After the longest court battle in the history of tabletop roleplaying games -- four years, eight months and 16 days -- the creators of Villains & Vigilantes have secured the rights to publish the game they created as teens in the 1970s. On Tuesday night, Jeff Dee and Jack Herman of Monkey House Games uploaded a version of the game to DriveThruRPG that included some new text in the copyright indicia (emphasis mine): The Monkey House Games logo is a trademark owned by Monkey House Games. All characters, character ... read more

Since the acquittal of George Zimmerman, the conventional wisdom among people who agree with the verdict is that Trayvon Martin punched him first, so the teen was responsible for the fight that led to his tragic death. The claim about the punch is entirely coming from Zimmerman and could be a lie -- no one else saw it -- but let's assume for the sake of argument that it's true. There's still a justification for Martin punching him in self defense, based entirely on Zimmerman's own words in the interview he gave ... read more

There's a lot of talk about how Florida's Stand Your Ground law did not play a role in George Zimmerman's acquittal. His attorneys did not call for a hearing, as entitled under that law, but instead presented self defense as justification for his actions at trial. But Stand Your Ground rewrote the instructions read to juries on self defense. Dan Gelber, the Democratic candidate for Florida attorney general in 2010, has offered a succinct explanation for why Zimmerman was able to use self defense after following ... read more

After a 20-month legal battle, the creators of the super-hero roleplaying game Villains & Vigilantes have prevailed in their court fight with the game's longtime publisher. Magistrate Judge Mark E. Aspey of the U.S. District Court for Arizona ruled on January 15 that Jeff Dee and Jack Herman own the rights to the game based on the 1979 contract they reached with publisher Scott Bizar of Fantasy Games Unlimited. The court also found that Bizar never had the right to sell derivative products or ebook PDF editions of ... read more

An epic battle is underway over one of the oldest super-hero roleplaying games, but sadly it won't be settled by muscle-bound men in tights. The creators of the game Villains & Vigilantes, Jeff Dee and Jack Herman, have filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Scott Bizar, the longtime publisher of the game. The suit, filed July 27 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, claims that Bizar has no right to publish the game or any related products and illegally profits from their sale. ... read more

Democratic political consultants Peter Daou and James Boyce have sued the Huffington Post, claiming that Arianna Huffington and other founders took their idea for the site and never compensated or credited them. Daou and Boyce had a lot of planning meetings with Huffington before the 2005 launch of the site, which was originally intended to be a liberal counterpoint to the Drudge Report. They sent Huffington a proposal for a site called fourteensixty.com that pitched features that were later implemented on ... read more

I keep comments open forever on Workbench because the old blog entries here occasionally attract some interesting comments in the deluge of spam. A debt collector searching Google on Tuesday for the phrase debt collector sued for doing their job found my story on the $8.1 million judgment against a collector and posted an epic rant. The rant, which I've reprinted in full below, shows that debtor anger and the threat of being sued are getting to these bottom feeders. If you're bothered by calls from debt ... read more