Mar 19th 2012 7:09AM A couple weeks ago, WoW Insider asked for e-mails from Alliance players, asking them what Blizzard would have to deliver to serve as a satisfactory rebalancing of the scales following their long history of Horde favoritism. The Siege of Orgrimmar sounds like it will be very close to what I asked for.
I, for one, am looking forward to helping liberate the oppressed Horde rank and file from their fascist overlord. We're going to hop on our flying mounts, land in the warchief's compound at night, and kill Osama ... I mean Garrosh ... so that he can trouble them no more. Horde, you are welcome.
Mar 14th 2012 11:12AM I'm looking forward to hearing about the dance studio.
Mar 10th 2012 5:30PM Disgorgement is a term that amounts to "fork it over". When someone obtains money to which they were not legally entitled ("unjust enrichment"), one part of the eventual judgement could be to cough up their ill-gotten gains. This applies both in the criminal context (e.g. fraud) and the civil context (selling someone else's copyrighted work).
Quantum Meruit means simply "deserved amount". In situations where there is no contract specifying how much someone is to be paid for their work, the court may be asked to determine the going rate for work of that type and to set the damages accordingly.
Mar 10th 2012 5:15PM That's pretty ballsy to write potentially libelous comments about a person on a public forum, especially after you know she has retained a lawyer and is willing to litigate.
Mar 10th 2012 5:13PM I see no reason to get all butthurt about this. To borrow a line from The Godfather, you seem to be taking this very personally. This is strictly business.
The party with the responsibility to secure legal rights to any intellectual property or performance product is the one who desires to own those rights and who has the most to lose if they fail to do so. In this case, Blizzard. The former employee did not need to do anything because the moment she created a song (assuming for the moment that the facts back up the complaint), she owned it. You do not need to file anything to hold the copyright on a work you created. If Blizzard wanted these rights, they needed to take action. The lawsuit claims they did not do so.
John, you assume quite a few things as if they were factual. For example, that the former employee was recently laid off, that she declined to seek compensation for her creative work outside the scope of her job, and that she has filed a lawsuit against Blizzard as a means of retaliating against her former employer. Some of these assumptions may be true. It's also possible that any or all of them is false. For all we know, she may have asked for separate compensation for her murloc contributions and Blizzard may have refused (although that would be incredibly myopic if they did). She may have resigned her position at Blizzard as a consequence of their refusal long before these layoffs were announced. She may be seeking restitution via the legal process now because she is unemployed through no fault of her own and needs the money to care for her sick grandmother. It's risky to speculate beyond the few facts we actually have.
Here's another detail you might wish to consider. If, as you assume, she was recently laid off, Blizzard management selected her for the work force reduction with the full knowledge that there would be nothing to stop her from filing a lawsuit seeking damages for their use of her song and voice. If this is the case, then it's got to be one of the most boneheaded lapses in corporate judgement I've heard of in a while. If this happened at my company, I'd be looking to people in my HR and Legal departments for an explanation. Chances are this will end up costing far more than if they had simply handled it properly in the beginning.
Mar 8th 2012 10:19PM If indeed she did not assign copyright for her song and did not sign a performance contract for the use of her voice, then this was a terrible oversight on Blizzard's part. If the facts back up her claim, then I hope she receives just compensation, whether by settlement or judgement.
I know a lot of us are thinking of the standard assignment of inventions agreements we make when we begin jobs. It's not quite so clear cut when the creative work falls outside the scope of one's normal work assignments. I know a software engineer who designed the logo for his employer, whose legal department insisted on making separate payment to the employee and executing a contract specifically assigning rights for the logo to the company. Their objective was to avoid a situation just like this.
It gets even more complicated when we talk about use of an employee's image or voice in advertising or an entertainment product. Unless you're working as an actor or artist of some kind, chances are your employer did not ask you to sign a performance contract. This is a branch of law separate from copyrights and patents. Entertainment law is a specialized field, but commonplace in southern California, Blizzard's home base. It is inexcusable that they would not think to get their ducks in a row on this front, if in fact this is what has happened.
Don't be too quick to dismiss the former employee's claims as specious, nor to prejudge her as being greedy. If she has an actionable claim, and it sounds like she might, then she was always entitled to compensation and Blizzard has been enjoying the benefits of a free ride. It's probably not worth a lot in the grand scheme of things, but that just gives Blizzard more motivation to settle the case.
Feb 29th 2012 7:12PM That was one of the best WoW videos I've ever seen. I especially enjoyed the facetious suggestion that positivity is not funny. Wowcrendor, your skills are improving tremendously!
Feb 29th 2012 6:35PM I believe what emberdione is referring to is called the WARN act (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification), part of U.S. federal law administered by the Dept. of Labor. This generally applies to companies doing business in the U.S. and employing 100 or more. The act requires 60 calendar days advance notice of a mass layoff or site/branch/plant closing. The "mass layoff" is defined in detail in the text of the WARN act, but the basic triggering requirement is the elimination of 50 or more jobs within any 30-day period at a single location. I have no idea if the WARN act applies to this specific reduction in force, as this would depend on how many employees lost their jobs, where they worked, and what portion of the workforce at their respective work sites this number represents. However, I wish to point out that there is no general provision in U.S. or California law that requires 60 days notice or pay for all layoffs, only ones meeting certain criteria.
Feb 20th 2012 7:54PM I can't imagine trying to raid lead while also maintaining my best DPS performance as a rogue. With their quick GCD and rapid energy regeneration, it's a very fast-paced class to play, demanding close concentration. Positioning is crucial and highly dynamic, both to make full use of rogue abilities and to avoid taking unnecessary damage. It's worth noting that the rogue is the only class that spends virtually all of its time within melee range of the boss while wearing less than mail armor. The class is just not very well suited to someone simultaneously keeping the big picture that a good raid leader must maintain. I understand Shafted perfectly when (s)he talks about needing to switch to tanking to lead a raid instead of staying on the rogue. I'm not saying that it's impossible to do both, only that I can appreciate the difficulty. Anyone who can play a rogue well and lead a raid at the same time, my hat is off to you.