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Forge-sponsored games?

Started by Christoph Boeckle, January 15, 2008, 07:37:35 AM

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Christoph Boeckle

I was reading the Dreamtion 2008 web-page where I read that there would be "DOZENS of Independently Published Role Playing Games Sponsored by The Forge as part of the Indie Games Explosion!"

Is this really the case?

Eero Tuovinen

Not likely, considering that Forge is a web-site and not a legal entity capable of sponsoring anything. The closest you could come would be Ron Edwards and his co-owners re-appropriating the name and likeness of the Forge for something that could sponsor things, like a "Forge Inc.", in which case you could say the "The Forge (company) is sponsoring thing X". Apart from something like that happening the closest you get to the Forge doing anything is when Ron uses or allows the use of the Forge identity for some project. But even then it's not the Forge doing something, it's somebody using the Forge trade mark to identify their activity with the Forge. Like when Ron and friends have a booth at Gencon it's not really the Forge that has the booth, it's Adept Press, using the likeness of the Forge as a trade mark.

So yeah, I guess it's likely a case of somebody trying to say that they have permission to use the trade mark to identify an indie rpg event. Confusing language, to say the least.

... although, with that being said, if the Forge ever does start a sponsorship program, I'll be first in line to apply ;)
Blogging at Game Design is about Structure.
Publishing Zombie Cinema and Solar System at Arkenstone Publishing.

Ron Edwards


Eero's right. The Forge is literally incapable of sponsoring things. I also want to quibble about your word choice, Eero, about the term "trademark." The name and logo of the Forge aren't a trademark, which has a specific legal meaning, nor even an imprint, which implies ownership and/or permission. The only accurate term is the utterly non-legal, casual term, "brand." It refers to a non-legal, completely cultural recognition and association. That's what the Forge booth uses, or the gathering called Forge Midwest.

If anyone from the organization team of Dreamation would like any clarification about that, I'm happy to help. I do think that your use of "sponsorship" is misplaced and misrepresents the site, which I'm pretty sure you didn't intend to do.

Best, Ron

Eero Tuovinen

Sorry about that, I didn't know that using trademark as a natural descriptive term is deprecated in English. It did feel a bit queasy, which is why I separated the word into two parts... I thought that a "registered trademark" is the official and legally defined thing. Anyway, "brand" is the word I apparently meant.

Which doesn't change the fact that Ron does own the brand insofar as anybody does. Of course, owning brands with no product to identify with it is... well, OK, let's not pretend to be lawyers, even if it is fun as an intellectual challenge.
Blogging at Game Design is about Structure.
Publishing Zombie Cinema and Solar System at Arkenstone Publishing.