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October 31, 2014, 04:28:51 PM
TIGSource ForumsPlayerGamesEDGE Games and Tim Langdell ( Mobigame's Edge pulled because of the word Edge )
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Author Topic: EDGE Games and Tim Langdell ( Mobigame's Edge pulled because of the word Edge )  (Read 323456 times)
raiten
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« Reply #400 on: June 04, 2009, 02:03:21 PM »

as david said, they removed edge voluntarily, tim didn't force them into it. they just removed it till the tm issue got cleared up, and can put it back at any time afaik

"voluntarily" as in voluntarily with a gun to their head!

(the gun being threats of multi-million dollar lawsuit)

OK, maybe a water gun but it can be hard to tell them apart when it's directed at you.
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« Reply #401 on: June 04, 2009, 02:16:55 PM »

I was having a think for a while, and in fact there are quite a few companies that would also sue you for using somewhat common words. The trick is, those particular companies have some reasonably strong trademarks. The ones I could think of, of the top of my head were

Doom, Quake, Unreal and Civilization

These are all 'normal' words in the English dictionary, and you would probably be sued if you were to use any of them in your games. Difference is, is that, they are actually strong trade marks in the video game industry.
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« Reply #402 on: June 04, 2009, 02:20:00 PM »

Sometimes making people miserable is working solution, and in some situations it's the easiest effective solution.

I hate to admit that because I am not really fan of that whateveritis.
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« Reply #403 on: June 04, 2009, 02:21:33 PM »

Hey guys,

Now you're just gonna think I'm even more obsessed, but I actually e-mailed Bo Jangeborg who developed Fairlight, published by Edge (hey, I'm actually a journalist). The name caught my eye because in a comment to the TIGsource post, somebody mentioned this guy was actually really talented. I checked out his game which really looks kind of awesome and ahead of its time (it was released in 1985, 2 years before the first Zelda). So, I wondered, what could his relationship with Langdell have been like? Anyway, this is what he told me (translated from Swedish)

Quote
"I had to get a lawyer to get them [Tim and Cheri] to pay me the money they owed me for Fairlight. They refused to pay me, unless I signed up to make more games for them. As a result, Fairlight II was released without my approval, with several known bugs. In the end, I ended up getting some money but they ended up with the rights to Fairlight [My note: that Langdell is now releasing for the WiiWare, according to his website]. I didn't sign up for any more games.....  ;o)"

"Generally speaking you could definitely say I'm not very fond of the Langdell's or their way of doing business. I can only state that they have spent a lot of time in court."
« Last Edit: June 04, 2009, 02:28:23 PM by raiten » Logged
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« Reply #404 on: June 04, 2009, 02:25:17 PM »

Well that pretty much clinches it.
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« Reply #405 on: June 04, 2009, 02:25:21 PM »

Well, now that the facts are becoming more apparent and we have heard both sides of the story, we can begin to piece together the reality of the situation, that likely falls somewhere between what Tim and David have told us. Here is my take on what happened (note I have just been a passive internet observer, I'm just trying to use the clues we've been given to piece together some sort of logical chain of events).

First, mobigames failed to register the edge trademark, and released an awesome and successful game. At some point this game came to the attention of Tim Langdell who, seemingly in-line with past actions, quickly sent out a threatening email. Mobigames then freaked out, not knowing who Tim was and quickly scrambled to remove their game, not knowing he was all bark and no bite.

Tim took this as a victory of sorts and continued pressing the point and upping his demands, it was at this point that Mobigames tried to compromise and rename the game EDGY, but as soon as Tim heard this he made the major douchbag move of promptly trademarking EDGY. At this point blog posts were made and this whole scandal erupted and people started digging for information, and the ridiculous and fraudulent nature of Tim's career was brought to light.

I'm amazed that Tim thought it was wise to wade into the internet debates at this point, and I'm appaled at the reactions of 'Joe' and Thomas Busclia, I can't imagine how they thought their snide and aggresive tone would in any way help Tim's case.

I think the public debate is sort of over at this point, I'm willing to bet Tim and Mobigames are negotiating in private, and I certainly hope mobigames hires a competent lawyer to refute Tim's claims, because flaming him online or generally harassing him aren't gonna do anything, Tim's legal grounds are shaky, and we don't need to stoop to his level to defeat him. The way for mobigames and the indie community to win (in my opinion) is to out-lawyer Tim and turn him into a general laughingstock. I think its malicious to try and ruins Tim's life or harrass him in any sort of personal manner, but I think it's fair game to try and ruin his career, I guess I'm just saying people should know where to draw the line.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2009, 02:30:39 PM by mrfredman » Logged
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« Reply #406 on: June 04, 2009, 02:42:48 PM »

i agree with the above post, except he doesn't even really have a genuine career, it's made of smoke and mirrors (and getting people to make games for him and then not paying them), so there's not much to ruin; it'll collapse in on itself without us having to ruin it for him

the only thing we can (and imo should) "ruin" is his position on the board of the igda; getting him off the board would do a major service to the games industry
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« Reply #407 on: June 04, 2009, 03:57:12 PM »

the only thing we can (and imo should) "ruin" is his position on the board of the igda; getting him off the board would do a major service to the games industry
I think we should aim higher and stir up as much fuss about this as possible, and then maybe he won't be able to get away with trying stuff like this in the future. I mean, if he sues some other guys after this and they do a quick search on google, and the first hits that come up are about him suing people to no end (and not getting away with it), then they can feel a bit more at ease.

I also think it would be a good thing for all the people that might come into contact with Tim in the future to easily be able to find out what kind of person he is, and know that they can expect it to be hard to get paid for any work they might end up (hopefully not) doing for him.

Plus, this story is just too much fun to be forgotten. Each new fact that unfolds just makes it more and more entertaining.

And finally, things like this could actually end up making a difference. If this sort of behavior would get enough attention, then maybe trademark laws will be changed for the better. Society does evolve with time.
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« Reply #408 on: June 04, 2009, 04:19:15 PM »

well, considering that he never actually won a case (to our knowledge?) trademark law seems to be working fine here -- it's just that he's using it as a threat
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« Reply #409 on: June 04, 2009, 04:31:54 PM »

well, considering that he never actually won a case (to our knowledge?) trademark law seems to be working fine here -- it's just that he's using it as a threat
Yeah, well if you ask Tom Buscaglia, Tim has a case, and it seems a lot of people have made deals with him to avoid having the whole thing go to court right?
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« Reply #410 on: June 04, 2009, 04:34:00 PM »

Langdell needs to step down already.  And "The Game Attorney" knows where he can stick his consultation.
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« Reply #411 on: June 04, 2009, 04:38:34 PM »

i don't really think he has a case. strength of trademark is crucial. if he gets a really naive jury and a really good lawyer he may pervert justice, but i think any sensible jury would find the case ridiculous (like the other cases he's brought forward).

also, according to one person in that gamasutra thread, the game attorney is a terrible lawyer and doesn't know law very well, so just cause a lawyer thinks you have a case doesn't mean you do

but i do agree that sometimes juries make the wrong decision, i just don't think it's the law's fault. sometimes people are found guilty of murders they didn't commit too, but that doesn't mean the law against murder is bad
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« Reply #412 on: June 04, 2009, 05:18:07 PM »

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER (seriously).

Tom's defense of Tim was just awful, in my opinion... by that I mean it was really ineffective, and to quote Christian Bale: "JESUS YOU'RE FUCKIN' AMATEUR."  That Tim has been in the industry for 30 years is completely irrelevant.  That he's owned the trademark "Edge Games" since 197X is irrelevant with regards to the strength of the mark.  And the argument that Tim has to defend his mark to keep it presupposes the very things that are in question, namely whether or not Mobigame's app would weaken his "illustrious" brand at all.

Not to mention his flimsy attacks on Simon and Gamasutra.

And not to mention all the spelling/grammatical errors he seems to make everywhere... which is NOT a nitpick when you are talking about a lawyer, who's speaking from a position as an authority on legal matters.

Would not want this guy to even look at a simple contract for me.
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« Reply #413 on: June 04, 2009, 05:22:59 PM »

And not to mention all the spelling/grammatical errors he seems to make everywhere... which is NOT a nitpick when you are talking about a lawyer, who's speaking from a position as an authority on legal matters.

Yeah, I used to think Tom's spelling mistakes were kind of cute... like a little old man that doesn't know how to use a keyboard, but still has good intentions.

However, his attacks on folks who deserve respect (especially Simon) makes it plain that he isn't really interested in being part of the scene - or that he even understands it. Presumably he wouldn't have done those things if he actually wanted to keep his gig as the "Game Attorney" and his association with indie games - he doesn't care, or he's clueless.

Either way, that makes him a pretty terrible lawyer.
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« Reply #414 on: June 04, 2009, 05:24:39 PM »

i don't really think he has a case. strength of trademark is crucial.

The problem is that Edge Magazine is relatively strong, and for whatever reason they ended up licensing Langdell's trademark rather than fighting it. (or am I mislead on that point?) We might not understand or agree with that decision, but it's already done so now Langdell's trademark is non-trivial, because it is the same as the Edge Magazine trademark. I think Langdell might have a case here, technically.

Which doesn't excuse his behavior, but the trademark thing alone probably won't be his downfall.
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« Reply #415 on: June 04, 2009, 05:25:50 PM »

we're not even sure that happened though, since edge magazine hasn't used the 'licensed by' thing in years and years, reportedly
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« Reply #416 on: June 04, 2009, 06:07:39 PM »

This is just a guess, but it seems reasonable to me:

Maybe they realized how dumb the whole thing was and just stopped printing anything about it, banking on the fact that Langdell was really too much of a coward to bring the matter up again... and they were right.
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« Reply #417 on: June 04, 2009, 06:27:42 PM »

i agree with the above post, except he doesn't even really have a genuine career, it's made of smoke and mirrors (and getting people to make games for him and then not paying them), so there's not much to ruin; it'll collapse in on itself without us having to ruin it for him


25 years is a long time to keep it up though, no? I dunno, he's evidently doing alright for himself and I think it'd take something cataclysmic to bring that down.

What matters to me is that he's not in a position to represent any other developers given his past and by all accounts current form.

i don't really think he has a case. strength of trademark is crucial.

The problem is that Edge Magazine is relatively strong, and for whatever reason they ended up licensing Langdell's trademark rather than fighting it. (or am I mislead on that point?) We might not understand or agree with that decision, but it's already done so now Langdell's trademark is non-trivial, because it is the same as the Edge Magazine trademark. I think Langdell might have a case here, technically.

Which doesn't excuse his behavior, but the trademark thing alone probably won't be his downfall.

Whatever happened with Edge evidently happened in 1993 or thereabouts when Future decided to launch the bugger. They weren't always the omnipotent powerhouse publishers they are today, although certainly by that point they were well on their way. It's a few years later down the line before we're looking at Future owning the market like they do now in the UK. Or, y'know, if Future as the behemoth they are today were dealing with the same scenario as in '93, he'd likely be on his arse.

Quick snippet from the Digital Edge case:

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One of the UK’s most successful magazines, called “EDGE” and published by Future Publishing Ltd; is published under permission and by arrangement with opposer one, with the mark EDGE being used for that magazine under license from opposer one.

Now, maybe I'm a bit thick but nowhere does that say he's actually ANYTHING to do with Edge Magazine.

There's a registration for Langdell and for Future Publishing for Edge. There's definitely a grey area overlap between the two

Quote from: Future
Printed matter, magazines, newspapers, periodicals, all relating to computer games, video games, interactive media, interactive television, interactive video, hand-held games and to related devices and goods, all pertaining to entertainment and education; all included in Class 16.

Quote from: Tim
Stationery, posters, packaging materials, booklets, instructional or teaching materials, all relating to computer games, video games, interactive media, interactive television, interactive video, hand-held games and to related devices and goods, all pertaining to entertainment and education; all included in Class 16.

Weirdly, both were filed on the same day and granted status on the same day. Which makes sense if you think of the context we're assuming.

In all likelihood, there was a deal on the table. I can't see any mutual branding allowances having a caveat for "you can lay claim to everything we do as your own work", y'know, such as claiming you sponsor the GDC for example. Assuming of course it is FP who sponsor the GDC, but who the fuck knows aside from Tim and Future's Legal Team!

Whatever, that's up to Future to sort though. Given the aggressive nature of their legal team, not something I'd want to be up against personally were I obfuscating the truth.
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« Reply #418 on: June 04, 2009, 10:36:24 PM »

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCO_v._IBM

Maybe it'll turn out like this...
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« Reply #419 on: June 04, 2009, 10:59:46 PM »

The problem is that even if he never wins a a court case, he can still contact and threaten developers (especially new, indie developers) to get money, license, or claim he's affiliated with them.

He doesn't have to a winning case, he just has to find developers who don't know any better. Who would argue with a IGDA Board member? If some developer agrees to "license" the EDGE trademark because they got scared or threatened in to it, Langdell can then claim how "strong" the trademark continues to be.
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