Friday, July 15, 2011

DMCA Notice – aka Cease and Desist

I just received another DMCA notice from the lawyers representing Wizards of the Coast.  I would like to make a truce with Wizards.  Maybe Forge is in violation of copyright and maybe it isn’t.  I seriously doubt whether Forge is taking money out of Wizards of the Coast pockets but that isn’t really the question.  Copyright law, not money, is the real question.

Truthfully it always makes me a little bit sad when I receive a DMCA notice but I guess it goes with the territory.  I promise that the next trading card videogame that I work on will be so obscure and forgotten that no one will even care.  Maybe I’ll choose some random card game that was based on a Japanese anime but is now defunct.  (Both the anime and the card game itself.)  Maybe I would choose something like the Inuyasha card game which has 1,200 total cards.  

(You can view it’s non-existent homepage here using, which scans the internet and archives webpages so you can view past versions.)

In reality I haven’t worked on Forge in the last 3 years so the DMCA notice effects me the least of all.  Yes I have this awesome blog but I’m not invested emotionally.  Forge was a great project to start because it was so freaking fun to play.  Forge is my favorite videogame ever, hands down, and is probably one of the greatest games ever made.  I do thank the many coders that keep improving Forge. 

Rob Cashwalker
Friar Sol
Jeff Wadsworth
Chris H

I am providing links to the newest version of Forge.  The newest version is 07-15-2011 and has 8,614 unique cards.  Bz2 files can be uncompressed using 7zip.  The Windows files are at the top of the 7zip webpage and Linux/Mac files are further down. is a decent host but it does have a few pop-ups.

No deck files are included but you can download decks from the Forge deck forum and put them in your /res/decks/ directory.  You can download decks without registering.

forge-1.1.0.tar.bz2 – Windows/Linux (14 MB)

forge-1.1.0.osx.tar.bz2 – Mac (15 MB)


Anonymous said...

Wow they should took their sweet time to care. There should be a statute of limitations for crap like this.

masayume said...

If you live outside USA DMCA is worthless.

Anonymous said...

I hate wizards's appeal to magic game as if it were their property. I live in Russia and do not care about their stupid laws and lawyers, I'll help you to make forge playable online, to be a real competitor for mtgo.

Formedras said...

First: "i hate wizards's appeal to magic game as if it were their property." IT IS THEIR PROPERTY. They trademarked it, they copyrighted it, they PATENTED IT. THEY MADE IT. It's like you're saying that the Coca-Cola formula doesn't belong to the Coca-Cola Corporation.
Second: "If you live outside USA DMCA is worthless." Doesn't mtgrares live IN the US? Therefore, the DMCA is perfectly valid.
"There should be a statute of limitations...."
There might have been if the development of Forge had permanently ceased some time ago. But it's ongoing infringement, assuming that Forge doesn't constitute Fair Use.

WotC and law haters rebutted, I personally like the concept of Forge, and all M:tG enforcement engines, even if I only played Forge once. I like the fact that you could play Magic using whatever cards you want, if for no other reason than to find out what cards you really want to make your deck out of.
Shame on Wizards for sending the notice, because it might be honestly actually helping them to have these programs for the hardcores. (They know what they want from playing Forge, they buy physical product until they get it.) I prefer Nintendo's approach to the clone game Zelda Classic: they allow it to exist because it's non-profit. But it's still Nintendo's right to kill ZC if they wanted, just as it's WotC's right to kill Forge.
I'd hate to see Forge go, if Wizards and mtgrares can't reach an agreement. But short of being declared Fair Use by a judge (and considering how much of M:tG is used and how it's used, I wouldn't count on it), Forge is on the green mile, and only a reprieve from Wizards themselves can stop the execution.

Anyway, I'm not sure about the interest in Forge that mtgrares personally has anymore, anyway. (I'm sure the Forge dev team wants to keep working on it, though.) He's expressed interest in ditching Forge 1 in favor of a Forge 2 (still M:tG, but a completely new codebase), and he has wanted to create a unique TCG, in addition to the prospect given above of doing an obscure card game. It's not too absurd to think that along with the sadness of the DMCA notice comes the excitement of moving on to something new, even if the thought may be an incorrect one.

I have a few other thoughts, but I think I'll try to give them directly to mtgrares.

Sorry about the long rant, but I had a lot to say.

ripper234 said...

What's the meaning of a DMCA against an open source project? You can't ban someone from writing code and making it public, you can only ban him from selling it.

See also the Streisand effect.

Formedras said...

Ripper, there is a reason to worry about the DMCA notice. If it's utterly ignored, mtgrares has the potential to be sued and criminally prosecuted for copyright and trademark infringement. Even non-profit infringement is illegal in the USA.

Anonymous said...

This is just tragic. I think Forge is fantastic and I play it often. But WOTC would be mistaken to think it's replaced my cardboard-based play or my Magic Online play. That's because these are both games that require a human-brained opponent, and Forge covers a totally different area of playing against a computer AI. It is, in my thinking, like comparing apples and oranges.

Anonymous said...

So what do you guys do now? Is this the end of Forge?

Void said...

As you're no longer an active developer you should consider just handing the project to someone outside USA.

Anonymous said...

Forge is great free programm to me and many mtg players.
I win tournaments with decks tested in it. I even cant imagine this without your great job. Try new way if wizards banned you.
good luck from Ukraine