TSR Now it’s WotC’s Turn: WotC Moves Against TSR3

I guess after you provoke somebody enough, they’ll eventually bite back. The company has begun trademark cancellation procedures against the newest TSR.

TSR3 briefly filed for a court declaration on Dec 7th as to their ownership of the TSR trademarks — with an IndieGoGo campaign to fund it — and then voluntarily dismissed it a couple of days later on Dec 9th.

This filing is dated Dec 6th, the day before TSR3 launched its campaign.

In WotC’s response, they cite fraud as one of the causes of action, alleging that TSR3 misled the trademark office in its original application.

Mike Dunford, on Twitter, breaks down the action.


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Shakeshift

Adventurer
Ernie seems to think this descends by bloodline

Like he's in the Priory of Sion or something
Ernie Gygax thinks the whole thing descends by bloodline because if he doesn't grasp at that one sad little straw, his whole life has been one failurebucket after another. With the idea that his father can sell the company AND the son can win it back, he wins the Hero's Journey, right? The oldest son avenges the father's bitter defeat.

The problem is that the oldest son doesn't want to put in the work to WIN the whole thing back, he just wants a gimme so he can go back to his tanning bed and drink beer and maybe take a nap. We just saw how Ernie operates this week. Vincent writes a game module and donates it to the new TSR, and Ernie writes 5% (or less) of the total adventure so that he can then slap his name on as co-credit. What kind of person mods someone else's creation by 5% and then grabs 50% of the credit? That's a terrible thing to do to another writer. Ernie (honestly) should be ashamed of himself as a Gygax.

That is about as far as you can go ideologically from "The Hero's Journey."
 

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Sacrosanct

Legend
Ernie Gygax thinks the whole thing descends by bloodline because if he doesn't grasp at that one sad little straw, his whole life has been one failurebucket after another. With the idea that his father can sell the company AND the son can win it back, he wins the Hero's Journey, right? The oldest son avenges the father's bitter defeat.

The problem is that the oldest son doesn't want to put in the work to WIN the whole thing back, he just wants a gimme so he can go back to his tanning bed and drink beer and maybe take a nap. We just saw how Ernie operates this week. Vincent writes a game module and donates it to the new TSR, and Ernie writes 5% (or less) of the total adventure so that he can then slap his name on as co-credit. What kind of person mods someone else's creation by 5% and then grabs 50% of the credit? That's a terrible thing to do to another writer. Ernie (honestly) should be ashamed of himself as a Gygax.

That is about as far as you can go ideologically from "The Hero's Journey."
Ernie isn’t trying to take half the credit. You have it backwards. They get his feedback on just enough to slap his name on it in hopes for sales.

Also, as it was explained to me by people who know him personally, he struggled HARD with alcohol addiction (but doesn’t drink now). So bad, he still suffers cognitive impacts today. I know people who have had their lives destroyed by that disease, so maybe we can lay off the lazy beer drinker jokes.

I’m not excusing him for his behavior and comments, but I think it’s important to consider those things before stringing him up.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
It's "Children of Famous Parents" syndrome. You have a famous parent, you either do your own thing or you try desperately to take that fame for yourself. He's clearly doing the latter.
Yeah, the Bledsaw's (both son and grandson) are the same with Judge's Guild. They are literally incapable of producing anything but reprints of their father/grandfather's work. And now of course nobody wants anything to do with them after they revealed their true selves.
I've seen it come out at conventions too. My teen and I had a moderately alarming encounter with a very drunk son of a game designer who came up and demanded to know if we knew who his father was when we went to GaryCon a few years back.

I think the fact that the industry isn't that big, the access to industry celebrities is easy to obtain (I've talked with or gamed with several at conventions over the years), and fanboys can be obnoxiously fawning all combine to foster the problem. Same with latching onto the TSR nostalgia. If the fanboys wouldn't prostrate themselves so much at the feet of Gygax, Arneson, and a rose-tinted view of TSR, chumps like NuTSR wouldn't have any hope.
 


Wilphe

Adventurer
I've seen it come out at conventions too. My teen and I had a moderately alarming encounter with a very drunk son of a game designer who came up and demanded to know if we knew who his father was when we went to GaryCon a few years back.

I think the fact that the industry isn't that big, the access to industry celebrities is easy to obtain (I've talked with or gamed with several at conventions over the years), and fanboys can be obnoxiously fawning all combine to foster the problem.

"Academic Politics are so vicious because the stakes are so small"

. Same with latching onto the TSR nostalgia.

I also suspect that that nostalgia amongst the OGTSR alumni depends very heavily upon where in that pecking order you were

For example:

Ernie, as the boss's son, no doubt thought it was great, and seems to have difficulty understanding that not everybody shared that experience, hence his attempt to guilt trip Darlene into supporting their lawsuit
 


Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
WotC will probably want to limit how vindictive they appear, so don't expect them to lay on anything else unless LaNasa takes some other significant action first.

Really, the filing by WoTC will tell us everything we need to know. If they just file an answer, they want to establish their rights and get this over with.

If they also are filing counterclaims, they want to exact some pain.

If they file counterclaims and add parties (either additional LLCs or, especially, individuals like LaNasa) they are feeling vindictive.

(They could also file a motion to dismiss, but that seem very unlikely as they probably want to end this foolishness)


As an aside, for anyone that derives entertainment from litigation ... there are faster ways to be entertained. Like watching grass grow.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
As an aside, for anyone that derives entertainment from litigation ... there are faster ways to be entertained. Like watching grass grow.
Deriving entertainment by litigation is like playing chess via mail or those old play by mail games they used to advertise in the back of Dragon magazine. Weeks of waiting followed by a very small burst of endorphins and then more weeks of waiting.
 


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