Continuing their recent trend of mercilessly squashing fandom activities related to their properties, Zenimax has filed a lawsuit against the developers of Dragon Shout, a free iOS app that helps players navigate the world of Bethesda's Skyrim. Here's the interesting part: Apple isn't playing along, at least not yet, according to TouchArcade.
Developer Blalock (sorry folks, no first name) says that Zenimax's complaint didn't specify exactly how his app violates their IP, and says that he went through a lot of trouble to make sure he didn't violate any laws in making the app. Rather than importing a map straight from Skyrim, Blalock had the entire world of Skyrim drawn (quite beautifully, we might add) from scratch. Zenimax is the parent company of Bethesda Software, the developer of Skyrim.
“I looked up US trademarks and copyrights for 'Dragon Shout' and at the time there wasn't any. I had the map hand drawn. I intentionally didn't use any graphics or wording that would possibly be owned by Bethesda. So, I'm still not sure what they say the app violates,” he told TouchArcade in an email.
Apple apparently feels the same way (or they just haven't gotten around to squashing the app). They haven't made any moves to have the app removed, or made any statements regarding the app. For the time being, its place in the App Store seems safe, but we'd recommend you download it now if you want to give it a try, and to show your support for Blalock (it's free!).
Last month, Zenimax filed a trademark for Fus Ro Dah, a dragon shout from Skyrim that became an internet meme. We're not legal experts, but Dragon Shout does look like a pretty harmless app, something that isn't hurting sales of Skyrim any more than what you can find on GameFaqs. If it's doing anything, it's just making Bethesda's wonderful game more enjoyable.
What's next? Will Zenimax shut down the Imperial Library? Scrub YouTube of 'arrow to the knee' videos? We've got nothing against protecting your property from legitimate 'theft,' but that's not an excuse to mistreat your fans.
Image via Apple