Putt-Putt, purveyor of fine minature golf courses all over America, have sent a cease and desist letter to Mojang and Don Mattrick, claiming that “Mojang AB’s use of the Putt-Putt name has benefited Mojang AB to the detriment of Putt-Putt”.
They included pictorial evidence of how this infringement has occurred.
I sense that Putt-Putt may not be entirely aware of how Minecraft works, nor what its responsibility for its players actions Mojang holds. I consulted Wikipedia on the issue and came up with Contributory Liability, a law that aims to tackle people who enable the infringement of copyright – after all, Mojang did not make these Putt-Putt levels but the levels couldn’t have been made without the game existing. Except, then Putt-Putt would need to prove that Mojang created a game that was in an incomplete state, one which spurred players to fix it themselves, pushing them to infringe on other another company’s copyright.
That would be difficult to prove.
These Putt-Putt levels aren’t fixing issues in a broken game, so the responsibility of their creation falls to the modders themselves.
News of the legal action was announced my Minecraft’s creator Markus Perrson through Twitter:
Putt Putt being silly: http://t.co/SNF3LagykM
— Markus Persson (@notch) July 9, 2013
Putt-Putt have chucked in Don Mattrick’s name into the cease and desist, too, presumably because of his relationship to the Xbox 360 (he was the president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, though recently announced he was leaving to become CEO of Zynga).