed separately from "Comcast" and "Comcast IP Services" and "Comcast Cable Communications Inc."). I'm sure there's a reason for all those different names, and I'm also assuming it's due to some lame rent seeking activity. So, my rough estimates are that about 10% of our traffic is carried by Comcast, around 7% by Charter, 6% by AT&T and Verizon each, and then lots of other smaller players.Mobile traffic continues to grow by leaps and bounds. We finally (finally, finally, finally) made our site responsive to make mobile browsing better, and so our mobile traffic numbers shot up. Last year it was 39% of our traffic. This year it was 55% of traffic (wow!). Looking purely at mobile traffic, the fight between Android and iOS remains pretty close. 50% of mobile visits are Android and 49% are iOS. The iPhone obviously was the most dominant device, followed by the iPad. When you get into Android devices, we see variations on Samsung phones leading the pack, with the S8, S9, S9+, Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy Note 9 all making the leader boards. The only two devices that weren't from Apple or Samsung were the Google Pixel 2 XL and the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A. Going further down the list, we see more variations on the Google Pixels and Samsung devices. Eventually, pretty far down the list we start to see some Motorolas and some OnePluses. Much further down the list there are some LG devices. An Amazon Fire (?!?) and even a fair number of visits from an Essential Phone (?!?!?!?).For the last few years we've highlighted the following chart of where our traffic comes from:

As we say every year, unlike nearly every other site out there, we do not focus on gaming social media for traffic, and truly wish to get as much "direct" traffic as possible, because that's how you build loyalty. So it makes me happy to see direct traffic remains our biggest source at over 40% and social is just around 12.5%. This may be naive. Basically every other site seems to focus on getting as much social traffic as possible, and it is, certainly a channel for generating traffic. But it's also fickle and leaves you completely at the whim of whatever recommendation algorithm those companies have designed and I'd rather focus on creating good content than worrying about some third party algorithm I have no control over (same goes for search traffic, for what it's worth).Within social traffic, we get the most from Twitter, followed by Reddit, Facebook, HackerNews, Quora and then YouTube. Google obviously drives most of the search traffic followed by Bing and then DuckDuckGo (which is pretty close behind Bing). As always, many of the top search terms are clearly people using search as a navigation tool, as they just are variations on "techdirt" or "tech dirt." Some of the other top search terms that took people to Techdirt are surprising. There's "baby shark" coming in at the top, and also "UCF professor Richard Quinn." Not sure why people are searching on him, but the top result is our 2010 story on him, and his accusations against his students for cheating (and how he dealt with them). I don't know if he did something new this year that made a bunch of people search for him. Some other top search terms are perhaps less surprising: there are searches for copyright troll "Higbee & Associates" (many of which seem to be from people who received demand letters from Higbee) as well as Backpage and everyone's favorite SLAPP suit filing coal boss, Bob Murray.And now it's time for the lists:Top Ten Stories, by unique pageviews, on Techdirt for 2019:
  1. Colorado Town Offers 1 Gbps For $60 After Years Of Battling Comcast
  2. AT&T Execs Think It's Really Funny They Misled Consumers About 5G Availability
  3. The FTC's Settlement With Equifax Is Such A Joke, The FTC Is Now Begging You Not To Ask For A Cash Settlement
  4. Former Hotel Exec Gets Elected To Congress, Decides First Order Of Business Is To Destroy Airbnb
  5. ACLU Asks CBP Why It's Threatening US Citizens With Arrest For Refusing Invasive Device Searches
  6. Voting Machine Makers Claim The Names Of The Entities That Own Them Are Trade Secrets
  7. Ironically, Too Many Video Streaming Choices May Drive Users Back To Piracy
  8. Verizon's New 'Unlimited' Data Plans Still Have Very Real, Problematic Limits
  9. AT&T Loses Another 1.36 Million Pay TV Subscribers Thanks To Relentless Price Hikes
  10. How My High School Destroyed An Immigrant Kid's Life Because He Drew The School's Mascot
Once again, a pretty good mix of stories. I'm particularly happy to see that last story make the list, because I'm still angry about what my own high school did the previous year in destroying a kid's life. I'm not entirely sure how this came about but the 11th story on the list was actually a story from 2010 about professor who thinks students should be able to reuse their own papers for other classes. Number 12 on the list, for what it's worth, was about copyright troll Richard Liebowitz.2019's Top Ten Stories, by comment volume:
  1. Content Moderation At Scale Remains Impossible: Vaccines Edition 1635 Comments
  2. The Ellen Show Issues Copyright Takedown On Transformative Video Commenting On Her Friendship With President Bush/a> 376 Comments
  3. EU Puts An End To The Open Internet: Link Taxes And Filters Approved By Just 5 Votes 358 Comments
  4. Strike 3 Gets Another Judge To Remind It That IP Addresses Aren't Infringers 341 Comments
  5. Cop Peforming A Welfare Check Kills Woman By Shooting Her Through Her Own Backyard Window 320 Comments
  6. Gavin McInnes Files Laughably Silly Defamation Lawsuit Against Southern Poverty Law Center 308 Comments
  7. US Newspapers Now Salivating Over Bringing A Google Snippet Tax Stateside 303 Comments
  8. Our Legal Dispute With Shiva Ayyadurai Is Now Over 297 Comments
  9. LAPD Infiltrated An Anti-Fascist Protest Group Because The First Amendment Is Apparently Just A Suggestion 286 Comments
  10. Article 13 Was Purposefully Designed To Be Awful For The Internet; EU Moves Forward With It Anyway 282 Comments
Yet again, it appears that there is no overlap between the most commented stories and the most trafficked stories. Pretty much since the beginning of this list, we've highlighted this point, but many people still think that comments and traffic are equivalent. Anyway, you, uh, might notice that the top of the list here is a bit more than well, any of the other stories. That thread is fairly epic, but by "epic" I mean full of utter nonsense from at least one, and possibly more very, very stubborn, but very, very ignorant people concerning the topic at hand. That thread has also continued pretty much non-stop since that post went up, including more comments in the past few days. I would recommend not adding to it, but I imagine this post may unfortunately give that thread another boost.And, with that, let's do the individual community leader boards.2019 Top Commenters, by comment volume:
  1. Stephen T. Stone: 3988 comments
  2. PaulT: 3082 comments
  3. That One Guy: 2536 comments
  4. Scary Devil Monastery: 1658 comments
  5. Thad: 1597 comments
  6. Gary: 1596 comments
  7. Toom1275: 1332 comments
  8. bhull242: 1176 comments
  9. Wendy Cockcroft: 1044 comments
  10. ECA: 999 comments
A fair bit of new names on the list this year and a lot more comments. For example, 10th place on this year's list would have been 6th place on last years. Also, PaulT's reign at the top didn't last long. After years of being near the top of the list, and after years of That One Guy being at the top of the list, both were pushed down a notch by Stephen T. Stone who came in just short of 4,000 comments. Damn. PaulT and That One Guy both actually significantly increased their comments from last year, but Stephen could not be stopped. New entrants to this year's list include Scary Devil Monastery, Gary, bhull242 and Wendy Cockcroft -- all of whom have been avid commenters.Top 10 Most Insightful Commenters, based on how many times they got the light bulb icon: Parentheses shows what percentage of their comments got the lightbulb
  1. Stephen T. Stone: 1047 comments (26%)
  2. That One Guy: 668 comments (26%)
  3. PaulT: 529 comments (17%)
  4. Thad: 304 comments (19%)
  5. Gary: 223 comments (15%)
  6. James Burkhardt: 180 comments (39%)
  7. bhull242: 150 comments (13%)
  8. Mike Masnick: 133 comments (25%)
  9. Toom1275: 118 comments (9%)
  10. Anonymous Anonymous Coward: 108 (14%)
Once again, Stephen T. Stone has swooped in to take the top spot by a wide margin. Impressive. Last year, we noted that James Burkhardt jumped onto the list as a first timer and had the highest percentage of insightful comments with 24% of his comments reaching that level. This year both Stephen and That One Guy got to 26%, but James lapped them by getting an astounding 39% of his comments deemed insightful. Nice going James and please keep it up.Top 10 Funniest Commenters, based on how many times they got the LOL icon: Parentheses shows what percentage of their comments got the LOL icon
  1. Stephen T. Stone: 118 comments (3%)
  2. Thad: 68 comments (4%)
  3. That One Guy: 52 comments (2%)
  4. Gary: 51 comments (3%)
  5. Toom1275: 38 comments (3%)
  6. Norahc: 24 comments (9%)
  7. Mason Wheeler: 21 comments (3%)
  8. Anonymous Anonymous Coward: 20 comments (3%)
  9. That Anonymous Coward: 17 comments (3%)
  10. Bamboo Harvester: 14 comments (2%)
As we've noted the past few years, it's definitely more difficult to get the "funny icon" than the insightful one, though that may just be a statement on the times we live in. Stephen retains his leadership spot as last year he topped this board as well -- but that also means that Stephen took a clean sweep of all three comment categories. Way to go, Stephen. The other standout on this list is Norahc, who had the highest percentage, by far, of comments deemed to be funny. Excellent job and do keep it up.And, with that, the 2019 books are closed and let's get moving on the 2020 comments. I'm sure there will be plenty to comment about.

Permalink | Comments | Email This Story


Read more here

posted at: 12:00am on 04-Jan-2020
path: /Policy | permalink | edit (requires password)

0 comments, click here to add the first



January 2020
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
     
 







RSS (site)  RSS (path)

ATOM (site)  ATOM (path)

Categories
 - blog home

 - Announcements  (1)
 - Annoyances  (0)
 - Career_Advice  (0)
 - Domains  (0)
 - Downloads  (3)
 - Ecommerce  (0)
 - Fitness  (0)
 - Home_and_Garden  (0)
     - Cooking  (0)
     - Tools  (0)
 - Humor  (1)
 - Notices  (0)
 - Observations  (1)
 - Oddities  (2)
 - Online_Marketing  (146)
     - Affiliates  (1)
     - Merchants  (1)
 - Policy  (1988)
 - Programming  (0)
     - Browsers  (1)
     - DHTML  (0)
     - Javascript  (5)
     - PHP  (0)
     - PayPal  (1)
     - Perl  (37)
          - blosxom  (0)
     - Unidata_Universe  (22)
 - Random_Advice  (1)
 - Reading  (0)
     - Books  (0)
     - Ebooks  (1)
     - Magazines  (0)
     - Online_Articles  (4)
 - Resume_or_CV  (1)
 - Reviews  (1)
 - Rhode_Island_USA  (0)
     - Providence  (1)
 - Shop  (0)
 - Sports  (0)
     - Football  (1)
          - Cowboys  (0)
          - Patriots  (0)
     - Futbol  (1)
          - The_Rest  (0)
          - USA  (1)
 - Windows  (1)
 - Woodworking  (0)


Archives
 -2020  August  (20)
 -2020  July  (46)
 -2020  June  (46)
 -2020  May  (49)
 -2020  April  (48)
 -2020  March  (47)
 -2020  February  (46)
 -2020  January  (48)
 -2019  December  (44)
 -2019  November  (52)
 -2019  October  (49)
 -2019  September  (46)


My Sites

 - Millennium3Publishing.com

 - SponsorWorks.net

 - ListBug.com

 - TextEx.net

 - FindAdsHere.com

 - VisitLater.com