Time for an update on the Hasbro v. Atari dispute. Atari responded to the complaint, attaching the complete license agreement and several communications between the companies. Hasbro filed and was granted an emergency motion to seal those exhibits. Atari objected to this motion, and since then most of the filings relate to whether the sealing order should be vacated. I hope it is, because I’d love to take a look at that agreement.
Below is the current document history for the case, with links to the interesting ones.
|–||Filed: 12/16/2009 Entered: 12/17/2009||Summons Issued|
|1||Filed: 12/16/2009 Entered: 12/17/2009||Complaint (Cover Sheet)|
|2||Filed & Entered: 12/17/2009||Corporate Disclosure Statement|
|3||Filed & Entered: 12/18/2009||Order of Recusal|
|4||Filed & Entered: 12/21/2009 Terminated: 01/11/2010||Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice|
|5||Filed & Entered: 12/21/2009 Terminated: 01/11/2010||Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice|
|6||Filed: 12/21/2009 Entered: 12/22/2009||Application for Admission Pro Hac Vice|
|7||Filed: 12/21/2009 Entered: 12/22/2009||Application for Admission Pro Hac Vice|
|8||Filed & Entered: 12/22/2009||Notice of Appearance|
|9||Filed & Entered: 12/22/2009||Notice of Appearance|
|10||Filed & Entered: 12/22/2009||Answer to Complaint|
|11||Filed & Entered: 12/24/2009 Terminated: 12/28/2009||Motion to Seal|
|–||Filed & Entered: 12/28/2009||Order on Motion to Seal|
|12||Filed & Entered: 12/31/2009||Summons Returned Executed|
|13||Filed & Entered: 12/31/2009||Motion to Vacate|
|14||Filed & Entered: 12/31/2009||Response to Motion|
|15||Filed & Entered: 01/07/2010||Response to Motion|
|16||Filed & Entered: 01/07/2010||Response in Opposition to Motion|
|17||Filed & Entered: 01/08/2010||Answer to Counterclaim|
|–||Filed & Entered: 01/11/2010||Order on Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice|
|18||Filed & Entered: 01/11/2010||Corporate Disclosure Statement|
|19||Filed & Entered: 01/12/2010||Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice|
|20||Filed & Entered: 01/12/2010||Application for Admission Pro Hac Vice|
|–||Filed &Entered:01/13/2010||Motion Forwarded to Chambers|
|21||Filed &Entered:01/14/2010||Reply to Response to Motion (Affidavit, Exhibit 1, Exhibit 2)|
|–||Filed &Entered:01/15/2010||Motions Referred|
I wasn’t able to find a full copy of the Hasbro v. Atari complaint anywhere on ye internette, so I registered with PACER and grabbed my own copy. Happy reading!
I was recently reading through old entries on Maerduin’s blog, when this entry gave me pause. In part, he discusses the changes to the planar cosmology in 4th Edition, concluding: “In short, the planes are no longer cosmological reflections of a woefully inadequate set of moral attributes. They are places of mystery!” This bothered me for a while, as that reflection of a woefully inadequate set of moral attributes is among my favorite settings. On the other hand, I fully agree that the alignment system is a terribly shallow and naïve way of categorizing morals and ethics. “How do I reconcile these conflicting beliefs,” I asked myself?
Belief, as it turns out, is the key word there. Planescape, unlike any other setting I am aware of, is a place (or many places) made, manipulated, and unmade by the beliefs of myriad sentient beings. This mutability applies even to its denizens — the same people whose beliefs shape the multiverse can themselves be believed out of (or into) existence. In such an exotic environment, wonderful and unique stories can flourish.
Does Planescape need the arbitrariness of the good/evil and law/chaos axes or the inhospitability of the Inner Planes to exist? No, but without them, it would not be Planescape — just as Forgotten Realms without the Sword Coast would not be FR. Contrived as it may be, the Planescape cosmology makes for great storytelling, even if some of the areas are never actually visited. Starting from themes that its players knew well — the alignment system, the classical elements, various mythologies — the designers of Planescape created a multiverse that was familiar in some ways yet fundamentally alien (and mysterious) in others. They did this without resorting to some of the most overused fantasy cliches (aloof elves who live in forests, anyone?).
You can have your Shadowfell and Elemental Chaos. I’ll take Sigil and Avernus any day.
(On an unrelated note, Firefox seems unhappy about the word “inhospitability”. I submit that Firefox can pike it.)