Gygax Magazine? [UPDATE 3 - Electric Boogaloo]

You know, there would be something deliciously ironic if the representatives of Gary Gygax were to sue TSR in order to stop publication of game-related material...
 
Gail Gygax is such a horrible person.


I'm sure you are aware how inappropriate a comment this is. Removed from thread. - Lwaxy
 
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S'mon

Legend
I think she is just trying to protect the name she holds the rights too.
If she wanted a monopoly on 'Gygax' for games she should have trademarked it and put out a product, eg Castle Greyhawk. Although that would not stop Luke & Ernie making good faith use of their own name.
As for copyright in EGG's work at TSR, that is owned by WoTC.
In terms of any moral, extra-legal right to the Gygax name, I'd think Gygaxes by blood have at least as strong a claim as Gygaxes by marriage.

-S'mon the IP lawyer.
 

Keefe the Thief

Adventurer
"Gygax is a gaming magazine for new and old
players alike.

We are looking forward to the games of tomorrow
and today, while preserving the traditions and history
that got us where we are now.

Our articles and features cover current independent
and major publisher games such as Pathfinder,
Savage Worlds, The One Ring, Shadowrun,
Godlike, Labyrinth Lord, Marvel Heroic Roleplaying,
Warhammer 40k Roleplay, Traveller, and others,
as well as classic out-of-print games with a modern
following, like AD&D, Top Secret, and Gamma
World."


Could it be that one gaming system is missing from that list?
 

Nellisir

Adventurer
Comments from both Luke & Tim make me a little less skeptical of their success.
1- I like that they're positioning themselves as a "gaming" magazine, not just an OSR magazine. Will it work? I don't know, but it seems smart to cast as wide a net as possible.

2 - They're making their distance from original TSR very clear. I'm sure this is for legal reasons, and it's smart.

3 - I'm still dubious about the Gygax name. Its only strength is its relationship to Gary Gygax. Otherwise they might as well call it Kask Magazine.

4 - Personally, if they're going to dance on the line, I'd call it EGG - The Essential Gamer's Guide (Monthly)

5 - They're not looking to do actual games, it seems, which makes this a lot of quasi-big names on a rather small project.
 

Aaron L

Adventurer
I dunno, among old-school gamers I'd say the Gygax boys have their own share of personal cred, even if they aren't their dad, don't they? I mean, Melf himself... what D&D player hasn't heard of Melf? And Erac's Cousin? :) They certainly have a right to be proud of D&D, a game they had their own hands in helping to form - and the gaming culture that it spawned, and want to see it prosper and have their and their dad's name continue to be actively involved in the gaming culture that is part of his legacy. And be involved in it themselves. :)

(And I don't mean "Gygax boys" in any kind of demeaning way, just in the fact that they are Gary's boys. Gary's kids helping him test and form and even name the game has entered into the legendry of gaming.)

I've gone from initially being afraid that this was some kind of tasteless scam, to being pleasantly surprised, and now hopefully optimistic about it and looking forward to it. If I can get some new 1E AD&D material, then this is just going to be rad and I'll start up a new campaign if I can scrounge up players besides my brother. Just imagine articles with continued development of 1E! The Mountebank and Mystic and Jester classes Gary used to talk about! (Wishful Thinking :))
 
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pedr

Explorer
If she wanted a monopoly on 'Gygax' for games she should have trademarked it and put out a product, eg Castle Greyhawk. Although that would not stop Luke & Ernie making good faith use of their own name.
As for copyright in EGG's work at TSR, that is owned by WoTC.
In terms of any moral, extra-legal right to the Gygax name, I'd think Gygaxes by blood have at least as strong a claim as Gygaxes by marriage.

-S'mon the IP lawyer.
The one legal right S'mon doesn't mention is 'right of personality'. I hadn't heard of it until the Law of the Geek podcast had an episode on it. Its protection is based in state law in the US, so it is hard to predict how it would apply here, but while I like the idea of the magazine, it is, arguably, making use of Gary's reputation which may be something that the law allows the estate to control. It would be a question of fact whether Gygax Magazine is passing itself off as endorsed or produced by the Gygax estate. If it is, there may be state laws which make the name problematic even without a trademark claim, and even though Gygax is also the name of two proprietors. I agree with S'mon about the strength of Luke and Ernie's moral claims to the name, but that doesn't necessarily give them legal rights to publish a gaming magazine using it.

I hope that the magazine team is obtaining legal advice. I hope they can go ahead with the precise plans, but if there are legal problems, now is the time to discover them and decide how to respond.
 
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JohnRTroy

Visitor
I'm still dubious about the Gygax name. Its only strength is its relationship to Gary Gygax. Otherwise they might as well call it Kask Magazine.
This is a key problem for me.

The big thing is, while people are arguing for the "moral rights" to the name, we need to think about it for a minute. People are probably basing this on what they personally want for Gary's IP treatment or thinking of Luke and Ernie as the campaigners who gamed with their famous dad, etc, and that they are heirs to a dynasty.

Luke and Ernie had plenty of opportunities to get involved with their Dad's business, post TSR, both before (at Gary's invite) and after (at Gail's invite) he died. They refused all the time. Gary, for instance, asked both of them to be involved in Castle Zagyg, but they refused. And they have not written a lot in the industry, outside from a few things in the early days of TSR, and that one module from Troll Lord Games. It's only a few years after Gary died that they started in the industry.

Meantime, in terms of moral rights--Gail married Gary, as a spouse she comes first in inheritance than the kids (and Alex would probably be the heir if she died, if there's not a trust setup). I can appreciate the other part of the family's possible frustration that they don't have the rights to do stuff with their Dad's work or reputation, but, hey, that's what happens when somebody gets divorced and remarries. And I think if either they contributed to a lot of Gary's post-TSR work or there wasn't a family disagreement, this wouldn't be a issue.

But it's not just marriage. Trigee was registered in Gail's name. Gail may not be the "creative force", but she has done plenty of things for Gary--accounting, legal, keeping the business aspects afloat--she was definately a true partner in the endeavor. If Gary wanted things to be different, he could have established a will or trust that made things different. But, at least from my interpretation, it's clear that the person who probably did the most work for Gary's legacy gets control of it, both from a legal and a moral perspective.

The big problem I see with the term "Gygax Magazine" is that, since the kids aren't famous on their own yet for their writing, the use of just their family surname is confusing enough--it implies endorsement from the estate, and/or a implicent endorsement from Gary, as in "Gary passed on the torch to us". This is especially problematic if the magazine ends up having the bulk of the writing by others.

If the kids want to establish their own name--from what I've seen based on other creative types in the industry, usually you try to distance yourself from the parent. Jakob Dylan, for instance, works hard to keep people from bringing up Bob Dylan as his dad--he even has things in his rider expressly forbidding show venues from ever using that term. I would think because of this--if they wanted to establish their own name, they would not just use the surname--I can think of several ways to make it creative. "Sons of Gygax", "Luke and Ernie Gygax", or have the magazine not mention Gygax by name. Because, no matter what, any gamer is gonna look at the name Gygax and think of their Dad. Usually, when people are trying to establish a name for themselves, they try to distance themselves from the legacy.

There is a clear case for "consumer confusion", because this has actually happened before. The kids established their own "Gygax Family Memorial", and a lot of people who went to GaryCon confused that with the Gygax Memorial Fund. A lot of people thought these efforts were united, but they weren't. Based on that I can understand Gail's objection to the title of the magazine.

Finally, I think too many people are making their judgement based on their own personal likes rather than what is right. To me, what Gail is doing or not doing with Castle Zagyg, Lejendary Adventure, or whether or not she makes her plans transparent to the gaming community or whether she is a "gamer" is not an issue. It's the rights she inherited that I think is important. She's the sole person who can authorize Gary's name and likeness for us in any endeavor that is not covered by Fair Use. I suspect she could even object to GaryCon's name because it uses Gary's name and likeness, if she chose to.

Whether you agree or disagree with her plans or treatment, that really shouldn't influence a judgement of what's right or not.
 
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Meh.

As an outside observer and potential consumer, I find the attempt to grab customers by playing on an inferred relationship using the names "Gygax" and "TSR" to be misleading and offensive. I'll pass, thanks.

They did get me to post, though, so score one for publicity.
 
JohnRTroy said:
Finally, I think too many people are making their judgement based on their own personal likes rather than what is right. To me, what Gail is doing or not doing with Castle Zagyg, Lejendary Adventure, or whether or not she makes her plans transparent to the gaming community or whether she is a "gamer" is not an issue. It's the rights she inherited that I think is important. She's the sole person who can authorize Gary's name and likeness for us in any endeavor that is not covered by Fair Use. I suspect she could even object to GaryCon's name because it uses Gary's name and likeness, if she chose to.

Whether you agree or disagree with her plans or treatment, that really shouldn't influence a judgement of what's right or not.
I wonder how people would feel if WotC had kept the TSR name, hired luke as a consultant and put out the exact same mag.... money grab would be the nicest thing anyone would say.

I feel like this is still a scam, and hope they change the name...
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
As an outside observer and potential consumer, I find the attempt to grab customers by playing on an inferred relationship using the names "Gygax" and "TSR" to be misleading and offensive.
While I agree that the combination of "Gygax" and "TSR" is certainly designed to evoke something specific, I wouldn't call it "offensive". But it's marketing, certainly (well, hopefully - one would hope that a cryptic website like that leading to mass speculation wasn't just an accident!)
 

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