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View Full Version : Josh Barnett's Twitter Background image - Will the Warmaster receive a C&D from GW?



SlaughterSun
05-12-2013, 14:02
For those of you that don't know, Barnett is an MMA fighter currently in the UFC and a well known name in the business.

He goes by the Warmaster nickname and his entrances and overall iconography are usually with warriors and images right out of the classic Heavy Metal albums of the late eighties / early nineties.

Recently, droping by his Twitter account, I noticed the BackGround Image as being the classic "Horus faces the Emperor with Sanguinus dead at his feet" painting from GW.

Do you think that the Warmaster will receive a C&D from GW?

Here's a link to Barnett's Twitter.

https://twitter.com/JoshLBarnett

Cheers

Bigglesworth
05-12-2013, 14:15
I don't know, are you hoping he will take on the GW legal team in unarmed combat?

3eland
05-12-2013, 14:16
Why? We are not allowed to use GW art for backgrounds and other non-profitable uses? Plus, with him being who he is, it's actually free advertising for GW!

SlaughterSun
05-12-2013, 14:29
I don't know, are you hoping he will take on the GW legal team in unarmed combat?

Great aswer, this actually made me laugh :) it would actually be fun to see GW's Top executives in the UFC for a one night brawl with the Warmaster :D

The point i'm trying to make here is that with GW's enforcement of their IP, they could potentially force a (well) known person to drop the pic or quote the source...just some food for thought really.

3eland
05-12-2013, 14:31
I don't see anything wrong with using it, I've seen it been used before on other "non-official" warhammer twitter pages. I think GW would be stooping pretty low to do that.

shelfunit.
05-12-2013, 14:33
Do we know if a) He already has permission to use the picture?

and b) Do GW even own the picture? How long ago was it painted/drawn/etc? Going by the CHS trial documents, for much of the art work from the 80's/early 90's the rights are held by the artist and GW have no claim to them.

Gingerwerewolf
05-12-2013, 16:31
That pic isnt from the 80's or 90's even - its from the Early 200's and was painted up to replace the old Black and white for precisely the reason of copyright.

Josh Barnett is, as stupid as this sounds, a company according to law (as he makes money by fighting), and thus it is another company using GWs imagery.

As to if he has permission is another thing

RecklessAbandon
05-12-2013, 16:52
GW sent Frank Mir after him, it didn't work out so well....

shelfunit.
05-12-2013, 17:42
That pic isnt from the 80's or 90's even - its from the Early 200's and was painted up to replace the old Black and white for precisely the reason of copyright.

Fair enough.


Josh Barnett is, as stupid as this sounds, a company according to law (as he makes money by fighting), and thus it is another company using GWs imagery.

Welcome to the world of tax avoidance ;) Interesting slant on it as well.


As to if he has permission is another thing

Realistically, it's the only thing that actually matters, although I wouldn't want to be the person who "rats him out" to GW, I value my limbs too much.

EDIT: Wasn't this posted (here or elsewhere) several months ago? Isn't there a time limit to these sort of things?

Scaryscarymushroom
06-12-2013, 04:21
Josh Barnett is, as stupid as this sounds, a company according to law (as he makes money by fighting), and thus it is another company using GWs imagery.

Shouldn't make a difference from a copyright perspective. Corporations are people just like anybody else. :shifty: :shifty: :shifty: Also, let's not forget that Twitter is hosting this image, so it is more likely that what would happen is Twitter would get a DMCA takedown notice and the Warmaster wouldn't have a twitter account when he woke up the next morning.

Displaying this as his background is a "public display" under copyright law. It's also arguably distribution. And both of these things are rights that belong to copyright owners. So unless its licensed (I doubt it), it's most likely illegal and they could stop it if they wanted to. I doubt he'd win a fair use argument. If they didn't take it down, Twitter could probably be held vicariously liable for copyright infringement and GW could sue them too.

tristessa
06-12-2013, 11:11
Ah, the Josh Barnett heresy. He's marching on Nottingham as we speak. Rogal Dorn has unfortunately subcontracted the fortification of Lenton and there are major delays whilst they wait for the bricklayer to leave the Red Cow. However, the Nottingham tram expansion will probably buy them a few months.

Oh wait, need to get on topic! Whilst we could all imagine it's good publicity for GW, given that it's probably not reaching a core audience and is presented sans context it probably won't be doing much for them. That said, I doubt it offends that much either so they'll probably let it slide...

Verm1s
06-12-2013, 11:42
Josh Barnett is, as stupid as this sounds

I read that as 'as stupid as he sounds'.



Realistically, it's the only thing that actually matters, although I wouldn't want to be the person who "rats him out" to GW, I value my limbs too much.

He must walk around all day assaulting random peeples hyuk hyuk!

Scaryscarymushroom
06-12-2013, 17:20
Oh wait, need to get on topic! Whilst we could all imagine it's good publicity for GW, given that it's probably not reaching a core audience and is presented sans context it probably won't be doing much for them. That said, I doubt it offends that much either so they'll probably let it slide...

Emphasis added. The emphasized part is exactly why GW legal would go after it in the first place. Not only is it not doing anything for them, it's actually hurting them. Let's try and see this from GW legal's perspective:

We've got a non-core audience: pro-wrestling fans. The likelihood of these guys being gamers is probably about the same as the likelihood of anyone being gamers, which is... what? 5%? 10%? 20%? Surely no more than 1 in 5 people know about 40K. Meaning that 80%-95% are prospective customers.

What's happening here is people are seeing GW art (without knowing it) and associating it with a non-GW source. Think of all the pro-wrestling fans who don't know about 40k. All they really know about this art is that it's cool. Let's say that they show their friends Josh Barnett's twitter account in an attempt to persuade them that pro-wrestling is cool. People start associating the horus heresy and this image in particular with pro-wrestling, and all of the sudden, GW can't use their artwork to evoke the same sort of emotion or imagery. New fans might think of pro-wrestling rather than 40K when they see this image, even in GW's own rulebook. They might even see big-shouldered power armor and and lightning claws, and think of Josh Barnett rather than space marines.

If everyone did this to promote themselves, this piece of artwork will lose its effectiveness as a marketing tool. It would just be "something cool" rather than "something warhammer." And this is especially problematic because we're talking about the biggest part of 40K - the standoff between the Emperor and Horus is practically the entire premise for ALL of the fluff. If they lost it as a marketing tool, their trademarks would start to look even more generic, and their copyright over everything would start to look a little bit thinner.

shelfunit.
06-12-2013, 17:32
On the other hand, what's the likelyhood of a MMA fighter being a fan? ;) Surely if the guy is a GW fan then some of his younger fans might decide to go out and give it a try (hopefully wargaming, not fighting).

Scaryscarymushroom
06-12-2013, 17:41
On the other hand, what's the likelyhood of a MMA fighter being a fan? ;) Surely if the guy is a GW fan then some of his younger fans might decide to go out and give it a try (hopefully wargaming, not fighting).

That would be nice, but the younger fans would need to understand the context before it worked - they'd need to see the image, and understand that it means he's a wargamer.

And as much as I hope everyone is a war gamer, him using this image doesn't necessarily mean that.

cornonthecob
06-12-2013, 17:47
....and so the 1st missing Primarch was discovered !

Scaryscarymushroom
06-12-2013, 18:01
....and so the 1st missing Primarch was discovered !

:D I am kinda sad that I have sold my space Marines now. I could have made my own chapter: the warmasters!

(Speaking of associating things with GW, warmaster was an old GW game wasn't it?)

zam2
07-12-2013, 08:24
On the other hand, what's the likelyhood of a MMA fighter being a fan? ;) Surely if the guy is a GW fan then some of his younger fans might decide to go out and give it a try (hopefully wargaming, not fighting).

Quite a few of the fighters in the Australian MMA circuits are wargamers, I should know since I drink with a lot of them. This doesn't really add to the topic, but it's good to know that we are everywhere.

Dryaktylus
07-12-2013, 13:36
That pic isnt from the 80's or 90's even - its from the Early 200's and was painted up to replace the old Black and white for precisely the reason of copyright.

I'd guess the artwork was simply too old - why should they have copyright trouble with Adrian Smith?


(Speaking of associating things with GW, warmaster was an old GW game wasn't it?)

They had two: the Fantasy one and a free game for the Wargame Series in WD.

lbecks
08-12-2013, 19:00
I read that as 'as stupid as he sounds'.



He must walk around all day assaulting random peeples hyuk hyuk!

He found the guy who ratted him out:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68kzl35Xn3Y

GW should just sponsor Barnett. Put a big Games Workshop logo right on the back of his trunks.

VaeVictisGames
09-12-2013, 07:10
I'd imagine GW's legal team will go after him, an obvious fan, for using a piece of art on his own personal twitter feed, shortly after Nintendo prosecute Robin Williams for calling his kid Zelda.

Sephillion
09-12-2013, 21:27
with him being who he is, it's actually free advertising for GW!

Im not sure GWs legal department really considers this. I dont want to throw stones at the whole company, but the legal department sometimes seems run by a bunch of people seeking to desperately justify their continued employment by any means. But in all honesty, I jest a bit; I doubt they will do anything like that.

Zywus
09-12-2013, 21:59
He'll be alright.

I heard he traded with GW, the rights for that picture and the moniker 'Warmaster' in return for his old nickname "The baby faced assasin". Watch for the limited unmasked version of Shadowblade coming out next year.

Born Again
10-12-2013, 10:57
Prior to this thread, I'd never heard of Josh Barnett. Then this morning, I see this in my news feed on Facebook:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68kzl35Xn3Y

That's Josh on stage at an Every Time I Die concert, picking up someone who had climbed on stage and hurling them back in to the crowd. Upon seeing it, my first thought (shared by many others, it seems) was "has this guy not even heard of Randy Blythe?" For those not in the know, Randy Blythe is the singer for band Lamb of God, who was charged with manslaughter after allegedly pushing someone off stage, who later died of injuries sustained when they hit the ground. I wondered how different GW's reaction would be if a similar court case came up, and their imagery was attached to the public face of someone on trial for violent crime.

Also note, though, that Barnett is wearing a Bolt Thrower shirt ;)

Inquisitor Engel
10-12-2013, 13:34
It would probably not be in their interest to give a crap.

The Ape
04-01-2014, 10:23
Im not sure GWs legal department really considers this. I dont want to throw stones at the whole company, but the legal department sometimes seems run by a bunch of people seeking to desperately justify their continued employment by any means. But in all honesty, I jest a bit; I doubt they will do anything like that.

The legal department does more than just send cease&desist letters all day....

Having said that, it is their job to aggressively protect the company ip. Put simply if you don't take action when you become aware of the infringement then you risk diluting the ip.

cpl_hicks
10-01-2014, 20:20
Well, it appears to be changed now. Read into that what you will

3eland
10-01-2014, 20:31
Well, it appears to be changed now. Read into that what you will

His background? Still the same one.