Listen, Don't Mention The Malshandir. I Mentioned It Once, But I Think I Got Away With It All Right.

Gentle readers, I write with important legal, ethical, and spiritual advice: don't say "Malshandir".

Really the core of my advice is not to name anyone or anything "Malshandir". Don't name your baby "Malshandir"; name it, I don't know, George or something. Don't name your dog "Malshandir". Don't name your macaw who rides on your shoulder as you ride your second-hand bike to the ironic t-shirt store "Malshandir." And for the love of the all-merciful God, whatever you do, don't name your pretend Elf, the non-existent avatar you use in an online game, "Malshandir", even if — and I want to make this very clear — you believe he deserves special recognition for having completed the "Fetid Slug Imbalance" quest successfully.

Fetid Slug Imbalance was dropped from the DSM-V, probably for political reasons.

Fetid Slug Imbalance was dropped from the DSM-V, probably for political reasons.

But it's not just about naming things "Malshandir." It's really not even safe to say "Malshandir." You shouldn't say "that piece of halibut was good enough for Malshandir," or "I've been having trouble with that stuff that builds up in the crevices of my groin, where I sweat a lot — what's it called? Malshandir?"

You shouldn't do these things because a guy named Thomas Freyer may sue you or have you arrested using European courts, which apparently are magic and render decisions in two hours. This, apparently, is Thomas Freyer:

THIS IS THE FACE OF YOUR DESTRUCTION, IMPUDENT WORM.

THIS IS THE FACE OF YOUR DESTRUCTION, IMPUDENT WORM.

We know these things because Thomas Freyer has been engaged in a furious dialogue with a web site devoted to the online fantasy game Everquest 2. That site had a profile of an EQ2 character, an Elf named "Malshandir." Mr. Freyer maintains this is VERBOTEN, because even if his domain name malshandir.com has expired, and even if he has not registered an American trademark for "Malshandir", and even if his English company "Malshandir" closed in 2010, and even if the "Malshandir" character was created on EQ2 in 2008, he has a European trademark on "Malshandir," which prevents you from calling anything "Malshandir", even a pretend Elf. Using the name "Malshandir" can have grave consequences, including but not limited to being forced to "delist your site from nameservers within the EU and reject all requests from servers and clients from the EU," a "decision from a court within 2 hours," and exposure to worrisome paradoxes, such as "BTW: I talk with a trademark lawyer. trademark attorneys doesn’t exist."

Read more about Mr. Freyer's legal acumen, and why you should fear his wrath, here.

Mr. Freyer apparently believes based on legal advice — which may or may not come from attorneys that you or I could see or hear — that if he trademarks a name for commercial purposes in Europe, then you or I may not use that name for completely unrelated non-commercial purposes in America, for instance to denote a pretend Elf. This would mean, for instance, that if someone trademarked "Buster" to sell marital aids in Oslo, you could not name your World of Warcraft Orc Buster, even if Buster is not in the actual or pretend trade of manufacturing or selling marital aids. [Note to self: develop pitch for new profession in World of Warcraft. Assign associate with lowest billable hours and least inclination to sue.]

I could explain why that is silly, but I think my head might explode. I am concerned that my head exploding could made some sound that resembles some word Mr. Freyer has trademarked in Europe, which could lead to further litigation against my estate.

So: be sensible, be prudent, and don't say "Malshandir." And whatever you do, don't engage in any sort of contest to see which of you could photoshop the most creative use of "Malshandir" for commercial or artistic use, and especially what you do don't start with templates like this.

Edited to add: Dammit, people! I explicitly told you not to do things like this, from Aaron in the comments!

COME AT US BRO

COME AT US BRO

Updates: All right, who did this? That's very mean to Malshandir!

Meanwhile, Mr. Freyer seems to be very angry and threatening, and thinks that an EQ2 blog can take down posts from Popehat.

Last 5 posts by Ken White

Comments

  1. Katherine says

    Malshandir Malshandir Malshandir Malshandir Malshandir Malshandir Malshandir Malshandir Malshandir Malshandir Malshandir Malshandir Malshandir Malshandir Malshandir Malshandir Malshandir Malshandir Malshandir Malshandir Malshandir Malshandir Malshandir Malshandir Malshandir Malshandir Malshandir Malshandir Malshandir Malshandir

    Okay, so that's lame…but its the best I can do.

    Oh yeah…First!

  2. PubDef says

    Hmm. I've been thinking about making a new guild in WoW. Coming up with a good name is always tough, though.

    Ahh, I got it. "Malshandir's Taint" has a nice ring to it, don't you think?

  3. Jabberwock says

    For some reason it reminds me of the stoning scene in Life of Brian. "He said Malshandir! He said Malshandir!"

  4. says

    @AlphaCentauri:

    Isn't Mal Shandir the current owner of AF Holdings?

    No, you're thinking of one of Anthony Weiner's twitter handles:

    • @Mal_Shandir
    • @Carlos_Danger
    • @Dirty_Sanchez
    • etc.
  5. Jabberwock says

    And one more thing: given the Europeanness of the guy or even his Germanicity, isn't the video "Hitler gets angry at people using Malshandir in vain" practically obligatory?

  6. JohnB says

    My wife and I were coming up with new names for some of the pigs in our herd. There will now be a Malshandir and a few with variations.

    I can also see this conversation in the future:

    "Honey," "I'm going out to shovel up the Malshandir."

    "OK, Dear. Remember to change your clothes in the mud room. I don't want the smell of pig Malshandir in the house. It smells almost as bad as Freyer."

  7. dogfox78 says

    Broken Link. The "this" in the following appears to have been hijacked:\\So: be sensible, be prudent, and don't say "Malshandir." And whatever you do, don't engage in any sort of contest to see which of you could photoshop the most creative use of "Malshandir" for commercial or artistic use, and especially what you do don't start with templates like this.

  8. says

    [Note to self: develop pitch for new profession in World of Warcraft. Assign associate with lowest billable hours and least inclination to sue.]

    I would *so* grind that profession. Uhm, maybe not the best way to phrase that…

  9. says

    PS: Is it the case that there is a difference between "attorney" and "lawyer", in some meaningful legal sense, that Mr. Freyer is referring to? Like, a "lawyer" is anyone who has a law degree, but an "attorney" is some subset that has special powers, such as +10 vs orcs? I've always heard the terms used interchangeably in English, but I also know that common use is not always the same as technical use.

    Or is it that he's spewing incoherent nonsense, sounding very much like someone trying to show their intellectual superiority by harping on a small technicality ("A kilobyte is actual 1024 bytes, not 1000. This error on your part renders your comments on every other issue, everywhere, irrelevant and wrong."), but not being, in fact, correct in their assertion?

  10. Fasolt says

    I'm looking at godaddy.com right now and am pondering snapping up some of the available Malshandir domains. Then I would have all of the webpages say "Come at me bro".

  11. says

    Could we have some further legal advice on other names? Could, for instance, I use the name "Rendah Slam" for a demented orc in my fantasy world not based on any planet in the solar system? Or name an evil warlord "Malsh Adner"? Would it matter if I promised the other players would not taunt him mercilessly?

    Is the proscription limited to prescriptions? Are anagrams anathema'd? Could I name a new formulation of sugared warfarin "Mouse Ratner"?

  12. Aaron says

    Not sure if this is better, but made a slightly prettier version than my last (still less pretty than John's):

    Voilà!

  13. Fasolt says

    I'm going to 2-part this comment.

    Part1: So on GoDaddy, here's what it says in the legal section concerning the responsibilities of a Domain Name Holder:

    Registered Name Holders must represent that: "to the best of the Registered Name Holder's knowledge and belief, neither the registration of the Registered Name nor the manner in which it is directly or indirectly used infringes the legal rights of any third party." This means that the Registered Name Holder must represent to the Registrar that the domain name is not being registered for use in a way that would violate the legal rights of others. An example of this "infringement" could be a registration of a domain name that violates a trademark or copyright held by someone that is not the Registered Name Holder.

    Based on what I'm seeing, I think I'm OK.

  14. says

    a Lizard hissed at the Malshandir:

    A kilobyte is actual 1024 bytes, not 1000. This error on your part renders your comments on every other issue, everywhere, irrelevant and wrong.

    A kibibyte is actual 1024 bytes, not 1000. This error on the Lizard's part, while slyly attributing the error to entities unknown and unseen, renders the Lizard's comments on every other issue, everywhere, irrelevant and wrong.
    SUCH IS THE WRATH AND RETRIBUTION OF THE MALSHANDIR!!!!!~1!

  15. Fasolt says

    Part 2: Jurisdiction Agreement:

    If there is a dispute in connection with the use of the registered name, the Registered Name Holder must agree to jurisdiction of the courts in at least one of two places: where the Registrar is located (often stated on the website or in the Registrar/Registered Name Holder Agreement) or the "Registered Name Holder's domicile." "Domicile" is a word with legally-specific meaning, but typically will be the location the Registered Name Holder provides to the Registrar in the required Personal Data. Agreeing to jurisdiction means that the Registered Name Holder agrees that the courts in those locations have the power to decide these types of cases.

    I'm OK with that.

    Thoughts anyone? Is registering some of the Malshandir domains a good idea or a bad idea?

  16. says

    I've got a plot for a fantasy story my fiancee keeps insisting I write, and I am sooooo tempted to name one of the minor evil characters "Malshandir." A character that gets killed. By one of the main characters who doesn't usually kill people.

  17. says

    Actually, I think there should be a Malshandir backbone cream, too. That character was deleted just a bit too quickly — without even demanding formal proof from the freyerling.

  18. Steven H. says

    @Fasolt:

    "Thoughts anyone? Is registering some of the Malshandir domains a good idea or a bad idea?"

    It's not like Freyer has any of the domains registered, so I'm not sure where the problem would come up.

    I mean, other than Freyer being both an idiot and an ass….

  19. Fred says

    Apparently George R.R. Martin has requested that for the fourth season of GoT, Hodor be rechristened Malshandir.

  20. says

    "You can't use this name, ever, anywhere, I used it first" smacks entirely too much of the "ripoff" drama in various *ahem* art circles.

  21. Myk says

    I have thought about writing a series of novels about a Space Marine named Mal Sha N'dir.

  22. Wick Deer says

    Any lawyer who gave such a silly opinion would be committing Malshandirpractice.

  23. Seth says

    Ken,

    I saw Aaron's image, but just to be 100% certain we're clear, is this definitely the type of image we aren't supposed to make?

  24. Harrow says

    If my imagination was so feeble that the best name I could invent was "Malshandir", I wouldn't call everyone's attention to it.

    -Harrow.

  25. Fasolt says

    @Clark.
    I know you wanted Farmhouse Meth Bust to be the name of your new alt-country band. What about Malshandir? Not quite as catchy, but you'll get lots more search hits the way this is going.

  26. lelnet says

    There's an EverQuest _2_? Isn't EverQuest…_so_ last-decade?

    I wouldn't assume his lawyers are in his head, though. Plenty of totally-not-imaginary lawyers give awful advice. (It wouldn't even surprise me unduly to discover that under EU laws, their advice isn't awful, although I don't know that it isn't. But even if it isn't, good luck enforcing that in the US…)

  27. DS Ullman says

    The best bit of advice I ever got from a lawyer.

    "If you want to pay me $300.00 I'll sign a nasty letter telling him to back off. If you don't, then don't worry about unless someone sends you a certified letter."

    These are words to live by and I suspect would work here.

  28. Delvan Neville says

    Okay, so, the logic is, since europeans can visit his website, european law therefore applies to him and his website, even if he's in the US.

    I'll point out that Wayback Machine is based in the US, and malshandir.com was thus accessible from the US when Malshandir controlled it. Ergo, even by his crazy incorrect lawyer's argument, he has willfully subjected his trademark to US law, wherein he has no trademark. Q.E.D.

  29. Xenocles says

    I think all you Malshandir should start using Malshandir to replace every Malshandir in your language, like the Malshandir from Malshandir.

  30. Bob Brown says

    Where can I get some of that Malshadir Butthurt Ointment? It might save me from making an ass out of my butt some day.

  31. Shane says

    That's it I am creating a Night Elf on my server named … of all things Malshandir. Ohh wait …did I say that out loud? Hope the name isn't already taken.

    Shit!

  32. Nezrite says

    Just made five elves of varying faction and gender in WoW named Malshandir. It seemed the thing to do.

  33. Shane says

    Far to many of you play WoW. And I am saddened and disappointed that not one of you hethens chose a Night Elf …. shame!

  34. Jamoche says

    If it weren't for the site design I would've sworn I was reading a Welcome to Night Vale transcript…

  35. says

    He's too late :) This is just the first forty results. His lawyer better have LEET skills to handle all the infringers.

    Note that some of the 'finds' are fakes. Facebook always claims to have a user of whatever name you search. Their business model is eyeballs, and if they have to lie to get your eyeballs onto their site…

    Wayne

    Google Search:

    EQ2U – Character Details for Malshandir – Dirge (92) – Antonia Bayle
    u.eq2wire.com/soe/character_detail/446677832604‎

    Malshandir Ltd in London Profile – Malshandir Ltd Free Webcheck
    https://www.duedil.com/company/06623554‎

    Malshandir | Facebook
    https://www.facebook.com/family/Malshandir/1‎

    Malshandir's albums | BioWare Social Network
    social.bioware.com/3047464/albums/‎

    Eve Who – Pilot – Garafaele Malshandir
    evewho.com/pilot/Garafaele+Malshandir‎

    Domain of Heroes: Malshandir
    http://www.domainofheroes.com/Avatar.aspx?chaid=82177‎

    Malshandir Ltd – Company Check
    companycheck.co.uk/company/06623554‎

    Malshandir.com Site Info – Alexa
    http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/malshandir.com‎

    Malshandir: Carpe diem | Meet Men in London
    mingle2.com/user/view/4076915‎

    EQ2Mission : Information for Malshandir of Antonia Bayle
    eq2mission.flame.org/sony…/446677832604-malshandir-of-antonia-

    Garafaele Malshandir Details – Dungeons and Dragons Online
    http://www.guildportal.com/Guild.aspx?GuildID=296075&TabID…‎

    Malshandir – Reviews & Brand Information – Thomas Freyer …
    http://www.trademarkia.com/CTM/MALSHANDIR-696933_en-US.htm‎

    MALSHANDIR LTD :: OpenCorporates
    opencorporates.com/companies/gb/06623554‎

    MALSHANDIR LTD – UK companies list
    http://www.companieslist.co.uk/06623554-malshandir-ltd‎

    MalsHandIr.com – Mals Hand Ir – Whois – DomainTools
    whois.domaintools.com/malshandir.com‎

    Whois Lookup for malshandir.com – eNom
    http://www.enom.com/whois/malshandir-com.html‎

    Malshandir | Freelancer.co.uk
    http://www.freelancer.co.uk/u/Malshandir.html‎

    Meine eBay Welt – malshandir
    myworld.ebay.de › Community › Meine eBay Welt‎

    EVE Search – Posts by Garafaele Malshandir
    eve-search.com/search/author/Garafaele+Malshandir‎

    Documents for Malshandir Ltd – Cdrex
    http://www.cdrex.com/malshandir-ltd/documents-2694275.html‎

    Malshandir | Freelancer.sg
    http://www.freelancer.sg/u/Malshandir.html‎

    Trademark information for Malshandir from CTM – by Markify
    http://www.markify.com/trademarks/ctm/malshandir/008331118‎

    News for Malshandir
    Trademark Issue Leads to MMO Fan Site Removing Public-Data About EverQuest Character
    SiliconANGLE (blog) ‎- 8 hours ago

    Profil: Malshandir – Königreich Arynar
    gug.arynar.de/member.php?123-Malshandir‎

    Avatar: Avatar von Malshandir …
    Garafaele Malshandir Character Profile – City Info Tracker
    cit.cohtitan.com/character/63002‎

    MALSHANDIR LTD 06623554 United Kingdom GBRDirect
    http://www.globalbusinessregister.co.uk/CompanyDetails.aspx?…MALSHAND…‎

    Freyer-consulting.com: Malshandir Ltd. – Information is our business
    dawhois.com/site/freyer-consulting.com.html‎

    Malshandir got their homepage at Neopets.com
    home.neopets.com/~Malshandir‎

    eBay My World – malshandir
    myworld.ebay.com › Community › My World‎

    Malshandir – mybuffed, Die Community für Onlinespieler
    my.buffed.de/user/296595/‎

    RPG Nation | Profil von Malshandir
    rpgnation.onlinewelten.com/forum/profile.php?…‎

    Malshandir – de
    urlm.de/www.malshandir.de‎

    Whois malshandir.com – Deumain.com
    http://www.deumain.com/whois/malshandir.com‎

    Malshandir Ltd
    http://www.bdexcel.com/company-malshandir-ltd.html‎

    Malshandir LVL [10]Rouge – infensus – Kostenloses Forum von iphpbb.com
    http://www.iphpbb.com/…/malshandir-lvl-10rouge-749992…‎

    Dating London Malshandir (male/36)1975 > Male seeking Female …
    london.flirtbox.co.uk/malshandir‎

    MALSHANDIR LTD, company report
    http://www.companysearchesmadesimple.com/company/uk/…/malshandir%20l…‎

    Malshandir Ltd – Welcome to azCompanies.co.uk!
    azcompanies.co.uk › M › MA › MAL › MALS‎

    User:Malshandir – 维基百科,自由的百科全书 – Wikipedia
    zh.m.wikipedia.org/zh-hans/User:Malshandir‎

    User talk:Malshandir – 維基百科,自由的百科全書 – Wikipedia
    zh.m.wikipedia.org/zh-hant/User_talk:Malshandir‎

  36. atypicaloracle says

    Aw, I wanted to rename my character on WoW Malshandir but it's taken. Ooh, I'll try another server!

  37. says

    It appears that Thomas Freyer has removed his photo from his mingle^2 profile. Rather a pity, since it's not a bad photo. Still, I will note that the man appears to have a bit of neckbeard going on. Speaking as someone who must routinely shave my neck lest it be shrouded in stubbly darkness, I can attest that when a man lets his neckbeard bloom, it's a bad sign.

  38. Tom says

    @PubDef: It's not "Malshandir's Taint." Ken wrote ""I've been having trouble with that stuff that builds up in the crevices of my groin, where I sweat a lot — what's it called? Malshandir?"" So it'd be "Taint's Malshandir," I think.

  39. Tom says

    Oh, and the Library of Congress, or the Smithsonian, or Getty, or some shit needs to hire Aaron.

  40. Aaron says

    Guys, you flatter me. All I did was unearth a historical photo of Hitler on the beach, showing off his ink!

  41. Michael K. says

    @Aaron: I tried to add a "Now with 30% more Streisand Effect!" tag to your graphic, but my Photoshop Skills were weak and I couldn't get the layer blending right so that it'd look normal. :(

  42. Nate says

    Lizard asked about Attorney Vs Lawyer. In the UK we have lawyers and we have solicitors (and also barristers, don't ask me what the differences are), we don't have attorneys. I don't know if it's the same in other EU countries, but I suspect that could be where his confusion has come from.

    Also, what an utter Malshandir!

  43. Aaron says

    @Michael K, I took the liberty of helping you out.

    Is this something like what you wanted? Because I've got it on good authority that I shouldn't do that.

  44. says

    The next time I enchant a weapon in Skyrim, I think I'll name it Malshandir's Taint.

    In the meantime, I'm now the proud owner of the domain http://www.malshandir.us... which is good, because my grindcore band, Malshandir, needs a web presence.

    In other news, I hear "Malshandir" is a very popular name for ponies.

  45. Tom says

    Actually "Malshandir's Taint" sounds good. By Malshandir's Taint, I will avenge you!

    Very few things hurt worse than a Popehat fail.

    [mope]

  46. Tom says

    On second thought, though, "Man, the courthouse's AC was out and my taint's malshandir got pretty out of control" is good enough for me to end my moping, whatever Ken and PubDef might say about it.

    [/mope]

  47. says

    Wasn't Malshandir a character in one of Wagner's operas? I could see Freyer wearing one of those Viking helmets with the horns, an armored bra, carrying a spear and caterwauling* "Malshandir!" on stage while various Teutonic demons circle overhead. I just don't have the GIMP-fu to create such an image.

    *Sorry, Ken. All opera I've heard sounds like caterwauling. I keep a BB gun loaded and ready for when the critters start making such sounds at night.

  48. dumbkraut says

    It's not clear to me if Mr. Freyer still lives in Germany but if so we have ways to teach him the intricacies of (international) trademark law the hard germanic way.

    The German Code of Civil Procedure provides an apt remedy for cases of continued asshatery like this one: Action of Acknowledgement.

    The plaintiff of such action must solely establish that defendant tried to enforce invalid (trademark) claims against him. The full burden of proof for the existence of defendant's assumed rights and his entitlement against the plaintiff lies with the defendant. Plaintiff leans back, watches defendant's downfall and as icing on the cake makes defendant pay all costs of litigation including all attorney fees.

    Kraut-style dispute resolution for moronic trademark claims.

  49. the other rob says

    @ dumbkraut: Good point. I seem to recall a provision in English law, providing for a threats action in TM cases. Given the degree of harmonisation in the EU, that suggests the existence of some similar remedy, in Mr. Freyer's country of residence, whichever one it is.

  50. Fasolt says

    @Jack B: Love the website. I clicked on the "moron in a hurry" link. Who would have thought that was a phrase with legal specific meanings? I can see that phrase applied to any number of persons and situations. Starting with Herr Freyer.

    I wish I had a bunion or a wart I could name Malshandir. Or Freyer for that matter.

  51. Fasolt says

    @dumbkraut: You mean a strongly worded email about a frivolous copyright claim isn't a valid copyright enforcement method?

  52. Fasolt says

    In related news, search result rankings for Malshandir show the link to this blog as #2 on Google and #3 on Bing.

    The Streisand Effect. It's a beautiful thing.

  53. Gabriel says

    EQ2Wire has removed the block and the elf's profile is back online.

    ♫ This was a triumph… I'm making a note here, huge success. ♫

    The conversation between Freyer and EQ2Wire is still in Google's cache, for now; should quickly be preserved elsewhere if anyone cares enough.

  54. Aelfric says

    I found one old reference to Tim Langdell on this site, but this story immediately reminded me of him. Basically he claimed a trademark on any video game or video game associated thing called "Edge" or any derivative thereof–until he screwed up and tangled with a big company (EA). What followed was a Prenda-like implosion of faked evidence and hilarity, and wound up with his trademarks being canceled. Good place to start:

    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-04-19-edge-developer-celebrates-as-tim-langdell-trademark-finally-cancelled

    Apologies if this has been fully covered around here!

  55. jeremy7600 says

    The EQ2U maintainer has decided to remove the block. I just checked his Blog post and he posted an update to the top. He didn't think that a "series of emails sent from an ISP address" was enough to warrant blocking the profile and has turned it back on.

  56. earthclanbootstrap says

    Wait a minute, I thought Malshandir was exiled to the Outer Spheres by Cthulhu during the age of the Great Old Ones? I could have sworn that's what Abdul Alhazred told me during a night of heavy drinking after a particularly difficult stretch of copy-editing during the writing of the Necronomicon. I distinctly recall him saying "Malshandir was a f@%&ing pussy". OTOH, the whole exchange may have just been a delusional side effect of all the absinthe.

  57. dumbkraut says

    @the other rob:

    I guess declaratory judgement would be the equivalent in the Common Law world. At least the linked Wikipedia article expressly mentions an action for declaratory relief as a possible reaction to a cease-and-desist letter.

    @Fasolt:

    Given this facts of the case copyright claims would be even more fun.

  58. jeremy7600 says

    I wish I could edit. Theres more, he also stated:

    "So my advice: take a few deep breath then think how you would feel if someoneis stealing your work. You would be angry.
    Delete the full thread, delete the thread on Kens site and on splashworld. Tell your posters here to stop hunting an innocent man. Think about you have done something wrong by German law.
    Call the company or sent them an email to apologize the same to Mr. Freyer.You have to deescalate."

    BOOMSHAKALAKA

  59. Neon O'Mad says

    Quote: "Thomas on July 26, 2013 at 6:57 am
    Nice Life of Brian reference, Ken."

    Actually, it's a nice Fawlty Towers reference… "don't mention the war…"

  60. dumbkraut says

    @jeremy7600:

    Think about you have done something wrong by German law.

    Being a German lawyer, I can assure Mr. Freyer that the only thing "wrong" is that his ass hasn't been sued already.

  61. says

    Quote: "Thomas on July 26, 2013 at 6:57 am
    Nice Life of Brian reference, Ken."

    Actually, it's a nice Fawlty Towers reference… "don't mention the war…"

    I thought it was a Galaxy Quest reference.

  62. Nate says

    That is so clearly Freyer posting as 'Jo'. They say they're French, but I think French & German people who write/speak English as a second Language have slightly different speech patterns (and make different errors). That said, for a German who had a company in England, his English is pretty poor (most German's tend to have pretty decent English since they learn from such a young age). I find it interesting that 'Jo' says Malshandir the company was sold when the companies profile shows it was dissolved (it looks to have had a less than stellar trading history too, though I could be reading it wrong). If that wasn't enough to come to the conclusion that Jo is the same person who wrote the emails, they have the same fascination with just how much it's going to cost to defend & overexaggeration (at how they add up the 'crimes' how many suits can be brought, how many days it'd take to defend, etc), and the utter certainty that everyone who has a website that shows in Germany falls under their law regardless of where your site is hosted.

    And of course, he's now reaping the rewards of the Streisand Effect. I dunno what he ever hoped to achieve (if indeed it is him to start with, it could've been a troll…except for it being an Elf (yes, I went there :P).

  63. Aaron says

    @Jack B: Maybe you should, on the website, feature the photoshops people have made in this thread of Malshandir. Just to collect them in one place.

  64. Fasolt says

    Also, if the company was sold, why didn't they transfer the domain name to the new owners? If I bought a company, I'd want the domain name as well.

  65. legionseagle says

    Did I see a London address on that threatening letter? That's unfortunate: see s. 21 Trade Marks Act 1994 which provides a remedy for groundless threats of trade mark infringement. I think Mr Justice Malshandir expressed some thoughts on the applicability of that remedy for, as his lordship put it, "People being batshit bonkers on the internet" in the well known case of Malshandir Exports Inc v. Malshandir GMBH.

  66. EdH says

    Sorry, everyone. As the proprietor of Mal's Shandies, I can promise we'll no longer be selling to Mr Freyer – he's clearly had quite enough already and is now just mumbling incoherently in the hopes of another swift half before bedtime.

  67. dumbkraut says

    @Nate:

    everyone who has a website that shows in Germany falls under their law regardless of where your site is hosted

    In cases comparable to this one, German courts have held that a website must be "specifically directed" (not a quote, rather a coarse translation) towards the German market for German law to be applicable. The location where a website is hosted is, if at all, of secondary relevance to German courts. What "specifically directed" towards the German market really means is a bit unclear and there is still no precedence from Germany's Federal Court.

    But this question is moot anyway, as the premise of EVERY infringement of a trademark in German law is that it occurs "in the course of trade" (cf. Section 14, 15 of the German Act on the Protection of Trade Marks and other Symbols). The same holds true for trademark specific criminal sanctions. And in this case there isn't even the faintest trace of a usage "in the course of trade".

  68. PonyMaster2k says

    You got a message about trademarks and you do not delete pictures of maybe Mr. Freyer.This gives him a very good reason to sue you. And you know the DCMA. It is illegal to post pictures without permission of the photographer or owner of the right.

    So many lols in that message. Has Mr. Freyer sent an angry email to protest his picture being used in Ken's original post?

  69. says

    @Jack B: Maybe you should, on the website, feature the photoshops people have made in this thread of Malshandir. Just to collect them in one place.

    Aaron: Great idea! I've added all the photos I could find in this thread, feel free to point me towards any that I've missed.

    Also, apologies for my html skills… they're a bit — for lack of a better word — malshindar.

  70. Colin says

    I once heard an urban legend that if you go into your bathroom, turn off all the lights, and say "Malshandir" three times, Thomas Freyer appears in the mirror and spews word salad at you in your choice of language.

  71. PonyMaster2k says

    @Jack B

    What about adding the mingle picture on malshadir.us as well? Would be great to have the face of a satisfied customer. I think I heard he's been quoted as saying "Malshandir cleansing with vinegar has helped me ease the irritation in my most sensitive areas."

  72. AlphaCentauri says

    @akahige: drat you, and I had stuff I needed to do this weekend. 2.9 MB, that's too tempting …

  73. AlphaCentauri says

    That post from Jo is so clearly meant to threaten to force him to default by filing in multiple inconvenient countries and make him spend millions of Euros to get trivial cases dismissed all over the place. Is there some way of seeking that declaratory judgment thing in a country where there are penalties for this behavior? Could that be used to get Freyer's IP information to show he sent email from the same location that was used to post as Jo?

  74. says

    Ken – I really, really appreciate your well-meaning advice. Truly! I humbly apologize for ignoring it, despite the lengths you've gone to try and protect us all. I have to, though.

    You see, my son has a wart. Not a common wart, no. This one is special…from the planet Krypton, or something. To date, it has been:
    1. Frozen (Liquid Nitrogen) [twice]
    2. Burned (Laser death beams) [thrice]
    3. Medicated (assorted long latin-y names) [6 and counting]
    4. Suffocated (duct tape) [no, I'm not kidding]

    Even after all of the above, this wart-like growth refuses to disappear. Now, though, I finally know why: It isn't a wart at all!

    It is Malshandir.

    So thank you again, Ken, for enlightening me.

  75. Aaron says

    @akahige, just got back. That pictures enticing. Now to figure out what to do with it…

  76. AlphaCentauri says

    That poor guy with the elf avatar is going to want to change his name after all this ;)

  77. says

    Left this (consolidated here) comment on EQ2Wire:

    Figured out where the mysterious “Malshandir” name originates from.

    http://www.pandius.com/gaz13_dm.html “for Dungeon Masters running D&D (R) Known World or Hollow World (R) campaign”

    A Dungeons & Dragons Hollow World Campaign Set is available for purchase at Amazon. The book was published by Wizards of the Coast, Copyright August 1990.

    Thomas Freyer would have been 14 or 15 years old at the time.

    A clearer document showing the origin of “Malshandir”.

    http://mystara.thorf.co.uk/files/gaz13-the-shadow-elves.pdf
    The Shadow Elves Players’ Guide
    An Official Dungeons & Dragons Game Supplement
    By Carl Sargent and Gary Thomas
    Copyright 1990, 1995 TSR Inc/Wizards of the Coast

    Malshandir makes an appearance on page 48.

    Wizards of the Coast bought TRS/Dungeons and Dragons in 1997(?). Wizards of the Coast is subsidiary of Hasbro Inc. Founded in 1923, “Hasbro Inc is an American multinational toy and board game company. It is one of the largest toy makers in the world.”

    Like http://www.hasbro.de and Hasbro Germany DmbH.

    Wizards of the Coast, a United States company, is still in operation today

    I wonder what their lawyers would do about Thomas Freyer?

    /*

    “Breakdown, takedown, you’re busted”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pk-W_i7Z59I
    Bob Seger, Shakedown, Beverly Hill Cop II (1987)

  78. Malshandir the rapper says

    They call me Malshandir, "coz" I'm inspiring fear
    dear Internet I'll sue you next for calling me weird.

  79. barry says

    in 2004 Donald Trump tried to trademark the phrase "you're fired", but that was probably just a publicity stunt. If Malshandir was publicizing anything other than butthurt cream, I'd suspect this was too.

Trackbacks