That Didn't Take Long: MLB Plans Action Against Fallout 4 David Ortiz Mod

from the swing-and-a-miss dept

Fallout 4 was recently released to a world full of ready gamers eager to get their paws on the latest installment in the franchise. And, because the game was released on the PC, modders immediately got to work on the title, coming up with fun little customizations for it. Those mods ranged from altering the companions players can recruit within the game to more cosmetic changes. One of those cosmetic changes included a custom outfit which allowed for players to don a David Ortiz Boston Red Sox jersey while cracking skulls with a baseball bat for a weapon. And, of course, Major League Baseball got its knickers in a twist over it.

If you're not aware, this latest game takes place in post-apocolyptic Boston. The player can roam the streets of the once-great city, picking up any number of items along the way to aid in their quest. The game even includes a bombed out depiction of Fenway Park, where the Red Sox play. One modder took the next logical step.

Richie Branson created a David Ortiz mod, and gave players the chance to bash baddies in a full Red Sox uniform. (Kindly overlook the fact that Big Papi’s actually a lefty.) It was a neat, free customization, but MLB was not as receptive. Steve Annear of the Boston Globe received a terse comment about the mod from a league spokesman:

“The use of these marks is an infringement of our rights. We plan to enforce those rights,” an MLB spokesman said in an e-mail Thursday.
Branson had reportedly said that if MLB actually requested it, he would voluntarily take the mod down. It seems likely that request came, because the mod is no longer available for download. And for what? The modding community regularly makes use of existing material in doing their work. Characters from one series are brought into another. Weapons from one set of fiction are foisted in a game where they did not originally appear. And, yes, David Ortiz's Red Sox jersey made its way into Fallout 4. The mod wasn't being sold. The mod wasn't made by the folks behind Fallout 4. This was an independent modder having a little bit of fun.

And MLB shut it down. Is there really commerce to consider here in protecting the team's trademarks? Please. No, this is permission culture run amok. Thanks to this little power play, gamers are denied the opportunity to bash in mutant skulls while wearing an Ortiz jersey. Just like the framers of trademark law intended, I guess.


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