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IGDA Agrees to Langdell Meeting

| 7 Aug 2009 18:25
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With pressure mounting, the International Game Developers Association has agreed to hold a special meeting to discuss the fate of board member Tim Langdell, whose litigious defense of the "Edge" trademark has been the subject of intense criticism in recent weeks.

Tim Langdell has been waving around threats of copyright infringement lawsuits for years but his antics only gained widespread recognition in recent months, driven by his rather ironic success in having the hit iPhone game Edge removed from the App Store. His addition to the Board of Directors at the IGDA has also brought with it increased and almost certainly unwelcome scrutiny, not to mention a grassroots effort to have him removed.

That effort has now apparently met with some success; while Langdell's removal is far from certain, the Board has accepted and agreed to a petition calling for a "special meeting" to discuss the affair.

Unfortunately for anyone hoping for a quick resolution, there's still a considerable amount of ground to cover before the meeting can even take place. According to an email sent to IGDA members, the group has never actually held a special meeting of this nature before and has therefore decided to put together a task force of Board members to come up with appropriate "methodology and procedures" for holding such a meeting to ensure that it is legally unassailable.

The IGDA appears to be so anxious to do everything by the book in large part due to the unofficial mass email that went out earlier this week, calling on members to sign the petition. In a new email sent to members, IGDA Co-Chair Tobi Saulnier said the use of an "exploit" to send out the email regarding the petition "complicated an already complex situation."

While some members appeared frustrated by what they see as an overly cautious approach by the Board, Corvus Elrod, the author of the original petition calling for a vote on Langdell's removal, said it was necessary to ensure that any decisions reached by the group will hold up against legal challenges. "We've never done this before, and what needs to be done to ensure it is legally a meeting isn't clear in the by-laws," he said.

"Let the Board use whatever language they need to move the process forward," he added. "We need to work with the Board to ensure this happens in an incontestable fashion."

There's still a long way to go before a vote on Langdell is held and even when it happens, there's no guarantee he'll be turfed out as a result. But progress is being made; meanwhile, given his history of wielding the courts like a blunt instrument, moving ahead slowly to ensure all the rules are followed is most definitely prudent.

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