Skip to Content
2-24-2012 @ 9:52AM
To the whole thing on copyrighting:I believe Tycho from Penny Arcade has summarized some VERY good points when discussing copyright issues, and though his mostly discusses the idea of copyrighting mechanics in games, I believe his words can apply to genre copyrighting as wellhttp://penny-arcade.com/2012/02/22/the-flashpointOtherwise, though I understand the marketing power behind having the entire name of DoTA at your finger tips, it seems incredibly stupid to try and copyright what many players, aka, the PEOPLE THAT ARE GOING TO BUY YOUR GAME, consider a genre, and not a proper game title!Really, I was excited bout DoTA 2 when I first heard about it, mostly cause I adore Valve as a game publisher, but because I was intrigued how they would enhance the genre as a whole. I did not really think that DoTA 2 was ACTUALLY going to be the title proper, which only has me shaking and scratching my head at it. I'm sorry, but if a First Person Shooter game LITERALLY was called "FPS 2", I would pass over it, thinking this has to be a joke.If anything, I truly believe Valve should cut it's losses, and try to create a unique and more marketable name than DoTA. Is DoTA marketable? Yes, to a degree. But games like League of Legends, a game that follows the exact same template as DoTA, has successfully marketed their game not only with a name proper, but with it's OWN catchy and unique acronym, LoL. Considering the creative minds working at Valve, I am shocked they just haven't tried to create something just as unique and intriguing.TL;DREven if Valve wins, they have lost their hard earned respect from the gamer community, and should try and save face by rebranding their title a little better
2-24-2012 @ 10:22AM
DOTA WAS the title.The genre got named because DOTA was one of the first of it's kind. While some people today may consider it a genre label and not a title, your example doesn't work. "Defense of the Ancients" was the original WarCraft 3 map name. And "Aeon of Strife" was the name of the StarCraft map which it was based on.It only became cloudy when you had other games such as League of Legends come out and use the same genre. As such, while some people would consider it a genre, having the original name is still a powerful marketing tool. The fact that one of the supposed original creators (I said supposed because the fact is disputed) is working at Valve on the project may mean that ego won't let him change it (there's a whole big thing about how the whole situation of him coming to work for Valve is less-than-professional as far as gaming developers go.)
2-24-2012 @ 10:42AM
@DrakkBut here's the problem. I wasn't introduced to the genre through the original Defense of The Ancients map in Warcraft 3.It was literally used as a description from my friend when he tried to explain what LoL was, and described it as a DoTA style game. Right there proves that not all people are familiar with the name of DoTA as a game map or variant of Warcraft 3, but for a few people like me and others, it's a description of a genre.But after re-reading my post, it seems that I really muddied my original intention of my point.It was mostly to say that because of this whole incident, I believe Valve should honest to god try and cut their losses and rebrand their title. I was unaware of the apparent problems with Icefrog, but I still think that Valve will, in the long run, save and create more revenue by trying to rebrand their product instead of continuing down this road. All this press does NOT look good on them, especially since they are held in extremely high regard in the gaming community.
2-24-2012 @ 10:49AM
Apart from both being exclusive rights on intangible things, Trademarks (what Valve is trying to do with the DOTA name) and Copyrights are completely different things. Different terms/durations, different ways of obtaining them, different consequences for improper use, different rules for losing them, etc.And that Penny Arcade post is about Patents, which are another completely different thing from Copyrights or Trademarks. A trademark only protects a brand and it's representation, it doesn't relate in any way to how things work. How things work is the domain of patents.TL,DR: You are mixing up completely different things that should not be mixed.
2-24-2012 @ 11:02AM
"""It was literally used as a description from my friend when he tried to explain what LoL was, and described it as a DoTA style game. Right there proves that not all people are familiar with the name of DoTA as a game map or variant of Warcraft 3, but for a few people like me and others, it's a description of a genre."""I - and other people I know - often describe MMOs to friends and family with expressions like "It's like WoW, but with some things done differently". Simply because about everyone who has ever showed an interest in MMOs know what WoW is about.Some games have it way worse. I lost count of the number of times I've seen a FPS game described as a "Doom-like" or a "Quake-like" game. I have seen more games described as "Diablo-like", "Mario-like", or "Zelda-like" than I care to remember.Does this make WoW, or any of those other game names, any less subject to trademark protection? I don't think so. And neither do I think DOTA has lost the qualities that make it worth of trademark protection just because it's the best remembered game of it's nascent genre.
2-24-2012 @ 11:45AM
I was going to reply about the genre definition, but other comments explained what I would have said anyway.If they did rename it, then people who come into it later, such as you did, would just have to learn the new term as well. It would start the "genre-recognition" problem all over again. This is a ARTS? What the hell is an ARTS? "Oh, it's like DOTA.", or more specifically, WarCraft 3, since that's what it was, and described as since the beginning.To be fair, I don't care if they call the genre DOTA or ARTS, in fact "DOTA" as a genre, instead of "DOTA-style" does sound stupid but I do understand why Gabe Newell wants a more original acronym. Hell, with the way Valve has been lately (massive amounts of DLC, and ridiculous $100 wedding "rings" for TF2) a more negative person might see it as simply a grab to define the genre for all other games, and have people think you created the damn thing.
2-24-2012 @ 12:52PM
Just remembered another difference between trademarks and other kinds of intellectual properties: someone does not need to be the creator of a trademark to register it. He just needs to make sure no one else has registered the same or a similar trademark, or was using a similar trademark unregistered, in the same field or a related one, for some time prior to the trademark request. An unused trademark is ripe for anyone to claim.I don't know the specific time frames for US law, but in the country I live, if no one has used the trademark without registering it in the previous 6 months, or if the owner of a registered trademark hasn't used it in the previous 5 years, it's open for anyone to claim.In short, if the rules in the US are similar, in the absence of a previous register or valid contract, what matters is who was using the term, in the same field, prior to the trademark request. If the answer is "no one", or if the answer is "just the guy requesting the trademark", then it will most likely be quite hard to block the trademark request.(Yeah, this does means anyone can "steal" any unused trademark. It's intentional, in order to clear the field of stagnant trademarks, and make them available for use anew. If someone wants to keep his trademark, he better use it.)
First time? A confirmation email will be sent to you after submitting.
Members enter your username and password.
Enter your AOL or AIM screenname and password.
Please keep your comments relevant to this blog entry. Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments.
When you enter your name and email address, you'll be sent a link to confirm your comment, and a password. To leave another comment, just use that password.
To create a live link, simply type the URL (including http://) or email address and we will make it a live link for you. You can put up to 3 URLs in your comments. Line breaks and paragraphs are automatically converted — no need to use <p> or <br /> tags.