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Thread: would you trust mochi?

  1. #1
    Custom User Title Incrue's Avatar
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    would you trust mochi?

    First:
    Look, this is a article that hatu has posted on the mochi forums:

    http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/10/31...ystem-of-hell/

    A typical scam: users are offered in game currency in exchange for filling out an IQ survey. Four simple questions are asked. The answers are irrelevant. When the user gets to the last question they are told their results will be text messaged to them. They are asked to enter in their mobile phone number, and are texted a pin code to enter on the quiz. Once they’ve done that, they’ve just subscribed to a $9.99/month subscription.
    And, in many games you will see this:


    Mochi dont seems to give a s***

    Second, i think i've said that before but its very very easy to find tons of mario clones.I dont care how big nintendo is, its still unethical to me.

    Would you like to have your work associated with that?Not me.
    Last edited by Incrue; 11-18-2009 at 06:21 AM.

  2. #2
    Hype over content... Squize's Avatar
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    The thread on the mochi forums does include a reply from mochi saying they are distancing themselves from that scheme.

    As to the copyright thing, I can't agree with that for a second, and I think it's a real blot on mochi's otherwise near faultless support for developers.
    I understand it that the copyright owner has to flag up an issue for anything to happen, they don't check things for copyright infringements when they check them for approval to the ad network.

    I'm talking as a 3rd party here, so I could well be wrong, but I believe the rational is that if they reject one game, they would then have to check every game.
    So to knock back an obvious Mario clone with ripped everything, they would then have to check each and every game uploaded there. Which would cost time and money and would open them up to a situation that youTube finds itself in, with law suits left right and center if any copyrighted material slipped through.

    I can see why they're loathe to do it, but... it's still not right. Maybe if there was a way for forum members to flag up copyright issues rather than it having to be the copyright holder then that would be a lot better, but then you're dealing with money, and the thought that one person hiding behind a user name on a forum could cost you money isn't great either.
    It's like the arseholes who flag up games as stolen on portals without actually checking it in any way.

    It does need someone like mochi or NG to make a stand against this, but I doubt either will as they still make money from every nasty Sonic clone.
    When mochi can run an article where the author actually suggests using ripped sprites as the first choice over getting an artist on board, then you know there is a very large gray area in the psychi there ( At least it was removed when people kicked up a stink ).

    Squize.

  3. #3
    Custom User Title Incrue's Avatar
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    So they cant check for sonic but can for the IQ?Yeah right

  4. #4
    Hype over content... Squize's Avatar
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    ?

    The ads they run have nothing to do with game copyright infringements.

    Squize.

  5. #5
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    The evil lead gen schemes are probably just a phase for the most part.

    1. Developers use ad providers that use evil schemes, because they make money
    2. Users get suckered and upset and complain
    3. Developers will start caring when they lose users
    4. Developers demand that Ad Providers get rid of the evil schemes
    5. Some ad providers will become 'legit' and developers that care will use those. Developers that want to make a quick buck will still use evil schemes

    As for the IP infringement, I don't see why you are upset that Mochi is putting ads on them while Google puts ads on thousands, if not millions, of pages that are simple rip offs of other pages. It's not their place to police that stuff, it is the IP holder's place.

  6. #6
    Hype over content... Squize's Avatar
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    "It's not their place to police that stuff, it is the IP holder's place."

    But mochi make money from that. If you stole something, and I sold it on without asking you were you got it, that would be alright ?

    Ok that's a very black and white example, but if mochi can ( Quite rightly ) vet games for say racist content, a game with the name "Mario" in it should ring some alarm bells.
    The attitude that everybody does it, that it's somehow acceptable 'cause Nintendo make a ton of money, isn't right.

    If your game was decompiled and re-published with some minor amends and put on mochi I think it's fair to say you'd be pissed. I know I would be, and I think the majority of game devs would be.
    That would be someone making money off your IP, your hard work, with very little effort on their behalf.

    Now lets say you're a millionaire. Would you have less right to be pissed about it ? I mean you've got more than enough money already, so why should it affect you ?

    Copyright infringement isn't always black and white, you have to factor in fair usage and homages etc. In my last personal game I've got two samples from Space Invaders, because I thought they were a perfect fit.
    I'm claiming fair usage. I don't know if I'm on shaky ground or not, possibly yes.

    What I'm saying is that I'm not whiter than white on this subject, very few people are. Also I'm not saying it's an easy task for mochi, but I think they should at least try.
    Taking the line that the person who uploads a game has to tick a box that says it's all their work is enough, isn't enough.
    Surely there could be a standard templated email that could be sent to people uploading things which are blatantly stealing IP just asking them to confirm that they've sought permission to use the assets.
    It doesn't have to be a witch hunt, I'm not advocating a whole "Your game is really similar in terms of gameplay to a game on the VCS in 1981 so we're going to knock it back" as that would be insane, but somethings are just so obvious that it pains me to see them accepted.

    Squize.

  7. #7
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    I agree with redjag, that it's a phase and it will be clamped down on and stopped, Mochiads are far from the worst culprits, but I think we'll soon be seeing less and less of these dodgy "offers" in games...

    As for the copyright issue, personally I think that overtly infringent games should be weeded out at the approval stage. Of course they won't find every case of copyright violation, but I'm sure that anyone approving games would be able to spot a Mario or Sonic clone a mile off... SUbmit work to Flashden and they will pull you up on the minutest of things (even when it's your own copyright you're "violating" - long story!) so why can't Mochi at least stop the really obvious ones, it only makes them look bad to continue having them on their network IMO.
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  8. #8
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    Regarding copyright infringement, I was not at all trying to say it's okay because lots of people are doing it. I am saying that it isn't Mochi's job to take down a game. Whether you're Nintendo or GYW, you have to protect your own IP with legal action. If Mochi is blocking racist games and the like, that's their prerogative but it certainly isn't required of them.

    I'm thinking that if Mochi could easily do what you're asking they would, but unfortunately even if they only act on reports they have to deal with "Prior Art", whether a game is "enough like" another game to call it infringement and all that fun stuff. Major headache.

  9. #9
    Hype over content... Squize's Avatar
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    Yeah, I do get why they don't do it, just a pity that the law is set up in such a way that it's easier for a company to let things like that pass rather than clamp down on it.

    It means every now and again I'll bitc'h about it on a forum when I may as well be shouting at the moon

    Squize.

  10. #10
    Custom User Title Incrue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squize View Post
    ?

    The ads they run have nothing to do with game copyright infringements.

    Squize.
    What i mean is:
    They dont remove mario (even after some users point at it) because they dont have time, ppl and money to keep checking all of the games.BUT, they also dont have time, ppl and money to check for scams ads, and remove the scam ads.So,does that makes sense?Is that the real reason?

  11. #11
    Senior Member bluemagica's Avatar
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    mochi could just use it's member base to check for stuff like mario clones, can't it? kindof like the newgrounds strategy? if enough players mark a game as a clone of another famous one, then they could check it. that way, they won't need to check everything with their limited resources. Also, they can alter their policies so that the ad providers provide their ad details, so that devs can choose what type of ads they want to show in their game. If the ad matches the content of the game, it will help both the dev, the players, and the ad company!
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    [QUOTE=Incrue;4217893A typical scam: users are offered in game currency in exchange for filling out an IQ survey. Four simple questions are asked. The answers are irrelevant. When the user gets to the last question they are told their results will be text messaged to them. They are asked to enter in their mobile phone number, and are texted a pin code to enter on the quiz. Once they’ve done that, they’ve just subscribed to a $9.99/month subscription.[/QUOTE]

    As an aside, how does that work? Can third parties just start charging things to a phone #?

  13. #13
    Senior Member Ray Beez's Avatar
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    (use of "you" here is not directed to anyone in particular)

    Any time you run a site or system featuring user-uploaded content, it would be a tremendous burden to police and check everything. Not only that, but how do you know really what's who's? Yes I know "Mario" is obvious, but let's say someone uploads a game with rips of some cartoon character that's huge in Brazil, but unknown in the US. Is Mochi supposed to hire a team that contains the collective knowledge of the planet?? Do you know what would happen to your ad revenues if they did that? They would shrink to nothing, because Mochi would have to spend a huge amount of money on this policing staff.

    I'm no fan of rip-off artists and con jobs, but at the same time, I understand that there has to be a middle ground and we kinda have to play in that middle ground because on the one extreme end, Mochi wouldn't exist if they needed a huge policing and research team. And on the opposite extreme end it would be complete anarchy.

    They could have a system whereby people could flag infringing games (or like a ratings system), but then Mochi would face a similar problem to the above. Con artists would send notices to take down any game they felt was "competition", whether they were rightful owners or not. So again, Mochi would be caught in a policing situation requiring a huge staff with a huge knowledge or research ability to figure out what notices are valid and which aren't.

    (I haven't even touched on the games that could be protected as parody or political commentary, which ads another wrench to making judgements on what is infringing).

    This is why it boils down to it needing to be the copyright owners policing their own IP and sending notices. I don't know what alternative there is. It's work to police IP, and there is no reason why the burden should be on Mochi rather than you, the IP owner.

    PS: The best deterrent may be in shaming the devs who do the rip-offs... but how?

  14. #14
    Senior Member Ray Beez's Avatar
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    PS: Incrue: It DOES make sense that they put some time in policing the ads, because think about this... if an advertiser is a con artist, then there's a risk Mochi won't even get paid. So there is a direct business case for policing advertisers.

  15. #15
    Game Guy at Mochimedia
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    Quote Originally Posted by Incrue View Post
    What i mean is:
    They dont remove mario (even after some users point at it) because they dont have time, ppl and money to keep checking all of the games.BUT, they also dont have time, ppl and money to check for scams ads, and remove the scam ads.So,does that makes sense?Is that the real reason?
    Mr. Shen here from Mochi.

    To address the "scam ads". As far as I understand, that ad has been removed from the system. It is one ad, out of many, many ads we run in the system internationally across 100 million global uniques a month that are completely legit. We will admit that it slipped through the cracks and pulled it immediately. I wish it would be possible to have a 0% fail rate, and we do the best we can with our resources to achieve that, but it's just highly improbable/impossible. As we develop more tools for advertisers and learn of tactics that scammers use, we are able to avoid these kinds of things in the future.

    We would not be around if our network was more scam ads than legit ads. I agree that is very unfortunate that someone was scammed in the process, but it's something we really do try to remedy as quickly as possible.

    As far as "intellectual property" issues, we take these things very seriously as well. The very moment we receive a notice regarding any kind of copyright infringement, I personally go and deal with the case (disabling it from distribution, contacting all parties, etc.). Ever developer who signs up with Mochi and submits a game agree to the same policies: "Developers must have transferrable license to use and distribute images, audio and other assets incorporated in their game. Games must be compliant with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Policy."

    All developers are under the same agreement that they have the rights and permissions to upload the content. There is a lot of legal context behind these policies and with those here with any legal background or experience, you know it is a complete "all or nothing" system. There are no half-half decisions. It's a yes or no. Period.

    Largely, the system works. If anyone has a legitimate complaint and fall within the items stated within the Copyright Dispute Policy, we are very quick to act.

    Please feel free to discuss or contact me over at Mochi. I'm more than happy to answer e-mails.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Incrue View Post
    First:
    Mochi dont seems to give a s***.
    Also, to quickly comment on that statement: the TechCrunch article that Hatu posted provided one example of how a scammer ad, propagated through many of the Survey/Referral type sites, could possibly work (disguised as an IQ test). But that is not to say that every IQ test ad is a scam because that would just be silly (see: Hume's Problem of Induction). If that were the case, then everyone who runs a legitimate IQ website might as well go and close up shop because they're scammers.

  17. #17
    Senior Member tonypa's Avatar
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    I wont comment the scam ad as it has been removed already and I honestly believe Mochi is not running any scam campaigns.

    The copyright problem is wider then just Mochi accepting games with ripped sprites or Mario or Sonic in the name. Mochi has to follow US laws and intellectual property laws are quite frankly stupid. No wonder too, they are still from 18th century and simply do not work anymore. Sadly, there is no interest to change such laws cause too much money is involved and huge corporations are earning nice profits.

    As game developer is sure makes me angry to see ripoff games taking away ad money that could be assigned to my games instead. I just don´t see how Mochi could decide which game has potentially intellectual property issues. Someone thinking its a too similar to some other game or saying it uses stolen graphics is not actually proving anything.

    In the end only thing that would stop Mario clones appearing is when people stop playing those. When nobody wants to play crappy clone, it gets no ads shown and earns nothing to developer. So people will eventually stop making them and start to do something original. Its really up to general public to change their view about what is worth playing.

  18. #18
    Custom User Title Incrue's Avatar
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    There's more...
    There was that infamous Badim's article on mochi blog, where he said something like 'if you dont know how to draw, you can rip art out of other games'.I dont care what Badim thinks, the problem was that this was on mochi's blog, what means that mochi ppl read, aprove, and put it online, and only AFTER tons of developers shows his dislikivity with that it was removed, and even after that i remember someone from mochi saying in the forums 'bla bla bla...this is a gray area' and i tough 'gray area??? wtf is going on here???'
    Really, i dont know how can someone think that using others work like this is a gray area.
    I know the article was removed.Again, the point is not what Badim thinks, what i found weird is how could mochi agree with that somehow, or seems to agree, at the first moment...

  19. #19
    Hype over content... Squize's Avatar
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    I think most people agree Mochi dropped the ball big time on that, but it hardly makes them evil, just meant they made a mistake.

    Squize.

  20. #20
    Senior Member tonypa's Avatar
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    I feel Mochi did wrong move by removing the Badim's article. Even when it sounded like advice, the way I understood ripping graphics chapter was more about "this is how its done in many cases". It is true, it happens, it still happens even when you don´t talk about it. The article fired off discussion and we have to discuss these things or it will never change. Even more, I am sure there is lots of people who consider ripping games perfectly honest and good way (for example Badim), by shutting off the discussion we lost only chance to explain them why its bad, how in the long run it hurts everyone and how we could avoid such games in the future.

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