Thursday, December 30, 2010

Chapterhouse Studios Sued by Games Workshop

I was over on Bell of Lost Souls and it looks like Chapterhouse Studios got an early Christmas present in the manner of a lawsuit from Games Workshop. If you don't know, Chapterhouse Studios makes conversion bitz for Warhammer 40K. You can check out their website here.

Games Workshop is suing Chapterhouse Studios for copyright infringement. If you are curious, you can read the filing here. I'm no lawyer, but I am one of the co-founders of Inner Circle which is an RPG company that I ran for several years so I have a fair amount of experience with IP. There's an old saying in the hobby industry, "You aren't officially in the hobby industry until you get sued by someone." That was one thing Inner Circle was fortunate to avoid.

Looking through the filing, it looks pretty bleak for Chapterhouse Studios. It's one thing to create resin kits and sell parts for models. It's a different thing entirely to sell something utilizing someone else's trademarked IP. There's a fairly large thread debating this over at Dakka Dakka. A lot of people like to call Games Workshop the evil empire and all of that, but I have to side with them in this case. While the timing was really crappy, it seems pretty obvious to me that Chapterhouse Studios has benefitted greatly from using Games Workshop's IP and they need to protect it.

Anyway, what do you guys think? Is this another case of Games Workshop throwing their weight around or is this something they should be pursuing? Next time I'll post a brief battle report in a game I got to play against the Space Wolves.

Until then,
–The Harrower

1 comment:

  1. What I think? That this was bound to happen. Chapterhouse skates a fine line between legal and not so legal. The lawsuit is legit due to chapterhouse using so many of Gamesworkshop's IP, however Chapterhouse could have easily avoided this had they of hired a legal rep to word everything correctly on their site. Many of Chapterhouse's products state that this can be used as (insert GW product) this is very illegal, (a directed use for a product that belongs to someone else's IP is not okay), had CHS simply made the products and sold them without "guidence" the whole thing would just blow over.

    Sorry Chapterhouse, looks like you are in the Doghouse this Christmas. Best wishes and good luck.