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Notch Comes Up With New Plan To Settle Trademark Dispute: Quake 3 Battle

from the ah,-if-only-all-legal-disputes-were-handled-this-way dept

We noted recently the ridiculous trademark lawsuit filed by game company Bethesda against Markus Persson's company Mojang. Of course, Persson is better known as Notch, and Mojang is better known for creating Minecraft. Mojang is working on a new game called Scrolls and Bethesda is suing because it holds the trademark on Elder Scrolls, for its series of games. As we noted in the original post, the really amazing thing about Notch was how reasonable he had been throughout the whole thing, even talking up how much he liked Bethesda, and hoping this was just some lawyers over reacting.

Well, now he's decided to offer an "alternative settlement" technique. Rather than, say, trying arbitration or mediation, Notch is offering to settle this over a Quake 3 match. Seriously:
Remember that scene in Game of Thrones where Tyrion chose a trial by battle in the Eyrie? Well, let’s do that instead!

I challenge Bethesda to a game of Quake 3. Three of our best warriors against three of your best warriors. We select one level, you select the other, we randomize the order. 20 minute matches, highest total frag count per team across both levels wins.

If we win, you drop the lawsuit.

If you win, we will change the name of Scrolls to something you’re fine with.
Now wouldn't that be fun?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    crade (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:57pm

    This post made my day!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:13pm

    Plus...

    Put it on youtube or pay-per-view (perhaps both?), I'd watch it and cheer on my favorite team!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    I-Blz, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:17pm

    It's official

    Notch is a bowler-hat wearing badass of awesometude.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:20pm

    Dear Mike, fun is not the correct word, Epic would be it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:25pm

    This will leave people out?

    And how exactly will the lawyers get paid? They have families to feed and no time for these games.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:28pm

    Re: This will leave people out?

    I pretty sure they can bill for this under "Representation during arbitration" they just need some lawyers who are good at Quake 3.

    ;-P

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    Jake, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:32pm

    I'm not a big fan of Notch, as something about the fact that he appropriated several of Minecraft's core concepts from a freeware game called Dwarf Fortress, remixed them into something with a quarter of the depth and complexity and then acquired staggering amounts of fame and money from it strikes me deeply and profoundly unfair somehow. But I have to give him credit, this has a certain amount of style.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:33pm

    Does Notch totally remind anyone else of XKCD hat dude right now?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    ricebowl (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:35pm

    I wonder...

    Perhaps Bethesda could get Jonathan Wendel on a crash course through the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in order to secure victory?

    Though I'd certainly hope against that being possible.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Donnicton, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:35pm

    Re:

    Oh, I had to come back into focus there for a sec. For a second I drifted off and thought you were talking about Blizzard Entertainment, for some reason.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Makoto (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:36pm

    Take the Offer!

    Leave it to Notch to offer a solution as simple as a game of Quake 3 to resolve a major copyright issue.

    I'm hoping they actually agree to it, too. It'd just be...interesting.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Rabbit80, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:39pm

    If only..

    How I wish that the smartphone patent lawsuits could all be settled this way! (With live streaming so we could watch the bttles)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:39pm

    Re: Re: This will leave people out?

    They can probably find some recent grads from Cooley Law School that are unemployed and may be good at Quake 3.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:48pm

    Re:

    What exactly is wrong with "appropriating core concepts"? Is it wrong for FPS games to "appropriate" the concept of dual wield weapons? How is it unfair for Minecraft, a game made by basically the one guy, to make a staggering amount of fame and money? I applaud the dude, he's a true entrepreneur. He saw a market, made a game, marketed it the correct way, didn't care about piracy and has reaped the rewards.
    Just in case you claim I'm a Minecraft fanboy, I'm not. I've never played it, and most likely never will. I don't like the game myself. But to say its unfair for an indie game to be successful...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    colony (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:52pm

    everything should be settled like this

    i'd pay good money to see the RIAA lot fragged by a rocket jump/gauntlet to the face combo like. that really would make my life complete.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    Qyiet (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 3:59pm

    Re: everything should be settled like this

    i'd pay good money to see the RIAA lot fragged by a rocket jump/gauntlet to the face combo like. that really would make my life complete.You are talking about ingame right?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    Rabbit80, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 4:09pm

    Re: everything should be settled like this

    New business model for them? First to frag - if they win, you pay for the track, if you win you get it free!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
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    colony (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 4:12pm

    Re: Re: everything should be settled like this

    i don't think i could manage a rocket jump in real life without killing myself. it's unfortunate because it'd be a great way to get about town.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
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    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 4:46pm

    Re:

    Not at all. The XKCD guy wears a fedora while Notch wears a bowler.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    Anonymoose Custard, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 4:51pm

    If only...

    If only all disputes could be settled this way.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 4:53pm

    Whatever may come of the lawsuit itself, Notch is destroying Bethesda in the PR battle. They'd better have some kind of response!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
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    senshikaze (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 4:59pm

    Re:

    dwarf fortress, while great, is still a pretty hard game to get into. I salute Notch for being a cool dude, regardless of where his ideas come from.
    If you read enough posts here at techdirt, you should know we firmly believe that the remix is sacred, and is not unfair in anyway.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
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    Angelito, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 5:01pm

    Re: Take the Offer!

    Wasn't Trademark?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
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    senshikaze (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 5:01pm

    Re: Take the Offer!

    s/copyright/trademark/

    TFTFY

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
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    NotMyRealName (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 5:02pm

    they should ppv it. talk about selling the scarce...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
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    Chargone (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 5:47pm

    Re: Re: everything should be settled like this

    ....

    somehow, i think that would cheapen the effect :P

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
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    Eugene (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 6:03pm

    Re: Re: This will leave people out?

    Or they could jump into the game in spectator mode, back-seat-game the players, and then bill everybody consultation fees ;D

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
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    Eugene (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 6:08pm

    Re:

    Minecraft is based on an open source program called Infiniminer. I don't think it contains any of the concepts found in Dwarf Fortress except the incidental ones. eg "digging" and "procedural generation" and "lo fi graphics".

    In fact, the most important mechanic of the game: using torches to create light in order to drive away monsters, is nowhere to be seen in either infiniminer or DF.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 7:05pm

    Ops... my 'Elder' game its in trouble.

     

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  30.  
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    fb39ca4 (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 7:39pm

    This is amazing!!!

    I hope it gets streamed online!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 7:40pm

    The lawsuit is silly.

    The seemingly endless silence waiting for Bethesda to respond to anything is not helping their case in the court of public opinion.

    While a real courtroom will have to hear the tired explanations of why the word scrolls has to only be for 1 side to ever possibly use for a computer game, the damage will be done.

    Bethesda will appear to be a large faceless corporation who kicked the snot out of a plucky indie designer over something as silly as people confusing 2 very different games because the titles both contain the word scrolls.

    That has to be very appealing to the gamer demographic, even people not that fond of Minecraft are entertained by the idea of using Quake to settle the problem. Its a game issue so why not use a game to solve it?

    Its win/win for Notch. He is building goodwill with the gamer community can keeping his upcoming product in the spotlight. Besides I think it would be fun to see him release the game with a new name. New Name - Formerly known as Scrolls.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
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    athe, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 8:38pm

    Re: If only..

    ... on our smartphones!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
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    Drew (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 11:47pm

    Re:

    It's called innovation...look into it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 12:53am

    Re:

    Almost nobody deserves what they get, good or bad. They get it anyway. Its no use complaining about it, its futile to link deserving and getting, and an appeal to fairness is meaningless. Work hard and you may get lucky, or you may not. If youre lucky today, you may not be tomorrow, and vice versa.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 1:01am

    yes, I went there.

    I guess, his way of dealing with legal issues is... *puts on sunglasses*... top Notch!

    YEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
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    indieThing (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 2:24am

    Re:

    Huh, show me a game that doesn't have ideas and concepts from other, earlier games.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    AJ, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 4:50am

    Sweeet!

    These two companies could turn this into such an epic win win that you can pretty much guarantee the lawyers won't let em do it.

    Here's what they do:

    Bethesda calls Gamespot, and tells them they plan on accepting the challenge, and that since Gamespot is neutral ground, they should host it. Then you set a time and date, build video profiles of the warriors... example: "Tippy the Wonder Slug (From Accounting), Weapon of choice: Rail Gun... etc...), you do the build up like a UFC, fighters face to face... epic music playing, the mic drops from the ceiling and Chuck Norris takes the stage to intro the match FUCKING CHUCK NORRIS HELL YEAZ! ... geeks from around the world screaming and throwing pocket protectors at the opposing teams.. Some hot chick with a sign walks across the stage with a giant number... fireworks.... music.... game on!


    The amount of "street cred" these two companies would take away from an event like this would be unmeasurable.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 5:48am

    Re: This will leave people out?

    (Exactly what I was thinking.)

    But think of the lawyers.
    And their children.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 6:10am

    Re: This will leave people out?

    I swear I read somewhere that lawyers eat their young if not separated at birth...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 6:26am

    Re: Sweeet!

    You, sir, win 1 internets.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 8:01am

    Re: Re: This will leave people out?

    I'd rather think of the children eating the lawyers then going on to become actual productive members of society. But I'm a dreamer, so...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
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    One_of_the_Norm (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 8:07am

    Re: Sweeet!

    That would be awesome!

    They could even make some money off it. Make it an internet site pay-per-view (as other suggested) but at a minimal cost. A couple of bucks only and with the advertising, you'd pull in an insanely massive amount of people.

    I'd not only be willing to pay $2 US to watch it, but would be enthusiastically looking at the calendar each day waiting for it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 8:10am

    Re: Re: everything should be settled like this

    No. I hope not.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 8:13am

    Well, if you want to update an old idea...

    Back in the day, my friends and I would settle such disputes by playing Blades of Steel on the NES. Actually, we still do. Playing them in FPS is kinda stacked since they suck at it. :|

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
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    SabreCat, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 9:13am

    Re:

    "Besides I think it would be fun to see him release the game with a new name. New Name - Formerly known as Scrolls."

    Like the Totally Renamed Spy Game!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    dwg, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 10:38am

    Re: Re: This will leave people out?

    Sorry, but this crap is so lame. Do EFF and ACLU lawyers revolt you, too? Civil rights lawyers defending hackers? Fair-use maximalist lawyers?

    It's just so tiresome, this spray of venom. I know you'll respond with "the majority of lawyers suck--a few are good" but those few get tarred with the same brush you use for the majority. It makes it harder to want to do right by people--especially when you're the ones I'm working to help.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
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    Chris in Utah (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 11:16am

    FUN BEFORE FEAR, KEEP WHAT YOU KILL, TILL UTOPIAN PLAYLAND COME

    TOYSOLDIERSUNITE.COM

    XFIRE.COM/COMMUNITIES/COSAINTS

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 2:34pm

    I liked this earlier tweet by notch:

    "Signing a deal with Orson Scott Card to make Scrolls a scifi adventure game instead to stop the confusion. We’re naming it The Ender Scrolls"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    CrushU, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 3:20pm

    Re:

    I've played Minecraft and Dwarf Fortress.

    "Core concepts"? ... The only things the two games have in common is terrain generation and mining.

    In Minecraft, you control one guy, yourself, and do everything from the first person perspective. In Dwarf Fortress, you either control one guy, doing everything from the third person perspective and it's a straight-up adventure game, or you control a fortress worth of dwarves, controlling them from a top-down 'god-like' perspective.

    In Minecraft, crafting is accomplished by putting together ingredients in pre-specified orders. In Dwarf Fortress, crafting is accomplished by giving an order to your workshops, and making sure the materials are available.

    In Minecraft, lava flows and kills you almost instantly. In Dwarf Fortress, lava flows, sets things on fire, and kills you because you're On Fire, and can also cool and harden into Obsidian.

    The two games are only very loosely related. (I prefer Dwarf Fortress.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
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    NotMyRealName (profile), Aug 18th, 2011 @ 8:57pm

    Re:

    I always thought the Ender series would make a cool game. Like missile command except there are dozens of gun turrets and they all move. You would need a full arcade panel (four joysticks + buttons) to play.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Shad, Aug 10th, 2012 @ 1:00pm

    Re:

    That was his game he took 'things' from.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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