Bethesda suing Minecraft creators


A Relic of a Bygone Era
Original poster
Seriously. Read this shit, its fucking ridiculous.

Apparently Bethesda thinks that they have the trademark on the word "Scrolls" just because of The Elder Scrolls and are coming down on Mojang just because about a game they're making called "Scrolls".

First off: That's fucking lunacy.
Second of all: This is BETHESDA. Coming down on an INDIE DEVELOPER.

What, do you think the game is gonna put Skyrim at risk or some shit!? Seriously! What the fuck, Bethesda!?


If Bethesta believes that "Scrolls" is trademarked, and the US Patents and Trademarks office agrees with them, then it's well within their right to sue. It has nothing to do with whether Mojang's "Scrolls" game is a serious threat to their business. A trademark is a trademark.

In music, artists have sued other artists due to name conflicts in the past. The first one I think of, right off the top of my hand, is when a band called "Common Sense" sued the rapper using the same moniker back in the 90s. Said rapper changed his stage name to "Common" as a result.

Was the rapper a threat to the other band? Certainly not, for a myriad of reasons. However, the band had a case. If the word "Scrolls" is trademarked, then so does Bethesda.

Edit: After reading the link, it sounds like it's much ado about nothing. The lawyers have yet to formally sue. As he said, it's probably procedural due to the trademark request.

Keep a cool head, and see how this whole thing plays out.

Corporate lawyers are paid to be watchdogs for their clients, which tend to be large companies with a ton of money. Maybe business is slow, so they're looking for ways to rack up billable hours.


If you want to get really technical, then no one can use any word without consequences. The entire idea is absurd, and total bullshit. Bethesda wants to sue over the use of "Scrolls?" Then force them to dig up some very old coffins of people long past, and pour money into their coffins... because that makes about as much sense as the idea of owning a word.

Fel of the Eternal Forest

I'm not saying I'm a fan of Minecraft. In fact, I never got into it and can't stand pixelized graphics, but still. Bethesda is one of my favorite video game developers, BUT STILL.

REALLY? Are all people this big of twats? The word 'scrolls' in no way shape or form alludes to 'the Elder Scrolls.' Seriously, Bethesda, get the sand out of your vag and quit being stupid. There is no legal basis on suing someone for using a word that is part of a name. Something uncommon, like Jedi, Sith, or Droid a la Lucas' suing HTC over Droid and well, getting royalties for the word. But scrolls? That's fairly common, might as well sue me for using it in this post. Scrolls, scrolls, scrolls.

(also, apologies to anyone who takes offense by me using the vagina in a negative connotation - I have no ill will against women or anything like that, just common slang up here in Montana)



There is no legal basis on suing someone for using a word that is part of a name.

If that's how the trademark is written, then there's every legal basis to do so.

The only facts here is that no one here has seen Bethesda's trademark request for "The Elder Scrolls," nor have we seen Mojang's trademark request for "Scrolls."

I'm also hazy on how trademark law works, seeing as how I'm a computer technician, not a corporate lawyer.

It's easy to say this looks stupid. After all, this looks awfully stupid. However, if there is a legal precedence to Bethesda's request... if the trademark law is written in a way that allows Bethesda to sue Mojang for the use of a single word of the trademark, then tough shit. Them's the breaks. It doesn't make it less stupid, but as the saying goes, "laws are legal."


A Relic of a Bygone Era
Original poster
If that's how the trademark is written, then there's every legal basis to do so.

I'm not an avid Minecraft player. I don't play it fanatically. However, I'm going to be blunt, and quite possibly nasty so forgive me in advance.

That's not the fucking point! I don't give a shit what the legal status of it is. Bethesda is a big name publisher who's going after a small developer with practically nothing. If Bethesda is in the right or not is not point I, or I think anyone else is trying to make. I'm trying to get three words across.

Its. Fucking. Stupid.

All this is doing is making Bethesda look like a bunch of assholes. I'd bet money most people just see a big publisher attacking an indie developer over something trivial and quite frankly, retarded. Those people won't care if Bethesda has the legal rights to do so. This is basically like a big bully on a playground kicking sand in a baby's face. Its messed up.


That's not the fucking point! I don't give a shit what the legal status of it is.

You don't have to give a shit, because they do. That's the point I'm making.

All this is doing is making Bethesda look like a bunch of assholes. I'd bet money most people just see a big publisher attacking an indie developer over something trivial and quite frankly, retarded.

We don't disagree on the emotional merits of the argument. I guess I'm just here to state the unpopular fact that if that's how it's written, that's how it shall be. Fuck all we can do about it, you know?

Does it look bad? Hell yeah it does. Is Bethesda right? Maybe. That's for a court to decide, should it even get that far.


In other words what Alan is saying is that we should just sit back and watch the show even though some people are going to get screwed. Legal practices in the realm of copyright are and always will be bullshit. But that is all up to the owner to decide. Although reading it makes it seem like everything is already in motion.

Also please take note of the UK copyright law. (found at a the UK Copyright Service Website here

2. I can copyright a name or title

Copyright laws are actually very restrictive, and do not apply to items such as names and titles that may be duplicated coincidentally, or that may be legitimately used in unrelated instances.

From a copyright perspective, there is no reason why two works cannot have the same title. As long as the content of works themselves are not copied or adapted, no infringement has occurred.

This does NOT mean that there is no protection on the name, as it may be covered by other legislation: If the name was a trademark, or if it could be proved that that use of the title misleads or confuses the public, (this is know as ‘passing off’), then there can be issues.

While copyright will apply from the point a work is created, ‘passing off’ is based on the public perception of what the name implies, (i.e. you have a very clear idea of what you expect to be given if you ask for a ‘Coca-Cola’).

For further reading on this subject please see our fact sheet: P-18: Names, titles and copyright

^That law isn't much different across the pond only it has a different number.

Secondly if the name is trademarked even then it is solely the name in quotes and not any part of the word. In addition this only applies to the country in which the document was written.

In conclusion if you want to fight copyright, you should probably read more into it. In addition you can learn more about copyright at given websites as that word can lead to so much grief.


Here's an article that illustrates my point.

Budweiser doesn’t take too kindly to the use of ”Bud” in the name of any beverage. Budweiser just recently targeted an Argentinean wine maker Budini over the use of Bud in the name.

Budweiser sent a cease & desist letter to the Budini’s importer to Vine Connections based in San Francisco demanding they stop using the name Budini. Instead of fighting a legal battle over trademarks, the importer changed the wine’s U.S. name to Bodini. The name Budini is actually an acronym for Based Upon Dreams Of Individuals, Not Institutions. The new name keeps the acronym alive – Based On Dreams, instead of Upon.

Does this mean Budweiser actually fears competition from some wine from Argentina? No, although really, Bud is crap beer.

Cosmic Orion

Isn't this what James Cameron did because he thought he owned the word Avatar?

And that no one ever gets to use that word in a movie title ever again?

And that I'm sure it only contributed to us getting M. Night Shiesterama's "The Last Analbender" as opposed to "Avatar: The Last Airbender" ?


From the Swedish laws on the subject, I think this is the largest factor in question currently:
"The right in a trade symbol granted under Articles 1 to 3 shall imply that no person other than the owner is entitled to use, in the course of business activities, a symbol which is confusingly similar to the protected one for his goods, whether on the goods or on their packages, in advertising or on business documents or in any other way, including also oral use thereof. This shall apply regardless of whether the goods are offered for sale or intended to be offered for sale in this country or abroad or are imported here. Where the right in a symbol is based on Article 2 and the symbol has not been established on the market in the entire country, the right is valid only in the territory where it is established on the market."

"Confusing similarity may be invoked also for the benefit of a symbol which has a reputation in this country if the use of another similar symbol would take unfair advantage of, or would be detrimental to, the distinctive character or reputation of the symbol having the reputation."

But there is also this, which I think is a definite possibility to become a problem for Bethesda:
"A trademark may be registered only if it is distinctive. A mark which, exclusively or with only minor changes or additions, indicates the kind, quality, quantity, use, price or geographical origin of the goods or the date of their production shall not in itself be deemed to be distinctive. In the assessment of whether a mark is distinctive consideration shall be given to all circumstances and in particular to the scale and the time of the use of the mark."

And this seems the most likely course:

"In the cases provided for in Articles 8 and 9, it may, according to what is considered reasonable, be ordered that either of the symbols, or both of them, may be used only in a special manner, for instance, in a particular form, with the addition of the name of a place or with some other distinguishing feature."

Ike Sapphire

alas people have come down to trying to own the rights to a word. My god if that actually happened you couldn't even say anything. Not even hi, I mean jesus. They didn't even have the fucking case even at the time they thought 'hey let's be a prick and look like a complete ass and sue them'.

I have to think do people in this god damn world actually have common sense anymore? It's like the Mcdonalds trying to sue the girl for using her last name in a donation poll or what not. So yeah I think that answers it, no we don't have any common sense left in this world. How are we even living up to this point I don't know.

This is what I think is going on, what Amir says close to the end of the video

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Honestly when he said it, that has got to be us


A Relic of a Bygone Era
Original poster
As much as I hate reviving week dead threads, I just had to post this. Notch is challenged Bethesda to a series of Quake 3 games. 3v3. If Mojang wins Bethesda drops the lawsuit, if Bethesda wins they change the name of scrolls.

And yes, he is serious.