Nobody Cares About Your Stupid Copyright Disclaimers


Sometimes, the internet makes me feel like an old soldier. I once fought a war, but was overwhelmed, defeated, and now I survive only to wander the wastes of my former home as my enemy, the forces of Stupid, control my government and marry my women. Usually, I just shake my head and move on. For what can I do? The citizens of Stupid have grown soft and weak, but there are still much too many of them for any war to be successful, for anyone to be able to push them back and regain the territory that was once ours. When confronted once more with the Stupid, generally the only choice is to just ignore it and go home.

But sometimes, every once in a long while, I see something and just snap. It doesn’t have to be anything major, just something one of the Stupids has done one too many times. Today is one of those days. I’m once again taking up my sword, and rejoining the fight against Stupid on the Internet.

If you’ve made your way to this site, I’m going to assume you know your way around the internet. You’ve been through the slums, the back alleys, eaten at that one restaurant where the burgers are more grease than meat, had your share of local flavor, and made it back to tell the tale. You’ve probably seen this so many times before. Fan-fiction, AMV’s, songs and televisions clips reposted to YouTube, all of these copyright infringing works, with an accompanying statement. Usually it’s along the lines of “I don’t own this!” or “No copyright infringement intended” or “This song is copyrighted by Your Mother, Inc.” when the poster really has nothing to do with Your Mother. In any case, the uploader realizes that there’s these bizarre things called copyrights, and thinks that by putting up such a disclaimer, they can avoid violating these rights.

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So my stats tell me that at least one of you is using Lost to the Aether as your go-to source for news on the THQ bankruptcy, from this post.  Since a single visitor makes up approximately 83% of my web traffic at this time, I figured I’d give you what you want and talk of THQ a bit more.

There’s not a whole lot of business analysis or explanation to do here, like there was last post.  THQ is done.  Over.  Dead.  Dismembered.  Drawn and quartered.  Basically, what happened is that the individual parts went up to auction, and collectively sold for more than the $60 million Clearlake Capital offered for the full organization.  Not a whole lot more.  Only about $72 million, at the time of this writing.  This still isn’t a good deal for the creditors.  They’re still making dimes on the dollar.  They’re still getting shafted.  But they’re getting shafted slightly more gently than they were under the initial offer.  Like, the person doing the shafting is actually pretending to love them this time.  Still, they’re better off than the stockholders.  It’s not looking like they’ll be getting anything.

But hey, stuff was being sold, so that means that parts of THQ survive, right?  Let’s figure out what’s going where!

I’m kind of lucky, in that both the Volition studio and the Saint’s Row IP are going to the same place: Koch Media.  The Metro IP is going along, too.  Koch Media is a media publisher whose American games arm, Deep Silver, has published Catherine and a bunch of other games I haven’t played.  It doesn’t look like they’re into the development side of things, so I can’t imagine there’d be much in the way of redundancies between them and Volition.  Considering that Volition is supposedly already working on the next Saint’s Row game, I’d imagine that they’re going to go relatively unmolested.  Not sure what the plans are for the Metro IP, though.

The studio Relic, who almost entirely makes PC titles such as Homefront, Warhammer, and Dawn of War was the hotly contested item, ending up in the hands of Sega.  THQ Montreal, maker of later entries in the Metro,and WWE franchises are now owned by Ubisoft.  We’ll have to see how those are handled.  Since they’re going to companies that already have game divisions, there could be some layoffs in the future, although it shouldn’t be enough that the studios close down.  They’re being bought independently of the IPs they’ve worked on, so the companies are most likely buying them to increase their own capacities.  I’m pretty certain THQ Montreal is going to be renamed.  Just a hunch.

The Homefront IP is going to to Crytek, and the South Park game is going to Ubisoft along with THQ Montreal.  The big weirdo among the IP purchases is that of Evolve.  If you don’t remember playing any games from that franchise, well, that’s because there aren’t any.  Take-2 paid a mint for it, though, far more than I’d have expected it to be worth.  Guess they were impressed with what they saw.

Vigil games and the franchise they developed, Darksiders, noticeably didn’t attract any buyers.  Vigil hasn’t really done anything of note outside of the Darksiders series, and the franchise kind of flopped commercially with the second installment, so that’s not really a huge surprise.  THQ may find a separate buyer for them, outside of that big auction.

Also noticeably without buyers are the WWE, Nickelodeon, and Pixar franchises.  Dealing with the sizes of the companies who own the licenses to those, however, it seems probable that they’re not transferable, that they wouldn’t even be listed as up for auction.  I imagine those who own them will find new publishers for their games soon enough.