Game Dev Faces Legal Hassle Over Fake Shatner Mod

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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Game Dev Faces Legal Hassle Over Fake Shatner Mod


A game developer that received a cease-and-desist letter from a lawyer representing William Shatner [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000638/] over plans to use the actor's image in a game mod was forced to point out one minor problem with the complaint: The mod doesn't actually exist.

With titles like Arkanoid [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackass:_The_Game].

All was well until Game Console [http://www.gameconsole.co.nz/200908191031/krog-joke-too-convincing.php] decided to use the game in a satirical news piece, "revealing" to the world that Sidhe was working on a mod for Shatter called Shatner. The mod, so the report claimed, featured a background of Shatner's famous "Khan!" face, little Shatner heads in place of game blocks and Bob Dylan's "Tambourine Man" as in-game music, presumably the version Shatner covered in 1968.

It was a cute idea but apparently a little too subtle for Shatner's lawyers, who quickly whipped off a letter to Sidhe demanding that all work on the mod be halted immediately. "We represent William Shatner and it has come to our attention that you are planning to develop or have already developed and will soon place on the market for commercial sale a digital game utilizing our client's name and likeness," the letter said.

"Please be advised that you are to immediately cease and desist the further development, production, and or distribution of the game Shatner or any other product that uses William Shatner's name or likeness without first obtaining his approval," it continued. "We have notified both Paramount and Bob Dylan's representative of your intentions. Please confirm receipt of this e-mail and your response to so cease and desist. Failure to do so will leave us no alternative but to commence legal proceedings."

In response, Sidhe Managing Director Mario Wynands sent a letter of his own, pointing out that the Shatner mod didn't actually exist. Noting that everyone at the company had the "utmost respect for Mr. William Shatner and the licensing process," he wrote, "The GameConsole 'report' you reference is what is commonly referred to on the internet as a 'joke'. The article is a parody of our game, and has no basis in reality in that it does not in any way reflect our intentions for further development of the Shatter IP or relate to any official statement we have made relating to the game."

Bit of a pity, actually. Shatter looks mildly interesting, but Shatner? I'd buy that in a second.

via: Kotaku [http://kotaku.com/5341257/shatner-sends-cd-to-studio-over-shatter-joke]


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Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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That was some epic fail on the Shatner's part. Loved the response given back to them though.
 

scotth266

Wait when did I get a sub
Jan 10, 2009
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The joke was about a non-existential mod to boot: so I call double fail on the part of Shatner's lawyers.

Anyway, I'd play a mod like that. I'm one for the joke mods: see

 

Monshroud

Evil Overlord
Jul 29, 2009
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Kinda sad in a way. I would buy a PS3 to play 'Shatner', only if there was also a version of Shatners cover of 'Rocket Man' in there.

You would think that lawyer's would do some research first. Wonder how many people they sued based on an article from The Onion.
 

Nincompoop

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May 24, 2009
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Malygris said:
"The GameConsole 'report' you reference is what is commonly referred to on the internet as a 'joke'.
I lol'd. He really handed his ass to him =P!.

OT: He should have looked around the ordeal before frantically calling his contacts about this.
 

Lukeje

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Feb 6, 2008
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I would most definitely play this. Presumably someone is now making it just to make fun of Shatner's lawyers...
 

w-Jinksy

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May 30, 2009
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Damn id play a shatner mod, i now have a urge to make shatner on fallout 3 or saints row 2 seeing shatner doing the cutscenes in saints row 2 would be all kinds of awesome.
 

Ankhwatcher

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Mar 21, 2008
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I hear they're working on a version called "Shitter" that is based on the licensing and image protection system.
 

The Rockerfly

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Dec 31, 2008
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scotth266 said:
The joke was about a non-existential mod to boot: so I call double fail on the part of Shatner's lawyers.

Anyway, I'd play a mod like that. I'm one for the joke mods: see

Holy shit that is the est mod I have ever seen in my life of anything

Ot: You now this is on of the few times when a facepalm is appropriate
*facepalms*
 

nova18

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Feb 2, 2009
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What kind of socially outcast, alienated, retarded, evil creature cannot spot a joke on the Internet.

Malygris said:
Shatner's lawyers
Oh OK.
I should stop making my Ratchet and Spock game.
Or my Leisure Suit Picard mods.

Shame.