IGDA Members Call for "Edge" Langdell's Removal

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IGDA Members Call for "Edge" Langdell's Removal

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Members of the International Game Developers Association are calling for the removal of Edge Games founder Tim Langdell from its Board of Directors over his habit of threatening and suing anyone who uses the word "edge" without licensing it from him.

Tim Langdell founded Edge Games in 1979 and trademarked the phrase "The Edge" in 1984, a move which would ultimately result in threats and lawsuits against numerous game makers who dared use the word "edge" in their title. And it didn't stop there; Edge Magazine was forced to license the name from Langdell, while Marvel Comics and even the 1997 Anthony Hopkins film The Edge were ensnared in his web.

But when Langdell forced the removal of the hit iPhone game Edge from the App Store as detailed in Shamus Young's excellent article EDGE of Asshattery, he may have finally overplayed his hand. Grass-roots outrage against Langdell's behavior exploded and at least some IGDA members have grown weary of his shenanigans and are asking their fellows to take action against him.

An email sent to IGDA members says Langdell's behavior has "raised questions regarding his suitability" to sit on its Board of Directors, a position to which he was elected in March 2009. "Tim Langdell's company, Edge Games, has trademarked the word 'edge' and they leverage this trademark against any media that contains this word - threatening legal action should their target not enter into a licensing arrangement with the studio," the email reads. "Most recently their actions have resulted in the removal of the indie game hit, Edge, from the iPhone app store. Meanwhile, Edge Games has not been associated with the direct production of an original video game in the last fifteen years."

Of primary concern to the email's authors is Langdell's use of his position on the IGDA Board to bolster his litigious claims, noting that in his lawsuit against the defunct game Edge of Extinction, he described himself as "a legal expert in the field of computer gaming" who "presently serves on the Board of Directors of the International Game Developers Association, which is the largest game association worldwide."

"Many of us believe that this is a gross misrepresentation and feel that Tim Langdell is able to use his position on the board of the IGDA to work directly against the mission of the organization," the message says. "As IGDA members with voting rights, it is our responsibility to elect a board that we can trust to represent us. But no election system is perfect and sometimes corrections need to be made."

The email calls for a special meeting of the IGDA membership to vote on the removal of Langdell from the Board of Directors; ten percent of the association's membership must call for the meeting in order for it to be held. An online petition requesting that the Board call the special meeting is now available, in case you happen to be a member and want to make your opinion heard.

Langdell's removal from the IGDA Board of Directors, if it happens, won't bring an end to his lawsuits but it will shine more light on his contentious relationship with the industry he purports to represent. If nothing else, his presence as a director of an organization meant to support game developers is grossly inappropriate; he may be legally entitled to defend his claims on the "Edge" trademark, but he most certainly shouldn't be using an industry group like the IGDA to do it.

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Good, and a smart move from the IGDA if they want to retain any credibility whatsoever. If he doesn't get booted, I doubt people wil ever respect the IGDA (again).

Trademarking words should not be allowed. How would you like it if I trademarked "a". I'd make a fortune at your expense.

If you cant beat someone, just make their life a living hell. Glad to see we are still going with school yard tactics.

Finally something is done about Langdell. Glad to hear it.
It might not stop him from being an ass, but at least it could help defend smaller companies against him.

I'm amazed he was able to trademark a word so generic as Edge, maybe as part of a logo or specifically referring to the games industry, but outright? The copyright office of America needs a serious kick in the pants if they let a word as generic as edge be copyrighted.

As for him...
The man is a twat, a clever one, but still a twat.

The IGDA has the right idea to give him the boot, I hope it succeeds.

I can understand why small Indie Game makers dont feel that they could fight off a lawsuit from this bottom feeder but Marvel Comics? They should have blatently told him to sling his hook and bring on the lawsuit

Good news on voting to get rid of him though, although it makes you wonder why did he get the gig in the first place seeing as how he hasnt made any games for 15 years, Ive made more games than him for gods sake

Serves him right. "Edge" isn't even that cool of a word anyway. If he really wanted to trademark a word, he should have chosen something awesome like "vernacular" or "august."

..."August" is in my top ten...

Wow... Trademark a word like Edge? Only in America. Maybe I should go trademark "News" and sue every news channel, newspaper and half the internet.

I am hereby copyrighting the name "Tim Langdell" or any such related name.

Enjoy having to make some new stationery!

APPCRASH:
If you cant beat someone, just make their life a living hell. Glad to see we are still going with school yard tactics.

Not really. It's just that, seeing as he preys on Indie and small devs, his presence on this board is wonderfully inappropriate.

Here:
Edge
Death
Games
Edge
...
How do you like it, sir?

Never heard of the IGDA, but there my favourite organisation of the present

Ligisttomten:
Wow... Trademark a word like Edge? Only in America. Maybe I should go trademark "News" and sue every news channel, newspaper and half the internet.

Edge is a British company and Langdell is British as well

I am looking for investors in "Dungeon Fantasy 2 Software," a new company I'll be starting up.

i didn't think they were allowed to trademark words but they could only trademark the phrase in a certain font and so forth or if the word was part of a logo or in relation to one thing, ie a game or a tv show

I'm not saying this because he's a dick (though he is,) but he is seriously the ugliest dude I have ever seen.
I had to scroll down just to avoid looking at his face, 'cause it's making me a little sick - the picture our resident troll kept posting didn't do anything.

Now that that uncomfortable admission is over, finally.

hell yes, kick the greedy bastard out. You can't trademark a word so it can't appear in any form unless you pay somebody. Screw him with a drill.

Does U2 have to pay this guy royalties?

Susan Arendt:
I am looking for investors in "Dungeon Fantasy 2 Software," a new company I'll be starting up.

Wait...what?

While Tim didn't trademark "edge," he trademarked "The Edge," he has been very aggressive in protecting that name, moreso than was reasonable. While his possition as a board member of the IGDA made it hard to fight him, at least now we have some hope of beeing able to stop people like Mr. Langdell from being asshats about technicallities and making money without actually doing work. I hope he gets voted down and then gets sued by everyone he's been harassing over the years.

randommaster:

Susan Arendt:
I am looking for investors in "Dungeon Fantasy 2 Software," a new company I'll be starting up.

Wait...what?

While Tim didn't trademark "edge," he trademarked "The Edge," he has been very aggressive in protecting that name, moreso than was reasonable. While his possition as a board member of the IGDA made it hard to fight him, at least now we have some hope of beeing able to stop people like Mr. Langdell from being asshats about technicallities and making money without actually doing work. I hope he gets voted down and then gets sued by everyone he's been harassing over the years.

Well, he trademarked The Edge, supposedly to defend his company, Edge Games. I, therefore, will be founding Dungeon Fantasy 2 Software, and trademarking "Dungeon," "Fantasy", and "2". You know...to protect my interests.

To be fair, I'd never heard of the guy until the iPhone App and then Shamus' article. But it does sound very much like legal extortion. Isn't there a law against frivolous lawsuits or something?

Did he try to sue EA for Mirror's Edge? I hate copyrighting words, it's ridiculous that someone can own a small part of language.

Same goes for McDonald's, if you look up the wiki on their lawsuit history, they sue for some of the most frivolous things on a pretty regular basis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonald%27s_legal_cases#Cases_brought_by_McDonald.27s

Somebody should copyright a word prevalent in Edge game titles and sue this guy exclusively.

Wow, this debate has me on the edge of my seat [$2]
I'm certainly hoping that this doesn't push Tim over the edge [$2]
He's teetering on the edge of credibility [$2]
I'm glad I didn't have to license the use of the word edge. That would be silly. [Priceless]

There are some things money can't buy.
For everything else, there's EdgeCard. [$2]

Nice that they call to arms... but as a nifty little word in this article means a whole world... members with "voting" rights. Most members ( including me ) don't have them so the real question is: can the "right" members actually say something?

It's so bad I can't sleep at night...

I have a better idea.

Sue him for the use of the IGDA name.

GET IT? IT'S IRONY!

Is there any proof that the survey is actually posted by an IGDA member? I'm not exactly keen on the idea of throwing my name and ID number up in a survey otherwise.

The survey was put up by Corvus Elrod, who is in the IGDA and one of the chairs of the Writing SIG. His original blog post with the link is here: http://corvus.zakelro.com/2009/07/its-fun-to-stay-at-the-igda/

Scott

samaritan.squirrel:
Somebody should copyright a word prevalent in Edge game titles and sue this guy exclusively.

That would require that he actually, you know, make games.

Tim Langdell is standing at the edge of a precipice. And the only way out... is over the Edge.

Thank god, ever since I heard about that guy he has become a hated person in my book.

good, some people really drive me nuts, it simply stiffles competition and removes creativity

Its petty abuse of CP/patent, now here is a question for the forum, if you have a unique term or name should you be allowed to lock it up and make others pay to use it?

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