Baby Takes Stand, Leaves Puddle In Witness Box
But not just any baby. I’m referring to Baby Murloc. Or one of them anyway.
If you’re not an online gamer, you may not be familiar with Baby M.
Baby Murlocs are aquatic humanoid creatures in World of Warcraft. They first came to my attention back in 2012, when I was doing a wacky lawsuits feature for Inside Counsel Magazine. I first mentioned Baby M’s in this post.
What does a Baby Murloc look like? That’s one on the witness stand below. The judge, prosecutor, and jury are all WoW characters, too.
What was the lawsuit all about? I knew you were going to ask me that.
World of Warcraft is owned by Blizzard Entertainment. An employee (now ex-employee) sued the company for copyright infringement and misappropriation of her voice.
The employee developed the voice and created an original song for the Baby Murloc character. However, she claimed that her role at the company (“game master”) was a customer service position, and that providing creative content was not part of her job description.
Hence, she deserved additional compensation for her contribution. The company disagreed with that scenario. She sued.
So was the above illustration for Inside Counsel Magazine? No. The commission came from a surprising source.
Here’s a detail showing the main characters in our little drama.
When I did my original Strange Suits post back in May, 2012, I noted that the Baby Murloc case was one of four contenders for the Inside Counsel feature that month. But
it was not selected by the editors. It only got as far as the “rough sketch” stage.
Then a funny thing happened.
The case dragged on for more than a year. The company finally won– the court ruled the ex-employee was not entitled to additional compensation.
At some point, the lead attorney for the company sat down and googled “Baby Murloc lawsuit” to see if the case was sparking any commentary online. That’s how he came across my rather messy rough sketch.
The case was still pending at that point. After he won, he contacted me and commissioned the illustration. I sent him the digital file, and two printed copies. He planned to hang one on his wall and present the other to his client, Blizzard Entertainment, as a momento of their hard-fought victory.
Here’s the final again.
Are you a gamer? Ever heard of a Baby Murloc before?
Do you have any oddities hanging on your wall to commemorate special “wins”?
Ever had a guest leave a puddle in your living room witness box??
Hope you’ll leave a comment.
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