TSR TSR (2) Confirms TSR (3)'s Acquisition of Trademark (Updated!)

Jayson Elliot registered the TSR trademark back in 2011 and used it to launch Gygax Magazine along with Ernie and Luke Gygax. The two Gygax's left the company a few years later after Gary Gygax's (co-founder of TSR (1) back in the 1970s) widow, Gail Gygax, forced the closure of Gygax Magazine. Then, earlier this year, TSR (3) swooped in on the TSR trademark, after Jayson Elliot accidentally let it lapse, as TSR (2) confirms:

We have owned the TSR trademark since 2011. Last year, we missed a filing date, and another company registered it, though we are still using it in commerce. While we could win a lawsuit, we frankly don't have the money to litigate. So, we're licensing it back from them.

As a result, there are two companies now using the name TSR. You can tell when it's us because we're the only ones using the new logo.

They're opening a museum in Lake Geneva at the old TSR house, and we wish them success with it, it's important to celebrate the legacy that Gary Gygax created.


Ernie Gygax, formerly of TSR (1) under Gary Gygax, then working with Jayson Elliot as part of TSR (2), is one of the founders of of TSR (3), and confirmed in his (now infamous) interview --

The other TSR is a licensee because [Jayson Elliot] let it lapse. But he had absolutely ... love for the game and the products. There was no reason to say 'oh you've screwed up, oh it's all ours, ha ha ha ha!' Instead, Justin [LaNasa] came to him and said ... we love that you're doing Top Secret things, we have a much broader goal for the whole thing. But there's no reason for you to stop or even have any troubles. Justin said, I'll take care of the paperwork, you just give me $10 a year, and you put out all this love for old school gaming that you can. And we appreciate that you were there to try and pick up things, and you produced Gygax Magazine, for in its time that you're also working on a game that you love to play ... because Top Secret was Jayson's love, as a young man.


TSR (2), still run by Jayson Elliot, publishes Top Secret, and is not connected to TSR (3) other than now having to license it’s own name from them. TSR (3) has also registered the trademark to Star Frontiers, a game owned by and still currently sold by D&D-owner WotC.

In other news the GYGAX trademark appears to have lapsed.


tsr2.png

UPDATE! TSR (2) has decided NOT to license its own name from TSR (3):

Update to our earlier tweet - we will NOT be licensing anything from the new company claiming rights to the TSR logos. We are not working with them in any fashion.
 
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Doug McCrae

Legend
The trouble is, in that thread Gary is talking about the ethics of an in-game character in his fantasy campaign world, not his personal ethics. He's talking about what a Lawful Good Paladin in his game world would think, and what the in-game, fantasy world that he imagines would consider Lawful and Good (both defined terms with special meaning, especially in 1e), not what he himself thinks is lawful or good under their plain English meanings in our world...

Don't misunderstand. I'm not defending Gary or the ethical and moral assumptions that were baked into the early game. I'm saying that if you're looking to criticize Gary's personal beliefs, these comments are an extremely poor example. You're intentionally conflating what he says an in-game, fictional character would do in a world that by design has medieval ethics and morals, with what Gary himself personally believes about the real world. That's so much of a stretch that it's disingenuous. Even if he is stating his own personal beliefs, it's impossible to tell in that thread.

It's like taking Humbert Humbert's words and actions as Vladimir Nabokov's personal beliefs. It can be done (and absolutely has been done), but you're going to be taken as a fool making that kind of claim. Authors and creators do create worlds with morals and ethics that don't match their own morals and ethics in the real world, and they don't always put an Evil or Renegade label on everything that our contemporary morals would object to. That's not glorification or approval. That's fiction.
You're correct that in the Dragonsfoot thread Gygax is talking about what he considers to be Lawful Good, indeed, paladin, behaviour within the fictional world of D&D. But he also uses claims about the real world to justify that behaviour.

In the thread, Gygax says there are three different circumstances in which a Lawful Good paladin could kill prisoners:
1) Meting out punishment for a crime. "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth is by no means anything but Lawful and Good."
2) Executing a convert so as to prevent the possibility of backsliding. "A paladin can freely dispatch prisoners of Evil alignment that have surrendered and renounced that alignment in favor of Lawful Good. They are then sent on to their reward before they can backslide."
3) "The old addage about nits making lice applies."

Both (1) and (3) are justified by reference to the real world. In the case of (1) Gygax talks about the brutal "Anglo-Saxon punishment for rape and/or murder of a woman". In support of (3) he provides the following argument (emphasis mine):
Gary Gygax said:
Chivington might have been quoted as saying "nits make lice," but he is certainly not the first one to make such an observation as it is an observable fact. If you have read the account of Wooden Leg, a warrior of the Cheyenne tribe that fought against Custer et al., he dispassionately noted killing an enemy squaw for the reason in question.

Gygax is making a claim about the real world. He is saying that it is a "fact" that the women and children of ethnic groups considered to be the "enemy" will produce more enemies. This "fact" was used by Colonel Chivington and others to justify genocide.

Historical Background on "Nits Make Lice"

In 1864, Colonel John Chivington presided over a massacre of nearly two hundred Cheyenne and Arapaho "elders, women, warriors, and children" (Kane) at Sand Creek in Colorado. Katie Kane, Nits Make Lice: Drogheda, Sand Creek, and the Poetics of Colonial Extermination (1999):

In the outcry among citizens of the Eastern part of the United States following the genocide at Sand Creek, a congressional hearing was held to investigate the charges of excessive violence and murder carried out by the Third Cavalry Regiment of Colorado Territory under the order of John Chivington. One congressional witness, S. E. Browne, credited Chivington with uttering the phrase that would resonate throughout the subsequent history of U.S.-Native American relations. Browne recalled the colonel's articulation of his strategy with regard to Colorado's "Indian problem": "early September or late in August last I heard Colonel Chivington in a public speech announce that his policy was to 'kill and scalp all, little and big; that nits made lice.'"​

Kay Wright Lewis, A Curse Upon the Nation (2017), on the term's 17th century origins:

John Nalson, an English clergyman and historian, was told by a captain in the English army that "no manner of Compassion or Discrimination was shewed either to Age or Sex, but that the little Children were promiscuously sufferers with the Gulley [a large knife], and that if any who had some grains of Compassion reprehended the Soldiers for this unchristian inhumanity, they would scoffingly reply, Why? Nits will be Lice, and so would dispatch them." It is at this point that "the saying 'Nits will make lice,' which was constantly employed to justify the murder of Irish children," became part of English vernacular.​
 
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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
My point is that unless there's something to say one way or the other, assuming that it's something outside of the context isn't reasonable.

Empirically... since when are humans "reasonable" on the whole? After this year, overall, how can this even be an argument? Do I need to give folks a description of the human limbic system, and its impact upon cognition?

It may be okay to expect and individual you know to be reasonable. But, put writing out there to the masses, to the millions of people with different life experiences, and you are pretty much statistically assured that many of the reactions will not fit what you think is "reasonable". To expect otherwise... is not reasonable! Ironic, that.
 

Dire Bare

Legend
You're correct that in the Dragonsfoot thread Gygax is talking about what he considers to be Lawful Good, indeed, paladin, behaviour within the fictional world of D&D. But he also uses claims about the real world to justify that behaviour.

In the thread, Gygax says there are three different circumstances in which a Lawful Good paladin could kill prisoners:
1) Meting out punishment for a crime. "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth is by no means anything but Lawful and Good."
2) Executing a convert so as to prevent the possibility of backsliding. "A paladin can freely dispatch prisoners of Evil alignment that have surrendered and renounced that alignment in favor of Lawful Good. They are then sent on to their reward before they can backslide."
3) "The old addage about nits making lice applies."

Both (1) and (3) are justified by reference to the real world. In the case of (1) Gygax talks about the brutal "Anglo-Saxon punishment for rape and/or murder of a woman". In support of (3) he provides the following argument (emphasis mine):


Gygax is making a claim about the real world. He is saying that it is a "fact" that the women and children of ethnic groups considered to be the "enemy" will produce more enemies. This "fact" was used by Colonel Chivington and others to justify genocide.

Historical Background on "Nits make Lice"

In 1864, Colonel John Chivington presided over a massacre of nearly two hundred Cheyenne and Arapaho "elders, women, warriors, and children" (Kane) at Sand Creek in Colorado. Nits Make Lice: Drogheda, Sand Creek, and the Poetics of Colonial Extermination (1999) Katie Kane:

In the outcry among citizens of the Eastern part of the United States following the genocide at Sand Creek, a congressional hearing was held to investigate the charges of excessive violence and murder carried out by the Third Cavalry Regiment of Colorado Territory under the order of John Chivington. One congressional witness, S. E. Browne, credited Chivington with uttering the phrase that would resonate throughout the subsequent history of U.S.-Native American relations. Browne recalled the colonel's articulation of his strategy with regard to Colorado's "Indian problem": "early September or late in August last I heard Colonel Chivington in a public speech announce that his policy was to 'kill and scalp all, little and big; that nits made lice.'"​

Kay Wright Lewis, A Curse Upon the Nation (2017), on the term's 17th century origins:

John Nalson, an English clergyman and historian, was told by a captain in the English army that "no manner of Compassion or Discrimination was shewed either to Age or Sex, but that the little Children were promiscuously sufferers with the Gulley [a large knife], and that if any who had some grains of Compassion reprehended the Soldiers for this unchristian inhumanity, they would scoffingly reply, Why? Nits will be Lice, and so would dispatch them." It is at this point that "the saying 'Nits will make lice,' which was constantly employed to justify the murder of Irish children," became part of English vernacular.​
Gygax's use of this horrible phrase, to justify in-fiction "lawful good" behavior . . . is pretty abhorrent and I'm glad it hasn't really ever been part of the actual game. But still, while I agree Gygax's use of this phrase, this idea, is messed up . . . it doesn't necessarily reflect his real-world views on the use of deadly force against non-combatants (women, children, elderly) in the real world.

Like others, I'm not really defending Gary Gygax, I've long held his views on race, gender, and even history as extremely problematic . . . but I think all this focus on a man who's passed and can't join the conversation over what his SON is doing NOW is misguided.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
You're just repeating what had already been said, and ignoring the already existing refutation of this position (like posts 118 and 141). The reasons given for why focusing on the positions you disagree with rather than the people who have died who you feel held those positions, is the wiser course. Being "true" is a vacuous response in light of what's already been said on the topic.
I didn't see a post in this thread that addressed what I wanted to say in the way that I wanted to say it. There were posts with similar themes and with similar rebuttals, but none of them had seemed to work, which I why I made that post. I have also read your posts that you refer to, and may rebut them later. Although I agree with you that there are "kinder" ways to criticize dead people for having and spreading outdated and harmful ideas, I disagree with the premise of "dead people are immune to criticism", like @imagineGod was spouting. I also disagree with the assertion that saying something true is unneeded if similar things have been stated before. If that were correct, we wouldn't need to actively fight against anti-vaxxing and other harmful ideas. Some approaches to issues are more likely to succeed than others, and attempting to take a different approach doesn't make saying that thing redundant.
 



Riley

Legend
I'm not ready to get out my torch and pitchfork for James Ward quite yet, but . . . that was ill-advised. I tried watching the video in question and I couldn't make it past the first few sentences. Ugh..
The title of that video was more than enough for me. I try to stay far away from that youtube subculture.

I hope James does, as well. I’m fond of his work, and I still imagine that he is a good person.
 


There's some of that going on, certainly. Folks hunting for divisiveness. There always is. But Gygax Sr is on record with some pretty dodgy statements, including doubling-down when called out on those statements. Still, the current bruhaha shouldn't be focusing on Gary, as he's left us and can't respond to folks discussing his views.

Regarding Gygax Jr . . . all this current mess is on him and some of his partners, LeNasa primarily. They are advertising their divisiveness proudly.
Understood. Karma can be tough, karma can be a long road. But it always prevails so I've noted.
 

darjr

I crit!
Hey, Chessex dice are solid. The weird repackaging they've done, making them look like grocery store toys, not so much.
Someone did a comparison, they are more like the dollar store dice and not like the chessex dice. I like chessex dice and dollar store dice just fine just not the latter at the priors price point.
 

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