Mike Tinney’s deposition in the White Wolf v. Sony case is mildly interesting, if only for the following paragraph:
White Wolf has been in discussions with Sony Online about it creating a massively multi-player Internet game based on White Wolf’s Vampire: The Masquerade, Werewolf: The Apocalypse and World of Darkness.
It also sets out the course of events which led to the lawsuit. On April 21st, 2003, Tinney sent Andy Zaffron (a contact of his over at Sony, presumably for the EverQuest pen and paper adaptation) email asking for help getting in touch with Sony Pictures:
“I’ve taken a look at a trailer for an upcoming film called Underworld that is to be distributed by Sony Pictures this coming Fall. It looks (from the trailer) as though it borrows fairly heavily from our World of Darkness IP.”
In a subsequent email on the same day, Tinney said:
“When a film like the Underworld comes across our radar, detailing Vampires and Werewolves, who live in secret societies and fight each other, we immediately begin looking for IP similarities. At an initial glance we’re not excited about what were [sic] seeing. Our initial concerns are that the movie looks like it uses themes and elements from our world, character concepts, points of conflict. We’ve crafted a unique and distinctive IP, one that’s a rich blend of old world monster legends with a modern, gen X updated feel and cosmology.”
Which, I suppose, tells us how high the bar for White Wolf IP concern is.
Tinney got a call from Sony, and on May 8th he sent another email to Zaffron thanking him for his help. He never heard back from Sony Pictures after that.