Putt-Putt threatens legal action against Mojang
July 11, 2013 // 7:45 a.m.
Mini-golf company Putt-Putt is threatening to take Minecraft developer Mojang to court for user-generated levels that infringe upon the company's name.
The cease and desist letter received by Mojang was shared over Twitter by Markus 'Notch' Persson. As proof of the infringement, the letter included a screen capture of a Google search result page of the keyword "putt putt craft" which returns several Youtube videos of user generated Minecraft levels featuring the name.
Although Putt-Putt has not demanded any money in its letter, it does threaten to pursue damages if Mojang does not agree to stop using the mini-golf company's trademarks. The deadline for a response is dated at July 10 in the letter.
'"We feel that Mojang AB's use of the Putt-Putt name has benefited Mojang AB to the detriment of Putt-Putt,' reads the letter, referring to the list of Youtube videos as proof of the infringement.
Talking to Eurogamer, Mojang's lawyer Alex Chapman of law firm Sheridans highlighted the absurdity of the demand and described the threat as 'like suing Microsoft for what people do using Word'.
The law around copyright surrounding user generated content is still somewhat developing. The general rule in some territories is that the host of the content in question is generally immune unless it makes a promise to take down content which it subsequently breaks.
In Mojang's case, the company is not the host of this content as the offending videos are on Youtube and even the Minecraft servers that were used to create them would not have been hosted by Mojang itself.
Putt-Putt might have more luck in taking its complaint to Youtube directly. In March, Nintendo successfully claimed ad revenue generated by Youtube users uploading Lets Play videos of its titles.