In the Future, All Space Marines Will Be Warhammer 40K Space Marines

Update! Spots the Space Marine has been reinstated! Read about it here and on the EFF.

In mid-December, Games Workshop told Amazon that I’d infringed on the trademark they’ve claimed for the term “space marine” by titling my original fiction novel Spots the Space Marine. In response, Amazon blocked the e-book from sale [original post and update]. Since then, I’ve been in discussion with Games Workshop, and following their responses, with several lawyers.

To engage a lawyer to defend me from this spurious claim would cost more money than I have, certainly more than the book has ever earned me. Rather than earning money for my family, I’d be taking money from them, when previously my writing income paid for my daughter’s schooling. And I’d have to use the little time I have to write novels to fight a protracted legal battle instead.

In their last email to me, Games Workshop stated that they believe that their recent entrée into the e-book market gives them the common law trademark for the term “space marine” in all formats. If they choose to proceed on that belief, science fiction will lose a term that’s been a part of its canon since its inception. Space marines were around long before Games Workshop. But if GW has their way, in the future, no one will be able to use the term “space marine” without it referring to the space marines of the Warhammer 40K universe.

I used to own a registered trademark. I understand the legal obligations of trademark holders to protect their IP. A Games Workshop trademark of the term “Adeptus Astartes” is completely understandable. But they’ve chosen instead to co-opt the legacy of science fiction writers who laid the groundwork for their success. Even more than I want to save Spots the Space Marine, I want someone to save all space marines for the genre I grew up reading. I want there to be a world where Heinlein and E.E. Smith’s space marines can live alongside mine and everyone else’s, and no one has the hubris to think that they can own a fundamental genre trope and deny it to everyone else.

At this point I’m not sure what course to take. I interviewed five lawyers and all of them were willing to take the case, but barring the arrival of a lawyer willing to work pro bono, the costs of beginning legal action start at $2000 and climb into the five-figure realm when it becomes a formal lawsuit. Many of you don’t know me, so you don’t know that I write a business column/web comic for artists; wearing my business hat, it’s hard to countenance putting so much time and energy into saving a novel that hasn’t earned enough to justify it. But this isn’t just about Spots. It’s about science fiction’s loss of one of its foundational tropes.

I have very little free time and very little money. But if enough people show up to this fight, I’ll give what I can to serve that trust. And if the response doesn’t equal the level of support I would need, then I still thank you for your help and your well wishes. For now, step one is to talk about this. Pass it on to your favorite news source. Tell your favorite authors or writers’ organizations. To move forward, we need interest. Let’s generate some interest.

I am available for questions for anyone who has them; you can reach me at haikujaguar at gmail. Thanks, everyone.

***

Finally, several of you have asked about the Spots the Space Marine charity. I have always donated a portion of my profits from the sale of the book (in all editions, serial, e-book and print) to The Wounded Warrior Project, a charity recommended to me by the servicemen and servicewomen who also helped me with my many questions while writing. I’m not sure when Spots the Space Marine will be available again, but until I figure it out, I commend this charity to you. There would be no space marines without the real thing.

Leave a comment ?

429 Comments.

  1. This is a ridiculous legal position. TVTropes has an article on Space Marines that indicates clearly that first use of the term was in 1934 in the Lensman series. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SpaceMarine Heinlein’s _Space Cadet_ features Space Marines by name in 1948. _Space: Above and Beyond_ is an entire television show that featured Marines in Space. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SpaceAboveAndBeyond Games Workshop is way out of line here, trying to steal an entire concept that many science fiction authors have explored from many different angles — most of them having nothing to do with a ridiculous ‘Imperium’ of deviants and genocidal monsters.

    • My very first thought when I was reading this was “Haven’t I read a Heinlein book that references space marines?”

      • Heinlein’s novel was about “Space Infantry”, not Marines, as far as I remember.

      • USPTO

        4 75010236 2100767 SPACE MARINE TSDR LIVE
        6 74186534 1922180 SPACE MARINE TSDR LIVE

        NO live TM for ‘Space Marines’

        These are the Games World TM based upon UK registrations in the 1990′s

        Not sure where the use as the already established generic term from the 30′s.

        But violation becomes a problem only when the term is used in such a way that the TM might be confused…andunless you used it in the advertising… And then there’s ‘Space Macarines’ as a plural, which doesn’t have a TM registered (though, of course, TM’s don’t have to be registered to exist.

        My general understanding is that the TM protects the term’s use in advertsisng when used as a a product branding indicator, so even use in titles wher the term is explicitly generic, probably would get tossed.

        Law is a swamp though….

    • I’m not a lawyer, but I’ve done some trademark work. I find it hard to believe that with all the prior use they trademark office would seriously entertain a trademark, unless it was for a VERY limited scope. Heinlein and BBTS aside, space marines are a major, contemporary component of Blizzard’s Starcraft, and that’s been around for many years. I KNOW they have a legal team that could dissolve that trademark in seconds. Perhaps you could contact them and have them play the heavy for you.

      Good luck getting that resolved. That’s definitely one of more frustrating aspects of being a writer, particularly since it’s obviously groundless. But Amazon has to kowtow to legalese.

      • Blizzard’s Starcraft is *heavily* influenced by Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40k – Blizzard’s Warcraft was originally meant to be Games Workshop’s Warhammer Fantasy before they failed to acquire copyright and made their own spin-off. GW predates Blizz in almost every way (it’s a sort of an in-joke that Starcraft ripped off everything from 40k), so you can’t really use them as an example in this case.

        But it is such a generic sci-fi term that this is simply another case of GW’s ugly business side being thte ugly business that they are.

        • Fair enough. I posted that particular comment before I looked up the trademark details.

          • I am not a lawyer, and this does not present legal advice:

            You might want to consider a declatory judgement as GW’s position is a bit ridiculuous:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declaratory_judgment

          • Although, look up ‘Space Marine’ on wikipedia, where it’s classed as a sci-fi archetype. Sometimes people seem to sue things just to see if they can get away with it.

          • For what it’s worth, I’m told there is a legal precedent regarding the term wherein GW sued blizzard over Starcraft-related rights infringement, and the judge ruled against GW owning the phrase “Space Marine.” Reliability status: Rumor.

        • One of the most annoying aspects of this case is that Amazon *doesn’t* have to kowtow to legalese. There is absolutely no law requiring them to remove a book from sale just because GW claims trademark infringement.

          Amazon is *choosing* to kowtow to legalese, rather than bother to investigate or fight. I can’t entirely criticise – it’s not in their interests to bother to check up – but it sets a really bad precedent.

          • One more way Amazon is messing up their book department. The Kindle episode wasn’t that long ago.

          • The reason they’re kowtowing is that the DMCA gives them “safe harbor” against liability for trademark violation if they take it down on request. If they keep the item up for sale, and a court later rules the trademark or copyright was infringed, then Amazon could be on the hook for damages as much as the author of the book. It’s yet another way our Congress rewards their big-bucks contributors from the corporate world.

          • @Kevin M: DMCA only pertains to Copyright not trademarks. It says so right in the name: Digital Millenium Copyright Act.

        • This makes me laugh. Not disagreeing with you as Warcraft and Starcraft are indeed heavily influenced by the Warhammer material as you clearly state; it’s just that GW in the first place started out as a back bedroom hobby making lead figures based on other people’s creations, whether Tolkien, Asimov, or Norse mythology in general. I know because my mum used to know the family of one of the founders when they were first starting out. It’s ridiculous for a company whose entire creativity is simply based on other people’s creativity to become so intractable and ‘corporate’ regarding others using what is essentially a very generic term.

      • FYI- In StarCraft I believe they are simply labeled “Marine.” I do however side you and the OP.

      • … space marines are a major, contemporary component of Blizzard’s Starcraft ..

        Easy there, you’re on thin ice. ;)

    • GW doesn’t have to take this to court to win, all they have to do is bully people who cannot afford to fight this in court.

    • How about a kickstarter for lawsuits?

      • People who fund others’ court cases can find themselves liable for costs above and beyond their contribution.

        It caught out the backers of at least one libel case. I just can’t remember which right wing politician cost his friends a big pile of money.

    • Unfortunately, with trademarks there is no “prior art” to consider. Many years ago, there was a rash of cases where some major companies neglected to register their company name as a trademark (as I recall, Ford Motors was one of them). People would register the trademark in their own name, then essentially blackmail the company into buying it back from them. That’s why just about everything these days is a registered trade mark.

    • I just sent off a letter to GW to tell them that I won’t be supporting their products anymore.

  2. My husband suggested trying: https://www.eff.org/

    I mean, really, that’s as bad (or worse) as the dude who copyrighted “Happy Birthday”!

    Good luck!

    • The EFF gave me a list of lawyers willing to take the case; three of the five lawyers I talked to were recommended by them. So your husband’s suggestion was a good one!

      • I say to keep following up with the EFF. They joined the fight to help invalidate the trademark on the term “gaymer.” I don’t know why this one would be that different.

        • Unvanquished Sun

          The EFF is a good idea. Try tweeting at them too. One of their founders is on Twitter @JPBarlow and they have to have a more formal presence too.

          Toss this whole mess at Reddit too,
          I’m sure there are people there who’ll care, and consider a We The People petition to the White House.

          You can’t patent or trademark something that’s obvious and in common usage, that’s just insane.

          The story is getting out, I found it on The Escapist so you’re not alone in this.

  3. The USMC has a wordmark on the word Marines. For more information that might be helpful to you: http://www.hqmc.marines.mil/divpa/Units/MarineCorpsTrademarkLicensingProgram/FAQ.aspx

    • Hang on a moment – the Royal Marines use of that name predates the existence of the USA, let alone the USMC, so they’ll have trouble protecting it as a trademark at least outside the USA…

    • I actually knew a US Marine Major attatched to the
      US Space Command.

      Yea, we called him the Space Marine. :cool:

  4. Here’s a whole UNIVERSE from writers using Space Marines
    http://storiesonline.net/library/universe.php?id=289

  5. Point them to Ian Douglas’s (William Keith’s pseudonym) series about Space Marines that’s been in print for over a decade. Or the Starfist series from David Sherman and Dan Cragg, also in print for many many years, which I think also makes liberal use of the term Space Marines.

  6. Even in the world of gaming, Games Workshop is a latecomer. Fantasy Games Unlimited had a miniatures game called “Space Marines” back in 1979.

    • And Traveller has had Marines in Space since 1977 (although I can’t remember if they ever explicitly called them “Space Marines” in any of the books.)

  7. Here’s what you do. Find a bunch of Marines who agree with you – shouldn’t be too difficult. Take them and ride on over to the Games Workshop HQ. Invite their IP attorney to lunch. Explain your position. That should do it.

  8. How about posting the letters/emails you got from Games Workshop.

  9. Try reaching out to the Randazza Law Group.They don’t do much Pro Bono but it is worth a shot and they are the best.

    • I’ll keep it in mind… at this point finding a lawyer isn’t the problem, so much as paying for one.

      • Maybe a kickstarter project?

        • Indiegogo is probably a better platform for this type of fight, but I agree with the crowdfunding suggestion. I think this has the potential to get some broad financial support if mcah is willing to put in the time it will take to fight it.

          • I third this idea. A “Save Spots the Space Marine” crowdfunding campaign could at least offset some of the cost of the legal bills. I think it could get a lot of traction in certain corners. The reward could be a copy of the book.

        • I’d definitely contribute to a crowdfunded project. My grandfather, Martin Greenberg (not the editor), pioneered the Science Fiction genre in the 40s. He published the first works of Asimov, Heinlen, and Clarke. There were plenty of space marines floating around back then and throughout.

        • I would join in a Kickstarter or a Indiegogo..
          GW have gone to far this time.

      • Have you set up a fund to help with payment?

  10. Do you want to be a hero in the sky?
    Do you want to be a hero in the sky?
    High adventure, higher pay,
    join the space marines today,
    and you’ll get to be a hero in the sky.

  11. Presumably there is also an appeal process within Amazon. Should be simple enough to get them to agree they don’t also want to also block all the Heinlein Ebooks they recently added to their Kindle offerings. Heinlein’s publisher might also have a dog in that fight, once they become aware of the issue.

    • Concerned Citizen

      This. Appeal via Amazon, explaining why GW’s position is insane.

      • Their position might be insane; unfortunately, when you have lawyers on retainer, sanity is optional.

        The Mouse is famous for this approach; back in the late 90s, a filker named Tom Smith wrote several parody songs using various Disney tunes (“On the PC” TTO “Under the Sea”, etc.). This was well after the SCOTUS ruling on what constituted parody, mind you.

        As soon as he put them on CD and started selling them, he got a call from the Mouse’s lawyers demanding he cease and desist. When he gently pointed out that his parodies fell well within the SCOTUS decision, their response was basically: “Yeah, we know, and if it ever gets to the SCOTUS level or possibly even trial, we’ll lose. In the meantime, we have lawyers sitting on retainer, and they’re going to take you on a tour of the court system just to make sure. This will involve discovery, not just of you but of your family and employer (to make sure they didn’t help you violate our copyright); it will involve you having to travel from Michigan to Florida (a lot); in short, it would be much better if you gave up.”

        Not having the money, time, etc., he agreed and pulled them.

        • Legal sanctions can be nasty – I would be surprised if you couldn’t find a lawyer to take a case like that on contingency, if the memo they sent him really was essentially an admission of bad faith.

          Bad faith, while very hard to prove these days, is still pretty harshly punished.

        • The difference is Amazon has no reason to pull that sort of trick, and they probably have at least as many Lawyers as the gaming company so if you convince them GW ‘s position is insane and will never stand up in court (two seperate issus) they’ll probably reinstate the book

  12. I suggest that you put the search terms ‘space’ and ‘marine’ into Google Books Ngram viewer. It shows regular use of the word prior to any GW usage.

    • That will just search for each word’s separate occurrence. You should try the terms ‘space marines’ and ‘Space Marines’ (Ngram is case-sensitive).

      • Message: “The Ngram Viewer treats quotation marks literally.”

        It looks like it searches for space marine (or space marines) as a single term unless you comma-separate them. In any case, I’m seeing use back to 1944.

        Games Workshop is full of substances excreted by male bovines.

        I would chip into an Indiegogo campaign to fight this.

  13. They could just be objecting to its use in the title, not its use like in the text itself.

    But yeah. Games Workshop was originally formed (in part) to make supplements for the pen & paper role playing game Traveller (ironically by a company named Games Design Workshop), which had Marines in it. I don’t believe they were called Space Marines, but they clearly got a lot of ideas from Traveller (which in turn was inspired by a lot of classic SF).

  14. Contact Baen Books. They seem to have had the most recent rights to publish Heinlein’s books. They, or the literary executors of Heinlein and Doc Smith, will definitely want to advise Games Workshop of the prior use of “Space Marines”

    And maybe we can drop a company of Chigs on top of them, just for grins.

    • Yeah, Baen are some cool guys. John Ringo especially, many of their more recent authors include Space Marines in their books. I’d like to think they’d be willing the throw some weight around.

  15. Here’s my brother-in-law’s musical “Outer Space Marines” contribution to the usage of the term from the 1970s.

    Sheesh.

  16. Same thing happened to a Lego Cuusoo project. My son was involved with a lego proposal that they called space marines. They got the magic 10,000 likes to get Lego to consider making it. And then, these guys swooped down and scared Lego off, forcing a reworking of the name. Maybe their experience could help prove the concept is in currency. Might want to explore that.

  17. Ithink you just hit the big time, or it’s a small world. I choose to believe the former, as I have surfed in from a link from Glen Reynolds’ “Instapundit”. Prepare for an “Instalanche”. Given that he is both a Law Professor, and a booster of independent Science Fiction, I think that this should help find someone to asist in the war effort to keep the Space Marines Independent of one single Trademark holder. Good Luck!.

  18. considering that Doom II used space marines, perhaps you can get id games to put the whammo on warhammer 40k, legally speaking.

  19. Dark Horse comics and the Aliens franchise also used “Space Marines” in its titles in the early ’90s. I believe the video game spinoffs were also titled Space Marines. GDW has no real case.

    • Note that this is Games Workshop (GW), a UK-based company, not the now defunct Game Designers Workshop (GDW), that’s claiming the approx eighty-year-old term ‘Space Marine’ as a trademark.

  20. I got curious and found the Trademark record in question. It’s based on the UK, and limited to toys and video games (not literary works).

    A good trademark attorney might suggest that one could approach the company; indicate that you are asking for a limited use component of the phrase, and just try to carve out permission (a la Apple Computer and Apple Records). Adding that the strength of the trademark would be suspect if you went to court might give you a leg up, but that’s hardly a guarantee.

    • There are UK and European trade marks held by GW for ‘Space Marine’, but there’s also a US trade mark (serial 74186534) and it seems that is the one GW is seeking to enforce.

      • If I’m reading it right, that one is limited to, “board games, parlor games, war games, hobby games, toy models and miniatures of buildings, scenery, figures, automobiles, vehicles, planes, trains and card games and paint, sold therewith.” It really doesn’t seem like they’ve even got a trademark on this sort of use.

  21. Blizzard Games (producers of World of Warcraft and StarCraft) definitely has “prior art” on the term “Space Marines”.

    • No, no they don’t. As noted earlier, Warcraft was originally a pitch for a computer version of Warhammer Fantasy Battles, and was very slightly retooled when Games Workshop turned them down. Starcraft has an even more similar look and feel to the GW Warhammer 40,000 races and units that predate them by a good margin.
      It is worth noting that GW doesn’t seem to have tried to tangle with them over it, though…

  22. I’m sorry – but this issue is just intriguing me. Rather than spend money on lawyers, you might just want to reach out to the company, and ASK for permission to use the phrase.

    This could be just a “Xerox” issue where they want to protect their copyright (yeah, lame as it is). You may have to put a notice inside each copy of the book recognizing their copyright, but it’s better than pulling and rewriting a book, or girding loins for legal battles.

    • You’re suggesting surrendering to the thugs and bullies? Yes, that always works.

      • I would hardly call it “surrendering” – just recognizing that they have a trademark, and trying to work with them. You can always escalate.

        I know next to nothing about the international aspects of trademark law, but if the venue is in the UK, that will certainly increase the legal fees.

        If you want to sue on Ms. Hogarth’s behalf, go for it. I’m only saying it never hurts to pick your battles. Let the big boys throw their money around.

        • I think the point is that, because the term ‘Space Marines’ has been used in many, many prior works, that Games Workshop *doesn’t* have a trademark. They’re asserting a right that doesn’t exist, and if it’s upheld (such as by third parties acknowledging it), they will have a better claim that it does exist.

          • Point taken, and no argument here. Granting permission does strengthen their trademark argument. But unless a crowdsource project raises the funds I don’t think it’s fair for an author to expend monies to kill this.

            Given what I’m hearing about this company they do need to be taken to court. I just think someone bigger and with more discretionary funds should do it.

    • agent StanSmith

      Games Workshop is actually HIGHLY litig…litigl…they sue a lot. They most certainly won’t be willing to grant any kind of permission on anything.
      Check out the Chapterhouse Studios vs Games Workshop pre-trial shenanigans going on right now. They claim they own the trademark to skulls, wings, roman numerals, etc.
      CHS got pro-bono representation from Winston & Strawn (think thats the name). That might be something to look at.

      • I did go through the pre-trial documents with Chapterhouse. What a mess. And GW may have some grounds there, although I hope not. GW is being sloppy with their litig….yeah, but if even a little bit of that mud sticks it could be unfortunate for Chapterhouse.

        I’m certain that GW has a LOT LESS chance here, though, because of the overwhelming prior art, and the limited standing of the US trademark.

  23. “Traveller” was based to a pretty large extent on the works of H. Beam Piper. And Piper used the term “space marines” in a number of his novels and short stories. Just do a google search for both terms and you should get dozens of hits. By the way,Piper died in 1963 and most of his work is now in the public domain. If someone is going to claim the term “space marines,” which has been in common use for decades, why not go all the way and just claim the term “marines?” Both cases seem about as strong to me.

  24. Contact the writers of Popehat or Lowering the Bar law blogs. They assist people with getting pro bono coverage of first ammendment and copyright law issues. It’s their torch.

  25. I’m not sure where you are geographically, but in California we have California Lawyers for the Arts, that “in appropriate cases” can assist with pro bono cases:

    http://www.calawyersforthearts.org/Lawyer_Referral

    If you are not in California, there may be something similar where you are. Check with a local law school — they sometimes have pro bono graduation requirements and may know of local organizations.

  26. Considering the history of the term they have what appears to be no legal leg to stand on and are just trying to muscle you. I predict that even if you just make a KICKSTARTER explaining the situation to gather legal defense cost the negative publicity alone will make them drop their asinine claim like a hot potato.

  27. Are you a member of SFWA? Seems to me that this just the kind of thing a professional organisation should help its members with. They might even be interested if you’re not a member, as it could significantly impact any of its members who have ever used the phrase ‘space marine’.

    Alternatively, maybe a Kickstarter or similar could help raise the money? If only 200 SF fans kicked in $10 each, you’d have enough to at least start a counter-action. And if enough fans find out about this, you could conceivably raise more.

  28. Also, in terms of prior art, check out the Wikipedia entry on Space Marines. There’s a scan of an Amazing cover from the ’30s with the phrase.

  29. Concerned Reader

    I also support the suggestion to contact Baen Books. They’re good people, and would probably be interested in this.

    My main concern is GW might be using you to set a precedent in order to continue this idiocy elsewhere, due to the fact you are not a monetary power house. I hope you can get a pro bono or low cost lawyer to nip this in the bud before it blooms into a Sci-Fi snafu. Good luck, mcah. I wish I had better advice to give you.

  30. I would suggest contacting Baen(or maybe some of their authors that have used the words in the last couple decades and let them handle the fight). Space Marines have been around for a loooooong time. And are still being used now. Heck, John Ringo’s latest release in his Looking Glass series was just in Nov. 2008. There are Space Marines in that series.

  31. David W. Nicholas

    Games Workshop trademarked the term “space marines”? Back in the day I heard that (I think it was) George Lucas and Steven Spielberg trademarked the term “Nazis” for bad guys.

    I’m sure they’ll make you pay for the lawyer, but other than that I’m not sure there’s much they can do once they get to court. You can’t copyright or trademark much about a game other than the art and the product itself: if you make a “copy” of someone else’s game, and redo all the art, you’ll almost certainly be OK. The famous case was back in the ’80s, when a guy made a version of Monopoly with all the street names changed to a city or a university or something. The judge essentially ruled that as long as the copied game didn’t try and convince anyone that this second game was made by the same company as the first one, it was fine. You can’t copyright a game system; only the product itself, art and all.

    It follows that if you can’t sue for a copyright or trademark violation between games, you certainly can’t do it if you use a supposedly copyrighted term in a book. Unless actual plagarism is involved (which would involve copying a lot more than 2 words from someone else’s content) you should be on very solid ground.

    Your difficulty is that they’re big enough they can afford lawyers, and you’re small enough you can’t. If you can get into court, my guess is the case will be tossed rather quickly; they’re counting on you not having the resources to get their in the first place.

    • Copyright (which applies to entire works or substantial extracts) and trademarks are completely separate and distinct forms of IP. You can trademark any adequately distinctive wording or mark, with various restrictions, for an indeterminate period. Copyright has nothing to do with this case. As far as games go, you may also (in some jurisdictions) be able to patent a game’s mechanics, if they are innovative enough, which is yet another separate type of IP.

    • That was TSR, the publishers of the Indiana Jones RPG, that tried to trademark “Nazis”. It went nowhere, obviously, and just opened them up to ridicule.

      • Actually, it was Lucasfilm that TMed Nazi and Stormtrooper. I have a copy of the game and it definitely indicates who did what. Which means that Disney now owns those trademarks…

  32. Wikipedia has a generic Space Marine entry with lists of other and previous uses (there is also a separate entry on the Warhammer Space Marines).

  33. For what it’s worth, Barnes&Noble actually has a category called
    Science Fiction – Soldiers & Space Marines
    .

  34. So why not just change the Term Space Marine in your book to something else? This sounds like a far easier method than attempting to start some sort of crusade against GW for them protecting their IP even if it is on somewhat weak grounds.

  35. There is some discussion of this here, including (so far) suggestions to contact the EFF (although you’ve already got that in this batch of comments) and the Comic Book Alliance and a mention of the presumably unauthorized use of 40k stuff for Deus Ex Machina’s 2009 album I, Human (if you’re looking for precedents).

    Link is http://james-nicoll.livejournal.com/4174427.html in case my html doesn’t work.

  36. Kris Longnife series is entirely based on a character who is a Space Marine. I don’t believe it is used in the title, though. If push comes to shove, you likely could change your title by changing one letter – Spaced Marine – for example and get it back onto Amazon. This is if you want to get your work back into circulation. However, I understand the need to find the good fight. Perhaps an umlaut over the ‘a’?

  37. Cover of 1936 “Amazing Stories”

    The earliest known use of the term “space marine” was by Bob Olsen in his short story “Captain Brink of the Space Marines” (Amazing Stories, Volume 7, Number 8, November 1932),

  38. I know many fantasy\sci-fi Gamers are also hardcore readers and they will not take well to this kind of greedy cr@p.

    • I agree with this, GW should maybe made aware of this fact. I’ve enjoyed the Warhammer 40k universe, but this is just way to much over the line.

      This is a generic term and a concept that’s used all across the Sci-fi field. Considering that it first appeared even before those who thought of Warhammer 40k were born! What’s next? Someone claiming a trade mark on the concept of starships?!?!

  39. If you’re still looking for suggestions, (a) preserve all correspondance you’ve had with them and establish an email chain, (b) notify them that you’re contacting the press, and to expect to be asked about their claimed copyright on “Space Marines”, and (c) CC as many executives at the company that you can find. Make sure you mention the names of the press outlets you’re contacting.

    If they’re doing something stupid, making hell for the lives of the executives is free, and the press will do your job for you. I suggest you start with The Guardian, iO9, Boing Boing, Locus Magazine, The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Washington Post and a few prominent genre fiction bloggers like Neil Gaiman and John Scalzi. As the bloggers if they could offer a “signal bost”.

  40. If funds are the problem, perhaps a “Save Spots” Kickstarter? I know I’d contribute to that!

  41. I echo many of the sentiments above about setting up a fund raiser. I’d definitely contribute a few dollars to help…

  42. Not good… not good at all… Michał, you need to spend some time writing a good generic letter, then send it to every publisher -be it games, books, movies or tv that has ever used the term ‘space marine’… Many of the comments on your blog give plenty of ideas where to start… Dont be afraid to stir the pot with this one. The sci-fi genre has been around alot longer than GW, and the words ‘space’ and ‘marine’ have been used for over eighty years to describe a soldier in orbit or beyond… The idea of powered armor has been around since the 40s, and explosive tip-self propeled amunition has been used for many years… All of these ideas pre-date GW by decades… There are plenty of companies around that use the term… They wont like the precedent this will be setting… Dont be shy… get stuck in…

  43. I have no issue with any company looking after their IP.
    However I really do not think GW have a legitimate claim on ‘space marine’.

    I don’t have much but I will give you a tenner if you want to take them on in court.

  44. You may want to approach 20th Century Fox, since this directly attacks their use of the term in “Aliens”
    Also the suggestion for a kickstarter project is a great one. Bit like the one that The Oatmeal started.

    • Enlisting Fox as an ally… Sheesh, that would be risky business…

      • Absolutely!!!

        Games Workshop got the term ‘Space Marines’ from the film Aliens.

        In fact, the whole Warhammer 40K game evolved from this film. I know. I was there when the prototype game was being developed (it was a fore-runner called Space Hulk).

        Maybe 20th Century Fox or James Cameron should sue GW.

  45. Contact the Authors Guild at http://www.authorsguild.org

    This is right up their ally. Games Workshop doesn’t know rights lawyers until it has met Authors Guild lawyers. They’ve smacked Google, Amazon and major publishers around to protect authors. While they wouldn’t do this for you alone, as such, they’d take it on for science fiction authors in general. (They’d darn well better— Ray Bradbury was a founding member, IIRC.)

  46. Aliens marines were ‘colonial marines’ I think, not space marines though.

  47. Warhammer 40K : débarquement d'avocats - quenouille - pingback on February 6, 2013 at 9:39 am
  48. Also, the cartoon Starblazers (Space battleship Yamato)also had Space Marines.

  49. I am an attorney and member of the First Amendment Lawyers Association. I also write a blog that often covers free speech issues. In that capacity, I often put out a call for pro bono legal assistance for people in need.

    May I put out a call to see if anyone will offer pro bono help for you?

  50. Games Workshop has a long history of this type of crap. What’s worse is that when they actually go to court, they lie and delay out of spite.

    Currently, Games Workshop is involved in an IP lawsuit with Chapterhouse Studios. The law firm Winston & Strawn is representing Chapterhouse either pro bono or at reduced cost. You might want to get in contact with that law firm.

    • I second this. They have a very good reputation.

      Chapterhouse is a very small miniatures company which makes accessories which are compatible with GW miniatures, suitable for customization. While their website indicates its compatibility with GW minis, they don’t make knock-offs.

      GW’s suit claims that their trademark rights extend so far that even a compatible accessory damages their trademark. W&S is representing them pro bono, last I heard. The case, like yours, has wide-reaching applications.

      GW is a public company, but not a big one. If you get representation from the authors’ guild or a major law firm, they’ll have the resources to fight you, but not bury you.

  51. Crowd-source the defense. Set up an indie-go-go campaign, and enlist the help of some people with sway to help spread the word. I for one would be willing to donate $5 to knock GW down a peg.

  52. Why not contact the Heinlein estate and see if they would like to contest the trademark. RAH would have hated this type of thing and would have gladly thrown down in a situation like this. Put the shoe on the other foot and show them just how much they would have to pay to validate the trademark and they may drop the protection of the trademark.

  53. James Cameron had Space Marines in Aliens – tell those people they’re screwed, man – Game over, game over.

  54. The Aliens franchise also has space marines. I think there’s enough precedent that Amazon will just have to drop its case. This also shows the excessive power Amazon has in the market place. Perhaps sell your e-book on other sites than Amazon.

  55. I’ve sent their customer service a nastygram, and noted that I would be spreading the word among my friends, many of whom are longtime Warhammer fans, and they could look forward to loss of business. As I said in an earlier thread, I would contribute to a fundraiser for the defense, because, as a writer of SF, I’m appalled by this attempt at coopting a longtime common SF term.

  56. I have had a small tussle with Games WOrkshop in the past when they sent me a cease and desist letter over my use of certain paint names in the paint range I own.

    hey were attempting to claim copyright (and unregistered) trademark on names such as “blood red” and “gun metal”. I took some adice from a friend of a friend who was a copyright lawyer and wrote them a letter back pointing out that you cannot copyright names or colours and they went away.

    I think the best advice is to write to them and defend your position with eveidence of prior usage such as Mark Ratner;s “Space Marine” wargames rules published in 1977 (I have a copy in front of me).

    Their case cannot stand up for ebooks or actual books. The problem is Amazon who will always jump to protect themseles when a copyright issue is raised.

    I think a criowdfunded legal fund is your best bet.

    Mike

    • I did in fact talk to them about it, and cited the previous novels as well as the limitations of their existing trademarks. This did not change their stance.

      • A shame,, I’ve found some of GW Legal quite helpful in the past when people were passing my company’s figures off as unreleased GW ones on ebay. They mnaged to get the seller banned…

        Who is your letter from – i.e. Name?

    • Mike Lewis of Dragonlords? (tm? *jk*)

      Thanks for noting Ratner’s game (that was the first thing I thought of when this news item finally hit the BBC today http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21380003 ) and good to see Amazon’s changed their mind in this case.

      Would love to know how GW obtained a tm for “space marines” in a gaming context in the first place (as is asserted elsewhere), far less spilling over to use of the phrase in novels, etc.

      Cheers,
      David.

  57. Post all of the correspondence online. A proper online shaming will force them to backdown.

    • GW shamed? I rather doubt it possible. I’d suggest a direct run to the PTO using the historical records to have thier clam invalidated. I’d think the holders of the “Princes Ryan’s Space Marines” TM would have an easy time of it if that TM is still alive.

  58. From a comment I made on John Scalzi’s blog. Any trademark attorney should think of this, but just to point you in an alternate direction:

    “What I might suggest to the victims of such an attack, assuming the facts support it, is that they file an action in the PTO seeking to have the registration cancelled. You’d still want a lawyer to help you – the paperwork is arcane – but it actually doesn’t have to cost that much and it’s MUCH more effective than saying “I’ll see you in court.” I have used this approach very effectively – “Leave me alone or I’ll have your trademark/patent invalidated and you’ll have to start all over again.” That’s much scarier to IP trolls than expensive lawsuits which they know you don’t have the resources to pursue.”

  59. Just surfed in here from Scalzi’s blog. I’d chip in on a crowdsourced defense.

    For the record: the song Milhouse was quoting up there (“High adventure, higher pay, join the space marines today”) is by Julia Ecklar, and appears on the 1983 album “Space Heroes and Other Fools”. Another example of a thriving trope in its native habitat.

  60. Seriously, no matter what you decide to do DO NOT BACK DOWN.
    Individuals backing down to shit like this will just give them legal fodder against the next guy who does not cave.
    Contacting the EFF, as well as the law firm handling Chapterhouse and Bean books really seem like the best things to do right now. Anyone in the comments who has ties should do the same.

  61. Start a Indegogo fund raiser for your legal battle. I think everyone who is sick of GW and their money grubbing ways would contribute.

    Raise enough legal funds and you could not only free the term “Space Marines”, you can also put a richly deserved “big hurt” on GW.

  62. I’ll be perfectly honest here; before John Scalzi, and several other science-fiction related blogs, mentioned this, I’d never heard of you or your work. Honestly, I might not have otherwise been interested in buying this, except for the fact that I think this kind of overly aggressive copyright protection issue is morally wrong. But, since I have a Nook instead of a Kindle, I went and bought your book, on principle.

    Also? I’d donate to a legal fund for you to defend this, if one were setup.
    Good luck!

  63. Ok, as someone who knows a thing or two about international copyrights here’s the thing; someone has done the research in to determining that the UK based Games Workshop only holds a valid copyright in the UK right?

    A copyright is only valid in the country it is filed in. Period. Unless Games Workshop holds the copyright for “Space Marines” in the USA they have no legal jurisdiction to enforce their copyright on you provided your book is being sold outside of the UK. The only way they can claim infringement is if they hold the trademark in the USA as well as the UK. If they don’t you can tell them to pretty well go shove it. I have a whole book on International Business Law that has a whole chapter on how, where, to what degree, in what cases, etc., that trademarks and copyrights apply on an international scale.

    Something to consider is looking in to the legality of the enforcement of a UK copyright in the USA when they do not hold a USA copyright for the term they are trying to enforce.

    • Except it’s a TRADEMARK we’re talking about here, not copyright.

      • You are absolutely correct. However, GW does not have registered trademarks in the US covering the classes of goods and services that include works of fiction in electronic or paper form. Their claim of a common law trademark, as far as I understand, would only hold if they were the only ones using it in the class they’re claiming.

        GW’s trademark in the US only covers gaming miniatures and supplies. It does not cover fiction in any format.

  64. One more examination of the trademark information (and you can do this too, at tess2.uspto.gov), and I really don’t see any literary protection for the term “space marine” – just the toy (and possible gaming software).

    Going to their website (and I haven’t heard of these people before yesterday), at least not their brand), I see books published that utilize space marines, but that doesn’t give them protection of the term.

    I get that they have a trademark. They don’t want somebody copying their miniatures and selling them as their own, which a trademark protects against. I believe that is the extent of their protection. I doubt you can get the trademark invalidated, but you can certainly slap them down for abusing it.

  65. Just in case noone has pointed you at http://cbldf.org/ yet, they should at least have more lawyers that might be worth contacting.

  66. How about fighting a battle that’s easier to crowdsource and win: what about a boycott? Companies like this exist only at out pleasure. Warhammer, meet Banhammer.

    I imagine, e.g. a campaign of 1-star reviews of their products on Amazon detailing their unjustified legal blackmail might be a good start.

    • Trouble is, they will always manage to recruit enough 12-year-olds who’ll go completely mad over GW games for a couple of years until they decide they’re too cool for toy soldiers, and that they want to get girls… Sadly, stereotypes hold in secondary school.

  67. I honestly don’t know who you are or what you write. But it doesn’t matter. What GW is doing is ethically wrong. I want to help. If no pro bono lawyer takes the case, crowd source the defense and I and my friends will support it. I have many artists, writers, RPG designers, and board game designers as friends and associates. The news will spread.

    DOWN WITH THE TROLLS!

  68. Perhaps you can begin a kickstarter campaign to support your legal fund?

  69. mcah, let’s talk. @txtechiplaw
    Nathan

  70. Ask them if they’re planning to sue the BBC for using the term in the Doctor Who episode “A Good Man Goes To War”

  71. Vojislav Stojkovic

    I’m late to the party, but there’s a very interesting bit of information I saw on Scalzi’s blog post, in the comments:

    “The mark was registered for US Class 22 – games and such – and is most specifically not the class(es) for printed books or ebooks.”

    Here’s the link to the comment: http://whatever.scalzi.com/2013/02/06/space-marines-and-the-battle-of-tradem-ark/#comment-435865

  72. I think crowd source funding is the way to go, There are lot of GW hobbyists who are sick of them suing everyone and anyone anytime they like, there is plenty of blowback within their own customers and fanbase, let own their ex-customers. You might be surprised how well you do. In a quick google search I found references to “Space Marine” back to the 1930′s..dont let corporate intimidation buy your science fiction. Fight This. Crowd Source your legal defense.

  73. By the way, this is not the first time they’ve tried this. I’m aware of at least one other case they’ve pressed years ago based on the use of the term “space marines.” From what I’ve heard they lost big time in court. But as a scare tactic a history of losing is irrelevant.

    • If that’s the case, a Declaratory Judgement should be pretty easy to obtain. Then you can send it to Amazon and the entire matter should disappear.

  74. You could always be helpful to Amazon, and send an extended list of works.
    “Dear Amazon, since you agree that these people have trademark, here are a bunch of other works you should remove.”
    I’m sure all those other authors (and their estates) would love that.

  75. I would be reluctant to employ a lawyer if you can help it, it’s win win for the lawyers on both sides. I would think a good defence is if you can evidence use of the term before they have used it, this I would think would invalidate their claim. Registered trade marks apply if used on any article wellies to agricultural machinery, but only if there is a likeliehood of confusion. Unregistered ones only apply to the area in which they are used i.e. on books and whatever else comes under that category, there is no need to demonstrate a risk of confusion. I would be tempted to say to them, go on take me to court then and call their bluff. IP cases are probably the most expensive legal cases to take. They have to calculate what their loss is. I.e. the economic detriment they have suffered or the money you have made. if it costs more to take to court than what they would get it’s not worth it for them and they are likely to be bluffing. Other factors will be relevant how close are your characters to theirs. Buy yourself Nut shells Intellectual property law a good starting point.

  76. Contact Buzz Aldrin. He was the first true Marine in space and might like the tongue-in-cheek aspect to some free press for his company.

  77. My bad, Buzz was Air Force.

  78. Sounds like a perfect opportunity for a Kickstarter if it doesn’t break there TOS…

  79. Contact Winston & Strawn:

    http://www.winston.com/index.cfm?contentID=24&itemID=13554

    They are currently representing someone pro bono against Games Workshop in a copyright and trademark dispute.

    http://archive.recapthelaw.org/ilnd/250791/ <– lawsuit so far.

  80. Mr Hogarth,

    Are GW mentioning the law of “passing off” in their letters?

    The law of passing off gives a common law right to stop people infringing your unregistered trademarks. However, to succeed in a passing off case they would need to show that you misrepresented your space marines as being their space marines (as opposed to Heinlein’s or anyone else’s.)

    If things are still at the nasty letter stage a suitably nasty letter from a trademark attorney may be enough to scare them off and won’t be as expensive as actually commencing action in the courts. (Generally in your case I would advise against doing so – partly because you’d want to avoid the expense, partly so that if it does come to court Games Workshop look like big bullies who are dragging you to court against your will.)

  81. Corporate greed at its worst… You’d think Games Workshop would be a bit more understanding towards the whole culture that is making them money. Shared this, I do hope you get the last word in this.

  82. TheGrandRapidian

    As a writer, this scares me. Sometimes I feel like I can’t say anything without worrying who’s going to come around and claim infringement.

    DC and Marvel Comics have a joint copy write on the word “superheroes”. Yup. They even recently sued an indy comic because it dared call itself “A World Without Superheroes.”

  83. Just a suggestion here, but for the sake of getting support and raising awareness not only for others who have not heard this tale but awareness for companies who think this is acceptable I think personally you should look at doing maybe a kicker starter campaign (or indiegogo, I hear they’re more friendly to non business ideas).

    You’ve already got something to offer, your book, if you can’t sell it through amazon, you might stand just as much a chance through having it as an incentive to the campaign but I wouldn’t know those sites stance to such issues.

    Either way good luck!

  84. What worries me is that if they get away with this, they will start claiming that being dishonest, petty, and abusive is their distinctive trade dress, and suing anyone whose business practices make them out to be a waste of valuable carbon. We could lose, not just the term “space marine”, but large portions of the US economy!

    Really impressively sleazy behavior on GW’s part.

    • Disney is majorly responsible for the Digital Millennium copyright act and due to this creativity is already being stifled in the U.S. and around the world.

  85. Perhaps someone with a prior use of the term Space Marine should serve them with a cease and desist to stop them using the term. If they had enough support they might even be able to get an injunction on GWs use of the term until it was resolved in court….could their empire cope with that?

  86. I wonder if Amazon have asked the likes of Random house and Penguin to remove their books which contain the same term? Oh no of course not, they have money.

  87. It’s sad that GW is flexing their muscle against a little guy. It’s also a sad commentary on the trademark system. I can understand them defending the use of ‘spare marine’ in, say, an RPG, but it seems insane to let them stop any use of such a generic term. What happens in 50-100 years when there are really marines in space?!

  88. I’m Offering $500 For The Best Space Marine Parody Game - pingback on February 6, 2013 at 2:53 pm
  89. Found you through Wil Wheaton’s Facebook page; I know it doesn’t help much, but Barnes & Noble has not pulled the book from the Nook shop so I just purchased it for my Nook. Looking forward to reading it! Good luck in your battles :)

  90. I for one had not heard of your books before but I ordered the paperback version of Spots the Space Marine today and will buy the ebook if it becomes available again.

  91. GW really are the ultimate hypocrites! Trying to claim sole ownership to a phrase that has been in use for almost 50 years before their stupid company was even founded!!!

    It’s not like GW have ripped off stuff from other fantasy/scifi writing/movies ??

    Their entire necron range started as a rip off of terminator, most of their fantasy races have their roots in Tolkien & other fantasy writings, their 40k Tau battle suits are an almost identical copy of Japanese anime robot models that were around long before GW did tau. I find it scandalous they can bully people just because of their financial clout! The sooner they go belly up the happier ill be!

  92. What about Space Naval Infantry?

    all joking aside I hope you beat GW!

  93. Help Save the Space Marines - ScifiSlacker.com - pingback on February 6, 2013 at 3:37 pm
  94. If Amazon removed your book from publication, and we all agree that “space marine” is a generic term, would it be possible to self-publish the e-book as a stand-alone PDF or ePub, and let sales as a result of this publicity pay for either future attorney fees or recover lost revenue from the Amazon removal? I think every person that’s submitted a comment would like to help you financially in exchange for reading the story…

  95. I think the other way to do this, is to contact Amazon and inform them that if “Spot the Space Marine” violates the alleged trademark of GW, then every other ebook in their collection that uses the term is violating the trademark as well, and every one of those ebooks need to be blocked as well. The resulting crap storm would give GW pause. And not a few legal suits as well.

    Sadly, Amazon would state that they can only block those works that that GW thinks it has a chance against. Uh-I mean only those that GW files a complaint against.

  96. I just went through a very similar trademark battle where a guy was trying to stop me from distributing my music and playing my concerts. Video about it here. It took 3 years and $30,000. Absolutely insane! I can empathize with you :\ Let me know if I can help in any way

  97. I’m no legal expert but good luck with your fight. I hate to see anybody being bullied.

  98. Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

    The trademark is (from comments here) a UK trademark. So apply for your *own* tradement in the US and in Canada, and publish your ebook from a Canadian server, with a Canadian ISBN.
    Hell, then you could get *their* shipments of goods embargoed for breach of *your* trademark at Customs.

  99. Dear Mr Hogarth,
    if you need money to take legal action, have you ever considered contacting other people who also use the term “Space Marine”? The first thing that comes to mind are the uber-rich people of game developer Blizzard. “Space Marines” are an integral part of their “Starcraft” Games since 1998. They have also published books set in that universe.
    “Notch”, the creator of the indie-game “Minecraft”, might also be sympathetic to your case, since he’s currently being sued by Bethesda (“Elder Scrolls” Games) for using “Scrolls” as the name of his next game. And he’s pretty wealthy too. :razz:

  100. Sorry for your troubles. John Scalzi’s covering it, and some lawyers are commenting on the comments section:

    http://whatever.scalzi.com/2013/02/06/space-marines-and-the-battle-of-tradem-ark/

    As it happens, I did some of the illustrations for the 1977 Space Marines game.

  101. their claim is obviously completely bogus. have them sue you. show up to court. have a judge laugh in their face and throw it out in 5 minutes. you shouldn’t even need a lawyer for this. just bring your hundreds upon hundreds of pieces of evidence of the term “space marines” being used in science fiction publishing for decades before Games Workshop existed.

  102. Spica Publishing

    Also, see here for more evidence of first use, and the actual page title itself: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_marine

  103. Tell GW that unless they have a painted miniature of their lawyer, they can’t use the lawyer in the fight.

  104. Lt. Van Buskirk of the Space Marines was a prominent character in E.E. “Doc” Smith’s Lensman series from the 1930′s!

  105. Asking Amazon to remove other books with that phrase would just make the authors and publishers angry at you. On the other hand, contacting those authors and publishers with a well-written letter indicating what will happen to their copyright if GW pushes this might get some counter-suits or even support for your suit.

    GW doesn’t have a leg to stand on, but they do have money.

  106. MCA – Tried to submit something to Passive Voice as he’s an attorney (not an IP specialist, IIRC) but has some in his list of readers in the writing world. Let us know how else we can help. Really just frustrated for you.

  107. I also think it would be funny to see someone do a gaming spoof on GW called “Spamarines” or “Grub Workshop.”

  108. If you start an Indiegogo campaign to fund your legal defense, I will contribute. I’m sure many others would as well, especially after your story showed up on BoingBoing.

  109. MCA,

    I’ve never heard of you before today (an oversight, apparently) but I have heard of Games Workship. I even own a few of their books, and a small number of their miniatures.

    All that to say, I’m really sorry about this situation and think GW has overstepped in a big way. I wrote them an email to that affect, and also let them know I will not be purchasing anymore of their products if they continue in this behavior. I hope a good lawyer will step forward to help you. In the mean time, I’ve contributed what I can to the issue.

  110. tekHedd – the blog » Blog Archive » Space Marine! - pingback on February 6, 2013 at 5:38 pm
  111. You may have won a first battle. GW’s shit is hitting the fan. The word is getting spread on Boing boing, Facebook, twitter… #gamesworkshop
    Big corporate mistake for their reputation.

  112. Kevin who is Kevin

    GW are insane. If you have any other channel for sale, drop me a line and I will happily buy it.

  113. Forget lawyers.

    CustServ at gwplc dot com. The only thing any of these people understand is money (or in the case of Congress, re-election). That’s the one thing that costs no money. In fact, no money going to GW is what it will take.

  114. It’s very disappointing to hear about things like this happening and I hope you can sort it out quickly and cheaply.

    I realise you have very little money for a legal defense but there are fairly inexpensive ways to make it expensive for them to pursue a suit against you:

    http://fightcopyrighttrolls.com/faq-men/faq/

    You aren’t the only one they have done this too!

    Good luck! You’ll have a lot of support if you do chose to fight back. :)

  115. I got an email back from GW. Evidently any comments need to go to GW Legal (whatever) at legal at gwplc dot com.

  116. Twelve-year-olds respond quite well to peer pressure. Just sayin’.

  117. Holy wtf, raise some money and figt this bullshit! Doesn’T amazon respond to bringing it up again?

  118. Why do so many people seem to have trouble understanding that this has nothing to do with copyright? Nearly half the comments seem to be about copyright, and are irrelevant here.

    Prior art doesn’t affect trademarks. Trademarks don’t have to be original, they just have to be associated in the public’s mind with the plaintiff. The key difference between trademarks and other IP is that trademark protection does not exist for the owner’s benefit, but for that of consumers. The point isn’t to give the owner a reward for having invented something, it’s to protect ordinary people from fraud. If GW could show that when the average person hears “space marine” he thinks “GameWorks”, and therefore GW fans would be likely to buy your book under the false impression that they had produced it, then they’d have a valid claim no matter how many people used the term before them. And since they can’t show that, because it isn’t true, their claim would be invalid even if they had invented it.

    I particularly liked the commenter (skydiver) who claimed to be “someone who knows a thing or two about international copyrights”, and proceeded not only to switch between copyrights and patents as if they were interchangeable, but also to show that s/he knows nothing about copyrights. “A copyright is only valid in the country it is filed in” is nonsense. Copyrights exist automatically as soon as you set something down in tangible form; they do not have to be filed anywhere, though it helps with proving your case later.

  119. Forget the law stuff… Add internet pressure. Massage in. Rinse. Repeat.

  120. I wish you luck in finding a pro bono lawyer. Failing that, you could rewrite it as Spots the Space Dragoon/Trooper/Etc.

  121. This will make two things, first it makes my pissed off at a company that should know better as they themselves use other peoples idea as their own. Second it will make me buy the book as soon as it is available again.

    I used to like certain companies because of their products and ideas. Lately I have grown to loathe and dispose the greedy bastards that sue people for not much more reason then being able to do so. I think most people working at legal departments of those companies are compensating for lacking something.

  122. Hey,

    I Play GW games, have for years. I will for years to come. HOWEVER!

    This poo is ridiculous, way to go GW, in proving that you are at heart, another Jerkoff playing at being a big boy.

  123. I’m sorry to hear this is happening.

  124. Space Marine™ – MikeFrancois.net - pingback on February 6, 2013 at 8:02 pm
  125. There is no such thing as a common law trademark. What they are doing is hoping you will do what many people and businesses do, roll over and let them bully you. The prior art on the term is so extensive, and so old relative to GW’s claim that a letter documenting it from a lawyer should be enough to end it.

  126. and yet Amazon has other Kindle books with Space Marines in the title still listed. So why are GW picking on you? I wonder if they’ve tried this with Barnes and Noble, since the ebook is still available for the Nook. (I bought a copy, if that helps)

  127. No more Space Marines? | fallingdownthecreativewell - pingback on February 6, 2013 at 8:19 pm
  128. Ms. Hogarth,

    I’m just a reader and an aspiring author – a little guy, but I’d like to help if I may. Do you have a donation point that I might use and pass along to others for funding assistance resolving this issue?

  129. As a short term thing you should change the title to “Spot of the Inter-Galactic Marine Corps (a.k.a. spacemarine)”. Due to the controversy it would sell millions, especially with the current anti-GWS sentiment going around.

  130. You might be interested in sending them this.
    Space Marine has been in use since 1936.
    And there’s the proof.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_marine

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/58/Amazing_Stories_December_1936.jpg

  131. David Hellstrom

    Save your money and time. This is a case you cant win.

    Most people here are speaking out of emotion, everyone wants to stick to the big corporations. I can understand. However, just because someone used a term first does not mean its their term. The Games Workshop “space marines” have surpassed ALL other incarnations, it is their term NOW and they can make a case to prove it.

    Much like the term “tide”. We use this when discussing oceans, its been around for centuries. If you tried to make a product called “Tide” the detergent company will win.

    • Is it a matter of “we trademarked a generic term, and therefore we own it, and can censor all relevant art, prior or not”, then?

      Does this mean I can trademark the word “war”, and thereby censor everything from “War and Peace”, to The song “war”, to the band “War”?

      Or does that just apply to corporations who can purchase more “rights” than ordinary people? “Might makes right”, perchance?

    • Not quite true, David. GW have trademarked the term “Space Marine” for a super human, gene-enhanced creation in power armour who is part of a Chapter of Space Marines in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. I would accept that no-one has the right to infringe that, but they are attempting to hijack a common usage term which has been around a lot longer than they have.

    • Your argument is flawed. The tern ‘space marine’ is generic – it describes a marine in space, and has been established as such since before GW existed.

      The existence of a company called Apple doesn’t prevent anyone from calling a certain fruit by that name.

      Also, GW space marines are far from ubiquitous: Among other’s, there’s this little game called Doom that sold millions of copies, was popular enough to get its own movie made and whose protagonist is a soldier in the United Nations Space Marine Corps.

    • I agree with the others David. ‘Space Marines’ is too generic int he realm of sci-fi to defend in court. However, I also believe that GW is blustering with a purpose. They would like to scare anyone in the realm of sci-fi media away from using the term ‘space marines’, so that they can better make a case for its being less generic, and then better claim it for themselves.

  132. GW are terrible and have done similar things before, set up a online fund we can donate to to fund a lawer, all extra left over cash to go to charity or something.

    They shouldnt be alowed to get away with this just because you cant aford to go to court.

    ttfn

  133. Kairam Ahmed Hamdan

    MCAH,

    You should really ask CBLDF or any other FREE free speech defender for law support.

    Best!

  134. Try contacting a local law school with a strong IP program. They might have a student clinic that could take the case.

  135. What about making your book available for download from your website, at least until you can get it back on Amazon?

  136. If you tried to make a product called “Tide” the detergent company will win.

    Not unless it’s a cleaning product. You can make a sports drink called Tide, or a line of clothing, or a video game, and the detergent maker would have no case against you, because no consumer would mistakenly buy your product thinking it was the detergent.

    • The fact that the product is in a different category is not necessarily sufficient. 20 years ago, General Mills brought a trademark infringement suit against a family restaurant owned by Richard Weede and called “Weede’s”. GM claimed trademark infringement against “Wheaties” and actually managed to run the restaurant out of business. In another case, the manufacturers of a cncentrated liquid cleaning product called “Surge” managed to block a soft drink company from bringing out a lemon-lime drink with the same name.

  137. If I donate enough can you make me a space marine? Not literally of course, literarily only.

  138. Heya… here in Chicago we have a group called Lawyers for the Creative Arts (http://www.law-arts.org). I don’t remember if you live in the Chicagoland area but if you do, it might be worth checking with them. Hell, even if you don’t, maybe they can direct you to a similar program near you.

  139. I wash my hands of you « imwastedpotential - pingback on February 6, 2013 at 11:13 pm
  140. You seem to have plenty of suggestions for lawyers, but you should look into your local Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. They’ve been a great help with me and my doings.

    Also, I’d like to see an action contact list. Who do I contact at Amazon to complain? What’s the home address of the owner of GW?

    GW has always been a little gross to me, now I’m done with ‘em forever.

  141. Games Workshop US toll free # is 1-800-394-4263 in case someone wants to complain. As an avid gamer I intend to call and tell them I will not buy anymore of their product.

  142. I was doing a bit of refreshing on Trademark Law. Apparently, trademarks on descriptive phrases or terms have different levels of protection. At the bottom end of the scale are ‘generic terms’ that have no protection because they cannot be trademarked. For instance no company can trademark the term ‘chocolate cake’, since it would create an unfair marketing advantage in a situation where many product manufacturers rely on being able to use the generic descriptive term ‘chocolate cake’. I believe the term ‘space marine’ should fit into that case. Curiously, its not the first time I recall some controversy over the term ‘Space Marine’ in relation to a game. See “Princess Ryan’s Space Marines” and “Princess Ryan’s Star Marines”.

  143. http://youtu.be/nd7b2P4BOfo

    this company thinks that anything remotely sounding like something (in this case they stole from Robert Heinlein in the first place) is their property. Its one thing to protect their IP its another to claim they traveled back in time and trademarked a term used in scifi for 60+ years.

  144. Heavy Handed Bullying Tactics & GWS | - pingback on February 7, 2013 at 1:07 am
  145. Warm greetings from Australia,

    I have seen this sort of garbage from GW many a time before.

    Many posters are correct, there is a confusion in regards the concept of Copyright infringement and Trademark infringement. In general terms, if GW are claiming Trademark infringement, there need to be certain salient details within the context of the Trademark itself. Now, I am speaking from the perspective of Australian Law here, however, I would expect that other jurisdictions would have similar strictures.

    The term Space Marine firstly needs to be Trademarked in a specific classification, so, in the case of GW, we have already been told that they have a classification under toys and a couple of other classifications relating to their specific products. Under Australian Law, it is more than merely the term itself, there are other factors, specifically being how the term of the Trademark is constucted, insofar as things like, typeface, colouration, orientation, etc. If you do a search on Australian Trademarks via IP Australia, you will quickly see that Trademarks tend to apply to things like logos, etc. which have a very specific appearance.

    Sending a cease and desist letter of this nature due to what can be viewed as classification bleed is spurious to start with. Clearly Amazon are quite willing to just roll over to another Corporate Entity, and let the individual hang out to dry, given that they know that the Corporation of GW has lots of money behind it, and is known for being litigious.

    I for one applaud your decision to fight this and I sincerely hope that you manage to find the support you need to do so. I would very much like to see a fighting fund set up via some form of crowd funding where you are unable to get pro bono assistance. If each of the commenters here left just $10, that’s a fair way towards even just the initial fee. I have shared this situation on Facebook and am quite willing to put money towards and possible legal fund.

    Lastly, perhaps an interesting side note for some, do a Google Search on Nemesis the Warlock. This UK comic series started in 1980. All the GW games which look similar to this, started around 1987. Mere co-incidence, of course…

  146. I feel horrible for what you have to go thru! To trademark Space Marine is ridiculous! I plan to write a post on our website to help get word out for you!Hope you can find a pro-bono lawyer so you can your book back on Amazon!

  147. :idea: This looks like a fight for you AND the SFWA.

  148. Don’t Occupy GW!

    Reading a lot about this especially on the boycott and emailing to GW.

    I would like to offer additional ways to protest against this for people to express their anger in what is effectively harassment.

    Many people play GW games at their local clubs, stores and even at someone’s home. So encourage them to take a voluntary stance in refusing to play it products.

    Personally, I believe this extends to other companies who have license agreements with GW such as Fantasy Flight Games (Team Manager Blood Bowl is a game I enjoyed playing but now will refuse to play) and book companies.

    As stated, this is a voluntary protest in light of the article – the choice and freewill is yours to decide how you want to voice your opinion.

  149. I have played with Games Workshop’s Space marines since they came out the late 1980s. However, i have been reading about Space marines since long before that! A quick check on Wikipaedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_marine) shows the the term has been in common usage since 1932! Tell them to get stuffed. They are going to go broke soon anyway as their prices are extortionate. I for one will never buy one of their products again and I used to spend a lot. Good luck with your fight.

  150. Says a lot about GW that most of the fans come along not to defend them but to show solidarity with Mrs Hogarth here.

    And why not, we know their legal history, this should self evidently be an abuse of the legal system which could potentially set a very undesirable precedent.

    Even if it wasn’t wrong in principle it still directly threatens a trope in a genre most of us care for.

    They use this legal bullying tactic often, and if they get away with it they will continue to extend it to tenuous claims like piles of skulls. I kid you not, that is a literal example.

  151. A friend of mine linked to your post from LiveJournal, and I was inspired to do a quick bit of research. I haven’t read the other comments, but here’s what I came up with in five minutes on Wikipedia:

    Starship Troopers first published in 1959
    Aliens came out in 1986
    Doom (the original) was released in 1993

    Those are just three relatively well-known works that have space marines in them. And Warhammer 40,000 first saw print in …. 1987, so two of those works predate it.

    (Actually, I hit TV Tropes’ page on the subject and the concept traces its roots back another two and a half decades, to the Lensman series. I really need to track them down to read sometime …)

    I don’t know if this actually helps very much, but I’m hoping that Games Workshop sees reason and backs down. Best of luck to you!

  152. I think the relevant point is that the term ‘Space Marine(s)’ is more generic to the relam of sci-fi media, than it is ‘fanciful’.

    Here’s a simplified explanation. Let me use a real world example. Owens-Corning has a trademark on the color pink. That’s right… in the world of insulation products, no one else can produce a pink insulation without expecting a legal battle. That’s because ‘pink insulation’ is considered fanciful enough in the world of insulation products, that its typically associated with a specific product. But if you produce bicycles and want to crank out a line of pink ones… knock yourself out. Owens-Corning can’t do a thing about, because the color itself, on a grand scale outside the realm of insulation products, is considered generic.

    Another example: ‘Apple Computers’. The term ‘Apple’ in the relam of computing is considered fanciful. If you start a computer company and call it “Another Bad Apple”, and produce a line of computers called the ‘GrannySmith’, you will likely be sued to the moon and back. However, Apple Computers can’t do anything about companies who grow and market apples (the fruit) using the term ‘apple’ in their company name or even using an image of an apple in their logo (as long as its not identical). That’s because, in the realm of apple growing, the term apple and images of apples are completely generic.

    It gets more complicated of course, largely because the law is a set of rules applied with some measure of interpretation. It doesn’t always represent what’s ‘truthful’ of a particular circumstance, because its application relies on perspective. For instance, if no one voices an objection to the term ‘space marine’ being treated as a fanciful expression in the realm of sci-fi, it might be construed that way. If other companies stand up and say “Hey, that’s not right, because we’ve all been using that term with our products as well”, then the law will likely favor the idea of ‘space marines’ being more generic.

  153. GW needs to be taken down a notch. It’s as bad as that McDonalds fiasco in Scotland a while back where they tried to force a locally owned business using their family name to change the business name. :roll:

  154. Definitely an uncool move by GW (and typical of their bully-boy tactics. Throw an army of lawyers at anything with the assumption that the defendent can’t actually afford to defend)

    Might I suggest a Kickstarter to raise money for your defense fund? In return for donating (say $10) backers would receive an electronic copy of your book (with the title redacted, pending the outcome). For $25, they could get a physical book, with the title blacked out…. and of course, a good feeling of having slapped GW on the write for stupidity.

    I am sure that you could get a defense fund built up quickly… and donate anything left at the end to your charity.

  155. Well, another IANAL, but still…

    Since the excuse for GW’s behaviour seems to be the “rabid dog” stance, regarding trademarks, isn’t said stance easily invalidated by the fact that they don’t seem really that “rabid” in pursuing action against countless other instances of works in ebook form that use the terms space marines? (as has been abundantly refered on this and other discussions)

    Still, I understand that this doesn’t really helps you on your current situation, since a) If it were relevant, someone more knowledgeble than me would already have pointed that out and b) it’s completely irrelevant because you are not on any kind of judicial action (yet?), just being bullyed with Amazon’s cooperation.

    Anyway, best of luck, and I really hope someone will help you out on this.

  156. Wow, what a load of ridiculous garbage. As if GW doesn’t make enough money already by selling people 2oz boxes of plastic for $20 a pop. :roll:

    I second the idea of a kickstarter. Or maybe you should just retitle your work: SPOTS IS NOT A SPACE MARINE and see what they say about that. :grin:

  157. Two things to do, no three.

    Continue to sell your book yourself (Contact me at Ironwood.Edward at gmail.com so we can set it up (I don’t have Imperial Marines of the Near Space Empire Yet).

    Spread this through the bologo-sphere and let GW enjoy the ‘sales cliff’. Bully’s shouldn’t prosper.

  158. This is ridiculous.
    If you use Google Ngram, you wuill see that There have been entreies for space marines since the mid 650′s While Warhammer 40K only existes since 1987.
    Also, as this clipping in Google books shows, CBD was planning a TV series named “Kit Carter, Space Marine” in 1952.

  159. Couldn’t you just change your title to Spots the Space Warrior?

    • I read the first 48 pages of the preview. I agree with Bob above. If you just rename it to Space Warrior, Space Ranger (watch out for Disney on that one), Void Marine, trooper, etc and drop me a line at my email, I’ll gladly buy the whole ebook for your trouble :)
      Your book’s not dark and gritty from what I can tell so far, and feels much more Starship Troopers than WH40k. By that I mean the content should be OK, and it’s more about the title than anything.
      I’m sure you care about your characters than what the organization they belong to is called. It’s an easy fight to avoid.

      You called your Air Force the Void Angels, that works. Apply a similar shift to the infantry. Stalkers or something.

      disclaimer- total GW fanboy. Not endorsing their behavior, but I understand how they deem it necessary in light of previous lapses in IP protection.

      It all comes down to whether or not you want this to be a political statement or a commercial one. I’d rather see you thumb your nose at them by adjusting your work, putting out a press release that you did, and how to buy it to support you than see you go the other way.

      • The problem, jeO, is that “avoiding” the fight gives GW free reign to go on and do this to other SF authors. And they will.

        I like GW fiction. I’m not prepared to let them obliterate every other author who tries to use the same tropes until 40k is the only kind of ‘Space Marine’ there is. (If we let that actually work, do you really think they will stop there? Don’t be naive! They’ll just expand into the next trope out… hope nobody else wants to write about orcs.)

        And you shouldn’t “understand how they deem it necessary”, because it’s not only unnecessary but actually fraudulent. Repeat: There is NO POSSIBILITY that this argument would stand up in court. And GW’s lawyer is not an idiot; they know that. They’re using court costs as an intimidation weapon to get the benefits of winning a case without all of the tedious presenting evidence or having to be right.

        I’m a total GW fanboy. But I can and will call them out on their bullying and abuse.

        • You can write about orcs all you want. Just don’t use “Ork”. You can write about orbital military scifi forever. They don’t own the concep, just “Space Marine”, and only in the product categories they have product in. I could make Space Marine brand freeze-dried ice cream and make billions and the couldn’t (and wouldn’t) go after me as they have absolutely no right there.
          They’re not taking over Science Fiction. They’re protecting their brand (the proper noun) from confusion in the same space they already occupy. In exactly the same way as Fox owns “alien”.

          Everyone is trying to turn the author into a martyr. It’s her call whether or not she wants to climb on the pyre and face potential immolation. It’s not censorship, It’s branding. The whole of her work is more important than the part that is indeed, an overused, unoriginal, yet trademarked phrase. Yes unoriginal to even GW but they were the first to put cash on the barrel-head, so now they own that gold mine.

          • jerO – the problem with your stance is that none of the trademarks GW owns on “Space Marine” apply to the category of fiction, be it paper or ebook. Trademarks aren’t universal across every category where the term could be used or is being used. If this was about a Space Marine toy, you’d be right, but as it is, they’re trying to extend a trademark they own to areas where they don’t have that right,, so it is indeed them trying to take over. Just because they’ve published fiction using the term doesn’t let them have a trademark on it when they don’t have a trademark specifically covering that category and it’s already being used in fiction.

  160. This whole thing is so ironic. If GW was so concerned about ownership of things, I wonder why they thought it was ok to remodel the 3rd Ed. Hive Tyrant into a very Alien Queen looking character or why they called a hovering, 2-person vehicle a “Land Speeder”. Their profit drops must have made them really desperate.

  161. Spacebar Marines Muster Up! - pingback on February 7, 2013 at 2:20 pm
  162. I’m behind you 100% on this. I have played Games Workshop games for over a decade (nearly half of my life), but their behavior is attempting to create a twisted kind of brand recognition is unacceptable. Good luck and I hope you give them a good black eye like Chapterhouse Studios did (they got some help with their legal costs, you should reach out to them if you haven’t already).

    Joe

  163. This is ludicrous. Not to mention mean-spirited. I’ve never heard of ‘common law trademark’. I don’t see how anyone can claim trademark of any kind for a term that’s been around for almost seventy years. This threatens all of us. Shame on Amazon for going along with it.

    I’ll sign any petition and/or contribute to any legal fund you start.

  164. I did not read all the comments so sorry if this is duplicated. There are several lawyers who challenge trolls and who may be interested in either performing pro-bono services or assisting you in finding them. Check with Popehat.org and/or Marc Randazza. Good luck.

  165. I have seen comments here and there to the effect of “hey, GW hasn’t had their public say, so stop the witch hunt, because we only have one side of the story here”, here and there.

    I think this is Damage ConTroll, witting or not. If we let this die down, then GW needn’t say /anything/, and they win by default. I think that dropping the issue at this point risks the loss of an entire trope, if not sub-genre, to SF collectively.

    Silence now invites GW to bar a lot of prior art from e-books, and if they win big here, will that also invite them to use their e-books win to shoehorn their TM claim into print media, as well?

    • Exactly correct, Nemo. They’ve already had their say: to Amazon.

      If they didn’t want to be judged for abusing the law as an intimidation weapon, maybe they should have tried, say, talking to the author instead. They acted; we get to judge their actions. (It’s not as if they don’t have plenty of prior form on this!)

  166. Today, I am a Space Marine » Anverie.net - pingback on February 7, 2013 at 4:56 pm
  167. Technically speaking, John Glenn is the world’s FIRST Space Marine.

    I wonder if the Prez could be pressured into making that declaration?

    Aside from that there is a list on Wikipedia of USMC people who have been in space.

    Don’t forget, John Glenn was actually a serving member, IRRC.

    So, I was just hoping that public pressure on GW to back off might just make them realise they don’t own the concept.

  168. Have you met Popehat.com?
    There are good guys in the legal world who are fighting this fight.
    You might find someone willing to fight this on principle.
    At minimum it would let more people know what you are up against.

    Cheers!

  169. I am a long time fan of Games workshop, and have worshipped them since the days of the fantasy gamebooks, but this is just wrong. They can’t possibly claim that Space Marines are all their idea!

  170. Row over ownership of ‘space marine’ | World Papers - pingback on February 8, 2013 at 7:09 am
  171. Row over ownership of ‘space marine’ - SamRed News - pingback on February 8, 2013 at 8:15 am
  172. It might have been mentioned before (too many comments, didn’t read them all) but it would appear that one of the leading lights of the GW world, Ian Livingstone, certainly used to think that rigid application of copyright laws was to the detriment of the SF/F world… https://t.co/INM65ORf

  173. this made major uk news now – spread the bbc love via twitter et al ^^

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21380003

    • Kevin who is Kevin

      Also the Guardian newspaper here in UK. I understand its now back up on Amazon, so it seems either Amazon or GW have decided to cut their losses on this one :lol: I just hope its not blocked for sale to the UK becuase I want a copy now.

  174. I am pretty sure that Robotech and Star Blazers both had “space marines”.

  175. Row over ownership of ‘space marine’ - pingback on February 8, 2013 at 9:03 am
  176. Row over ownership of ‘space marine’ | Ezspk Tech - pingback on February 8, 2013 at 9:10 am
  177. Row over ownership of ‘space marine’ | Social Web Guru Guide - pingback on February 8, 2013 at 9:14 am
  178. Kevin who is Kevin

    . . . and . . . I have not purchased your book from Amazon UK. That’s one sale you would definitely not have made without GW trying to play the 800lb gorilla. I hope you make many more. Good luck!

  179. Kevin who is Kevin

    My bad that last should have read:
    “. . and . . . I have “just” purchased your book from Amazon UK. That’s one sale you would definitely not have made without GW trying to play the 800lb gorilla. I hope you make many more. Good luck!

  180. Can I suggest you start a kickstarter to raise funds to fight this case. There are so many examples of space marines in literature that pre-date gamesworkshop it’s a joke. They can’t be allowed to get away with this.

    Also do contact Blizzard, after all they have spin off books in publication based on starcraft that use the term space marine all over the place, if games workshop want’s to go throughing it’s weight around unjustly then let give them someone their own size to pick on.

  181. I’d like to buy a copy of your book in the hope of going some way towards paying your legal fees, but obviously can’t under the circumstances.

    In case it hasn’t already been suggested, why don’t you set up a Kickstarter to fight this thing, and give a copy of the book away to anyone who pledges an amount equal to or greater than the value of the book?

  182. Ok since it’s back I just bought your book on gerneral principle.

    Assume Amazon noticed how many other books many older than games workshop they would also have to remove to enforce games workshops spurious trade mark claim.

  183. I love Warhammer 40K, but I hate Games Workshop for exactly this reason, their attitude towards fan made projects is a point of contention, but to actually claim dominion over the entire use of the words “Space Marine”? Just ludicrous…I’m so sorry you’ve been forced to deal with such a corrupt and vile group of people. I plan on buying Spots the space marine since it must be good to incur the malice of GW. Keep on fighting!

  184. (ignore previous comment please!)

    I’d like to buy a copy of your book in the hope of going some way towards paying your legal fees, but obviously can’t under the circumstances.

    In case it hasn’t already been suggested, why don’t you set up a Kickstarter to fight this thing, and give a copy of the book away to anyone who pledges an amount equal to or greater than the value of the book?

  185. Games Workshop vs. 'Spots the Space Marine' hits BBC - pingback on February 8, 2013 at 10:33 am
  186. Row over ownership of ‘space marine’ | PATRONIT - pingback on February 8, 2013 at 11:23 am
  187. My advice would be to change the term “space marine” in your title and book to some other term, possibly get a different piece of art, and re-submit your writing as a different book.

    Mind you, I agree that Games Workshop’s “trademark” on a phrase that predates the company by about 40 years wouldn’t hold up in court (see Anti-Monopoly, Inc. vs. General Mills Fun Group), but if you want to get published quickly (and cheaply), changing the term is the quickest route.

  188. This is an example of force chichain (pardon my bad – non existant, latin).

    It isn’t the force of law but the force of lawyers, and their associated costs. I think a boycot of GW is in order, and lots and lots of bad mouthing.

    Also a list of their exectutives names should be made available to authors who want to cast them as not particularly bright villans in their fiction. (This tactic has worked before – I won’t say who but enquiring minds want to know).

  189. I play GW miniature games from years ago, and for me, “Space Marine” is a generic expression, not a GW intellectual property. Like “elf”, “troll”, “orc”, “dwarf”… And GW don’t create the term.

  190. Hang in there, the word is spreading like wildfire! I’ve included your plight on my blogs as well:
    http://www.jdbrinkfugitive.com
    brinkschaostheory.blogspot.com

  191. Row over ownership of ‘space marine’ | EZSPK - pingback on February 8, 2013 at 12:13 pm
  192. Dismal corporate behaviour by GW :evil:

    Just for laughs I’m going to get a T-shirt printed saying “Marines in Space!” for next time I visit their gaming centre in Nottingham.

    Don’t give into GW, remember what happened to McDonalds with the McLibel affair!

  193. Hi im a big fan of GW products, have been for over 20 yrs. just wanted to say I feel saddened and ashamed by how they have treated you and I hope you get a big appology Im going to support you by not buying their products and hopefully purchasing yours when available again. Good luck

  194. Trademarking Your Buttholery « Wide Awake but Dreaming - pingback on February 8, 2013 at 1:20 pm
  195. Challenge: Accepted.
    Copy of Spots the Space Marine: Purchased at Smashwords.

  196. Row over ownership of ‘space marine’ | Technology News - pingback on February 8, 2013 at 1:47 pm
  197. They copyrighted Space marine in 95? ID Software releases a little game called DOOM: Knee Deep In The Dead in 93 featuring the space marine.

  198. Hi. I’m a 60 something guy who grew up on Sci Fi and Fantasy novels. I find the idea that terms like “space marine” could be copyrighted totally ridiculous and wish you all the best in your fight against Games Workshop. If they win this fight then the world of sci-fi literature will be devastated. I am surprised that Games Workshop would see a story using what they see as “their” phrase so threatening to their own financial interests. It speaks of paranoia or insecurity on their part rather than any understanding of what motivates people to buy novels of a certain genre.

  199. I’m so disgusted with the Games Workshop I’ve quit the hobby and will be selling off what I have purchased.

    This is stupidity of the most immature kind, and I refuse to pay them for that stupidity on the grounds of conscience.

    I wish you much success and hope you manage to have your book sold again soon.

    • Somebodynotcalledbob, Games Workshop doesn’t have a monopoly on the miniature war gaming market. If you enjoy war gaming, it’s entirely possible to continue to do so without putting money in GW’s pocket.

  200. I’d be willing to contribute to the legal fund to fight this . . . although, as someone who’s done law, I know the time factor is as big an issue as the money factor . . .

  201. Space Marines: bullying goes nuclear then MELTDOWN! - pingback on February 8, 2013 at 5:58 pm
  202. Whilst I completely connect to you writing novels for your daughter’s education, you (or rather, the people posting comments on this blog) really need to try googling “space marine” and see what comes up. Surprisingly, it’s nigh 100% Games Workshop products (excluding the news reports about this story), because actually in common modern culture (not niche-sci-fiction fandom) that is what the term is attributed to. GW’s armoured suits and the related world.

    I personally have no affiliation with Games Workshop, but at the same time, I believe that the term has now changed in percieved popular culture to reference their universe. I’m afraid whilst some may whine about this, that is the realistic fact of the situation. When I saw the title on BBC News, I instinctively thought it was a Warhammer knock-off. Therefore, I think they have every right to pursue this trademark, simply for potential defamation of their brand.

    At the end of the day, there is a very realistic, practical and obvious solution to this – change the name of the book.

    With all respect, I doubt very much that the novel title is important enough to warrant any kind of “hold your ground” action, it’s not worth the time, money, nor does it even hold a real viable moral grounding for the above mentioned reasons.

    By simply changing the name, to “Space Warrior” or similar, you can continue to sell the book to fund your daughter’s education. Everyone is happy.

    • I’m calling you a liar. Only an idiot would believe that you have no affiliation with GW.

      So science fiction is a “niche” while war gaming is not? Do you really imagine more people have heard of Games Workshop than of Robert Heinlein?! (Personally I had never heard of GW until a few days ago.) Most people, when they hear the term “space marine” just think “a marine in space”; it’s not a term they’re familiar with, and they don’t associate it with anything in particular, let alone GW.

      And that fellow you linked to is probably also affiliated with GW, just as you are.

    • Wow, just … wow. I didn’t know GW fanboi/shills had the Jobs mentality as well … “change the book name?”

      If you fail to acknowledge that Space Marine as a term encompasses much more than W40k, you haven’t gone out much, or watched movies … or read much. Even the googling, while it will show up the Wikipedia entry for W40k Space Marines, you’ll notice that the entry is Space_Marines_(Warhammer_40k). That happens when terms have to be disambiguated and the particular entry *isn’t* the main meaning to the term. The main meaning, is this:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_marine

      Or you could check the zillion TVTropes & other links in the ‘net. Even GW players are calling out GW, so much that the gamesworkshopofficial FB page was nuked just to stop getting so much grief. Sheesh…

  203. Row over ownership of ‘space marine’ | My Blog - pingback on February 8, 2013 at 9:47 pm
  204. Row over ownership of ‘space marine’ | Netpardon - pingback on February 8, 2013 at 9:51 pm
  205. there’s so much irony here, of a messed up sort. Ringo has a series out, [the "Looking Glass" series] where from book 2 ON, the US has ACTUAL Space Marines – as in the USMC starts a branch they ACTUALLY CALL THE SPACE MARINES. that’s their OFFICIAL title.

    there are so many, many, MANY sci-fi books that reference Space Marines. i mean…
    hell, even D&D has them! in Spelljammer!

    i’m glad it appears your book has been restored, and i will be buying a copy ASAP just because of this. so, um, thanks GM, for doing something totally douchbaggy that led to me hearing about this book and purchasing it?

  206. Row over ownership of ‘space marine’ | The Yann Ketchanga site - pingback on February 9, 2013 at 1:54 am
  207. Warren Fyfe Info.org | Row over ownership of ‘space marine’ - pingback on February 9, 2013 at 1:58 am
  208. Save our Space Marines | The Zhodani Base | Traveller RPG Blog - pingback on February 9, 2013 at 4:35 am
  209. In that case I will lay claim to the term ‘space ship’ and sue anyone whose works already contain the phrase. I might also copyright the terms ‘robot’, ‘android’ and ‘alien’.

  210. The whole point of copyright is to protect ‘creative works’ – there is nothing creative about copyrighting a term that already exists, is part of the English language, and not at all novel. The law does not permit this and if it does then that is an error, an injustice.

    • You idiot, this has nothing to do with copyright. I wish people would stop bringing it up. It’s not mentioned in the story, so where are people getting this idea? This is about a trademark claim, a false one as it happens, but trademarks are not creative works and are not meant to be original. If this were a toy rather than a book, GW would actually have quite a decent case, though not an unassailable one (you can’t just register a trademark for the term “soldier” in the toy field and then go after anyone who makes toy soldiers!)

      • Takes one to know one.

        • Um, no. Idiots generally have no facility for recognising idiocy in themselves or others. It takes an intelligent person to recognise an idiot. You have objectively demonstrated your idiocy by writing about copyrights when they are not mentioned in the story and have nothing to do with it. Since the purpose of trademarks is not to protect “creative work”, and trademarks are not required to be either creative or novel, but merely distinctive, your entire comment was pointless, and only an idiot like you would not realise that.

          • Ever read Mr Logic in Viz? Sorry silly me, with my PhD in science I am still an idiot because I don’t know copyright law, oh silly me!

          • Any English-speaker who doesn’t know the difference between copyright and trademark is illiterate in the English language, and therefore an idiot. And I don’t believe your claim to be a scientist.

  211. I guess games Workshop really lost it. Recently I read at Wired that they asked a 3d model of a tank to be removed from the 3d printing service site, because it was similar in style to their tank design. So apparently if someone starts writing sci-fi involving futuristic gothic setting they are in a trouble? Plus that Space Marines have been used many times in scifi genre and in quite a few franchises.

  212. What a totally and utterly stupid line these corporate people take….there are no bounds to their blinkered and avarice driven shareholders and board members… I remember “space marines” in Doctor Who back in 1973 on TV… They can as much claim it as theirs as saying the stars above belong to them…Idiots the lot of them…. :shock:

  213. Games Workshop are notorious for trying to squeeze money out of every little thing. Look at how they treat their long term gamers in favour of making more and more money. They charge extortionate amounts for their products. What used to be a nice little franchise dedicated to gaming as become a money making scam.
    Good for Maggie Hogarth in taking a stand!

  214. Hurray for the little guys! | Jaye Em Edgecliff - pingback on February 9, 2013 at 7:58 am
  215. Row over ownership of ‘space marine’ | Technophile - pingback on February 9, 2013 at 9:45 am
  216. Best of luck. Hope you win this case.

  217. Glenn aronow - pingback on February 9, 2013 at 11:12 am
  218. I have been reading Science fiction/futuristic fiction/Space Operas for YEARS and it is COMMON to find the term Space Marines. What the heck does Games Workshop thing they are doing? their claim is ridiculous and unfounded.

  219. I am a space marine, if you can’t fix this give me the co-ords and we will land a dropship on the roof and convince them otherwise

  220. “I personally have no affiliation with Games Workshop, but at the same time, I believe that the term has now changed in percieved popular culture to reference their universe.”

    @ Ben Smith: Just so I’m understanding this correctly, you are arguing that because a term appears to reference someone’s product more than another person’s product (completely throwing out the concept of how Google or Bing ranks their data), that the person who “has the most” wins the copyright debate? So… because the World Wrestling Federation became popular in the 80′s with it’s abbreviation WWF, the World Wildlife Federation – which existed prior to them and also used the monicker WWF should have just kept their mouth shut and changed their own name instead of raising the fuss they did with the World Wrestling Federation? Interesting.

    If I were MCAH, I would have raised the exact same fuss just in principle. I have seen way too many large corporations attempt to bully people around like GW has a history of doing and it’s ridiculous. Our country was based on freedom and the notion of working hard to make a living. Maybe GW still believes in the Queen’s divine lineage and their God-given right to do whatever they want but I certainly don’t.

  221. Look, call it copyright or trademark, and yes trademark is more correct except GW are making it more than that by applying it to the written word, a trademark can not apply to every instance of a written word in every published document, that’s absurd. GW is absurd.

    • Rubbish. Trademarks certainly can apply to “every instance of a written word in every published document”, so long as the trademark is distinctive enough that in every context it would be understood as a reference to the trademark owner.

      “Beany Babies” is a trademark, and is distinctive and universally recognised as a reference to the toys made by Ty, Inc. If I were to use the phrase in a story I would expect Ty’s lawyers to give me grief, and my only possible defense would be fair use. If I were to use it in the title of a book, I would absolutely expect to be slapped down, and rightfully so, because a normal person seeing my book would assume it to be licensed and endorsed by the trademark owner, and would be buying it on that basis.

      The problem with GW’s claim here is not that it’s being used in a story, but that the phrase is not distinctive and associated with them. The fact that there is so much prior art doesn’t go to their lack of creativity, but to the lack of distinctiveness. If the average person who is likely to see this book would think it was a GW product then they’d be right; since that’s not the case, they’re wrong.

      • Rubbish! It is absurd, law or no law.

        • Look! Beany Baby is not generic, I do not think it occurs in any other context. As you say ‘space marine’ is generic and non-distinctive (you seem to argue with people who agree with you, how curious). What should it matter what people think ‘space marine’ means? It is absurd to suggest that such a generic phrase could ever be a trademark, and I don’t give a hoot what the law says about it!

          • You are obviously incapable of the most basic logic. Yes, “space marine” is generic, which is why GW’s claim to a trademark is ridiculous. But your claim that “a trademark can not apply to every instance of a written word in every published document” is utter rubbish. Beany Baby is a proper trademark, and therefore it does apply to every instance of a written word in every published document. That proves you wrong.

        • No, you are absurd.

          • You are missing my point. I am not making statements about law, per se, because I don’t give a hoot about that. I am saying it is absurd to make a common English word or phrase a trademark and then ban its use in the published word. I don’t care if it’s legal, it is absurd. Now refute that, if you will, instead of arguing over statements you have misunderstood. The law DOES NOT define what is absurd!!

          • That must be why I did so well in quantum mechanics and computer programming – clearly they require no logic at all.

          • Stop lying. You wrote that “a trademark can not apply to every instance of a written word in every published document, that’s absurd”. And that is complete rubbish. Your statement had nothing to do with what words or phrases can be trademarks, it was a statement about the scope of trademarks in general, and it was wrong. You are now engaged in a transparent attempt now to evade that and pretend you wrote something else.

  222. BLUE ALIEN is a trademark, but would that give the owner the right to ban every book that mentioned a blue alien?

    • Only if the book capitalised it; you can write about blue aliens all you like, but not about Blue Aliens, unless you are referring to the trademarked item, and in a way that made it clear you were not associated with them. The problem here is that not just “space marine” but also “Space Marine”, meaning a member of a force called the Space Marines, is an utterly generic term in science fiction, and has been for decades.

    • :lol: I am not telling lies – a trademark can not apply to every instance of a written word, because, as I understand it (and I maybe wrong), it depends on CONTEXT! I did erroneously refer to ‘copyright’ initially, yes, so what? I don’t care if I get something wrong and someone corrects me, I am glad when they do, but not when they hurl insults! Do you understand? It is absurd to think that because ‘Space Marine’ is a trademark that it can apply to every written instance of the word, capitalised or otherwise – you yourself have said it depends on context. regardless of the law, in any case, it is absurd! You seem to argue with me and then agree, you are a puzzle.

      • You are telling lies. A trademark can apply to every instance of a written word; for instance, every instance of “Beany Baby” in any document anywhere is covered by Ty Inc’s trademark. It’s hard to think of a context in which that phrase could appear without being covered by the trademark. And yet I have used it several times on this page, without infringing that trademark. Why? Because the context makes it clear that my writing is not a Ty product, and nobody will be fooled into reading it on the presumption that it is. I could even publish and offer for sale a book called “Beany Baby™: A Case Study in Trademark Law”, without infringing Ty’s trademark, because the context makes it clear that it’s a book about Ty and their trademark, not by them.

        In our case, if GW’s claimed trademark were valid, then the book we’re discussing would have been an infringement, and MCAH would have had to change it. The problem with GW’s claim is not that “Space Marine” can’t be a trademark, but that it isn’t one, at least in the market for science fiction.

  223. I will also note that you can not copywright a TITLE.

    Top marks to the folks who did “Beast Master” the movie. They found out 6 weeks before release that Andre Norton had a book of identical Title. They paid her 100 or 1000$ and invited her to the movie primer – but they surely didn’t have to!

    Ed Buchan

    • Sigh. Once again, this has nothing to do with copyright. This is about trademarks, and a book title certainly can be a trademark. Had Norton registered “Beast Master” as a trademark, and used it for a series of books, then the movie makers would absolutely have had to get her permission.

      • Actually a series wouldn’t be necessary. Even if it was just that one book, had she registered it as a trademark and enforced it, it would have been valid.

  224. I had no idea there was a product called Space Marine till I read this bumf!
    It would seem this product has nothing to do with this book as mentioned above.
    A Space Marine to me describes some sort of soldier in space travelling by means of a ship through Space (compare soldier on earth travelling by ship over earths surface = A Marine)
    It is a generic term.
    End of discussion.
    :!:

  225. While I am not a sci-fi reader, my brother brought this to my attention. I’ve read through all the posts and I was wondering from all the advise and exposure if you have indeed found a lawyer willing to take on your case. If not my second question is, does it matter what state the practicing lawyer is in because if not, I would be more than happy to check around my area for a lawyer who would assist you pro-bono as we do happen to have a lot of trademark/copy-write lawyers in my area. Plz contact me if you would like me to do so. Even though I do not read much of anything these days, it just irks the heck out of me these big corps trying to silence and intimidate people just because they happen to have seemingly unlimited resources and further more I hope you are able to sue them for damages and emotional distress!
    I have shared this on my Facebook in which I have many friends due to the fact I have a feline rescue/sanctuary but these friends go above and beyond to share to broader audience so hope it helps!
    Kindest Regards
    Cin

  226. I’m also a writer and am disgusted that companies should try to patent words commonly used in the English language. So what do we do when some big corporation decides to patent “he” and “she”? Keep up the fight. Everyone who supports common sense is 120% behind you.

    • Sigh. Trademark, not patent. First we have people dragging copyrights into this, and now patents? Do you just pull words out of the air and use them randomly?

  227. Roleplayers Chronicle » Under the Hood – What’s in a Name? - pingback on February 10, 2013 at 3:01 pm
  228. Glad to hear your book back on Amazon-but on the off chance things get sticky again:
    The Space Marines, along with the Terran Federation Space Navy, were characters in H. Beam Piper’s Future History. Piper is a foundational science fiction writer whose stories were published and reprinted as beloved science fiction classics long before the Games Workshop ever existed. Piper’s book Little Fuzzy (copyright 1962) depicts “Ankle boots and red-striped trousers; Space Marines in dress blues.” (found on page 143 of the Ace Books paperback reprint, see also pg 120 of the modern collected reprint The Complete Fuzzy.) And on page 152, the little Fuzzies of the title are given ‘a little shoulder bag-a Marine Corps first aid pouch-slung from a webbing strap.” The Terran Federation Naval Base orbiting Zarathustra plays a pivotal role in the story, and ‘space marines’ are mentioned again in the sequel Fuzzy Sapiens (copyright 1964 by Piper as The Other Human Race, and copyright again by the Berkley Publishing Group in 1998 in their re-issue of all three classic Fuzzy Novels titled The Complete Fuzzy) as well as in the third book in the series, Fuzzies and Other People, published posthumously in 1984. On page 16 of Fuzzies and Other People, Piper again clearly mentions the ‘space marines’, to wit: “they and the men who operated them had been borrowed from the Space Marines.”
    The Space Marines are pictured prominently on the front cover of Federation, a 1981 paper back collection of Piper’s Future History stories prefaced by Jerry Pournelle. In that collection, the story Naudsonce contains the character of “Major Luis Gofredo, the Marine officer” in charge of a “joint Space Navy-Colonial Office expedition.”
    If anything, the term ‘space marine’ has long been proven to be in the public domain. Games Workshop has no stronger claim to it than the estates of H. Beam Piper, E.E. ‘Doc’ Smith, or RA. Heinlen. ‘Space Marine’ was not a term originated by Games Workshop, and it is not theirs to do with as they please. Space Marines are as generic a science fiction term as rocket ships and ray guns. Games Workshop might as well try to copyright BEM or ‘bug-eyed monster’, another SF classic. Or the moon.
    And to use this sort of spurious claim to prevent the publication of an author’s story simply because it uses the words ‘space marine’ in the title is the sort of corporate bullying that leads to boycotts, and an irretrievable tainting of the Games Workshop brand. Who wants to be associated with a bully?

  229. You should be thankful to GW as without their blundering greed I wouldn’t have heard of Spots the Space Marine. Since it is back on sale at Amazon, I will promptly purchase my copy!

    I am intrigued by sci-fi from a female author’s perspective – look forward to reading it and any more of your titles that catch my eye.

    Best wishes and good luck, Maggie!

  230. mariano daniel villafañe wagner

    i suppose you could use “space navy infantry”, but the point is in every language some people are trying to size everyday words as their own.
    some day you will not be authorized to use “breakfast” because kellog’s got its copyright

  231. So, it’s illegal to publish text containing the phrase ‘space marine’ according to GW is it. Oh blast! I just published it and broke the law, blast I just wrote space marine. Damn! I just wrote space marine again. Space marine, space marine, space marine, space marine, …

  232. Oh does it need to be capitalised?! Space Marine, SPACE MARINE, etc.

  233. Can I sell little models of trees and make Oak Tree a trademark and stop anybody from writing ‘Oak Tree’ in any published document, meaning they could not capitalise: A Botanical Treatise on the Oak Tree? Hogwash!

    • In that context it’s not really capitalised, it’s just conforming to the format of the rest of the title. But such a trademark would indeed be enforceable in any context where the typical consumer would understand it as a reference to the trademarked product rather than the generic concept.

      Of course it’s perfectly legal to refer to a trademarked product by its name, so you could still write about Oak Trees and comment on their quality, etc. But you could not write anything that a consumer would buy under the mistaken impression that it was an Oak Tree product, made by the Oak Tree company.

      • Exactly! Why do you argue so much when I agree with what you say (accepting personal insults)? It is about context! I don’t think a sci-fi book about space marines necessarily has anything at all to do with Warhammer 40K. Even if it makes people think Warhammer 40K, unless the space marines in the book are clearly based in a universe very much like that of Warhammer 40K, then GW has no case! Sci-fi is not a sufficiently close context! I think you agree, so why all the insults? (By the way, I do know what a trademark is thank you.)

        • If the term “Space Marine” were not generic, and the typical consumer who saw the book would think it meant the GW product, then the consumer would think the book was an authorised GW product, and buy it under that mistaken impression. They wouldn’t find out otherwise until after they had bought it and started reading it. And that would be fraud.

          You seem not to understand that trademarks exist for the benefit of the consumer. Their purpose is to prevent consumers from buying things under false pretenses.

          • Do you really think the law exists to serve the greater good?

          • No, the law exists to protect consumers from fraud, whether that’s a good thing or not. Some consumers deserve to be defrauded, and it would be a good thing if they were, but the law still exists to protect them.

  234. Milhouse, you make some good points, but it’s a pity that you can not do so without hurling insults at people. Don’t get personal dude, just stick to the debate!

    • The debate is not helped when idiots like you start prattling about irrelevant concepts like “creative works”.

      • Lol, you could have made your point in one polite post, now you have trolled the whole board! I am not letting you off the hook so easily! Take this pearl and appreciate it or trample it into the dirt as you wish: ‘Only a fool thinks he is wise’.

        • Or, as I prefer to say, ‘It is foolish to think oneself wise’. Do you understand the difference?

        • I don’t think you understand what a troll is.

          • Ok, then let me give you my definition, ‘Someone who hurls insults at people without just provocation, e.g. by calling someone they have never even met an ‘idiot’, instead of making their points respectfully.’ That’s not to say that ‘once a troll always a troll’, for we can all be rude sometimes, but your rudeness is apparently habit.

          • Wrong. A troll is someone who throws chum in the water with the sole purpose of starting a fight for his own entertainment. He writes not to convey information, but to provoke angry responses. He doesn’t even necessarily believe what he writes, because his whole point in writing it is to get people upset, so if the truth isn’t likely to upset people he’ll write something he believes not to be true.

  235. GW has made a classic advertising error.

    The only bad publicity is No Publicity. They just gave Spots Space Marine the very best publicity possible. This was surely not their intent.

    Nor was the Fatwa against Satanic Verses any more effective.

  236. The term ‘Space marine’ will always conjure images of GW space marines in my imagination. I don’t agree with their legal bullying, or claims of ownership, it’s just that they have the strongest IP built around the term. But come on…. people have your very DNA copyrighted/patented right now. They have them on seeds, plants, and animals, etc. There are bigger things to worry about!

  237. Do not worry – GW will go under because of this continued attitude and we will all be able to write about what we want, when we want. Did you know their key original staff have been leaving in droves to work on their own projects? I’ll miss the figures, but not the company for this kind of behaviour! :smile:

    Good luck with your book and your idea.

    Oh and as for GW Copyright: what a sick hypocritical joke. Lord of the Rings vs. their Fantasy World; just look up the hundreds of similarities. By all rights they are lucky not to get sued themselves by Tolkien! Oh wait, that’s right: they now make the LotR’s miniatures too. Lucky escape then! Hey, just make them money, then you’ll be ok! Every single range GW has produced is stolen from ideas from other peoples films and books. That is fact.

    Total utter ridiculousness, GW. :roll:

  238. 2013-02-08 Weekly Gaming Recap Show - WGR - pingback on February 13, 2013 at 11:01 am
  239. I am a strong fan GWs 40k universe, but I am in agreement with you. It seems that GW has turned into the little child who grabs everything and screams “mine!”. Not only are they abusing others with thoughts and talent of their own, but abusing their loyal customers.

    The original Doom novels were written in 1995 and 1996 and they used the term “space marine” should those writers be suing or getting sued?

    Anyhow, I think GW needs to be spanked and sat in the corner until they can learn to play well with others!

  240. I am a GW game player and found this link. I have been disappointed with a lot things they have done over the past few years. This article has made me ashamed to be part of the community that supports these litigious bullies.

    I’ll be buying your book for my Kindle to support you in this. They may have inadvertently given you more exposure and added new fans. Needless to say my figures for the game will be sold off shortly. They are not getting any more money from my son or I. Stay strong.

  241. The first step in resisting the abuse of trademark law is to uproot
    the term “IP” from your thoughts and toss it in the trash. That term
    encourages confusion between trademark law and other unrelated laws
    (one being copyright law). In their requirements and their effects,
    these two laws are totally different, and lumping them together causes
    only misunderstanding. See
    http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/not-ipr.html.

    I’m glad to see that this power-grab was thwarted, but I will never
    get Spots the Space Marine from Amazon. Amazon’s e-books are
    unethical for several reasons: see http://stallman.org/ebooks.pdf, and
    stand firm for your freedom.

    Amazon’s other operations are unethical too (see
    http://stallman.org/amazon.html).

  242. Note on Amazon; unless you live in the continental US Amazon’s shipping charges make they uneconomic. In the lower 48 3$ shipping, elsewhere 15$ and that’s for an 11$ item (to which duty and customs clearance 50$ may also apply).

  243. When I heard about this, I was appalled. Protecting their IP from a company like Chapterhouse is one thing; GW at least had something resembling a case there. Here it’s just pig-headed corporate bullying.

    I purchased a copy of Spots to show solidarity without even reading the blurb (I’ve since read it and a few reviews and am looking forward to the book). I’m sure I’m not the only one to have done this.

  244. Heinlein’s Starship Troopers came out in 1959, and while he didn’t use the term “space marines” in that one, he did in the earlier stories “Misfit” (1939), “The Long Watch” (1941), and “Space Cadet” (1948).

    The Lensman series had power-armor-wearing, yep, space marines in 1937.

    The November 1932 issue of Amazing Stories had a short story in it called “Captain Brink of the Space Marines,” and a sequel story with the same characters from the “Earth Republic Space Navy” four years later in the December 1936 issue named “The Space Marines and the Slavers.”

    H. Beam Piper in 1962 and ‘63, Niven and Pournelle in 1975, I could go on. And these are just the literary examples. A “Marine Space Corps” showed up on Doctor Who a few times in 1973 and ‘74, three years before Games Workshop published “Traveller,” an RPG in which there are “Star Marines, Terran Confederation Marine Corps, Imperial Marine Force, Solomani Marine Corps,” and a “Zhodani Consular Guard,” but no “space marines.”

    GW didn’t actually use the term “space marine” until the release of Warhammer 40k in 1987.

    “Aliens” hit theaters in 1986.

    So, in closing, Games Workshop can go suck a fat one.

  245. Imagonem #40! og sånn nyhetsbrev, da. – Imagonem - pingback on March 4, 2013 at 9:18 am
  246. Burning Bridges | Fortuitous Feline - pingback on March 20, 2013 at 2:03 pm
  247. if i was you i would go on kickstarter for the funds for the legal battle. i know that many people who have posted here, including myself, would chip in simply because GW have just gone too far and are now threatening the entire science fiction community.

  248. After being somewhat disgruntled with GW for a number of reasons, I heard about this debarkle over the word ‘Space Marine’.

    I play Warhammer and was looking to get into WH40K, but the attitude of GW and the way they treat people is just putting me off.

    If I am just one of many, then their attitude towards protecting their intellectual property in such a ham-fisted manner is doing themselves more harm than good and they will end up losing customers, eventually ending up going the way TSR (the creators of Dungeons & Dragons) did.

    I am completely sympathetic towards your case, and I wish you the best of luck in promoting this and other books that you write.

  249. I tend not to drop a comment, however I looked at some of the comments here In
    the Future, All Space Marines Will Be Warhammer 40K Space Marines | MCAH Online.
    I actually do have 2 questions for you if you don’t mind. Is it just me or do some of the remarks come across as if they are left by brain dead folks? :-P And, if you are writing at additional sites, I’d like to follow everything fresh you have to post.

    Could you post a list of all of your social community pages like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter
    feed?

  250. In supporting you on my deviantart account. I also sent you an email.

  251. Typical Games workshop. They started off caring about gamers and the world they created now they care only for money. They surely couldn’t defend the position of them owning the term “space marines” when they got the concept from Starship Troupers! total egits!

  252. In gaming circles today a DCM from Games Workshop is like being taken hostage by the Barbary Pirates in the 1800′s. It meant something and was quite common. Ironic that the U.S. MARINE battle hymn contains a reference “..the shores of Tripoli”. YES WE CAN enforce pretty much whatever we want.

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