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!
- Shortcast 03 – Interview with André La Roche (31 Dec. 2014): A talk Andrew has with fellow lawyer and nerd to talk about writing for tabletop RPGs.
- Episode 150 – Comivention (15 Dec. 2017): A Nerd Law episode where Andrew examines Epic Games’ suing of players cheating in Fortnite.
- Episode 156 – River City Rampage (17 Aug 2018): A smorgasbord episode of Nerd Law as Andrew discusses the acquisition of Fox properties by Disney and Nintendo’s drop of the hammer on emulation sites.
- Episode 158 – Bluster and Impotence (05 Oct. 2018): A Nerd Law discussion about ComicsGate’s Richard Meyer suing Mark Waid for “tortious interference with a contract.”
- Shortcast 76 – A Sense of Place (30 Nov. 2018): Where D. Bethel discussed his early time with Red Dead Redemption 2.
- 11 January 2019 – Close the Loop: Where Andrew talked about his experience with Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.
- The Pinkerton Detective Agency was a job, it was not a requirement to be a hero as this tweet from JoeWV testifies:
Pinkertons put a Gatling gun on the railroad car and shot at my great grandparents living in tents while on strike at Paint creek, wv. They absolutely were hired thugs
— JoeWV (@JOEWV) January 16, 2019
- Despair, Inc.’s first and only installment of the “Lose Your Own Adventure” series of books.
- Asplund, Andrew. “Nerd Law 101: Intellectual Property Basics.” A Website [ , ] For All Intents and Purposes. 22 Mar. 2017.
- Doctorow, Cory. “Games Workshop Trademark Bullying Goes Thermonuclear: Now They Say You Can’t Use ‘Space Marine’ in Science Fiction.” Boing Boing. Happy Mutants, 06 Feb. 2013.
- Goslin, Austen. “Netflix Hit With a Choose Your Own Adventure Lawsuit Over Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.” Polygon. Vox Media, 11 Jan. 2019.
- Robertson, Adi. “Red Dead Redemption 2‘s Pinkerton Agents Are at the Center of a Lawsuit.” The Verge. Vox Media, 14 Jan. 2019.
- Wales, Matt. “Gearbox Boss Randy Pitchford Accused of Taking Secret $12m Bonus, More During Legal Tussle With Studio’s Former Lawyer.” Eurogamer. Gamer Network, 11 Jan. 2019.
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For all intents and purposes, that was an episode recap.
-“Disco Medusae” by Kevin McLeod (incompetech.com)*
-“District Four” by Kevin McLeod (incompetech.com)*
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