TSR TSR3.5 Voluntarily Dismisses Lawsuit

A lawsuit filed by TSR3 against D&D owners Wizards of the Coast a few days ago was voluntarily dismissed.

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Dismissal without prejudice means that the suit can be filed again. The suit lasted two days from the 7th to the 9th of December. The IndieGoGo fundraiser to fund it is still running.



At first glance, the below document is dated 21st October so it’s reasonable to assume that it is not related to the recent filing; however, apparently that date is incorrect. The correct date is in the footer, and this is indeed the dismissal of the recent filing and can be found on PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records).

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Haha yeah true, Morrus. It just struck me funny, as someone who works in the court system (but not an attorney) I'm constantly amazed how terminology can vary from state to state.
It really is fascinating to see how state legal systems vary in the US, I used to be a legal researcher and whilst UK based, sometimes came across this. Hell, Louisiana isn't even common law, despite the rest and the Federal system being common law.
 

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RobJN

Adventurer
On the Indegogo page:


TSR plans on Re- filing the Decclaratory Judgement of Ownership in Washington state and also carrying on its actions to have Wizards of the Coast remove of change its Legacy Disclaimer.​

Whatever rumors you have been reading Disregard.Not one Media source reporting on this dismisal (Except Clown Fish TV) asked TSR for clarifaction why the DJOO was withdrawn.​

Justin LaNasa​

CEO TSR​

Not manic, just drunk?
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
On the Indegogo page:


TSR plans on Re- filing the Decclaratory Judgement of Ownership in Washington state and also carrying on its actions to have Wizards of the Coast remove of change its Legacy Disclaimer.​

Whatever rumors you have been reading Disregard.Not one Media source reporting on this dismisal (Except Clown Fish TV) asked TSR for clarifaction why the DJOO was withdrawn.​

Justin LaNasa​

CEO TSR​


After seeing the suit analyzed by 2 different Trademark/copyright litigators - an actual trial on the merits would likely go VERY badly for TSR3 and its owners.

Curious if they actually plan to go through with it or what their actual game plan!

Also - the wording of LaNasa's post is interesting - he makes it seem like the lawsuit is partly to get Wizards to change the legacy disclaimer (which they object to as vilifying them), while being VERY careful to not state so outright. The lawsuit doesn't even mention the legacy disclaimer.
 


J.Quondam

CR 1/8
The more these clowns complain about being disrespected, the less I respect them. I'm beginning to suspect that's the point.
Yeah...These types of people cultivate a perpetual persecution complex. They have no legitimate grievances in life and society, so they have to manufacture their own outrage.
Irritatingly, there are plenty of other losers in their echochambers of idiocy who are happy to cheer them on. And also throw pennies at them, apparently.
 

Yep. I'm not registered to vote in NC, but I'm sure there's at least one person there on Justin's bad side who could potentially cause him problems by simply submitting a complaint form at NCs election site. Which is why I said in the other thread it makes no sense why he keeps putting himself in the spotlight. The more scrutiny on him can't work in his favor.

His mistakes are so glaringly obvious, I wouldn't be surprised if this was his driver's license.
View attachment 148187
This is a fun game of spot the mistakes. Sure there is a picture of a child with a photo shopped moustache... but alsoooo..

FL driver's license ids have some common conventions for how they are assigned. The leading character ("S") is supposed to be the first letter of the person's last name ("M" for McLovin). In addition, the third set of digits ("80") is supposed to the last two digits of the person's birth year ("60" from 1960)also ooh..

Are there more?
 



Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Curious if they actually plan to go through with it or what their actual game plan!

It depends on what lawsuit they actually file.

Trademark, they might actually have a leg to stand on, in that there was a period in which WotC didn't sell the old products with the marks in question.

Copyright - they have no real chance - WotC bought every copyright held by TSR. They seem to claim that some of the art they want to use wasn't properly owned by the original TSR (made without a contract for Work for Hire, I think). But, as I understand it, at this point they can't just lay back on WotC not being able to produce said contracts - nuTSR needs positive proof no such contract (written or verbal) existed, which they are unlikely to have.

And, even if they win that argument, they then have to get the rights from the original artists. Otherwise, any use of that art so far as been in violation of copyright.

So, they may end up being able to call themselves "TSR", but not be able to use any of the imagery of the old marks. They'll need to come up with new art and fonts.

My cynical side says that the plan is probably simple - they intend to make noise in the community to get people to donate money for their lawsuit, spend as little as possible on the suit, and when they lose, pocket remaining moneys, and claim it was Big Corporation that did them wrong, and claim moral victory even if they lost.

The lawsuit doesn't even mention the legacy disclaimer.

LaNasa's video made it clear that the legacy disclaimer was going to be a separate action.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
It depends on what lawsuit they actually file.

Trademark, they might actually have a leg to stand on, in that there was a period in which WotC didn't sell the old products with the marks in question.

Copyright - they have no real chance - WotC bought every copyright held by TSR. They seem to claim that some of the art they want to use wasn't properly owned by the original TSR (made without a contract for Work for Hire, I think). But, as I understand it, at this point they can't just lay back on WotC not being able to produce said contracts - nuTSR needs positive proof no such contract (written or verbal) existed, which they are unlikely to have.

And, even if they win that argument, they then have to get the rights from the original artists. Otherwise, any use of that art so far as been in violation of copyright.

So, they may end up being able to call themselves "TSR", but not be able to use any of the imagery of the old marks. They'll need to come up with new art and fonts.

My cynical side says that the plan is probably simple - they intend to make noise in the community to get people to donate money for their lawsuit, spend as little as possible on the suit, and when they lose, pocket remaining moneys, and claim it was Big Corporation that did them wrong, and claim moral victory even if they lost.



LaNasa's video made it clear that the legacy disclaimer was going to be a separate action.

I suspect you're giving them way too much credit!

I bet they file the exact same complaint, up to and including not fixing their misspelling of District.
 

Staffan

Legend
It depends on what lawsuit they actually file.

Trademark, they might actually have a leg to stand on, in that there was a period in which WotC didn't sell the old products with the marks in question.
I was thinking that this period can't have been very long because there was a project underway in late 2e or early 3e to digitize all the old FR material and sell it on a CD, which eventually morphed into selling it on RPGNow (I think there was a step in between where it was sold on a site that for some reason was only available to US customers), so the period between the start of 3e (which is when Wizards stopped using dual logos on the books) and the release of those PDFs can't have been very long.

But then I remembered that there was a period of about 3-4 years when Wizards overreacted to the 4e PHB2 being pirated by stopping all legal PDF sales. I don't know if that's long enough to constitute abandonment though.
 

Sir Brennen

Legend
Copyright - they have no real chance - WotC bought every copyright held by TSR. They seem to claim that some of the art they want to use wasn't properly owned by the original TSR (made without a contract for Work for Hire, I think). But, as I understand it, at this point they can't just lay back on WotC not being able to produce said contracts - nuTSR needs positive proof no such contract (written or verbal) existed, which they are unlikely to
This is something not clear to me. How can you produce proof that something doesn’t exist?

I could see finding evidence of alternative arrangements existing, but that would undermine their claim, so I don’t see them producing anything like that.

Or, if it was something that should be recorded in a public record, and it’s not, that would seem to qualify. But buying art for use in a publication doesn’t seem like it would b
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
So just to make sure I'm keeping up.

LaNasa is going after Wizards for libel (even though he said slander) because he said Wizards is calling all of those creators and fans of the original games racists and bigots (which the disclaimer doesn't do)?

So....he's basically engaging in libel to accuse someone incorrectly of slander? That's...well...yeah...
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
The thing is with that disclaimer... WotC is trying to thread a very narrow path where they still make those products available (and maybe sell a few) while acknowledging some of the issues some of those products have. "best of both worlds" so to speak. It would have been easy for WotC just to drop the products instead. But instead of recognizing what WotC is trying to do, he's essentially trying to ruin it...
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
The thing is with that disclaimer... WotC is trying to thread a very narrow path where they still make those products available (and maybe sell a few) while acknowledging some of the issues some of those products have. "best of both worlds" so to speak. It would have been easy for WotC just to drop the products instead. But instead of recognizing what WotC is trying to do, he's essentially trying to ruin it...

He's trying to fan division and hatred and profit from it.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
After seeing the suit analyzed by 2 different Trademark/copyright litigators - an actual trial on the merits would likely go VERY badly for TSR3 and its owners.

Curious if they actually plan to go through with it or what their actual game plan!

Also - the wording of LaNasa's post is interesting - he makes it seem like the lawsuit is partly to get Wizards to change the legacy disclaimer (which they object to as vilifying them), while being VERY careful to not state so outright. The lawsuit doesn't even mention the legacy disclaimer.
My prediction: they will fan the flames as long as they can to drum up donations, then they'll drop the whole thing and pocket the money when the donations drop off.

Oh, and did you see? They're an "army" now. (eyeroll)
 
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MarkB

Legend
So just to make sure I'm keeping up.

LaNasa is going after Wizards for libel (even though he said slander) because he said Wizards is calling all of those creators and fans of the original games racists and bigots (which the disclaimer doesn't do)?

So....he's basically engaging in libel to accuse someone incorrectly of slander? That's...well...yeah...
I'm not sure they object to being called racists and misogynists, so much as they object to those traits being presented as being wrong or bad.
 


vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Considering how much of his personal site is dedicated to guns, I worry about how literally he takes that term.
That's exactly my take on this.

The length people like this go to pick a fight, pushing each other toward evermore extreme hate, is really scary. Remember the Ernie message where he said he would have liked to bring a gun to school? And this is the same crowd that thought: ''yes, that IS a good point, Ernie''.

We look at the legal side of it where there's no real risk for anybody, but outside of the legal battle, I fear some on those indoctrinated weirdo will take the ''army'' thing too far and there will be real damage.

This thing wont end well, I fear.
 

Four of them were Justin Lanasa, Justin W. Lanasa, Justin W. Lavasa, and Justin Lanaga.
Which all of could have been due to sloppy writing. It's probably not fair to assume motive with such limited knowledge of the details. The names could have been typo'd or a dozen other ways for such t come into play.
Now, either TSR retains a law firm local to Washington State or Justin's current law firm will be making some long trips cross country.
Whichever firm will need to be licensed to practice law in Washington State. My understanding is that the right to practice law is controlled by each state.
This is something not clear to me. How can you produce proof that something doesn’t exist?

I could see finding evidence of alternative arrangements existing, but that would undermine their claim, so I don’t see them producing anything like that.
You can't. But you can provide evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that no contract was ever created In this case it would probably take uncontested statements from the creator and the various IP holders that such never existed. Possible, but unlikely.
 

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