48 comments on “Turmoil and Drama on LEGO CUUSOO Posted on August 21, 2013 by Allen “Tormentalous” Tran –

  1. Doesn’t LEGO Cuusoo even check the projects before they listen to the reports? I mean, that’s so mean, just deleting things for no reason, and not deleting all the other Jurassic Park ideas! But maybe LEGO did find a reason? I do not know…

  2. Here’s another article…
    http://www.brickset.com/news/article/?ID=7437

    Earlier today, the well known LEGO personality Brick Queen and all her projects were removed from Cuusoo.

    Cuusoo respects the privacy of all its users so we will likely never know Cuusoo’s specific reasons for doing so. There is however a lot of “content” being flung around so I thought it would be best to post what I know about the subjects that have come up around this event in a general and informative manner.
    What We Know Happened

    Brick Queen posted two Batman projects (one about to cross into 5000 supporters), one Superman project, and most recently, two Juarassic Park projects to Cuusoo. These were all quite popular and were in fact four of the top twelve most supported (delta) projects last week.

    Last night, two additional Jurassic Park projects were posted by Senteosan and Tjspenser1.

    A few Cuusoo users, identifiable as fans of Brick Queen by their support history, accused both of these new projects of copying Brick Queen’s and also denigrated the projects for using renderings instead of real bricks. Things pretty much went down hill from there.

    The exact content that lead to Cuusoo’s action is now deleted so the details are lost at this point.

    What follows is in no way an opinion on Cuusoo’s actions. I am in fact shocked that Brick Queen was banned. What follows is an attempt to clear up some confusion about Cuusoo that lead to a lot of the accusations flying around before and after this unfortunate event. The intent here is to seek clarification when, pursuant to Cuusoo policy, there will be none forthcoming from LEGO in the interest of privacy for the individuals involved.
    “Copy Cats”

    On the subject of Copy Cats there are three very critical subjects that must be discussed to clarify the issue of duplication of projects and what that means on Cuusoo:

    Original Subject Matter
    Non-Original Subject Matter
    Plagiarism

    Original Subject Matter

    The only projects that Cuusoo offers to protect based on the subject of the content are those ideas that are the absolute creation of the project creator like Hyborea or Galaxy Command. Even in these cases for action to be taken, there must be a clear duplication of the concept and design. To my knowledge, no project has ever been removed from Cuussoo for copying an original idea.
    Non-Original Subject Matter

    If you publish a project that evokes something that is a publicly recognized Intellectual Property or anything from the real world, your project has no “subject based” protection on Cuusoo with the exception of cases of plagiarism (see below). There is quite frankly, no squatter’s rights on Cuusoo. This rule is absolutely necessary for Cuusoo to operate. Every major and minor IP and random car, building, or place has some project on Cuusoo and if they were offered on a first come first serve basis, then viable IP concepts would be “owned” by the quickest rather than the most qualified to carry the property or concept to 10k. In addition, the poor staff at Cussoo would have to be as familiar with every single project as well as I am, and I will readily admit, that is not healthy.

    If Cuusoo did not allow for duplication of subjects, Brick Queen would not have been able to post her Jurassic Park ideas at all as this project would have precedence over her own by more than a year.

    This has been famously displayed several times:

    The Portals that got to 10k vs The Portals that was published earlier

    The Ghostbusters that got to 10k vs The Ghostbusters that was published earlier

    And in my opinion, the most egregious of cases:

    The Back to the Future Train by Team BttF vs GRusoo’s Back to the Future Train published earlier

    Not to mention a near infinite series of Batpods, Bat Tumblers, and Mos Eislei (what is the plural of Mos Eisley anyway?)

    Lets face it folks, if Cuusoo does not take down Team BttF’s train when it is functionally identical to GRusoo’s, then you can see how serious Cuusoo is about sticking to its guns on Non-Original Ideas being up for grabs to anyone at any time.

    I used to be bothered by this, but allowing it is really the only way Cuusoo can deal with the issue fairly while getting projects published that can get to 10k. What I really wish people would do in these cases is agree to mutually collaborate on a journey to 10,000. Cross promotion is an asset. If Team BttF came to GRusoo offering to leverage their connections and build with GRusoo’s already healthy support base, the results would be a project with 5000 support. With the actual extreme disparity between the Senteosan’s UCS build and Brick Queen’s Play build they could have cross promoted amazingly well in an independent but collaborative journey to 10k both feeding support to the other.
    Plagiarism

    Plagiarism is the one Copy that gets you deleted. If you include in your project content that has been demonstrated to be the work of another builder, in part or in whole, without them being part of the team, your project gets the axe. This is however part for part or in some cases print for print if someone is stealing a custom made minifig. This does not include functionally identical builds like the trains in the case above. I would show you an example, but I can’t because they all get deleted. (Well I have strong suspicions about one currently posted project, but as I can’t find the original source I am keeping my mouth closed).
    Summary on the “Copy Cat”

    Brick Queen’s posting may have even inspired the other creators to post their Jurassic Park projects, but given that Jurassic Park is a Non-Original Idea (from the stand point of the project creators anyway), there is no protection for the idea.

    Additionally, it is my opinion, just like how Brick Queen had two distinct Jurassic Park projects, that each of these projects represented a different take on a final product. Brick Queen’s builds are highly detailed, “largish” scale vehicles with figure based Dinos. With Tjspenser1’s project you get two vehicles, but with simpler builds. Senteosan project is a UCS if you will, with a brick built Dino, one “largish” car and the iconic gate to Jurassic park.

    Since LEGO makes the final set, you really need to look at what the set is promoting, not the actual brick for brick details.
    “Real Brick”

    Some people are decrying the use of rendering in the production of projects. Given that you need not have a single image of brick in your project, at all, for your project to be valid, this argument is absolutely invalid from Cuusoo’s standing. That being said, projects without even a rendered brick are not going to get any traction on Cuusoo.

    Indeed, the freedom to post rendered LEGO is very egalitarian and allows for ideal presentation. Were Cuusoo to disallow the use of renders, then publication of quality presentations would be limited to the few with the budgets and collections to produce such content. This would have an even greater impact on those regions where LEGO is priced at a premium. Meanwhile LDD and the rendering tools I and many others use are free to download.

    Some colors are also not produced for specific parts. Rendering allows designers to showcase their conceived color combinations that LEGO could follow, since it can make the bricks in any color they want (as long as it fits the schedule).

    Finally, the ability to take a production quality photograph is a limitation in and of itself. Photography at the high end is a difficult skill necessitating refined resources while rendering is always in focus with a cleared out background.

    I will grant that building virtually allows people to make a design that won’t hold up to the rigors of gravity (beautiful cases in point) but the value of render’s in my opinion, far exceeds these issues. If LEGO can’t satisfactorily build your design because you designed it too impracticably, that is your problem.
    …but Regardless on both Copying and Rendering

    To terminate the argument all together, as stated before, and ad nauseum again and again, the project is just a concept for the final product. As a supporter you should decide if the core idea, the heart of the project reaches out to you. If you want LEGO to make a project based on the idea of the project, you support it. END OF STORY.

    The depictions are a mere proposal of the final idea. In fact if you think a project is so similar to another as to be a “copy” then vote for both or vote for neither. Voting for both will increase the chance that LEGO will make the product you want right? If you choose not to vote for a project that is similar to another then you should really be asking yourself, what is the difference that I am not in support of and Is that a legitimate reason?

    You are of course free to not vote for the “copy,” but in doing so you are not voting based on a desire for the actual product to exist but perhaps to reward a quality of presentation, the order of publication, or to benefit a specific creator or organization and you should accept that and be honest with yourself about it not to anyone else.

    If you find yourself in this position, more power to you! It is your vote to cast or not, do with it what you will, but in recognizing that you have an agenda, please don’t attack other projects just because they don’t match with your agenda. That serves you not at all. Instead, spend your energies promoting your agenda. Instead of insulting an otherwise innocent project for not matching your world view, tell someone else about your preferred project and get them to support it.
    Deletion of User from Cuusoo

    This actually happens with regularity on Cuusoo and users with much larger ties to the LEGO Cuusoo community have been banned before but never an individual so well known to the larger LEGO community as Brick Queen.

    In my experience, Cuusoo never seems to take this action lightly and I have never heard of someone being banned simply for being “flagged” over the course of a single day. I will of course add the caveat that Cuuso is learning as it goes and is always subject to change and previous standards cannot be counted on to be current standards.

    As I said before, Cuusoo does not reveal the nature of events that lead to an account being deleted but I have seen enough people on Cuusoo get deleted to have a feel for what they won’t tolerate. What follows is every example I have encountered that resulted in the deletion of an account, where the cause was evidently clear. Note, when I use the term persistent in the following list, I am referencing at least a week of continuous offending activity.

    Posting any dialog of a violent or sexual nature will get you banned on the spot.
    Persistent rude behavior. In extreme cases where rude behavior targets a minor, you can get banned immediately.
    Persistent plagiarism.
    Persistent off-topic comments.
    Persistently being identified as an annoyance by the community (this falls under off-topic comments as well).
    Persistently acting with intent to disrupt the normal activities of others on Cuusoo.
    Persisting in being an instigator or antagonizer in any activity for which a Staff Member has had to step in to address the issue.
    Manipulating your account ID with the intent of inciting mischief.
    Presenting yourself falsely as a public personality with the intent to mislead.
    Maintaining multiple accounts on Cuusoo.
    Being banned previously (and using a new account to access Cuusoo of course).
    Publicly accusing other Cuusoo users of illicit activities, without evidence, that could result in damage to the user’s reputation or projects.

    The specifics of course are various but it breaks down to some base concepts. Here is my unified rules on what you should do to never get banned from Cuusoo:

    Don’t lie to Cuusoo.
    If the staff tells you to stop doing something, stop it. If you cause the Staff or Cuusoo hassle, their best option is to remove you from the equation.
    Don’t be aggressive on Cuusoo or attempt to provoke others, you know when you are doing this.
    If someone else is doing something intentionally disruptive or against the rules you may politely inform them of their infraction or report the activity. If they respond aggressively or persist in the action, do not engage the user directly, simply report the activity and let the Staff handle it.

    As a special side note, (especially for Americans (talking about my own people here), Cuusoo is a global website. Many cultures are famously blunt when they are commenting on subject. This can come off as rude when they are just trying to be helpful even. So try not to over-react at every negative comment. Additionally, if someone appears to be linguistically challenged, it is wiser to assume that they are in fact more linguistically educated than you with English being their third or forth language, so again be friendly. (Sadly I can’t hide behind this excuse for my frequent mistakes!)

    Again I have no idea what lead to Cuusoo’s decision and largely remain shocked. The point of this article is to share as much of my experience and knowledge on the topics as I can to help the surprised and confused people to understand the facts related to today’s events.

      • I’m still catching up to speed on all the details on this one. I can say that I hope she separates her feelings of the company for the product. If anyone knows about that it’s the Lufugees. Being upset with a corporate decision, that really from one small backwaters branch of the company, to abandoning the hobby altogether and encouraging a boycott is something altogether different.

        I’ve been plenty upset with many decisions that the company has made over the past few years, and even in the past couple of weeks. Anyone who is involved in their local Lugs in North America will probably know what I’m referring to. However, that is a suit making that decision. There are also wonderful community relations people, brilliant designers, and hosts of innovators who have no decision making power yet get all the flack. If the company went bellyup I would still happily collect and build.

        This is when BrickQueen should take a long look at what exactly is her relation with the product, the fan community and the company. What is important to her and what is her focus. For me it would have been madness to get so upset at Lego when LU closed that I abandoned the hobby and everything that went along with it.

        All that said, this looks like a *fascinating* glimpse at the innards of Cuusoo and how this imperfect machine churns.

          • Some of this is not under the hood info but I’m not sure how much? What everyone should know about, Lug or not, is that they have pulled support from fan conventions where there was usually discounts at the local Lego stores plus company sponsored prizes and the like. What everyone may or may not know is they replaced that with fan appreciation days which are not going over that well. Mostly because they are at seemingly arbitrary times of the calendar year and don’t sync up with fan events, making travel to stores prohibitive for anyone except those very close. The discounts are not worth the travel expense whatsoever for anyone in my Lug.

            That and many sets are now not included in any fan related discount of any type, which has ruffled many feathers. All of this has made me spend more on secondary markets like bricklink and more support for my local toy stores.

  3. I personally am in no way in favor of a boycott, and will never abandon the bricks.. but I will be making some phone calls and writing a few letters.I still have a few friends that work for the company. They may not change the outcome for Brick Queen, but I can hope they will cause greater scrutiny of similar situations should they arise in the future.
    I am sure as days pass more info will be available, perhaps even the other side of the story.
    Meantime, I hope everyone will take a second to let LEGO know how you feel about this.. nicely and politely of course,

    • Now I don’t have a dog in this fight, though you would have to convince me that Cuusoo didn’t give her the shaft on this one, but there is a pretty clear subtext from this video that she is thinking about a boycott to some degree. To what extent she is still on the fence but she is clearly not going to be purchasing Lego Jurassic Park, rather Kreo instead. That’s fine, but the optics are funny, she kept going back and forth about the outpouring of affection of her hundreds to thousands of fans, and then saying what measures she was thinking about taking.

      There is no explicit request for her fans to boycott, but it could very easily be read that way. I am no huge fan of corporate decisions the company has made over the years ( and as of late ), but I don’t think this helps her case. If she wants to build on how she was caught in the middle of something bigger and made victim of someone who wished her ill then trying to rally her fan base into discontent is counter productive to that in my humble opinion.

      Here’s a potential scenario, and again I don’t know all the details. BrickQueen has the moral authority for having her account allegedly wrongfully terminated on trumped up charges by a trigger happy Cuusoo admin. BrickQueen posts some videos where she vaguely says she is thinking about boycotting, nothing explicit. Cuusoo possibly uses that as logical fallacy tactic, saying well see, this is exactly what we are talking about, she causes trouble. It’s actually called Post hoc ergo propter hoc where something happened after the event and you say that was the cause of the event. Just because it’s wrong doesn’t mean they won’t do it, and frankly will get away with it.

      I wholly support the letter writing campaign and getting more information directly from Cuusoo as to what is their reasoning behind this.

  4. Was wondering if this kind of thing would happen with Cuusoo, and appears it did.
    I don’t really know what to think here. LEGO generally doesn’t ban without a really good reason. I wouldn’t think the “similar emails” would be the same person, because that’s a really stupid way to go about it. If you’re going to try and pull something, don’t create similar emails and use them all. What I’m interested in here is if they matched IP/location, since I’m sure Cuusoo checked over that. And who these other people are that got this to happen, apparently.

    • I do agree with Neal here. The “similar emails” thing seams kinda iffy. But then again, this is Cuusoo we are talking about. If they cross matched the IPs of the e-mail address, which I doubt that they did, they could also just accuse her of using proxies.
      They had to have a reason for it and I doubt it was because of this.
      Besides, BrickQueen’s fanbase is huge. Why would she risk making 1 dupe account, let alone 18?
      Alas, this was inevitable. The internet THIRVES on drama, chaos, and turmoil…….. and cats.

      • I *really* hope that they did their homework with this duplicate email issue. It’s fairly easy to tell if emails came from the same location, and I shudder to think that someone thought that if the addresses had similar names that they might be the same person….

        More info needed.

  5. If she broke the rules, she broke the rules. Unless you know all the information, you shouldn’t be condemning the company. Her having multiple accounts is against the rules.

    As for the creations, they were the source of the problem – therefore, the conflicting creations were both deleted as TLG would have to side with one user or another if they deleted one.

    • Do you have any idea how many people have multiple accounts on MLN?? TLG does nothing.
      I agree that rules must be enforced, but they should now delete ALL duplicate accounts in Cuusoo.. If that indeed was the issue.
      I would still like more FACTS.

      • Boba, MSRRH is right. I even had multiple LEGO ID’s at on point, and I never have had TLG contact me about it. Also, as I said in a previous comment, she had no incentive to create duplicate accounts. Infact, it would be counter productive for her to do so. More facts are definitely needed before anything can be said for sure. and if it was just because of dupe accounts, TLG took it way to far this time. The uproar that this has created in tremendous.

        About “As for the creations, they were the source of the problem – therefore, the conflicting creations were both deleted as TLG would have to side with one user or another if they deleted one.”
        Absolutely NO. This is the reason that Cuusoo exist. For people to make creations and share them, and for the community to vote which is the best, even if they are similar. TLG does not and will never have to side with one or another.

        • Multiple LEGO IDs isn’t a big deal. CUUSOO has a very different purpose.

          What else would you suggest they do? Ban all the users? I’m not saying that there’s a problem with duplicate models (although I’d prefer that they not have any non-original properties, myself), I’m saying that this is a case in which the duplicate creations resulted in a problem.

          • The duplicate models probably didn’t even play a role in this whole fiasco. that was all first assumption and hatred on the communities part. And the voting system for models nullifies any problems with duplicate models. It lets people vote for the one which is the original and people can report a dupe if there is one, which there was not one in this case.
            The “Jurassic Park” theme that BrickQueen is successful at got thrown into the “HEY THAT GUY MADE SOMETHING WITH THE SAME THEME AND UPLOADED IT RECENTLY” scenario. And this was obviously not the reason for her ban. Also, I suggest you go read the article about this whole deal on Brickset.

          • I read the article before reading this one. I remember it saying that it was unclear exactly what BrickQueen was Banned for.

            Again, I’m not talking about Duplicate models in a vacuum, I’m talking about this specific case where there was a disturbance around a few models. Therefore, instead of banning the people involved (and possibly getting a large number of people who weren’t doing anything wrong), they get rid of the creations. I have no idea why BrickQueen is banned, but I wouldn’t demonize CUUSOO without knowing exactly why.

          • Maybe that’s what they did, but in doings so they stirred up a bigger hornet’s nest. Maybe when the other models were posted, all of the “internet crazed fanbois” of BrickQueen decided to go after them. I’ve read through the comments on the videos……. some gnarly stuff in there for kids to be saying.
            But like it has been stated, we have no idea what happened. I haven’t really “demonized” Cuusoo, actually I got out of Cuusoo when it became “Americanized”.

          • It seems you,BobaFett, among others are willing enough to demonize BrickQueen while defending Cuusoo. MY best guess at this point is that both sides could have done things differently. And the tormenting BQ is getting on a daily basis now is just NOT what LEGO OR Cuusoo is supposed to be about,
            Regardless of anything else, Brick Queen put a LOT of time, work and heart into her creations for Cuusoo, and into the community. We should remember that.
            I for one am still not convinced that she has done anything wrong. No one has seen fit to tell the other side of the story.

          • Aaron: Crazy internet fanboys are crazy internet fanboys. More likely than not people will forget about this eventually. As for Americanized, what do you mean?

            MsRowdyHead: Or maybe you’re just too defensive about her and all too willing to demonize CUUSOO. Again, if she broke the rules, then she broke the rules. Simple as that. If I break the rules of a site on which the rules are made to prevent an event which would lead to poor financial decisions for the group who owns it, then I should be banned. These rules are in place for good reason. I don’t know if BrickQueen ACTUALLY broke the rules, and an explanation would be nice. However, I’m going to assume that there was a valid reason for the ban and that our not knowing is not the same as there not being a reason. Obviously TLG makes poor decisions at times, but I trust them more than some person on Youtube.

          • LEGO Cuusoo was originally an Japan only thing, since Cuusoo itself was a Japanese company. It was small and peaceful. Only 1000 votes were required instead of the 10,000 that are now required.
            Even though I live in the good ole’ US of A, I still was a member of the original Cuusoo.
            Basically by “Americanized”, I mean: BIGGER, full of conflict, and just outright arguing over crap nonsense.

          • BobaFett,
            I am not demonizing anyone, if you take the time to actually read my comments without deciding what I am saying first.
            BOTH sides have points.
            Also can we move away from the word demonizing? It sounds way too liberal media like. Thanks.
            Also, I find it sad that the rules only count when money is involved…

          • Wow. Just wow.

            Really? YOU said demonizing first. I was replying in kind to show you that your point was merely “my person is better than yours”. And too “liberal media sounding”? Great way to bring politics into this and push your viewpoint on me.

          • Actually you did here ” I have no idea why BrickQueen is banned, but I wouldn’t demonize CUUSOO without knowing exactly why.”
            And I am sorry you do not understand the difference between me STATING MY OPINION and pushing my viewpoint on you. It isn’t politics per sey.. I am just sick of the concept which has been much overused.

            Also, remember I did not write these articles, I only shared them with the comment “I am reposting this because with all my heart …This is not in the spirit of CUUSOO! =( ”
            I have been involved in LEGO for decades, and it saddens me to see the way the company and in many ways the community have changed.

            If anyone has any further FACTS about this I would love to see them.
            I welcome respectfully stated opinions as well.
            Have a happy day.

          • Yep, this is getting a wee bit close to personal politics. I have no problem with being a harsh watchdog for the company but no ad hominem attacks please.

          • I have a bunch of MLN accounts. My highest is Level 9, I have two more over Level 5.
            MLN is in no way connected to money. CUUSOO projects, however, can generate money for TLG. If they see 10,000 people who say that they’re willing to buy the set, they’ll consider making it. However, if half of those people are fake/duplicates, then that’s a lot of potential buyers gone. Obviously there are people who don’t use CUUSOO who would buy the sets, but the idea is that CUUSOO is a proper way to judge who would buy the set.
            Based on that principle it makes sense to ban people for multi accounting.

          • There is no evidence of her making multiple accounts. Nor was there any reason for her to do so. She had support from tons and tons of people, LEGO blogs, and several youtubers with over 100,000 subscribers. So the reason for he banishment being “18 duplicate accounts” or any dupeplicate accounts is pretty much invalid.

      • Pando had a clicking program… and 999 dupes.
        Personally I am against dupes at all. Pando used them to get /stay in the top ten and also to make rank 10 faster. How sad is that?? What good is a win if you have to cheat to get it??

        2Mak07 and I were the first two Non Beta Testers to make rank ten. We did it by being active on the message boards and by helping others Being on a good forum.. MLNO, where we could talk about the game with others, help them and be helped was a plus as well. Most of the top ten were on that forum. Back in the day…..

    • I’m glad she addressed the boycott issue. I don’t think that I was alone in reading clearly into that message. If she wants to boycott Cuusoo, well that’s a valid option for her all things considered and don’t blame her however this story panned out. She had a very negative experience with the organization and community.

      She was lightly toying with no future Lego purchases at all and then conjuring the good will of her supporters immediately which is easily construed as a craftily phrased boycott call. Even if it wasn’t she should be aware that’s how she’s coming across. She very clearly stated in this video that isn’t her intention and happy that at least is sorted.

      I wish her the best of luck, she’s a true fan of toys and happiness.

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