Well, not every day you receive a formal letter from the Nobel Foundation. Excited, we opened the large envelope from Sweden thinking that our efforts were positively acknowledged by the institute. Long ago we chose to include the Nobel Peace Prize and what it stands for as the ultimate award for a true PeaceMaker. We couldn’t think of a better ending to our peace game than standing on that honorable stage with world leaders and past peacemakers. To be honest, there was also controversy. We got numerous angry emails from Jewish and Israelis that lost their faith in that institution after Arafat has received the prize in 1994. In their eyes he was actually the cause for the failure of the peace process.
Well, back to the envelope. Unfortunately, the letter was not such an acknowledgment. In fact it was a “warning/cease and desist letter” for using the Nobel medal as part of our game. As it turns out – the Nobel foundation owns trademark registrations and the letter claims that we “take unfair advantage of their intellectual property rights, in a way that is detrimental to the distinctive and repute of this trademark”. Although there was no infringement on our side, and we had nothing but pure intentions, as a small business we couldn’t afford a legal battle. We also thought that our energies should be invested in other places. Sadly, we’ve decided to remove all mentions of the prize (textual and visual) from our site, the game and all other materials. Starting from version 1.06 of PeaceMaker players will no longer receive the Nobel Prize. Would the Nobel guys feel the same if this was a book or a movie, I wonder. Still, in the world of Internet transparency, global free speech and blurry borders between public domain and IP it seems somewhat out of place and disappointing.