Rockstar Forces L.A. Noir TV Show Name Change

Rockstar Forces L.A. Noir TV Show Name Change

image

The director of The Shawshank Redemption has renamed his new show Lost Angels.

Videogames may not yet have the same cultural cachet as TV, but at least they bring in plenty of money. Frank Darabont, a famous screenwriter and director of movies such as The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile learned this the hard way. When he tried to call his new show about mid-century Los Angeles L.A. Noir, Rockstar hit back with a lawsuit threat. Fans of Darabont's work can expect the new show to debut under the title Lost Angels instead.

Despite their similarities, Darabont's original L.A. Noir title had nothing to do with Team Bondi's detective game. Rather, the show is based on John Buntin's 2009 literary nonfiction title of the same name. Nevertheless, publisher Rockstar was not happy about the nearly identical names. "The videogame company with the videogame called L.A. Noire (with an e!) threatened to sue the shit out of me, TNT, every company that actually ever worked in Hollywood," Darabont explains. "And they have the billions of dollars to back it up, apparently." Not wanting a costly legal battle, Darabont backed down and renamed the program.

Naming issues aside, there's a good chance that people who enjoyed L.A. Noire will enjoy Buntin's book and Darabont's new series based on it. The story is different, but the setting is the same, and the themes of rethinking the American Dream and trying to keep one's morals in an immoral city are both present. Lost Angels has no definitive release date, but filming is already underway. If you want to read the book first, you've still got at least a few months.

Source: io9

Permalink

He must have never thought to plug the title of his show into google, else he would have seen seen this coming. That or he just assumed he could use the name and a videogame company would never have the ability to challenge him on it; which by his exaggerated reaction I'd be inclined to say is the case.

I often read about stupid reasons companies threaten lawsuits, especially when it comes to names. This one, however, I feel was pretty justified, though. Rockstar's pretty much got to respond if they want to keep their IP name.

I know it's "not the point" but having the TV show named the same as the game is hardly going to cause much confusion. It's not like it will prevent a loss of sales due to people picking the "wrong one".

If anything it'd help game sales as people searching for L.A. Noir would get the game come up in searches even if they were looking for the show.

Sadly the whole "You have to defend your copyright or risk losing it" rule makes it necessary for them.

I love his reaction. I wonder if he'd have given the same reaction if he was trying to make a show about a Ironman about a wealthy industrialist who puts on a suit of advanced power armor he builds while imprisoned in Iraq - since it doesn't have a space between Iron and man.

I think it's a stupid move. The name of the show doesn't really matter. People who know about the video game also know that the show has nothing to do with the video game. However, those who don't know anything about the game might actually pick it up after watching the show.

Well, that was pointless. Rockstar only won because it had money to throw at their lawyers.

....problem is if you don't stand up for an IP you own you lose it, it's easy to say oh look at this dick company, but sometimes they have no other course of action.

Legion:
I know it's "not the point" but having the TV show named the same as the game is hardly going to cause much confusion. It's not like it will prevent a loss of sales due to people picking the "wrong one".

If anything it'd help game sales as people searching for L.A. Noir would get the game come up in searches even if they were looking for the show.

Sadly the whole "You have to defend your copyright or risk losing it" rule makes it necessary for them.

Itīs more of a principle thing. It dilutes the brand name and gives a precedent for other companies, some that actively try to cash in on the brand recognition of the game. This would f.ex. be much different if he was trying to sell a detergent

I would support Rockstar for defending their game, however the fact that the guy was trying to name his show after the source material changes my mind. If Rockstar thinks that the TV show is too close to the game's name, then shouldn't they have thought that their game was too close to the name of the book? I see this as opening up a possible lawsuit against them from the author, and I wouldn't blame the author if this happened, especially since the changing of the tv show's name will almost certainly hurt his book sales (people who like the show would have possibly picked up the book, but it will be harder to know the connection with the names so far removed from each other). I see this as saying "Hey, we already stole that, you can't go and steal it back, our lawyers say so." Kind of makes me lose a little respect for Rockstar.

INeedAName:
I often read about stupid reasons companies threaten lawsuits, especially when it comes to names. This one, however, I feel was pretty justified, though. Rockstar's pretty much got to respond if they want to keep their IP name.

But the article says the show is based on a book by that same name. I don't know how copyright works, but why would Rockstar get pissy about a TV show and leave the book alone?

SonicWaffle:
But the article says the show is based on a book by that same name. I don't know how copyright works, but why would Rockstar get pissy about a TV show and leave the book alone?

Because the book (actually named 'L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America's Most Seductive City') was out before the video game, meaning if anyone is infringing on copyright it's Rockstar.

SonicWaffle:

INeedAName:
I often read about stupid reasons companies threaten lawsuits, especially when it comes to names. This one, however, I feel was pretty justified, though. Rockstar's pretty much got to respond if they want to keep their IP name.

But the article says the show is based on a book by that same name. I don't know how copyright works, but why would Rockstar get pissy about a TV show and leave the book alone?

Because the book in question was published in 2009, which as you most likely know, was before the game.

I just hope this Bondi guy writes sequels faster than George R. R. Martin.

Adam Jensen:
I think it's a stupid move. The name of the show doesn't really matter. People who know about the video game also know that the show has nothing to do with the video game. However, those who don't know anything about the game might actually pick it up after watching the show.

Hell, the studio that actually made the game was gutted right after it's release by it's Dirt Bag CEO. NOW they chose to care about the title? ~_~
But you know what? I actually like Lost Angles better as a name for the show.

charge52:
Because the book in question was published in 2009, which as you most likely know, was before the game.

BramblinTheGnome:
Because the book (actually named 'L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America's Most Seductive City') was out before the video game, meaning if anyone is infringing on copyright it's Rockstar.

So, forgive my ignorance, what's the problem? How can Rockstar sure someone for using a name which was in use even before they made the game?

DVS BSTrD:
[snipples]

I swear, for some reason I thought you'd been banned. Welcome back! :-P

SonicWaffle:

DVS BSTrD:
[snipples]

I swear, for some reason I thought you'd been banned. Welcome back! :-P

For awhile there I was. It's good to be back!

SonicWaffle:

charge52:
Because the book in question was published in 2009, which as you most likely know, was before the game.

BramblinTheGnome:
Because the book (actually named 'L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America's Most Seductive City') was out before the video game, meaning if anyone is infringing on copyright it's Rockstar.

So, forgive my ignorance, what's the problem? How can Rockstar sure someone for using a name which was in use even before they made the game?

Rockstar can sue because the copyright lights are fucked, it really comes down to how popular they think the show could be. Since it mainly comes down to having to protect the brand name, and if it could become really popular, more so than the book, than that would harm the brand name. It's a risk and reward thing, Rockstar was willing to risk legal charges for the reward of not having to worry about having a direct competitor on Google if you type in L.A. Noir(e).

Well, honestly, I'm not up to date with my TV shows. Or my TV overall. So if someone would have released a show called L.A. Noir, I probably would have thought "HEY! Is this related to the game? It's missing an E but whatever!". And then I'd watch it. And then I would realize it has nothing to do with the game. And then I would be upset anyway.

At any rate, I like Rockstar but if the book indeed came out before the game, then they could have had the right to sue Rockstar first instead. So is it fair to say Rockstar pulled a dick move here?

Rockstar has some money, but multiple billions seems like a stretch. Of course, this is a Hollywood guy so exaggeration is par for the course.

Legion:
I know it's "not the point" but having the TV show named the same as the game is hardly going to cause much confusion. It's not like it will prevent a loss of sales due to people picking the "wrong one".

If anything it'd help game sales as people searching for L.A. Noir would get the game come up in searches even if they were looking for the show.

Sadly the whole "You have to defend your copyright or risk losing it" rule makes it necessary for them.

I think merchandising is the problem with conflicting titles. If people made posters/tshirts/and whatever nick nacks with the same name it would cause brand confusion. I don't agree with it at all but I just wanted to post a counter argument from their side.

But now they have to call it L.E. Noir, but that'd just be silly-oh wait.

I don't think it's that ridiculous to want to keep control of their title, however generic a title it may be. If a modern military themed series came out called Call of Duty or Modern Warfare, a lot of people would think it had something to do with the game and rightly so.

If anything, I think Darabont got lucky. Lost Angels is a much, much better name.

Mike Richards:
I don't think it's that ridiculous to want to keep control of their title, however generic a title it may be. If a modern military themed series came out called Call of Duty or Modern Warfare, a lot of people would think it had something to do with the game and rightly so.

If anything, I think Darabont got lucky. Lost Angels is a much, much better name.

A book was written with that name first, then they copied it. Now their threaternong to sue someone for using the books name. The author should be suing the dicks at rockstar not rockstar at the series.

RicoADF:

A book was written with that name first, then they copied it. Now their threaternong to sue someone for using the books name. The author should be suing the dicks at rockstar not rockstar at the series.

.. But he didn't. I would imagine it's now far too late to say anything, though there may be a case for defending the use of the name considering the book was there first, but as the author didn't protest at the time the game came out, most courts would probably side with the studio.

If he didn't notice and didn't act, or didn't care, that's his prerogative. They did notice and did act, staking their claim to it. Was it arbitrary? Perhaps, but that's the whole point of defending a copyright or what have you, you do need to make those arbitrary moves and stop people infringing.

If the TV show blew hard and people thought the game was a tie-in, they could lose sales, I think it's as simple as that.

SonicWaffle:
So, forgive my ignorance, what's the problem? How can Rockstar sure someone for using a name which was in use even before they made the game?

Trademarks only cover specific things. So, for example, a while back a lot of people tried to mock Cadbury's for trademarking the colour purple, without understanding that the trademark only covered chocolate bars and similar items. Obviously it's reasonable for Cadbury's to want to prevent people from making products that look the same and might fool people into buying the wrong thing.

In this case, Rockstar's trademark probably covers an area along the lines of "multimedia", while books would fall into a different area. So no-one can make a computer game, TV show, film or anything similar named LA Noire, but a book probably wouldn't enter into things at all. That means Rockstar aren't infringing anything since even if the book is trademarked, it's a different area, while the TV show could be infringing on Rockstar's trademark. However, it's worth noting that this hasn't actually gone to court, so no-one's determined that anything actually is infringing anything else. It's just close enough that Rockstar are probably legally obliged to defend it just in case, as others have already noted.

It's also worth noting that different countries treat trademarks differently. In some, trademark protection depends to some extent on market share. So it's possible that the book simply isn't that popular, but there are concerns that the international trademark status might have problems if the film is popular.

love the response, it reads like "those filthy videogame peasant use their ill-gotten games to prevent me, who is oh so much more important than the people who don't work in hollywood, from making my magnificent art"

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here