Minecraft developer Mojang has received a cease and desist letter from American mini golf chain Putt-Putt over user-created levels that recreated the company’s miniature courses.
Putt Putt being silly: http://t.co/SNF3LagykM
— Markus Persson (@notch) July 9, 2013
Mojang founder Markus ‘Notch’ Persson posted an image of Putt-Putt’s letter on Twitter.
It reads, “It has recently come to our attention that Mojang AB has been using, without authorization our famous Putt-Putt trademarks in connection with your business,” and adds, “We feel that Mojang AB’s use of of the Putt-Putt name has benefited Mojang AB to the detriment of Putt-Putt.”
The company wants Mojang to immediately refrain from using Putt-Putt’s logos and designs henceforth. However, as it is up to users what they do when making Minecraft creations, it’s not actually Mojang who is using the Putt-Putt brand
Here’s an example of a Putt-Putt world:
But as PCGamesN points out, Contributory Liability law does seek out to block those who enable copyright infringement. As Mojang gave players the necessary tools to make their Putt-Putt stages, it could be held accountable.
However, the site adds that would only stand up if the Putt-Putt can prove Minecraft launched in an incomplete state, and that it spurred players to fix it themselves, causing an infringement on another company’s copyright. It quite rightly adds that this would be hard for Putt-Putt to prove.
Also, Putt-Putt sent the letter to Don Mattrick due to the Xbox 360 version of the game. He’s off to Zynga though, so it’s not yet clear what his stance is on the matter.
What do you make of the above?