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Unconventional Security

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Nerd Rage - Update
Unconventional Security

Friday
April 20th, 2012

This week's Nerd Rage is about Botcon. It's actually going on now, if you're reading this while it's new.

The big controversy with this year's Botcon was that Hasbro announced third party Transformers would be banned from the convention. Any third party merchandise found by security will be confiscated. This lead to a lot of licensing questions...for example, if an original toy design infringes on Hasbro's copyrights, where does fanart stand? So Hasbro then said there would be no fan art allowed at the convention. Except that people had already bought table space when fan art was approved, so now artists had tables but were not allowed to sell their work. Hasbro retracted the statement, but third party toys have remained banned.

What is a 'Third Party Transformer'? Any Transformers toy or accessory created, usually by a fan group, because Hasbro will not or cannot produce a product of that type. This ranges from new guns or heads to entirely new sculpts. While there is a lot of gray area in the debate of whether or not this is appropriate, the consensus is there are three areas of design:

1. Accessories & Add Ons
2. Original molds.
3. Recasts, remolds & knock offs

Under legal scrutiny, all of these are an infringement on Hasbro's brand and they have the right to defend it. But the last is clearly the type of release Hasbro has the bigges tissue with. They don't want other groups manufacturing actual copies of their products, fans or not. The first category, on the other hand, encourages more sales of genuine product (if anything). The second is the most hazy; so long as they don't use any actual names or icons, I would say they are safe. After all, Hasbro literally does the same thing when they don't want to pay for the license to a car.

But enough about Transformers. I feel like I'm treading dangerously close to David Willis's territory.

Adam Sessler left G4 this week. His presence may have been the single genuinely-gaming-related thing the network had.

Here's 151 pieces of Pokemon art by 151 different artists. I didn't get in (I fought for Magikarp but all the slots were filled!). My buddy Tyson did, though, and there are a lot of cool pieces -- so check it out!

Konami is trying to hype up the revengence with this live action trailer thing, but I'm having a hard time taking it seriously. More will be revealed April 30th (assuming you can remember what day it is).

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