Mig 
Greengard's ChessNinja.com

Turkey Website

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The Euro Club Cup started yesterday and many of the world's top 20-30 players are there. Kasparov is leading the Ekaterinsk team, but he didn't play in the first round in the typical lopsided matches of superpowers versus teams with barely a GM. His team paid the price as his board-one replacement lost. We'll be covering the event at ChessBase.com.

The official website looks like it was designed by Mrs. Butterbee's third-grade class. We seem to go from super-heavy Flash and animation-crazed chess event sites to amateurish and confusing ones. Everybody wants to build a site from scratch, fill it full of cruddy images and applets, and host it somewhere ill-equipped to serve such heavy stuff. They get a friend or someone else with connections to make it, and it's usually junk.

21 Comments

It's really sad that chess organizers don't understand the demand of chess hungry people out there on the Internet. For several tournaments itís the same story year after year. They donít get the message or they donít care maybe.

Why do they bother having live coverage if it doesnít work properly. I remember last year the Turkey website had a guy managing the web server in between his games in the tournament. Not really very ambitious, is it?

/Titu

"Not very ambitious?" Heck, it seems down right foolish!

Not to invoke the wrath of the Internet "information should be free" Nazis, but people producing major tournaments are passing up what seems like a Golden Opportunity by a) as Mig pointed out, failing to hire experienced professionals to design and operate their Internet presence, and b) imposing a low-priced "entrance fee" to observe the games (particularly when expert commentary is provided as well.)

I'm continually astounded by what is so often given to Internet denizens by tournaments (where the size of the prize fund is directly related to how many top players participate) completely free of charge!

I can see how it might make financial sense to deliver it via an ICC or World Chess Network or US CHess Live, where a subscription fee is already being paid (do those services even pay for their "realying" rights, I wonder?) but just giving it away via the tournament's own website seems to be leaving some money on the table.

There are many, I think, who would pay a $1 PayPal or $2 VISA/MC charge for access to the live game data & analysis... with perhaps a full refund/credit for short draws?!? {grin} Assuming only a few thousand paying observers - and it would seem reasonable to expect many more than that - it becomes "real money" pretty quickly...

First of all I am sure it would not hurt to take a history book and read the definition of the concept of nazism before using it to define a group of people!

The problem for tournaments is that they would certainly have to get the agreement of all the players individually before selling their games. It would be I think a real nightmare if say player A and B are played together, A agrees that his game is sold for 1$ and B refuses! What do you do?

I think you're right with the usage of the word Nazis, Chessisfun, but I think you're wrong assuming that all players have to agree before their games can be sold. It's part of the fide rules that the tournament organizer has all rights on the score sheets (I don't know the exact text, definitions or terms now but I guess you understand what I mean). Although some players tried to avoid the publishing of their games in the past, it's still common practice that the tournament organizer publishes the games in any way he wants to.

I didn't say that the finaicial model I tossed off as an example would be simple or easy to implement; I'm just very surprised to see that no one seems to be trying to do it.

Right now they GIVE IT AWAY - it seems unlikely that it might be _harder_ to get the player's permission to sell it (if they don't already give it under standard tournament contracts)!

With the amount of coverage Kasparov is getting here, one could almost start to think that the players of the World Chess Championship in progress were Kasparov vs. Kasparov, not Kramnik vs. Leko.

The issue of "micropayments" is more complex than many people realize.

The problem is that the credit card companies such as Visa generally charge a merchant TWO fees--one is a "batch fee," usually a fixed amount, and the other is a "transaction fee," usually a % around 3%.

The killer is the batch fee. It can be 50 cents, 75 cents, even $1.25. That works just fine if you're sending in a batch of payments together once per day. Or if you're making a one-transaction sale of around $20 or so. But letting someone charge $1 on their credit card for a single real-time transaction means it is counted as a "batch" of one transaction--and the batch fee can actually mean losing money.

And for real time events, you HAVE to charge real-time to be certain of collecting.

About the only way around this is one of the services like bitpass where the customer buys $20 worth of "tokens" at a time (that's what the batch charge will be applied to), and then spends them individually using the pass rather than the actual credit card.

So the business model is a bit more complicated than it seems at first glance.

Chess games are property of the organizer. They may sell the rights to viewing games and paid commentary as they see fit. I would pay 10-15 bucks to watch games on the internet with commentary, as long as I didn't have to put up with non-chess rantings and ravings.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the Laws of FIDE say the organizer owns the scoresheets, not the games themselves (the moves themselves and their sequencing are an intangible item).

The city is called Ekaterinburg.

Best regards,

P_w_V

To the best of my knowledge the issue has never been legally tested (in the UK at least), but I looked into this out of interest some time ago and the opinion is that:

1. The physical game score is copyright of the player unless the organiser specifically states otherwise in a contract;

2. Unannotated games are not copyrighted;

3. Annotations of games are copyright of the annotator;

4. There is a potentially controversial area where someone makes a collection of unannotated games and the criterion for collection is "non-trivial" (to be defined); in that case the collection may be copyright.

If chess games were the "property of the organiser" TWIC, inter alia, would have been sued out of existence ;)

What up? Kasparov lost ??? Perhaps he has to many other endeavors on his mind to focus on his bread and butter. Oh well Grischuk and Vallejo had sweet wins :)

hmm, Garry is either getting old, rusty or lazy. Anand #1 in a few days it seems ;)

You can read it in the rules:

8.3 The score sheets are the property of the organisers of the event.

US COPYRIGHT LAW: WHO OWNS THE RIGHTS TO THE LIST OF MOVES?

Actually, the issue of "who owns the chess games" HAS been answered, at least under US copyright, and it turns out to be the same as "Who owns baseball's box scores?"

The answer is..no one. The game score is a record of a historical event. Moves were made and observed, and the reporting of those moves is news. No copyright attaches.

SO THE RELAY OF MOVES ISN'T COPYRIGHTABLE IN THE US--BUT COMMENTARY AND PHOTOS ARE.

HOWEVER...there are a bunch of other copyrights that attach to the broadcast of the event (not the list of moves itself). That is, if there's a Webcam, or commentary, or photographs, or video, or radio commentary of an event, THOSE items are considered to be "creative products" and ARE copyrighted.

So, the sequence "1. e4 e5" is not copyrighted. The picture of Kramnik making the move is. The commentary "Leko generally prefers King's Pawn openings..." IS copyrighted. Not to the players--to the people creating that item.

http://law.touro.edu/2ndCircuit/January97/96-7975.html

WHY PHOTOS ARE NOT THE SAME AS BOX SCORES

And as to why a photograph is not simply a "report of a historical event," at least in the US courts have ruled that a photographer uses judgment in composing the shot. Three photographers taking a photo of the same event may produce three very different results. Three reporters reporting the first move of the match (without commentary), or the box score of the first inning, give an identical report.

This basic concept is why magazines like New in Chess and CHESS LIFE do not need the players' permission to publish their games, but do need permission to print or reprint commentary AND PHOTOS.

NONE OF WHICH CHANGES THE BASIC POINT ALREADY MADE--THAT OFFICIAL SITES CAN COME UP WITH A PACKAGE WORTH PAYING FOR

All of that said, I do have to agree that in many cases the broadcasts, with appropriate and interesting commentary, could certainly be packaged in a way that would make them worth paying for, and become a source of income for the event. So I'm definitely in agreement, I just think it's a business decision to provide a package worth paying for. There's no legal way, at least in the US, to prevent relay of the moves themselves.

I do think the most likely avenue for all of this is Webcams. This is the single item (realtime photos of the players) that can't be duplicated by nonofficial sites. It's fully subject to copyright. It provides real time value. As this technology improves, I expect to see it as the basis for pay-per-view ppackages by official sites.

This may all be solved by bundling, also. Chess Servers that can offer multimedia coverage may be able to charge a higher annual membership, so broadcasts that appear to be "free" may in fact be covered in the annual cost. Then it's a matter of the official sites working out the right deals with the servers.

Ah!

The "score sheets" are the physically written records by the players. NOT the moves themselves.

These score sheets have value, for various reasons.

But owning the physical piece of paper is not the same as owning the rights to a relay of the moves recorded on that paper.

Is the tournament FIDE-rated? Trying to guess the impact on Kasparov's rating. Good for him he doesn't play too often.

It was rated lsat year, but I heard it was not going to be rated this year.

Well, scratch that rumour...they're offering IM norms this year, so it must be FIDE rated.

Its well known that Turkish are not able to organize anything. You can't expect nothing.
Today the Turkish don't even have Kasparovs game live. When did this happen the last time?

Sorry, I like the concept of the web page: a quick-loading page which resides on one screen (no page-up page-down hunting), then a single click opens the desired info in a new tab --and quickly. That is until earlier today when nothing would load; they probably exceeded their monthly traffic limit on that account. Grin.

The fact that about half of all tournament sites don't work in some way, often related to bloat, or to the page designers trying to look professional--keeps pages such as TWIC permanently open on my laptop.

So I must disagree with Mig's decision to lump together the fatally flawed tournament web sites with ones like ECC which are naive or retarded or innovative or amateur or choose your adjective.

Good long comment about US Copyright laws, Duif. I think the global situation is the same.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on October 4, 2004 4:11 AM.

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