I would leave the RPGnet debacle behind me, but they are humourless prigs and seem to be fond of waving misunderstood legalities around as if they meant something. The unfortunate part is that some third parties lack the spine that I have and bow to pressure.
In short RPGnet have whined to Cafepress about the T-shirt I made available. You’d think, for people so keen on applying US law where it doesn’t, that they’d have the good sense to apply it where it does. Namely:
Fair use, a limitation and exception to the exclusive right granted by copyright law to the author of a creative work, is a doctrine in United States copyright law that allows limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holders. Examples of fair use include commentary, criticism, news reporting, research, teaching, library archiving and scholarship.
Parody and satire are also protected, not to mention that the shirt in question doesn’t actually say anything about RPGnet, only about the wearer.
Unfortunately Cafepress’ solution is to ‘talk to the copyright holder’ which is about as much use as the frog expecting the scorpion not to sting him. I have reminded Cafepress of the law as it applies (including internationally) and we’ll see if they magically grow a backbone, otherwise, believe me, an alternate version that avoids the name ‘RPGnet’ can be two or three times as damning as one that does.
Let me explain to you how this works. The more you throw your weight around, the more you throw your toys out of the pram, the worse you moderate, the harder you are to contact or criticise, the worse you look. In more childish terms: ‘Why are you punching yourself?’ People are already starting to link Skotos appalling record with RPGnet’s appalling record and, frankly, you’re making me and my company very popular and very visible by having a hissy fit.
I know Skotos can be very hard to get hold of for redress of grievances. I now have two phone numbers/points of contact for anyone who does wish to take things up more directly with them and you’re welcome to contact me for the information.