Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Dice Age — Indie Gaming Project vs. Hollywood

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the we-own-all-the-words dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 47

ArrowBay writes "Dice Age, a independent game project that raised nearly $35K through Kickstarter, is apparently facing some scrutiny from a certain movie studio that has produced movies with a similar name. From the latest project update: 'As if the Ice Age was exclusively the name of a movie, or if Dice Age was a movie itself, the 20th century fox has just asked for an extent of time (till 10-26-2011) to oppose to the registering of our beloved Dice Age game name. My point of view, as a scientist, is the Ice age is a geological era before it is a movie.""

cancel ×

47 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Are you surprised? Its Hollywood. (5, Insightful)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 3 years ago | (#36928210)

Hollywood has made it their goal to privatize everything from "Seal Team 6"- registered by Disney, to our fairy tales like Snow White. Stealing from the public domain and threatening everybody not in the club is nothing new for them. I have little doubt that the bean counters at Fox known damn well that most courts in the land will back their insane claim, assuming the small developer can even afford to fight the battle.

Re:Are you surprised? Its Hollywood. (4, Insightful)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 3 years ago | (#36928264)

Aye. Who needs a court victory when you can just make the cost too much before even getting to the courtroom.

Re:Are you surprised? Its Hollywood. (5, Informative)

Hsien-Ko (1090623) | more than 3 years ago | (#36928418)

"Seal Team 6"- registered by Disney

This was revoked.

Re:Are you surprised? Its Hollywood. (5, Informative)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#36928586)

According to this [wsj.com] it wasn't revoked by some authority for being ridiculous, it was pulled by Disney themselves after widespread public backlash. That won't happen in most cases. Also in the most problematic cases of large hollywood studios stealing the public domain, they won't be going up against the world's best military.

Re:Are you surprised? Its Hollywood. (1)

Meski (774546) | more than 3 years ago | (#36942940)

kick-start a court case?

Simple solution! (4, Interesting)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 3 years ago | (#36928260)

Just rename it "Dice Edge"!

Oh... wait, [wikipedia.org] that won't work either. [escapistmagazine.com]

Re:Simple solution! (2)

Heed00 (1473203) | more than 3 years ago | (#36929140)

You know, it's a pretty decent suggestion for a replacement, but I have to say that my reaction is still, "no, fuck you 20th Century Fox." It's a little pun -- put the wall of lawyers back in their closet.

Re:Simple solution! (1)

Heed00 (1473203) | more than 3 years ago | (#36929182)

I should have followed your links before I replied as I see "edge" was more than just an idle suggestion now. BTW, there's also a radio station in Toronto Canada called The Edge -- 102.1

Re:Simple solution! (1)

Danieljury3 (1809634) | more than 3 years ago | (#36930190)

We have a radio station in New Zealand called The Edge

Re:Simple solution! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36931314)

Just rename it "Dice Edge"!

\

If you're going to violate anything, why not just rename it "Disney Are Greed Fucks Who Suck Balls"?

Re:Simple solution! (1)

SnapShot (171582) | more than 3 years ago | (#36934472)

Or keep the name but claim it's an acronym:

Disney Is a Completely Evil Asshole Greedhead Enterprise

Don't play along (4, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36928310)

Why should anyone pay to see a motion picture from a major studio ever again?

If they're going to have this kind of hostility to society, by claiming all of culture as their own private property, I don't see a single reason why I should respect them in any way.

I have said before, and believe more strongly all the time, that pirating movies is a political act of civil disobedience against elements of private industry who have attacked us first by stealing our shared culture.

They can take a story from Aesop, turn it into a movie, and then sue anyone who uses the phrase "The Tortoise and the Hare".

They have declared cultural war against us. I think we should strike back.

Re:Don't play along (-1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 3 years ago | (#36928382)

They have declared cultural war against us. I think we should strike back.

Stop going to movies. No... wait I forgot this evil empire creates almost all of the culture you enjoy.

Re:Don't play along (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36928492)

I think you mean makes movies out of this culture.
It seems most of the films these days are just comics and books put to film.

Re:Don't play along (4, Insightful)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 3 years ago | (#36928764)

Last week we drove to Pennsylvania and spent time with friends, at a wedding. We then spent time with other friends playing mini-golf and chatting. We played a couple flash games and commented about indie game development. Monday we spent time in DC, including visiting the National Cryptologic Museum (and checking into the NSA on Foursquare). Later that night, we swapped books and killed a couple beers while talking about quilting and Roman cuisine. We spent Tuesday wandering through the back hills of West Virginia with friends, out of any cell coverage and quite happy (some of those towns not only don't show up on Wikipedia, they don't even appear on Google other than a Flicker photo by a biker who snapped a photo as he rode through!). Wednesday, my wife and I drove all day to Tennessee (back home), stopping and getting fireworks and otherwise enjoying the trip. I'm about to head out and go play a tabletop roleplaying game.

I'm enjoying my life quite nicely without seeing movies. We did go and catch Captain America on Saturday night. It was good -- but certainly not the highlight, focus or anywhere near necessary to have had a blast for the last week. I'm pretty sure I and my friends are enjoying culture without the MPAA being involved. Or the TSA, for that matter.

Re:Don't play along (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36928892)

The sounds really lame tbh.

Re:Don't play along (1)

abuelos84 (1340505) | more than 3 years ago | (#36929618)

What sound is really lame?

Re:Don't play along (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36930938)

That depends very much on how old and secure with yourself you are.

Re:Don't play along (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36928796)

wait I forgot this evil empire creates almost all of the culture you enjoy.

Man, have you got the wrong guy.

And do you really believe that the major movie studios have "created the culture"?

Re:Don't play along (2)

OneAhead (1495535) | more than 3 years ago | (#36942582)

In Soviet Russia, culture created entertainment.

Re:Don't play along (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 3 years ago | (#36929620)

As an Australian who refuses to watch anything made or distributed by hollywood studios, no, they don't.

Maybe if you're a myopic American you'd see it this way, but people in the real world don't.

Re:Don't play along (3, Interesting)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#36930520)

Why should anyone pay to see a motion picture from a major studio ever again?

Because the paying customer gets to vote on future productions.

The paying customer gets The Incredibles, Wall-E, Up and Toy Story 3 with a $200 million dollar production budgets. The paying customer gets ten years of Harry Potter with impeccable British casting.

The paying customer gets the theme park and the Broadway production of The Lion King.

The remake of True Grit.

He gets The Dark Knight Returns.

Batman and Batman: The Animated Series. He gets Jack Nicholson, Mark Hamill and Heath Ledger as The Joker. Batman: Arkham Asylum as the video and PC game tie-in.

They can take a story from Aesop, turn it into a movie, and then sue anyone who uses the phrase "The Tortoise and the Hare".

No they can't --- and the geek knows better.

What they can do is copyright their unique interpretation of the characters and story, as Disney did in 1935 and Warner Brothers in 1943. The Tortoise and the Hare [imdb.com]

Disney's animated "Cinderella" was released in 1950. The Rogers and Hammerstein musical was produced for television in 1957. Jim Henson's "Hey Cinderella!" with the Muppets in 1969.

Re:Don't play along (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36934684)

The paying customer gets The Incredibles, Wall-E, Up and Toy Story 3 with a $200 million dollar production budgets.

You make that statement approvingly?

If so, don't have enough of a common frame of reference to continue this discussion.

Disney's animated "Cinderella" was released in 1950. The Rogers and Hammerstein musical was produced for television in 1957. Jim Henson's "Hey Cinderella!" with the Muppets in 1969.

You may not have noticed, but some things have changed since the period of 1950-1969, among them the fictive notion of "intellectual property". I bet at the time, there was not a corporate lawyer so bent as to believe the story of Cinderella, which dates back as far as the first century BC, could be sewn up as proprietary corporate asset. Today, those trademarks and copyrights would be sewn up before the script got beyond the treatment phase.

You recount a catalog of triviality. It is possible to live a rich life without ever seeing a $200million cartoon. It is even possible to live a rich life in the current cultural milieu without ever seeing a $200million cartoon or playing Batman:Arkham Asylum.

And what about the cost to society of the land-grab of every cultural artifact bearing a corporate flag? What happens to people when their culture has become the equivalent of a pay toilet? [note: I use the expression "pay toilet" not as a measure of the quality of culture, but as an example of turning every human activity into a profit-yielding machine]

It sounds like you've chosen to sell your cultural heritage on the cheap, friend.

Re:Don't play along (2)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#36936954)

You may not have noticed, but some things have changed since the period of 1950-1969, among them the fictive notion of "intellectual property".

This is what the New York Times had to say about the economic impact and innovation of Disney's IP in 1938.

"Prosperity Out of Fantasy"
New York Times Editorial
May 2, 1938

It is said that what America needs to swing it out of the present economic tailspin is a new industry. Many things just over the horizon, such as television, air-conditioning in the home and flivver airplanes, have been suggested. But none of them seems yet to have materialized in terms of wages and heavy sales. Would it be ridiculous to suggest that industrialized fantasy may prove to be the answer?

Industrialized fantasy sounds like something extremely complex. Yet it is quite simple. Walt Disney's picture-play "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" is an excellent example. Here is something manufactured out of practically nothing except some paint pots and a few tons of imagination. In this country imagination is supposed to be a commodity produced in unlimited quantities. If it can be turned out as an article of commerce which the public will readily buy, then prosperity should be-well, just around the corner, anyway. The Disney picture cost about $2,000,000 to produce.

To be sure, it gave employment to no flesh-and-blood actors, human attributes being confined to voices on the sound tracks. But it kept a small army of artists, animators and gag men busy for many months. And from all reports it will not only return more than this investment to Mr. Disney, but is showering fortune on every playhouse that shows it. Dopey, Grumpy and their fellow-dwarfs, despite the fact that they get no wages themselves, have been the most valiant miners and sappers against recession whom the moving picture magnates have hired this year. No matter what business may have been in most theaters, the exhibitors of "Snow White" have not had to layoff a single dwarf.

Moreover, the picture has virtually developed a new industry from its by-products. Figments of Disney's imagination have already sold more than $2,000,000 worth of toys since the first of the year. Since January, says Kay Kamen, Mr. Disney's representative here, 117 toy manufacturers have been licensed to use characters from "Snow White." The only thing in the picture that the public doesn't seem to crave is poisoned apples.

One factory in Akron, Ohio, which makes little rubber dwarfs, has been running twenty-four hours a day, while many of the other rubber factories are closed. Dopey and Grumpy are putting men to work in paint shops, box factories, silica mines, stone quarries and mills all over the map. Wherever they turn up, prosperity begins to radiate. "Snow White" is Disney's first full-length picture. What is going to happen when he really gets into his stride? Industrialized fantasy? It should be industrially fantastic.

The Entertainment Economy: "Disney Dollars" [pophistorydig.com]

You recount a catalog of triviality.

That is your opinion, not mine.

Re:Don't play along (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36938536)

This is what the New York Times had to say about the economic impact and innovation of Disney's IP in 1938.

Nice job finding all that, but the New York Times editorial does not come close to suggesting anything like the extremist IP land grab of today. The only direct mention of IP is in the fourth paragraph where the writer says that 117 toy manufacturers have licensed the Disney characters which are direct Disney work product. The original Grimm Bros story does not have Dopey, Grumpy, Doc, or the one Walt made them edit out of the movie, Sholem. The editorial does not endorse the kind of rapacious use of IP we are seeing today.

On a separate note, one bit from the editorial shows that the elitist attitude toward the working class hasn't changed since in 73 years:

Dopey, Grumpy and their fellow-dwarfs, despite the fact that they get no wages themselves, have been the most valiant miners and sappers against recession whom the moving picture magnates have hired this year. No matter what business may have been in most theaters, the exhibitors of "Snow White" have not had to layoff a single dwarf.

Get that? Dopey, Grumpy and the other one Walt Disney edited out of the movie, Jamal, are the ideal worker because you don't have to pay them a cent!

Isn't that special?

Mark Hamill as the Joker??? (1)

hawk (1151) | more than 3 years ago | (#36941222)

Really?

"but Batman," he whined, "my gang and I were going to go hang out tonight!"

Was he as bad as the idea sounds?

*shudder*

Re:Mark Hamill as the Joker??? (1)

Trilkin (2042026) | about 3 years ago | (#36966160)

Not sure if this is a troll, but Mark Hamill has been the Joker in the Animated Series since its inception and was also the Joker in Arkham Asylum and in the upcoming Arkham City (which is, supposedly, the last time he'll ever play the character.)

Baiting the Bear (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36928486)

Wasn't it obvious that this would happen when they chose the name? I am not saying the studios are right to do this but really.... didn't the creators of this game see this coming?

Re:Baiting the Bear (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36928570)

Please kill yourself and any children you might have before the gene pool of our species is even further polluted.

Re:Baiting the Bear (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36928626)

Killing the children one might have is actually a very pleasurable process for males.

Re:Baiting the Bear (4, Informative)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 3 years ago | (#36928784)

In a word: no.

I've seen Ice Age, and a sequel, I think, but when I first read "Dice Age", if it hadn't been in the context about a movie studio claiming to own the name of an epoch, I would not have confused the two in any way. And watching the video on Kickstarter, it's even less confusing.

Should no one be able to create anything with remotely similar names without expecting this to happen? What about "rice age", "nice age", "spice age"? Or a little further out? "Rice rage"? "Mice Mage"? "Price Gauge"? When do you feel that it ceases to be "obvious that this would happen"?

Now, if it were a game based on similar characters, or even a the geological epoch with a similar mission theme, I'd say your statement might have some merit. Might. But as it stands, it's ridiculous.

I was once served with a C&D regarding a trademark I was supposedly infringing on. With the first notice, I explained why there was no TM conflict and provided some documentation regarding the merits of their requests. With the second notice, I re-sent my first response and offered some options of remediations, including offering to sell them the domain in question for what it would cost me to re-brand it and re-establish my new brand. Again, the only response I got was another C&D, and at that point I told them to fuck off or I'd sue them for harassment.

Amazingly enough, they stopped. A lot of this sort of activity is similar to that of bighorn sheep butting heads in the wild. Show of force, lots of bluster. If it's handled right nobody really gets hurt.

Re:Baiting the Bear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36929098)

Fair point. However I did think of the film when I first saw this... Hence my comment. I don't agree with the studio's doing this and I think the majority of lawsuits we hear about are bull. My point is that a little thought up front about a name may avoid obvious problems later on.

Just so we are clear. I don't agree with the studios on this they should be allowed to call their game whatever they want.

Re:Baiting the Bear (1)

Fulminata (999320) | more than 3 years ago | (#36929902)

My guess is you first saw this with the tagline "Dice Age — Indie Gaming Project vs. Hollywood", otherwise I doubt you'd have made the connection. I've been aware of this project for at least a couple of months, I even considered supporting it, yet I never once thought of the movie "Ice Age" in relation to it until I saw this story.

Re:Baiting the Bear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36930456)

I think you are either avoiding my point or missing it possibly? I will put it another way.... Was this totally unforeseeable?

Re:Baiting the Bear (1)

Anonymus (2267354) | more than 3 years ago | (#36931540)

But why should one even have to spend time or thought to avoid a name like this? It's clear it has nothing whatsoever to do with the Ice Age movies, or even the Ice Age itself, if you assume that just by creating a movie in an era and giving it the name of that era, you now own it and all related names.

Re:Baiting the Bear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36932598)

Again I agree. It shouldn't be necessary to have to think to heavily about things like this in an ideal world. But I ask again. Was this totally unforeseeable knowing what a litigious country the US is?

When I was choosing my company name. I did searches for it on google, companies house and domain whois to ensure I wasn't entering any potential legal issues with the name. It is common sense these days I would have thought.

Die, sage! (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#36931316)

How about a game where you have to kill an aromatic herb that's very nice in poultry and dumplings (but don't put too much or it tastes of medicine)?

Reminds me of Groucho's letter to Warner Bros.. (4, Interesting)

Radical Moderate (563286) | more than 3 years ago | (#36928582)

...about using Casablanca [chillingeffects.org] in the title of their film. Sadly, Snopes says Groucho ws being a bit disingenuous [snopes.com] , but still an awesome read.

Re:Reminds me of Groucho's letter to Warner Bros.. (3, Informative)

jasomill (186436) | more than 3 years ago | (#36932358)

To say he was being "a bit disingenuous" is a bit disingenuous: he himself claimed his goal was to manufacture a controversy to generate publicity for his film; that he did this by "out-lawyering the lawyers" — using bullshit historical and moral claims to preempt bullshit legal claims— is actually quite brilliant. It's not "as if" he wanted Warner Bros. to sue — he actually wanted Warner Bros. to sue, as this would generate even more publicity for the film. Alternatively, he wanted to be left alone to make his movie without legal review of each and every comedic detail to ensure "compliance" with some mythical "good-faith effort to avoid infringing on Warner Bros. rights."

To wit: his "publicity stunt" is itself carefully-crafted satire. In particular, note how Groucho's letter is a virtual minefield of double entendre, unverifiable half-truths, outright lies, and facts that are "wrong only in detail," carefully crafted to force any conceivable response to read like a parody of itself. And don't think these things weren't intentional, Marx was quite familiar with the things he's speaking of, and with the law. Consider his jab against "confusing and misleading customers": he begins by saying that it's absurd that consumers would mistake someone with a "face only a brother could love" [google.com] for Ingrid Bergman, and goes on to compare the head of the studio to Jack the Ripper, "who," according to Marx, "cut quite a figure in his day" (emphasis mine).

Incidentally, those familiar with the Marx Brothers' other work will recognize that Groucho's irreverent attitude towards the "legal establishment" was hardly without well-known precedent [youtube.com] , and is generally quite consistent with the tradition of "social ridicule" the Marxes represent.

I don't get it (3, Insightful)

carlzum (832868) | more than 3 years ago | (#36930604)

Products in different industries with no reasonable claim that it may confuse or mislead consumers. Absolutely no attempt to invoke the film's characters, images, or design. The game's title is not even Ice Age, it's a pun for a common phrase which accurately describes the product.

This isn't even close to copyright/trademark gray area, like parody, fair use, etc. It's simply intimidation and proves we're speeding down the IP-law slippery slope opponents had feared.

Rebrand! (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | more than 3 years ago | (#36931256)

Well, if they don't like "Dice Age", they should just propose a rebrand as 21st Century Dice....

Re:Rebrand! (1)

sixsixtysix (1110135) | more than 3 years ago | (#36932748)

or 21st Century Blocks (or Blox?), as they are building things in said century.

They'll lose. (1)

DaVince21 (1342819) | more than 3 years ago | (#36932632)

When I heard of the name "Dice Age", I didn't associate it with "Ice Age" at all until it was mentioned in the post. Not only that, but I associated it with the geological era before the movie.

This is lawyers nitpicking.

not just hollywood? (1)

sixsixtysix (1110135) | more than 3 years ago | (#36932734)

perhaps they named the latest transformers movie "dark of the moon" only because they feared they'd get sued from pink floyd if they used "dark side of the moon". "dark of the moon" doesn't even sound appealing. "dark side", however, makes so much more sense.

Any Publicity is Good Publicity (1)

Kingleon (1399145) | more than 3 years ago | (#36932990)

I hadn't heard of Dice Age before I saw this article, but now that I saw THE DICE I am totally on board. Maybe this whole Fox SNAFU will work out in Dice Age's favor by further spreading its name?

Hey, why is your economy in the shitter again? (0)

trawg (308495) | more than 3 years ago | (#36946106)

Oh... right. The lawyers are taking all the money.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>