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Dice Age — Indie Gaming Project vs. Hollywood 47

Posted by Soulskill
from the we-own-all-the-words dept.
ArrowBay writes "Dice Age, a independent game project that raised nearly $35K through Kickstarter, is apparently facing some scrutiny from a certain movie studio that has produced movies with a similar name. From the latest project update: 'As if the Ice Age was exclusively the name of a movie, or if Dice Age was a movie itself, the 20th century fox has just asked for an extent of time (till 10-26-2011) to oppose to the registering of our beloved Dice Age game name. My point of view, as a scientist, is the Ice age is a geological era before it is a movie.""
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Dice Age — Indie Gaming Project vs. Hollywood

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  • by WiiVault (1039946) on Friday July 29, 2011 @06:05PM (#36928210)
    Hollywood has made it their goal to privatize everything from "Seal Team 6"- registered by Disney, to our fairy tales like Snow White. Stealing from the public domain and threatening everybody not in the club is nothing new for them. I have little doubt that the bean counters at Fox known damn well that most courts in the land will back their insane claim, assuming the small developer can even afford to fight the battle.
  • Simple solution! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Daetrin (576516) on Friday July 29, 2011 @06:08PM (#36928260)
    Just rename it "Dice Edge"!

    Oh... wait, [wikipedia.org] that won't work either. [escapistmagazine.com]
  • Don't play along (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Friday July 29, 2011 @06:13PM (#36928310) Homepage Journal

    Why should anyone pay to see a motion picture from a major studio ever again?

    If they're going to have this kind of hostility to society, by claiming all of culture as their own private property, I don't see a single reason why I should respect them in any way.

    I have said before, and believe more strongly all the time, that pirating movies is a political act of civil disobedience against elements of private industry who have attacked us first by stealing our shared culture.

    They can take a story from Aesop, turn it into a movie, and then sue anyone who uses the phrase "The Tortoise and the Hare".

    They have declared cultural war against us. I think we should strike back.

    • Re:Don't play along (Score:4, Interesting)

      by westlake (615356) on Saturday July 30, 2011 @12:20AM (#36930520)

      Why should anyone pay to see a motion picture from a major studio ever again?

      Because the paying customer gets to vote on future productions.

      The paying customer gets The Incredibles, Wall-E, Up and Toy Story 3 with a $200 million dollar production budgets. The paying customer gets ten years of Harry Potter with impeccable British casting.

      The paying customer gets the theme park and the Broadway production of The Lion King.

      The remake of True Grit.

      He gets The Dark Knight Returns.

      Batman and Batman: The Animated Series. He gets Jack Nicholson, Mark Hamill and Heath Ledger as The Joker. Batman: Arkham Asylum as the video and PC game tie-in.

      They can take a story from Aesop, turn it into a movie, and then sue anyone who uses the phrase "The Tortoise and the Hare".

      No they can't --- and the geek knows better.

      What they can do is copyright their unique interpretation of the characters and story, as Disney did in 1935 and Warner Brothers in 1943. The Tortoise and the Hare [imdb.com]

      Disney's animated "Cinderella" was released in 1950. The Rogers and Hammerstein musical was produced for television in 1957. Jim Henson's "Hey Cinderella!" with the Muppets in 1969.

      • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        The paying customer gets The Incredibles, Wall-E, Up and Toy Story 3 with a $200 million dollar production budgets.

        You make that statement approvingly?

        If so, don't have enough of a common frame of reference to continue this discussion.

        Disney's animated "Cinderella" was released in 1950. The Rogers and Hammerstein musical was produced for television in 1957. Jim Henson's "Hey Cinderella!" with the Muppets in 1969.

        You may not have noticed, but some things have changed since the period of 1950-1969, among the

        • by westlake (615356)

          You may not have noticed, but some things have changed since the period of 1950-1969, among them the fictive notion of "intellectual property".

          This is what the New York Times had to say about the economic impact and innovation of Disney's IP in 1938.

          "Prosperity Out of Fantasy"
          New York Times Editorial
          May 2, 1938

          It is said that what America needs to swing it out of the present economic tailspin is a new industry. Many things just over the horizon, such as television, air-conditioning in the home and flivver airplanes, have been suggested. But none of them seems yet to have materialized in terms of wages and heavy sales. Would it be ridiculous to suggest that industrialized fantasy may prove to be the answer?

          Industrialized fantasy sounds like something extremely complex. Yet it is quite simple. Walt Disney's picture-play "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" is an excellent example. Here is something manufactured out of practically nothing except some paint pots and a few tons of imagination. In this country imagination is supposed to be a commodity produced in unlimited quantities. If it can be turned out as an article of commerce which the public will readily buy, then prosperity should be-well, just around the corner, anyway. The Disney picture cost about $2,000,000 to produce.

          To be sure, it gave employment to no flesh-and-blood actors, human attributes being confined to voices on the sound tracks. But it kept a small army of artists, animators and gag men busy for many months. And from all reports it will not only return more than this investment to Mr. Disney, but is showering fortune on every playhouse that shows it. Dopey, Grumpy and their fellow-dwarfs, despite the fact that they get no wages themselves, have been the most valiant miners and sappers against recession whom the moving picture magnates have hired this year. No matter what business may have been in most theaters, the exhibitors of "Snow White" have not had to layoff a single dwarf.

          Moreover, the picture has virtually developed a new industry from its by-products. Figments of Disney's imagination have already sold more than $2,000,000 worth of toys since the first of the year. Since January, says Kay Kamen, Mr. Disney's representative here, 117 toy manufacturers have been licensed to use characters from "Snow White." The only thing in the picture that the public doesn't seem to crave is poisoned apples.

          One factory in Akron, Ohio, which makes little rubber dwarfs, has been running twenty-four hours a day, while many of the other rubber factories are closed. Dopey and Grumpy are putting men to work in paint shops, box factories, silica mines, stone quarries and mills all over the map. Wherever they turn up, prosperity begins to radiate. "Snow White" is Disney's first full-length picture. What is going to happen when he really gets into his stride? Industrialized fantasy? It should be industrially fantastic.

          The Entertainment Economy: "Disney Dollars" [pophistorydig.com]

          You recount a catalog of triviality.

          That is your opinion, not mine.

          • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

            This is what the New York Times had to say about the economic impact and innovation of Disney's IP in 1938.

            Nice job finding all that, but the New York Times editorial does not come close to suggesting anything like the extremist IP land grab of today. The only direct mention of IP is in the fourth paragraph where the writer says that 117 toy manufacturers have licensed the Disney characters which are direct Disney work product. The original Grimm Bros story does not have Dopey, Grumpy, Doc, or the one Wal

      • Really?

        "but Batman," he whined, "my gang and I were going to go hang out tonight!"

        Was he as bad as the idea sounds?

        *shudder*

        • by Trilkin (2042026)

          Not sure if this is a troll, but Mark Hamill has been the Joker in the Animated Series since its inception and was also the Joker in Arkham Asylum and in the upcoming Arkham City (which is, supposedly, the last time he'll ever play the character.)

  • by Radical Moderate (563286) on Friday July 29, 2011 @06:35PM (#36928582)
    ...about using Casablanca [chillingeffects.org] in the title of their film. Sadly, Snopes says Groucho ws being a bit disingenuous [snopes.com], but still an awesome read.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jasomill (186436)

      To say he was being "a bit disingenuous" is a bit disingenuous: he himself claimed his goal was to manufacture a controversy to generate publicity for his film; that he did this by "out-lawyering the lawyers" — using bullshit historical and moral claims to preempt bullshit legal claims— is actually quite brilliant. It's not "as if" he wanted Warner Bros. to sue — he actually wanted Warner Bros. to sue, as this would generate even more publicity for the film. Alternatively, he wanted to be

  • I don't get it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by carlzum (832868) on Saturday July 30, 2011 @12:42AM (#36930604)
    Products in different industries with no reasonable claim that it may confuse or mislead consumers. Absolutely no attempt to invoke the film's characters, images, or design. The game's title is not even Ice Age, it's a pun for a common phrase which accurately describes the product.

    This isn't even close to copyright/trademark gray area, like parody, fair use, etc. It's simply intimidation and proves we're speeding down the IP-law slippery slope opponents had feared.
  • Well, if they don't like "Dice Age", they should just propose a rebrand as 21st Century Dice....
  • When I heard of the name "Dice Age", I didn't associate it with "Ice Age" at all until it was mentioned in the post. Not only that, but I associated it with the geological era before the movie.

    This is lawyers nitpicking.

  • perhaps they named the latest transformers movie "dark of the moon" only because they feared they'd get sued from pink floyd if they used "dark side of the moon". "dark of the moon" doesn't even sound appealing. "dark side", however, makes so much more sense.
  • I hadn't heard of Dice Age before I saw this article, but now that I saw THE DICE I am totally on board. Maybe this whole Fox SNAFU will work out in Dice Age's favor by further spreading its name?
  • Oh... right. The lawyers are taking all the money.

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