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Oh, no. GW, too?

Maybe I'm late to the game here, but I just learned that Games Workshop, the company behind the fantasy miniatures game Warhammer and it's science fiction counterpart Warhammer 40,000, trademarked the term "space marine" and sends cease-and-desist letters to any other gaming publisher that uses the term in their games. Apparently, this has been going on for years.

Now, GW is publishing fiction based on their Warhammer 40,000 properly. And they're sending the same cease-and-desist letters to fucking science fiction authors who use the term "space marine", at least in the titles of their books.

Here's the BoingBoing article: Games Workshop trademark bullying goes thermonuclear: now they say you can't use "space marine" in science fiction

The author mentioned in the article, M.C.A. Hogarth, writes about it in her own blog, too: In the Future, All Space Marines Will Be Warhammer 40K Space Marines

I know a number of people who are fans and players of either Warhammer, Warhammer 40,000, or both. So even though this news doesn't affect me personally, it distresses me because of the discomfort that it will inevitably cause my friends.

EDIT: I previously mis-identified the company in question as Game Designers Workshop, which was a completely different company and hasn't existed since 1996. My apologies.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 6th, 2013 03:48 pm (UTC)
Yeah they've been doing this for a while.

They also like to sue fan sites to get their materials off the web, because it infringes on their copyright.

Their lawyers love to get paid.
Feb. 7th, 2013 12:42 am (UTC)
Read that and had a lot of WTF in response.

I'm sorry, but GDW can suck it; the term 'space marine' has been in use by so many authors long before their company even came into being.

And I'm pretty sure Heinlein is rolling in his grave--which makes me wonder if his family are willing to go to legal lengths for their own say in the matter.
Feb. 7th, 2013 02:43 pm (UTC)
Yeah, they're bein' asshats. I'm sure Heinlein is spinning in his grave right now.

BTW...It's Games Workshop NOT GDW, they're not the same.
Feb. 7th, 2013 04:02 pm (UTC)
Oh, goodness, you're right. My mistake. Thank you for catching that.
Feb. 8th, 2013 01:03 am (UTC)
Looks like EFF is getting involved, and she has offers from a couple of fannish trademark attorneys as well.

-- David
Feb. 8th, 2013 01:00 pm (UTC)
Sorry, I'm not sure who you mean by "EFF". For me, "EFF" is the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Feb. 11th, 2013 03:07 pm (UTC)
D'oh! Never mind. I thought the "she" in the second half of your statement was referring back to "EFF", whereas obviously you were referring to the author. My bad.
Feb. 11th, 2013 03:50 pm (UTC)
No worries. Vague pronoun use on my part. Sorry about that.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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