GIANTS FALL: Kind of a combination of a News Blast and a Nerd Law, but the lawsuit between Apple and Epic has been decided and…it’s complicated. We have Andrew walk us through the ins and outs of this strange event.
A BAD BLIZZARD: Our hosts take a quick look at the controversy (and lawsuits!) that came out of an investigation led by the state of California into the toxic and dangerous company culture of Activision Blizzard.
I HAVE THE POWER: Having watched the first five episodes released for Netflix’s Masters of the Universe: Revelation, Andrew and D. Bethel look at this playful and creative reimagining of the classic ’80s toy commercial, er I mean, cartoon series.
“All-New, All-Same” (29 June 2018): Where Andrew and D. Bethel discuss the angry internet’s attempt to “destroy” Lucasfilm following the release of The Last Jedi and Solo: A Star Wars Story.
“Empty Justice” (01 March 2019): Where our hosts talk about internet trolls trying to review bomb Captain Marvel ahead of its release.
TSR-U-KIDDING-ME: Tabletop Twitter got weird these last few weeks as debates exploded around the tweets made by Ernest G. Gygax, Jr.––son of Dungeons & Dragons co-creator, Gary Gygax––where he doubles down on strong, anti-SJW views in support of his new RPG, Giantlands.
SLAPP FEST: Andrew also checks in with the current legal fight started by Chris Avellone––formerly of Black Isle and Obisidian Entertainment––as he tries to sue people who said mean things about him on the internet.
Also, Dan has gotten even more obsessed with the Metroid series since last week.
ROUGH TEXTURES: Capcom gets sued for allegedly using textures from a reference book––Judy A. Juracek’s Surfaces––for many of its games in the early 2000s and the evidence is pretty compelling. Without dispensing professional legal advice, Andrew guides D. Bethel through the nuances and complexities of this interesting case.
“Don’t Stop Recording” (03 July 2015): Where D. Bethel and Andrew talk about how the 1986 classic,The Transformers: The Movie, may have started as a toy commercial but ended up as a defining emotional moment for young fans at the time.
“Listeners in the Woodwork” (18 October 2019): Where Andrew and D. Bethel discuss the lawsuit surrounding the origins of the theme song from X-Men: The Animated Series.
“Dating the Void” (23 April 2021): Where Andrew discussed the copyright confusion surrounding Sherlock Holmes.
FREEDOM FOR APPS: Andrew and D. Bethel dedicate this week’s episode to discussing and parsing and debating and understanding and reacting to the very, very strange lawsuits being fought between Apple and Epic Games. SPOILER: They have no answers.
EPIC WIN (OR FAIL): It has been a few weeks of high drama in the world of video games as Epic––the company behind Fortnite and the Unreal Engine––sued Apple after Apple delisted Fortnite from its storefront when Epic violated its terms of service as a developer. It’s a complicated, convoluted issue with a lot of far-reaching and severe consequences for those who don’t really have a dog in this fight––the players (not to mention the impact it could have on smaller indie developers). Andrew and D. Bethel attempt to unravel all the goings-on in this very interesting and possibly paradigm-shifting event.
TO ME, MY LITIGATORS: Eyebrows raised recently when a Florida man sued Marvel, Fox, Saban Entertainment, and many other production companies saying that the generation-defining theme song of the ’90s X-Men animated show actually plagiarized a strikingly similar theme of a popular Hungarian tv show from the 1980s. Nerd Law man, Andrew, and X-Men fanatic, D. Bethel, put their heads together to see if this case has any legs to stand on. (A big thanks to friend-of-the-show, André La Roche for his consultation on this topic.)
DISNEY PEMDAS: Last week, Disney made waves as it began an irresponsibly long Twitter thread announcing every title that would be available on its upcoming Disney+ service. D. Bethel and Andrew sort through the announcement, talking about how much this will shift the paradigm of entertainment consumption.
ANDREW IS OLDER: We start by celebrating Andrew’s birthday a little bit. So, what did he do? He watched Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan again and also went to see Weird Al Yankovic in concert during his “Strings Attached” tour where Yankovic and his band toured with a 41-piece orchestra.
FARTHER FROM HOME: The news this week was kind of bad for Marvel Cinematic Universe fans as Sony and Disney apparently stepped away from the deal that brought them together in the first place. What this means (as it currently stands) is that future Spider-Man films can’t interact with the MCU or Avengers-based films. Andrew and D. Bethel talk about what’s going on here and what are the ups and downs of this news story.
NERD LAW, 2019: Two unrelated but intriguingly similar trademark cases have made the rounds in the news this last week. Chooseco, the owner of the Choose Your Own Adventure franchise has brought a lawsuit to Netflix over Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and the tenuous if not honorific connections that movie has to the classic children’s book series. In the world of video games, the Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations has sued Take Two––owners of Rockstar Games––for the apparent vilification of the company in the developer’s highly successful late-2018 release, Red Dead Redemption 2. Andrew and D. Bethel sound the Nerd Law alarm and discuss these two cases in depth.
Dan will be tabling at Stocktoncon Winter this Sunday, January 20, with Kyrun Silva of Taurus Comics yet again (which hints at a return of the Con Artists limited podcast series)! If you’re in the area, please stop by. For more information, read this post at Long John or go straight to the source at Stocktoncon.com. Hope to see you there!
MEYERED IN CONTROVERSY: Richard Meyer and his “Diversity and Comics” YouTube Channel have been no stranger on this podcast with his leading the charge of the abhorrent ComicsGate dissention among comic book fandom. After gaining notoriety with his “Dark Roast” YouTube video (since deleted) that accused various popular industry creatives of committing sexual, devious, and illegal acts to get their way to the top, Mark Waid––among others––reached out to Antarctic Press to voice concerns with their decision to publish Meyer’s comic, JAWBREAKERS. After hearing those concerns, Antarctic Press terminated their contract with Meyer and went to the internet to spew bile in response. At the end of September, Meyer sued Waid for “tortious interference with contract” and “defamation.” D. Bethel and resident nerd lawyer, Andrew Asplund, dive back into this cesspool to navigate what exactly is going on throughout this new development.
NOTE: No comment made by Andrew during this episode constitutes legal advice or establishes client-lawyer relations.
TWILIGHT RETURNS: It was recently announced that the previously announced Jordan Peele-produced reboot of The Twilight Zone will actually star Mr. Peele himself as the host for the digital-only streaming service CBS All-Access. Andrew and D. talk about their excitement––and fears! (to make it spooky for Spookytober)––for the upcoming show.