Honestly, that's kind of the problem. Yes, it's probably safe to assume that Devdan had no idea what he was doing when he decided to develop and publish his own game. He's obviously not a lawyer, and he's not very good at handling the social media for his game either. But does inexperience or ignorance excuse him from every single mistake he makes?dorkboy wrote:Doesn't mean they'd be able to convince a judge that they're right, of course.
Devdan didn't make just one mistake, he made several.
1) He didn't properly check for existing trademarks before releasing his game.
2) He released a flawed and broken product. That's not related to the trademark infringement, mind you, but it's still worth noting. He only fixed the largest bugs in his game after a couple of Youtube videos popped up making fun of them.
3) He never properly listed his game in the Youtube gaming database, causing the Youtube categorization software to misidentify all of the Alien Wasteland videos as being affiliated with the Wasteland franchise. Given that many of the videos were negative in tone, this could be viewed as harmful to the Wasteland brand, and it went on for almost a year. Whether or not he realized it, he was creating brand confusion.
Even now, after the trademark dispute, he still hasn't fixed the problem.
4) When he was finally approached by InXile, he initially denied that there was any problem at all, then ended up requesting money in exchange for resolving the problem that he denied existed. InXile didn't even involve any lawyers until Devdan started asking for money.
5) He only cooperated after he finally received a Cease & Desist order, and immediately went public in an effort to paint himself as the victim. This is particularly bewildering, because he was almost single-handedly responsible for the entire situation. Based on his various statements, he still seems to honestly have no idea what he did wrong.
And honestly, after all that he wasn't even punished all that severely. He was given a legal warning, and had to change the name of his game. I haven't seen anything to imply that InXile intends to take it any further then that.
Free games, maybe? Shareware? That kind of thing doesn't tend to get nearly as much legal attention, because it's generally seen as non-competitive. Unless a free game is blatantly violating a copyright or something, it's rare to see them get wrapped up in a legal dispute.dorkboy wrote:What's a non-competitive gaming market, btw?