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Author Topic: White Wolf Pay-For-Play Policy  (Read 1788 times)

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Offline [archive] DieGiantMonsterDie

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Re: White Wolf Pay-For-Play Policy
« on: July 07, 2005, 08:44:00 PM »
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  •                 White Wolf wants you to pay a $20 fee for each player if you wish to play in their LARP.  You must be a member of the Camarilla to play Vampire as a LARP if you collect money (even if it's a non proft organization and you only collect money to cover site fees).  You must allow Camarilla members to attend, and you can not turn them away, even if you would wish otherwise.  
     
     This is very much their right as the holders of their intellectual property, but is realisticly impossible to enforce and will likely draw people away from the hobby and destroy decade long standing groups of Live Action Role Players.
     
     The following was taken from the White Wolf forums at http://forums.white-wolf.com/viewtopic.php?t=19615
     
     Hello Everyone,
     
     As many have you have heard, at the Origins Game Fair last week, I gave copies of our policy for those charging players to play games to several people tied to One World By Night (and possibly other organizations). There’s been lots of rampant discussion on these forums ever since, and as I dig out of my Origins backlog, I thought it prudent to post some details on this forum. My thanks to Tom Stevens of Louisville, KY who disagrees with our policy but was kind enough to call me directly to ask some questions and express his concerns.
     
     Below is the text of the document I handed to people at Origins (tweaked a little). We expect to post this on the webpage soon (I expect early next week) but this should answer many questions ahead of that.
     
     One thing that isn’t addressed in this text, but that I did make clear to those I spoke with at Origins, is that this policy is not going into full effect until January of next year. We realize that many people have set up events in good faith for the summer and fall and don’t want to pull the rug out from under anyone.
     
     In brief, White Wolf is requesting that those who wish to charge players to play White Wolf games (beyond standard fees at a convention) obtain a license to do so from us. We request this both in order to ensure we can provide a consistent level of support and play experience to those fans looking to play our games and in order to protect our rights in terms of trademark and so forth. Yes, our games are meant to be played and we encourage everyone to do so — but charging players is stepping into a commercial arena and license agreements then come into play. Our vehicle for granting this license is membership in the Camarilla.
     
     I do understand that there is going to be resistance to this policy. Many people have run or played in a wide variety of pay-for-play games (especially live-action games) using a White Wolf setting or system without any intention of infringing our rights. I hope that our efforts to support the various licensed games (listing on our website, promotion on mailing lists and in newsletters, promotional giveaways and prize support, etc.) will ultimately outweigh what may feel at first like an effort to stifle fan enthusiasm.
     
     I should also make clear up front that Camarilla membership does not mean Camarilla oversight or management — although any member is free to participate in the Camarilla’s own chronicles, the various troupe games and independent chronicles that come under this license will not be bound by any of the reporting or approvals structures of the club. The basic Code of Conduct (no minors, no public intoxication, nothing illegal) does apply, however.
     
     So, without further ado, here is the overview of the policy and a variety of frequently asked questions.
     
     Sincerely,
     
     Philippe R. Boulle
     Director of Marketing
     White Wolf Publishing
     
     PART 1 - CHARGING FOR WHITE WOLF GAMES OR EVENTS
     
     White Wolf is a firm believer in giving the players the play experience that they expect from what they find in their favorite White Wolf products. To help maintain that consistent quality of product, some organization is required. White Wolf wants to ensure all its fans receive value for their money, so any group that charges for its games must register with White Wolf.
     
     White Wolf encourages people to use and play its games in the fun and improvised spirit they were intended. Registration and the ensuing license only become a requirement when event organizers charge a fee to players, making their game a commercial enterprise. One exception to this requirement is when a convention requires a fee to be charged by a group. As long as the event organizers charge only the fee required by the convention, they are not required to obtain a license. However if they charge a fee in excess of the base fee then they will be required to obtain a license from White Wolf.
     
     Rather than create a new system for each group that wants to run White Wolf games for a fee, White Wolf has elected to use an existing system: it’s official fan club, The Camarilla. Each game that charges a fee must nominally incorporate as a Troupe game within the Camarilla fan club — though this in no way requires that any group participate in the Camarilla's global chronicles.
     
     If a game is to be a one shot project that requires a registration fee then only those involved in the design and execution of the convention game must be Camarilla members. If the game is part of an ongoing chronicle and charges any fee for participation, then all players must join the Camarilla and the chief organizer must sign a more detailed license agreement (see attachment).
     
     By using the existing Camarilla structure, White Wolf can ensure that each game is the best it can be. This membership also carries its own privileges, of course. While Troupe games are not bound by the Storytelling rules of the Camarilla Global Chronicle, their organizers gain access to all the club’s avenues of communication to promote their games, and gain support like prize packs and design resources, from the club and White Wolf marketing. Troupe players who obtain memberships, likewise gain all its benefits, including product discounts, access to the sanctioned Camarilla Global Chronicle (should they be interested), and available game hints and training from experienced players, game designers, and White Wolf staff.
     
     Primary Contact:
     Charles Bailey
     Camarilla Club Director
     clubdirector@white-wolf.com
     
     PART2 - HOW TO OBTAIN A LICENSE
     
     The process of obtaining a troupe license is quite easy. Simply follow the instructions under the option that applies to you.
     
     Option 1: I Am the Organizer of a One-Off Troupe Game
     
     If you are not charging any fees to your players, STOP. You do not need to obtain a license. Have fun with our blessing. If you wish to promote your game on White Wolf’s webpage, simply list it on the event calendar (coming this summer to the White Wolf web-page).
     
     If you are charging a fee, then you need to obtain a Camarilla membership. To do so, please go to http://camarilla.white-wolf.com/  (the Camarilla homepage) and click on “Joining the Camarillaâ€? in the left navigation bar. When you sign up, please add in the comments field “I am a one-shot troupe game organizer.â€? (Remember that head writers, Storytellers, and finance officers all need to obtain memberships.)
     
     That’s it. You’ll receive details on activating your membership and from there can gain access to tools for promoting your game.
     
     Option 2: I Am the Organizer of a Troupe Chronicle
     
     If you are not charging any fees to your players, STOP. You do not need to obtain a license. Have fun with our blessing. If you wish to promote your game on White Wolf’s webpage, simply list it on the event calendar (coming this summer to the White Wolf web-page).
     
     If you are charging a fee, then you need to obtain a Camarilla membership and sign a copy of a more detailed license agreement (see attachment). Your players will all also need to obtain memberships.
     
     First, please go to http://camarilla.white-wolf.com/  (the Camarilla homepage) and click on “Joining the Camarillaâ€? in the left navigation bar. When you sign up, please add in the comments field “I am a troupe chronicle organizer.â€? You’ll receive details on activating your membership.
     
     Next, sign and date the copy of the detailed license agreement (see below) mail it to:
     
     White Wolf Publishing, Inc.
     ATT: Camarilla Troupe License
     1554 Litton Dr.
     Stone Mountain, GA 30083
     USA
     
     Next have all your active players and fellow organizers obtain their own memberships.
     
     All that taken care of, you’ll receive full details on using the Camarilla’s online character database for your game and on ways to promote your chronicle to the club at large.
     
     Option 3: I Am a Player in a Troupe Chronicle.
     
     If you have not and will not be charged any fees, STOP. You do not need to obtain a license. Have fun with our blessing.
     
     If you have paid a fee or will at your next game, then you need to obtain a Camarilla membership. Please go to http://camarilla.white-wolf.com/  (the Camarilla homepage) and click on “Joining the Camarillaâ€? in the left navigation bar. When you sign up, please add in the comments field “I am a troupe chronicle player.â€?
     
     That’s it. You’ll receive details on activating your membership and from there can gain access to tools for logging your characters and getting other benefits.
     
     PART 3 - SOME FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
     
     Q. Aren’t White Wolf games meant to be played? Why charge for that right?
     A. Yes, our games are meant to be played. The license is not necessary in order to play our games. It is necessary in order to charge others money to play with you. At that point you have stepped into a commercial venture (no matter how small) and need to obtain a legal license to use our games, settings and systems in that venture. Just as you can’t buy a DVD and then charge money to others to see it, you can’t buy one our games and then charge others to play it.
     
     Q. Why are you doing this?
     A. The answer is two-fold. The first is a question of protecting our intellectual property. No company that survives by developing unique games and settings can afford to have those properties used without need of a license by other companies or individuals. Failing to protect and defend our rights in this way could even lead to an erosion of those rights.
     
     The second reason we are doing this is to try to improve the quality of organized White Wolf games our fans are participating in. By establishing a license we will be able to provide support to event organizers to make their games better, and to share that knowledge to help other organizers out there.
     
     Q. Which games fall under this license?
     A. All White Wolf roleplaying games (traditional tabletop or live-action) regardless of setting. This includes all World of Darkness games, Exalted, Trinity, Scarred Lands and most anything else published by White Wolf, Arthaus Publishing or Sword & Sorcery Studios. If you are unsure whether the game you are interested in falls under this license, please contact Philippe Boulle, Marketing Director of White Wolf Publishing, at prboulle@white-wolf.com.
     
     Card games are not covered by this license. To learn more about organized play for Vampire: The Eternal Struggle visit its webpage at http://www.white-wolf.com/vtes/.  
     
     Q. Other than the right to charge fees, what do I get out of this license?
     A. Aside from the right to charge event fees to your players, you gain a variety of benefits:
     
     Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ The chance to promote your game to the Camarilla at large — including through their mailing lists, web-page, and newsletter. This allows you to attract new players from a pool of thousands of active White Wolf players.
     
     Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Official support from White Wolf, including listing of your events on our web page, prize packs for large events, and other goodies.
     
     Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Access to official LARP conversions of all World of Darkness material. The new Mind’s Eye Theatre rules will be widely available but cover only the core releases (World of Darkness Rulebook, Vampire: The Requiem, Werewolf: The Forsaken, etc.). Mind’s Eye Theatre conversions for all the other supplements will be released exclusively to the Camarilla. (Sure you can make up your own conversions, but this way you get all that work done for you, play tested and balanced.)
     
     Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Access to an online character creation and storage database. The Camarilla is developing an online database that allows players to create their characters online and spend experience there between games. Storytellers can track characters as well. A properly licensed troupe chronicle gains access to this database customized to its requirements.
     
     Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Other Member Perks. The Camarilla is always adding new perks to its membership, including such things as discounts at hotels and car rentals, a 20% discount on White Wolf products at major conventions, and more.
     
     Q. All I charge my players is a share of the fee the facility where we play charges us. Do I still need this license?
     A. Yes. Even though you aren’t making a profit, you are still collecting and disbursing money — money earned through the use of White Wolf games and settings.
     
     Q. What about games at conventions?
     A. If the only money the players need to pay is the standard fee charged and collected by the convention (generic event tickets, etc.), then you do not need a license. If, however, you make arrangements with the hosting convention to charge more for your event (in order to offset your own costs, say), then you need a license.
     
     Q. How long does this license last?
     A. As long as your Camarilla membership is in order. If your membership expires so does the license. If you are suspended, so is your license. If your membership is revoked, so is the license.
     
     Q. Do trial memberships in the Camarilla grant this license?
     A. Yes. Free six-month trial memberships (also called T memberships) do indeed grant this license for the duration of the trial. This means you can get a free membership, host your one-shot event with fees and then forget about it, all at no cost to you. However, you cannot then sign up for a second trial membership and must pay for a standard membership to keep the license.
     
     Q. Who exactly needs to be a Camarilla member?
     A. All participants in a chronicle need to be members, although players need only become members before their second game. Only the organizers of a one-off game need to be members. If the game doesn’t charge any mandatory fees, then no one need become a member.
     
     A chronicle is a series of games in which events or characters at one game carry over to the next. As a rule, if anyone is spending experience points on their character, or expects to play the same character again, it’s a chronicle .
     
     In the case of one-off games, the organizers are the writers and Storytellers of the game, as well as any person who oversees collecting fees from players.
     
     Q. I plan to recruit from the population at large for my players. If people come to the game never having heard of White Wolf, how can I expect them to be Camarilla members?
     A. In one-off games, players do not need to be members. Only the organizers do.
     
     In chronicles, players only need to become Camarilla members before they start their second game. They can play in one game without being members (in which case it is effectively a one-off game for them).
     
     Q. What fees can I collect?
     A. You can charge any event fee you like to your players once you have this license. You cannot charge a yearly (or quarterly, or monthly, etc.) membership fee, however, since any game needing such fees would be one with continuity and all the players will already be paying a yearly membership fee to the Camarilla. You can, however, charge an event fee at every event.
     
     Q. Do I need to report my collected fees to anyone?
     A. No. We would appreciate reporting on your events, but there is no obligation to do so. You surely will want to take advantage of opportunities to promote your event, however, by listing it on the White Wolf website and promoting it on club mailing lists. In the case of a troupe chronicle, we do ask that the organizers provide a quarterly list of participating players.
     
     Q. Does this mean my game has to follow the Camarilla’s global chronicle continuity and all their approvals?
     A. No. This is a license to run what is called a troupe game — a game that exists separately from the Camarilla’s global chronicles and which requires no authorizations from the Camarilla’s Storytelling structure. It’s your game and you are the Storytelling authority. You can participate in the global chronicle if you wish, but do not have to.
     
     Q. Are there any rules I do have to follow?
     A. Yes, even troupe games need to follow the Camarilla’s Code of Conduct. That basically translates to all players being 18 years or older, no violence, no insults or intimidation, nothing illegal, and no public intoxication. In other words, common sense rules you were probably following anyway.
     
     The code of conduct is available online at: http://camg5.white-wolf.com/index.php?line=code.  
     
     
     PART 4 - CAMARILLA TROUPE LICENSE AGREEMENT
     
     (This is the current boilerplate of the detailed license agreement to be signed by those running troupe chronicles.)
     
     This License Agreement is made and entered into this _____ day of_____, 2005 by and between White Wolf, Inc. (“Licensorâ€?) and _____________ (“Licenseeâ€?).
     
     RECITALS:
     
     WHEREAS, Licensor is the owner of the copyrights in World of Darkness Rulebook, Vampire: The Requiem, Werewolf: The Forsaken, Mage: The Awakening, Vampire: The Masquerade, Werewolf: The Apocalypse, Mage: The Ascension, Changeling: The Dreaming, Wraith: The Oblivion and numerous other terms derived from and used in connection Licensor’s copyrights and Licensor’s goods and services; and
     
     WHEREAS, Licensor is the owner of the trademarks in The Camarilla, Mind’s Eye Theater, World of Darkness, and numerous other terms derived from and used in connection Licensor’s copyrights and Licensor’s goods and services; and
     
     WHEREAS, Licensee desires to license the use of Licensor’s copyrights and trademarks in connection with its status as a Troupe within the Official White Wolf Fan Organization, The Camarilla.
     
     NOW THEREFORE, the parties, in consideration of the mutual agreements contained herein, and for other good and valuable consideration, the receipt and adequacy of which are hereby acknowledge, do hereby agree as follows:
     
     1. Grant of License. Licensor grants to Licensee, subject to the terms and conditions contained herein, the non-exclusive right and license:
     
     (a) To use Licensor’s copyrighted material and trademarks in connection with it operation as a Troupe within the Official White Wolf Fan Organization, The Camarilla.
     
     (b) Licensee hereby acknowledges and agrees that Licensor is the owner of the copyrighted material and trademarks identified above and set forth on Licensor’s website, www.white-wolf.com, and all derivative works thereof.
     
     (c) Licensee shall not file any application in any country to register a copyright or trademark which contains any of Licensor’s copyrighted material or trademarks, or is the same as, similar to, or deceptive or misleading with respect to Licensor’s trademarks. In the event any Licensee has already filed an application for copyright or trademark protection in any country relating to Licensor’s copyrighted material or trademarks, Licensee shall, at is sole cost and expense, transfer and assign any such registration to Licensor immediately. If any application for registration is filed in any country by Licensee, in contravention of this Paragraph, Licensor shall have the right to take appropriate action against such licensee, including seeking injunctive relief, to prohibit or otherwise restrain the use by such licensee of the infringing material.
     
     2. Territory. Licensor hereby grants Licensee the right to operate as a Troupe within the Official White Wolf Fan Organization, The Camarilla (hereinafter “Troupeâ€?) in the following territory _________________.
     
     3. Participating Members. Licensee shall insure that all players participating in their Troupe are current and valid members of the Camarilla. Licensee will provide Licensor with an up-to-date list of members participating in the Troupe along with their Camarilla identification numbers on a quarterly basis.
     
     4. Events. Licensor grants Licensee the right to solicit fees from its players to participate in events sponsored, promoted, organized or arranged by Licensee. Licensee can only charge players on a per event basis and cannot solicit separate membership fees for its troupe players.
     
     5. Troupe Coordination. Licensee agrees to use its best efforts to operate its Troupe in good faith and to keep its Troupe involved and associated with the activities, whether local, international, or global of Licensor’s other authorized Troupes, in the United States and elsewhere. Licensor acknowledges that Licensee is responsible for administering the club’s rules and policies at its events. Licensor agrees to address these policy applications solely with Licensee’s officers, and not their membership. Licensee likewise acknowledges that they will use good faith and their best reasonable efforts to address any of Licensor’s concerns.
     
     6. Term. The term of this License Agreement shall be for three (3) years from the date of execution of this Agreement. This term can be renewed for consecutive 3 year terms upon mutual consent of both parties.
     
     7. Marketing and Promotion. Licensee may market its Troupe to the entire membership of the Camarilla through such out-of-character organs as Licensor’s announcement mailing lists, web page, quarterly newsletter and other means. Licensor shall make reasonable space available in such venues for such marketing and promotion.
     
     8. Merchandise Rights. Licensee may publish, print, manufacture, sell and distribute products associated with its Troupe using the Troupe’s name and its association with Licensor. Any such items must be approved in writing by Licensor at each of the following stages: Concept, Design Sample, Finished product. The Licensee shall, under no circumstances, create any merchandise without Licensors express written permission, which can be withheld for any reason. Likewise, any use of Licensor’s copyrights or trademarks shall only be with Licensor’s prior written consent and shall include acknowledgements of Licensor’s copyrights and trademarks by symbol (â€?, “, ‘) or otherwise. Licensee’s license fee for the use of Licensor’s copyrights and trademarks shall be US$1.00 per item or 20% of the retail price of the merchandised item, whichever is greater. Licensee can only sell items at its troupe events and to Camarilla members. Licensee does not have to pay royalties on membership items that are given to the membership free of charge. Licensee must still obtain Licensor approval for these items.
     
     9. Reservation of Rights. All rights not expressly granted by Licensor to Licensee herein are reserved by Licensor.
     
     10. Notices. All notices or other communications required or permitted to be given hereunder shall be in writing and shall be sent, postage prepaid, by registered, certified or express mail or reputable overnight courier service and shall be deemed given when so delivered by hand, or if mailed, three days after mailing (one business day in the case of express mail or overnight courier service), as follows:
     
     To Licensor:
     
     Philippe Boulle
     White Wolf, Inc.
     1554 Litton Drive
     Stone Mountain, Georgia 30083
     
     To Licensee:
     
     __________________________
     __________________________
     __________________________
     __________________________
     
     11. Severability. In the event that any provision of this Agreement is found invalid or unenforceable pursuant to judicial decree or decision, the remainder of this Agreement shall remain valid and enforceable according to its terms. The parties intend that the provisions of this Agreement be enforced to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law. Accordingly, the parties agree that if any provisions are deemed not enforceable, they shall be deemed modified to the extent necessary to make them enforceable.
     
     12. Governing Law. This Agreement shall be governed and construed in accordance with the internal laws of the State of Georgia applicable to agreements made and to be performed entirely with such State, without regard to the conflicts of law principles of such State.
     
     13. Jurisdiction; Consent to Service of Process. Each party hereto irrevocably submits to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Superior Court of DeKalb County, State of Georgia, and the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, for the purposes of any suit, action or other proceeding arising out of this Agreement. Licensor and Licensee further agree that service of any process, summons, notice or document by U.S. or international registered mail, as appropriate, to such party’s respective address set forth above shall be effective service of process for any action, suit or proceeding in Georgia with respect to any matters to which it has submitted to jurisdiction in this Paragraph. Licensor and Licensee irrevocably and unconditionally waive any objection to the laying of venue of any action, suit or proceeding arising out of this Agreement in the Superior Court of DeKalb County or the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, and hereby further irrevocably and unconditionally waive and agree not to plead or claim in any such court that any such action, suit or proceeding brought in any such court has been brought in an inconvenient forum.
     
     14. Assignment. Licensee may not assign this Agreement (by operation of law or otherwise), or any portion thereof, to any third party unless Licensor expressly consents to such assignment in writing, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld. Any attempted assignment without such consent shall give Licensor the right to terminate this Agreement effective upon written notice.
     
     15. Relationship of the Parties. This Agreement does not establish the relationship of a partnership, joint venture, franchise, or principal and agent among the parties, and no party shall have any authority to incur obligations or take other actions on behalf of any other party to this Agreement.
     
     16. Limitation on Rights of Others. Nothing in this Agreement, whether express or implied, shall be construed to give any party other than the parties hereto any legal or equitable right, remedy or claim under or in respect to this Agreement.
     
     17. Entire Agreement. The parties hereto agree that this Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties with respect to the subject matter hereof and supersedes all prior and contemporaneous communications. This Agreement shall not be modified except by a written agreement dated subsequent hereto signed on behalf of the parties by their duly authorized representatives. Neither this Agreement nor any written or oral statements related hereto constitute an offer, and this Agreement shall not be legally binding until executed by all parties hereto.
     
     18. Waivers. No waiver of any breach of any provision of this Agreement will constitute a waiver of any prior, concurrent, or subsequent breach of the same or any other provisions hereof, and no waiver will be effective unless made in writing and signed by an authorized representative of the waiving party.
     
     19. Ambiguities. Licensor and Licensee each acknowledge that the limitations and exclusions contained in this Agreement have been the subject of active and complete negotiation between the parties and represent the parties' agreement associated with their respective obligations under this Agreement. The parties agree that the terms and conditions of this Agreement shall not be construed in favor of or against any party by reason of the extent to which any party or its professional advisors participated in the preparation of this Agreement.
     
     20. Counterparts. This Agreement may be executed in one or more counterparts, all of which shall be considered one and the same agreement, and shall become effective when one or more such counterparts have been signed by each of the parties and delivered to each of the other parties.
     
     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have caused this Agreement to be executed as of the date first indicated above.
     
     LICENSOR
     
     WHITE WOLF, INC.
     
     __________________________
     
     Mike Tinney
     President
     
     
     LICENSEE
     
     __________________________
     
     By:
     Title:                        

     

                                                      

    Offline [archive] Skyra_to_Hollow

    • Methuselah
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    • Posts: 307
    Re: White Wolf Pay-For-Play Policy
    « Reply #1 on: July 10, 2005, 07:55:00 AM »
                    I don't understand the point of this topic.  Are you displeased with their pay-as-you-play policy?  I was a member of the Cam USA for 2 years and had no problem paying membership dues.  You don't HAVE to be a member of the Cam USA or OWbN.  Most LARPs are independent anyway.  The global storyline has its strengths, but anybody who's ever met (or been) a "prestige whore" knows that it also has its drawbacks.  Maybe I'm just not picking up what you're laying down.                        

     

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    Offline [archive] VColeV33404163

    • Neonate
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    • Posts: 53
    White Wolf Pay-For-Play Policy
    « Reply #2 on: July 11, 2005, 03:16:00 AM »
                    In Reply To #2
     He is posting it cause now if your not appart of the Cam you will have to pay white-wolf a certain amount of money.
     
     This is basically pointed towards groups that if the organizers ask for money to help pay for the props and refreshments white-wolf can sue them if they do not give a certain percentage of it.
     
     Check out the White-wolf MET forums for the full discussion.                        

     

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