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Space Marines

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Feb. 6th, 2013 | 10:43 pm

Well, apparently Games Workshop think they have trademarked "space marines" and nobody else is allowed to use them in works of fiction.

http://mcahogarth.org/?p=10593

Ooh, is that a copy of Heinlein's Space Cadet see nearby, published in 1948. Let's copy a couple of sentences:

"Matt killed time by watching the space marines and chinning with the non-coms.
He liked the spit-and-polish style with which the space marines did things, the strutting self confidence self-confidence with which they handled themselves."

Naughty Mr. Heinlein! Infringing on Games Workshop's trademark like that, 40 years before they released Warhammer 40k. I hope GW have a time machine handy so they can go back in time and sue him.

It's a good job GW don't derive their games from other written works, like publishing a wargame with elves, dwarves, orcs and ... no, wait.

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Comments {3}

Clare

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from: foxy76
date: Feb. 7th, 2013 04:57 pm (UTC)
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I did start researching this out of boring professional interest, but realised that the writer was referring to a US trademark. US IP law is bonkers!

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Vin Petrol

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from: vin_petrol
date: Feb. 9th, 2013 05:24 pm (UTC)
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It's become clear the GW hold a US trademark involving "Space Marines" for *gaming*, so it's a bit of a reach for them to extend this to books. It's also interesting that they've taken on a 'poor' writer with limited resources rather than (say) the somewhat more well-heeled estate of Robert A. Heinlein.

The thing is, GW already have a terrible reputation for heavy handed defence of their IP, so it's not like a boycott of their stuff will work. Millions of people are _already_ boycotting GW for previous stunts like this!

I shall watch this with interest.

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Clare

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from: foxy76
date: Feb. 10th, 2013 06:59 pm (UTC)
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'It's become clear the GW hold a US trademark involving "Space Marines" for *gaming*'

Yes, I checked the UK trademark, and it doesn't apply to literature either. Litigation in the states is a much more expensive process and I'm not too such of the level of success rate there. It is interesting that GW have taken on a 'poor' writer, suggesting that they're not after damages - perhaps they are making money from licensing the term? It does seem heavy handed and pretty inappropriate though to be honest!

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