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Electronic Frontier Foundation Games Your Rights Online

EFF Moves To Nix Trademark On "Gaymer" 231

netbuzz writes "Spurred by the mark holder's cease and desist letter to Reddit's subreddit r/gaymer, the Electronic Frontier Foundation today officially petitioned the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to rescind its grant of a trademark registration on the word "gaymer". 'This registration should never have been granted,' said EFF Intellectual Property Director Corynne McSherry. 'Gaymer is a common term that refers to members of this vibrant gaming community, and we are happy to help them fight back and make sure the term goes back to the public domain where it belongs.'"
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EFF Moves To Nix Trademark On "Gaymer"

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  • Re:Really!? (Score:4, Informative)

    by They'reComingToTakeM ( 1091657 ) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @08:05AM (#42679033)

    Both parties lose due to prior claims.

    Gaymer's ( has been a UK cider producer since 1770 AD.

  • Re:Really!? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24, 2013 @08:10AM (#42679057)

    Have you ever seen what happens in online games/communities with people who are even vaguely suspected of being gay? It's not pretty generally. So gay people tend to congregate in communities in which they can play without having to be careful about what they say and without having to pretend, lest they be offended/insulted/stalked/threatened/spammed or other fun things.

  • In the UK... (Score:4, Informative)

    by zandeez ( 1917156 ) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @08:13AM (#42679067) Homepage
    In the UK 'Gaymer' is a company that makes Cider. []
  • Re:Really!? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24, 2013 @08:20AM (#42679097)

    That wasn't my intention and I apologize. I simply wanted to use my new insult in conversation. I should have thought about the context before posting so that people wouldn't think what you thought. Again, sorry about that. My bad.

  • Re:Really!? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Annirak ( 181684 ) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @08:32AM (#42679143)

    You're quite right. Trademarks are both geographically restricted and market restricted. If you're in a different market or a different location, the trademark doesn't apply.

    And you have to register everywhere that you do business for the trademark to be valid in that region.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24, 2013 @09:12AM (#42679365)

    If you were under the impression that gays don't bang drunk people they pick up at a meat rack bars like heterosexuals do then I have some bad news for you buddy...

  • Oh thats nothing (Score:5, Informative)

    by Phrogman ( 80473 ) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @09:27AM (#42679453) Homepage

    If you want to see *really* abusive language and offensive comments concentrated into their purest form, go play an mmoRPG and try *Roleplaying*. Nothing gets the 12 yr old mentality for heaping offensive abuse on other players up more than encountering a roleplayer in a roleplaying game, believe me.
    In Dark Age of Camelot we had 3 Roleplaying/PvP servers, with a specific set of rules intended to foster RP behavior. We also had some of the best PvPing in the game going. However, there were regularly people who would create a character on one of these RP servers (there were like 17 other servers they could have chosen instead) *solely* for the purpose of standing in a populated area and heaping abuse on anyone they found. I would say I appealed at least 1 person per play session typically for this sort of behavior. I just don't get it. Its not like I logged into the non-Rp servers to insult them for not choosing to roleplay, that would just be a massive waste of my time if nothing else. I can't imagine being so bored as to have nothing better to do that insult people I will never play with.
    Now, I am not gay, but I can easily understand why those who are would group together to form their own community and avoid the abuse they probably get on a regular basis - or at least manage to avoid the typically offensive speech of the gamers around them.
    I cannot really imagine wanting to claim a term that would focus that abuse on me though. That seems *to me* to smack of wanting a reason to get outraged and complain about. Still whatever fills your boots I suppose...

    However I agree that online gamers are typically highly offensive and ignorant as a baseline behavior. Sure, some rise above that but they are the rarity, the vast, vast majority start at pig-ignorant and dig their way down from there. Admittedly this is mostly true only of RPGs that have a heavy PvP element to them. My wife plays LOTRO and it seems fairly mild, but then PvP there is a minor afterthought really.

  • Re:Really!? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Gwala ( 309968 ) <adam AT gwala DOT net> on Thursday January 24, 2013 @10:02AM (#42679691) Homepage

    If you want a legitimate answer from someone who's in one of the larger local Gaymer communities here's a couple of reasons:

    1- Multiplayer gaming is an endless tirade of gay-this, faggot-that. It's nice to play games and socialise with people who aren't jerks. (Yes yes, harden the fuck up, etc - but it is annoying.)

    2- It's an excuse to go hang out at a bar with a group of people with something in common every couple of weeks.

    3- While I know it's not applicable to me (LTR), but the group I'm in has at least partly become a dating pool - for gay guys and girls, that's actually sometimes a bit harder than you may be used to.

  • Re:Really!? (Score:3, Informative)

    by CosmicMuse ( 2751635 ) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @10:51AM (#42680059)

    No, we don't prefer certain genres. And no, we don't demand gay sex in our games, though seeing gay and lesbian -relationships- or -characters- is nice. As for segregation - that implies walling ourselves off from the rest of the gaming community. We don't - usually, the most a 'gaymer' will do is join an LGBT-friendly guild. That's hardly a surprising move when you see some of the vitriol the gaming community at large directs at LGBT people - "faggot" is practically a synonym for any other insulting term you can think of to some people. Gaymers look for places where they don't have to put up with that, and where they can share leisure time with people who have similar interests to them, in game and out - the modern equivalent of the local bar. Is that really such a big deal?

  • Re:Really!? (Score:5, Informative)

    by ArhcAngel ( 247594 ) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @11:55AM (#42680559)

    That's why Apple Records lost to Apple Computer.

    Did they? [] Apple Computer paid Apple Corp. in 1981 and then again in 1991. And even though Apple Computer won the first trial over iTunes [] there was a good enough chance they would have lost on appeal that they bought the trademark lock, stock, and barrel from Apple Corp.

  • Re:Really!? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24, 2013 @02:19PM (#42681953)

    The expression is actually 'faux pas', which translates literally to 'false step' and is used in the same context as one would use "misstep"

  • Re:Really!? (Score:4, Informative)

    by bheerssen ( 534014 ) <> on Thursday January 24, 2013 @02:34PM (#42682125)

    Being attacked is not the same as being persecuted. You have not been denied a loan on the sole basis that you are a white male. You have not been barred from staying in a hotel because you are a white male. You have not been told you can't marry your life partner because you are a strait white male. You have not been denied a job because you are a straight white male. You have not been denied a raise or paid less than others for the same work because you are a straight white male.

    Because you are a straight white male, you get privileged over others. That is the exact opposite of persecution. You can deny that all you like, but it's true.

  • by brkello ( 642429 ) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @03:48PM (#42682989)

    No, no they are not. When I go online and people find out I am male, nothing happens. When women go online, they are harassed constantly by idiots. Constant messages asking for pictures, a/s//l, etc. They can handle just the random hate filled things as well as any of us can...they are not being singled out. But when their sex is revealed, they are.

    So to say we are treated just as bad as women...well, that is misogynistic garbage for a bunch of pathetic men who have trouble with women because they are socially awkward.

    So grow up. When men start hiding their sex online for fear of being targeted, then maybe you would have a point.

  • Re:Really!? (Score:4, Informative)

    by seebs ( 15766 ) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @03:53PM (#42683041) Homepage

    Well, you know, that is a damn good question. And I know a number of people who have been kicked from a guild or clan or whatever after months to years of getting along fine with everyone, because someone heard them refer to a "boyfriend". And it seems to me that they would really, really, like an answer to that question.

    But we don't have one.

    So people who have gotten sick of thinking they found a social group to game with, and then getting kicked out of it or treated in really crappy ways, have started pre-identifying so they can find groups that will treat them basically like normal human beings.

    Usually, the next response is the "erasure" response -- "people should just not talk about their sex lives, then it won't be an issue." That's bullshit. It's bullshit because it's only gay people who are told not to talk about their sexual or romantic lives. No one thinks anything of it when a guy mentions a wife or a girlfriend in a game, or when a girl mentions a husband or boyfriend. But if someone mentions hating mammogram machines, and six months later mentions going out for dinner with a girlfriend, bam, she's in trouble for "shoving her sex life in everyone's face".

    The reality is, social interaction involves some talking about personal lives, and that's part of what makes people engage in social gaming activities to begin with. And the reality is, video game communities are visibly prone to treating people really badly if those personal lives are in some way gay. And as long as that's true, there'll be people using words like "gaymer", or creating "LGBT-friendly" guilds.

    When the day comes that you can confidently join a random guild in an MMO and expect not to get harassed about being a "fag", I doubt you'll see any real interest in "LGBT-friendly" guilds. But that day is not today.

"What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying." -- Nikita Khrushchev