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  • Future of Quarrels and Quills

    You might have noticed I added a couple things regarding SOPA/PIPA yesterday. You probably also noticed several sites going offline yesterday in protest. I didn't bring this site down, instead I added the information and links related to the protest.

    I'm not sure how many people really know what is going on, but if these are passed in the current form, the liability to me personally would be just too great. I don't want to deal with the legal uncertainties this generates, considering there is fan fiction RP on this site. Right now, it is legal and not an issue, but after these new bills are passed? I simply cannot take the risk.

    So, when I say that Quarrels and Quills may have to go down if these bills are passed, I am serious about that. I have 100% liability when it comes to this site, and I don't need the headache along with everything else I have to deal with in my life. I already have a full plate with my long commute and Michelle's chronic health issues, I don't need one more issue to worry about.

    So, while there is still time, lets come together and discuss options for Quarrels and Quills. I love the site and the members here. We're like a family. I would hate to see this all come to an end because of the US Government destroying the First Amendment. Even better, let us hope and pray that these bills do not pass, and we can go on as we have been.

    Editing to add: As of Friday 1/20, SOPA/PIPA is on temporary (indefinate) hold. We aren't going anywhere, but we are still discussing how to keep Quarrels and Quills alive should the bills get revived and passed. Any ideas you have would be helpful to plan for the future, should the worst case scenario come to pass.
    Comments 27 Comments
    1. Sojourn's Avatar
      Sojourn -
      Jason I hope it doesn't come to that but I do understand your position. I wouldn't want you to have to worry about it either. Although I would truly miss this place if you have to shut it down.

      I know we stories that would be considered fan fiction but most have original characters. For example Underworld: Aftermath, yes the concept was based on the first Underworld movie but the characters played are all original. Some might have "connections" to those in the movies but none of the actual movie's characters are played. Every character I created is my own character, I'm not writing a character the screenwriters created. Selene, who is the main character of the franchise, is referred once in a while in passing but no one has or will play her.

      Also at least right now some authors don't mind fan fiction. I've read that J K Rowling actually enjoys it, she is happy people love her characters enough to write their own stories. Of course if the bill passes who knows what that'll mean...We could always make Q&Q have to be original stories, no more Marvel, DC, etc stories. All original concepts and characters that are owned by us the posters.
    1. Quaxo9's Avatar
      Quaxo9 -
      Aye, don't want to be causing you headaches, Jas. If it's really as bad as all that, then of course shut it down before the Mouse gets us all!

      I agree with Jenny - if we're going to keep a site going under astringent laws, then we'll have to do it all fresh. I mean, really, for Underworld, all we'd have to do is call "Viktor" "Rotkiv" and we'll be in the clear! Right? Right?!

      We'll always have hotmail...right?
    1. Jason Sanborn's Avatar
      Jason Sanborn -
      We do have enough original content here that we could keep things going. We have a lot of creative writers here with a lot of creative ideas.

      What would have to change if SOPA passes?

      Stories:
      DC, Marvel, CrossGen, Guild Wars, Underworld, Dragonlance, Final Fantasy, Narnia and Star Wars would all have to go away. Granted, some of these haven't been active in a while, so it isn't as big an issue, but they, along with the other archives, might have to be removed from the site. I think even Knome would have to as well, considering how close to Monk it is.

      Avatars and pictures used for characters:
      This one is concerning as we all use images we find online. Not all the images are taken from online, but a majority of them are. What do I do? Block all images and media? Some of us have our own drawings or snapshots we've used, so we could still use those, but those are few and far between.

      Under the current law, if someone protests the use of an image, they could file a DCMA, and I would remove it from the site. Under the new law, if someone protests to the use of an image or setting, they could shut down my entire server, which not only affects Quarrels and Quills but other sites on my server as well.

      We're a small site, so the odds of the "worst case" happening are slim to none, but even so, you can see where my concern is. I would love to come up with alternatives in order to keep the site up and running, without having to worry should SOPA pass. Keep things as they are now, but discuss options so I can have a backup plan just in case.
    1. Sojourn's Avatar
      Sojourn -
      Well if all my characters' pics had to go, oh well. I could live without them. And I can easily change my avatar to that of my kid or pets. Obviously Corey and I took all those pictures so we have the copyright over them. If it came down to pictures I'd be fine with you saying it had to be an original picture or drawing, if not block it.

      As for the stories, well just give me a heads up and I'd probably save all the ones I want on my computer. I think Crossgen Reborn could easily be redone as just a mythological story (My main character's only copyright infringement in story is she is a First, that wouldn't be hard to change. We could always reboot it on the terms of Allos if Q wouldn't object.)

      As for Underworld, I'd seriously hate to see it go. Although I think it could start a new with the same characters, just cut all ties from the movie. After all vampire and werewolf stories have existed for hundreds of years, they are not a Hollywood invention.

      ((Oh and speaking of Knome...This is totally random thought but I always wanted to know who killed the woman, since we never solved the mystery. ))
    1. Jason Sanborn's Avatar
      Jason Sanborn -
      Changing things is a good idea as well. Our characters are unique and like you said, some of the settings are easy enough to swap. It would require a bit of work to change things, but would be worthwhile to keep things going.

      As for Knome, it has been way too long. I would have to reread some of my characters and the plot to see if I could remember. I have to say, Knome was an interesting character to play.
    1. Sojourn's Avatar
      Sojourn -
      I agree that the work would be worth it. I'd rather us change things then see the site be shut down. Hopefully the law just won't pass and we'll have nothing to worry about.

      As for Knome, I always had fun reading your posts for him.
    1. Lairston's Avatar
      Lairston -
      My suggestion is We could make the suspect forums hidden and only allow the active participants in them to see them. Crossgen ect. For the ones that aren't active we could let current members who request to see them to continue to be able to see them. The ones that know they are there

      Downside, no new members ever in the suspect forums. But that would be better then deleting them in my opinionOur archives again could be hidden so that only active members of the site can see them.

      Or maybe set it up for post counts. Where you need x number of posts to see the suspect forums.
    1. Jason Sanborn's Avatar
      Jason Sanborn -
      The archives can't be hidden. Yes, the links can be, but the sites are still there. They aren't tied to any type of authentication or posting system.

      As for hiding the "suspect" ones, I would rather go with renaming them if we had to go that route. That way they could stay visible. Certain ones we can't just rename, but the ones that are currently active could be. If SOPA passed, I would be uncomfortable if anything was remaining, hidden or visible, because if anything went wrong, the entire server could be shut off, and I have a few sites hosted on the server that would be adversely affected.
    1. Jason Sanborn's Avatar
      Jason Sanborn -
      Looks like there is a temporary reprieve: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...80J10X20120120

      I still think this is a subject we should discuss, because even though the bills are postponed, it doesn't mean they won't return later. It would be nice to have an idea in place should the worst case scenario happen.
    1. Lairston's Avatar
      Lairston -
      We could build an authentication system for the archives. And change the link they are at currently so current google links disappear. We might even be able to integrate it into vbulletin's. Just need time.

      As for renaming...

      Dragonlance could be renamed Dragonspear.
      Crossgen could become Allos like the comic (just skimmed and saw Jenny came up with that first )
      Final Fantasy could be Ultimate Fantasy
      Underworld could be Dark War - because dark creatures battle
      Guild Wars could be Guild Battles
      DC could be Superhero Alliance
      Narnia could be the Great Lion's Kingdom
      Stars Wars could be Galactic Wars
      Marvel could be added to superhero alliance.
    1. Revelator's Avatar
      Revelator -
      I'd hate to see it go, and there are free-images out there with no copyright holders. I think there are some sites with lists of royalty free images. If I can find a few maybe a thread could be put up. I don't know how many of these images would be useful as avatars/character images but its something we could try.

      Another possibility is obtaining permission from the rights holders of some of these. If we obtain permission from them we can use it. If we just send some emails, or even write a letter like back in the good old days. It's another thought anyway. On another note, we could change the names, but most of the old threads would need to be removed unless someone went through and edited ALL copyright infringing names/settings. We could re-name the games, start new threads, and have to take down all the old ones.

      But on SOPA, there are people really upset about it, coupled with the National Defense Authorization Act, which frankly I've been afraid to check up on. The next few years may be rather interesting if these pass.
    1. Red's Avatar
      Red -
      I would absolutely hate to see the site go... I love it here! But I completely understand your situation. I wouldn't want to cause you any trouble or any unecessary issues. So if it comes to saying good bye I would in fact say good bye.... T.T
    1. Jason Sanborn's Avatar
      Jason Sanborn -
      Reading the entire thread does help with discussion at times.

      We aren't going anywhere, at least not anytime soon. We have enough original content that, even if SOPA passes, we can go forward with that instead. The question becomes, what do we do about the pictures and the older fan fiction, should that have to become a concern. The discussion now is do we rename the currently running ones? What about the archives. Ideas are being presented, and these ideas will help me plan for later.
    1. Sojourn's Avatar
      Sojourn -
      If it came down to it (and as much as I hate to say it), the archives would probably have to go. Especially the ones from the original Crossgen board. There is way too much stuff there that could be considered copyright infringement. It would take too much time to go through every single post and edit them. Corey's original character's name is a huge copyright infringement, since he named him after the Transformer Optimus Prime. Our characters talked about Elysia, Altwaal, etc...Of course I actually got permission from Crossgen back in the day to create my Sojourn site but I don't think that would do much good since Crossgen went bankrupt.

      Although unless fair use changes with copyright law, our Great Orange One won't have to disappear. Parodies are considered fair use and are permitted without asking the copyright holder's permission.
    1. Tigers's Avatar
      Tigers -
      My thoughts are the same as the others. I love this place and the people here, but none of us would want to see you take such a risk Jason. Push comes to shove, we do away with the threads and stick to new ones that are not related to anything existing out there already. As far as pictures go, we create our own or as Revelator suggested, we use royalty free pics.
    1. Schwuldubist's Avatar
      Schwuldubist -
      A very valid point Jason, our characters for most of these many forums are unique, a unique picture, though harder to find, would ruin the copy right infrigement problems.Although many of those forums you talk about are dead, hiding them would be easy enough. I know when I hosted an RP site, I could make certain forums invisible and only if you knew the exact address then you could get to it, but again, that would mean only people who had been here before the bill passed would be able to go to ti, for safety reasosn.I can live without pictures all together which to me, seems the biggest problem. Any of the forums can be deleted or inivisble, but pictures are spread throughout everything in this site, both alive and dead forums that would be the biggest problem in my opinion. But with everybody working together taking down all the pictures, and using sites like deviantART may help replace the copywritten pictures.Anyway, that's my input.
    1. Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
      Qwaring's clone#1 -
      When dealing with copyrighted material there are a few things that fall into fair use. There's portions of the material being used for the purposes of a review or criticism. There's material being used for educational purposes. And there's parody. I think parody is the only avenue that resembles what we do. We can hide the obviously infringing threads, rename and/or alter what we can and just to be safe put a note that some threads are a parody.As for avatars and images... I don't know how much free time I'm going to have, and my Wacom art pad doesn't work sometimes, so I'm not sure how valid this offer is going to be... but I might be able to draw images if they're needed. I might not be the most reliable source of artwork (I haven't drawn anything in months), but I would give it a try if it would help out.As for hiding threads leading to no new players, couldn't we keep recruitment threads public? And if someone shows an interest in the recruitment thread they could be given access to the hidden thread?
    1. Optimus Prime's Avatar
      Optimus Prime -
      Jason if the law passes, you do what you need to do. I'd rather see old threads disappear, only use our own pictures or royalty free ones, and us start some stories over then for the whole site to go down or for you to have to worry. And yeah I wouldn't want to make anyone have to edit all my old Crossgen posts because I did technically commit copyright infringement against Hasbro by using the name of one of their characters.
    1. SilntAngl5's Avatar
      SilntAngl5 -
      What about the Archives? I just went through a bunch of old threads stored there to re-vamp a character. Those are valuable resources, though I know under SOPA they would have to disappear. Is there any way they can be saved... more physically, I mean, like a thumb-drive style? What are the options for the old archived threads?
    1. Jason Sanborn's Avatar
      Jason Sanborn -
      Q, what you are describing is why we are ok as the law currently stands. When it comes to SOPA, though, things would be more dangerous. While still legal, someone could come along and claim copyright infringement and the site gets shut down immediately, without question, and there's nothing I could do to stop it. Even if it is legal, I'd have to fight an expensive and long legal battle, just to get the site restored. That last part is what is the greatest concern to me personally.

      As for the archives, there might be a way we could turn them into documents that could be downloaded before something like SOPA goes into effect. If anyone knows tools that could help with that, it would be appreciated. It would be good to have the archives in that format, even if we don't have the shut them down, in case someone wants to take them offline for their own references.
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