So I just received a pretty big email, which I will post in full:
This is a message from Kickstarter’s Integrity team. We're writing to inform you that a project you backed, Return of the Dragon, is the subject of an intellectual property dispute.
The law requires that we remove the project from public view until the dispute is resolved (please see our Copyright Policy and Trademark Policy for more info). Because the project already ended successfully, your pledge hasn’t been affected. The creator should still be able to move forward with the project (and send any unfulfilled rewards). If you have any questions, though, you can still message the creator from the project page.
I immediately went to the Dragon Tides Kickstarter page which only displays the following:
"Return of the Dragon is the subject of an intellectual property dispute and is currently unavailable.
View copyright notification"
"View copyright notification" brings up the following bombshell though:
Return of the Dragon [Submitted by Bruce Lee Enterprises, LLC]
Bruce Lee Enterprises, LLC
3384 Robertson Place, Suite 100
Los Angeles, CA 90034
Sent via online form
58 Kent Street
Brooklyn, NY 11222
Re: Return of the Dragon
Description of copyrighted material: - Unauthorized use of BRUCE LEE's name, image, and likeness; violation of BRUCE LEE's right of publicity according to California Civil Code Section 3344.1. - Trademark Infringement; USPTO Reg. No. 4320241
Description of infringing material: Board game using intellectual property (including, but not limited to name and likeness rights and trademarks) owned by Bruce Lee Enterprises, LLC without a proper license.
I know projects get started and then shutdown over not having a license but I almost can't believe that this one didn't. Obviously AJG was not at the top of their game re: many things, but stretch goals included stuff like an invitation to meet members of the Lee family and visit the Lee museum. People were posting links to the Kickstarter on the Lee FB and tweeting it to the Twitter account. The campaign wrapped up a long time ago (fulfillment of the project is another store, as we all know), so if they didn't have the license, how did the Lee family's people just now get around to hitting them with the IP dispute? This whole thing seems crazy and casts even more shadow on the unlikely Wave 2 from happening (or those of you are still waiting on your base game ever getting it). I really wish I the KS comments page was still up, so I could see what other backers are saying about this. If anyone knows of maybe a discussion popping up in the General Forums or on Reddit or something, feel free to link it here.
I spent $200+ after add-ons and stuff... I definitely didn't get my money's worth out of this but is it maybe worth snapping up an extra copy or two from the limited amount of them that seem to be available at online retailers?
To paraphrase another popular trainwreck's thread title:
But what does THIS mean for Dragon Tides?
Also, here is a link to a Greenbrier Games statement from summer of last year that I never saw, where they laid the whole thing on Alex Lim/AJG but still said they were gonna get copies sent to backers in need. As far as I know, no one in Europe ever got their copy. But this was a statement I just came across for the first time. http://www.greenbriergames.com/main/index.php/2016/06/gbg-st...
- Last edited Fri Mar 3, 2017 12:59 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Fri Mar 3, 2017 12:59 am
Oh dear, things don't get any better for this project. To add to the tradegy it's such a fun game too.
- Last edited Fri Mar 3, 2017 7:47 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Fri Mar 3, 2017 7:45 am
I don't think this is the case that they never had the license, just that the license has now expired and they can no longer use Bruce or Brandon's likenesses without renewing the license.
This thread has lots more info -- AND direct from Alex Lim: