Alex Galloway has put together a lovely digital adaptation of a chess-like game created by French Marxist Guy Debord dubbed Kriegspiel; now the estate of Debord is sending cease and desist letters to Galloway, claiming the digital version is infringing on the intellectual property rights of Debord. Reminiscent of the problem faced by the Scrabulous creators, Galloway is insisting that the idea of a game and rules are not subject to copyright. Ian Bogost weighs in:
Galloway has been served a cease and desist by the attorney representing Guy Debord’s widow. It’s too early to tell what will happen next … Galloway’s situation bears some similarity to that of popular Facebook app Scrabulous. The irony, of course, is the estate of a dead Marxist pursuing litigation over the exchange value of the name and image of its intellectual property.
Raising ire from Mattel I can see, but raising ire from the estate of a Marxist thinker over his little-known game from the ’70s? Hm. We’ll see what happens in this case — is it curtains for digital Kriegspiel?
The Revolution will be Litigated [Water Cooler Games]