For those with a jones to read the legal documents Take a Peek (penny-arcade.com) (Warning - Heavy Spoilers). From what I gather the lawsuit is saying:
1) White Wolf claims to own the intellectual rights to the use of vampires and werewolves together (and since they're listed seperately, I guess apart as well).
(Ignoring for the moment the fact that White Wolf is stupid to claim intellectual property over any such wide spread myths, let's take a look at what they claim specifically.
-That their werewolves are hurt by silver, and so are the ones in the movie. Well, duh. That's probably the most common mythology on how werewolves would be killed.
-In both the movie and the books, vampires and werewolves can kill or hurt eachother with fangs or claws. No! Really?
-In White Wolf, only old vampires can change into bats. In the movie, the oldest Vampire is seen hanging upside down. Yes. Right.
-White Wolf's setting is very gothic. So is the one in Underworld.
They do make some good points, but nothing that they couldn't have made about any other vampire or werewolf movie or book in the past hundred years.)
2) White Wolf claims that the female vampire lead in Underworld (Selene) is too similar to a female lead in a few of their books (Lucita), and damages Lucita's reputation by misinterpreting her.
(So...She's got a different name, and she doesn't act or think like the character Lucita, would...hey....)
-Furthermore, Lucita has taken on a "second meaning" among people who associate her with the White Wolf Universe, and thus may infer that White Wolf is sponsoring this movie.
(Ok, once again, I'm not going to deny that White Wolf has a popular subculture going around, but they certainly don't make up a majority of the movie going public. I'd imagine that most movie goers neither know nor care about Lucita. Hell, I didn't until this lawsuit.)
3) White Wolf claims that the story of the movie is too close to the story of one of it's books ("The Love of Monsters". Which also features a vampire and a werewolf getting it on.
(Which in itself is pretty much a take on any "opposing sides romance". Hell, Underworld admits that it's ripping off Romeo and Juliet. Suing someone for a derivation of a derviation of a derivation of a generic theme is pretty lame.)
They want to:
-Stop release of the movie and any merchandise -Destroy any copies of the movie and any merchandise -Get triple any profits that Sony has made off the movie -Have Sony pay their lawyers
Whatever, White Wolf. You know, if I were running things over there, I'd be thrilled. Because:
A) It's a movie that fans of the RPG are likely to enjoy
B) Because it may spurn people to buy White Wolf products to read further Vampire v. Werewolf stories (or create their own).
The only thing I can think of is that the movie must be absolutely terrible and White Wolf is just trying to distance itself as far from the movie as possible, which is still stupid. If the movie is any good, however, I wonder at what level White Wolf fans would feel pissed at the company from trying to prevent them from seeing a movie they wanted to see anyway (sponsorship or not).
Like I said, they make some ok points near the beginning, but nothing that proves that they were wronged in any way shape or form.
Wisconsin Badgers: 2-0 (Uh...Akron? Defense, don't allow that many points ever again. Now if Lee Evans could score from the one every week, that'd be great)
Minnesota Vikings: 1-0 (Had me scared there at the end, but the defense was mega-solid, and the offense looked good. Dare I hope for a good year?)
I will admit that the only reason I'm interested in seeing Underworld is because it sounds like something straight out of the Worlds of Darkness. (Especially if the plot is similar to a WoD book, no less.)
That said though, I think this is White Wolf attempting extortion, plain and simple. Their demands are so outrageous (triple profits!!!) that their intent must be to settle out of court and make some arrangement with Sony, perhaps to start producing WoD movies.
I'm thinking that after allowing the WWF to use the Gangrel trademark, a few of the White Wolf staffers remained wrestling fans, and followed closely enough to hear about Spike Lee suing Viacom for no legitimate reason. This looks to be a similar type of case.
Okay... so *maybe* they heard about the Spike Lee case without being wrestling fans...
They never sued the WWF. White Wolf owns the copyright to the term "Gangrel", and as such, the WWF had to get their permission to use it. I still don't know why the WWF picked that name. I also don't know why they put the stress on the last syllable when my friends and I all put the stress on the first, although it did make separating discussions about wrestling and roleplaying easier.
Originally posted by EddieBurkettThey never sued the WWF. White Wolf owns the copyright to the term "Gangrel", and as such, the WWF had to get their permission to use it. I still don't know why the WWF picked that name. I also don't know why they put the stress on the last syllable when my friends and I all put the stress on the first, although it did make separating discussions about wrestling and roleplaying easier.
Wait...wasn't the Gangrel character in the WWF a result of a deal made between Vince and White Wolf Publishing for use of the gimmick in wrestling? Hell, the copyright info for "Gangrel" appeared in WWF video games of the time.
Very Russo-riffic, the whole thing. But the Brood was some of the Attitude Era's finer stuff, if you ask me.
By the way, Gangrel is still on the indy scene as "Vampire Warrior." He won the ACW-NWA Wisconsin heavyweight title this past Saturday in Denmark, WI. Luna is still with him...and for what it's worth, nobody calls spots around the ring louder than she does.