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The Courts Games Your Rights Online

Games Workshop Sues Warhammer Online Fansite 182

Posted by Soulskill
from the don't-anger-your-base-again dept.
chalkyj writes "WarhammerAlliance.com (run for the last five years as one of the leading fansites for the MMORPG Warhammer Online) is being sued by Games Workshop for the use of the 'Warhammer' name, 'cybersquatting' and 'unfair competition.' This lawsuit is yet another in Games Workshop's disturbing pattern of suing their fans and hobbyists, this time going after a legitimate fansite for their MMORPG franchise. The full complaint (PDF) has been posted online."
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Games Workshop Sues Warhammer Online Fansite

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  • Damm lawyers (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 08, 2010 @11:55AM (#32139598)

    Hey lets sue the people who love our games the most!

    Yeah! That'll make us a ton of money!

    You'd think they could at least BUY a clue... But no... They don't.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 08, 2010 @11:55AM (#32139600)

    If you don't defend it, you potentially lose it. If you do defend it, you look like a jerk. What they need to do is come up with a $0 license for the site to use the name for specific purposes.

  • by sourcerror (1718066) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @12:01PM (#32139652)

    I can't imagine anything worse for their PR. No amount of advertisement can fix that.

  • by hibiki_r (649814) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @12:02PM (#32139666)

    They took down a bunch of stuff from BoardGameGeek too: They are doing their best to commit PR Suicide.

  • by Adrian Lopez (2615) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @12:15PM (#32139754) Homepage

    Two points:

    1. It's not cybersquatting when the domain name is used for legitimate purposes.
    2. I don't know about trademark law, but a non-legal, average person interpretation of the term "unfair competition" suggests that you'd have to be competing against the trademark holder rather than expressing support for their product.

  • by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @12:25PM (#32139842) Homepage Journal

    there is also no reason to defend your copyright against someone who is encouraging others to buy and use your copyrighted product.

    There are a lot of stupid copyright suits, but these type are the ones that absolutely astonish me the most. They aren't suing someone who makes them lose money or even a use that does nothing for the bottom line, they are suing people that are helping them make money by giving out free positive promotion and rallying their customer base. They ought to be sending them a thank you a "Warhammer approved!" website badge. When companies that I patronize do this it makes me reconsider being their customer in the future... especially when it's a "want" product like a game rather than a need.

  • Re:Damm lawyers (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bconway (63464) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @12:47PM (#32140032) Homepage
    Your subject shares nothing with your post. Lawyers didn't decide to a sue a Warhammer fan site.
  • Yep. They make life incredibly difficult on game store owners also. GW is basically the Apple of the tabletop gaming world.
  • by Frosty Piss (770223) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @01:01PM (#32140154)

    I don't know about trademark law, but a non-legal, average person interpretation of the term "unfair competition" suggests that you'd have to be competing against the trademark holder rather than expressing support for their product.

    Perhaps the "unfair competition" comes from having a more popular fan site than the company's own Internet properties? They are both "embarrassed" and "irritated" that they are not leveraging those fans to the fullest financial extent on their own site... Idiots. Typical MBAs.

  • by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @01:06PM (#32140194)

    there is also no reason to defend your copyright against someone who is encouraging others to buy and use your copyrighted product.

    You just jumped from trademark to copyright; two sometimes related but entirely different things.

  • Aye (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Moraelin (679338) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @01:25PM (#32140340) Journal

    Aye, a few fans showing up with chainsaws and cries of "Blood For The Blood God!" would probabl be scary ;)

  • Re:Damm lawyers (Score:2, Insightful)

    by arekusu_ou (1344373) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @04:30PM (#32141702)

    I don't know about that....

    Money can buy you a revolving door of hot supermodel class trophy wives and mistresses.
    Money can buy you all the cars, boats, planes you want to go anywhere you want.
    Money can buy you all the pretty things to look at and fun toys to play with.
    Money can give you power and render revenge against your enemies.
    Money can let you mess with people's lives and livelihood for your own perverse amusement.
    Money can buy you a sense of charity and phony philanthropy.
    Money can make a type of people be nice to you, suck up to you, be blithering idiots and servants around you.
    Money can buy people's convincingly feigned love and adoration.

    People who say money can't buy happiness are either jealous and spiteful or the type that can't be satisfied with what they have and simply want what they can't have, creating a paradox of emotions.

  • Re:Damm lawyers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jer (18391) on Saturday May 08, 2010 @10:57PM (#32144156) Homepage

    Somehow, I doubt that Games Workshop's shitty attitude towards their customers just comes from their legal department. The guys at the top at least have to sign off on it - if they aren't the ones who are pushing the policy in the first place.

    Lawyers are rarely the ultimate cause of problems from corporations. They're usually enablers, not decision makers. They get more credit than they deserve for bad decisions because part of their job is to be the designated asshole for a company, but the decisions come from the top at any company that isn't completely dysfunctional. (And in companies that are completely dysfunctional the decisions come from HR anyway, not from legal.)

  • Re:Typical GW (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kalirion (728907) on Sunday May 09, 2010 @01:31PM (#32148512)

    "Anti-competitive practices"? What are you talking about? Suing your own fans is the ultimate "pro-competitive" practice since it drives your fans to the competition!

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