Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Self-Publishing Is No Bed of Roses

Comes news today that, according to M. C. A. Hogarth, Games Workshop, a computer gaming company is trying to trademark the term 'Space Marines.'    The author discovered this when the gaming company contacted Amazon to have her original novel "Spots The Space Marine" blocked from Amazon.  (It's still available at Barnes & Noble and Smashwords).  Now, I am not a lawyer, but as a reader of science fiction I can tell you the term "space marines" has been used liberally in fiction going back to the 1930s.  It certainly doesn't appear to me that Games Workshop has a leg to stand on.

However, they have lawyers and money, and M. C. A. Hogarth has neither.  So, as of this writing, Games Workshop is winning by default.  This points out one of the many problems with self-publishing and, for that matter, micro-presses - lack of resources.  Had Hogarth published with a larger press, Games Workshop and Amazon would both be getting savaged by the large press's lawyers.  Again, not a lawyer, but I suspect that Amazon at least wouldn't have pulled the book.

There are many advantages to self-publishing, but like all things, there are disadvantages as well.

1 comment:

DED said...

You would think GW would have bigger things to worry about than a small time indie author, like staying in business.

Games Workshop did a lot of RPG's back in the 80's but sold off some of the licenses to their games. Yeah, they've done a couple of video games but they're not big.

"Space Marines" comes from their "Warhammer 40,000 AD" game line. I'm not saying they invented the phrase, just that they've been using it a while. Note to self: Never use the phrase "space marines" or buy GW merch.