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ZeniMax are flexing their legal muscles towards DoomRL

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This is quite sad really, Zenimax are now sending their cronies after DoomRL [Official Site] the Doom-inspired roguelike.

The developer, who I follow shared it on Twitter:

So... Zenimax have just written to me demanding I take down the DoomRL site... :-/ pic.twitter.com/tXAwdq59Zz

— Kornel Kisielewicz (@epyoncf) December 2, 2016


The actual image in case it vanishes:

I'm not surprised though, since he is using the actual Doom logo on the website, with a minor adjustment. The game also shared monster names, sprite designs and so on. So it looks like this could be the end of the road for the fan-game.

The silly thing is, it's not even remotely competing with the actual Doom games, so this is just ZeniMax showing their muscles. As sad as it is, I'm torn here. Fan games are awesome, but they are essentially using someone's designs and often more.

It seems Zenimax have only really noticed it now that the DoomRL creator is crowdfunding a successor named Jupiter Hell.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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buenaventura 2 December 2016 at 2:14 pm UTC
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Apparently it's not that bad, they might get away by just changing some names on the website - the game itself is not mentioned, according to RPS.
Guest 2 December 2016 at 2:15 pm UTC
Quotetrying to shit it down

I think you should keep that in the title. Because they are trying to shit on it.
reaVer 2 December 2016 at 2:16 pm UTC
Lets all note here that it isn't economically viable for them to port their games to Linux, yet it is economically viable for them to go threaten people that have no money with lawsuits.
liamdawe 2 December 2016 at 2:19 pm UTC
Well the title was quite on-point, even if it was an hilariously bad typo
ajgp 2 December 2016 at 2:27 pm UTC
reaVerLets all note here that it isn't economically viable for them to port their games to Linux, yet it is economically viable for them to go threaten people that have no money with lawsuits.

While I am in no way supporting Zenimax here, and dont agree with their behaviour. I believe this is a case of a rock and a hard place; in order to maintain trademarks on things you have to actively use and critically take steps to prevent its use by other parties. So while DoomRL may not pose any threat to Zenimax by not defending the trademark they potentially down the line open themselves up to others who could be a threat being able to use the trademark as they would be able to prove that Zenimax wasnt actively protecting it.


Source: My Memory of something I read; Dont quote me; Not a lawyer!
buenaventura 2 December 2016 at 2:31 pm UTC
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I mean, it says right there that they just have to change meta-data tags and names and such. Why not? They can just write D**m or something instead, big deal.
Gonza565 2 December 2016 at 2:33 pm UTC
Why now? They are a bit slow lol.
buschap 2 December 2016 at 2:46 pm UTC
They aren't trying to shut the project down. They are trying to protect their trademarks. This is compulsory under US trademark law. If you do not protect your trademarks, and other people use them in an unconnected and unauthorized fashion, your trademark can become a generic term.

They are not demanding he take the site and project down. They are demanding he remove their trademarks.
liamdawe 2 December 2016 at 2:51 pm UTC
buschapThey aren't trying to shut the project down. They are trying to protect their trademarks. This is compulsory under US trademark law. If you do not protect your trademarks, and other people use them in an unconnected and unauthorized fashion, your trademark can become a generic term.

They are not demanding he take the site and project down. They are demanding he remove their trademarks.
That effectively shuts it down. The entire project is entirely based around Doom as a fan project.
PublicNuisance 2 December 2016 at 2:54 pm UTC
I saw the word Zenimax and got giddy for a second thinking Hell had maybe froze over and they were bringing games to Linux then read the rest of it. This is not the news I was looking for. As long as they are only asking the guy remove trademarks and aren't trying to shut his games down I can abide but anything more and their just bullies.
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