Trademarks, Rising Tide, and Stuff

We finished our last revisions of West Pacific Supers: Rising Tide this past Sunday and registered the copyright on it Monday.  It was unquestionably the smallest revision we have done as it was targeted to fix a few issues. Besides some minor aesthetic changes the main focus was on sidestepping any trademark issues.

Trademarks are a tricky issue and when you use something like a can of Dr Pepper in a work of fiction you need to be careful.  It’s generally okay if you use something as a backdrop, like having people eat at a McDonald’s, but if you are derogatory to a trademark, or a trademark becomes important to the story, then you are treading in dangerous waters.  And by dangerous waters, I mean getting angry letters from lawyers who have just enough grounds to cause you headaches even though you are probably well in the clear of the law. However, that sort of is the standard for trademarks.  Take a look at this article.  It’s interesting when you think about how something like selling a trademarked weapon (i.e. TASER) in Second Life might be an infringement on that trademark.  It kind of makes sense and kind of doesn’t.  Imagine you have a real world restaurant chain in a MMORPG and every time you ate there your avatar became overweight.  It’s funny, but it does negatively impact the trademark.  On the other hand it’s a make belief world and some companies need to get a grip.  Anyway, what we did was just create a few fictional trademarks to replace the real world ones we were using significantly and the real world ones we kept are in the background or portrayed in as positive of light as possible. Actually, it worked a little better with the changes, a little more humorous.  Still at this point after four significant revisions and half dozen minor revisions Rising Tide is locked down.

On other fronts, we have contracted the cover art for both West Pacific Supers: Rising Tide and Duet Saga I: Barony of Calagard.  We’ll talk more on that later, but art is exciting as it is really the process of giving visual life to an imagined world.  Besides that, lots of little paperwork and other nonsense with the company have kept me busy but I have dived into the writing for Barony of Calagard.  When I start making more progress I’ll talk more about that, but the writing is going well.  Furthermore, Bluemoonaurora is now on Twitter and Facebook, but I don’t expect to really use those lines of communication in earnest for a month or two.  The focus right now is setting things up and writing, because otherwise we’ll have nothing to publish.

Thanks for reading,

Kirk

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