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The letter asserts that Nexon is fixated

  • doris doris
    Jan 11
    "Nexon claims to have created 'unique concepts, genre, plot, story line, characters, and plans for the game'—almost none of which is subject to copyright protection," the Dark And Darker Gold letter states.

    "While the actual expression of plot, story line, and characters certainly may be protectable, copyright doesn’t protect concepts, genres, or 'plans.' Nexon’s loose treatment of what is and is not copyrightable is a running theme throughout its Takedown Notice."

    The letter asserts that Nexon is fixated with former employee Ju-Hyun Choi, who Nexon apparently alleges is the person who actually "misappropriated trade secrets." But despite nearly two years in both criminal and civil courts, no evidence against Choi has been produced, because he did not in fact take anything on his way out the door, claims Ironmace—and even if he had, that's a completely separate dispute, unrelated to copyright issues.

    There's plenty of legal speak in the letter to bolster Ironmace's position, including case law citations, code and asset comparison, and even a Law and Order-esque "fruit of the poisonous tree" reference (a theory which copyright law apparently doesn't recognize). I'm not a lawyer, but taken altogether it certainly looks convincing. Even more compelling from a layperson's standpoint, though, are some hard truths Ironmace's lawyer drops about the fantasy genre and videogames in general.

    "A medieval-style fantasy dungeon crawler has a limited universe of plausible assets from which one may reasonably choose," the letter states, like a dagger to my heart. "There’s a reason nearly every game that has ever explored this genre features reanimated skeletons, trolls, spiders, and the other usual dungeon denizens. There is nothing remarkable about game designers choosing some of the same scènes à faire assets in constructing such a game."

    (Scènes à faire is a term used to describe a scene in a creative work that is almost obligatory because of its genre—like, for instance, a fireball spell in a fantasy videogame. It's also Dark And Darker Gold Coins a principle in US copyright law that exempts those elements from copyright protection.)