Cussedness Corner

"My work may be garbage but it's good garbage." Mickey Spillane

WHO OWNS A WORD?


Pirate Rebellion

European Report

I support these efforts.  I think the greed of companies has gotten out of hand in an age when people most value the free exchange of information.

Copyright, patent, and Trademark definitions, applications, and enforcement need a serious overhaul.

I have used the term polymancer since 1979, where it first appeared in a Chimquar the Lionhawk  short story.  It is a logical word to create.

Polymancer Studios were “tipped off” by Dagstine that I was infringing their copyright.  My use of the word does not show up on a google search until page 65.

I don’t know how this is going to turn out, but I have been told that I will have my arse sued off if I don’t remove it from all my previously published works and my website.

In this day and age it is possible to remove a word from the public vocabulary with a click of a button and some hard cash.

They will have to locate all the small press publications that published my works over the last 30 years and order them burned.  Otherwise its out there.

While I can understand someone wanting to protect their investment in a trademark, literary usage of a term that had been in play since the Golden Age is carrying matters too far.

I did not invent the term.  It’s been around since I was a teenager reading the old pulps.  You can find it in old issues of Weird Tales.

In the US, the rule is not who used it first, but who trademarked it.

Daverana has offered them a compromise, and they have told use that it will take a few days for their legal department to go over it

I intend to stand my ground, but we’ll see where this goes.

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10 comments on “WHO OWNS A WORD?

  1. CritGit
    May 4, 2009

    Just makes me think of the stupidity of when Posh Spice from the Spice Girls wanted and tried to copyright the word Posh.

  2. susie hawes
    May 4, 2009

    good luck. another gift from the ever-industrious dipshit dagstien.

  3. rich
    May 4, 2009

    You know, if Shakespeare decided to trademark all of his unique linguistic creations in perpetuity , if he could have, back then, we’d all be screwed, in terms of the English language we’re currently speaking. Sad thing is: I think he would have, too. Of the scant biographical data out there, literary historians know one sure thing: Shakespeare spent a lot of time in court, suing people over property deals. (Source: Stephen Greenblat’s “Will in the World.”

    At anyrate, I hope you prevail against a dangerous bit of silliness.

  4. cussedness
    May 4, 2009

    I can understand the revolt of the masses against the inequities of the system. The system rules that he who has the money owns whatever he wants whether or not he came up with it.

    I just can’t see this.

    Trademark was not invented to allow for abuses of authority

  5. Lewis
    May 4, 2009

    Google has failed me, though if it was in the pulps it might be worth a shot to ask on http://thepulp.net/PulpFAQ/altpulp.html

    Also I can’t remember where but I’m almost positive I’ve seen polymancy used as the name of a school of magic related to shapechanging.

  6. Johaha
    May 4, 2009

    Tell Polymancy to stop being so “nancy” and kiss off.

    Dagstine, your day is coming.
    You better be at Coney, as you said you would.

    I’ll there. You better believe it.

  7. jen
    May 4, 2009

    Couldn’t you just change the spelling a little and be in the clear?

  8. Karen
    May 4, 2009

    Why don’t you just make up your own word out of whole cloth. Riser. Raiser. Deathcaller, Deadspeaker, Summoner, there’s plenty to work with. 🙂

  9. Johaha
    May 4, 2009

    Having seen their site and gone through it, I suspect these guys do not have the money to mount any kind of legal challenge. It would most likely sink their publication’s finances.

    In this day and age, that’s easy to do.

    I say they are blowing a lot of steam. Call their bluff.

  10. Rusty
    May 5, 2009

    Their corporate website is ugly enough, but when you visit their website for the magazine itself, it’s a wreck. It’s misaligned, and all the links to guidelines pages are dead, with 404 errors. I find it really difficult to understand who would hire them for any of the design and layout services they offer.

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Janrae Frank

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