Space Marine (tm)

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Professor Zoom, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2004
    Location:
    Idealistic
    It's going around the interwebs... but, I thought I would bring it up here...

    So, the makers of Warhammer 40,000 are trying to lay claim to the term Space Marine.

    Clearly, that's insane and they are bullying people with lawyers.
    SO, I say, we turn it around. We ALL write and put up stories with Space Marine in the title... can they sue is ALL? Before they cost of the lawyers bankrupts the assholes?

    Seriously, SPACE MARINE...?!?

    I hope the public shaming that's going around will make them back off.
     
  2. Admiral2

    Admiral2 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Location:
    Langley
    It's not necessary.

    Even if by some miracle they manage to get the phrase "Space Marine" trademarked, they can't trademark the word Marine (or Marines) because it's been in the public domain for centuries and is used by countries all over the world to define other things that have been in the public domain for centuries.

    So you can make up any kind of phrase you want using the word "marine": "Interstellar Marine", "Marine Corps Space Aviator" (Space: Above and Beyond), "Astro-Marine" (StarCom), Starfleet Marine Force (variation on a fanTrek theme), Galactic Merchant Marine, etc., etc and like that there...

    So a massive fan written intellectual disobedience campaign is a waste of energy. It's unlikely the warhammer people will be able to prove that the phrase is unique to their intellectual property. Of course, there are always stupid judges (Spike Lee got money and rights to produce from Spike, a channel that had jack to do with him or his name...), but even if they win, there are plenty of alternatives.
     
  3. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2004
    Location:
    Idealistic
    They only instance they need to prove that they SOLEY can use the term Space Marine is if it goes to court. And what small writer has the money to do that? Their lawyers basically send out cease and desist with threats of legal action... Nothing is proven, no precident is set unless there's a trial. And lawyers cost money.

    And why should THEY get the right to something so generic as Space Marine? They didn't even create the term. I'm fine if someone creates a book called Battlehammer 30,000... sue the crap out of them... but, preventing someone from making a living... or getting a few bucks from selling an ebook by using Space Marine. No.

    I'm all in favor of protecting IP, but, this is extreme. This is legal bullying at its worse. This pushes the little guy around. Fuck that.

    And unless I'm paying for someone's lawyer... which I can't afford to do, social network shaming is not a waste energy.
     
  4. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    A Long Time Ago...
    Someone should convince the Heinlein estate to send GW a cease and desist.
     
  5. Admiral2

    Admiral2 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Location:
    Langley
    No, what needs to happen is this "Spots" author needs to get a lawyer to tell GW's lawyers that the law is not on their side. Begging the internet community to rally around her and go "Shame shame" will be absolutely meaningless as long as GW can point to any law anywhere and say "This says I can do this."
     
  6. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2004
    Location:
    Idealistic
    Sigh. Did you read the link? She can't AFFORD a lawyer. Thats why people are talking about doing something.

    And another point, and I'll find a link when I'm back at a computer, their claim of trademark in the US is for games, not books and they are trying to use UK copyright law as if it were applicable to the US.

    Again this is a company lawyer CLAIMING something is lawful but can only be settled in court, which costs money.

    They are choosing to do this. Thus they can UNchoose to do it.
     
  7. Admiral2

    Admiral2 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Location:
    Langley
    Yes, I did, hence my last statement.

    Then donate money to a legal defense fund so she can afford a lawyer, which, again, is her only option.


    Didn't you read the link in the article? I already read that. Same result.

    But. They. WON'T unless told to do so by a judge, who must be convinced by a lawyer speaking for the author. They sure as hell won't even notice if a bunch internet fanwankers just start throwing the term "space marine" into their stories for no good reason.
     
  8. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2004
    Location:
    Idealistic
    Two questions for you:

    Do you think what they are doing is right?
    Have you considered bad PR might be a way to change the action of a company?
     
  9. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2002
    Location:
    Terra Inlandia
    Edit: never mind.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
  10. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Location:
    On the beach
    The W in GW obviously stands for wankers.
     
  11. Sindatur

    Sindatur Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2011
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    I agree, trying to trademark "Space Marine" is way over the top, there should be absolutely no way this wouldn't be tossed out of court before it even began.

    Although, I still believe it's not right, I can almost see how they might be able to at least argue for trade marking "Spacemarine" as all one word, I still don't think even that should have a chance of winning, but, at least they might have an argument to stand on. But, trade marking the two word phrase, no way in hell, should they even be granted a Court case to argue for it, IMHO.
     
  12. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    I agree that this is extremely obnoxious, but I don't quite see what we commoners can do about it. If James Cameron could be prevailed upon to write them a public "don't be stupid" letter, that might help...
     
  13. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2004
    Location:
    Idealistic
    Especially since they didn't come up with the phrase. Anything that is truly unique to their IP, they should trademark and protect.

    Retroactively claiming something that others came up with, that's insane. And the problem is, until it goes to court, they will continue to bully people.

    Sure, I COULD use Interstellar Marines... but then, I should get the trademark on that... and then what would someone else use?

    Really? Nothing? As Admirl2 suggested, donate to the legal defense fund (which I don't think the author has set up, I think she's trying to get a pro bono lawyer). But you don't think raising the awareness of this issue does anything? You don't think having people who buy Warhammer products writing to them and saying, "I'm not going to buy your stuff if you keep doing this?" would do anything?

    I don't understand that attitude. Of surrender. (Ok, that's a bit extreme on my part... but still...)

    I guess this is important to me as a writer...
     
  14. Klaus

    Klaus Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2003
    Location:
    Beach condo, Bay of Eldamar
    "No man, if we just get #freespacemarines trending on Twitter, the company will FOLD!" :p

    ...but I hope it works. This is so stupid I'm surprised it wasn't Donald Trump.
     
  15. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2004
    Location:
    Idealistic
    :lol:
     
  16. Sindatur

    Sindatur Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2011
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    Nah, Donald Trump would be the one fighting against them demanding for them to show him "Space Marine's" Birth Certificate if they want to try and bully him into Ceasing and Desisting ;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
  17. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    I understand, it's just that I feel Warhammer is such a small, niche market that I personally feel totally disconnected from them. Of course I'd boycott their stuff over this if I were liable to buy it in the first place and encourage others to do the same if I went to stores that sold 'em, but I don't do either.

    This seems like something the author should take the lead on. Heck, with a bit of effort, the free publicity arising from making a big stink about it could very possibly be a boon. There was once a guy who sold a few "The South Butt" clothing items online. The North Face sued, and not only did he win the case, the publicity-driven sales made him stinking (pardon the pun) rich.
     
  18. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2001
    Location:
    Mr. Adventure
    Does Warhammer predate Doom? Wasn't your guy a "space marine" in that game?
     
  19. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2004
    Location:
    Idealistic
    There are lots of examples of space marines that predate Warhammer.
     
  20. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    A Long Time Ago...
    The fun is over. GW has backed down.