Of Projects, Proposals, and Piracy

April 26th, 2013

And also alliteration.

When last we left our story, I was trying to discretely float some ideas and see how the internet at large would react. Unfortunately, I was apparently too discrete and it was taken as I had stopped or slowed translating yet. Well, the latter is true, but not really at an appreciable level once you take into account the uphill battle against a number of things in the main project which often have less to do with translating and more to do with the Sumerian blood rites that are occasionally necessary to make the engine work.

I passed the halfway point on that one last week actually with only a 25% or so chance left that there’s yet another vast swathe of undiscovered text strings that may or may not actually be implemented. I’ve discovered multiple rich veins of both so far, always mixed together so I have to do them all anyway. But today our story lies not with my battle against the pit fiends of the third dimension there, but with Project A, my erstwhile and mostly on pause initial quest that began in late November and went into the fridge in January.

As I mentioned before, I’m quite curious as to both the viability and the effect of a Kickstarter-like project for this kind of thing. On the internet, especially for the kind of community VN fans are a part of, it seems like people are a lot more willing to pay it forward for developers/translators to do what something they’re interested in than buy something already completed after the fact. I already noted commissions of manga and doujins are quite common, but a big project’s a different story. Again, though that hasn’t seemed to deter the Canadian gender bending furries. Yes, I am bitter. Shut up!

So as a first step to see if it’d even fly, I put a sample KS project together. Lo and behold, KS apparently has no problems with it whatsoever and about a week later, they gave it the greenlight. Perhaps they were drunk. Perhaps it’s the grey area of a freely distributed unofficial translation in a region the developer has no interest in. Perhaps they just want their cut. I’m not questioning things.

However, since I have a paralyzing fear of any translation project going off without a hitch and this one had been mostly hitchless, I decided to drop the devs a line about it, link to the KS, some sample work, etc. Mostly expecting mostly to be ignored, mind you. To my surprise, I got back a response quite fast saying that they had no interest in selling their games in the west because of piracy, to stop because I would be promoting piracy, and that if I wanted to play their games, I should move to Japan. Somewhat daunted, I talked to a connection I have with MangaGamer to see if a full-on real release et al could persuade them to let me throw money at them, but they got the same answer as me.

So that’s a tad bit disheartening. Apparently so long as piracy exists, they’re uninterested in even discussing any kind of localization, but at the same time, a stern admonition that I’m promoting piracy of their half-decade-old game in a market they have no interest in selling their product to lacks the same kind of oomph as certain other things might. Not to mention that they’ve known about the KS for going on a few weeks now and have demonstrated little more than apathy toward it otherwise (or to most other games of theirs that have been translated). Which isn’t the same as a yea, but is delectably different from a cease and desist. If you need an analogy, it’s like asking Shatner if you can write the Official Definitive Slash Fictiontm between Kirk and Picard. You’d get laughed out, but it’s very rare that anybody raises a stink about fanfiction (ie derivitive work) distributed freely online. Patrick Stewart would likely offer to publish it himself.

However, if this is something that can really be done, I’d be willing to go into translator overdrive mode and work on both projects at the same time. It’s stressful, kills your social life, and torches your ability to function in either languages, but I’ve done it before… mostly with mountains of bad porn. It would take a few weeks of that to finish the main part of the game’s raw translation, but there is a large chunk of extra side stuff and a number of major engine concerns that need to be manually addressed, as well editing, checking, etc.

Otherwise, the plan is waiting until I finish the top priority work in 3-4 months and then, if I have nothing else demanding my time, such as providing food and shelter, shuffling Proj A quietly out the door when the chance comes. Worst case scenario, the devs do finally actually do something besides demanding I stop internet piracy and move to Japan, and my work on it ends in its current unfinished, unedited, unchecked, occasionally misromanized state, but since I’ve already distributed files to editors and they’re as able to keep things under wraps as a cheesecloth condom, it’s not hard to imagine what would happen in that future timeline.

Anyway, that’s how things stand right now. I’m leaning heavily towards letting this rip. If I must go out, let it be a blaze of glory… not counting the other project at any rate. Not to play myself off as victimized here, but I tried. I really did. At the very least, it’d hopefully answer the question of whether this kind of thing will fly in the future for other people should mine be curbstomped. I’m a fan of the game, not the developers. If paying it forward really works, then that could open doors for localizations that are otherwise too expensive for a multitude of reasons. Or so I’ve heard.

So let’s hear opinions on whether or not I should go ahead on this without any of that blog birthday nonsense or the like cluttering things up. Have at me, peanut gallery.

 

Posted in Games | 59 Comments »

59 Shouts From the Peanut Gallery

  • Bocam says:

    I don’t think Dev X understands what piracy actually is.

  • Rauru says:

    An unexpected response, you would think they would gladly take a slice of the pie from a market they have 0 interest or projected returns. Seems more like disdain than apathy to me, more so if you proposed an official localization via Mangagamer. Never happened to me yet, even if it would be pirated, at least it would bring attention to their products, and a tiny chance one or two nice fellows would actually buy the game or acquire some kind of merchandise. I would say go for it, maybe they will change their minds if they see some actual numbers going for it. And about KS, I think it could be useful, and you did well informing the developers first, things can go sour fast when money is on the table. And you should explore that Mangagamer option, though you probably have done it already. Enough rant from me, even if it is not much, I’ll throw a few bucks to support you.

  • herkz says:

    According to them, no sales is better than some sales.

    Yes, this is literally what they think.

  • Arabesque says:

    I’m tempted to say ”yeah, go for it”, since this does sound like a pretty good thing to try at the very least just so we could see if it is a viable option, but

    ” I got back a response quite fast saying that they had no interest in selling their games in the west because of piracy, what I was doing would promote piracy, and that if I wanted to play their games, I should move to Japan”

    This response, in particular the part about what you are doing would be considered as promoting piracy, is worrying. Can you really move forward with the project when the rights holders (assuming that Dev X owns the full creative and legal rights of the VN you are translating) seems to be so against the idea of their games getting out from it’s domestic market into the scary, pirate infested international waters? I mean if they told you to come over to Japan to play their game or somehow end piracy, I don’t think they’d be glad about the KS if it attracts too much attention.

    Of course, they could just ignore what you are doing, but what if they decide that the KS is somehow promoting piracy? What then? Do they merely send a C&D, or when they notice that money is involved do they take more drastic action?

    I mean, they might be apathetic to the KS, but is that due to them resigning to the idea that they have no control over what people do to their products overseas, or is it due to them thinking that no one will pay for it?

    ”Which isn’t the same as a yea, but is delectably different from a cease and desist.”

    Is a non-answer a go ahead sign for a (fan)/official translation? I mean, what are the terms say on altering the game?

    ”It’s stressful, kills your social life, and torches your ability to function in either languages, but I’ve done it before… mostly with mountains of bad porn. It would take a few weeks of that to finish the main part of the game’s raw translation, but there is a large chunk of extra side stuff and a number of major engine concerns that need to be manually addressed, as well editing, checking, etc.”

    And then there is this.

    On the KS itself, how much do you exactly need to get the project up and running? And what about the other technicalities, like the rewards and what not?

    Honestly, I say that unless you get the Dev’s to give their blessing, this is just too risky. Sure, the results will be interesting and possibly hugely beneficial in the long term if you manage to pull it off, or at the very least it will be a story to tell, but if the Dev decides to pull the trigger …

  • TinFoil says:

    I might be the only person in eroge translation that has done long-term research on Kickstarter and crowdfunding, and I will opine on the very slim criteria that would allow a Kickstarter for an unofficial project to actually get funded and succeed.

    First off, you have to get approved to publish a project on Kickstarter; this is usually very easy, and you already did it.

    The part where most projects die, the funding stage, is where I would bet yours would also go to pasture as well. There was an SFW eroge-like project (don’t ask, it was as vague as I’m describing it) appropriating the name “Monmusu Quest” that had somehow gotten approved a while ago, and it subsequently became “the subject of an intellectual property dispute” during the funding stage. Kickstarter, like the Youtube of yore, doesn’t actively enforce its own ToS on intellectual property (IP) past the initial project screening stage (which you passed by the merit of sheer obscurity) and DMCA letters.

    Kickstarter may also elect to clear projects themselves once the funding passes through – this is how the Strike Patches project ultimately met its fate after everyone involved kept the project on the down-low. The one strange bit of this is that after Kickstarter terminates an already-funded project, the responsibility apparently does not fall on Kickstarter to refund any funds donated. Compounding that, since the receiver of funds is and was never under any legal obligation to deliver any product, he or she MIGHT not be under any obligation to refund anyone for a product supposedly rendered undeliverable. That last sentence is my only own conjecture, however, and confirming it by asking the Strike Patches project founder would be pretty rude…

    So in sum, I would say that your project might somehow survive the funding process if the original company never submits a DMCA claim (or similar). Even after it’s funded, even if Kickstarter finds out/cares that it’s an unofficial project, you will most certainly still have the funds and you will be left with the “mess” of a project termination.

    I hope this is good and practical information for determining the possibility of your Kickstarter even working. I’m also at a loss about what you should do, and I’m sure you’re already familiar with the hard questions and uncertain circumstances of working with someone else’s IP, so good luck.

  • herkz says:

    Unfortunately for them, the amount of piracy in Japan is equal to or greater than outside, making their logic wrong.

  • Eric says:

    Obviously un-translated games never get pirated.

  • elior1 says:

    to who doing the review of episode 3 of railgun in the blog i have to say to you they jump between plot moments to light hearted moments so you better focus on the labratory scence with misaka if you want to understend the plot

  • Aroduc says:

    The thing about copyright is that it’s on the holder to assert jurisdiction. If they do not wish to, because they think it’s pointless, because they don’t care, because they think the market is worthless, whatever. Nnobody else can say boo. All the images people post, fanfiction people write, etc. That’s all copyright violation, and actions are occasionally taken against it, but most go by without notice. So far these guys have ignored a couple public projects on their games, which are still up and in open view. I’m doubtful they’d take action against another one, and I did reach out, multiple times.

    Still, I’d like nothing more than if there was something like a mechanical license for unofficial translations, but alas.

  • Aroduc says:

    Why would anybody want to ruin the show further by doing that?

  • Dant says:

    What exactly are the copyright laws involving translations of games that require the user to have the original game, anyway? Could one really DMCA on something like that?

  • Arizth says:

    I’m no expert on the matter, but as far as I’m aware, if they don’t actively tell you to stop, it doesn’t matter.

    I doubt they would take the time to, anyway. It’s the same as the doujinshi market. Officially, it’s “Stop this evil piracy now!” and unofficially, it’s “Wow, people are buying ever more copies of our 5 year old crap because a popular doujin group made some good fap material. Speaking of, I should go buy a copy.”

    So, in my opinion, go for it. You do good work, and getitng money for good work is also good.

  • Aroduc says:

    Translation is a funny business. The translation itself is automatically copyright to me (as any written work is), but it’s also a derivitive work, and only the original holders can authorize the publication of it. It’s perfectly legal to translate whatever you want for private use so long as you don’t profit off it, but here it gets murkier since it’s not being published under the usual definition of publishing. Murkier still because without any intentions of releasing it (in fact, stated intentions not to), there’s no financial effects, which is what about 99.9% of copyright disputes are over.

  • Nanaya says:

    Since when has xenophobia involved logic?

  • nightshadow2239 says:

    The whole “omg piracy will kill my company” thing is extremely old. People should just learn to deal with it by now.

    Getting back to your main point, I seriously love the games that you translate but know that you have a life also. *gasps* So just do what ever you are most comfortable with. I really cant force someone to do hard work for no pay afterall.

    As a side note, yay for Yggdra Union sprite.

  • Aaeru says:

    I had always left it as an assumption that Kickstarter doesn’t allow copyright infringing projects to proceed, period. Didn’t know it’s possible to go down undetected!
    That’s a really nerve-wracking project if it does go down.

    Can’t you share your booty with the devs? Give them 50% of all the pledges you gain? Or are they going to even decline free money? So for them, the risk of getting media backlash outweighs FREE money??

    Maybe it depends on the amount?

    Completely arbitrary, but is $5,000 FREE money a pretty good deal for them?

    I think this could be done if the sum is right. Not to mention the massive implications for future fanTLs if you are successful.

    (Of course, you would blow your chances of doing it without notifying the parent company. but I have this feeling that a commercial gig is going to go less unnoticed anyway…)

  • WpmZ says:

    Maybe it’s just me but it seems that he has given them quite a lot of notice from emailing them directly and showing them a link to the KS page as well as providing samples of work to his contact at Mangagamer basically saying that he was also stonewalled. At any rate while the VN industry is hurting, I don’t think they are hurting badly enough for a company to do such an about face on such a fundamental issue without substantially more money than is reasonable to expect to raise on KS. I would wager it would have to be at least one maybe two orders of magnitude greater than the figure you threw out there.

  • WpmZ says:

    I admire your healthy sense of paranoia regarding any translation going through without a hitch. This seems to be a cardinal rule of localization in the VN industry unfortunately. While it would be great if you could get a KS going, I think Tinfoil has the right idea when he says that the key is the company not sending a DMCA to KS. If they don’t do that, which they seem to be interested in doing if their response to your link to KS/sample work holds up, then I’d say you have a pretty fair shot at getting a successful KS campaign through. I know I’d donate money to it as I am constantly bemoaning the lack of KS projects that appeal to me. (Note: I didn’t say good KS projects, there are plenty of those, but I’m just not a fan of 99% of genres or projects because of their nature.)

    I think it all boils down to if the company really cares about it enough to send a DMCA. Barring that, you probably have a decent chance.

  • Aaeru says:

    i agree that theyll probably demand unreasonable sums.

    but i think it is not an about-face on fundamentals. he is literally buying a license with the pledged money to produce an english patch. So on the Japanese side of the deal, the monetization is through the license for allowing the creation/distributing of a patch, not through the selling of copies. and Aroduc is not selling copies (for he is not). So if u are not monetizing through printing copies, and u monetize through selling Aroduc’s labour, piracy doesnt even come into the equation.

    (…unless it does. Because. Because piracy piracy piracy piracy PIRACY!!)

    unless i understood u wrong…

  • Stormlock says:

    Maybe try shooting an email or something at this guy: http://kudomuramasa.foramu.net/f3-code-hazard-xth-1-discussion

    He seems to be in the same position youre in, albeit for a less smutty game, and has managed to get himself involved with a translation group and has intentions to release the localized game on Steam. Maybe he just got lucky with the devs or isn’t letting on that they shot him down or whatever, but who knows, maybe he found the secret voodoo ritual for getting official backing on an indie translation.

  • WpmZ says:

    No I think you got it, maybe I was just looking at it wrong. My point on fundamentals was me guessing that they would take the “piracy piracy piracy piracy PIRACY!!” angle and simply refuse to do anything of the sort. I mean they have been less than enthused even when Aroduc went to Mangagamer to discuss an official release (which would presumably involve some form of licensing but then again it would involve them selling the product).

    Perhaps my point on fundamental principles was that most VN companies simply refuse to have anything to do with those outside of Japan. Some turn a blind eye, others actively send DMCAs, but most simply are not willing to commit to projects outside Japan. So my guess is if they refuse to monetize copies of existing work on the whole piracy angle why would they agree to a license?

    Then again I could be totally wrong, I mean who knows whats really going through those companies minds? I sure don’t….

  • Arthur says:

    What? That canadian furry VN raised $27,000?
    Well, it is not only you who’s bitter now.
    Why is it that people seem to be so willing into dumping loads of money into kickstarter projects lately?

    Also, I think that the developer won’t even bother to send some kind of DMCA request. Because it would require them to contact a foreign site and from their answer to you, it makes me feel that they want nothing to do with anyone outside Japan (that would include sending a DMCA notice to KS because it would require they write it in English, which they seem to be afraid of for some reason).

  • Nanaya says:

    Xenophobia. Seriously, that’s a more accurate answer than most people are willing to accept in this day and age. Times change and globalization increases and the people who lead the companies are still in a different mindset.

    Just recently it was Capcom who basically said that the reason for their low sales is because of western influence/outsourcing in their games. Not because they made a lot of crappy games and poor design decisions, nope, there is no fault on their part. All the reasons for their failures has to be because of dem foreigners. Sigh. Can’t wait for that mindset to go away.

  • Ashlotte says:

    I would like to say “Hell yea do it I’ll contribute if the game interests me!”, but the last time I dealt with anyone that accepted commissions to translate games was Dark Translations and that didn’t end too well…

    VN companies just strike me as very unpredictable in their decisions with regards to translations and I’d hate you to get hit with a DMCA on a whim from them. :/

  • herkz says:

    It’s not a commission to translate the game. More like so he can afford to spend more time working on it sooner instead of later.

  • Anonymous says:

    Here is the real reason they will not prosecute you. They have to hire an expensive lawyer who knows specifically about copyright law and they have to figure out a way to communicate with that lawyer all the way around the world in another language. It is not worth doing for the small sum of money they can attain from you and the massive cost and risk involved in prosecuting you in the first place.

  • Delstius says:

    That’s really sad to have this kind of devs who don’t even try to connect two neurons before saying crap :/

    How about getting yourself on Flattr ? It might not bring that much compared to kickstarter potential in short term but still might be a decent way and a very good altenative to the legal issue (since translation ain’t the only thing you do anyway).
    Imo that’s the best way to go as things are.

  • Anonymous says:

    I probably don’t know enough about kickstarter to ask this and I could probably find the answers simply by googling, but after the project is funded, whats the point of kickstarter canning the project? If the translator has his funds, cant he use those to go ahead with the project and deliver what was requested of him? Since kickstarter is more of a means to an end it wouldn’t really matter what they did after that end was met, at least I don’t think it would?

  • Anonymous says:

    I would go ahead with the KS project, weren’t you going to translate it anyway? At worst KS shuts your project down and you’re just left in the situation you’re in now and at best you make some cash off of the project.

    Actually I guess at worst is they give you a C&D but I’d be pretty shocked if that happened since, as you said, some of their other works have already been fan-translated and they’ve apparently not cared.

  • Somnium says:

    Things can get real messy real fast when money is involved. Doujin commissions work because it can’t get any more small-scale than that but using fucking Kickstarter to fund a fan-translation seems like a recipe for disaster to be honest. Good luck and all that, I really hope you know what you’re doing.

  • VDZ says:

    Kickstarter is usually their main channel of contact, so they would no longer be able to reach all backers for updates. Worst case, however, they don’t have the backer information stored locally; either they haven’t yet asked for information (such as what address to send to) or Kickstarter was hosting it and now refuses to share that information with the project starter. It means the product becomes undeliverable.

    The Kickstarter site remains essential after completing the funding, until the project itself is finished.

    Of course, in the case of fan translation, this might be less of a problem, as he’s less likely to send goods to backers.

  • sanahtlig says:

    The success of this project hinges entirely on a C&D. I think the argument that “the company hasn’t C&D’d anyone til now, so they’re unlikely to do so now” is not a good one. The game changes as soon as money is involved. As TinFoil pointed out, if the project gets C&D’d you could have a mess on your hands–you have peoples’ money and the threat of a lawsuit if you go forward with the project. You have two choices at that point: pocket the money and earn fan outrage, or finish the game and potentially face legal consequences. Either way, you’re setting yourself up for grief.

    You could mitigate this somewhat by making the risks involved clear to potential funders: if the project gets C&D’d, they’d have to be satisfied with another random project of your choosing that you’d work on in secret (or something to this effect). Bonuses promised for reaching funding goals would also potentially be forfeited. This would probably scare some people away, but at least you’d have your cases covered.

  • Anonymous says:

    I don’t think the Kickstarter model is all that advantageous to fan translations. If you just need money, you’re probably better off putting a PayPal button somewhere on the site and calling it a tip jar or whatever.

    Kickstarter can be useful to generate a lot of buzz and publicity, but fan translations usually want to avoid attention. Kickstarter also depends a lot on reward tiers and stretch goals to attract pledges, which is really not something a fan translation can deliver.

    I do think Kickstarter could prove extremely advantageous to professional translations. It could make companies like MangaGamer more responsive to what the fans actually want, guarantee the viability of the project and it would reduce piracy by encouraging people to pay up-front to make sure the translation actually happens.

    But hey, if Japanese companies would rather be racist than profitable, we can just keep relying on the fan translations to get good VNs.

  • Aroduc says:

    I heavily dislike the entire tip jar/donations paradigm and it lacks the implied contract between the receiver and giver as well. Plus, it’s a fairly blatant way of circumventing the kind of model I want to test anyway. I want to draw attention, not skulk around.

  • Direwolf says:

    I say go for it, put a disclaimer that if you get hit by a C&D then the donors are up shit creek, but I think its a risk worth taking.

  • Aaeru says:

    I think there’s quite a number of us who who are willing to gamble with you on this one to the bitter end. And given the amount you have already contributed, it is no wasted money.
    http://vntls.tindabox.net/staff/aroduc

    If you go ahead, I am in full support of this.

  • Anonymous says:

    That is a good point a lot of people have made, make it super clear and in the boldest of bold terms that if they C&D the project the doners will be screwed. The doners will be essentially gambling on the copyright owners not giving a shit, so they need to understand this to keep outrage towards you at a minimum.

    As someone else said too, if you do manage to get a pretty good backing and get C&D you could just translate something else as kind of a consolation for not being able to deliver.

  • Yue says:

    Well, lookie here, mateys.. mahou shoujous ripe fer the takings! Har har har.. Aaargh!!

  • Tsumachi says:

    I say go for it…as people have said before me, the time and money required to sue you from Japan for copyright infringement are just too high…

    And also, if you think that Canadian furry game is bad, check this offbeatr out. Last I checked it had raised over 125k. Now THAT’S dedication for what could potentially be vaporware…
    http://offbeatr.com/project/trials-in-tainted-space-46583939698

  • Anonymous says:

    Why would he need to translate something else? Plenty of C&D projects just go underground and still get released.

  • WpmZ says:

    Aroduc, I’m not certain exactly what kind of “contract” you want to imply at KS and I believe you mentioned before that you were having trouble coming up with ideas for rewards. Furthermore, if you are going to attract attention with your model, it may not be suitable for companies who like to spam DMCA.

    I do think that Anon has some good points though as a lot of what drives KS pledges are the reward tiers which basically allow unprecedented control by an otherwise ordinary person. I mean how many average people could idk name something in a game before or have their name put in the credits? It just wasn’t possible before KS. If you take that away (obviously you could still put a credits page or something but the rest I mean) who knows what the effects might be.

    This brings me to my last point which is that KS is highly variable. Some projects rocket to the moon, others sink like a rock. I doubt anybody can offer any legit prediction on any given project’s chances of success. You’ve given the execs over in Japan more than enough notice so why not give it a shot? I mean people have seen how much work you have put in, I’m sure people will come out of the woodwork.

  • WpmZ says:

    If he gets hit by C&D before donation period ends then they can just cancel as money isn’t deducted until after dust has settled. If he gets C&D after the fact then he’ll sort it out then.

  • WpmZ says:

    To add to what the Anon said, they can’t really do very much other than C&D as they’re not gonna get into an international court case over this. It’ll cost them a fortune and blow their cover in the West quite thoroughly. Add to that, I don’t think the people who donate will be screwed. Worst come to worst, Aroduc can probably work something out.

  • monkeymoney says:

    Aroduc if you’re hell-bent on using Kickstarter I would recommend ample dialogue with the owners. It would be too much of a hassle if anything goes wrong especially if it involves money.

    The next major problem would most defiantly be the cooperation of the owners so you should find ways to deal with that. Things that come to mind for me is a bonus option on KS that money is raised for the trade of uncensored images. Official localization for the games translated, where most of the net income is given to the owners (If I knew I could make money in an unproven market with no effort I would humbly accept it).

  • EienNai says:

    I doubt Fenoxo (creator of the project) would do something as dubious as vaporware, you should check his current game, corruption of champions, he updates the game almost daily, that’s why he was capable raise that sum so fast.

  • Anonymous says:

    Having read this post and your birthday blog post, all I can say is that, Aroduc, you have already done a lot for us and whatever choice you make, as fans of your work, we can only patiently wait for your next release and support you however we can. All I can hope for is that you carry on with your translation work at a steady pace and take breaks to prevent yourself from burning out.

    My opinion is that while putting it up on KS would indeed be the best way of drawing attention, the kind of attention drawn might not be the one intended (C&Ds come to mind), especially so if the project is well received.

    Next, “I heavily dislike the entire tip jar/donations paradigm and it lacks the implied contract between the receiver and giver as well.” KS would not necessary imply a legitimate contract anyway, but if it helps spur you on to work harder, I do not see a reason for us fans to not contribute.

    As for “what I was doing would promote piracy”, I do not honestly see how an English patch for the English audience would promote piracy among the actual consumers of their game (the Japanese speaking audience) or even harm them. Sure it might promote some piracy among the English speakers, whom not even buy their games to begin with (no love lost there) and the patch might even help encourage purchases from the West.

    Perhaps rather than contemplating this among ourselves, it would be better to compile ideas from these discussions and comments and once attempt once again to reach out to the developers or even suggest splitting profits from the funds raised with the developers?( They would not need to do any work and would still profit from it, a win-win situation for both parties I feel.) If they still do not agree/give their blessings then you may need to reconsider if the risk of a C&D is worth the possible profits of this endeavour.

  • Anonymous says:

    Fear not, they’ll send a nazi ninja to get the dirty pirate gaijin before hiring a gaijin lawyer.

  • w8m says:

    Pledge 250$ or more:
    Complete toolset used for modifying game scripts, files, and resources once the final patch is released. Plus all of the above.

    No one need that. I have written the tools needed for all Littlewitch games in 2010-2011, all can be found in public domain.

  • Aroduc says:

    Nobody needs any of it, if you want to be pedantic, but I have little to offer.

  • Anonny says:

    Well…. not exactly….

    While you do retain the copyright of the actual text translated (translation copyright), if you don’t have permission to begin the translation then it’s illegal. They could not take your translation and do anything with it, but it is still a derivative work and putting it on the internet is publishing.

    To give some sources:

    translation.utdallas.edu/handbook/6refstr.doc

    “In the absence of authorization from the copyright holder, no one may prepare a translation. What this means is that if you translate a work without authorization from the copyright holder, you can be sued. This is true whether or not the pre-existing work in question is published or not.”

    http://www.unc.edu/~unclng/copy-corner73.htm

    However, I’m not sure they’d care enough to try and C&D/sure you.