Threatened with lawsuit by Bethesda; This was my reply

Back in december of 2011, I set up a fansite dedicated to Fallout and Fallout art. Specifically, it contained several high-resolution Fallout-style posters, clearly inspired by the in-game posters of Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas.

I’m a huge Fallout-fan, so I went to all this work primarily to decorate my own apartment. However, after the 10-20 hours I spent making the posters, I thought: Hey, why don’t I share these posters with the other Fallout-fans out there?

That being said, I bought the domain name Fallout-posters.com and uploaded the high-resolution Fallout-posters to the page – offering them free to download for the Fallout-community. I also threw in some nice Fallout-vectors. All this was done out of pure “fandom”; I didn’t even include ads on the website.

Now, the original post got quite a bit of attention on Reddit, Stumbleupon and similar sites, and during the first few days, I got more than 100.000 unique visitors to the site. My host actually mailed me personally and forced me to move the site to a bigger server (which I paid had to pay extra for).

So far, so good. I made some free posters, set up a quick one-page site and leaned back to enjoy the fact that I was helping Fallout-fans around the globe.

But suddenly, after a few weeks, I got an email: What’s this in my inbox? A legal letter from the global law firm DLA Piper on behalf of Bethesda?

READ THE FULL LETTER FROM DLA PIPER BELOW:

Now, I’m not out looking for trouble. I set up the website out of pure “fandom”, and the last thing I wanted – or expected – was to be threatened with a lawsuit by Bethesda. What pisses me off isn’t the fact that they’re looking out for their trademark – as they have every right to do so. What I’m pissed about are large companies abusing their monetary power, hiring global law firms to go after a fan online, immediately threating with a lawsuit.

Had they had the slighest bit of PR-savyness, they would have shot me a quick personal mail asking me to remove the (supposed) infringing content – and preferrably sent me some nice Fallout-swag as a nice gesture (yes, I am that corrupt).

But no, they had to bring DLA Piper into the picture. You know what? I’m tired of behaviour like that. I’m tired of intellectual rights holders – be it RIAA, MPAA or in this case Bethesda – going after little guys like myself and threatening them into obedience. Some people doesn’t have the intellectual capacity or money to fight their cause, so they just fold after receiving a letter like that. But just because you can’t afford to fight, doesn’t mean your oponent is right.

So I decided to respond.

READ MY FULL REPLY TO DLA PIPER AND BETHESDA BELOW: 

So far, I haven’t heard back from DLA Piper and Bethesda – but if I do, I’ll be sure to let you know. In the mean time: Here’s to the little guys!

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