Showing posts sorted by relevance for query lakim. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query lakim. Sort by date Show all posts

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

More Mykal Lakim

So there is more going on in the saga of Mykal Lakim.  I am probably giving this guy more attention than he deserves to be honest.  I am also aware that by doing so I going to inevitably send someone to his site that sees his stuff and buys it.  If so then I just ask that you come back here to let me know what you honestly think of it.  If you hate, tell me why, if you love it, also tell me why.

Wil Hutton over at Aggregate Cognizance has also been following this drama and has a number of posts on it.

There is also this thread over at White Wolf talking about it.

The new claim (new to me) is that Lakim is now saying that White Wolf ripped him off.
No. Really.

Wil Hutton has also been doing some digging into his posts over at Wikipedia.
In particular all the pages he created for his own games and their near immediate deletion.  That's not the issue really, RPGs get deleted all the time from Wikipedia.  It's the drama he brings after the fact. (love the "P.S. White Wolf blows),_Inc.

And this rant on users' pages:, i love how all his "fans" will be boycotting Wikipedia.

Why bring all this up?
Well obviously this guy has some stones on him if he thinks he an stand up to White Wolf or that Wikipedia cares about his temper-tantrum.

I think the only reason that WW has not sued the guy is because he is too small for them to have noticed yet.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Why Plagiarism is a problem

So I wasn't going to go on (and on) about this, but I had a number things happen this morning that made me rethink it.  For starters I read this posting in my feed today about how plagiarism is a huge issue in the novel writing business.

Then there was an unrelated Facebook posting about reporting plagiarism and piracy when you see it (I am not at liberty to link that though).

And this one has been sitting in my drafts now for a bit.

Then to top it all off I got a renewal notice today at work that my subscription to Turnitin was updated.

One thing we should do though is talk about what plagiarism is and what it means to the gaming community.
Look, there is no why to gloss this over, plagiarism is theft. It is the theft of ideas, or expressions or words and it still theft even if you can't touch it or feel it. It is intellectually dishonest and frankly arrogant.  
Turnitin actually has a nice infographic on the various types of plagiarism and how prominent they are in academics (the data they have).

The types of abuse we see most often are of the CTRL-C and Mashup variety (and I can think of a few cases of the 404 Error type).

We have had our share in the RPG world of late. So for the Tracey Alley types she used something and then tried to pass it off as her own.  If you are smart you there two things going on here. There is the willful use of someone else's ideas AND the arrogant presumption that it was ok to do so because no one was watching.   Somewhere below that is the Mykal Lakim types that try to pass of someone else's work as their own and then stubbornly and arrogantly defends their rights to do so. Where you might argue that in the first case she "forgot" (which I don't buy) where the map and names came from, in the second there is art and text lifted right out of other peoples work.  The Jim Shipmans of the world might be the worse, taking the material from multitudes of others and passing it off not only as his own, but selling it as his own against the repeated requests of the IP owners.

Now bringing these to light is never a good thing really. It causes animosity and even ends up putting money in the pockets of the people selling stolen goods.  Hell I have to admit I have wanted to shell out the bucks for a copy of Lakim's Vampire book just to see how bad it really is.  But I am loathe to give him any money.

The accusations of being an "internet bully" also come up.  To that I say, what else do we have? Getting the word out is the only recourse a fan has. If the above linked authors (and more I know personally) are to be believed they are very appreciative of the negative attention thrown on the thief.   Plus I have purchased books from authors and game designers because their material had been stolen as a show of support.  I have this blog and a little bit of cash to throw at the problem.

But people around here will say, but what about the OSR? Haven't they based their entire existence on plagiarism of one level or another? Well I do believe in Intellectual Property (and Intellectual Capital) but I also believe in community.  The OSR as a whole is a community using a set rules release specifically for the purposes of sharing and publishing your own materials based on it. This isn't a contradiction. Now I do feel that some products out there are a little too close to the source material. I also feel we simply do not need another retroclone to play the exact same game we have been playing for years.  But I also know market realities.  I could have released my Witch book for example using a proprietary game system and my sales would have been about 5% of what they were.  The OGL does the heavy lifting it also brings in an audience.

Sometimes I feel this is often more Quixotic than some of my other crusades or activism. And I am atheist that grew up in the bible belt, so you would think I'd know a hopeless cause when I see one.

I don't know. What are your thoughts?
Do I have a point or should I just go back to my windmills?

Monday, March 25, 2013

TBBYANR: Aggregate Cognizance

You might recall some posts I have made about the horrible vampire game by Mykal Lakim.
Well a lot of what I know about it all I owe to Wil Hutton and his blog Aggregate Cognizance.

Well he is known for a lot more than being a constant thorn in Paul Cape's side. He has some cool stuff on his site too. So that makes Aggregate Cognizance today's Best Blog You are Not Reading.

Aggregate Cognizance
Obviously there is the whole Dark Phoenix Publishing/Mykal Lakim/Paul Cape drama to read and I would be lying if I said I didn't find it all fascinating.  HE also has quite a bit of FATE going on his site and he is quite the Tribe 8 fan as well.
I have to admit that his Search Alphabet Soup made me run to my own search keywords to see what people were using to get to me that was worthy of sharing.
The writing is clear and honestly I think with some time this could be one of those cool blogs to read that posts on a bunch of topics but has a central core.  When I pick up FATE again this summer I am going to make a bee-line to this blog and try somethings out.

So come for the FATE but stay for the vampire. Especially vampires.

If you are into Tribe 8 then he does have another blog dedicated to that, Dreams of Flesh and Spirit.
Tribe 8 was always one of those games I wanted to try, but never did.  Of course given my juvenile brain I always think of tribade and might not get out of one session without pissing off someone.

Anyway. Go over to his blog(s). It's good stuff.

This week I am running my irregular feature "The Best Blog You Are Not Reading" every day.  If you can instead of replying here, go to the blogs I am featuring and reply there.  I think the owners would like that.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Ugh...Here We Go Again.

Just when I was beginning to forget about Jim Shipman we get another one.

This time I am not going to post any of this guy's "art" since he is sending out DMCA notices to all sites doing this.  Effectively silencing all his critics.

Who is this guy?  Mykal Lakim of Dark Phoenix Publishing.
What is the charge?  Stealing art is the big one, but he is also accused of blatantly ripping of White Wolf's games.

First the art.
Steven Trustrum of Misfit Studios has been collecting all of these.
You can see all the art and the comparisons on his Plus page.
The amount is not Shipman staggering, but still very damning. Of course the balls this guy has claiming his stuff is original is just as staggering.

If it were only one person making this claim that's one thing.  But this is Matt McElroy and he is not prone to this sort of thing.  More to the point he is a professional and would not make claims like this lightly.
Also he is not the only one.

Secondly is the content of his books.
Matt McElroy also covers some of that in his link, but your best bet is read the forum threads.
A review,
Discussion on the review,
and finally a discussion on the books and art that got Lakim permabanned,!

Now keep in mind that I have seen dozens of D&D-clones in the last few years.  Some are built on the SRD others are rip offs.  This seems to be a different sort.

You be the judge and report back here if you see it or see it differently.

Edited to add:  I added Steve's link instead of Matt's.