GW Trademarking Space Marine?

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GW Trademarking Space Marine?

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:32 am

http://haikujaguar.livejournal.com/1208235.html

Thoughts on this? Seems little more than a ridiculous move TBH. As the author said, Space Marine is not a term that is exclusive to GW and has been around for ages. Over-possessive? Posturing?
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Re: GW Trademarking Space Marine?

Postby Chun the Unavoidable » Wed Feb 06, 2013 7:40 am

Arrogant, really. And weirdly Adeptus Administratum.
Last edited by Chun the Unavoidable on Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: GW Trademarking Space Marine?

Postby Jelboy » Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:15 am

I think if a publisher with some resources behind it decided to pursue this legally, GW wouldn't win the case.

Hey, while GW are at it maybe they should also try to TM hog the terms:
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Re: GW Trademarking Space Marine?

Postby emeryt » Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:21 am

I personally find it ridiculous that a company, which some time ago took some stuff from for example Star Wars of Alien movies (slighty changing it) now claims such things.

if not for Alien, there would be no genestealers (and later tyranids)
if not for Terminator, there would be no Necrons
etc...
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Re: GW Trademarking Space Marine?

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:44 am

Jelboy wrote:I think if a publisher with some resources behind it decided to pursue this legally, GW wouldn't win the case.

Hey, while GW are at it maybe they should also try to TM hog the terms:
Warp
Alien
Laser rifle
Artifact


You forgot Chaos!
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Re: GW Trademarking Space Marine?

Postby Rob P » Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:47 am

I'm not sure about all the legal ins and outs and whether we are only hearing one side of the story, but, objectively, I can see that people (though not serious BL fans) could buy the book thinking they are buying something from the GW IP. Obviously on reading it they ought to recognise that it's not.

Starship Trooper is also a fairly generic term, but automatically envokes thoughts of a particular IP.

If the author was that arsed she could change Space Marine to something not GW-like and it would make next to no difference to the sales.
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Re: GW Trademarking Space Marine?

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:36 am

This is how serious they are about the whole issue:

Hi Abhinav,

I'm afraid that, due to recent activity on your Twitter profile, where you are re-tweeting anti Games Workshop sentiments, we will no longer be including you on our list of reviewers and you will receive no more sample titles.

We simply cannot support someone who is posting statements that are in direct contradiction to our stand on such a sensitive matter.

Thank you for your support and time.
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Re: GW Trademarking Space Marine?

Postby Xisor » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:58 am

Blimey. :|

I'm inclined to, brace yourselves,


WRITE A LETTER

It sounds laughable, but its precisely this sort of thing that a wee old 'campaign' is surely likely to work on. Something to indicate that the effort to maintain the legal effort is in direct contradiction with the opinion of a large section of the consumers.
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Re: GW Trademarking Space Marine?

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:03 am

I'm not sure whether to be outraged or amused by this. They apparently trawl through my Twitter for "anti-GW sentiments" yet they haven't bothered to share any TFF reviews of BL books in 10 months? :?
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Re: GW Trademarking Space Marine?

Postby Xisor » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:08 am

shadowhawk2008 wrote:I'm not sure whether to be outraged or amused by this. They apparently trawl through my Twitter for "anti-GW sentiments" yet they haven't bothered to share any TFF reviews of BL books in 10 months? :?


I think amused tinged with a principled indignant attitude is about right. It's laughable, absolutely, but by the same token: the trademarking effort is, by the sounds of it, outrageous. That's a point of principle though, an intellectual outrage - it's gonna take a bit of thinking (or a bit of crowdrage - either/or, I suppose, perhaps not both) to steer a response in anyway that reaches a sensible resolution (which is to say: people still allowed to use 'space marine').
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Re: GW Trademarking Space Marine?

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:11 am

From Author Gareth Powell on Twitter:

Hey @VoxCaster - you can't trademark "space marine". First usage was in 1955 in Astounding SF magazine. Term in common parlance since.
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Re: GW Trademarking Space Marine?

Postby schaferwhat‽ » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:12 am

GW Legal being mean shock!


This is more Amazon being lazy and GW pushing their luck, there is no real reason why they can't claim a Space Marine common trademark, it'll help them protect their IP but when they're attacking things which are contextually not related to their IP but rather than being two nouns together to create a recognisable effect in the reader.

GW would lose the case but big companies often use the law to bully folks, it ain't great but considering the amount of GW related e-books being put online even though this is overzealous and they are being ridiculous and stupid with dealing with this specific case I can't hold it against them trying to get Amazon to stop this sort of thing more.

Writing a letter seems smart, it's smarter than just bitchin' about it but the anecdotal evidence suggests common sense isn't something legal types or GW has in abundance (sorry Ath).
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Re: GW Trademarking Space Marine?

Postby Xisor » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:15 am

schaferwhat‽ wrote:Writing a letter seems smart, it's smarter than just bitchin' about it but the anecdotal evidence suggests common sense isn't something legal types or GW has in abundance (sorry Ath).


My hope with it is more along the lines of thinking: "Encouraging marketing to say: 'Legal! STOP IT! You're embarrassing us!'"
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Re: GW Trademarking Space Marine?

Postby schaferwhat‽ » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:16 am

shadowhawk2008 wrote:From Author Gareth Powell on Twitter:

Hey @VoxCaster - you can't trademark "space marine". First usage was in 1955 in Astounding SF magazine. Term in common parlance since.


they aren't registering it as a trademark, this is a common law thing, which anyone can make a claim for. So long as you aren't using the term in the same sense that GW uses it you'll be fine. There is just an issue that Amazon is being lazy in enforcing and researching such claims.

Misunderstanding this will cause more outrage and makes GW seem worse than just being an inflexible bully but doesn't really help resolve this.
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Re: GW Trademarking Space Marine?

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:26 am

Amazon and YouTube are notorious for being super-lazy in matters like this.
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Re: GW Trademarking Space Marine?

Postby schaferwhat‽ » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:31 am

saves them money not being sued for allowing copyright infringement happen. Cheaper for GW to just not accept any conversation or look into anything, but they do come across as jerks for not going "oh yeah this has nothing to do with our IP we'll tell Amazon to give it the green light"

That said I don't know how the system works with Amazon if doing this would undermine their ability to get Amazon to block stuff that may be bad for them.
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Re: GW Trademarking Space Marine?

Postby Mossy Toes » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:46 am

Vaguely reminded of Bethesda suing Mojang over the use of "Scrolls" as a game title. All I have to say on the matter, really.
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Re: GW Trademarking Space Marine?

Postby Ghurlag » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:52 pm

This guy delves into the common law claim a little more. It seems if the discussion is purely about ebooks (Amazon didn't block the print version of the book, so it seems this is the case) that the slighted author could have a good case for saying that Games Workshop are infringing his common law trademark, as he's been selling ebooks with 'Space Marine' on them since before they ever were.

This would be an excellent retaliation. The problem would be in the author having the money to take the fight to a court.

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Re: GW Trademarking Space Marine?

Postby Erunanion » Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:01 pm

Not to go off on a tangent here*, but I think the reaction from GW/BL dropping Abhinav as a reviewer is outrageous and petty. Now, my condemnation is hardly going to make them go back on the decision, nor is it going to reverse what is probably a common practice amongst publishers, but the disdain shown for the integrity of reviewers is very discouraging. 'Say only good things about us or we will cut you off' may be a way of reducing the amount of bad things said about their products (but then, it might not), but it is a very shabby way of treating professional reviewers, and does not reflect well on them as professional companies.

Angry-face done, I guess. This isn't going to make me stop buying their books, so I guess my rage-emotion doesn't really effect GW/BL in the slightest. Still, poor show.



*My view - copyright and common law trademarks aside, GW is displaying a staggering level of stubbornness in not realising how petty this appears, and how ridiculous their claim that only they can use the term 'space marine', is.
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Re: GW Trademarking Space Marine?

Postby Raziel4707 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:39 pm

I'm afraid if you are in a position where you receive anything from a company you must pay for that by abstaining from having a public opinion on its dealings. I'm not saying I agree with BL's legal position as I simply do not have that sort of legal training, but BL has every right to do what they have done to Shadowhawk because they want people to value his opinion on their output. If a person expects their opinion (reviews or whatever) to be taken seriously as a representative of a company's following then everything they say will carry a certain weight. If that person voices such an opinion or is connected to a negative response to its dealings it's only sensible that they are cut off in order to protect the integrity of that company.

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