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 Bethesdas Skyrim. Heres the interesting part: Apple isnt playing along, at least not yet, according to TouchArcade.
Developer Blalock (sorry folks, no first name) says that Zenimaxs complaint didnt specify exactly how his app violates their IP, and says that he went through a lot of trouble to make sure he didnt 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 wasnt any. I had the map hand drawn. I intentionally didnt use any graphics or wording that would possibly be owned by Bethesda. So, Im still not sure what they say the app violates,” he told TouchArcade in an email.
Apple apparently feels the same way (or they just havent gotten around to squashing the app). They havent 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 wed recommend you download it now if you want to give it a try, and to show your support for Blalock (its free!).
Last month, Zenimax filed a trademark for Fus Ro Dah, a dragon shout from Skyrim that became an internet meme. Were not legal experts, but Dragon Shout does look like a pretty harmless app, something that isnt hurting sales of Skyrim any more than what you can find on GameFaqs. If its doing anything, its just making Bethesdas wonderful game more enjoyable.
Whats next? Will Zenimax shut down the Imperial Library? Scrub YouTube of "arrow to the knee" videos? Weve got nothing against protecting your property from legitimate "theft," but thats not an excuse to mistreat your fans.
Image via Apple