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World of Warcraft: Legal Battle Over Baby Murloc's Voice

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,659MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

According to Courthouse News Service, a legal battle has begun between Blizzard Entertainment and former World of Warcraft GM Amanda Lewis. The lawsuit alleges that Lewis submitted her vocal talents in consideration as the voice of the Baby Murloc in WoW. Lewis further alleges that she has received no credit or compensation for her work.

The complaint continues: "The appealing style and original content of Amanda's vocal work was recognized by Blizzard, which used Amanda's voice and an original song she developed to give life and personality to creatures known as baby murlocs. Murlocs are a type of aquatic humanoid creature common in WoW, and baby murlocs are a friendly and appealing version of murlocs that appear in various quests and are available as special player-owned 'pets.'

Read the full lawsuit summary on the Courthouse News Service site.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
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Comments

  • BrokenSpoonBrokenSpoon LondonPosts: 205Member

    hmmm.. go go Baby Murloc.. I guess.. 

    All hail the Barn Owl! oh.. and the RED SQUIRREL!!!

  • expressoexpresso mePosts: 2,183Member Uncommon

    I am pretty sure she did that on work time so did get paid for it.  Me thinks she is trying to make a quick buck.

  • DragonantisDragonantis DublinPosts: 974Member

    Wont someone PLEASE think of the Baby Murlocs!!!

  • expressoexpresso mePosts: 2,183Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Dragonantis

    Wont someone PLEASE think of the Baby Murlocs!!!




     

    I can't I might get sued :p

  • PuremallacePuremallace Phoenix, AZPosts: 1,856Member

    Seriously want to see the judges ruling on this. Having a judge say "baby murloc" in a sentence will be too funny.

  • ThaneThane berlinPosts: 2,232Member Uncommon

    aarghhglgllgglllll!

     

    i fought the blizz and the blizz won... i fought the blizz and the... BLIZZ WON...

    why even bother? afaik that's the states the lawsuit is being filed in, and we all know how it will end, dont we? :P

    "I'll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up! Not me!"

  • tawesstawess LkpgPosts: 2,537Member Uncommon

    I would asume she did not do this as a part of her contractual(sp) duties and thus she should at least get recognition. Otherwise she would not have a leg to stand on and no one would be crazt enough to take it to court.

     

    It will most likley end in a settlement tho...

  • gilgamesh42gilgamesh42 tampa, FLPosts: 300Member

    i was expecting a stupid lawsuit  i found a stupid lawsuit but she has a point what blizz used does not belong to them just like dota doesnt but blizz loves taking stuff that doesnt belong to them :]

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  • AntariousAntarious Greenville, SCPosts: 2,802Member

    I was typing a reply but decided to read the article a bit more first.

     

    So pretty much she is trying now to apply for a copyright to a baby murloc voice and song... after the fact.   The "creative content" being based on a 3rd party's IP (Blizzard) ... seriously?

     

    Personally when I worked for a certain "big company" I did extra creative work outside the scope of my job duties quite often.   I was never given any direct credit or extra compensation...

     

    Beyond that I'm not sure how anyone in their right mind thinks they are going to be granted a copyright on content that is already copy righted by someone else.   aka Murloc's in this content are obviously part of a copyrighted IP...

     

    Her trying to gain ownership of such... is copyright infringement .. and that is what she is trying to claim they did?

     

    It just looks like someone who is filing a lawsuit hoping for a settlement as opposed to thinking they have an actual case.   This is why the system should be changed so that someone who loses a lawsuit has to pay the legal cost of the side that won.   If they are not capable then the law firm that represented them should be liable for the cost.   Thus people with an actual case can go to court .. knowing their legal fees will be covered without diminishing their settlement and... companies can go to court to defend themselves because it won't cost less to just settle.

     

    Or maybe its just that I hate Murlocs... the best part of the one CGI video was when the Undead Warlock(?) incinerated those annoying murlocs behind him.

    Moderator's on this site allow certain posters to create endless troll threads. Yet "warn" people for giving recommendations... account *pending* deletion because.. why bother.

  • KholeKhole Irmo, SCPosts: 136Member Common

    Originally posted by gilgamesh42

    i was expecting a stupid lawsuit  i found a stupid lawsuit but she has a point what blizz used does not belong to them just like dota doesnt but blizz loves taking stuff that doesnt belong to them :]

    You are very uninformed. Blizz didn't sue to get dota rights. They sued to prevent Valve from getting sole owner rights of dota. So dota name stays open for use by anyone. The least you can do is actually study up on your facts before you start blaming big coporations.

  • expressoexpresso mePosts: 2,183Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by gilgamesh42

    i was expecting a stupid lawsuit  i found a stupid lawsuit but she has a point what blizz used does not belong to them just like dota doesnt but blizz loves taking stuff that doesnt belong to them :]




     

    Not sure why you brought up Dota? I assume your just not educated on that matter, Blizzard are not trying claim ownership of Dota but thats is off topic. 

    If this women did this while in work on work time then work (blizzard) own it.

  • MMOarQQMMOarQQ BoogalululuPosts: 636Member

    I'm pretty sure that most companies sneak a clause into their employment contracts that makes them the proprietor of all works, both intellectual and physical.

    At least it's been that way in my experience.

  • waynejr2waynejr2 West Toluca Lake, CAPosts: 4,481Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by expresso

    I am pretty sure she did that on work time so did get paid for it.  Me thinks she is trying to make a quick buck.

    I am pretty sure you are correct.

  • nyxiumnyxium Posts: 1,222Member Uncommon

    Not in front of the Baby Murloc's darling.

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  • HorusraHorusra maryland, MDPosts: 2,583Member Uncommon

    I am guess when the email came out she voluntarily offered up the sounds she was working on and Blizzard did not sneak up and record her on their own.  Much like they do contest for voices of buses and subways.  People give the rights to their voice over when they voluntarily seek out their product to be used without setting up some form of compensation before offering it.

  • ghost047ghost047 montreal, QCPosts: 603Member Uncommon

    Will we see later on, the team who created the Celestial Steed sue Blizzard for the same thing? I don't think so.

    Get a life you freaking Gamer.....no no, you don't understand, I'm a Gamer, I have many lives!!

  • Ramonski7Ramonski7 Aurora, ILPosts: 2,656Member Uncommon

    While she's at it can she add me to a lawsuit for creating a christmas poster for my building's party last year even though I work as a security guard? I want credit for all the people who said, "Hey! Nice poster." And royalties for thoses that paid that would not have come if not for my poster...

     

    In other words, get a clue lady!

     

    While at your BlIZZARD job, using BLIZZARD equipment to record a voice for a BLIZZARD made character that you got a day's pay for..what in God's name makes you think you'll get paid extra now that you're no longer working for then?

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    "Small minds talk about people, average minds talk about events, great minds talk about ideas."

  • SkuzSkuz WorcesterPosts: 1,034Member Uncommon

    I think that the very least she should get is a listing in the credits for being the voice of the baby Murloc, any more than that seems discreditable.

    Creative recognition is a legitimate claim.

  • Badgered86Badgered86 Denver, COPosts: 175Member

    Here's to hoping she wins.  I don't like the thought of her contributing in such a big way to the company (by creating an iconic sound that even some non-gamers know) and not be properly compensated by the company.  I'm tired of big businesses taking advantage of talented individuals by taking their ideas/creations and not recognizing (and compensating) said individuals properly for their efforts.

    I don't believe anyone can own her voice but herself, and she should be paid appropriately for the use of it.  If they rule that Blizzard Entertainment owns her voice, this will be just another instance of corporations being people (able to own property) and people being property (her voice which is very much a part of her as your voice is to you).



     

  • rojoArcueidrojoArcueid hell, NJPosts: 6,787Member Uncommon

    sigh.

    God Bless America..... and its lawsuit habits.

    Must..... find.....*Gasp*.... someone to.... Sue.... *Gasp*..

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  • CeridithCeridith Toronto, ONPosts: 2,980Member

    Originally posted by MMOarQQ

    I'm pretty sure that most companies sneak a clause into their employment contracts that makes them the proprietor of all works, both intellectual and physical.

    At least it's been that way in my experience.

    That's the thing though, she worked as a GM, not a voice actor for Blizzard. Her voice being used in the game was not contractually part of her employment, and it was allegedly used in WoW without her consent. Additionally she hasn't seen a single cent of compensation for it.

  • CeridithCeridith Toronto, ONPosts: 2,980Member

    Originally posted by Badgered86

    Here's to hoping she wins.  I don't like the thought of her contributing in such a big way to the company (by creating an iconic sound that even some non-gamers know) and not be properly compensated by the company.  I'm tired of big businesses taking advantage of talented individuals by taking their ideas/creations and not recognizing (and compensating) said individuals properly for their efforts.





    I don't believe anyone can own her voice but herself, and she should be paid appropriately for the use of it.  If they rule that Blizzard Entertainment owns her voice, this will be just another instance of corporations being people (able to own property) and people being property (her voice which is very much a part of her as your voice is to you).

    Considering that corporations are being allowed to copyright DNA sequences, it makes me want to consider copyrighting my own DNA...

    But I get the feeling going down that road will lead to another really stupid legal precedent:

    "Man copyrights own DNA, sues twin brother for infringement."

  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordPosts: 7,207Member
    She should go work for valve
  • NightCloakNightCloak Barrington, ILPosts: 450Member

         While working at Blizzard, Lewis says, she received an email requesting voices for "World of Warcraft" creatures...

         ...She claims she has filed copyright applications "with regard to baby murloc vocal expressions and the baby murloc song ... which have been incorporated into WoW without Amanda's permission."

         She seeks disgorgement, quantum meruit, and damages for copyright infringement and misappropriation of her voice.

     

    Just funny to note that she can somehow claim that her work was used without permission by submitting it to an email request for such work. I hope she gets sh*t stomped in court and required to pay Blizzard legal fees. Frivolous lawsuits need to stop or be curbed.

  • MMOarQQMMOarQQ BoogalululuPosts: 636Member

    Originally posted by Ceridith

    Originally posted by MMOarQQ

    I'm pretty sure that most companies sneak a clause into their employment contracts that makes them the proprietor of all works, both intellectual and physical.

    At least it's been that way in my experience.

    That's the thing though, she worked as a GM, not a voice actor for Blizzard. Her voice being used in the game was not contractually part of her employment, and it was allegedly used in WoW without her consent. Additionally she hasn't seen a single cent of compensation for it.

    Mhmm, I see what you're saying, but again, "in my experience", that doesn't change a thing. In fact it's the reason why I bring my own laptop to work and keep my writings off their network.

    In the end it'll all come down to the language in her contract as a CSR. Her lawyer's probably found a loophole. Also, I expect this to settle out of court.

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