Warning, there is going to be a bit of profanity on this one. I’m rather angry at the situation and think it warrants a few naughty words.
It amazes me the fucking gall some people have. I’ll never understand why people think they can get away with this shit.
Maybe I should start at the beginning…
It was a beautiful Veteran’s day. I was enjoying the day off; getting things done around the house when a text message pinged my phone. It was my buddy Jason Libby. When I picked my phone up I noticed that he had tried to call me. “Something must be amiss” I thought. Ok, so I fired up the iBlix and took a look to see a text with an image attached.
The image was from RPGNow and it was of a book called Fists of Fuzion. His message read “Did u sign off on this?”
It said Fists of Fuzion and it was for the Fuzion system but the cover was wrong. I didn’t really know what to think. I mean, someone wasn’t actually selling my book on-line to a small community of gamers was he? A community that mostly exists through the Fuzion Forum mailing group that I’m a moderator of. A book that can still be download for free from the same website it has been on for the past 12 years. Nah, no way someone could be that stupid.
So I immediately called him to see what he knew. He didn’t know a whole lot at that moment; it was still fresh to him. However, he said that Christopher Cortright had discovered some recently posted Fuzion stuff up for something called In.Fuzion. He was wondering if we knew anything about it.
We didn’t know who the hell was Cerberus Gaming Combine was but we were determined to find out. The first call went out to Lisa Pondsmith who confirmed that these guys were indeed not licensed to do any Fuzion products.
There went my vacation day
I spent the next hour or so checking into it. I know what you’re thinking; maybe it was a huge coincidence. Fists of Fuzion is for the Fuzion system and it’s a play on the movie title Fists of Fury. Maybe it was a coincidence. So, I downloaded the preview file and SON OF A BITCH if it wasn’t my book. Reformatted, slightly altered, but my book for sure. And he was actually selling it. I think I dropped about 20 f-bombs in succession.
“How much of a rip off” you say? I will compare the text from the preview I downloaded with the text from my book.
If the player has a 6 strength and a 3 move and his opponent has a 2 strength the player could move 3 (or 4 if his move was a 4 or better).
Mike the Martial Artist has a 6 STR and a 3 Move. His opponent has a 2 STR. Mike can thus move up to 3 yards (he would be able to move up to 4 yards if his Move was a 4 or better).
And one more just for grins...
It’s not really important what belt (or sash in Chinese arts) someone is for most purposes. A belt is just a measure of how much of a schools program you have learned and does not necessarily reflect your level or how good you are. A high level belt/sash, like black, would be about 6th level. A black belt could easily be 5th or 7th level as well, depending on the school, the instructor and the student. As a standard, use 6th level as black belt/sash, 7th level for an instructor and 8th level as a master. A Grand Master would be 10th.To switch from one art to another usually only involves new maneuvers not necessarily more levels.
It’s not really important what belt (or sash in Chinese arts) someone is for game purposes. A belt is just a measure of how far into a schools program a student has advanced, and does not necessarily reflect how good you are. A high level belt/sash (like black) would be about the 6th rank. A black belt could just as easily be the 5th or 7th rank as well, depending on the school, the instructor and the student. As a standard, use the 6th rank as black belt/sash, 7th level for an instructor and 8th level as a master. A Grand Master would be 10th. To switch from one art to another usually only involves purchasing new maneuvers, not necessarily more levels.
What happened next was wild. Jay and I had already alerted R.Talsorian so next we dropped a post on the Fuzion Forum crowd. We started digging as did some of the forum members. I don’t remember who found what in what order but between Jay Libby, Christopher Cortright, Yilbber Vargas, Wil Hutton, and I, we found several places he had posted and was selling Fuzion material. He had files on DTRPG, Scribd, and Amazon.
It gets even more interesting. Turns out he was ripping off more than just me. Let’s start with the In.Fuzion core book. It was a rework of the Fuzion system core book. He had this one everywhere and apparently it had been around for a while. He was also to ripping off Mark Chase’s Atomik War (This Means War!), Jason Dour’s Heroic Abilities (Power Assembler!), and Greg Porter’s Guns, Guns, Guns (Guns, Guns, Guns!). We promptly contacted all of them and let them know what the situation was.
I contacted the two places I knew Fists of Fuzion to be located and informed them of the copyright infringement. Both DTRPG and Scribd were quick to pull them down. And from what I could see, everyone else was quick to respond. Even his website disappeared. Within 23 hours of discovery, CGC was gutted. The only product that remained was the In.Fuzion book on Amazon. That took a while. I don’t know when it went down but as of writing this it was gone.
But wait, there’s more…
Wil Hutton did some digging and found out that this was not his first plagiarizing rodeo. No, this dickhead had been down this road before. He had ripped of some fiction and got busted selling it as his own. And he was also busted doing something similar with GURPS material. He didn’t actually selling that stuff but he was in serious copyright violation for giving away other peoples work and I believe some for sale material as well. Check out Wil’s excellent blog on this.
One last thing and I’ll leave you to your head shaking. Not only did this fucktard do all of this, but when confronted, he was a smug asshole about it. You can see a small portion of his dickheadery in the screen cap on Wil’s blog.
Big Thank You
To all those that helped put this guy under. Please keep an eye out for this assclown. I’m sure his ugly little head will pop up again. Here’s to hoping Mike’s lawyers find him and stick it to him real good. Cerberus Gaming Combine seems to be nothing more than a bad after taste and I say good riddance.
Douchebag of the year award
From Studio187.com goes to Cerberus Gaming Combine or Nathan M. Robertson as Amazon had him listed. If you wish to accept your award in person, I’ll gladly shove it right up your ass, fuck head.