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General Discussion Theres a Clannad of AIR-headed Kanon fodder being shot by the Little Busters After Tomoyo on a Planet-arian.

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  #1  
Old 2006-09-28, 03:11
Sir Alex Sir Alex is offline
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Default Kanon Patch Debate

Ok, so, might as well kick it off. I'll start by saying that I agree with pretty much everything Haeleth posted on the front page - but there are other considerations particular to the Kanon project that I do not think have been addressed. It's one thing to state all that as a reason not to work on projects. It is quite another to start and nearly complete a very public project and then pull it back.
Haeleth has been actively promoting and asking people who do not speak Japanese to buy the game, with the promise - repeated many times in the past - of an eventual translation patch. Indeed, such statements as "if you buy Kanon on the basis of the results from the most recent test program, and then find that it doesn't work as well as the test did, I promise I will do everything I can to fix that as a matter of priority" are still present on the Kanon project page.
It is undeniable that people have bought the game as a direct result of these promises. I am in fact one such person. Well, more or less - a friend bought me a copy as a gift, along with his own. He even made a topic on these very boards celebrating it. This went down in the past two weeks. We decided to buy the game now, as a matter of fact, because we were informed by one of the people who had worked with Haeleth on the project (or, at least, claimed to have) that the patch was finished or nearly so and would be released in the very near future. Obviously, I'll be getting in touch with that person as soon as possible - it may be I have been taken for a fool. But even so, that does not negate the fact that the patch was promised, and people bought the game on that promise.
There is clearly a moral responsibility there, too - one which the current newspost seems to be completely and utterly disregarding.
Key is not going to approve the patch if asked. That is a fact as far as I can see, and the tone of the newspost suggests Haeleth agrees. "Suspending the patch pending authorization" is therefore killing it entirely, with a nice dose of euphemism mixed in, and the current post does not mention a hope of its resurrection.
Again, I agree with everything in that newspost... but it's not the whole story. What's actually happening is that a choice is apparently being made to place a moral responsibility to Key's intellectual property over the moral responsibility to the people who bought the game on the promise of the patch. It is a fact that harm is being done to people by stopping the patch project for this reason at this time. If that's the call being made, okay, you're justified, I understand - but at least acknowledge what's being done.
The lack of any sort of apology to or even recognition of the wide audience awaiting this patch - an audience Haeleth has actively built over the last few years, an audience which has put down money and support in good faith - is... decidedly disturbing. It feels like a tacit statement of "Hey, buyer beware! You were rather stupid to trust that this would ever come out!"

It is not a good feeling right now.
  #2  
Old 2006-09-28, 03:25
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Haeleth Haeleth is offline
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Default Re: Kanon Patch Debate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Alex
Indeed, such statements as "if you buy Kanon on the basis of the results from the most recent test program, and then find that it doesn't work as well as the test did, I promise I will do everything I can to fix that as a matter of priority" are still present on the Kanon project page.
That was a mistake. I have rectified it. Please let me know of any other areas where I have failed to update the site to reflect the current situation.

Quote:
The lack of any sort of apology to or even recognition of the wide audience awaiting this patch - an audience Haeleth has actively built over the last few years, an audience which has put down money and support in good faith - is... decidedly disturbing.
This is the primary one of the objections which I acknowledged in the closing line of the post, and which I will be addressing shortly. In the meantime, I have adjusted the post to make it clearer that I have borne this issue in mind. Please understand that I did not make this decision lightly, and that I am not expecting people to be happy with it. I am genuinely sorry that it is so likely that harm will have been caused to the people who have bought the game.

[Edit: people coming in late should be aware that the post on the front page was subsequently expanded considerably to take Sir Alex's concerns into account. His comments here apply to the original post, which was phrased slightly differently and lacked the "Consequences" section altogether.]
  #3  
Old 2006-09-28, 03:39
Sir Alex Sir Alex is offline
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There is no "likely" about it. Harm has been caused. We just spent $80 on a direct promise that has been retracted. If we were both in the US I might be able to sue you for fraud and get away with it (not that I have any intention of doing so, and it'd be a hairy debate, but point stands.) Personally, I would argue that the outright monetary harm being done is alone enough to stack up to the rather ethereal argument that "the writers won't like it", to say nothing of the harm done to the translation community in general (it is a sad but near certain truth that those that follow in your wake will have neither your skills nor your ethics), and the direct utilitarian issue of "how much good will be done by releasing the translation compared to not releasing it?". That's me, though.

As for the site, having a page at all for a project of this magnitude that you have no intention of continuing strikes me as misleading. Assuming, of course, that you in fact have no intention whatsoever of continuing it.
  #4  
Old 2006-09-28, 04:15
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Sir Alex,

"I will consider whether or not to drop the project later." does not equal "I'm dropping the project."
  #5  
Old 2006-09-28, 04:29
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Guest, Sir Alex's point is that the alternative I will consider to dropping the project is asking for permission, and to gain such permission would be unprecedented. Therefore, the chance that the project will not be dropped is, unfortunately, quite small.

I have updated the front page with my answer to this issue, as promised. I doubt it will satisfy people.

I particularly regret that very recently I did tell people that I still intended to release the patch, and failed to tell them that I had all but decided to make this conditional on receiving permission. That was, to be brutally honest, stupid of me.
  #6  
Old 2006-09-28, 04:37
dum200 dum200 is offline
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I think this thread is meaning less though. although i am "pissed" too but even if you "win" the debate of this thread there is no meaning as it is still up to Healeth to decide and the decision seemed pretty clear already anyway, so what the point you know? ... ::sigh:: ...

[slight smile of it cant be helped]
  #7  
Old 2006-09-28, 05:01
mr.aufziehvogel
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lol haeleth. are the key agents hunting u? ;)

because, there are chinese translations out there for almoust every game and nobody cares about "copyrigh things" in the chinese "scene".

i suggest you make it like nnl did with the wind project. only the ones, who can proof, that they have the original version, will get the patch. and you could make the "watermark" thing too. so you can see if anyone "released" the patch...

it's not my "cup of coffe" but i think it's kinda lame to make the ppl hopes for a translated kanon and then drop it because key hopes for licence. if the things you said earlier where true, then kanon will never be licenced because they want too much money for the licence.
  #8  
Old 2006-09-28, 05:42
Iriliane
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Personally, as a person who bought the game recently, I am admittably a tad dissapointed by this turn of events. However. I can appreciate your decision to repect KEY's rights to their intelectual property, and should you be somehow miraculously able to get permission from them to release a patch, so much the better (though it might be best to go through HIRAMEKI for that).

Anyways, regardless of what happens from here on out, I'd like you to know that I'm grateful to you for all that you've done. I was originally introduced to visual novels as a medium through your project and for that I will always be grateful. Thank you.
  #9  
Old 2006-09-28, 07:13
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So... you're *sure* that, unless you receive permission from Key, you will not be releasing the patch?
If this is the case, then... ask! :) There is really nothing to lose, and the tiny chance that it would succeed, e.g. for them to use your work as a base for an official localisation, is a huge payoff.
If you were to do this i'd suggest trying to email one of the creators directly and let it proceed from there. I'd guess some 'decision maker' would be more open if the project had support internally.

Anyway, no doubt you will receive plenty of abuse for this move, Haeleth... i hope you have the sense make decisions for yourself and not get involved or be swayed either way by the the inevitable intarweb flame fest :P

To people who bought the game: yes, it's unfortunate, but you don't really have anyone to blame for this. You took the risk. In 'Sir Alex's posts, replace 'Haeleth' and 'you' with 'some guy on the internet', and it becomes clear why no one should have expected anything.

I bought the game too... what... two years ago? The personal impact to me may be less though, as i'm almost to the point where i can read the original Japanese...
Still, i hope for a localisation in some form, simply because i'd be happy to see popularity for the game.


My own point of view on the ethical issues involved here is... "ehh whatever". I care less and less about these kind of things as time goes on. Personally if it was me, and the patch was finished, i'd release it anyway.

But the reason isn't really important. Haeleth could have been run over by a bus and you'd all be fucked anyway. Not really worth thinking or arguing about.
(Unless Haeleth were calling for debate, but i don't see that happening).
  #10  
Old 2006-09-28, 08:35
Nanatuha Nanatuha is offline
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Coldly speaking, aren't only Key's works special, are they? Any works you translated had each authors who might attach themselves to their works, are they?

*Bullying mode end*

However, I completely agree with Mr. Guest. You don't get the answer until you actually ask.
I honestly believe that the role of that you have played as a visual novel missionary thorough of translating activity is not small. If you were not there probably Key label wouldn't not be such famous here today. I think you are a one of the most valuable fans greatly contributing to Key, even considering Japanese activists.

I cooperate when you need some help about corresponding. If you need me I do my best.
  #11  
Old 2006-09-28, 08:38
vampiresaru vampiresaru is offline
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errr bloody hell I had to chose today to check the site again..... we all know key won't sanction a fan translation and they won't license it in english because the market is too small.

haeleth I am greatly disappointed and more than a little let down but not angry at you and definately do not wish you any ill will. We all do what we have to in order to sleep at night and if this has been bothering you then there is nothing we can do about it. Next time just don't reassure someone when they are comtemplating buying a legit copy of something you're translating. (that was in jest) :-P Anyways hang in there, I hope people don't rake you over the coals too bad....

PS
Anyone with the ability to read japanese want to buy a copy of kanon?
  #12  
Old 2006-09-28, 08:54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Alex
There is no "likely" about it. Harm has been caused. We just spent $80 on a direct promise that has been retracted. If we were both in the US I might be able to sue you for fraud and get away with it
Doubtful. I believe there's a principle that says you can't sue over an illegal activity. I'd also think that it would be hard to sue someone over something they promised to do for you for free.

Now, I don't think releasing an unauthorized translation is unethical. I think that the same sort of ethical bargain that underlies fansubs could be extended to games... no distribution once a licensed version has been released. Perhaps the cynic in me believes that the existence of an unlicensed translation would encourage them to be more reasonable in licensing an authorized translation.

But it's not me making this decision. I wasn't the one to do the work, and I don't have the skills to do so. It's Haeleth's call, and it's his ethical system that governs what he does. And while I think debates over ethics are useful (I wish they would happen before huge amounts of work are invested in projects), threatening someone over an ethical decision is ultimately counterproductive.
  #13  
Old 2006-09-28, 08:55
inuyasha9854
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haeleth
Guest, Sir Alex's point is that the alternative I will consider to dropping the project is asking for permission, and to gain such permission would be unprecedented. Therefore, the chance that the project will not be dropped is, unfortunately, quite small.

I have updated the front page with my answer to this issue, as promised. I doubt it will satisfy people.

I particularly regret that very recently I did tell people that I still intended to release the patch, and failed to tell them that I had all but decided to make this conditional on receiving permission. That was, to be brutally honest, stupid of me.
This just reminds me of one of my statements regarding the wind debate. link

That actually seems to be progressing much better lately now that I happen to have better materials for learning.

The only other thing I would ask, just do all you can to try and get Key to sanction the translation, and should it still fail, after countless communications, post everything you've sent and received on the topic so that others may be able to see the work you put into trying to get it sanctioned. (Yes, we'll need a translation of said communications too.)
  #14  
Old 2006-09-28, 09:01
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I have looked forward to your translation for over a year and the day of its release would be another Christmas, but it's just a game. Anyway, my computer is 2000km away from me in a closet right now.

What I would like to do at this point would be to write a formal, Japanese petition to Key with our real names. The reason I would do this rather than relying on Haeleth alone to communicate with Key is that Key might not understand who the anonymous group of translation-recipients is if we do not announce ourselves. This would also demonstrate the real support for ethical translation, of the sort we do here with al|together, which Hongfire expressedly does not do.

"We are a group of Anglophone otaku who have purchased this game, but we understand that a license is not forthcoming in the near future." Some background information would then be given, such as the history of this project and what we know about Kanon's licensing. "We are requesting permission from the authors of Kanon to make a limited release of Haeleth's translation. This translation would not be a pirated copy of the game but a patch which we would apply to our own, legitimately purchased copies. We are willing to take whatever steps necessary to ensure that the creative talent of Key is not disrupted, nor is the game's license value diminished, by Haeleth's translation."

This petition would be signed by each of us and posted publicly to haeleth.net, then e-mailed to Key and posted to the Hakagi board for good measure.
  #15  
Old 2006-09-28, 09:05
inuyasha9854
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That should most definitely be an interesting effort. As I said, do as much as possible, and should it still fail...*looks at answer key to the left, workbook to the front, and textbook to the back* I'd say that's nearly $70 well-spent there.
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