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Skyrim Dragon Shout app ‘copyright’ creates bad PR for Zenimax

If you are a frequent Skyrim player with an Apple iPhone, there’s a good chance that you are also using the very handy Dragon Shout app, a free app which became available to download back in November last year.

The app essentially follows you on your vast journey, providing a notebook for you to record any notable activities that you come across on your travels. The most useful aspect of the app is the ability to jot down entries on a particular item or event that you have seen in a particular location – making a written observation in the app so that you can remember it and return to the location if needed.

Sounds great for a free app, right? That’s what we thought, but apparently ZeniMax Media, owner of Bethesda and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim are not too happy with the app being available and have decided to send a copyright infringement letter to the app’s developer, Rick Blalock.

However, when speaking to TouchArcade, Blalock has revealed that he is yet to receive a C&D order from Zenimax and Apple has yet to remove the app from the app store since ZeniMax has not revealed what the app is in violation of. You may remember that ZeniMax were in the headlines recently for their efforts to stop Mojang using the phrase ‘Scrolls’. Do we sense an element of over-protection here perhaps?

If anything, the Dragon Shout app embraces everything that is good about Skyrim and according to the developer, the map featured in Dragon Shout is hand-drawn by himself and doesn’t infringe on anything in Skyrim. To make matters even more interesting, we noticed that Pete Hines, one of the big guns at Bethesda has even commented on TouchArcade’s story by saying that this situation is ‘Much ado about nothing. The app is up and will remain up.’

Does that comment from Pete Hines suggest that Bethesda doesn’t mind about the app being up, but ZeniMax does? That may be some tension right there folks. Perhaps ZeniMax needs to calm down a little before fans start to turn against them. ZeniMax obviously doesn’t want to remain in the bad books of the gaming community with The Elder Scrolls Online on the way, so a statement to clear this situation up would be the most effective way of putting this to bed we feel.

In this crazy world of ongoing patent and copyright disputes, do you find it ridiculous that the developer is being targeted for providing a FREE app to Skyrim lovers? Give us your thoughts on this.



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