Silly Lawsuits, You So Silly!

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alphadog 101 Sep 27, 2011 at 15:52

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/37478/Mojang_Really_Silly_Bethesda_Scrolls_Case_Heads_To_Court.php

Surely Mojang’s game is not the only other game to use the word “Scroll” in a game title?

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touch_the_sky 103 Sep 27, 2011 at 18:15

Yeah… Next thing you know you’re gonna have Metallica chasing you cause there’s a master in devmaster;)

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fireside 141 Sep 27, 2011 at 20:40

Sweden must have some horrible copyright laws. All they would have to do in the US is find another game with “scroll” in the title. I doubt that would be hard given the number of fantasy games out there. I think Apple has gotten in to cases like this. If they want to protect their name, they need to choose something non-generic.

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TheNut 179 Sep 27, 2011 at 20:44

Welcome to the new dark ages. Another thousand years waiting to be thrown away over pointless squabbling and selfish deeds.

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Kenneth_Gorking 101 Sep 28, 2011 at 09:21

@alphadog

Surely Mojang’s game is not the only other game to use the word “Scroll” in a game title?

Daughter of Serpents (a.k.a. The Scroll)
Released two years before the first Elder Scrolls.

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alphadog 101 Sep 28, 2011 at 12:06

You know. I did a little googling and I am stunned at how few games use the word “scroll” in it.

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Sol_HSA 119 Sep 28, 2011 at 12:41

It’s all fun and games and then someone loses a couple million.

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_oisyn 101 Sep 28, 2011 at 12:46

@alphadog

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/37478/Mojang_Really_Silly_Bethesda_Scrolls_Case_Heads_To_Court.php Surely Mojang’s game is not the only other game to use the word “Scroll” in a game title?

The discussion is not solely about the word “scroll”, it’s about the game as a whole. Same setting, equal looking characters, and then also a familiar name? I can understand Bethesda’s point of view (but I’m not necessarily saying they’re right).

Also, points to Bethesda to sue in Swedish court, rather than in Texan court where these lawsuits are usually settled, stupidly enough.

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rouncer 104 Sep 28, 2011 at 12:49

@Sol_HSA

It’s all fun and games and then someone loses a couple million.

haha

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geon 101 Sep 28, 2011 at 13:30

@fireside

Sweden must have some horrible copyright laws.

Not more horrible than anywhere else. I expect this case to be dismissed.

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alphadog 101 Sep 28, 2011 at 13:56

@.oiysin

The discussion is not solely about the word “scroll”

Actually, it is basically about the word. It’s a trademark suit, not a look-and-feel suit. As such, Zeni is attempting to claim trademark infringement, and needs to prove:

1) Mojang is selling similar goods to Bethesda in a similar business, AND
2) There’s any (potential) public confusion between “Scrolls” and “The Elder Scrolls”.

IOW, will the “Scrolls” game presence, as it will be presented and sold, be confused by customers with “The Elder Scrolls” to the detriment of Zenimax?

Legally one could argue Mojang is selling similar goods (from what we’ve been allowed to see, it’s a fantasy-themed game, but with largely different mechanics) in a similar way. I guess I am not familiar enough with how different is “legally different” in a trademark battle.

The second point is key. I don’t think your average video game customer would confuse the two and buy Mojang’s game instead of Bethesda’s. That’s the tough one to prove or defend in court…

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Mihail121 102 Sep 29, 2011 at 10:22

To tell you there are two points to this:

  1. Copyright in Sweden is being nicely shaped by the US as Wikileaks cables suggest. US/German copyright system prevents humanity’s progress and revolves solely around money making. I find this stupid, useless and obscene. We don’t really need to be put to slavery because of large corporations. I agree with you about that.

  2. Mojang’s game Scrolls is indeed quite similar to Morrowind. In fact I even thought it WAS Morrowind-related before I read here on Devmaster it was not. For me, it’s a clear case of copyright infridgement and not in any case of trolling. Mojang is _very clearly_ trying to use the name Scrolls to promote it’s own product.

Quite honestly, I appears Mojang/Notch are quite good at stealing ideas and turning them into $$$. This might be considered a vital skill, but I don’t think it’s moral. They succeeded creating a hype from something that already existed in countless forms and are now doing an Apple-like strategy of constantly increasing prices.

TL;DR;

I bet with you on a beer that in 10 years Mojang will be copyright bitching around as well.

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alphadog 101 Sep 29, 2011 at 13:41

@Mihail121

Mojang is _very clearly_ trying to use the name Scrolls to promote it’s own product.

Pardon my ignorance, but it apparently is “very clear”, and I missed it: your conclusion is based on what evidence of trademark infringement? (Zenimax is not claiming copyright infringement.)

If Mojang had chosen “Scrolls Of Elders” or “The Elderberry Scrolls” (with berry in a small font), and if the game’s overall mark was closely similar, then maybe we’d have a real case of trademark infringement.

Anyways, apart from the confusion of trademark and copyright, you state copyright law prevents humanity’s progress, but Zenimax should sue the socks off Mojang? I’m confused.
@Mihail121

Quite honestly, I appears Mojang/Notch are quite good at stealing ideas and turning them into $$$.

The Elder Scrolls series isn’t even really the same type of game as Scrolls, from the limited leaked info. If anything, some like Wizards Of the Coast would have the copyright (but not trademark) case, since Scrolls looks to be an online card game with RPGish flavor.

As for the idea of “stealing” in general, you can reduce any game to simple statements such that they look like “copies” of others. Limbo? Just a platformer like Mario. Nintendo should sue Playdead, I guess.

I say kudos to Mojang for executing so well off a re-retread of some card/RPG ideas! We, as game devs, should learn from it all.

One negative takeaway: while it might be great PR for Mojang playing the underdog, it doesn’t make business sense to fight and burn up your legal funds on an unreleased game’s title.

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alphadog 101 Oct 18, 2011 at 13:40

On a positive note:

http://www.minecraftforum.net/news/274-scrolls-shall-stay-scrolls/

Appeal is still possible, but it is “clear” it isn’t “stealing”.