Games Workshop doesn't know it, but they're messin' in my patch. They believe they own the term "space marine" and they've sued an author over her use of their trademarked term in her novel, Spots the Space Marine. Amazon received a takedown notice (nonsense, as DCMA takedown notices apply only over matters of copyright), took it down and has since reinstated it, thanks to the work of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.*
All unbeknownst to me, but while E. E. "Doc" Smith and Robert A. Heinein would be hard to hale into court over their space marines, me and my Far Edge semi-private enterprise Mil/Space fighters, commonly (though erroneously) referred to by USSF/NATO forces and even regular folks on their side of the "border" as Space Marines, are only too vulnerable.
Maybe it's good to be too insignificant to sue but that was close one. The (don't don't don't say "Bat Signal," it's a trademark issue), er, alarum was raised, early and loud, but the war between the nail-everything-down mercantilist corporate forces and creative folk who want the entire language out there, unshackled and ready for use, rages on.
Can't let the bastids grind us down. "Illegitimi Non Carborundum," as Mr. Twain so elequently put it, despite having to invent his own Latin word to do the job.
Oh, yeah, I bought a copy of the book. Amazon link at Tam's, friends.
ETA: Turns out there are a couple dozen genuine, real-life, sho'nuf Space Marines (USMC, NASA) to whom this trademarking would come as a surprise, too. Y'know, that's not a group to irk casually.
* EFF is to online First Amendment issues as NRA is to Second Amendment issues, complete with their own 800-pound gorrilage.
6 months ago