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Games Workshop Bullies Author Over Use of the Words 'Space Marine' 211

Posted by Soulskill
from the space-marine-space-marine-space-marine dept.
New submitter jzoetewey writes "An author I know (MCA Hogarth) recently had her book Spots the Space Marine taken off Amazon because Games Workshop claimed it violated their trademark. The interesting thing? Their trademark doesn't include ebooks or novels. Unfortunately, she doesn't have the money to fight them. Plus, the idea of a space marine was around long before they were: 'In their last email to me, Games Workshop stated that they believe that their recent entrée into the e-book market gives them the common law trademark for the term “space marine” in all formats. If they choose to proceed on that belief, science fiction will lose a term that’s been a part of its canon since its inception.' Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing also made this important point: 'Amazon didn't have to honor the takedown notice. Takedown notices are a copyright thing, a creature of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. They don't apply to trademark claims. This is Amazon taking voluntary steps that are in no way required in law.'"
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Games Workshop Bullies Author Over Use of the Words 'Space Marine'

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  • Also relevant:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_marine#History [wikipedia.org]

    Read it quick before Games Workshop defaces the page!

  • by gravis777 (123605) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @02:56PM (#42812427)

    I would be shocked if Amazon didn't have a little form or something that you couldn't fill out to appeal a copyright or trademark infringement. I had Copyright notices on YouTube, and I appealed a couple because they were music that was in the public domain, and the company in question didn't even own the copyright on the arrangement I used. It would shock me that Amazon wouldn't have something similar.

    In the event of a DMCA takedown notice, the person accused normally just has to say that there is no copyright infringement, then the company claiming it has to offer proof that infringement happened. Or at least, that is my understanding (I could be wrong - while I have had companies claim copyright on stuff on Youtube, no one has actually requested a takedown).

    The whole point - your friend doesn't have to pay to fight. Notify Amazon that the claim was in error, have them restore the material, and then force Games Workshop to prove their claim.

  • by s13g3 (110658) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @03:27PM (#42812863) Journal

    Nastygram sent to custserv@games-workshop.com telling them what I think of their parsimonious self-aggrandizement.

    It's one thing to know you're annoying, it's another thing when the people you count on to buy your products start flooding your inbox TELLING you you're being obnoxious.

    After all, the FCC says that a complaint from one person is the equivalent of 50,000 people (or somesuch ridiculous figure) who are just as upset but didn't or couldn't send a complaint, right? In any event, I'll not be buying their products until they can stop acting like greedy little children who think they own everything they can lay hands on or claim to, and I'll be encouraging others to do the same.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @04:31PM (#42813775)

    I tried this. Reply:
    "Thanks for writing in to us! Unfortunately I am unable to answer any IP or legal questions on behalf of Games Workshop. Those kinds of questions need to be fielded to our legal department at legal@gwplc.com. I’m not sure how long it may take them to answer your question, but this is the right place to send it to. "

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