Mojang and Bethesda settles ‘Scolls’ dispute

Minecraft developer Mojang and maker of the Elder Scrolls series Bethesda have come to an agreement over the use of the word “Scolls” as the name of Mojang’s next game – it can be used, but Bethesda keeps the copyright. 

The question is, did it have it anyway? How can you own the copyright of a single word?

Mojang made the announcement on its company blog, with director Carl Manneh commenting that both parties had been able to resolve the dispute without it getting ugly. “We have settled the lawsuit over Scrolls and Mojang and Bethesda are friends again,” it reads. “To answer the big question – yes, Scrolls is still going to be called Scrolls. To answer the second question – we aren’t going to keep the trademark.”

He backed up that statement by taking a minor swipe at Bethesda’s actions throughout the discussions: “For us this was never about a trade mark but being able to use Scrolls as the name of our game, which we can – Yey.”

The dispute over the usage of the word “Scrolls” began in 2011 when Bethesda claimed simply because it had a game series known as the Elder Scrolls, that it owned the copyright on all games related to that pre-book paper alternative. It seems a little rediculous, but it’s taken until now to resolve it simply because the company took it so seriously.

Mojang downplayed it in return, but the good natured method didn’t get the smaller developer very far, eventually culminating in this quite stale resolution.

It still seems a shame that Bethesda didn’t take owner of Mojang Markus ‘Notch’ Persson up on his offer to have a game of Quake to decide who was right in this situation. Now that’s how gaming firms should resolve disputes.

Hopefully Bethesda doesn’t mind me using the picture of a scroll there. I know you guys own the copyright. Please don’t hate me.

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