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Quasar

ZeniMax threatening DoomRL [armchair lawyering ITT]

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Within mere hours of public shoutouts to Doomworld by Marty Stratton, and rabid support for Brutal Doom 64 as a fan mod by id Software and Bethesda, ZeniMax has sent a threatening letter demanding that the website for DoomRL, a project released 12 years ago, be taken down for using the word "Doom".

The tweet says everything:
https://twitter.com/epyoncf/status/804482084702187520

If this becomes a precedent, none of our sites are safe.

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This isn't the first time they've been retarded over single words. Let's hope things don't get worse from here.

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I would think that ZeniMax is more pissed off at the use of the DoomRL as a way of promoting the Jupiter Hell Kickstarter. The Kickstarter has made like $45,000 so far & that has at least something to do with people's familiarity with the DoomRL.

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That is the most retarded thing I've ever heard. I'll kill myself if they sue Doomworld, DoomWiki, (insert sourceport), (insert mod), (insert megawad) or even Freedoom!

Don't they understand Doom is part of lives now? We are the fans, we should have the right to enjoy Doom and the community the way we should.

Retards I tell you.

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Jaws In Space said:

I would think that ZeniMax is more pissed off at the use of the DoomRL as a way of promoting the Jupiter Hell Kickstarter. The Kickstarter has made like $45,000 so far & that has at least something to do with people's familiarity with the DoomRL.

I suspect that's exactly it, and some signals have been crossed as a consequence, as well as the author misunderstanding the situation. Seeing as it would be indirectly Doom's IP being used to promote a commercial product, that would be a perfectly reasonable thing to receive legal notice for. However, why the DoomRL page and not the Jupiter Hell home page is where this gets confusing, and thus where I suspect the signals have crossed.

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Well, told ya so. Sooner or later, the legal bloodhounds would be sent to reap the "harvest".

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He just needs to rename it "Jupiter Hell Prequel".

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Jimmy said:

Sucks for Doomerboards, they should've stuck with Dumbworld.


Sucks for Doomworld, they should've stuck with Functional Entropy. Or whatever the old name was.

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This is f-ing stupid, you can't punish people for using the word "doom", otherwise you could sue ANYbody who ever used that very common word, including:




FYI, id didn't even use the word on their own accord, they took it from a movie where a guy's Pool Cue was called doom so to then try to claim the word as your own is the scummiest thing you can do.

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I hereby propose "SPISPOPD". That's what Doom was known as pre-release, anyway.

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Maes said:

I hereby propose "SPISPOPD". That's what Doom was known as pre-release, anyway.

Dunno, it still has a "D" and an "O", that might suggest Doom to people.

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The only thing that'll stop these companies from flexing their copyright stones around is the threat of losing their profit. I hate to say it but the only way you could combat this is to threaten to boycott them if they keep doing it. The only thing they'll listen to is their wallet.

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Angry Saint said:

Action Door

Action Doom should probably get sued because it gets sold for money. Acid Tetris was forced to change its name and it was a free game.

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Quasar said:

Dunno, it still has a "D" and an "O", that might suggest Doom to people.


"Rescuing Bunny", then. No "D" or "O", and that's what Doom was all about anyway. Rescuing a fucking bunny.

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Quasar said:

Within mere hours of public shoutouts to Doomworld by Marty Stratton, and rabid support for Brutal Doom 64 as a fan mod by id Software and Bethesda, ZeniMax has sent a threatening letter demanding that the website for DoomRL, a project released 12 years ago, be taken down for using the word "Doom".

The tweet says everything:
https://twitter.com/epyoncf/status/804482084702187520

If this becomes a precedent, none of our sites are safe.


That's not my reading of their letter. It's a pro-forma that they obviously use to target all sorts of things, but my guess is they're targetting DoomRL because it's a game which substantially incorporates concepts that are trademarked by (now) Zenimax. I'm not certain but I've alway strongly suspected DoomRL have derived some of their assets (graphics or sounds) from the copyright-protected Doom bits and bytes too; whether that forms part of their complaint is not clear from the letter (they make no reference to copyright at all, and I suppose they could have just used the DMCA if that was part of their problem)

I think it's kind of remarkable it's taken 12 years for that to happen, to be honest.

It's a shame the pro-forma is so light on information so we're left to speculate, but if they were really going after any site at all which mentioned "Doom" I'd expect to see more people getting these letters.

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^ Iirc, DoomRL takes sounds and music straight from the .wad files, and I wouldn't be surprised if some of the graphics are directly edited from Doom ones.

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It's not a copyright complaint. It's a trademark complaint. Don't read between the lines, as lawyers do not and will not.

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This does really suck, especially after it has been out for 12 years. I'm guessing, like others have said, that the reason why its getting this attention now is because of the Jupiter Hell kickstarter (also possibly with Doom 4 being as thing as well).

What really sucks about this though is that I'm very afraid that this will set a bad precedent in the future with other Doom projects. DoomRL is a bit different given its a separate game (possibly using some of the original game's assets), but its not hard to imagine ZeniMax going a bit crazy here with other projects. That's always been the nice thing about Doom; project's like this were fine since there's been such a long history of mods and games coming out of the community without any issues.

I dunno, its a tough situation all around.

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It's worth noting that as DoomRL is closed source there's a higher risk of it disappearing forever, IMHO, than an open source game.

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Quasar said:

Within mere hours of public shoutouts to Doomworld by Marty Stratton, and rabid support for Brutal Doom 64 as a fan mod by id Software and Bethesda,


Would it be kinda prissy to make this a news post so zenimax can see that were not cool with this? The hypocrisy is pretty alarming.

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DoomRL is in a way one long advertisement for the entire franchise. You're shooting yourself in the foot if you take it down. Plus it'll piss of a lot of fans which is also bad business.

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Twelve years the community has kept Doom alive in gamer hearts, by mods, fansites, fangames. They kept people waiting for a good Doom to come. I guess this is the day. You're welcome, ZeniMax.

Kornel, author of DoomRL here. We do not know yet how to proceed :(. Once we decide, I'll update you in this thread. If you have any other questions I'll gladly answer them.

Jon said:

It's worth noting that as DoomRL is closed source there's a higher risk of it disappearing forever, IMHO, than an open source game.


Hold my beer.

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