Raising legal funds to defend an online sf shared world that's been stolen by a Russian trademark troll

SCP Foundation is an online shared world whose members create delightful fiction, movies, games and other media. It's a sprawling, global, friendly phenomenon, licensed under Creative Commons.

But its very looseness and lack of formal corporate structures also leaves it vulnerable to trademark trolling. Now, a Russian fraudster has registered trademarks for SCP within the Eurasian Customs Union and is sending legal threats to SCP members who sell SCP merchandise, as well as violating the community's Creative Commons licenses by republishing works stripped of the license.

The fraudster has shut down the legitimate SCP community in Russia, and has demanded that the Russian SCP wiki be turned over to him so he can use it to advertise his own line of SCP merch. The volunteer SCP organization is now raising funds for a legal battle with the troll. They're at about $23,000 as of this writing (they've been live for 9 hours), and seeking $50,000 for what may be a very protracted battle indeed.

I donated.

A Russian man has illegally registered an illegitimate trademark for SCP within the Eurasian Customs Union. He has used this trademark to threaten and extort legitimate sellers of SCP merchandise. In addition, he has committed copyright infringement by violating the SCP content license: Creative Commons Share-alike 3.0. We first updated the community about this situation 6 months ago, and now it has escalated.

This man has recently resumed his efforts to threaten and extort competitors, and has now begun to threaten SCP itself. He used the illegitimate trademark to shut down the official social media page of the Russian branch of the SCP Foundation Wiki, as well as a separate fan-page. We attempted to negotiate with VK, the social media company in question, but so long as the trademark registration stands they will abide by it. Now, he has followed this by making a ridiculous demand to be administrator of the Russian wiki, and that said wiki be twisted into an advertisement for his merchandise rather than the writing community that it is.

These actions threaten not only the Russian wiki, but every SCP branch, writer, and fan around the world. We stand with SCP-RU, reject these threats, and are organizing a lawsuit to annul his false trademark, prevent copyright infringement, and protect the community. As an organization of volunteers, this is a measure we do not often pursue due to the costs involved.

SCP Legal Funds [John Beattie/Gofundme]