(Topic ID: 109989)

pinball mfgs stealing all the modders hard work?


By toyotaboy

5 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 49 posts
  • 28 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by calvin12
  • No one calls this topic a favorite

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    Topic poll

    “What say you? Is it stealing?”

    • It's a free market, every pinball idea gets stolen eventually 50 votes
      41%
    • At least give credit where credit is due 7 votes
      6%
    • It's not really stealing because someone else probably did it first 5 votes
      4%
    • Who cares 61 votes
      50%

    (123 votes by 0 Pinsiders)

    -2
    #1 5 years ago

    Ok so it was only a matter of time before Stern starting seeing how much more money they could pluck from the pinball pie by offering custom toppers and sideblade art stickers to go along with their machines. Won't be long before they copy colordmd, or dutch pinball and start doing dot matrix dots on LCD's. Now Jersey jack has effectively stolen mezelmod's idea by putting an LCD inside the book on hobbit (yes I know oz had the LCD inside the crystal ball).

    Should pinball manufacturers be ashamed for stealing innovation rather than creating it?

    #2 5 years ago

    They are not stealing it. For all you know they have had lcd dot matrix developed for a while. Why is it not the modders who are stealing from the manufacturers, they are modifying the manufacturers machines and profiting from them. Toppers were done long before moddders started doing them and art work inside the cab is not some technological invention that you steal. They create the artwork and they offer it for sale, just like the moddders out there.

    #3 5 years ago

    Moddders also continue to rip off not only the manufacturer but also the licensor of whatever pinball title it is by designing items with out paying for or gaining consent of the parties who already did pay for that priveledge.

    #4 5 years ago

    It's not the first time manufacturers offered toppers.

    Honestly, I'm not that concerned. Modders can still make stuff for older games, and alternate mods for existing games.

    Just because the manufacturer puts out a couple options, doesn't necessarily mean they would be better than what's coming out of the modding community.

    #5 5 years ago
    Quoted from inhomearcades:

    Moddders also continue to rip off not only the manufacturer but also the licensor of whatever pinball title it is by designing items with out paying for or gaining consent of the parties who already did pay for that priveledge.

    Mods would only have to be licensed under certain specific conditions, such as the use of existing artwork. Otherwise, modders are free to offer whatever they want and don't have to seek consent.

    That would be like having to go to the manufacturer of a bicycle and asking them if you could sell an attachment with blinky lights that fits on their bicycle.

    #6 5 years ago

    Going to be really hard to beat the manufacturer to this game. Looks like they no longer leave that money on the table. Sucks for modders though. :/

    I voted fair market..

    #7 5 years ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    Mods would only have to be licensed under certain specific conditions, such as the use of existing artwork. Otherwise, modders are free to offer whatever they want and don't have to seek consent.
    That would be like having to go to the manufacturer of a bicycle and asking them if you could sell an attachment with blinky lights that fits on their bicycle.

    I'm referring to the majority of mods out there that use band or theme names, similar art ect.

    #8 5 years ago

    Looks like there are two sides here. One it seems is debating for the use of mods, and as I interpret their claim, things like led mods, changing boards to be more reliable, adding floor lighting or invisiglass. There wouldn't be any harm in doing this to a personally owned machine or for resale. These are not generally mods that are going to use any specific licensed characters, art, or likenesses.
    The other side is debating something like this: Stan.Lee owns spiderman. Pinsider one draws a unique piece of art with a picture of spiderman. He manufactures these and sells them to other pinsiders for profit. Stan Lee sees zero dollars as a result. Problem. You're both right. Another group debates stern is at fault for stealing the idea that "ideas are possible for our machines and is in a much better financial and logistical position to make them. And hey, we are capitalists (for the most part. Don't really know everyone here) so why wouldn't the person best suited for a task make the money for doing it. But pretty soon the same people who claim the manufacturers are stealing will shell out for the factory le modded edition to the tune of 8-10 grand extra a pin because it's "pure"

    #9 5 years ago
    Quoted from toyotaboy:

    Ok so it was only a matter of time before Stern starting seeing how much more money they could pluck from the pinball pie by offering custom toppers and sideblade art stickers to go along with their machines. Won't be long before they copy colordmd, or dutch pinball and start doing dot matrix dots on LCD's. Now Jersey jack has effectively stolen mezelmod's idea by putting an LCD inside the book on hobbit (yes I know oz had the LCD inside the crystal ball).
    Should pinball manufacturers be ashamed for stealing innovation rather than creating it?

    Don't forget modders who steal ideas from other modders....those are probably the worst.

    #10 5 years ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    It's not the first time manufacturers offered toppers.
    Honestly, I'm not that concerned. Modders can still make stuff for older games, and alternate mods for existing games.
    Just because the manufacturer puts out a couple options, doesn't necessarily mean they would be better than what's coming out of the modding community.

    If it's an ip then it doesnt matter how different your art is btw. Not saying that large companies will go after you, which provides people with the above view but if you made a LOT of money as a business selling Tron art, you bet Disney would be in their right to sue you.

    Heck, even though the entire internet uses stills of films and such that's still technically stealing.

    #11 5 years ago
    Quoted from toyotaboy:

    Now Jersey jack has effectively stolen mezelmod's idea by putting an LCD inside the book on hobbit (yes I know oz had the LCD inside the crystal ball).

    Do you really think mezelmod came up with the idea for that display out of the blue? That they never saw the LED display inside the TV on TSPP? Or the numerous LCD's added to TZ's over the years? I don't.

    Quoted from toyotaboy:

    Should pinball manufacturers be ashamed for stealing innovation rather than creating it?

    No, but some modders should be ashamed of only taking from the hobby and not giving anything back. Mods don't add new people to the hobby, just money to the pockets of those who make them. At least Stern and JJP still sell a few games to operators. Ask yourself which one is better for the hobby overall.

    #12 5 years ago
    Quoted from toyotaboy:

    Now Jersey jack has effectively stolen mezelmod's idea by putting an LCD inside the book on hobbit

    From what I recall, that idea came from the pinball community shortly after game-play videos started surfacing. Everyone was disappointed, and as far as I'm concerned JJP listened to these complaints and corrected the issue. I have no problem whatsoever with JJP, or any other manufacturer, altering their game to satisfy the community.

    If anything, I think it's great that those who are buying TH don't have to spend extra money for something that was expected to be there. Plus, now they can use that money to support other mods which will most certainly be on the market!

    15
    #13 5 years ago
    Quoted from toyotaboy:

    Now Jersey jack has effectively stolen mezelmod's idea by putting an LCD inside the book on hobbit

    puhhhhleeeeeeeeze

    -1
    #14 5 years ago
    Quoted from inhomearcades:

    Moddders also continue to rip off not only the manufacturer but also the licensor of whatever pinball title it is by designing items with out paying for or gaining consent of the parties who already did pay for that priveledge.

    Stupid, who t f*ck cares.

    #15 5 years ago

    if you create a truly original mod you can at least try to self copyright it, may help.
    full descriptions and photo's sent registered mail to yourself, leaving it sealed, gets an official-ese date stamp on whatever it may be. if you have issue later, submit it as evidence or as part of proof.

    #16 5 years ago

    I see nothing proprietary or innovative about creating a topper or sideblade art... Modders wouldn't have any product to sell without the manufacturer, so if you want to be in the business of supplementing an industry you're going to have to find margins from the remaining scraps...

    2 weeks later
    #17 4 years ago
    Quoted from markmon:

    Stupid, who t f*ck cares.

    so let me get this straight. The modders who don't pay for the rights to the licensing should be able to get upset at manufacturers who stop them from making the mods but the manufacturer who actually pays for the rights of the license shouldn't be allowed to get upset? If you feel that way then move to China where everything is ripped off with out licensing.

    #18 4 years ago
    Quoted from toyotaboy:

    Now Jersey jack has effectively stolen mezelmod's idea by putting an LCD inside the book on hobbit (yes I know oz had the LCD inside the crystal ball).
    Should pinball manufacturers be ashamed for stealing innovation rather than creating it?

    The LCD displays are not mine, they are made by Sparky.

    #19 4 years ago

    If there's actual "stealing" going on, the modder should file a C&D or a lawsuit. But whenever you sell a product without a patent, your ideas become public domain. That's the way of the world.

    #20 4 years ago

    Sorry but the idea to put an LCD in something is not something you can patent, unless you are talking about a specific mod/art/toy etc.

    I highly doubt that any modders out there pay licensing or have patents. Other than what Rick has now decided to start charging.

    #21 4 years ago
    Quoted from inhomearcades:

    Sorry but the idea to put an LCD in something is not something you can patent, unless you are talking about a specific mod/art/toy etc.
    I highly doubt that any modders out there pay licensing or have patents. Other than what Rick has now decided to start charging.

    As I recall in my patent searching, Williams did actually patent the idea of putting an LCD in the backglass quite a while back. However, from what I remember, the patent stipulated some wording to the effect to "the majority of the backglass" meaning, almost the entire backglass would be LCD screen, not just a portion of it.

    #22 4 years ago

    If you bring up manf.'s "stealing" mods, imo you'd need to talk about modders stealing other modders mods. This isn't some closed market. It isn't stealing unless it is patented and all protected up. Open market, hopefully brings competition and decent pricing. If you've seen Stern's prices... I think you'd be okay with them being in the market of mods....Everyone can find a place.

    #23 4 years ago

    How many modders even have business licenses? How many report their modding incomes to the IRS? If it's over $500/yr, it has to be reported, quarterly no less, since it's a business.

    I know there are a few legitimate companies that legally make and sell mods, but there are scores of others who are tinkerers that sell them on the side. These are the guys who have no recourse and no room to complain for when a manufacturer starts making their same exact mods(only better) and selling them.

    Nevermind the fact that the manufacturer has the option to do the due diligence and get that mod licensed and patented just to shut those modders out. To them, it's nothing. They've got the in-house/on-retainer lawyers already on the payroll. Easy peasy, competition over.

    The way to do it is like some of the shooter rods that are out there. Make them general enough artistically that while it can be stylistically associated with a particular game, it can't be inferred that the design came directly from the game. Think "accents" not "duplication" and you should be safe.

    #24 4 years ago
    Quoted from Miguel351:

    How many modders even have business licenses? How many report their modding incomes to the IRS?

    I know I do. Being audited isn't my idea of a good time, my books are clean and I pay my taxes.

    #25 4 years ago
    Quoted from phishrace:

    Mods don't add new people to the hobby, just money to the pockets of those who make them.

    Where did you come up with this fallacy? Most mods make games more enjoyable to own, sure, but there are mods that make purchasing the entire game worth while such as Eli's Tron ramp lighting kit, or beatmaster's interactive vengeance mod.

    I'm grateful the modders spend the time to make their custom mods available to others... it's arguably more work to design your own custom mod so that others can use it than it is to do the mod in the first place... just ask them! Besides, many of the modders provide their stuff at not much more than cost, Herg's LED OCD is a good example of that.. a substantial amount of of engineering work goes into something like that, and his mod probably still outperforms whatever Stern, JJP, or PPS have tried to emulate.

    #26 4 years ago

    Modders use manufacturers' games as fodder for their ideas. Bring the two togther, as in "hello modder, hello fodder" and you'll find yourself in Camp Granada.

    #27 4 years ago
    Quoted from Baiter:

    Where did you come up with this fallacy?

    Same place he pulls all his other cranky ideas about darn kids not playing pinball on location and diluting his precious. Just compliment the onion on his belt and don't make eye contact is my advice.

    I'll also say that toppers, side art, shooter rods, basically anything Stern is offering have been commercial mainstays since before Pinside existed, let alone the modding community. They're hardly "stealing" anything. Furthermore it's highly unlikely they're going to go back and offer anything from their back catalog, so we're talking brand new games only.

    If you're doing pinball mods as a full time business and trying to chase only the newest stuff then yeah, they're competition. They have the licenses and aren't as likely to look the other way as in the past. So it's strong competition. Just means you either have to be better and smarter and faster and cheaper (or some combination thereof) or instead focus on the decades of awesome existing games that people love.

    I don't really see it as an issue myself. I will say as someone who dances around the grey areas of things (I do original art, but my projects are too small time to be able to be licensed) I wouldn't personally try and compete with Stern. Just seems like asking for more trouble than it's worth. But this isn't a job for me, I do it because I enjoy it, and it makes people happy, and the money I make from it just goes back into pinball. So Terry or Stern or the guy trying to sell his Fathom (hey, who's doing that? Let me know!) end up with any profits in the end.

    #28 4 years ago

    Stern's only offering what they should have offered as options for their machines when the shipped. I feel sorry for them if they steal my designs.

    #29 4 years ago

    Wow -how to reply without blowing my lid...

    Stern kept pinball alive through the "dark ages". In my view, they are entitled to every friggin penny that they can suck from the market.

    And no Zitt, all the extra mods should not be offered with every pin. You want it all without paying a dime.
    What's nice is that we have an option. Instead of charging an extra $1500-$2000 for each TWDLE, it's at the current price and buyers have the option of buying the add-ons, or leaving them off.

    Have full or half empty I guess.

    When you run a pinball company, you can decide what's stock and what's an add-on. Until then, the buyers will decide with their wallets whether or not we agree.

    -1
    #30 4 years ago
    Quoted from Baiter:

    Where did you come up with this fallacy? Most mods make games more enjoyable to own, sure, but there are mods that make purchasing the entire game worth while such as Eli's Tron ramp lighting kit, or beatmaster's interactive vengeance mod.

    How do they add new people to the hobby? Are you suggesting that there are new folks coming into the hobby buying games only because specific mods are available? That they wouldn't have started collecting games unless those mods were available? Look at what you quoted above and tell me how mods are adding new people to the hobby.

    Quoted from Aurich:

    Same place he pulls all his other cranky ideas about darn kids not playing pinball on location and diluting his precious. Just compliment the onion on his belt and don't make eye contact is my advice.

    I contribute a hell of a lot more to the hobby than you ever will. I also recruit a hell of a lot more new people to the hobby than you or your mods ever will. I just don't post about everything I do in the hobby here like you do. If your mods (any mods) are attracting boat loads of new people into the hobby, I'd love to hear about it.

    #32 4 years ago
    Quoted from Chambahz:

    And no Zitt, all the extra mods should not be offered with every pin. You want it all without paying a dime.
    What's nice is that we have an option. Instead of charging an extra $1500-$2000 for each TWDLE, it's at the current price and buyers have the option of buying the add-ons, or leaving them off.

    Kinda what I was saying.
    IMHO; STLE did not justify the price difference between it and a Premium.
    Stern should have included a lot more for that price tag.

    If LE and Pro only trend is to be believed... them maybe it's a better situation.

    #33 4 years ago
    Quoted from Zitt:

    Kinda what I was saying.
    IMHO; STLE did not justify the price difference between it and a Premium.
    Stern should have included a lot more for that price tag.

    Steve Ritchie publicly stated that a diverter and kicker at the top of the VUK he planned for wasn't able to make it into the premiums and LE's due to engineering issues. It was supposed to kick the ball onto the warp ramp, or back to the flipper if I remember correctly. The plan was for them to have more. Shouldn't be held up as an example or trend. I haven't talked to Steve about this personally, but I don't suspect it was a cost cutting move. Purely an engineering issue, as he said.

    #34 4 years ago
    Quoted from phishrace:

    How do they add new people to the hobby? Are you suggesting that there are new folks coming into the hobby buying games only because specific mods are available? That they wouldn't have started collecting games unless those mods were available? Look at what you quoted above and tell me how mods are adding new people to the hobby.

    I contribute a hell of a lot more to the hobby than you ever will. I also recruit a hell of a lot more new people to the hobby than you or your mods ever will. I just don't post about everything I do in the hobby here like you do. If your mods (any mods) are attracting boat loads of new people into the hobby, I'd love to hear about it.

    Why do mods have to bring new people into the hobby? That's not a requirement of a mod.

    And..I have seen comment that location trons fitted with Eli ramp mods have increased earnings.

    #35 4 years ago
    Quoted from Zitt:

    Kinda what I was saying.
    IMHO; STLE did not justify the price difference between it and a Premium.
    Stern should have included a lot more for that price tag.
    If LE and Pro only trend is to be believed... them maybe it's a better situation.

    You may feel this way but there are plenty of le owners who feel differently. I wouldn't want st if it wasn't the le.

    #36 4 years ago
    Quoted from phishrace:

    How do they add new people to the hobby? Are you suggesting that there are new folks coming into the hobby buying games only because specific mods are available? That they wouldn't have started collecting games unless those mods were available? Look at what you quoted above and tell me how mods are adding new people to the hobby.

    Frankly I'm not sure why it matters if mods bring new people into the hobby. Buying a severely limited Jpop pre-order like MG/RAZA/AIW doesn't bring new people into the hobby either.

    Lets frame it in another context... operators know that a game with LEDs brings more quarters to their machines because the game looks nicer. In fact, most operators I know put Premiums or LEs on site because they attract more players than the Pro. Stern sold more Metallicas simply because of the custom art. Tron LEs are much more highly sought after than the Pro simply because of the ramp lighting. You can call all the differences I mentioned as "mods".

    #37 4 years ago
    Quoted from phishrace:

    tell me how mods are adding new people to the hobby

    Just because you think that adding new people to the hobby is the most important measurement of whether a pinball-related activity is worthwhile or not, doesn't mean that everyone should. Not everybody has the same passions or priorities as you, and that's fine. That's how some people are artists and some people are social workers.

    I can understand distaste for half-assed mods that are obvious cash-ins. But all it takes is for one person to buy it, and be happy with it, for it to be considered worthwhile. The argument, then, isn't about whether mods are objectively bad for the hobby, they're about how you feel about them.

    -2
    #38 4 years ago
    Quoted from accidental:

    Just because you think that adding new people to the hobby is the most important measurement of whether a pinball-related activity is worthwhile or not, doesn't mean that everyone should. Not everybody has the same passions or priorities as you, and that's fine. That's how some people are artists and some people are social workers.
    I can understand distaste for half-assed mods that are obvious cash-ins. But all it takes is for one person to buy it, and be happy with it, for it to be considered worthwhile. The argument, then, isn't about whether mods are objectively bad for the hobby, they're about how you feel about them.

    I was replying to the original poster, who said Stern and JJP are stealing from modders. Which is ridiculous on a number of levels. Since he took a shot at JJP and Stern, I took a shot at modders. I wasn't suggesting people stop buying mods. That ain't happening. My point was to encourage folks to buy mods from Stern or JJP rather than the modders as those two companies help grow the hobby. Do you want our hobby to continue to grow? I sure do.

    #39 4 years ago

    Yeah, screw the little guys and your community, support big business!!

    #40 4 years ago
    Quoted from Aurich:

    Yeah, screw the little guys and your community, support big business!!

    I operate a few games (little guy) and play on location regularly. I support my local community just fine.

    #41 4 years ago
    Quoted from Aurich:

    Yeah, screw the little guys and your community, support big business!!

    Stern is "big business"? Are they "the man" too?

    #42 4 years ago
    Quoted from swampfire:

    Stern is "big business"? Are they "the man" too?

    Stern is great. But they're not going to make or break on the backs of mods. They should focus on making better games.

    #43 4 years ago

    But some mods are so good they make people buy the underlying machine.

    #44 4 years ago

    What I have seen is a lot of the early mods were just toys made by Chinese manufacturers for kids meal toys, like the piano mod for TZ. Then they bought more elaborate toys and resold them, usually adding an LED or two.

    Then the Hallmark ornaments got popular and actually looked good on STNG.

    Then some got really stupid and started trying to offer everything they could find at "Toy's or Us" as a mod and re-sell at 10x the price. I went to a "toys or Us" and asked about a few Spiderman figures and was told a local pinball guy bought them all out to make "add ons" to sell. Ahh free enterprise!

    The one that really got me was the single arm that was offered out for TAF to mount on one of the plastics as "thing". Just MHO that one is bad.

    So it seems if you are just buying a pre-made "toy", altering it, and re-selling it, you are not breaking any copyrights. You bought it. But if you started making the original part and re-selling then I think there is an issue.

    #45 4 years ago
    Quoted from TimeBandit:

    But some mods are so good they make people buy the underlying machine.

    I find it hard to believe anyone saw a $200 mod then said, damn now I gotta get a $5000 pin.

    #46 4 years ago
    Quoted from calvin12:

    I find it hard to believe anyone saw a $200 mod then said, damn now I gotta get a $5000 pin.

    I've lost track of how many people told me they bought The Shadow after seeing my translite. Of course it's still probably less than 10.

    Whatever, this whole "omg who does more for pinball" thing is a joke, I'm not going to engage in it. No one here owes anyone else anything. If I choose to have some fun making art and people choose to buy it then great. I do it because I want to, not because I feel obligated.

    All I know is I enjoy it, and people are happy I do it and tell me so, and I enjoy that part too. It feels good to make people happy. If Stern makes something cool and you want it then buy it. I don't really begrudge them anything. It's just that their games could use a little more baking sometimes, and you wonder, could the prison on TWD have maybe been a little better if resources weren't sidelined into making a topper? Maybe that's unfair, but it's worth considering.

    If they want a piece of the pie they have as much right as anyone to play the free market though.

    #47 4 years ago
    Quoted from Aurich:

    I've lost track of how many people told me they bought The Shadow after seeing my translite. Of course it's still probably less than 10

    In the shower, I can count to 11.

    #48 4 years ago
    Quoted from calvin12:

    I find it hard to believe anyone saw a $200 mod then said, damn now I gotta get a $5000 pin.

    I won't lie, the arcade mod for Tron almost did that for me.

    #49 4 years ago
    Quoted from The_Gorilla:

    In the shower, I can count to 11.

    thats all? I can do 21.

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