Bethesda’s Restraining Order Denied Against Fallout MMO Co-Developer
Yeah, that copyright dispute between Bethesda and Interplay over the rights to creating a Fallout MMO is still on-going. No, it doesn’t seem to be any closer to being concluded, finished or otherwise fixed.
In the latest news, via Milord & Associates’ Los Angeles Intellectual Property Blog, Bethesda’s motion for a restraining order against Blugarian developer Masthead, which is co-developing the Fallout MMO alongside Interplay, has been denied by a Maryland district court judge. Masthead didn’t even have to file in opposition. Apparently Bethesda is just talkin’ crazy.
The restraining order’s purpose was to keep Masthead from aiding Interplay in working on the Fallout MMO while Bethesda and Interplay hash out the legalities, but the judge smacked it down mostly on the grounds that it took Bethesda about seven months to file for the restraining order. If Bethesda was so worried about its Fallout trademarks being infringed by Masthead, the judge reasons, why didn’t it file much sooner?
The whole case is a bit of a legalese debacle anyway. Interplay licensed Fallout to Bethesda for two games and their related DLC waaay back in, like, 2007. That led Bethesda to develop Fallout 3 and then, later, license the development of Fallout: New Vegas to Obsidian. As part of the original Interplay deal, Bethesda licensed back the rights for Interplay to create a Fallout MMO.
But Bethesda later back-peddled, filing for an injunction against Interplay as it started to release Fallout MMO marketing bursts. Bethesda claims that Interplay violated the initial contract, so Bethesda’s licensing of the MMO rights back to Interplay was voided, it argues.
The Maryland court in which the case is taking place has already denied Bethesda’s injunction, too, and without much in the way of analysis there, either. So it seems as though the case isn’t going too well for Bethesda. On the plus side, that might mean we could be seeing a Fallout MMO that much sooner.