Renaming KBattleShip and KTron

As you all know, KDE is a project that encourages as much cooperation with upstream as possible. So if a distro has a reasonable request we generally try to find a way to make life easier for them, as this will ultimately benefit all KDE users when they migrate between different environments.

So it is time for us to make life easier for our Fedora friends, as they have been maintaining patches against some of our games for a while. Please help us choose a new name for KBattleship and also a new one for KTron. These will be considered for KDE 4.6, so we need you to act fast! The poll closes on Sunday, November 14th.

10 responses to “Renaming KBattleShip and KTron”

  1. I don’t get the connection between the two sentences:

    “ they have been maintaining patches against some of our games for a while. Please help us choose a new name”

    Can you explain what kind of patches they provide and why that leads to the need of renaming them? Is it a copyright issue or a naming conflict for fedora packages? I don’t get it and I consider the name proposals not as good as the current names.

    • The request for change at the kdegames-devel list has more information about why Fedora needs to rename the games in their patches:

      The KDE Games team feel that it is important for us to cooperate with distros and move their changes upstream whenever possible, as I explained in the article. We discussed it briefly (see the mailing list) and agreed to make the life of our partners a little easier. It also makes it possible for these games to ship in RHEL, as they currently are not part of the collection offered.

      • Thanks for the link. Without that piece of information I didn’t understand the problem (copyright protected names).

  2. For KBattleship:

    • I added the suggestions mentioned in the comments, and will do so until tomorrow then close the list so people can continue to vote.

  3. Some suggestions for KTron:


  4. I find the objection to the word Battleship (owned by Hasbro) hard to accept. Not only is Battleship such a common word by was and is used in other games titles and descriptions, computer or other wise. Battleship is also used as generic word for this type of games. I used to play with pen and paper 20 years ago. You can take fear of trademark infringement a bit too far. Please take this opinion to the mailing list!

    As for new names…

    Please, for all that’s sacred, do not choose either Knames or stupid names as a way protesting against this. Just look at what Fedora chose. Ridiculous!

    First you should look at type of game it is. Then you should choose a thematic consistency with the other games in the KDE collection, but without using the letter K!

    Just a food for thought a simplistic example: Konqi’s Naval Battle and Konqi’s Snakes.
    Using the KDE’s mascot as common theme. You could then generic names that reflect the games types but without looking too generic…

    Or you could be a little less “anglo-centric” and used “Batalha Naval” used in the Portuguese and Spanish speaking countries.

    • Whether you consider it a good trademark or not, Hasbro does have a registered trademark for computer games with the name “Battleship”. I really don’t think KDE or Fedora is in a position to fight them on the trademark.

      If I recall correctly, trademarks have much looser rules than patents or copyrights. Particularly, you don’t have to be the one to originate the name in order to get a trademark for it, and it is perfectly reasonable to trademark a common word, name or phrase.

      The catch is that trademarks only apply to a narrow range of products. So Hasbro has separate trademarks for a battleship board game, battleship computer game program, and battleship handheld electronic game. Trademarking one of these does not automatically apply to other similar products (so for instance someone could probably still sell a pen-and-paper battleship game). Completely different companies have trademarks for a battleship movie and a battleship herbacide brand, and hasbro can’t touch them. But Kbattleship is definitely still a computer game program, so it would infringe on Hasbro’s trademark. However, since Hasbro did not come up with the concept of battleship, I doubt they have a copyright for the actual gameplay, so as long as the name is changed there would be no problem.