back to article British games company says it owns the idea of space marines

British company Games Workshop, well known for producing tabletop wargames and other products set in various fantasy universes, has claimed that it owns the idea of future space marines and that nobody can write books featuring astro-bootnecks* without its consent. Last December the company succeeded in getting the novel Spots …

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  1. Christoph Silver badge

    Another bit that isn't original

    "many distinctive features which Games Workshop might justifiably claim as their own ... they are routinely surgically modified "

    Were they routinely surgically modified before 1986, when Timothy Zahn's first "Cobra" book was published?

    So when are they going to stop anyone writing about games or workshops?

    1. Pooka

      Re: Another bit that isn't original

      Tough call - it was certainly mentioned in Rogue Trader (first edition 40k), but I don't know about appearances in White Dwarf around that time.... Rogue Trader was '87....

    2. Bob Vistakin
      Holmes

      Re: Another bit that isn't original

      Why not just look for anyone who made Games in a Workshop prior to the creation of these Apple wannabees and do them for infringement of their term?

    3. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: Another bit that isn't original

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rom_%28comics%29 was in 1979. Okay, they were cyborg space warriors not specifically called marines, and as far as I remember, they fought by standing in a long line IN SPACE facing the enemy. But, still.

    4. Andrew Moore Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Another bit that isn't original

      I'm off to trademark "Thrud the Barbarian"

      1. Great Bu

        I'm off to trademark "Thrud the Barbarian"

        I think you will find that Carl Critchlow has the trademark for Thrud.....

    5. robin48gx
      Meh

      Re: Another bit that isn't original

      Starship troopers was 1958.... What rubbish to start yelling about IP on the concept of a space marine.

  2. Steve Crook
    FAIL

    Morons, dickheads and anything else you can thing of...

    It goes to show that it's not just the fruity firm that have a hunger for this sort of conflict. I wonder if there's a virus that's going round infecting corporate types and causing their egos to swell even further to the point where they really believe this sort of shit. I assume they'll eventually drop it and say that it was all a big mistake and that amazon over-reacted. Perhaps Games Workshop will respond and explain their behaviour? No? I thought not...

    1. bluest.one

      Re: Morons, dickheads and anything else you can thing of...

      The problem is the ill-defined and artificial nature of so-called "intellectual property".

      Unlike real property, where it's very obvious when something is stolen or appropriated, 'IP' is a man-made construct whose boundaries are limited only by thought and definition.

      As a result, what you get is the inevitable greed of certain people trying to claim ownership of as much as they possibly can.

      The things covered by IP - cultural expression (generally) of ideas - are by nature fluid, porous and readily profligate; little different to DNA - going wherever they want and joining with all sorts of other DNA to make new things.

      Copyright is supposed to be limited inn scope, but greedy, vested interests have for decades pushed for its expansion. The same with patents and trademarks - because they entail monopoly of exploitation and self-enrichment.

      And the guardians of the 'limited times' and scope of these monopolies are sackless and easily swayed.

      Where there is only man's word for a limitation, and man can be corrupted, the scope is actually limitless. And so it is with 'IP'.

      I dare say it will always be so, though I'll be happy to be proved wrong.

      1. Tom 13

        Re: The problem is the ill-defined...

        No, the problem is the LAWYERS who keep trying to sail Supertankers through those holes to rake in untold sums of cash.

  3. Christoph Silver badge

    More prior art

    I have a tape recorded in 1982 containing a song "Outerspace Marines"

    1. Beth (the 'Mac' is silent)
      Facepalm

      Space Marines

      There are two from that era:

      "Space Heroes and Other Fools", by Julia Ecklar. The relevant verse is:

      "Do you wanna be a hero in the sky?

      Do you wanna be a hero in the sky?

      High adventure, higher pay,

      Join the Space Marines today!

      You can go and be a hero in the sky!"

      And one by Jeff Dunteman, to the tune of the [US] Marines' Hymn:

      "From the pits of Aldebaran IX

      To the webs of Sigma Grex,

      We will make a better man of you

      Irregardless of your sex.

      Though the Klingons kick sand in your face,

      You will know you're worth your beans

      When you come and sell your soul to us

      In the Outer Space Marines!"

      1. Christoph Silver badge

        Re: Space Marines

        The second is the one I was thinking of. The Ecklar tape is dated 1983 -.the song "Space Hero" is credited to 'Fish', though I can't track down when she wrote it.

  4. ukgnome
    Alien

    I can understand Warhammer having rights to 40k as well as the blue uniform that their space marines have. But laying claims to "space marines" as IP is just a bit silly.

    Lets put it this way, in 1987 Warhammer created Warhammer 40K, how much of the space marine set was lifted from a 1986 film called aliens? The only difference I see is that Aliens called their space soldiers "colonial marines"

    1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      @ukgnome - Laying Claims

      ...how much of the space marine set was lifted from a 1986 film called aliens?

      Indeed! While I prefer other sources that Wikipedia, I think their page on GW's Space Hulk game has it spot on:

      "The game is set in their Warhammer 40,000 universe and draws a certain degree of inspiration from the Alien movies."

    2. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      Too true

      Even if they wanted to trademark "space marines" wouldn't a little game called Doom have been their first target way back in `93? Sorry, I'm thinking this horse has bolted long ago and the hinges on the barn door have rusted off anyway.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Too true

        Horse bolted? they never even had a horse! They're pointing at an empty stable saying "those guys stole my horse!"

        Send in the Marines to sort these fools out!

        1. Tom 13

          Re: Send in the Marines to sort these fools out!

          No need for the plural, just one should do.

          And I expect he won't be using the full force of his hand. A thumb should suffice.

    3. Great Bu

      Derivative

      Even at the time I remember that the WH40k space marines were seeen (by myself and many of my tabletop rolplaying friends) as derivative of a number of other SF RPG's, in particular GDW's Traveller (of 1979 vintage) which had Imperial Marines, battle suited soldiers of a space empire - themselves essentially derivative of Star Wars storm troopers........

      1. Tom 13

        Re: Derivative

        I think in some sense most of what's been published since Hugo Gernsback was running his pulps back in the 30s is derivative of what was done back then. Sometimes the derivatives have been better written or more interesting, but they covered most of it back then. Particularly space marines.

    4. Stacy
      WTF?

      Aliens...

      Were they not "inspired" just a little bit for the Genestealers by the Aliens themselves?

      There is certainly a resemblance...

      1. Can't think of anything witty...
        Pint

        Re: Aliens...

        Agreed with that. I remember when they launched the Tyranid army (was quite into WH40K at that point) and everyone noticed the resemblence between them and the H. R. Geiger's aliens.

        (See this link: http://www.ifelix.co.uk/wh40kgallery/tyranids/index.html )

        Being able to inceinerate large swathes of them from a tank-mounted flamethrower in a "This one's for Bishop you Bas****s" way was great fun.

        ...

        well, it was for me at the time.

        ...

        i didn't get out much...

        :)

    5. John 62
      Boffin

      @ukgnome: blue uniforms?

      Typical Ultramarine arrogance! There are many other chapters, each with its own armour colouring and regalia. One for each primarch (and several more created since the Heresy) .

  5. hplasm Silver badge
    Stop

    Outrageous!

    Games W need to watch out- there were lots of miniature figures about before they were for one thing- nearly as many as stories with Space Marines in them.

    I would also suggest Amazon get a grip.

    Bloody Cheek

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Outrageous!

      Sure, but how many miniature companies have already started producing figures that are based on GW's work?

      Yes, it has been happening and has caused GW a great deal of trouble. I believe they've recently lost a case in the States where it happened, too - someone produced a figure for a unit they'd listed and described in their books, and now GW can't produce their version of that figure.

      GW has been quite relaxed about fan work - Turn Signals on a Landraider, for example, but they've had to be firm with anyone trying to turn a profit on their work (when TSoaLR wanted to sell copies, for example). Now they're taking a harder line to protect their business and are appearing more aggressive. Problem is they can't afford to stop and check every possible infringement: They have to act quickly before someone can claim the IP and undermine GW's business.

      So yes, they've made a mistake. It's not good for the author: They're innocent. GW does need to apologize and step down from this case, but they also have to maintain a strong front to actual infringement because there are people out there ripping off their work.

      I'd say this is a 'watch this space' event more than a 'GW is turning into Apple' event. Or at least I hope it is.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Now they're taking a harder line to protect their business...

        If they shut this down on Amazon, they've already lost control of their company to the Lawyers.

        Once upon a time I worked with a US non-profit. Some twits decided to start a profit oriented group with a name that was too close to our trademarked name. So we asked them nicely to change the name. They didn't so we had to call in the lawyers. It was hugely expensive, but we did manage to protect our trademark. Next thing we were working to registering the trademark in all kinds of places. I'm no longer with the group, but last I heard the lawyers have them embroiled in a trademark dispute with one of the recently admitted EU countries. I see about zero chance that someone from that country would actually confuse the two outfits, but because of the potential ramifications, more money down the tubes. Sounds like the same thing is happening at GW.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I thought 2012

    was the Year of the Lawyer. Looks like we have barely scratched the surface of that pustule.

    1. C Yates
      Meh

      Nah!

      It's just that 2013 is the year of the twat :)

      1. Rattus Rattus

        Re: Nah!

        How can it be? Jobs is already dead!

    2. Code Monkey
      Unhappy

      Re: I thought 2012

      You're right. 2012 was the the year of the lawyer. As was 2011, 2011, etc. and so on.

    3. Mayhem

      Re: I thought 2012

      It was. Turns out 2013 is the year of the Countersuit, soon to be followed by the years of the Appeal.

      The process is unlikely to finish until Judgement day.

  7. tkioz
    FAIL

    Utterly ridiculous. I can not believe they think they'll get away with this bollocks, all the more proof that lawyers are the ones who are proving the case for IP reform with their over-reaching money grubbing ways.

    I've been a fan of games workshop for over twenty years, but at this moment I want nothing to do with the company. Disgusting.

  8. Mark 85 Silver badge
    Unhappy

    So even this is owned by GW?: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/10/20/us_space_marines_times_secret_is_out/

    They must be following the Apple business plan. Grab something "generic" and call it yours. As a former US Marine, I'm wondering if sometime down the timeline if the name will have to be changed to something like "maritime fighter"?

  9. M Gale

    How much for a 4 inch high plastic model?

    But, but, but.. it's a titan!

    On top of the White Metal thing, this does not surprise me at all.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Figured it was only a matter of time...

    ...before Jerks Wormshop pulled another fast one. Their licence to print and publish GDW Traveller material some 20 years back plus was abruptly revoked, amongst much speculation in the RPG community (some of it spot on the money, but I can't comment on that as it was never taken to court by GDW, sadly); since then, once they found they had a money-maker in Warhammer 40K, they've made a habit of producing sets of rules and figures that require adherents (or is that disciples?) to buy more of their stuff to play the game; frankly, it was only a matter of time before they tried to re-write history in their image.

    I've not used them since they had their GDW licence revoked - I saw the writing on the wall. They're no better than an ambulance chaser, in my view.

    I hope and trust, therefore, that Amazon pound their arses back into the stone age with this load of bovine excrement that they're peddling.

    1. James O'Shea Silver badge

      Re: Figured it was only a matter of time...

      Ah. I was unaware that GW and GDW had already crossed paths. This makes things even better.

  11. dotdavid
    Alien

    Marines?

    I always thought space marines, lacking any marine environment in the depths of space, would probably be more accurately named "spaces" or something.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Marines?

      Possibly.

      The "U.N. Spacy" is of course the armed space of the UN in Macross.

      Can't remember whether the grunts were called Spacies...

      1. TeeCee Gold badge
        Meh

        Re: Marines?

        Were any of them called Kevin?

        1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

          Re: Marines?

          They were all called Kevin, just to keep it clear.

  12. James O'Shea Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Idiocy

    I seem to recall a game named 'Traveller', from _well_ before 1987, which featured, among other things, space marines. Indeed, the owners of that game concept, Game Designers Workshop, sued, and won, someone for actually-for-real infringing on their rights in 1982. (The defendants made Traveller into a video game. They didn't change the names of important features or anything else important. They also didn't pay GDW one cent... until the lawsuit arrived.) Hmmm. I wonder what would happen if GDW sued GW for liberating not merely the space marines concept, but the name of the company itself? Has anyone passed the word over to GDW or its successors? Wouldn't it be fun to watch the carnage if someone did?

    Nuke, 'cause, well, cry havoc and let slip the lawyers of war!

    1. BongoJoe
      Facepalm

      Re: Idiocy

      There was a game set in the Traveller universe called 'Snapshot' which was basically combat on a spaceship.

      If that wasn't space marines then I am not sure what is.

  13. djbane

    GW are notoriously harsh when it comes to this sort of thing and what they see as IP infringement.

    According to their website Space Marine is a trademark of theirs and in this they have seen fit to bring down the hammer. Maybe they were worried about confusion with their own book range. . Its odd though since a quick look on amazon and there are other books with the name Space Marine in the title

    1. Greg J Preece

      If they actually have a trademark on "Space Marine" (did the article address this?) then surely they also have a point? I mean, for all the talk of rip-offs in this thread, GW themselves have been ripped off before. *Cough* Warcraft *Hack*

      1. Psyx
        Go

        "If they actually have a trademark on "Space Marine" (did the article address this?) then surely they also have a point?"

        Not until it's tested in court. Getting a Trademark doesn't really seal the right until it's actually tested and tried under the rigours of a Judge.

        1. Greg J Preece

          Not until it's tested in court. Getting a Trademark doesn't really seal the right until it's actually tested and tried under the rigours of a Judge.

          Then given the requirement for them to protect the trademark, they are forced to take this current action, right? Who they went after doesn't matter (except to you lot, who I guarantee wouldn't be bleating so much if this wasn't a little indie guy). The principle is the same.

          1. RealBigAl

            Except they picked on someone who can't defend themselves. Didn't see them go after the makers of the Starship Troopers movies who have the financial clout to get GW laughed out of court for example.

          2. NelC

            You say that as though protecting or protesting on behalf of the little guy was a bad thing. After all, the big guys can look after themselves.

        2. Simon Westerby 1

          The trademark in question is a US Trademark in the area of games... Not Books/eBooks

          GW are trying to assert the trademark in that area (ebooks)- which is really quite sad.

          The Paper print version of the book is still (or was yesterday) available on amazon for sail.

      2. Scott 62

        Can you imagine GW trying to sue Blizzard?

        Blizzard probably spend more on lawyers in a month than GW make in profit a year.

        1. Mr Tenko
          Pirate

          Going after the small fry...

          The funny thing is, we've all been wondering for years that there's no way on earth that Blizzard DIDN'T "borrow" their IP when creating Warcraft and Starcraft back in the day but as you say could you imagine Games Workshop out "lawyering" Blizzard Activision now?

    2. Greg J Preece

      The laughably small amount of research I've done suggests that it is in fact a registered trademark of GW's. Doesn't trademark law require them to make good efforts to protect the mark?

      Boom, here you go

      http://www.ipo.gov.uk/ohim?ohimnum=E392886

      http://www.ipo.gov.uk/domestic?domesticnum=1461715

      Christ, you'd think all the people banging on about this could at least run a search...

      1. graeme leggett

        so is this a case of see the trademarked phrase click send automated legal letter - ie a lack of actual consideration of the individual circumstances of the case.

        in other words, a legal department with twitchy trigger finger?

      2. Tom 13

        Re: is in fact a registered trademark

        Yeah, another trademark that should NEVER have been issued.

        I'll take very, very, very small consolation that at least this time it wasn't my side of the pond fouling things for world plus dog.

  14. Irongut

    Humility

    I don't think I have ever seen that virtue in anything GW have done and I first ventured into one of their stores 25 years ago. It is clearly missing from this debacle.

    It looks to me like they've gone after a lesser known author because she is less likely to be able to defend her work. If they win they can then use this as a precedent to go after other authors.

    I don't remember the last time I was willing to pay GW's outrageous prices for their derivitive products. This just puts me off even more.

  15. Whitter
    Mushroom

    They've got previous

    GW and Michael Moorcock ended up embittered due to a rediculous IP grab over a generation ago. It seems that's the way GW likes to play it.

    1. moiety

      Re: They've got previous

      What might be amusing is for the estates of RA Heinlein, EE 'Doc' Smith et al. to club together and show them who's boss.

    2. The FunkeyGibbon
      Thumb Up

      Re: They've got previous

      Indeed:

      Moorcock: "Games Workshop couldn't exist without the things they've ripped off from me and Tolkien. If they'd made more of the material, I wouldn't mind. But they've dumbed it down, too. Sometimes I get weary of this crap. Other times, people remind me, that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. A more sincere form of flattery than that, of course, is when they ask you first. As I've often said -- they can say it's flattery, but that's the flattery of the guy you catch in your apartment when you come home at night and he's just heading for the fire escape with your new TV. 'Great taste in TVs, man,' he says...."

  16. This post has been deleted by its author

  17. M Gale

    Question to The Reg

    How much to send Lewis Page up to the ISS on one of the tourist trips? If only so you can say you have a Space Marine on staff. He might even be able to do some LOHAN-related experiments.

    Maybe crowdsourcing could come up with some of the cash?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Question to The Reg

      I'm good for a few quid. Just got my tax rebate for 2011.

      If not then can we at least replace the playmonaut with a model of some kind of marine or other?

    2. Will Godfrey Silver badge

      Re: Question to The Reg

      @moiety

      Funny you should mention EE "Doc" Smith. That was the first name that came to my mind.

      1. moiety

        Re: Question to The Reg

        Robert Heinlein was mine. Oddly enough; the first book that came to mind -Starship Troopers- doesn't use the phrase. Revolt in 2100 does; and the phrase is used 9 times in Space Cadet. I found 77 books that use the phrase.

  18. John 62

    Lewis, when was/were your article(s) published?

    I think I've got a few White Dwarves from years ago.

    Anyway, Space Marine is a bit generic, which was why I thought they came up with the name Adeptus Astartes. Plus, the surgical modifications was mostly the Emperor's children when they went heretical.

    I've been reading the Horus Heresy series on and off because I don't have any friends who wargame and what I really want is a computer game that simulates all the rules, dice-rolling, cards and templates. The Horus Heresy novels have been a reasonably good read for trashy sci-fi, but they killed about 5 primarchs within a few pages in one book, I didn't think much of Horus's descent into chaos and there has been precious little seen of the Emperor in the first 7 books. The best one by far is Legion.

    This Space Marine trademark thing seems like the Horus Heresy books: the Imperium is simply the Imperium, it may protect from Chaos, but it is not inherently good

    1. Psyx

      Re: Lewis, when was/were your article(s) published?

      "Plus, the surgical modifications was mostly the Emperor's children when they went heretical."

      Nah, they all get it. It's a large part of what makes them 'better' than other humans. Although a lot of it is genetic tinkering, as well as surgery. It doesn't get much of a mention in the Heresy books though.

  19. Efros

    Bollocks

    A good look at any of the SF from the mid to late 1930s will yield numerous references to space marines. E.E. Doc Smith and Robert A. Heinlein are two authors from that period who I know used the phrase "space marines".

  20. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Nuke the site from orbit!

    "These values are Honesty, Courage and Humility."

    Looks like they forgot about "Mo' Money" and "Asshattery".

    They would probably stoop to hiring Carter Burke to look after IP rights in a stricken space colony.

    FLAMERS ON!

    1. tekHedd

      Re: Nuke the site from orbit!

      Oh come on, even I can work out that it's possible to be Honest, Courageous, and Humble and still be a total Asshat.

      Of course, being a "good person" is actually very complicated, can be quite hard work at times, and is not something you can easily summarize. Which I suppose is why so many people settle for "denial," which feels just as good but isn't really the same thing.

  21. dssf

    Space: Above and Beyond, and others

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space:_Above_and_Beyond

    I hope that this disgusting debacle causes a resurgence of airing of older, popular shows. Space: Above and Beyond was one I liked back in the 90s. See the subject "Production" to learn of the inspirations for S:A&B.

    Also, see:

    http://www.cyberpursuits.com/heckifiknow/saab/

    And, what if someone aquires rights to write in the Universal Soldier property, but posit that they are updates in the year 2045, quelling uprisings and dealing with other sorts of things. It could be a blend of Aliens and Outland and other shows. Of course, they won't attack the big labels. Attacking smaller companies and individuals is just unctuous and cowardly. Someone should write of the BSG Colonial Marines quelling security and resurces issues on outer rim planets. That would put an end to this bullshit. With the reimagined BSG blended with the older BSG, but with references to Blood and Chrome, and with other BSG offshoots, but with the Colonial Admiralty running their own bio-cybernetics experiments (destined to go wrong), the Colonies could face troubles with Colonial Marines battling with rogue Admiraly machines...

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    "... ridiculous ... contemptible..."

    I don't think any more words are necessary.

  23. Simon Harris Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    In that case...

    The Royal Marines have been going since well before the founding of the United States.

    Maybe Cameron should have a word in Obama's ear and tell him to disband the US Marines as obviously they've stolen the name of our good fighting folk and should have thought up something more original!

  24. Lee Dowling Silver badge

    Game over, man. Game over.

    I say we take off and nuke the entire company from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

    (Combining "space" and "marine" to refer to a marine - a common word for a certain sector of military personnel - that operates in space is not protectable. I mean, come on, what sort of idiots do you take us for? Now, if they were writing a WH40K-themed book or something, yeah, I'd be on your side. But they aren't. They're just writing a book about military people who operate in space, like just about every other sci-fi novel has for the last 40 years.)

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Coat

      Yeah! It's almost like combining, oh, I dunno, say "App" and "Store"...

  25. moiety

    Clearly the decision will be overturned as soon as anyone with a quarter of a brain looks over the case. Hopefully the publicity will boost the sales of the book; while slamming Games Workshop's sales into the ground. Douchebags.

    1. NelC

      The problem for Hogarth is getting enough money to pay a lawyer to bring it before someone with a quarter of a brain. GW did this — like most IP trolls — because they thought that they could get away with it not appearing in court. Note that they never pursued Blizzard for ripping off their IP for Starcraft and Warcraft, presumably because it would have cost GW a lot of money to get the result they wanted.

      1. moiety

        Is there a fund? Fuck it; I've got a fiver spare...can't abide bullying like this.

        1. moiety

          UPDATE: The author is in talks with the EFF. Bad times coming up for Games Workshop, one hopes.

          1. Invidious Aardvark

            From my reading on <a href="http://www.popehat.com/2013/02/06/the-popehat-signal-help-an-author-against-a-bogus-trademark-claim/">Popehat</a>, it looks like the EFF said "no". They're appealing for pro bono assistance (and have had a few replies) but they may start a fund if required.

            1. moiety

              That PopeHat areticle was published on the 6th, as was the author's most recent blog post that said:

              "I am now in talks with the EFF. I’m not to say anything more on it, but this development was very heartening."

              ...possibly the PopeHat chaps hadn't read that.

  26. Gavin McMenemy

    Reg is a bit late to the party. This has been reported widely for the last few days.

    1. Alien8n Silver badge
      Alien

      Party?

      Who do you think invited them to the party?

      (Okay, I may not have been the only one, but I've certainly been one of them and I was pointed in the right direction by one of the authors friends that I know)

      Full list of article related to this here:

      http://mcah.wikia.com/wiki/Spots_vs_Games_Workshop

      (I'm currently about 2/3s of the way down)

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I am in the process of trademarking the word 'computer'. This will result in me making very large amounts of license fees, as every company from Intel to IBM is infringing!

    1. Stevie Silver badge

      Not So Fast

      I think you'll find Sperry Corporation beat you to the lawyers on that one.

  28. frank ly Silver badge

    Bill The Galactic Hero ......

    ... would know how to deal with them.

    1. Emilio Desalvo
      Coat

      Re: Bill The Galactic Hero ......

      We could also send SarMajor Iris Babcock, if she survived a marriage with Horace Harkness she can also deal with GW.

      Oh. Wait. She is not a Space Marine. She is a Royal Manticoran Marine. She is safe...

      What now? Captain Link Hogthrob?

  29. Chad H.

    I may be a few editions out of date here....

    But last I checked, not only were GW's space marines anything but reservists (they are about as full time a soldier can get) - the closest , but they're exclusively male... Females might end up in sisters of battle, but are very underrepresented in the universes fighting forces....

  30. Tony Haines

    Precidence not necessary

    The thing is, this is regarding a trade-mark, not a patent. The rules are different.

    Trademarks apparently don't require precidence - how else would someone be able to trademark "Keep calm and carry on"?

    However, I am not a lawyer; I don't know whether what Games Workshop have allow them to block books with those words in the title.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Precidence not necessary

      > The thing is, this is regarding a trade-mark, not a patent. The rules are different.

      Thing is, it's a trade-mark, not a copyright. Amazon pulled the book after a DMCA take-down request.

      GW are famous for this sort of legal bullying, which is a bit rich considering Warhammer is pretty much lifted from LOTR and 40K is LOTR in space plus bits nicked from Alien (and more recently from various Anime).

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Precidence not necessary

        Do GW by any chance have dwarfs, elves, wizards, dragons, ..... in their toy collection?

        Do not meddle in the affairs of Tolkein heirs - they are quick to anger and not subtle

        1. Alien8n Silver badge
          Alien

          Re: Precidence not necessary

          Not trademarkable due to their generic use throughout fantasy literature, and not copyrightable due to the fact that Tolkein himself nicked them from mythology.

          In all honesty they should never have been given the phrase as a trademark in the first place as it was already a generic term in PC games (Doom) and has prior art in board games.

        2. PatientOne

          Re: Precidence not necessary

          Hmm... would this be the GW who currently have a license to produce the LoTR and Hobbit games?

          Anyhow, Dragons: Want to go talk to the Welsh about their flag, by chance? Or the Norse? Or the Chinese?

          Want to talk to the Norse about Elves and Dwarves?

          Wizard I've not been about to trace down, but I've a feeling it's Arabic and refers to a Scholar - do need more time to check.

          Anyhow, Tolkien didn't create any of them. His story was allegedly based of Nordic sagas, so wasn't entirely original. So do explain why we should be going to his estate regarding them?

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Precidence not necessary

        Unlike copyright, trademarks _have_ to be vigorously defended, or they're lost.

        It's utterly wrong that the DMCA was used in this case and there are penalties for misuse of it, but they seldom get applied.

    2. the spectacularly refined chap

      Re: Precidence not necessary

      Sure, trademarks are different to patents or indeed copyright - they not subject to automatic term limits but have compensatory restrictions in place of that limit.

      It would appear to me that the very most trademark protection "Space Marine" could have even as original coinage would be as a "descriptive mark" which are themselves difficult to enforce (see here for a fuller explanation). The ability to cite prior works in the same and related genres would surely amount to evidence that it is generic in nature and thus not subject to even that protection. I hope the author does challenge this and Games Workshop invalidate their own trademark. I'm guessing via the mechanism used - challenging Amazon who will not want to get involved in the dispute - is tacit acceptance they know the weakness of their hand.

    3. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      We are up against a legal xenomorph whose bad ideas hatch in people's brains!

      Yes, the rules would be different.

      If it were called "Space Marines ®"

      If it's "Space Marines™" or just "Space Marines", it will just be "Fooock Ouuufff!".

      A quick look.see at the USPTO (is there something like that for the UK)?

      "SPACE MARINE" registered for "video computer games; computer software for playing games"

      and

      "SPACE MARINE" registered for " board games, parlor games, war games, hobby games, toy models and miniatures of buildings, scenery, figures, automobiles, vehicles, planes, trains and card games and paint, sold therewith."

      both registered to

      "GAMES WORKSHOP LIMITED CORPORATION UNITED KINGDOM Willow Road, Lenton Eastwood Nottingham NG7 2W5 UNITED KINGDOM"

      as a TRADEMARK

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let's not take any risk

    That seems to be the moto of the decenium. Let's not take any risk. That's probably why Games Workshop thought they HAD to protect their trademark.

    And that's why Amazon thought they HAD to comply.

    "Instead they chose a comparatively unknown indie writer who would clearly have difficulty getting Amazon to listen to her, and in finding effective representation."

    I work for a company that, the week after sending a client an invoice of over € 5.000 for maintenance, hesitated to confirm that the software will work on a HP PC. Because of "the risk".

    Let's hope there's a judge out there who pulls their balls out through their throat.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Let's not take any risk

      I would say a 5 euro maintenance contract is a bit risky... I mean what kinda service are you gunna get for that?

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Let's not take any risk

        Same as you get for the 5000euro version

        "have you tried turning it off and on again?

  32. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge
    Mushroom

    i HAVE YEARS OF PENT UP gw SPLEEN TO VENT

    Games Workshop are still alive?! Shit, they're like a turd you can't flush.

    When was the last time White Dwarf was any good? Issue 87, maybe?

    "...long and illustrious history producing many fine offerings.." I think you're mistaking them for another company. Possibly TSR. (TSR weren't perfect;but they weren't bullies.)

    1. BoldMan
      WTF?

      Re: i HAVE YEARS OF PENT UP gw SPLEEN TO VENT

      TSR were notorious bullies before they were owned by White Wolf. In the early days of the internet there were numerous cease and desist notices sent out by their lawyer to any site that mentioned Advanced (R) Dungeons(R) & Dragons(R). How do I know? I got one for a site I built for my gaming group to document our shared campaign. I had to remove all reference to AD&D(tm) and other phrases. I tried to point out to them that my site was in fact providing them with free advertising, but they didn't get it... and they they got bought out and everything changed! Don't forget, this was the company that had reg trade mark on the word "Dragon"!!

  33. Schultz
    Go

    Good tidings for M.C.A. Hogarth

    With the free publicity, she'll now have an audience waiting for her book. Expect a 'pre-order' button on Amazon soon!

    1. Rattus Rattus

      Re: Good tidings for M.C.A. Hogarth

      Yes indeed. I'd certainly never heard of her or her book before this, and now I am thinking it sounds intriguing and I would quite like to pick up a copy.

    2. Daniel B.
      Happy

      Go get it now!

      In fact, the book in question is back up in the Kindle Store. The author says that she has seen more sales *today* than the sales from the second half of 2012! So if you want it, go get it!

      I'm guessing that Amazon saw the shitstorm and put it back up because:

      - They know it's going to sell like mad

      - They know that if GW tries anything, there's going to be an assload of people countering any legal action.

      This is going to be awesome!

  34. Pazl

    The British Game company in question obviously does not have a good stable of games to sell, and is being foolish in attempting to banish the use of the silly phrase space marines..

  35. JonGlentoran

    Like you, some of my first work (as an illustrator) appeared in early issues of White Dwarf back when Games Workshop were the good guys. Such a shame they seem to have morphed into just another mendacious, greedy, litigious, bullying corporation trying to steal something for themselves that has been public domain for decades. I really hope they don't win this...

  36. Serge 2

    Isn't it is about the time

    Games Workshop has had the taste slapped out of its mouth?

    They have become a bunch of greedy scum bags and nothing more.

    Fine Cast anyone?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Isn't it is about the time

      Finecast, I understand the principle... the price of metal made it unprofitable to continue selling metal figures, so they found a cheaper alternative that meant they didn't have to redo their entre manufacturing operation.

      I actually like it, as they are a lot lighter and dont have the balance issues, it's also a lot easier to work with.

      The quality was a bit variable in the beginning, but the perfect ones are spectacular. The associated price increase was a bit uncalled for though.

  37. Mike Brown

    old news

    we discussed this months ago on warseer.

    Whats more ridiculous is that most of the background from their games is ripped (homage'd?) from lots of sources. Im in the middle of reading a mote in gods eye ( or what ever its called) and was stunned to see references to Tanith and Istavan, the whole imperial set up is similar too. There is also loads of Dune, smatterings of Heinlen, some Lovecraft and buckets of Tolkein.

    Whilst GW are money grabbing ass hats these days, the fluff is great, and the models are so pwetty. i can let them off.

    Anyhoo, blood to the blood god, waaaagh, and other such things. Im away to paint my Dark Angels.......

    1. Fr. Ted Crilly

      Re: old news

      Not mention the marines aboard INSS Macarthur + INSS Lenin.... :-) (' Mote' - 1974 GW -1975)

  38. evs
    Facepalm

    TV Tropes to the rescue

    According to TV Tropes (which has been updated to include this story: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SpaceMarine), the first reference to "Space Marines" is a short story from 1932 "Captain Brink and the Space Marines". It is also clear that every aspect of the GW conspect of the Space Marine is plagiarized(*) from the entire body of Sci Fi literature since that date and that much of the work they are taking credit for is still under someone else's copyright. IMO, GDW is in for a Very Bad Week.

    (*) It stopped being "derived from", "lifted", "an homage to" or "a tribute to" the moment they claimed that the creation was their own original work.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    Interesting

    Does this mean they'll be trying to block the upcoming Honor Harrington movie for the inclusion of spaceships with onboard marine contingents?

    Mine's a pint, this is just starting.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Innocent question..

    At the term clearly was in use before GW tried to trademark it, isn't this an open invitation for those having used the term earlier to take GW to court?

    I mean, this is a sword with two edges, and it strikes me that GW may have used the most blunt one of the two..

    I, for one, would welcome this to happen. If I had the money I'd try and find a way to buy an earlier instance, just to milk GW dry. Maybe a fun crowdsourcing project..

  41. Eddy Ito Silver badge

    *"Bootneck"

    How on earth did the Devil Dogs get one on? You know being Jarheads and all.

  42. The Alpha Klutz

    never did understand Warhammer

    why would I want to sink all my savings on a plastic toy you have to assemble yourself to play a game with tape measures and rule books the size of your telephone directory. Can't exactly see the fun in that. Neither can the female half of the population because you never see them in Games Workshop

    1. John 62
      Boffin

      Re: never did understand Warhammer

      It's surprisingly good fun and different people can find different aspects they like.

      Personally I like the stories more than the wargaming (not least due to cost and my lack of ability at painting) but I went to Games Day and Golden Demon 1996 in the NIA and found it to be (almost) one of the friendliest groups of people I've ever been in (silly staffer wouldn't let me and my mates see the Black Library film!) I used to devour all the stories in the Codices and White Dwarf and loved the artwork. I even knew a lot of the 2nd edition rules off by heart for a while! Maybe that's weird, but who would want to fling birds at fortified pigs?

  43. burning plastic

    Trademark vs copyright...

    Wouldn't be surprised if this was a lawyer reaction to the fact that you can lose a trademark if you don't defend it.

    Trademarks are a bit different to normal copyright due to this issue and so the GW lawyers were probably just reacting to a new potential infringement - they may well have memoranda of understanding or similar agreements covering existing uses as that way they could retain the trademark without needing to sue/enforce...

  44. Colin Brett
    Coat

    I'll probably get flamed for this but ...

    Will the Hitler's mob return and sue Lucasfilm for use of the term "stormtrooper" in Star Wars?

    Oh, sorry. Disney have already bought Lucasfilm.

    1. Tel Starr

      Re: I'll probably get flamed for this but ...

      I can find a couple of flaws in the above...

      1) It's an English term, the Nazi's were actually quite keen on people using German so probably never registered it as such.

      2) 'A long time ago...' so precidence for it's use already set prior to the Chaplin lookalike. (Plus it came into common usage late in WW1 not WW2)

      Damn, I've used the word Nazi ,which LucasFilm did try and claim a trademark for (and not TSR as some people believe.)

      http://seankreynolds.livejournal.com/50079.html

      http://io9.com/5919000/six-strange-cases-of-science-fiction-trademarks

    2. Emilio Desalvo
      Holmes

      Re: I'll probably get flamed for this but ...

      Methinks stormtrooper is a trademark of the Kaiserliches Heer...

  45. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Its still available at Barnes and Noble

    http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/spots-the-space-marine-mca-hogarth/1112308671?ean=9781470131050

  46. Stevie Silver badge

    Double Bah!

    I only wonder this hasn't happened years ago. Back in the last century the list of trademarks in any GW publication was a dense paragraph of dozens of entries that generated its own gravitational field.

    You guys are aware that trademarks must be defended or they are lost, at least, in the US they are. Forgive one infringement and you lose the right to enforce it at all.

    Still, there's one bright side. Since these trademarks are granted in about two dozen countries at least this one can't generate legitimate "bloody stupid yank" hatemail.

  47. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Other Games Workshop trademarks

    Include: Orc, Goblin, Undead, Codex, Inferno, Inquisitor, Marauder, Dwarf, Elves, Terra, Mars, Armageddon, Halfling and Ogre.

    In a way you have to admire them for their brass necks.

    1. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Other Games Workshop trademarks

      Pretty sure Inquisitor is owned by the Catholic Church.

      Thats mine, the one with the collar.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Meh

    Ah, so that's where.

    Games Workshop....at least I now know where Daryl McBride found employment. He does love games after all.

  49. Uncle Siggy

    Michael Moorcock was heavily lifted from: http://www.multiverse.org/fora/showthread.php?t=2229 There is no mistaking Elric.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Buzz Lightyear?

    Wasn't Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story a space marine? Not as old, but a much bigger gorilla for GW to take on, as well as probably having a fair amount of merchandise on Amazon...

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Buzz Lightyear?

      Buzz Lightyear was a Space Ranger, as was Isaac Asimov's Lucky Starr in Pirates Of The Asteroids.

  51. bag o' spanners
    Big Brother

    The most expensive way of building an Airfix style army yet devised. I can remember playing mini figurine war games as a pre-teen with matchstick firing 88s, but somehow lost interest as puberty raged.

    Maybe they're trying to provoke some interest among the spotty youth of today, who seem much happier playing first person shooters on their phones.

    1. Psyx
      Thumb Up

      Upvoted for "matchstick firing 88s"

  52. Dr.S

    Unlikely valid

    A trademark. registered or not, must possess distinctiveness in order to be valid. As many of these comments have given proof of, this is not the case with "space marine" - a generic description that does not distinguish GW's creations from their many other types of space marines in movies, books and games.

    If they sued anyone that had deep pockets or a legal team of their own they would run the risk of a counter-suit that would most most likely see their registration declared invalid. Hence they sue someone who doesn't have the means to do just that.

    As a lawyer and an old GW fan, I'm feeling a little ashamed right now.

  53. tekHedd

    Example of how to maintain core values

    Honesty: We understand that we really have no right to this trademark,

    Courage: but we're boldly CLAIMING it anyway, even though we know everyone will hate us.

    Humility: We never claimed that we somehow deserve it.

  54. Steven Roper
    Mushroom

    Where do I donate

    to Hogarth's legal fund? I have 100 bucks that wants to help her sue the shit-stained arses off these greedy fucking bastards.

    1. Alien8n Silver badge
      Alien

      Re: Where do I donate

      Not aware of one yet, waiting to hear back from the author.

  55. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    I suppose....

    That in some kind of bizarre way I am glad that this kind of grasping behavior is being perpetrated by companies other than Apple....

  56. This post has been deleted by its author

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wait...

    "We wouldn't suggest for a minute that a writer should be allowed to produce books about the Adeptus Astartes or any perceptible imitation of Warhammer 40K without consent from Games Workshop"

    Yeah, the audacity of writing your own book based on an existing idea. People who write fan fiction are just plagiarising scum in the black and white world of the register. Wish the world I lived in was so simple.

    1. Psyx
      Stop

      Re: Wait...

      "Yeah, the audacity of writing your own book based on an existing idea. People who write fan fiction are just plagiarising scum in the black and white world of the register. Wish the world I lived in was so simple."

      People who do it for money *are*.

  58. Winkypop Silver badge
    Alien

    They can have "Space Marine"

    But they'll never take my "Space Cowboy"

    Apols to: Steve Miller Band

    1. DaiKiwi
      Flame

      Re: They can have "Space Marine"

      "Space Cowboyy"? Where's Bat Durston when you need him?

      Flames - cos there's a rocket ship.

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Megaphone

    As an equitable solution, henceforth, "Space Marines" will hereby be known as %20Marines.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hawkmoon and Fantac/FGU

    Firstly The GW Trademarks refer to games, not literature, so they have nothing to base an infringement takedown on.

    Secondly. The reason to defend a Trademark is to stop the term becoming generic. However it already was generic, generic enough for Fantac in 1977 to publish a set of MINIATURE WARGAMES RULES called Space Marines. These were republished in 1980 by FGU

    Thirdly. Infringing is a big open hole for GW. The Emperor and Chapters of the Imperium owe a SHEDLOAD to the Emperor and Houses of Granbretan from Moorcock's Hawkmoon

    Fourthly, one of the founders of GW, Ian Livingstone, railed against too restrictive practices in IP back in the 70s. What happened at GW is the lawyers and accountants taking over who either don't know, or care, about the cultural heritage their own company loots wholesale

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Windows

    Writing on the wall

    GW is heading into oblivion. 18 months tops till they go titsup...

    Thats why they are doing this now....£$€

    1. Psyx
      Stop

      Re: Writing on the wall

      "18 months tops till they go titsup..."

      If that bet is still open, I'm good for £500 against it.

      They've been a crap money making machine for years... crap... but still making lots of money.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Pint

        Re: Writing on the wall

        I only gamble virtually...But, in the spirit of things, I'll take your wager, virtually of course.....

        See you august 2014...

  62. TeeCee Gold badge
    Meh

    Values.

    Amongst our values are Honesty, Courage, Humility and Litigious Bastardry.

  63. B_K
    WTF?

    They might want to check their OWN history

    Citadel (part of Games Workshop) were licensing 'space marines' from US company Ral Partha themselves in the late 70's -80's.

    There were even *adverts* for Ral Partha figurines in White Dwarf.

    They obviously forgot their own history...

    I remember when Games Workshop was just that shoddy shop in the backstreets of London & I still have very early copies of White Dwarf somewhere (#2 i think - Yellow cover?)

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IP Creep

    "We wouldn't suggest for a minute that a writer should be allowed to produce books about the Adeptus Astartes or any perceptible imitation of Warhammer 40K without consent from Games Workshop. "

    Why not? When did we decide that authors had to get permission to write about characters and situations based on other authors' ideas? The storyline is protected quite broadly, but just characters and stuff like that? I don't see any advantage for society allowing carte blanche protection for those, unless it is to spare us the pathetic sight of JK Rowling drying her tears with twenty-pound notes in front of some silly American judge.

    If I write a better Bond novel than the currently blessed hack appointed by the Flemming estate, then the readers will vote on it, and if they think I'm producing a cheap knock-off then it will fail.

    The ultimate test is the "Winnie the Pooh" one: would the creator of this setting or character (and its fans) be better served by someone who want to push forward with new and interesting ideas, or should the "intellectual property" laws allow it to be sold off as a monopoly right to a rapacious despicable corporation to be turned into pre-digested pap for flogging McDonalds burgers to obese toddlers?

    WWED? (What would Eeyore do?)

    1. Alien8n Silver badge
      Alien

      Re: IP Creep

      Actually I read an interesting legal argument (ironically involving Games Workshop) that clearly states you cannot trademark or copyright an idea and that literary works are only protected in the first instance. So there's actually no legal obstacle to writing a new work of fiction based on Lord of the Rings, I just can't take the original book and copy it paragraph by paragraph. So "The adventures of Hobbits" would actually be allowed, so long as it's not directly ripping off parts of the original books. It would even be possible to write a new LOTR book set at the same time but based on events around the book. Interestingly though the only thing you couldn't do is have "Lord of the Rings:" as part of the title as that is covered by trademark. It's for the above reasons that you have multiple authors writing the Conan stories. The real reason it doesn't happen more in reality is nothing to do the legal position but the financial position of the derivative author. Most simply cannot afford to fight the publisher in court.

  65. RealBigAl

    Trademark

    Apple (and Microsoft earlier) with their shop layout, GW with apparantly every sci-fi and fantasy literature noun ever used illustrates how ridiculous trademark law has become.

  66. Grumble
    Trollface

    Define

    Marine.

    To my mind they are water-borne soldiers. For the purposes of this trolling expedition, in space, no-one can see you swim.

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: Define

      At the risk of feeding the troll, the majority of Sci-Fi writers chose a Naval metaphor for their space-ship-borne characterizations, so the use of "Marine" to describe the ship-borne fighting force is following that tradition.

  67. Eenymeeny
    FAIL

    40K Shades of Warhammer

    Somewhere, in a parallel universe nearer than you may think...

    The telephone rings.

    GW. Ms. Hogarth?

    H: Yes, speaking.

    GW: We heard you wrote an ebook set in the WH40K universe...

    H ...ah, yeah ... look, fan fiction...

    GW: ... is what we are after! I mean, look at the success of Nine-and-a-Half Shades of Electric Pink*! You take the trouble to write stuff about our stuff, were not going to stamp on you with a space marine's iron-clad boot! No way! What, are we Pear Inc.* or something? Instead, we were going to ask you to come along to our office, talk over publishing your ebook as an add-on for new subscribers, add some art, maybe you'd like to chat with our staff writers. Other companies might waffle on about vague stuff like honesty, courage, humility. That's bollocks, we say!

    H: Ah, right...

    GW: Yeah! We know that talent means profit and that's good for all of us, right? See you Monday in Nottingham?

    H: Well, I mean, that *is* a surprise. I'm impressed ... See you at 9 a.m. sharp!

    * It is a parallel universe, after all.

    1. Alien8n Silver badge
      Alien

      Re: 40K Shades of Warhammer

      Worked for Buffy and Angel. Check out Cristopher Golden, wrote a lot of the Angel novels. Writes a really good alternative vampire story (Shadows series)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 40K Shades of Warhammer

        "Worked for Buffy and Angel"

        That's because Joss Whedon is awesome in all universes.

  68. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge

    More prior art

    CJ Cherryh: Rimrunners 1989

    You Bet your life?

    1. Alien8n Silver badge
      Alien

      Re: More prior art

      I missed that one, and it's on my bookshelf (as is Heinlen, E E Doc Smith, and quite a few others)

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I beg to differ

    "Games Workshop, in advancing this claim, are effectively attempting to snatch ownership of a very basic idea"

    assuming they're not a bunch of (...) space (...), they're probably trying to get some extra, FREEEEEE publicity. Either way, I do hope that by doing so they have inserted a deep-space charge in their own space marine anal cavity, and it's a short fuse.

    Unfortunately, the case (if the facts are as presented by the Register) just reinforces a not-so-new point: if you're a nobody v a giant, such an Amazon, they can do whatever they want, and there's next to zero chance of you getting justice.

  70. Why Not?
    WTF?

    Prior Art

    Well in a previous life as Odysseus sandal repair maker and horse gelder(A trade that served me well later in my employ with Alexander the Great) we invented the concept of Marines that crossed large continents and also fitted into small spaces.

    My Lawyers will contact GW shortly.

    well it seems just as sensible!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Prior Art

      "(A trade that served me well later in my employ with Alexander the Great)"

      Hang on - didn't he die from an infection after being thrown from his horse? Hmm...

  71. AshRid

    It wouldn't be so bad

    .....if GW weren't huge hugely guilty of ripping off other sources themselves....

    Imperial Guard special character Sly Marbo "one man army" - his CO's name is also rip off of Rambo's CO from the films.

    Daemon Prince Doomrider (Ghostrider).

    Just two examples off the top of my head.

    Unfortunately their strategy for dealing with the internet age and the economic climate is to put their prices up and sue everyone!

    1. Alien8n Silver badge
      Alien

      Re: It wouldn't be so bad

      One I suddenly remembered earlier (and almost head planted the desk that I didn't spot it earlier). Almost the entirety of the W40K universe is lifted en mass from 2000AD's Nemesis the Warlock series.

  72. mark 63 Silver badge
    FAIL

    "This would lead to the idea of space ships, thus to space navies"

    a sad endightment of human nature

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Headmaster

      "a sad endightment of human nature"

      A sad indictment of spelling ability ;-)

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Play them at their own game...

    I'm just going to go and patent "The use of miniature soldier figures to simulate futuristic space battles"

  74. relpy
    Paris Hilton

    Wait a minute...

    Lewis wrote something I agree with!

    I need a stiff drink...

    Paris because - eh? - I said stiff DRINK dammit.

    Whiskey icon please.

  75. Eclectic Man
    Coat

    Temporal crime

    I believe I know what has happened.

    Heinlein, Doc Smith et al are actually future people who, having been plagiarising GW's 'Space Marines' took a leaf out of the Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and sent their books back to a time before GW existed so that they could then use "Space Marines" wihtout fear of prosecution. GW is the unwitting victim in this temporal crime.

    (The Editor of the HHGTTG notoriously copied details of the Universe from the back of a cerial packet, embellished them and sent the book back in time and successfully sued the ceral company for infringement of compyright.)

    OR maybe GW is just a mindless bunch of j***s who will be the first against the wall when the revolution comes.

    Sorry it is a Firday afternoon, after all.

    1. The Boojum

      Re: Temporal crime

      From a copy of the Encylopedia Galactica that I found after it fell through a time warp from 50 years in the future:

      "Games Workshop were a bunch of mindless jerks who were the first against the wall when the revolution came."

    2. Christoph Silver badge

      Re: Temporal crime

      Or maybe they were watching Blazing Saddles - the bit where Hedley Lamarr is told "What the hell are you worried about? This is 1874, you'll be able to sue her!"

  76. Droolster
    Alien

    DOOM?

    Isn't the character in DOOM a space marine?

  77. Simon Blakely
    FAIL

    As noted above - GW have a trademark for "Space Marines" in the software and tabletop gaming areas.

    Unfortunately, an e-book qualifies as software not as a book - this is why the paperback is still available and the e-book is not. And (as noted) GW had to take action to assert their claim in the appropriate area of business.

    The real problem is that the legal profession does not know where to draw the line between software and books, particularly when those books are electronic.

  78. Frogmelon

    "Chaos"

    Among the other things thrown into the melting pot, I always thought there were some similarities between Warhammer 40,000 and the Nemesis: The Warlock, and ABC Warriors stories from 2000ad. Important references to "Kaos", the Termight Empire (the legions of Termight being involved in a religious "Spanish Inquisition" against aliens), Torquemada, etc.

    1. Chad H.

      Re: "Chaos"

      Well Kaos being the bad guys I would think goes back to Get Smart....

  79. Simon Harris Silver badge
    Coat

    squeak squeak...

    I have an idea for a story about an elite fighting force of genetically engineered interstellar mice...

    I think I'll call them Space Murines.

    Mine's the one with the cheese in the pocket.

  80. MrZoolook
    FAIL

    Games Workshop is a BRITISH company?

    I always figured it for a US brand... The irony is, now I KNOW they aren't, they go and ACT like one, and pull this kind of crap!

    1. Alien8n Silver badge
      Alien

      Re: Games Workshop is a BRITISH company?

      The irony is they failed to maximise their position in computer gaming allowing Blizzard to copy all their stuff and beat them to it with World of Warcraft. Even more ironic as the way copyright and trademark law is actually written everything Blizzard did was perfectly legal. Whereas everything GW is doing now is not.

  81. Christopher Geoffries
    Linux

    Space Marines

    I an author and have a free novel on my site written in protest.

    christophergeoffries.blogspot.com/2013/02/space-marines.html

  82. 8-{>
    Thumb Up

    Book available again ....

    Looks like the EFF have held Amazon's hand as they retraced their steps through the decision to take down the book.... http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21409490

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