Morning Cuppa – 02/07/13 – Space Marines vs. Games Workshop!

Big space marine news this morning my fellow space marine buddies! Let’s space marine right into it!

  • Games Workshop is now claiming that they own the trade mark to the term, “space marine” and have asked Amazon to remove a book by M.C.A. HogarthSpots the Space Marine, which they promptly did (but weren’t legally obligated to do so). Not to mention that the term space marine existed long before Game Workshop (Robert Heinlein anyone?), this is just one instance of a long history of trademark bullying of their most avid fans, the height of stupidity.
    • This Boing Boing article makes a great point: “Trademarks only apply to commercial works. You can and should use “space marine” in your everyday speech, fanfic, tweets and so on. For one thing, it will undermine Games Workshop’s attempts to homestead our common language.” Anyone want to come over to my house to play space marines while we eat some space marine sandwiches in our space marine vehicles? Space marine.
    • UPDATE: M.C.A. Hogarth reports that she is now talking to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. She can’t legally say more than that but she did say that the response from fans and supporters has been overwhelming. Particularly touching, “When Neil Gaiman retweeted the post I put my head down on my desk and cried.” So show your support for her, it’s a huge (and expensive) uphill battle against such a juggernaut. Make a donation to the EFF or buy the book in question which is still available from Smashwords!
  • Naturally, everyone is talking about how HBO has hired George R.R. Martin, extending his production role with Game of Thrones for two more years. In addition he will be tasked with creating new content for the network.
  • chrispbaconThis has nothing to do with writing or genre fiction or geekiness of any stripe. It will just make you squee, overcome with cute. This is Chris P. Bacon, a disabled piglet with a specially made K’nex wheelchair.
  • More articles written about Barnes & Noble’s plans to shut down stores, this time from the LA Times. Apparently Angelinos are experiencing a renaissance of small bookstores springing up while the giant chain struggles. That’s great for them but for the places in the US where B&N is an oasis among cultural blight, I don’t see the same thing happening.
  • And finally, if you’ve made it this far, don’t forget my February offer, if you’re an author and would like me to purchase a copy of your book, leave a comment on this blog post.