Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Wherein I Retract a Statement That I Never Made and Rabbit Holes

Yes, Retraction Number 2

This one is different.

I never said what I'm being asked to retract. It may have been said in the comments by a commenter on one of the posts, but to the best of my knowledge it wasn't made by me.

Make of that what you will.
I never meant to say (and by never meant to say, I also mean "as far as I can tell I never actually said it") that Gail Gygax, also known as Mrs E. Gary Gygax, is now or has in prior days, improperly removed monies from the entity known as the Gygax Memorial FUND (edit - I had "Trust" before). I have no knowledge of such activities, either directly or indirectly - Erik Tenkar
Onward to "Rabbit Holes"

I recently came into possession of a HUGE info dump of potential leads and information relevant to topics of conversation that have been taking place in the gaming community, particularly the Old School gaming community. I'd be remiss if I didn't follow the leads, although I suspect it will be time consuming and results will be far from immediate. Even relatively easy investigations at my day, rather NIGHT job these days, can take weeks or months. I'm not at liberty to discuss the contents, but I am quite tempted to put together a paper case folder like in the old days (my job is slow to take on technology - paper case folders only ended in 2012 ;)


  1. Erik Tenkar is... the Gaming Detective! Coming this fall on TBS.

    1. He needs a charming sidekick. He's already got the family and cute dog to help the viewers identify with him. :)

    2. Ohh! And a street-wise informant known only as "Nat-Twenty"!

  2. I have a feeling that the recent demands for retractions (especially of things you never said) is going to soon be regretted for having made you grit your teeth, dig in, and SERIOUSLY investigate this fiasco.

    Again, I'm not a fan of Gail but I'd love to see her succeed. I'd love to see her create a memorial to Gary. I'd love to see her become one of the most beloved names in gaming. However...

    The first is up to her, the second seems to become more unlikely every day, and the third? Her behavior will never allow it. It is a shame really.

    Gail has squandered every bit of good will she ever garnered and GygaxGames.com has been "temporarly" removed since what...2009?

    Here's another frustrating thing. If Gail re-released Gary's work, even if only in PDF format, and donated 10% of the sales to the Fund, she'd probably be where she needs to be in less than a year - while she herself would be making money.

    That the Fund is backsliding financially, that Gary's work isn't available (and certainly isn't profiting her) just makes me wonder what sort of advice she is being given.

    Now, I know her health isn't stellar. But I'd think that if she couldn't prepare a single clean PDF of something, she could easily find a LEGION of volunteers who would take on the task for her. Release something, anything, and then start building up.

    Right now Gary's legacy via Gail is bad feelings and mistrust from the gaming community and a stockpile of IP (most of which hasn't seen the light of day in at least a decade).

    Even lesser known stuff, like Cyborg Commando, would bring in money. Hell, I'd LOVE an updated version of Cyborg Commando. I'd WRITE an updated version of Cyborg Commando (I've DEFENDED Cyborg Commando). There is a lot of great stuff, but sitting on it like a dragon atop its hoard does no one any good. Fighting with his children does nobody any good. Warring with the community does no one any good, lest of all Gary's memory.

    1. I'm just going to deal with facts.

      If facts building upon facts builds a trail that leads to a logical conclusion, I'll spell it out as such.

      Literally going to treat all of this ("this" being a nebulous term) as a case I'd be working at "the job", but with a caseload of 1 or 2, not 25 to 30 and working pieces for others.

    2. I keep thinking a cooler head will prevail...I'd love to see the memorial and so would most of us. This strange aversion to discussing the memorial is just weird, none of the questions was over the top or ridiculous. The hoarding of the IP is s different story all-together, that's just bad business moves, but the behavior having to do with the GMF is alienting fans and is extremely counter-productive to eventually getting a memorial built. Are lawyers going to send C&D letters to everyone criticising the GMF practices? Nothing will get people riled up and turning over stones fsater than that...

  3. Blahblah, lawyers, blahblah. Sigh.

    Is there any chance we'll ever see anything positive happening, like her giving out some licenses for really cool products?

    1. You would need to ask Gail that question directly.

  4. What? No paper case folders?????!!!! Those TV Detective shows are lying to me? What on earth is the TV Detective show cop going to throw down on the desk in front of his Angry Captain now? A thumb drive?

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  6. You guys are making a bunch of something outta nothin'. Leave the conflict for the reality TV bullshit. Let this go. What Mrs. Gygax does with her late husbands legacy is her business, and that's that. So you bought the WotC reprints hoping to have a Mecca to pilgrimage to some day? It's already on your bookshelf. Open the shit up and GAME. PLAY. ROLL DICE. IMAGINE. Really, come ON! Eric, I can dig on the posts to keep the Kickstarter crowd honest. I can dig the posts to guide us to what's new and happenin' in the OSR. But really, this crap is old hat and you are not going to make any difference other than making this woman and her 'foundation' ever more distant from the hobby. I'm from Michigan and we say 'What up, dough'. I live in Atlanta and everyone around me says 'Hey, haw'. How 'bought some New Yorkness and 'Forget about iiit'? Or not, I don't care any further than this comment. Peace!

    1. Oh, and bummer about the paper case folders. I'm now completely disillusioned.

    2. So, your recommendation is to ignore the requests for retraction?

      Is that what you are saying?

    3. Well, yeah. Sure. If you never said it, how can you retract it?

    4. Lawyers are lawyers.

      I'd rather piss with the wind behind my back then blowing in my face.

    5. Tenkar, while you didn't say the term directly, this was the exchange made in the first post about it in the comments.

      Bob Brinkman: I'm afraid that the funds have gone to fund her litigations against Gary's children.

      Erik Tenkar: My instincts agree with you. I'll give the fund a week to get back to me before contacting her lawyers and the fund's accountant.

      "My Instincts Agree with you" pretty much is the equivalent of "ditto", which while you didn't directly say it, implying illegal action (outside of broad hyperbole) is usually considered grounds for that. It varies from case to case and how it's worded, but the exact wording doesn't matter to meet that standard.

    6. However my comment was that I feared that was happening, nobody actually said that it HAD happened and no accusation was made.

  7. The best advice I ever heard in trying to ferret out what's really going on in business dealings is to "follow the money." Gail's got lawyers. Gail's lawyers are apparently quite active. The money to pay for these active lawyers is coming from somewhere. Find out where and many other things may become clear.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. To be fair, people seem to think there's some "army of lawyers" out there, but that appears to be based on a few things.

      1) Tenkar's statement of retraction--did he actually get a note from a laywer, or did Gail or another contact just point out a few statements that were potentially libelous? He never directly said he got a C&D from a Lawyer.

      2) The Conflict over the Trademark. From publicly available information, this is what happened--you can easily view this from the USPTO web site.

      TSR announced Gygax magazine. Curiously, while they announced the magazine and produced trade materials, they never registered the trademark itself, which with all of the other prep work, I can't believe they just "forgot".

      Gail started registering her trademarks in March, 2013.

      The Trademark was published for opposition.

      After several months, TSR produced a legal challenge for opposition--this is NOT a lawsuit, it's the process.

      A few documents were exchanged...the challenge pieces are not lawsuits, there's a process involved--I don't believe anything reached the PACER level (a federal lawsuit)--I didn't find anything involving a case filed between those two parties in there.

      It never even reached the discovery process from what I can see...both parties spent almost a half year of negotiations, and then the agreement was made.

      There was some online implications that this could have cost "six figures", but since there was no litigation or discovery, and the attorney's involved are probably specializing in IP and not litigation, I doubt it was as expensive as people thought.

  8. Thanks for the work you're doing, Erik. And I wish I had massive lottery winnings to gum up certain peoples' gears for a long time.


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