I really liked this email so I am sharing it with you guys. I am not disclosing the actual address or name of the person as he requested not to.
It has come to my attention that a web based Warhammer 40k army roster creation project has been contacted by your legal team with a cease and desist order. Link for the website in question: https://webapplications-webroster.rhcloud.com/rc/web/
While many other roster creation pages and programs exist, the one targeted with this order was by far the best and most streamlined. As a Tournament Organizer, having a simple and user friendly tool for my players to use for creating army lists is a huge boon, both for tournament use and casual play.
I can understand the move made from a legal point of view. I know what was classified as IP infringement and that issuing a cease and desist order is a method for stopping the infringement, A move that GW has been well known for using over the years.
But this is not the time nor the target for such things. Seeing as there is no army roster creation program or tool for their 40k line that is officially sanctioned by GW proper, this move smacks of an overbearing legal team in an era of “New Games Workshop” A friendly, community minded company that has turned a new leaf.
Considering the army roster tool allowed players to build their lists on the fly, customize and adjust with ease, thus making their experience with the new 8th edition rule-set that much easier, it’s abrupt removal is seen as a step back. While the creator did start a Patreon for his work and his work was shared via several of the click-bait style wargaming news sites, as well as directly shared/linked on your Warhammer 40k facebook page, such a swift move so soon into the new edition is baffling.
Unless GW proper has a tool that is by all accounts objectively better than the tool that was order to cease operation, this move will damage the positive PR that this new Games Workshop has tried to create. Word had circulated some time ago about such a thing existing, but seeing as nothing official has been said on the matter…
I am forced to recommend a simple solution for this issue. Either making the program endorsed by Games Workshop proper or having changes made so it can continue operation. There are various ways to do this, such as paying the developer a freelance rate for the hours of coding done, perhaps minus the funds he received via Patreon and then re-hosting the program yourselves, or simply asking the creator to cease accepting funds for his creation.
There are a great many options available to resolve this issue in a manner that helps both GW and the great many customers that purchase it’s products. It is baffling from a business standpoint why you would seek to make it harder for your customers to enjoy your products.
Protecting your IP is one thing, but shutting down this tool does more harm than good. It actively damages the end user experience for all those whom used it so they could focus on enjoying GW products. Work with your community, not against it.I would hope this information is passed up the line.