log in or register to remove this ad

 

TSR Darlene tells NuTSR NO!

The artist Darlene, who designed one of the original TSR logos that TSR3.5 is currently using, has emphatically and publicly refused to endorse the company's use of the logo.

Darlene's work appeared in early Dungeons & Dragons materials, and included the full-color map in 1980's World of Greyhawk.

17AEE64F-2E34-4876-9FBB-FB37032C296D.jpeg


In December, I finally reviewed the contract Justin LaNasa (JL) wanted me to sign. That’s when I took a stand and gave this answer: “I prefer not to be directly involved in any way with your lawsuit against WOTC. Therefore, I do not give permission to use the Wizard-head logo."

For the longest time, I tried to remain neutral, aloof, and unaffected. I wanted to avoid being associated with the bombastic claims of the new TSR.

JL first responded with a denial: “We were not planning on having you in the lawsuit this is why we ask for your permission.” Then a guilt trip: “We really tried to bring back something good with TSR.” Then played the underdog card: “it seems like WOTC and their supporters have a lot of fear and sway amongst the industry.”

It’s upsetting if JL thought I would be stupid enough to sign a contract without reading or comprehending it. In my response, I referred him to item #3 which obligates me to defend his position in his WOTC lawsuit. 


The pressure they are putting on me to reconsider has increased. Ernie Gygax thinks granting my permission for them to use the logo—which, btw, they are already using anyway—is key for their successful arbitration. He intimated if I don’t give in, sign away my rights and take their money, I’d be hurting some people I really care about. He also suggested I can “up the ante” for double the amount initially offered.

JL has since amicably proposed to work out a contract that excludes me from the lawsuit. He’s been very nice and cordial to me throughout. Nevertheless... The contract will most likely retain the first sentence where I declare that I have “not previously transferred my rights to any entity or party.” What? As I understand it, logos don’t work that way.

The most important thing to me has not been addressed. As a visual thinker and logo designer, I am very particular about the nuances of what I create. Yes, I designed the original wizard-head logo back in the ’80s. That is not in dispute. However, the logo produced as “Exhibit ‘A’” in JL’s contract is not my logo. It’s a bastardization—a greyed-out, fuzzy, lesser version—of what I designed. I detest the spindly letters used for "The Game Wizards." Ugh!

Therefore, I cannot honestly take money for it because I do not and will not claim it as mine. I’m extremely picky about choosing my clients. Before I would consider designing a new logo for the new TSR, they would have to demonstrate ethical behavior as a business entity.

Ever since they appeared on the scene, the new TSR has been plucking the heartstrings of those who fondly remember the good ole days when the hobby was in its infancy. JL’s lofty words: “to honor and remember TSR, the Dragon, Gary and all the alumni of the old days of gaming” sound inspiring. But I remain unmoved. I never want to return to Lake Geneva to relive those “good old days."


If I were to endorse the new TSR, they have to correct the mistakes of the old TSR. They must be kinder and more generous to artists and authors in their employ. They would show proper respect, listen to, and honor women, both within the gaming field and as consumers. They would be more inclusive and sensitive enough to address the needs of individuals beyond the white male demographic. They would be fair to their customers and transparent in their actions.


Besides, the idea of me endorsing TSR—new or old—is laughable. Not always, but in general, I did not have a positive experience freelancing for TSR. Looking from the outside in, I witnessed how the growth spurts of TSR turned it from being an “all-for-one; one-for-all” company into an uncaring corporate entity with an “us vs them” mindset. With few exceptions, success brought out the worst in those TSR people given positions of authority. I witnessed how the creatives got the brunt of TSR’s unfair predatory policies. No, I do not yearn to return to that stressful, hostile, and toxic atmosphere.


My memories of TSR are clear because they are frozen to the time I needed to leave Lake Geneva for my own mental health and well-being. I turned my back on the growing number of small-minded TSR people who created and spread malicious rumors and hurtful lies about me, made me feel unwelcome whenever I visited the building, told me my art was not very good and caused me to doubt myself and my abilities.

I left to pursue knowledge, my MFA, and the prospect of new beginnings with no intention of returning. Gary Gygax contacted me in 2005 and coaxed me back. That’s when he and I became fast friends. In the years since, I’ve discovered—for the most part— nothing much has changed for females in the gaming world (ie: gamergate). TSR’s unfair internal practices (abusing creatives financially) seem to have followed the RPG industry. How do I know? Having worked as a professional in the “real world” since 1984, I’m aware of the many disparities.


Today, I decided to publicly share my “power of no” because I recognize this as a teachable moment for the dispossessed. Charged with 42 years of suppressed emotional pain, my “no” is big and empowered. It includes “no” to bullying and unethical business practices; “no” to the unfair treatment and compensation of artists, creatives, and women; and “no” to taking advantage of the disadvantaged to profit at their expense.


My “no” is also cathartic for me. With it, I officially reclaim those lost parts of myself I abandoned so long ago. To have the courage to take this stance, my desire for money had to be relinquished. Only then could I clearly understand the implications of what saying yes meant. As tempting as a yes would be, it is ultimately disempowering.


Compromising my integrity for money is the same as selling my soul.

Therefore, I choose to continue living like I always have, modestly. I choose not to allow temporary feelings of desperation or depression to rule me nor compromise the greater truth of who I am. Perhaps I should credit JL for catalyzing my healing process and helping me demonstrate what feminine power looks like.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

log in or register to remove this ad

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
Questionable Authority on Twitch.TV noted that WotC has nobody but themselves to blame, as they should have renewed the trademarks and not let them lapse. Or at the least gone after Jayson Elliot.

I wonder if they possibly didn't as he made his own logo and the letters "TSR" may have proven difficult to trademark. Plus Jayson wasn't running around claiming he was "the TSR of old" and that "Everything with a TSR logo belongs to me now."
And he wasn't using WoTC images on his products. And he didn't sue WotC...
 

log in or register to remove this ad

antiwesley

Unpaid Scientific Adviser (Ret.)
I stand corrected. It was SF's trademark that was abandoned. I had been checking it out and was considering grabbing it, just so I could be the guy who owned "Star Frontiers." I had no delusions that I owned the product. I would have just owned the name, and could make my own version.
 

S'mon

Legend
Questionable Authority on Twitch.TV noted that WotC has nobody but themselves to blame, as they should have renewed the trademarks and not let them lapse.

They would have had to have been offering goods or services under the marks. Nowadays they sell the old stuff on drivethru with the old logos so no problem demonstrating that, but I wonder if this SNAFU occurred in the period when they had pulled all pdfs from sale.

Under UK TM Law they could also object to other people registering their old marks as bad faith registrations, I suspect US Law may have similar provisions but am too sick today to go check. :)
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
The point of trademarks is that they serve to protect the customer, not the IP holder. They ensure that it is clear to the customer who and what they are buying from. If the trademark is used to muddy that clarity, it rather defeats the whole point of the concept.

Trademarks aren’t a prize. They’re a label you can use to protect your customers.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I stand corrected. It was SF's trademark that was abandoned. I had been checking it out and was considering grabbing it, just so I could be the guy who owned "Star Frontiers." I had no delusions that I owned the product. I would have just owned the name, and could make my own version.

That isn't how trademarks work. Trademarks follow use, not the other way around.

Here, let's help you out with this example. Imagine Coca Cola, for whatever reason, let their trademark registration lapse. That would be kind of bizarre, but if they are still selling Coca Cola, they still have the mark. Someone doesn't get to swoop in and register Coca Cola and sell it back to them.

You make a product (or have a service) identified with a mark and are using it ... then you register it to protect that mark. It's not a game of "gotcha".
 

Questionable Authority on Twitch.TV noted that WotC has nobody but themselves to blame, as they should have renewed the trademarks and not let them lapse. Or at the least gone after Jayson Elliot.

I wonder if they possibly didn't as he made his own logo and the letters "TSR" may have proven difficult to trademark. Plus Jayson wasn't running around claiming he was "the TSR of old" and that "Everything with a TSR logo belongs to me now."
This argument is so bizarre to me. It's like saying 'You haven't been using your beach house so I moved in and it's mine now. You have no one to blame but yourself that it's mine now.'
 

Questionable Authority on Twitch.TV noted that WotC has nobody but themselves to blame, as they should have renewed the trademarks and not let them lapse. Or at the least gone after Jayson Elliot.

I wonder if they possibly didn't as he made his own logo and the letters "TSR" may have proven difficult to trademark. Plus Jayson wasn't running around claiming he was "the TSR of old" and that "Everything with a TSR logo belongs to me now."
Questionable indeed. To put the blame on WotC for these grifters seems silly.

As you say, Jayson certainly evoked the original TSR, but he did it carefully and respectfully, using new logos and making conscious choices to avoid infringement.
 



Jer

Hero
Questionable Authority on Twitch.TV noted that WotC has nobody but themselves to blame, as they should have renewed the trademarks and not let them lapse. Or at the least gone after Jayson Elliot.

I wonder if they possibly didn't as he made his own logo and the letters "TSR" may have proven difficult to trademark. Plus Jayson wasn't running around claiming he was "the TSR of old" and that "Everything with a TSR logo belongs to me now."
I suspect that Wizards didn't care about the name TSR as a company name to do business under.

It's the claim of ownership over the logo graphics and Star Frontiers that seems to have raised the behemoth from its slumber and got them to order a cease-and-desist. If it had stayed at the level that Jayson Elliot was using it I suspect they would have remained uninterested.
 

HammerMan

Legend
This argument is so bizarre to me. It's like saying 'You haven't been using your beach house so I moved in and it's mine now. You have no one to blame but yourself that it's mine now.'
yeah I think that is called squatters rights and land lords hate it (not that I would know I am dumb and work for a living not make money off property)
 

Yeah, there's a world of difference between what Jayson Elliot did as TSR and what LaNasa is doing. LaNasa is the one claiming that his company is the same one that made D&D (and founded Gen Con, for that matter, which is doubly incorrect since Gen Con predates TSR).

Questionable indeed. To put the blame on WotC for these grifters seems silly.

As you say, Jayson certainly evoked the original TSR, but he did it carefully and respectfully, using new logos and making conscious choices to avoid infringement.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Yeah, there's a world of difference between what Jayson Elliot did as TSR and what LaNasa is doing. LaNasa is the one claiming that his company is the same one that made D&D (and founded Gen Con, for that matter, which is doubly incorrect since Gen Con predates TSR).

It's so sad that he doesn't even know the history that he's stealing and sh**ting on.
 



Saracenus

Always In School Gamer
Actually, squatting in a empty house owned by some rich psychopath sounds pretty fair.
Except that every beach house isn't owned by a "rich psychopath." When my family owned a beach house we were neither rich or psychopaths. We were solidly middle class and by the rules of the game (AKA State rental laws) we could not day rent it very much and we could only get down to it about every three weeks. That 2nd house was a mental health lifeline for my overworked parents that were raising three kids. It was an oasis that my family used strengthen our family bond and get away from the rat race that was 80s and 90s capitalism.

So, your squatting in that "rich" guys place which you have justified by denying their humanity and sanity is in actuality now a nightmare for people like my family (court costs, stress, denial of our own mental well being).

But lets get real about your "metaphor," the "rich psychopath" to which you speak I will assume is WotC/Hasbro and it is ok to squat on their property because reasons. But the reality is NuTSR took over the "beach house" of gent (Jayson Elliot, sorry I had forgotten his name, thank you @Mannahnin for posting earlier about him) who was running TSR 2.0 (someone who was neither rich or a psychopath) because he forgot to re-register the TSR trademark and thus his passion project was taken away by opportunists that were not sticking it to "The Man (tm)." Nope, they are using that "beach house" they are now squatting in to run a two-bit criminal enterprise and claim they are Robin Hood. Unfortunately for them (and fortunately for the rest of us) they are attempting to steal from WotC who is quite capable and willing to crush them like the insects they are (yes, I am denying LaNassa's and Ernie Gygax's humanity, ironic, isn't it).

But to each their own.
 
Last edited:

Actually, squatting in a empty house owned by some rich psychopath sounds pretty fair.
So much wrong with that statement but I'll let @Saracenus 's response deal with that.

And if you tended for the place, paid the bills, and left when the owners returned, and all that good stuff, you might have a case. But that's not anything like what NuTSR is doing. Instead they are ripping down walls, sh!ting in the middle of the room, breaking fixtures; all while they say they are going to remodel it. But at no time have they actually fixed (produced) anything. And every time someone gives them pointers on to how they could remodel, they yell and cuss and chase the person off threatening them. Yea, nothing right, moral, or "fair" about what NuTSR is doing.
 

darjr

I crit!
So much wrong with that statement but I'll let @Saracenus 's response deal with that.

And if you tended for the place, paid the bills, and left when the owners returned, and all that good stuff, you might have a case. But that's not anything like what NuTSR is doing. Instead they are ripping down walls, sh!ting in the middle of the room, breaking fixtures; all while they say they are going to remodel it. But at no time have they actually fixed (produced) anything. And every time someone gives them pointers on to how they could remodel, they yell and cuss and chase the person off threatening them. Yea, nothing right, moral, or "fair" about what NuTSR is doing.
And they are subletting the broom closet at extortionate prices.
 



Visit Our Sponsor

Latest threads

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top