We all saw some sort of legal drama incoming, right? The creator of Dragon Shout [Free], a brilliant map app for Bethesda's radical open world RPG The Elder Scrolls 5: Sykrim, has received a copyright infringement notice from ZeniMax Media. In an e-mail to us, Blalock says that Apple isn't making him remove the app, as "ZeniMax didn't specify what the app is specifically violating." Blalock hasn't received a C&D yet and notes that he's e-mailed ZeniMax several times to try to clarify what the app is violating.

"I did my best to ensure the app was not violating anything," creator Blalock tells TouchArcade. "I looked up US trademarks and copyrights for 'Dragon Shout' and at the time there wasn't any. I had the map hand drawn. I intentionally didn't use any graphics or wording that would possibly be owned by Bethesda. So, I'm still not sure what they say the app violates."

And it's hard to tell from what Blalock says he's received so far. But, ZeniMax does its best to protect its brands. Earlier last year, the publisher squabbled with Mojang over the name "Scrolls." This April, ZeniMax filed trademarks for the phrase "Fus Ro Dah," Skyrim's most Internet-popular dragon shout.

In much lighter news, Dragon Shout is now freer. In version 1.5 , the social add-on -- which includes database searching, marker sharing and chat -- is available free of charge.

  • Maniacfive

    Ugh, hope it doesn't get pulled. Although they do seem really litigious.

    Although Considering that the official companion app to Skyrim still isn't even available in the Uk store, Zenimax can shove it. This dev is providing what they have neglected to provide for international customers

  • http://twitter.com/Leonick91 Hampus Jensen

    Well go figure... ZeniMax are a bit retarded, the whole Scrolls thing, taking down a bunch of Skyrim theme videos on Youtube (because they really do hurt them, it's not like it'll work like advertisement) and now we have this...

    Oh, and trademark on Fus Ro Dah? Sigh...

  • Schnapple

    Question: is the map in the game something drawn by the creator of the app, or is it a scanned version of Zenimax materials? Because if he used something from Zenimax in his app then it was only a matter of time. 

    • rblalock

      Not scanned.  hand drawn.

  • http://modmyi.com/forums/iphone-4-new-skins-themes-launches/740147-neurotech-hd.html#post5637502 Jay

    If "Dragon Shout" isn't trademarked then cool - call ZeniMax's bluff.  It'll get tossed out of court.

  • http://www.youtube.com/MetalJesusRocks Metal Jesus Rocks

    How about ZeniMax just BUY his app technology, hire the dude as a consultant and release it officially. Obviously it's a great app and only enhances your game for players. Why kill it?

    • http://twitter.com/Sinnix Jeff Jenkins

      Because it's competing with the officially licensed Skyrim Map app that they make money off of.

      • chuckiej

        I don't see any Skyrim maps dev'd by Zenimax or Bethesda.

      • http://twitter.com/thatninjaslicy matt b

        you mean the one that is only available if you buy skyrim from steam? THAT one? what about console players?

  • http://twitter.com/RobotsVsWizards James

    Seems like the most successful franchises embrace community stuff. Look at everything Star Wars or Blizzard could fully shut down if they wanted to.

  • http://twitter.com/DCDeacon Pete Hines

    Much ado about nothing. The app is up and will remain up.

    • rblalock

      Hey Pete,
      Can you ping me privately possibly?  Been trying to get a hold of the right people about this.

    • chuckiej

      Thanks Pete. Please help the Dev if you are able!

    • http://www.frontloadgaming.com Andrew Matecha

      Pete... You write this comment hot on the heels of the developer being told he's infringing copyrights and should remove his app - so which is it?  You say "Much ado about nothing", but obviously it's not "nothing" if he's receiving allegations of infringing copyright.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5FLRQI2X2LU3IHMCG7HEAEFD5I Cat Astrophy

    ZeniMax isn't exactly doing its "best" if they are doing something stupid like going after Notch for the scrolls thing. Best is attacking people who are ACTUALLY hurting their brand. ZeniMax is wasting money and creating bad PR for themselves. I guess they want to be like EA>

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=511012432 Ryan Laker

    This is pretty stupid given how much he tried to reach out to them during the development. It must be frustrating it took them this long to finally come down from their ivory tower.

    • rickblalock

      I'm not entirely sure they will take it down. they didn't order a cease and desist. and apple has been nice about it. I won't take it down until they tell me to...and they haven't yet.

  • Ace43

    How bout this, If Zenimax makes you take this app down, I'll never spend another dime on any game or product they have anything to do with. its ridiculous that they even tried to get a copyright infringement on an app that is free, and only helps people. If i were you i wouldnt take it down even if they got on their knees and begged me, all they did is fu*k up their PR credibility. Get outta here Zenimax.

    • whatshit

      it wasnt free for a lot of the time it had a iap purchase to be able to see what other useres were adding to the map..now its free. i wonder had it remained free all along would this have even happened.

  • mkultra

    About the Mojang thing, that was Zenimax protecting themselves because Mojang wanted to trademark "Scrolls", which in turn could make Mojang able to sue Zenimax for "The Elder Scrolls" (there has been similar cases, so it's very understandable Zenimax had to do this) . This could be something similar.