From Making Light.
MCA Hogarth, an author and artist …. recently discovered that one of her books, Spots the Space Marine has been blocked from sale on Amazon, after a claim of trademark infringement from Games Workshop.
Since 1987, GW has published a series of games (and ancillary merchandise) get in their “Warhammer 40,000” setting, full of spike-covered pseudo-elves and pseudo-orcs amd chainswords and the like, all set in space (instead of on a planet like their original Warhammer setting). GW has apparently decided that, since they’ve got space marines in their setting, they own the very concept of space marines.
While the copyright lobby screeches about “piracy” and demands ever stricter laws, it’s nonsense like this that demonstrate how badly the current intellectual property regime is broken. Opinion on Making Light (and trust me, these people do know what they’re talking about) is that Games Workshop’s attempts to claim ownership of the name “Space Marine” is unlikely to stand up in court. But they’re targetting people who can’t afford the expense of costly lawyers to defend themselves. This is a company that has issued DCMA takedown notices on people publishing their own photographs of their own Games Workshop chaos spiky creatures.
They should not be allowed to get away with this sort of bullying.
Update: And they haven’t. Amazon have now backed down, belatedly recognising GW’s claim for the trolling it is. Hopefully GW will also realise that all this bad publicity is damaging their brand - See the Electronic Frontier Foundation for the full story.