Mojang and Bethesda duke it out (legally) over Scrolls
Remember the days when imitation was a form of flattery? Well, it seems like it’s a form of copyright infringement today, and you’ll get sued if you even think about it.
In a recent Kotaku article, Russ Pitts provides an excellent overview of the issues concerning the upcoming case between Mojang and Bethesda.
In case you’re wondering, the case is over Mojang’s use of the word “Scrolls” as the title of its next game. Bethesda feels that the name is too similar to their own “The Elder Scrolls” franchise, and that the similarity could lead to confusion and harm to their brand.
The best quote of the entire article is the following by Notch, founder of Mojang and the genius behind Minecraft:
“All our suggestions were tokens of good will,” Notch said. “We wanted to end things in a friendly way where we met them half-way. I am a huge fan of Bethesda’s work, and I’m looking forward to Skyrim more than I am any other game this year. Picking a fight with my idols seemed like a silly idea.”
Some of you may remember that Notch actually challenged Bethesda to a game of Quake 3 to decide if they could keep the name “Scrolls” for their upcoming title or not. Who does that? If I were Bethesda, I would have seen this invitation for what it was: a great way to gain some positive media coverage. Throw a huge lan party and frag the crap out of the competition. Both Bethesda and Mojang would have gotten a lot of respect from the gaming community.
Instead, Bethesda has decided to move forward in its litigation, which is disappointing. I highly respect each studio, and I enjoy their games immensely. I also understand that copyrights and trademarks are important to a gaming company’s livelihood. But come on! How confusing is it for a shopper to tell the difference between The Elder Scrolls and Scrolls? It’s insulting to the consumer!
The whole issue sounds silly to me, honestly. But what do you guys think? Weigh in with your opinions!