Moral rights, porn star Tera Patrick and Saint’s Row 2

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) aren’t something most people think about in relation to porn. However that is exactly what I thought about when I read this article, published by Kotaku  (Saint’s Row 2: Porn Starlet Tera Patrick Joins Saint’s Row 2). The porn st…. sorry adult star Tera Patrick has been appointed “Special Producer” for the THQ published game Saint’s Row 2 – much to the embarrassment of some members of the development team, Violition (www.volition-inc.com).

Now don’t get me wrong, I am as sick as the next guy and am happy to keep staring at naked ladies until they find the drill hole and block it up. In addition to liking naked women I also like games and films and beer and animals. (The latter burnt just enough that they stop moving then smothered with bar-b-q sauce). What I don’t like is stupid and lazy marketing people who think that the best way to sell me a game (or any of the other things I like) is to dangle Tera Patrick, or any other porn star, in front of my face. Tera Patrick isn’t really a producer (special or otherwise) on the project. She doesn’t have any involvement in the development of the game and the game isn’t about Porn so her use in marketing Saint’s Row 2 is completely gratuitous. Saint’s Row 2 is about Gangs – would anyone seriously think that it would be good marketing to use a porn star to promote The Godfather or Gangs of New York? All this does is tell me that, in addition to being lazy, these marketeers have no understanding of why people buy games and have no respect for for either the customer or the developers that make the games.

So what does any of this have to do with Intellectual Property Rights? Well, in addition to the more commonly discussed IPR such as Copyright and Trademarks there are another set… Moral Rights. No I’m not talking about anti-sin, placard waiving Republicans. Moral Rights are the rights of a author not to have their work distorted, mutilated, or modified in a way that would prejudice the author’s honor or reputation. Something that they could certainly claim is happening as a result of this marketing campaign. Of course they will almost certainly have had to sign a development contract with assignes/waives any such rights but that doesn’t make it acceptable, it just means that unfortunately they can’t do anything about it.

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2 Comments

  1. Posted August 2, 2008 at 4:18 am | Permalink

    Wow, it’s like they took a page straight out of the Acclaim Marketing Handbook.

    I didn’t know much about Saint’s Row 2 before this announcement, but it isn’t a good sign that the publisher is resorting to gimmicks. I too feel sorry for the developers that their work has been made to look a bit tacky by these kinds of marketing shenanigans.

  2. Burden
    Posted January 12, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

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