So I’m a little late on getting on this story but it is still a story that needs to be told (at least in my opinion). On December 13, 2012 author M.C.A Hogarth received an email from Amazon explaining to her that Games Workshop accused her of infringement due to her use of the phrase ‘space marine’ in the title of her book. Amazon explained that due to the GW complaint, they stopped selling Spot the Space Marine.
Being a GW customer in the past, I did a double take. Were they seriously trying this? And if they were seriously being jerks about this, why not go after the StarCraft franchise for use of ‘space marine’? When I was complaining about the situation to my husband, his words were “When I hear space marine, I think of Starship Troopers.” So obviously Hogarth isn’t the first person to use the term ‘space marine’.
In fact according to Wikipedia, the earliest us of the term ‘space marine’ was by Bob Olsen in his short story “Captain Brink of the Space Marines”. The Wikipedia article on ‘space marine’ even highlights the recent trademark controversy.
I guess my main concern is that Games Workshop went after the little guy here. They didn’t go after the heavy hitters. Instead they decided to imitate the NFL and throw their weight and lawyers around at someone who could never afford to compete legally against these bullying tactics.
I encourage everyone to visit MCA Hogarth’s website/blog to show your support for the independent author.