Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. Do not take any statement I make herein as legal advice. Do your research, just as I have, and make up your own mind. Then decide to take action if you will.
As can be seen by performing a web search for the terms “Outlaw Press James Shipman,” much has been said online about the once-great publisher of Tunnels and Trolls gaming fare, who has fallen out of grace with the Tunnels and Trolls community for the alleged theft of intellectual property, publishing said items without permission of the copyright holders. Other Tunnels and Trolls blogs have urged their readers not to buy from Outlaw Press / James Shipman. I now join the call to boycott his site and ask my readers not to buy or download any products from him.
James Shipman not only has taken a very liberal view of his rights to materials I submitted to Outlaw Press in the past, but now is redistributing some materials I never submitted to him, and never gave him permission to redistribute. My solitaire adventure game, Down Time, now appears for download from the “Free” section of the Outlaw Press web site, without my permission. Down Time appears in TrollsZine 4, a digital-only ezine available for free from DriveThruRPG; James Shipman has clearly downloaded a copy of TrollsZine 4 and extracted Down Time from it, formatted the game in Microsoft Word, and uploaded the Word file to the Outlaw Press site, from where anyone can download it. Some might say I should not mind that he redistributes Down Time, since I have agreed to make it available for free anyway as part of TrollsZine 4, but as the copyright holder of Down Time, how I choose to distribute my material is my decision to make, not his. One might say that James Shipman is helping to spread my name and I should be grateful at least for that, but even that is not true; in the MS Word version of Down Time distributed by Outlaw Press, my name has been removed as author of the product. I don’t even get credit for my work.
I have emailed James Shipman at Jimship2@midwest.net, the email address posted on his web site, and demanded that he cease and desist redistribution of my copyrighted material immediately. As of this writing, he has not yet complied. Continue reading “Taking Action Against Outlaw Press / James Shipman”