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 News::Bethesda adds their games to list of "banned" documentation
That's right, it came up in direct communication between myself and the Bethesda Softworks Community Manager. Although I think it's a terrible disservice to the community and especially fans of their classic games, it's their right to go to absurd lengths to protect their intellectual property.

In the past Bethesda had contacted me to remove our Morrowind docs on threat of legal action. At the time, Morrowind was a new release, and I could understand their concern. However, they didn't mention anything about the docs we had at the time from the older Elder Scrolls games. So I was under the assumption that they were only concerned with their newest properties that were still being sold. Fair enough.

Lots of people have come here looking for Oblivion docs. I had never posted any because of the Morrowind experience. But I always wondered if they would "release" the Morrowind docs now that Oblivion is their newest title. That seemed to be a reasonable way to approach protecting their currently profitable property while still maintaining interest in their older products. It works for id software apparently, since they have released older versions of their Quake games and engines as free open source downloads. Even Bethesda did something similar when they released the first Elder Scrolls game, Arena, as freeware in 2004.

But apparently Bethesda falls into a different camp regarding manuals. After discussion with their Community Manager, they now want all of their docs removed. And by "all" I don't mean current, I mean everything they have ever produced.

So effective immediately, replacementdocs will no longer be posting ANY docs for ANY of Bethesda Softworks' games.

The worst part is the fact that Arena is freeware, and guess what? They want documentation for Arena removed as well. Does that make any sense at all?! I mean, come on! You're giving away the game for free, but you're "protecting" your rights on the manual? How do you expect people to play the game that you're supposedly giving away for free?

I have always said that I will promptly comply with any requests that copyright holders make, but I never said I would like it or do so quietly without speaking my mind.

This marks the first time that any game publisher has requested that we remove documentation for games that are no longer being sold. As I said, it is well within their rights to demand this as owners of the property. However, I don't think they realize how it amounts to a slap in the face to their fan community.

I think the only hope at this point is to spread the news about this as much as possible and get enough of people angry about it that Bethesda retracts their restriction, at least for the out-of-print games.
Read/Post Comment: 8bysleepyonTuesday 01 May 2007 - 08:59:58printer friendly


Comments: 6
Registered: 13 Apr 07 : 03:19
\01 May 07 : 11:05

i found Bethesda ridiculous at this point. maybe they consider their campaign setting worth a huge fortune


bulletElectric Fungus
Comments: 51
Registered: 31 Oct 05 : 22:23Location: peeking through the blinds
\01 May 07 : 22:00

Funny. They don't seem too offended by having all those scans of their boxes and CD labels on MobyGames. The disc labels in particular are of no legitimate use to anyone. People who sell pirated copies like them though.

When dealing with liberals, always attribute to malice what would ordinarily be attributed to incompetence.

At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child - miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless.

Comments: 1
Registered: 26 May 07 : 14:26
\26 May 07 : 14:36

Ouch... that hurts

Bethesda, why do you have to disappoint me like that?

En Taro Adun!
Image: http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y8/PrvtCaboose/Officiallygetacookiev2.jpg
I'm the official ruler of Cookies and all things that make no sense!

Comments: 2
Registered: 02 Aug 06 : 00:24
\31 May 07 : 11:00

VERY STRANGE...Bethesda, what a stupid Community Manager have you?!


Comments: 8
Registered: 28 Feb 07 : 20:27
\05 Jun 07 : 11:34

Wow, that guy should be fired asap. He's definitely not good for Bethesda's image.

Now everytime you need a Bethesda replacement manual, just contact them directly. Maybe 1000 requests for an Arena manual per month will wake them up.


Comments: 1
Registered: 06 Jun 07 : 07:46
\06 Jun 07 : 07:50

That's interesting...because I just joined this community looking for a manual for a Bethesda game.

Citizen Ken

Comments: 1
Registered: 07 Jun 07 : 05:21
\07 Jun 07 : 05:33

Perhaps the free Arena manual should be renamed to a blatant
-Arena walkthru'- and a copy sent, pronto, to that lousy guy.
oh my...


bulletDark Pilot
Comments: 5
Registered: 08 Oct 05 : 00:14
\09 Jun 07 : 10:18

I respect Bethesda for best 3d actions - Terminator-FS and SkyNET. But that decision is stupid.
Give me that manager!


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...: Alastair :...
17 Oct 16 : 00:59

Sashamaru, yes there is a limit though apparently it is higher for registered users than for those who are unregistered. There are several forum posts on the topic but none reveals what the limits are, or when they reset.
...: Alastair :...
17 Oct 16 : 00:55

Cicciolo, the means aren't there to hide posts. So I delete all but one so that Sleepy knows who to ban whenever he next logs on. Believe me, if I could ban the spammers I would.
...: Cicciolo :...
16 Oct 16 : 14:13

i would've preferred that they completely hid unapproved posts from public view...
...: Sashamaru :...
16 Oct 16 : 03:53

There's a download limit for registered users as well? Seriously? >__>
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13 Oct 16 : 18:41

More spam... *sigh*
...: Cicciolo :...
23 Jul 16 : 14:26

Better late than never. It only took 1-2 months, though :/
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spammers banned
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spammers...spammers everywhere...
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18 Jul 16 : 18:53

spammers again... i won't bother reporting them this time because apparently nobody but me really cares.
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29 May 16 : 21:41

PS2 manual for Midway Arcade Treasures 3

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