While the creators of the internet role-playing game (RPG) Tweeria describe their creation as a “lazy Twitter RPG,” its fans have been quite active as the game accumulated 14,000 registered users and garnered approximately 18,000 visits a day. However, the technology news and information website Ars Technica posted an interesting examination of Tweeria in December entitled, “A Twitter RPG so ‘lazy,’ it steals original artwork.”
The post explained that Tweeria includes all of the basic elements of a fantasy role-playing game (“warriors, player-versus-player battles, achievement points, and mastery of skills”), but “requires little to no interaction other than posting to your own Twitter feed and conversing with other users on the social network.” Every time users tweet, their “alter egos” in the game embark on quests, slay monsters or pick up items. While Ars wrote that “Tweeria is, for the most part, a fresh and dynamic way to interact with a social network,” it noted that “a majority of the art associated with the game appears to be lifted from other sources on the Internet.” Ars reported that some of the avatar artwork in the game “is directly derived” from other artists and other games, such as Blizzard’s World of Warcraft, the trading card game based on that online RPG and Deviant Art users.
Ars reported that many people commented about the game’s copyright infringement after the technology news website The Verge discussed the buzz surrounding the RPG. The game’s developers wrote in a blog post that Tweeria is a “small, private, non-commercial and mostly experiment project of twitter-based RPG… we did not expect the popularity that we experience now.” Tweeria designer Alex Shteinikov said in an email statement that he deleted “plenty pieces of unauthorized art and will continue to do so,” but noted that he received some permissions from authors and felt that users wanted to contribute their own works into the project. “It takes much time to check all the license limitations for each artwork,” Shteinikov wrote. “As the result and unfortunately for gamers, I’ve closed the option for artworks uploading and got massive delay in approval of small items.”
Los Angeles business litigation attorney Robert Klein has more than 25 years of experience with copyright claims, and we have additional information about intellectual property litigation available on our website. If you need help stopping the sale or reproduction of your own copyrighted materials, fill out the form on this page or contact our firm at (323) 653-3900 to have our Los Angeles copyright infringement attorney review your case.
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