Wargames Factory

By tgn_admin
In News
Aug 4th, 2011
39 Comments
528 Views

There was a bit of an issue this morning when the comments section for the latest Wargames Factory post was used to post comments about the legal status of the current plastic Greek Hoplite figures. The first two comments were posted by Tony Reidy and Howard Whitehouse both ex-employees of Wargames Factory. I’ve reposted them here.

Tony Reidy:

FYI – Wargames Factory never paid Tim Barry for the right to sell these. Buying these is like buying a recast figure. They quote-unquote negotiated with Tim until they got the Freeform device in their lawyer’s hands – and then they stopped talking to him. He owns the copyrights on this sculpture and he’s being screwed over. Hopefully no retailer or distributor will be carrying these.

Thanks, Tony

Howard Whitehouse:

I’ll back Tony up on this one. Tim sent a series of files to China during the last months of 2010 (Amazons, Persians, Greeks, skeletons) and was promptly fired without notice – as I was, it should be said.

Tim hasn’t been paid a penny for his work and – since it seems that the controlling partner of WGF has quietly dissolved its US corporation and formed one in Hong Kong without informing several of the other owners in the company – it seems unlikely WGF ever intends to. It’s hard to get money from a company an ocean away if the debtor won’t play honest.

I know Tim well. He’s a family man with two small kids and a wife with health issues. Since he isn’t being paid for his efforts, I urge all potential customers simply to keep their hands in their pockets, or buy somewhere else. It’s an issue of integrity.

I have no reason to disbelieve either of them but the comments section of this site, or any other, is not the proper place to be making these sorts of allegations and I most certainly don’t want the comments section to devolve into a place where the discussion isn’t driven by and about the products in question.

Now, it can be said that these comments are related to the product but they are not directly related to the announcement. I am attempting to try to keep the site an open place for people to post and read news and situations like this are a difficult path to tread. Without a legal decision to back up anyone’s case there is nothing that will settle this sort of discussion and they can quickly lead to acrimonious and divisive debate. The type of debate that I am trying to avoid.

So what do people think is a solution for this sort of issue? Should posts by Wargames Factory have comments disabled as we had to for Confrontation topics for some time?

  • I don’t see a problem. I wouldn’t have heard about the issue if you’d locked the comments. Let the info get out and let people make their own decisions.

    • Zac

      That is certainly on point but the other comments that were removed as well were not as direct and made veiled references to even further actions and incidents.

      If it was just a matter of having one or two people comment then it wouldn’t be an issue but you know that there will be more people commenting and not all of them will have direct information…

      • jjdiffley

        Zac, I am an “Insider” of sorts with Defiance Games, so my post was on point. I am aware of many of the legal issues, far more than I will share publicly, but trust that I am in the loop as to what Tony Reidy, Tim Barry, Howard Whitehouse and John Morse are doing legally, as well as what is going on at Defiance Games. As I do not advertise I am, in a small way, part of those who would know, I can understand you not knowing that. However, see my post below for as much info as I can give out, all of which is already publicly known.

  • Dead Kennedy

    Oi vey, again with the skirmishing. Frankly, WGF (as a reformed company) has yet to impress me at all, except with a fancy preview for heavy weapon troopers. Other than that: they release few painted/sprue photos, endless waits for products, and little to convince me they care about those they do business with (ie, the former owners).

    Crummy promotion + bad press + unproven products = not getting my cash.

  • Chameleon

    If Tim Barry files suit against WGF for copyright infringement, it’s newsworthy and should be open for comment. The only thing I see here from Tony and Howard are unsubstantiated claims and hearsay which, sorry to say, has the smell of sour grapes about it.

    The most sensible option, short of IP banning both Tony and Howard (which would be somewhat unfair to their new company – provided they actually get to the manufacturing stage with any of their planned products), would be just to close comments on news items from both WGF AND Tony/Howard’s new venture (Warlord Games, is it?).

    • Zac

      Defiance Games.

      Warlord is a different company

    • J_Worley

      Locking comments for WGF and Defiance Games would be my suggestion as well.

  • jjdiffley

    Locking comments would only serve to keep consumers from knowing the truth, that Wargames Factory HK, Ltd. stole Tim Barry’s IP and Copyrights, as defined under US Copyright law. Worse, suppliers would not know they were selling stolen property, which could, under those same laws, open them up to criminal prosecution for selling stolen items. The US has very harsh rules regarding IP/Copyright issues, and Mr Barry’s contract stipulates he, and he alone, own the rights, not Wargames Factory LLC (the old WGF) or this new entity. If someone is going to announce upcoming releases by WGF, or do reviews of them, they should warn potential sellers and customers. What WGF HK, Ltd. has done is far worse than say someone re-casting and selling items on eBay. They run their whole company on the sale of stolen goods.

    As WGF, LLC I know they received at least 1 Cease & Desist letter, and that the new entity will likely be receiving one shortly. I also personally know that the MA State Attorney General, the US DOJ and the US State Dept all have been notified (other pertinent State and Federal Agencies may have also been informed, or are about to be via Tim’s ;awyer) Lawyers have been hired, and since this may well end up in court, not notifying people is a disservice to any sellers or buyers.

    I appeal to you Zac not to help promote a company that sells stolen items, or at least not announce their products w/o an explanation that these products are stolen, and potential sellers and buyers could find themselves in hot water legally. it is the only fair way of protecting those who use your service. I know you are not taking sides, but armed with the information Tony, Howard, Tim John and myself have given you, adding a disclaimer that the legality of the selling or buying of this company’s products may be in question. This keeps you from saying those of us who know what has transpired are correct, and still allows you to announce upcoming products. For the record, just as an FYI, the Shock Trooper Heavy Weapons are a derivative product of Tim’s work, and fall under his Copyrights per US law.

    It should also be noted that the dissolution of Wargames Factory, LLC might have violated numerous laws as none of the other owners were notified as pursuant to the law, thus that may be enough to make the distribution or purchase of these products illegal under State and Federal laws, as well as International treaties.

    • scottjm

      “I know you are not taking sides, but armed with the information Tony, Howard, Tim John and myself have given you, adding a disclaimer that the legality of the selling or buying of this company’s products may be in question.”

      Should Zac put a disclaimer on anything done by Chapterhouse Studios too as GW has sent them a C&D letter also? Heck I’d like a disclaimer on anything GW does, as a lot of their stuff is derivative of someone else’s work.

      Tim Barry et al are saying WF stole his IP and ran with it. But I’d be willing to bet that the people running WF now would say that they’re in the right. It’s not Zac’s job to make a judgement on which side is right, that’s a court of law’s job. Don’t put him in a position where he has to make a choice. Once you step down that road, you’ll find yourself having to make more and more of these judgement calls. And besides, I’d be willing to bet that the vast majority of people who do read TGN and/or TMP are fully aware of the situation with WF and it’s previous owner/operators and can make the call themselves on whether to purchase WF’s products.

      • jjdiffley

        The single owner of WGF HK, Ltd. can claim he is in the right, but the legal documents prove otherwise. Tim’s contract, from day 1, states he retains any and all IP rights and copy rights. As a legally binding contract, any deviation from that is a violation. Mr Hui has no documents to show he owns any of Tim’s IP and derivatives of those IP rights, but Tim does have a contract clearly showing he alone owns them.

        It isn’t one person’s word against another, it is a legal document against non-existent documents. Hardly the same thing as GW trying to claim their rights are being violated. This is a clear cut case of theft, and when it reaches the courts (baring an out of court settlement) it will not be a very long case. Legally binding documents trump people’s claims. Mr Hui has only his opinion that he owns the right to produce Tim’s work.

        I agree it is not Zac’s job to play judge here, but it is his job to make sure his readers are as informed as possible, just as it would be if he had someone send him info on a new release from a new company only to find out that that new release is just a re-casting of some other company’s product. That is news, and as someone posting news about our hobby, I am sure he would pass along the fact he found out that the product is in fact just re-casting. Naturally he is free to act or not as he sees fit, which is why I believe he should not lock comments in this case.

        • Veritas

          Wouldn’t it be best to let Zac makes Zac’s decisions? Just a thought.

        • “It isn’t one person’s word against another, it is a legal document against non-existent documents. ”

          No it isn’t. It’s you saying there’s a legal document to promote your point of view on an internet forum. If everything’s so clear cut then there’s no problem with letting a court decide is there? Courts are what decide these things not internet rantings.

          • jjdiffley

            At this point the Courts will be deciding – All I did was try and inform Zac of the facts in the case, so he could make an informed decision about how he goes about posting WGF HK, Ltd announcements. I see no harm in that; in fact I see it as doing a good deed. Zac could have no way of knowing the legal issues unless someone informs him. Crucify me for trying to act like a nice person. At this point I no longer care. I have learned legal action is proceeding against WGF HK, Ltd even as I post this.

          • “Crucify me for trying to act like a nice person. At this point I no longer care.”

            You’re not being crucified, you’re not a martyr, and we only have your word that you were acting like a nice person rather than joining in the mud-slinging. You’re still making your unsubstantiated ‘I’m in the know, trust me’ comments without anything to back them up.

            This passive aggressive victim bollocks is exactly where every post about this company ends up which is why it’s always so interesting reading these comments.

          • Chameleon

            I have learned legal action is
            proceeding against WGF HK, Ltd even as
            I post this.

            Really? In which jurisdiction? On what grounds? How many allegations?

            IF this is true, then submit it as an unbiased news story. Otherwise, you’re just blowing more smoke – and making a good case for me to never purchase any products that are produced by either company (and guaranteeing that I’ll also ignore any news submissions from Defiance Games in particular).

  • antenociti

    Lock ’em and keep them locked Zac. Good choice; well moderated.

    This is primarily a news site, not a venue for bitter antagonists to sling mud at each when the proper, and only relevant, solution is to take it to court.

    Sort it out in court amongst yourselves people, stop trying to drag everybody else into the row. If your case is so strong then it wont take long will it? (Applies to all sides involved).

    • jjdiffley

      There is no reason to lock Defiance Games, as no one has stated word one that they have done anything wrong. Lock WGF HK, Ltd. if you want – I don’t care, but to lock a company’s announcements because of issues with ANOTHER company is wrong.

      • scottjm

        I agree, anything from Defiance Games should not have locked comments. Anything from WF should. If an item from Defiance has all it’s comments turn into a train wreck, then it should have it’s comments locked.

      • Still too much chance of people coming here and slinging mud at each other.

        The best course of action is to lock all comments to stories about either company until the two companies sort it out. Otherwise you’re going to just see more internet fighting and that will only serve to ruin this fine site.

      • antenociti

        are you the same person who started the thread on TMP calling for the boycott of TGN and saying that Zac didnt care about using his site to promote stolen goods?

        If so, then I would take exception to your claim, even if not , that sort of libelous attack typifies all the reasons why such things should be left to the court and that they shouldnt be forced down the throats of readers here – and if company representatives cant keep their court issues in court where they belong, rather than making all sort of claims, then they should be locked and kept locked.

        • antenociti

          that was at jjdiffley btw

  • surprize

    Yeah this is getting silly. I come on here for news, not to see people bickering, lock the comments, good moderating choice.

    This is going through the courts apparently so it will be sorted out in due course, if people choose to buy anything from WGF in the meantime I have faith that this will be reflected in any compensation awarded by the courts. I agree with Chameleon; if there are any substantive legal developments then that qualifies as news. Otherwise the bitter divorcees shouldn’t be given a platform for hearsay and mud slinging.

  • winter

    Comments are not the place for this and I’m fine with Zac locking them. If Tony, Tim, Howard or anyone else want to respond they can send Zac the info as a news tip presenting their side of the story.

  • Lock them all and let them air their dirty laundry at TMP, where I can ignore them. This has gotten old, hurting both sides of the issue.

  • Gallahad

    I don’t think very highly of WGF, but I still think you should lock the comment section. Honestly, I think that the old WGF crew have solid legal ground to stand on, and will resolve this issue in court. When the issue is resolved you can put up a news story about WGF being sued into oblivion or whatever, but until that time, just lock the comments.

    This is a news site. Let the train wreck happen over on TMP.

    On the other hand, I don’t think you should lock the Defiance Games comment section. The company hasn’t done anything yet besides post up some concept art. (If things get nasty in the future when they actually start producing stuff, you could lock it then)

    • antenociti

      I don’t think you should lock the
      Defiance Games comment section. The
      company hasn’t done anything yet
      besides post up some concept art.

      ..and whine about WGF at every opportunity on every forum and site they can find.

      I don’t think very highly of WGF,

      I dont think highly of either company, or any of their troupe either..i’m sick and tired of them and the constant BS that results in people positng things like:

      It came as a shock when I learned that
      TGM doesn’t care if the products they
      post about are stolen or recast items.
      I know that I for one will no longer
      be using their service to hear about
      new gaming products. John

      And it transpires that the person who posted the above, on TMP, happens to be…. associated with Defiance Games.

      Now tell us all again why they shouldnt be locked as they haven’t done anything wrong?

      I’d like to say that this has nothing to do with me, but it does. We advertise here. So when Defiance Games associates start thread accussing TGN of being complicit in selling stolen goods, and not caring about advertising them, yes it does concern me…and every other company that advertises here too.

      Both companies and their “associates” need to shut up and leave it to the courts; and if they wont do it voluntarily, then force it upon them and muzzle them.

      When their followers, employees or associates start posting threads like the above at TMP then it is way beyond time that something is done because it is clear that these people have no interest in the damage they do, and the only thing that matters too them is “winning at any cost”.

      • jjdiffley

        Affiliation does not mean I am on their payroll. I have given them some conceptual designs, free of charge. Oh, how very bad of me to try and help people I am friendly with and respect. You caught me, I gave away a couple of designs to them, for which I will not be paid if they get into production because i am trying to aid them get their business up and running.

        • Zac

          Howard also mentioned that you were an investor as well. Is that the case?

          • jjdiffley

            No, i am not an investor. that implies i have a say in things that go on within DG. I do not. I did however loan them a small amount of money to be used either to pay start-up costs what little I could afford as a disabled person for the last 11 years on a fixed SSDI income) OR to use as down-payments on lawyers. I did not stipulate how the money was to be used. Yes I hope to be re-payed, but if not, I still was only helping out people whose former employer is still withholding back pay. I have no share of profits, or in any business decisions. It comes down to me being a friend who loaned people he cares about a paltry sum of money. That hardly makes me an investor. i own no shares, nor any stake in DG. Any wording to the contrary is a misunderstanding.

  • AoM

    A lock on Defiance news is a preemptive, proactive position for Zac to take until this whole situation has been sorted out. As people have said, this is a news site. When there is news, it can be reported.

    If WF are the only side with comments being locked, the fighting and/or bragging will just take place in the DG news comments. I’m looking forward to seeing more stuff come out for Tony and Howard’s Alien Suns universe, but I’d rather see news about it posted without any comments allowed than see the comments turn into the back and forth that will inevitably happen until this is all resolved.

  • Markheim

    Why lock anything? This kind of stuff generates more interest than almost everything else. I enjoy reading all of the comments 🙂

  • Bob

    I’d be inclined to lock so as to reduce the hassle and acrimony each time a WGF or Defiance item comes up. There are other fora where the mudslinging can occur.

  • I’m not educated on the WGF thing, but I do like my news. My personal opinion is to leave it unlocked but once the conversation gets off the topic of the news post to lock it.

  • I think Zac has done a fine job mediating and making sure things don’t get out of hand. Albeit, it’s probably a lot of additional work.

    Leave the comments open for the time being and see where it goes and shut them down as needed.

  • Space Ghost

    I vote for locking comments on news items from both companies, Defiance & WGF.

    TheGhost

  • pbeccas

    I can’t see WGF slinging mud at Defiance. Why would they get their comments locked?

  • blackmamba

    I only ever see Tony and Howard and a couple of other ‘regular whiners’ slinging mud in one direction, a lot of smoke without any fire, I say leave the comments open but ban the lot of them.

    Never thought much of WGF when Tony ran it, poor product, even worse management, from day 1 and it never improved, think even less of Defiance Games, I mean do they actually have any product or is it just a company of whiners?

    Mightily sick of seeing anything about, by or connected with either Tony or Howard, can we please get back to real gaming and leave these trolls to their own devices.

  • Gallahad

    I think that this thread alone probably indicates that you should just lock the comments on both companies for the next six months. People seem to get really fired up about it, whether it be jjdiffley flying off the hook or antenociti wading into the fray, the whole situation just seems to inspire message board flame wars. I would still post up any relevant news about their releases, but let interested parties comment on them in another setting.

    Any legal issues will be resolved in court. Lets just keep TGN drama free.

  • Zac

    I think that we’ve all had a chance to post our opinions and I want to close this before it gets acrimonious.

    I think that the general consensus appears to be to close comments for the meantime on WF news items and that is what I will do.

    Thanks for the input.