TSR, Inc. - Criticism

Criticism

After its initial success faded, the company turned to legal defenses of what it regarded as its intellectual property. In addition, there were several legal cases brought regarding who had invented what within the company and the division of royalties, including several lawsuits against Gygax. These actions reached their nadir when the company threatened to sue individuals supplying game material on Internet sites. In the mid-1990s, this led to frequent use of the nickname "T$R" in discussions on RPG-related Internet mailing lists and Usenet, as the company was widely perceived as attacking its customers. Increasing product proliferation did not help matters; many of the product lines overlapped and were separated by what seemed like minor points (even the classic troika of Greyhawk, the Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance suffered in this regard).

The company was the subject of an urban myth stating that it tried to trademark the term "Nazi". This was based on a supplement for the Indiana Jones RPG, in which some figures were marked with "NaziTM". This notation was in compliance with the list of trademarked character names supplied by Lucasfilm's legal department. Later references to the error would forget its origin and slowly morph into the urban myth.

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