2015 card set availability

I’ve had a lot of people ask about the 2015 cards.  Unfortunately, for reasons that I will explain in greater detail later in this post, the cards are only available to IBL participants at this time.  If/when they become available I will post here and send out an announcement. If you would like more details please read on.

First off, if you have sent me private communication regarding the cards or have attempted to comment here on the blog, I apologize for the lack of response. Those with whom I have corresponded in the past know that ignoring inquiries about the game is out of character for me.  I hope that as you read on the reasons for my silence will be understandable.

Sometime in late March, after all work on the 2015 cards had been completed, I received an email asking whether I was affiliated with a company producing a game called Platinum Series Baseball.  The reason I was asked is because the sample cards posted at their website looked very similar to the IBL cards.  I explained that I had no business arrangement with the company producing the game and immediately began investigating.

After some digging around I discovered that not only were the card mock-ups similar to IBL cards, but the posted rules and charts for this game were almost entirely verbatim copies of IBL rules/charts from previously released seasons.  It was also obvious from the extremely poor quality of the mock-ups and documentation that the people behind the game did not have a finished product.  Given that the ethically challenged individuals behind this game had no qualms about violating U.S. Copyright Law or licensing terms, it was entirely possible that their business plan was to steal as much as possible.  Therefore, I decided that there was no way I could release the 2015 card set to the general public before they created and shipped a product.

Additionally, I felt I had no choice but to remain silent about the status of the cards.  Any information I gave out would have been of marginal use (or solace) to those of you patiently waiting to play the game.  However, any indication that I was not going to release materials these people planned to copy would have been extremely useful information for them to have.  At this point, three months after their product announcement, even if they had been waiting for the cards I have to imagine they would have already moved on to plan B. Then again who knows, maybe in a few days we’ll see them announce another “unforeseen manufacturing delay”. In any case, once again I apologize for ignoring your inquiries over the past three months.

In the interim I have not been idle. Once this happened I quickly realized that if I wanted to continue to make the game available to the public I was going to have to change my distribution model. While there have always been copyright and licensing notices on this blog and the IBL wiki, and the charts and cards are clearly printed with attribution information, I needed to eliminate any possibility of confusion about the terms of use for the game.  Furthermore, given that I now have reason to be concerned about who is downloading materials, I could no longer make everything available via anonymous FTP.

Today I’m happy to announce that I’ve completed all of the technical work to enable a new distribution model.  Everything is still available via links on the download page.  However, if you wish to download any IBL Game materials you must first log in via a social media credential.  The login page clearly states the licensing terms, and by logging in you are explicitly agreeing to the terms of that license. Hopefully someday soon I’ll be announcing the availability of the 2015 card set.  In the meantime, all previously released materials are now available via the new system.

I’m closing this post with a request that you please refrain from asking me for more information about the 2015 cards or the situation with Platinum Series Baseball.  If you would like to verify my claims about duplicated materials feel free to browse through this collection of PSB docs that were posted at various times on their website.  I do not have the time to enumerate all of the copyright violations, nor would it be prudent for me to do so as it could negatively impact my legal strategy.  If you are inclined to make your own comparisons, it should literally take only a few seconds to find something that is an exact copy of the IBL Game rules/charts. If you’re outraged and wish to do something, I suggest making your feelings known via social media as these people appear to be heavily invested in their Facebook and Twitter presence.

16 comments to 2015 card set availability

  • Thanks for the info. Good luck. Can we still donate? I’ll gladly send something to help with legal costs or whatever.

    • Of course donations are always welcome, however I’d feel better about it if you waited until after you’ve been able to play using the latest cards and rules.

  • Kevin Hennessy

    Sean, I too would like to donate a token amount if needed for any IBL purpose. Though I have not played the game extensively, I appreciate the years you have allow me to view and try your product.
    Kevin H.

  • Your Friend

    Probably not a good idea to suggest your members to bash another company. Ultimately they can be sued for libel on an individual basis and all fingers point back to you and this post.

    • All I have suggested is that if people find this behavior disgusting that they share their own feelings about it on social media. I am not responsible for what other people say.

      As for this post, everything I’ve written is accurate so I have no concerns.

    • Also, I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that my “friend” made his comment from an IP address in Columbus OH, home of PSB collaborators ContentVia.

    • not a lawyer

      it’s amazing how often internet tough guys happen to be legal experts

  • Your friend

    Is IBL not a verbatim copy of PtP? Have you had a conversation with Mike C? He had a heavy hand in the creation of PSB. Wasting your time and efforts Sean.

    • Are you really as much of an imbecile as your comments would indicate?

      The second question of the FAQ has a nice summary of major game play elements we’ve improved from PtP. There are probably 10-12 posts on this blog going into great detail about the actual design and implementation of these improvements. You may want to look up the word “verbatim” in a dictionary.

      Also, are you really asserting that Mike Cieslinksi *voluntarily* helped PSB create their game? Or is your statement just a clever way of acknowledging that you stole from him as well?

  • Your friend

    Perhaps you should have a call with Mike and find out for yourself. Tell me Sean, how many variations of Monopoly and Angry Birds are there? You should do your IP and copyright homework. Best of luck to you and your IBL friends.

    • I honestly don’t care whether he helped PSB, it doesn’t change any facts other than to associate his name with the unauthorized reproduction of material from this website.

      Anyway, make up your mind. Is this blog post invalid because PSB is an original work, or are you acknowledging the theft and claiming it will stand up to legal challenge?

    • Also, if you’re getting the same quality legal advice about IP/copyright law as you are about libel then you should be very concerned.

  • Ken Tedford

    Hi “Your Friend”. As the owner of the copyright and rights to Pursue the Pennant, I can tell you unequivocally that Mike Cieslinski had no hand in the creation of Platinum Series Baseball. The only person I can see that had a hand in the creation, unknowingly, was Sean Sweda and the IBL team, as their entire game system, charts, and card format were stolen for use with the game. I can also tell you that Mike Cieslinski is currently exploring his legal options, and I’m doing the same. As someone who’s conveniently married to a succesful attorney, I hope the Platinum Series guys are well prepared for possible legal action.

  • […] There have been some interesting developments over at the IBL web site that are worth checking out. […]

  • So I can download everything but the 2015 cards. Are these gonna be made public? I hate to have to find another baseball game I enjoy, just because some idiot out there is trying to make a quick buck off someone else. If not, its been a real treat to be able to play this great game from the start and watch it evolve into the game it is today.

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