Space Marine Mess- M.C.A. Hogarth

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  • #506124
    Rusti
    Participant

      Link to the post that’s been gaining traction

      If you wander around the S/F Fantasy writing circles, you may already know about this, but I wanted to share here too, in addition to my facebook page, regarding what’s going on.

      Basically Games Workshop tries to claim ownership of an oft-used SciFi trope (which predates them into the 1930s) and instead of picking on the big authors’ estates, mushes a little indie author under their thumb with the help of Amazon. Lots of Names have picked up on it already and she’s now talking to the EFF. But in case anyone here is a table-top gamer and plays Warhammer or any of GW’s other stuff, be aware of what sleaziness they’re up to.

      #892848
      drag0nfeathers
      Participant

        I’m not surprised about this in the least. It’s really too bad for that author. Games Workshop will crush you under their boot when it comes to copyright issues no matter how completely ridiculous the argument. They have literally copyrighted almost anything you could imagine involving any aspect of their franchise in one form or another.

        Shaun spends more money on Warhammer then I do on Windstones and he frequents their forums on a nearly constant basis. From general titles and terminology to entire phrases, they are the Walmart of the miniature gamer community.

        Warhammer can’t copyright the term “elves” but they have copyright over the term “high elves” Anything that refers to any race specific traits, no matter how broad, just like “marine” vs. “space marine” I hate to say it, but GW will undoubtedly destroy that poor author. They do not give an inch when it comes to their copyright and they are just doing what they consider to be protecting their business. I don’t agree with it all the time, but I do understand it I guess, to a point anyway.

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        #892902
        Rusti
        Participant

          I’ve seen the list of things they claim trademark on, and if they tried to enforce a lot of them they’d be laughed out of court (Eldar? I think Tolkein did that first. Marauder? Fanatic? Citadel? Epic? If they tried to generically enforce some of these it’d be pretty ludicrous, c’mon…). It would be like JK Rowling trying to trademark ‘wizard’. You can still write books about wizards (and maybe even wizard schools, but I’d be careful how I organized that…).

          It might, perhaps, have had merit if her ‘space marines’ had anything to do with anything like what theirs did (and in that case I might understand), but they share nothing, save a name that’s been used in science fiction literature since 1932. If they were *really* worried about it, what about Blizzard? Star Craft? Doom? Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t all those use the term ‘space marine’ too?

          It feels like someone trying to set a precedent by starting with someone who hasn’t got the means to fight back. Because if they started right away with a big company they know they’d be fighting a protracted legal battle they probably wouldn’t win.

          As it stands now, Spots the Space Marine is back up for sale as an e-book on Amazon and she has the EFF standing by to help her still should anything go further amiss, but I’m not impressed by the C&D for an ebook with a generic term that isn’t remotely related to their WH40K universe.

          #892904
          Heather
          Participant

            Pssh. This just disgusts me. That a greedy bunch of sods in a gaming company would have the unmitigated gall to try to trademark something so generic and non-specific as the term ‘space marine’ is a pretty darn sorry state of affairs. Who the billy blue blazes let them smack a trademark on that term in the first place? Trademarks are not for general terms, they are for specific ideas, images, and concepts.

            And for them to then turn their big scary legal goons on some poor regular jane who just writes e-books to help pay for her kids’ school fees: ohh, isn’t GW brave! So courageous and daring, to target such a dangerous target! I am trembling in my space boots. Oh, wait, I can’t; they’ve probably trademarked ‘space boots,’ since it’s obviously what space marines would wear.

            It at least somewhat restores my faith in humanity that Amazon has retracted their hold on the e-book, and I can only hope that word of GW’s little clever-pants maneuver gets around and ticks off enough people that they’re too embarrassed to try to enforce any more of their nonspecific trademarks. They may trademark their characters and universe all they like, but they can just keep their grimy hands off of general terms of reference.

            For me, I don’t care how fabulous their games may be; I’ll have nothing to do with a company that behaves so badly.

            #893047
            drag0nfeathers
            Participant

              I am trembling in my space boots. Oh, wait, I can’t; they’ve probably trademarked ‘space boots,’ since it’s obviously what space marines would wear.

              I know this is a serious subject, but this comment made me literally laugh out loud

              Got a busted Windstone?
              drag0nfeathersdesign@gmail.com
              *OPEN for repairs*

              *SEEKING GRAILS*
              Arc-en-ciel Emperor
              Siphlophis Male Dragon
              Calypso Hatching Empress
              Ivory Moss Sitting Baby Kirin
              Tattoo Mother Kirin
              Emerald Tabby Male Griffin
              Tie Dye + Orion Hatching Royalty
              Indigo Rockfish + Flame Tabby Little Rock Dragons
              Dragon Quail + Obsidian Frost Old Warriors
              Betta Sun Dragon + Male Dragon
              Dreamscape, Orion, Poison Dart, Fireberry, Spangler + Tigerberry Dragons

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