« Game Girl Influence | Main | games = play? games = work. »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Was this article copied with permission? I ask because I've found people copying entire texts of things I've written and copying them into message boards or copying original images on my site and branding them with their own site logos and posting them. It bothers me to see that done to my tiny little site, and I would be bothered similarly if I were the author of the WSJ article.

If there is a link to the original that we can all view, then I'd recommend that. "Wayne" apparently gave you a link. Can you share that with us at least? If it's part of a subscription service, then doesn't that seem against the spirit of the subscription service to copy it so others can read it without paying or getting a free registration (a la NYT)?

I realize this will probably be unpopular, but I regret that I do not find reprinting of copyrighted material without permission to be acceptable.


http://online.wsj.com/article_print/0,,SB106781704756220400,00.html is the link


you are entitled to your opinion. i happen to hold another view, without discounting the logic of yours.

vive la difference!

(thanks for the link, by the way!)


Thanks for the article, info like this is the reason I come here.


I'm with zaius. Thanks!


Interesting article, I think that this an evolutionary step that's bound to happen. I haven't taken a scored game review seriously for at least a year. Games have gotten to the point where a score is irrelevant. Moving beyond control and camera problems all that's left to judge is whether a game is engaging or not. I'm tired of reviewers saying a game is bad because 'it's graphics are so yesterday' and not mentioning at all whether the game had an interesting premise or not.


Pauline Kael, widely considered the most signficant movie critic to date, and someone who elevated and advanced the discussion of movies as a broader cultural force, got her start as the writer of movie programs for the Berkeley Cinema Guild. GGA may very well produce the next Kael!

(PS I'm writing this on my iMac at work, IE 5.1 (best I can get for OS 9), and I can't read any of the comments -- white text on white background. So if I repeat something already said, sorry :-> )


Jane, if you're going to be lifting full-text subscriber-only copyrighted articles from other sites without permission, you should probably remove the copyright notice and "reprinting not permitted" warning from your own content. Slapping your copyright on stolen property makes you look a little hypocritical and can only distract from the discourse you're trying to maintain.


For some reason right now I'm imagining the inevitable backlash against "intelligent" critical reviews...

"Time was you could just look at a review and know the graphics were good, the controls were alright, and the camera wasn't too annoying. These days its like all anybody wants to do is put the games in context with universal life principles. Well, maybe I just wanna go kill aliens, huh?"


We'd have to check but it seems likely to me that the recopying of one WSJ article counts as "fair use". Someone with a better understanding of US copyright law could comment on that.

Shadok, I don't see any "reprinting not permitted" notices on this site. I just see "Reprinting for commercial purposes by permission only. Reprinting for educational purposes with attribution only."

One the gaming review thing, I think that there is plenty of room for both "intelligent" and "regular" reviews. I mean, we have rental guides to movies and also critical reviews. It's nice to see that the academic world is paying attention to games. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy about the presentation on virtual worlds that I did during my undergrad.

For the other side of the equation, did anyone else catch Ed Fries talking to EGM about the value of having artistic games on the Xbox? It was kind of a throwaway comment but it caught my attention.

EGM: All right, moving on: Psychonauts. A tough game to describe.

EF: You know, it's your typical…you know, there's only a few games people are making today, right? First-person shooters, RPGs…so this is your typical game with a kid who comes from a family of circus performers. He goes to psychic summer camp—which is next to the insane asylum—and all the levels take place inside the brains of insane people. You know, it's one of those [smiles].

The level [I was just playing] takes place in the mind of an artist who only works in black velvet. And the entire level is black velvet, so the entire level is black with these incredibly bright glowing colors—like a black light is on all the time. And it just glows off the screen. And of course, it's beautiful, it's just jaw-droppingly beautiful, but it's also incredibly funny, and you run into the dogs playing poker…it's great to have something in our portfolio that's just really unique and artistically challenging and not so blatantly commercial.


Copyrights as such are outdated and too strict. With GGA I tried to word the permissions to reflect what I believe - while I don't want someone else to plaigerize and make money from my work without telling me, I definitely believe the writing here *with attribution* should be spread as widely as possible. I often just link to article, but in certain cases when I feel the article is very important I grab the whole thing in case the link dies, or goes into subscription, or otherwise becomes inaccessible. Maybe it's not legal, but it should be. I'm not making money on this site - the google ads don't cover the hosting costs! So it's reaoly all for educational and research purposes.

For the writers who contribute, I let them decide whether or not they want to sell the article if I get contacted by someone. I believe Bowler's Halo article was used for commercial purposes, and I let him decide how he wanted to handle that - I think he got his name in the DVD credits. But no money. Sorry, Bowler! Great article, though.


Ahhh, the continued call for high quality gaming coverage. Jane - I remember talking about this the first time we met. Fascinated by the argument that critics begat art. I'd also say that we have a responsibility to vote with our wallets - support titles which take a chance even if they aren't as polished as big studio releases.

Don Wrege

"We'd have to check but it seems likely to me that the recopying of one WSJ article counts as "fair use". Someone with a better understanding of US copyright law could comment on that."


I blatantly copied the following from another site:


Subject to some general limitations discussed later in this article, the following types of uses are usually deemed fair uses:

Criticism and comment -- for example, quoting or excerpting a work in a review or criticism for purposes of illustration or comment.

News reporting -- for example, summarizing an address or article, with brief quotations, in a news report.

Research and scholarship -- for example, quoting a short passage in a scholarly, scientific, or technical work for illustration or clarification of the author's observations.

Nonprofit educational uses -- for example, photocopying of limited portions of written works by teachers for classroom use.

Parody -- that is, a work that ridicules another, usually well-known, work by imitating it in a comic way.

In most other situations, copying is not legally a fair use. Without an author's permission, such a use violates the author's copyright.


...the copying of which is "fair use" because it's an *excerpt* of this article, not the whole shebang: http://www.nolo.com/lawcenter/ency/article.cfm/objectID/C3E49F67-1AA3-4293-9312FE5C119B5806

So in my un-legal opinion (my dad and brother are both lawyers) it stands as a definite copyright violation. A summary/review/description with quotations from the article and possibly a link to it would be perfectly legal.

Don W.


Snowmit, the principle of fair use allows the public to freely use portions of copyrighted materials for purposes of commentary, criticism and parody. There is now more than a century of case law and jurisprudence determining how much is a "portion" and when it's justified, but the only real way to determine if you went too far is to get sued and let a judge or arbitrator decide that you did. It's an immense subject and Stanford has a good public resource at http://fairuse.stanford.edu if you'd like to learn more.

Fair use absolutely does not cover wholesale theft of an entire article. Jane thinks that the article is important and should be widely read, her website though commercial is unprofitable, she had good intentions, she says she doesn't mind other people stealing her stuff, the article was already available on the WSJ site - none of these grant her the rights to reprint someone else's work without permission, not under fair use or any other part of copyright law.

This is anything but an off-topic digression, given that the lofty goals of this web site include raising the bars of criticism and academic study in gaming. Professionalism and ethical issues like declaring interest and plagiarism are a big part of criticism and academic study, and if GGA's idea of celebrating someone else's writing about taking game criticism seriously is to steal it, then that's one step forward and ten steps back. If video game criticism is going to grow up, perhaps the critics have to start acting like grown-ups.


I bemoan the demise of Next Generation magazine. I saw it going in the direction of more mature game criticizm up to the day it stopped publishing.

The main way we'll get this kind of journalism is to write it.


i am the mysterious "wayne." thief of texts. and some of you people have sticks up your asses.

i actually pay for a subscription to the wsj. they have a link that says "email this article" on every article. it doesnt ask you if you are sending it to a non subscriber. i did not send jane the text of this article, the wsj did.

they apparently are not that concerned about said text "getting out" because they promote the email to non subscribers on every page. does the email they sent say "don't forward this or put it on your blog"? i dunno.

i'm guessing the wsj looks at it as a promotion for the publication. and i notice jane even mentioned that suddenly she is considering getting a subscription to the wsj. imagine a trendy cool site like this promoting the wsj. it's their marketing dept's wet dream.

how could you people mention "plagiarism"? there is a difference between her claiming to have written or created the ideas in the article she posted. there is also a difference between her copying an entire article from a small academic journal, game journal, etc (where every subscription will make or break them) and a large media outlet such as cnn, wsj, nytimes, etc etc. legally? maybe not.

but in my mind the difference is this: this is a tiny web site about video games pointing to what the mainstream media is writing about video games. this is not an academic journal or professional magazine. this is a blog.

i've been a technology writer and i've had my work copied and posted on web sites that had dubious right to do so (some in other languages/countries). i guess the wsj writer has agreed to let them send it out to everyone and anyone. i got paid to write an article and honestly what happens to it after that never bothered me that much. the fact that people were reading it and passing it around is better than it sitting in an archive only to be seen by those two people who pay 2$ to read it.

but these are just my gut feelings about this issue and, at the end of the day, the 'jane game' is up. i've known this for a long time, but some of you have obviously discovered it recently from this incident: jane is unprofessional and something of a shifty little bitch. there is and never has been anything acceptable about her. furthermore she is a thief. you should never return to her web site(s) again.


you caught me, wayne.

curses! foiled again....


If the argument is "I don't care if people take my stuff, therefore the WSJ and this author shouldn't either" then I fail to see your logic.

If the argument is "My following of laws is selective and that moral relativism is vive la difference" then I fail to see your logic.

If the argument is "We can mail the story to whomever we wish and that's reason enough to think we can reprint it however we wish" then I fail to see your logic.

What no one has explained adequately is that since we can all read the article through the link provided, what now is the point of reprinting the whole thing here? And has anyone bothered to ask the original author if he's ok with the reprinting? If is he is, then I see no problem at all, of course. I bet he'd even appreciate it, both for the attention and the politeness of having been asked. Is that so unreasonable?

Now, feel free to tell me how I have a stick up my arse again. After all, that certainly makes your point of view more persuasive.


i'm sorry you failed, jvm.

i did try to contact the author. he hasn't emailed me back. i didn't want to lose the text.

also, i believe i did explain the motivation for including the whole text: links often get broken, or fall into subscription only. i think the text is important enough to preserve as long as i am able.


and shadok: no true academic *ever* regrets or condemns the spread of information and knowledge.

also, i have no problems breaking laws i believe should be broken. that's how they are changed. let'em sue, if they care, and i'll defend. simple as that. no arm of the government determines my morality.

and i think that *is* acting as grownup and as responsibly as i can.


Hey, without going into morality and all, is this article really so mind-bendingly important that it must be archived at GGA in its entirety? I've read dozens of articles saying "We need more literary game reviews!" Why is this one special?

An ACTUAL literary game review, that might be worth risking copyright violation for.

Jurie Horneman

Before people started discussing copyright, ClockworkGrue wrote:

"For some reason right now I'm imagining the inevitable backlash against "intelligent" critical reviews...

"Time was you could just look at a review and know the graphics were good, the controls were alright, and the camera wasn't too annoying. These days its like all anybody wants to do is put the games in context with universal life principles. Well, maybe I just wanna go kill aliens, huh?"

And why not? For a long time to come, games will have an aspect of usability which movies do not have, and which means there will be a continuing need to find out if a game has been well made, and if it is worth spending money on. It would be bad, and probably also quite unlikely, if that information were to die out entirely.

Also, is information on graphics, controls, etc. anathema intelligent and / or critical reviews? It's hard to make any argument here given such a nebulous definition as "smarter than what we have now". Yes, one can comment on colonial ideology or gender politics in a game, and someone somewhere will probably want to read that, but I hope we will also see more commentary on the craft in games - how certain emotions at certain points in a game were created using certain techniques. And some of those techniques involve graphics: say, the particular look of Zelda: The Wind Waker or Ico, but also (gasp!) technical decisions made during development of the renderer that have an impact on the player's experience. That's what I want to read (and what I try to write) about.

Stieg Hedlund

Videogames have almost no truly critical media coverage

The key difference in these review/ criticism styles is that one focuses on the game as a product and the other as a work of art. Film critics usually quickly cover whether or not they think you should see a movie, but often linger on topics of cinematography, dialogue, and how the work makes you feel.

Without criticism a medium stagnates and cannot evolve. Bravo WSJ and (as always) bravo GGA.

Yaka St.Aise

Thanks for pointing at this.
When the WSJ starts to mention things beyond strict finance matters, it is likely they have gained enough momentum to be ready to break into the mainstream collective consciousness.
So yeah, that is among the clues that the videogames as an art and industry are slowing coming of age, and likewise those who comment it.

A note: Jade, I am all for fair use when it comes to copyright and citations, so since you didn't comment in line with the article text, I fail to see the relevance of reproducing it entirely, as opposed to simply linking it (plus the original article included a direct url at the bottom to help this).
I hope you at least dropped a line to K.Delaney to provide some trackback of sorts, so he can brag about being quoted in GGA ;)


Yaka St.Aise

(For some reason, only half of the comments got loaded on my first reading, so I found myself adding my first comment to the thread without knowing a fair deal has already been said on the copyright issue.)

I understand the feeling of fearing for loss of valid data due to link breakage, and I myself do a lot of spidersucking to keep a hand on things i'm not sure will be still here tomorrow...
But why not just wait until it happens before you republish it yourself ?
Because you may not notice and forget about it ?
Well, somebody may notice for you at some point, and it will then be soon enough to take action, I believe...

Or would you just forget to bring online your archived copy after the remote original material has become dead or unreachable ?
Well, then this material isn't THAT important anymore in your eyes that it's worth deciding for yourself against the author for her/his work's fate.

In the case at hand, there is no required fee/registration to access the material via the link the original publisher took care of including.
...I'd say they play ball, and following your logic (?) so should you.

That is, not even going into the debates of:

- "nobody forces you to use copyrighted material in your publication if you don't like the attached strings",


- "you being all tiny and cute, and they fat and ugly capitalist pigs doesn't make you less of a thief when you steal their snacks."


The comments to this entry are closed.

Subscribe to the mailing list!

* indicates required