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2-24-2012 @ 2:31PM
You describe this as "foolish" but I think this is a -brilliant- move by Valve. And "move" it is because it's much more a chess move than anything else. Valve have legally positioned themselves in a win-win scenario.Obviously Valve wants to call their game DotA but I don't think Valve wants to trademark DotA at all. I think they just want to protect themselves from Bobby Kotick's lawyers (and yes, ultimately BK runs Blizzard) by going on the offensive first. And it's going to work.Anyone remember The Watchmen movie? A few weeks before it was released Fox claimed to hold the rights and tried to put a stop to the release. Really Fox didn't care about the movie all they wanted was to extort money as they squeezed Warner's balls. It worked and Fox got at least $15M out of that extortion for doing nothing. =THIS= is what Valve is trying to protect itself from... from doing all the work then Bobby Kotick coming in at the last minute and threatening to set fire to the whole thing unless he gets his payola. And that's a fair paranoia. Kotick has done it before, he'll do it again.No one individual or company can own DotA. Too many hands went into making it. But there's no incentive to get the various people who made it to declare that they don't own it... UNLESS someone who doesn't own it (Valve) claims to own it. Then they all band together (like they are doing now) to stop it.To Valve, the best way of keeping DotA clear of potential legal trouble in the future is to get all the people who could claim rights to declare in court that it's public domain and can't be trademarked. Soon as they do that, Valve will say "Hey, you're right! Our bad. But thanks for filing that statement on public record so you can never claim otherwise."
2-24-2012 @ 5:07PM
I've see some heavy white-knighting of Valve, but your "they're only claiming the name to keep the name free for all the little children" theory just makes my brain hurt.Assuming they somehow 'tricked' Blizzard into filing a motion now, to avoid one later.. well, there are much easier ways to avoid that. Hell, call it "Dragons of the Arcane" or something and say "We can't keep it if people informally shorten it. Besides, our game came out before Blizzard DoTA.". But given that Valve's idea of Writing Around Trademarks is "We changed the blonde mage's name from Jaina to Jana", and the "We hired one of the second-wave coders, so we totally own the name of a Warcraft 3 map!" rationale of being too lazy to think up a better name than "DOTA 2: Not An Acronym", maybe I'm expecting too much effort.
2-24-2012 @ 7:26PM
I never said Valve was being a white knight here. The danger to Valve is a lawsuit filed in the future by one of the many creators against them where one of those companies claim ownership with reasonable grounds. By Valve claiming ownership now (pre release) it locks in the legal framework now before they invest too many advertising dollars. Valve's goal is to use the name, not necessarily deny everyone else's access to it.
2-24-2012 @ 10:16PM
"By Valve claiming ownership now (pre release) it locks in the legal framework now before they invest too many advertising dollars. Valve's goal is to use the name, not necessarily deny everyone else's access to it."They could easily just contact the people who made the original version and ask "We're looking to use the acronym of your 3rd party map to an old game, is that cool?" Coming up with an actual name would be good too - I know they called their portal-based game "Portal", but "DOTA 2" is just terrible and uncreative.
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