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RE: Chain Sudoku - 8/14/2009 7:05:23 AM   
sharonella

 

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hmmmmmm.... check this out...

http://gottasolveit.blogspot.com/2009/08/strimko-chain-sudoku.html

you know, if the Grabarchuk family really had a legal leg to stand on, I would think they would just have their lawyer call Conceptis lawyer & be done with it, instead of posting on blogs & creating a public smear campaign against Conceptis.

(in reply to sharonella)
Post #: 21
RE: Chain Sudoku - 8/14/2009 7:30:55 AM   
jhitchin

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: sharonella

hmmmmmm.... check this out...

http://gottasolveit.blogspot.com/2009/08/strimko-chain-sudoku.html

you know, if the Grabarchuk family really had a legal leg to stand on, I would think they would just have their lawyer call Conceptis lawyer & be done with it, instead of posting on blogs & creating a public smear campaign against Conceptis.

That was my thought, too. They even responded to me on Twitter in such a way that I blocked them. If anything, this is starting to smack of paranoia and borderline personality disorder.

Jeff

(in reply to sharonella)
Post #: 22
RE: Chain Sudoku - 8/14/2009 6:43:55 PM   
poudre_de_canelle

 

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+++ Très bon jeu, j'en voudrais plus . Merci aux concepteurs

(in reply to gilg)
Post #: 23
RE: Chain Sudoku - 8/14/2009 7:16:52 PM   
shamrock79

 

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There is nothing new in the sudoku world, that's true. Strimko is nothing original in the first place. As soon as I learnt about Strimko I remembered the 2006/2007 issue of "BBC Mind Games" magazine. I don't remember the exact name if the sudoku variant it contained, it was a kind of toroidal sudoku where the 9-cell areas were not only irregular but also could be disconnected. Each area had a different colour. The numbers could not be repeated in any row, column and in any area of the same colour. There was for instance one red cell in the upper left corner, five red cells in the middle of the grid, two red ones on the lower right corner and one in the upper right, all disconnected. This is exactly what Strimko and Chain Sudoku is, the only difference is that the latter ones use circles instead of a classic sudoku grid and threads connecting circles that in the toroidal sudoku I am talking about were simply cells of the same colour.

(in reply to dave)
Post #: 24
RE: Chain Sudoku - 8/14/2009 7:44:20 PM   
JSmith

 

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Someone at Strimko pondered the sudoku puzzle concept and created a variation that no one had seen before.  The purpose of copyright law is to make sure that that person gets credit for his creation.  The Conceptis people can debate the interpretation of the law all they want, but the bottom line is that this is someone else's property.  The lawyers will have to get together and hammer out some kind of agreement.  If Conceptis starts publishing these puzzles on the site without a legal agreement in place, they could be looking at a lawsuit.  The fact that Strimko is not answering e-mails does not automatically constitute an agreement.

As users of this site, we each have an obligation to do what is right.  For some of you, this discussion is "ludicrous" and you don't care where the puzzles come from - and that's your decision.  I personally feel that this is the same as stealing music on the Internet or plagiarizing books.  It bothers me that Fill-a-Pix is the only puzzle on this entire site that is a Conceptis original, yet most of the others are advertised as originals (or the fact that they are not is simply ignored).

- Jeff

(in reply to sharonella)
Post #: 25
RE: Chain Sudoku - 8/15/2009 11:58:26 AM   
methinkso

 

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@JSmith: but as other people have noted, this is not a brand new, never-before-seen sudoku variant. It's been in publications in the past, as shamrock79 and others have said. And that's ignoring the fact that chain sudoku is a natural evolution of Conceptis' irregular sudoku variant. The first thing I thought when I saw chain soduku was, "Oh, so it's irregular sudoku except with diagonals."

I also think it's rather unprofessional for the maker of strimko to come here in an attempt to defame conceptis in its own community. If he feels that dave is committing a crime by publishing these types of puzzles, he should speak with dave privately and if, for whatever reason, that doesn't resolve the issue to his liking, then he should consult a lawyer. Coming to this site and these forums for no reason other than to publicly accuse dave of stealing while simultaneously advertising his own site is unprofessional and immature.

(in reply to JSmith)
Post #: 26
RE: Chain Sudoku - 8/15/2009 4:14:54 PM   
JSmith

 

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Shamrock79 was not talking about Strimko - the reference was to a Sudoku variant in BBC Mind Games magazine. If the publishers at BBC Mind Games had chosen to copyright their sudoku variant, then they could have done so. By doing this, they might have made some money on it and been able to keep their magazine from ceasing publication. But they chose not to. The first Strimko puzzles to be published were done so with the Strimko name.

I agree that Strimko is just another variant of sudoku - they're all the same. The only difference between a BBC Mind Games invention and the Strimko invention is that someone decided to patent the latter.

Since you live in the US, maybe you've heard about a recent news item in the publishing world. In 1951, J.D. Salinger wrote a famous book called Catcher in the Rye. In 2009, Fredrik Colton tried to publish a sequel to Catcher in the Rye. He changed the name of the character, made him older, modified the story arc and made other changes to update the story - yet a federal Judge banned the book as copyright infringement. Whether we agree with this position or not is not the issue here; if the American publisher of this book had chosen to release this book to market before the Judge had ruled on it, they would have accrued stiff penalties. Conceptis is in the same situation - whether the law makes sense is not the issue; publishing these puzzles on the site before a legal ruling is illogical and potentially dangerous.

(in reply to methinkso)
Post #: 27
RE: Chain Sudoku - 8/15/2009 7:24:54 PM   
Mikemenn

 

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I beg to differ.

There ARE new types of puzzles all of the time. Many times there are similarities between existing puzzles ... just as there are often similarities between new and existing inventions.

Strimko seems to have "invented" this type of puzzle first and under copyright law, may lay claim to it. Merely because the software on Conceptis treats the solving of the puzzle differently does not give them the right to infringe on copyright law. (Personally, they each have some nice software features I'd like to see incorporated into both.)

The ease of the internet surely makes puzzles such as these (as do pictures, music, ideas, etc.) easy to copy and distribute. Saying things like, "I don't care who created, I just love playing it" does not get the heart of ownership and rights due to the creator.

Just as you can't take someone else's music and call it your own, some else's photograph and call it your own, nor someone else's idea and call it your own, you surely can't call someone else's puzzle idea your own even if you thought it up independently. It's the basis of copyright law and is what keeps lawyers employed.

Conceptis seems to have created the Chain-Soduko after Strimko and if so, are in violation of the law. Everyone of Strimko's puzzles have the copyright symbol.

More power to Strimko if they can get some recompense out of Conceptis!

Mikemenn

(in reply to sharonella)
Post #: 28
RE: Chain Sudoku - 8/17/2009 12:00:55 AM   
DDG29

 

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At the risk of walking into the middle of a shooting war, there is an important distinction missed in the dialogue so far concerning the difference between copyright protection and patent protection. Copyright protection will cover you for a specific instance of a puzzle but in no way protects against someone reverse engineering your concept and creating their own instances, as long as the instances are not identical to yours.

To protect the idea, you need to apply for a patent. However, one of the key tests of patent law is "novelty"--you would have to make the case that your puzzle is in some way fundamentally different from all previous puzzles (known as "prior art"). If you apply for a patent and it is judged to be novel, then you have legal protection against a wide range of knock-offs and variations, unless they can also demonstrate novelty. For practically all Sudoku variations, it's unlikely you could get a patent because of this novelty test--Sudoku variants have the same basic structure and follow very similar solving rules.

That's the legal distinction. How you come down on the "moral" aspect of this particular instance is really the heart of the matter...

(in reply to Mikemenn)
Post #: 29
RE: Chain Sudoku - 8/17/2009 6:44:13 PM   
JSmith

 

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I always try not to shoot the messenger :)

I appreciate your clarification very much!  So the odds of Strimko having a patent are very slim.  That leaves them just with the copyright.  If they really want to prevent someone from stealing their work, they need to get a copyright on every possible combination of numbers and linkages that will fit in their grids.

(in reply to DDG29)
Post #: 30
RE: Chain Sudoku - 8/17/2009 11:09:18 PM   
serhiy-g

 

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Dave said (in Post #18): "Whenever Grabarchuk gives us this authorization we will indeed be happy to officially acknowledge him as a father of the concept." Well, the fact that Conceptis finally and publicly recognized Strimko as The Grabarchuks' invention could be a good sign that Conceptis wants to resolve the issue. But it is just a first step, and there must be more steps on Conceptis' side aimed to finding the base of restarting any negotiations, and, even more important, to restore the soul of trustworthy partneship. If that first step is alone, then Conceptis' just wants us to authorize post factum their inadmissible step with their unauthorized launch of Strimko dressed as Chain Sudoku. And so this way Conceptis simply wants to shift the responsibility for their actions from them to someone else.

I must remind of the fact that it was Conceptis, but not we, who wanted to use our Strimko puzzle in their business. Before their first message, we had no such plans. And that was their task to find out the way how to reach their goal so that to satisfy both parties. Unfortunately, they, as a puzzle company, simply failed to conduct any resultant negotiations with us despite the fact that we clearly stated from the beginning that, "...we are interested and open to collaboration with them, and ready to negotiate flexibly all possible terms and conditions."

Best,
Serhiy Grabarchuk

(in reply to dave)
Post #: 31
RE: Chain Sudoku - 8/17/2009 11:22:51 PM   
serhiy-g

 

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In addition to my previous comments, there are the most important stages of the Strimko history in brief. We hope this will help you in finding answers to some of your questions in the unprecedented case of Strimko puzzle which is unauthorizedly used by Conceptis.

***********************************

November 25, 2008
Strimko launches at Strimko.com and Puzzles.COM.

November, 2008--Present
Strimko is presenting at Mathpuzzle.com and launches at Smart-Kit, PuzzlersParadise and Archimedes' Labs, and joins Twitter. Many articles about Strimko apear on the Web.

May 30--June 5, 2009
****** This paragraph has been removed by the Forum Administrator due to inaccuracies. ******

June--July, 2009
Strimko launches at BrainBashers, and GAMES® Magazine publishes Strimko in the September issue.

August 5-10, 2009
Conceptis posts at their website a new Sudoku version showing its alias names--their (Chain Sudoku) and original (Strimko); see this captured Google's snapshot; ~700Kb. A few days later Conceptis removes Strimko name from their page. Conceptis pre-launches and launches Chain Sudoku.

August 10, 2009
Strimko authors start a wide campaign to disclose the fact that Conceptis unauthorizedly uses Strimko puzzle.

August 14, 2009
Conceptis (Dave Green) publicly recognizes Strimko as The Grabarchuks' invention (read Post #18 on this Forum).

***********************************

Best,
Serhiy Grabarchuk

< Message edited by Admin -- 8/19/2009 4:08:09 AM >

(in reply to serhiy-g)
Post #: 32
RE: Chain Sudoku - 8/18/2009 6:34:05 AM   
sharonella

 

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in post #18, I agree that Dave has said he would "be be happy to officially acknowledge him [Grabarchuk] as a father of the concept."  That statement does NOT say that they publicly recognize Strimko as The Grabarchuks' invention
 
Maybe there is a misunderstanding of language here, and I will admit that English is pretty much my only language, except for a smattering of High School French and Spanish.
 
That being said - In English, at least, there is a world of difference between being "A" father of something and "THE" father of something.  Except in being the father of people, there CAN be more than one "father" who contributes to the inception or introduction of something - whether it be an idea or an invention. 
 
So being acknowledged as A father of something does not necessarily mean the same as being acknowledged as THE one and only father of something. 
 
And as I and other people have said here, the concept of Strimko or chain sudoku or whatever you call it, is not only a logical progression of the irregular sudoku which has been on Conceptis for quite a while now, the idea of a sudoku with groups that were not conected side by side already existed in other magazines using colors to link the groups rather than lines.  So it's not really unique.
 
And if this is truly a legal issue it should be being discussed between the lawyers - not broadcast here in these forums or elsewhere all over the internet, in twitter or puzzling blogs. 
 
 

< Message edited by sharonella -- 8/18/2009 6:36:39 AM >

(in reply to serhiy-g)
Post #: 33
RE: Chain Sudoku - 8/18/2009 12:05:23 PM   
Scurra

 

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This is pretty much a lose-lose argument for everyone (compilers and solvers alike) - go and have a read of the early history of the Steam Engine to see how wrong things can sometimes go!

For me, it seemed fairly inevitable that something like Chain Sudoku (or Strimko or whatever) would appear on the Conceptis site at some point since it is fairly clear that they are merely a superset of Irregular Sudoku in that the extra areas are non-contiguous - the basic algorithm for generating them would appear to be pretty similar.  Whereas some other recent variants (e.g. the Octo or Sudoru) are perhaps not quite so straight-forward.   As an amateur designer, I have developed some Sudoku variants myself, and have rarely been surprised to find that the same idea has been done quite often before (and often in a much more interesting fashion.)

I would also be very surprised to learn that anyone had been granted (or will be granted) a patent on any Sudoku variant, since they are after all pretty much just derivatives of the Euler-Latin Squares. 

And any sympathy I may have had for the Grabarchuk case is really not being helped by what feels like a spam attack over quite a number of websites that I frequent.  Yes, you came up with a variant on Sudoku.  Well done.  But you`re not the first and you won`t be the last.  Make your puzzles more creative than the typical algorithmically-generated ones and people will choose you.  That`s the way to build your audience.

(in reply to sharonella)
Post #: 34
RE: Chain Sudoku - 8/21/2009 4:16:26 PM   
Claudia

 

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As Scurra says, chain sudoku is exactly the same (in logic terms) as irregular sudoku except in the case where lines cross. I love the idea of non-contiguous sudoku and hope to see it here some day in easy flash app form. :)

An individual puzzle (that is, an individual layout and solution) can be and is copyrighted. That's the unique stuff Conceptis charges publishers for. A puzzle type? Not so much. If you're unclear on this, look at the early history of crossword puzzles in the US and the UK.

(in reply to Scurra)
Post #: 35
RE: Chain Sudoku - 8/24/2009 9:35:40 PM   
decrier

 

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doesn't mater whethe ry ou people "feel" that the grabarchuk's are being too over the top in their response.. the way you feel or interpret copyright law doesn't make a lick of difference.. the way a judge interepets it does.. and as has proven time and again in copyright cases when someone contacts the original provider about using something.. doesn't get a yes/no and then goes and uses it anyway.. and that original provider had their material copyrighted.. then the person who sued it without permission is infringing on a copyright.

you all are defending conceptis cause you want more puzzles and as citizens of the internet you think it's perfectly excusable for conceptis to publish it because it hurts nobody and you get to play your puzzles.. but it does hurt people.. conceptis publishing chain sudoku hurts evry single indy game developer out there because it fosters the kind of attitude that the people on this forum and elsewhere have developed.. who cares who made it i just wanna play it!! yeaaah weeee woohoo..

it shows the kind of serious deformation in the idealogy of a civilized society that the us is leading the world in when you get people who cheer on the thief because the person who got stolen from had the audacity to try to make the public aware of it. but you wanna place blame place it on me.. i informed the graburchuk's of the infringement.. and i'm praying nightly that conceptis gets shut down in the end or loses their user base over it because it is not the first time they've stolen peoples ideas without credit.. and in the end if it is allowed to be gotten away with then it's just one more reason for an indy developer not to release something for fear of someone else taking it and them having no way of fighting back.

seriously... all that matters is that conceptis DID claim the creation of chain sudoku as their own.. they are liars and thieves and some of you people are actually defending them because "well anyone could've come up with it" .... so i guess i should come steal your car cause.. anyone could've owned it first even me.. or maybe i should write down your life stories and claim them as my own because anybody could have the same life story..

contrary to your fantasy world beliefs, life doesnt work that way.. when someone in the position of conceptis steals and gets caught people should not be defending them.. they should be demanding they apologize directly and remove the offending material unless given permission. anything short of that makes both conceptis and their defenders look like complete self serving scum hiding under the "oh but it's just a puzzle.. it doesnt hurt anyone.. just let us play it" mantra...

whether copyrights or patents or what not come into play or not what conceptis did was shitty and deserves apology to both graburchuks and their own users alike. and when the offender is actually admitting  they knew of strimko well before they released "their" version and claimed credit for creating it, that makes anyone who defends the action as scummy as the people who commited it..

(in reply to Claudia)
Post #: 36
RE: Chain Sudoku - 8/24/2009 10:05:22 PM   
lekahe

 

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decrier

1) There is no copyright on ideas. There is copyright on individual puzzles. The real work is to create a logically solvable puzzle
2) Conceptis never claimed it was their idea
3) How do you define "indy developer"?
4)
quote:

it shows the kind of serious deformation in the idealogy of a civilized society that the us is leading the world in when you get people who cheer on the thief because the person who got stolen from had the audacity to try to make the public aware of it.

this makes no sense...
5) read my blog post about this

Leena

(in reply to decrier)
Post #: 37
RE: Chain Sudoku - 8/25/2009 3:49:00 AM   
JSmith

 

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1) There is no copyright on ideas. There is copyright on individual puzzles. The real work is to create a logically solvable puzzle

The "real work" in this case is a computer program that creates the puzzles. The creative process is no longer the issue.

2) Conceptis never claimed it was their idea

Actually - they did. The original splash page where they introduced it has miraculously disappeared from the site, as well as the negative comments that were posted by puzzle reviewers last week.

3) How do you define "indy developer"?

An "indy developer" would be any "independent" person - i.e., someone not employed by a company that creates, produces or publishes puzzles - who creates puzzles.

4)
quote:

it shows the kind of serious deformation in the idealogy of a civilized society that the us is leading the world in when you get people who cheer on the thief because the person who got stolen from had the audacity to try to make the public aware of it.


Imagine that someone steals your car. You are understandably upset, so you report it to the police. The police then arrest YOU because you are being a nuisance to them and you should just go away.

(in reply to lekahe)
Post #: 38
RE: Chain Sudoku - 8/25/2009 4:39:39 AM   
sharonella

 

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to JSMITH regarding your #3
 
I assume you mean that Grabarchuk is "indy" but Conceptis is not?  Grabarchuk sells puzzles to magazines.  and puts them on ther website.  Conceptis does the same thing.  But Grabarchuk is "indy" and Conceptis is not?  Do you think Conceptis is some congloerate with hundreds of employees?? 
 
I go back to my original point - you and others are right that we should not be debating this here and it doesn't matter which of us are on whose side.  My point is, if Conceptis has broken the law and violated Grabarchuk's copyright, then Grabarchuk should be pursuing this legally thru their lawyers.  Not just complaining all over the internet. 
 
If they had a real LEGAL case, they wouldn't be resorting to "trying their case" in the "court" of public opinion.
 
Oh - and if my car is stolen I DO go to the police and report it - I don't just go running around, wringing my hands, telling friends and neighbors and anyone else who will listen, who I think stole it.  Which is what Grabarchuk is doing.

 
sharonella

< Message edited by sharonella -- 8/25/2009 4:42:40 AM >

(in reply to JSmith)
Post #: 39
RE: Chain Sudoku - 8/25/2009 5:58:35 AM   
lekahe

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: JSmith

2) Conceptis never claimed it was their idea

Actually - they did. The original splash page where they introduced it has miraculously disappeared from the site, as well as the negative comments that were posted by puzzle reviewers last week.


The page is right here and has been just pushed further with other articles. All past articles and news can be found in the info section.
NO comments have been removed. They are all here, go to the beginning of the thread and check.

Leena

(in reply to JSmith)
Post #: 40
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