Bad Words!

BBC NEWS STORY

Remember that old George Carlin sketch ‘Seven dirty words you can’t say on TV’? (Google it if you want. It was funny when I was 13.)
Apparently there are some words I can’t use as a Science Fiction Writer now, one of which is ‘space marine.’

I’m not schooled in the subtleties of IP and Copyright Law, but shouldn’t the Marine Corps of various nation-states be the plaintiff in this? As opposed to a toy-soldier company? Why didn’t the USMC send a Force Recon team to GW HQ the day after they released their first box of heavily armored sci fi human troops?
I’m starting to wish they did.

I get protecting against infringement in a related area (table top wargames) or goods deliberately piggy backing your IP for profit. But even then it gets fuzzy, particularly over generic terms that have been employed as far back as the 1930s. SPACE MARINE WIKI ENTRY

Thing is, M.C.A. Hogarth’s little ebook has nothing to do with the Grim-Gothic-Darkness-of-the-Far-Future-in-which-there-is-only-War.And-Litigation

Unfortunately, this might be a case of which party has deeper pockets to laywer-up. But if the bullies can dictate terms, (pun) and that’s what it is in this case, what’s next? Star Army? Fire Team? Assault Rifle?

It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out – I hope GW Legal rolls all ones – but in the meantime, I have the sudden urge to write a space marine story and sell off any remaining GW figs from my collection. Call me petty.

Current Despot and Reigning Figurehead of the SFFW, John Scalzi, weighed in on the dust-up HERE

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