TSR have re-filled the paperwork in the right court to continue their fight against D&D publisher Wizards of the Coast.
The crowdfunding campaign to pay the lawyers is still running with some 100 gamers worldwide, offering $40 or so, on average, in support. WotC estimated in 2020 that over 40 million people play D&D.
D&D legacy skirmish
Right now, you can buy old D&D content from the DMsGuild, officially sold by Wizards of the Coast today, even though some of these old books would not be published today. Why? Life was different back in the 70s and 80s, and the content of these classic Dungeons & Dragons reflected our less globally savvy societies.
To keep these downloads available, Wizards of the Coast has reminded potential buyers that these are antiquated books with a note on their shop page. It’s become a controversial statement as it points out that the authors were simply reflecting cultural norms of the time, and WotC states clearly those outdated views don’t represent the company’s values today. Some believe this doesn’t go far enough, that WotC is still making money from dodgy content, and the books should be pulled. While others feel threatened by the change or the acknowledgement.
Last month, a company called itself TSR filed a case against WotC and started an Indiegogo campaign to collect money to pay for it.
TSR was the name of the company created to publish D&D. There’s no relation between the two, as Wizard of the Coast bought TSR, except one of the Gygax family is now involved in this new entity.
Having bought some rights to the name TSR, this TSR argues that the legacy disclaimer is somehow hurtful.
However, the company filed their paperwork in the wrong court. At least, that was the response from this new TSR when they were asked why the crowdfunding campaign was still running, still collecting donations, even after they had withdrawn their original complaint against WotC.
Those withdrawn papers have now been filed in the Washington Western District.
Why is TSR doing this? They may well be upset at the reminder that the old D&D books might now not reflect socially acceptable beliefs. It may also be because Wizards of the Coast have a legal process in action against them.
WotC argues that TSR may be using the name TSR in the full knowledge that it’s already associated with D&D books. WotC’s legal team points out that if this is the case, then TSR should not have been given the right to use it.
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