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Garry’s Mod creator responds to Gmod Kickstarter, prepared to fight in court

Tuesday, 7th May 2013 10:13 GMT By Dave Cook

Gmod developer Olympus Games launched a Kickstarter for its mod library, tracking and creation platform back in April, but we’ve only just stumbled across it. It is not to be confused with Garry Newman’s ‘Garry’s Mod’ tool. Newman has discussed the conflicts and similarities between both platforms with VG247.

Gmod is an platform that allows users to create clear libraries of mods they own, create their own mods and track news from the modding community – among other things. The Gmod Kickstarter currently sits at $13,153 pledged of its $75,000 goal with 17 days left.

While it may appear to be a rip-off of the ‘GMod’ name used by Garry’s Mod, Newman told VG247 that Olympus Games actually owns the name.

“It’s actually the other way around. They own the trademark for ‘gmod’ and have threatened to take us to court if we don’t other buy it off them – along with all their domains and Twitter accounts – or post a press release pointing out we’re not affiliated, along with a permanent link on garrysmod.com and our twitter, and force the community not to abbreviate Garry’s Mod to GMod.”

Regardless of who registered the ‘Gmod’ name first, Newman explained that Olympus Games’ argument is that he is intruding on their brand and causing confusion by bearing a similar name.

However, Newman argued the opposite, and said, “We would argue that it’s the opposite – people see their site and think ‘Is this Garry’s Mod?’. Also, Garry’s Mod pre-dates their trademark, as does the abbreviation of Garry’s Mod to GMod. As a bonus our game is called Garry’s Mod – not GMod. It’s only occasionally abbreviated to GMod out of convenience”.

Newman is prepared to take the issue down a legal route if necessary as he feels Olympus should have changed the name years ago to avoid such confusion.

“In my opinion he should have rebranded years ago. I have no idea why he would even call it GMod. If he wants to take us to court over it we will fight it because we don’t believe we’re doing anything wrong, but I really don’t think that people are donating to his Kickstarter to pay for lawyers”.

There you have it folks. Should Olympus Games take Newman to task over the natural shortening of his Garry’s Mod tool, or should they have rebranded it in kind? Let us know below.

UPDATE: Olympus Games has responded with its own take on events, emphasising its friendly intentions and preferring to rebrand than go to court.

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15 Comments

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  1. Kreisher

    Garry Newman is an excellent developer and I have a great deal of respect for him. We’ve been in contact since early 2006 back when Garry’s Mod was still free to download (pre-steam). He’s earned his success through hard work and by building a great product.

    There is, however, another side to this story. Despite what the article suggests, I’ve actually avoided using attorneys (despite pressure to do so). Rather than post the story here in the comments I’m going to address this issue in the next update to KickStarter. @Dave Cook: If you’d like a one-on-one interview please contact me.

    - Skylar Kreisher

    #1 12 months ago
  2. Sanwiches

    I’m not sure it matters that you “actually avoided using attorneys “. I didn’t even know you existed whereas, I would guess, the majority of pc gamers know what Garry’s Mod is.

    Maybe you should just re brand your stuff.

    #2 12 months ago
  3. xavdeman

    @#1, Hey Kreisher, why don’t you answer the goddamn question? Why would you even call your tool GMod? I think Gary has the moral high-ground here, he has allowed your tool to intrude on the expectations of consumers by being named GMod, while it is neither a mod, nor does it have anything to do with G (whereas it is common for authors to name their products after themselves and you could have called your tool KTool, or just “Tool”, since that’s how you come across, with the threats and all).
    The most odious part of your demands is to “force the community not to abbreviate Garry’s Mod to GMod”, which truly makes me sick at heart, for it would impunge upon the freedom of people to converse in a manner of their choosing. How a community speaks amongst themselves is none of your business.
    I humbly request VG247 and Dave Cook to not humour Kreisher’s thinly veiled attempt at gaining attention and legitimacy for his means (‘See, this big gaming website also calls it GMod!’) – don’t interview this highly uninteresting and unoriginal troll.

    #3 12 months ago
  4. amishjim

    Every Skylar I’ve ever met was a douchebag. Seems to be a theme.

    #4 12 months ago
  5. silkvg247

    Meh.. what’s the world coming to. Just keep it exactly as it is and how about nobody sues anyone.. really complex right? Heck, include Garry’s mod as part of the GMod package – work together for the greater good.

    Orrr.. try to get a free buck at the expense of others.. the good old American way.

    #5 12 months ago
  6. theevilaires

    Fuck yea man fight that shit. Dude is basically trying to black mail him. If this was me I would pay this guy a visit and end it my way. The US legal system makes it too easy to try and sue others over dumb shit like this.

    #6 12 months ago
  7. DavidD

    This Skylar guy seems like a money hungry douche. Why would anyone support a guy who is trying to make money off other people’s freely available content? There is already a boatload of mod launchers available today that offer the same or better functionality and are completely free to use.

    To me it seems that he realised he can make money from abusing the legal system so he throws together some half assed logo and website and churns out some slapstick backstory on Kickstarter. I would be really surprised if the software actually exists.

    #7 12 months ago
  8. Elemental

    @DavidD I will have to agree with you on that. I have never played GMod (Don’t sue me Skylar) Garrys Mod, but when I saw the Kickstarter for ‘GMod’ I instantly thought it was Garrys Mod related. I researched further and when I saw it was actually something else and the developers were bragging that they own the trademark, I knew that it would be some sort of scam. It really seems like there are 2 kinds of people in this situation – one that has built their own success and another that will exploit their way into getting a part of it. People really have no shame these days.

    #8 12 months ago
  9. TheWulf

    I think that #5 pretty much covers anything I’d have to say on this. Copyright litigation continues to be ridiculous. It’s no better than that Nyan Cat nonsense, really.

    #9 12 months ago
  10. zibbizor

    This is clearly trolling. Nobody ever heard of these Olympus guys before this, but thankfully it looks like they aren’t going to reach their kickstarter.

    Also, who the hell needs so many developers for such a simple thing? and let’s not talk about the crappy logo that looks like it’s been made in 2002 aliased like a rotten grandma.

    The whole subscription based thing also makes it funnier because unlike Desura that’s the EXACT SAME THING + free and clearly better since it’s the developers themselves that manage their content and update it, these Olympus guys will never be able to compete since they’re going to charge for it and thus will need the written auth of a content’s author if they want to add it.

    Go to hell with Prassel and Titov kids.

    #10 12 months ago
  11. aspire cya

    Ridiculous is the only word that comes to my mind.

    #11 12 months ago
  12. HTF

    I have actually heard of these guys before. But not for anything good.

    A few years ago they released a version of their mod manager for several Elder Scrolls games, including Oblivion and Fallout 3.

    How they acquired their mods however was by downloading them on mass from the Nexus mod site then re-hosting them on their own servers.

    The thing to note here is they did not receive permission to do this from any of the mod makers involved (including myself and several HUNDRED others). This is a severe breach of copyright and copyright law.

    So effectively they are a company with a shady history involving copyright violations and attempts to profit off the work of others as well as this new attempt at extortion involving trademarks.

    My advice is to avoid.

    #12 12 months ago
  13. DavidD

    @HTF A quick search on his name brought up all manner of the issues you describe. Looks like this ‘GMod’ Mod Manager does actually exist in some form, but with a shady history such as the one revealed by Google I would definitely steer clear of this.

    #13 12 months ago
  14. cory012

    Would have been a much better article without the poor grammar and shoddy writing. Please don’t start sentences with “also”, also you’re copying a direct quote and either need to add a [sic] or get a direct quote correctly, “we don’t other buy”.

    #14 12 months ago
  15. rjhood

    @cory012 Maybe we should learn some basic reading skills before we try to pompously correct properly written articles. The sentence starting with “also” is CLEARLY from a quote. So take that up with Garry himself. And where did you figure out the “we don’t other buy” quote is misquoted? It was probably a typo on Garry’s end and though it might have been nice to have had it corrected (with the corresponding [sic]), there is zero wrong with it as is. So, please, don’t nitpick. You’re bad at it.

    Also, this Skylar character is pathetic. Some people just can’t learn. Here’s a couple of forum posts to back up what was said by HTF and DavidD: http://forums.nexusmods.com/index.php?/topic/402881-important-a-site-is-stealing-mods/ and http://forums.runicgames.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=18042&hilit=gmod

    #15 11 months ago