Wargaming Tradecraft: The GSW Sword 'n' Steele Takedown


The GSW Sword 'n' Steele Takedown

Green Stuff World
vs Vallejo
vs Sword 'n' Steele

I shared this on Facebook and wanted to save these ramblings on my website as well, so here we are. 
(All relevant links will be posted at the end)

Going to jump in here because as people are wondering what's up, there's a bunch of person view tainted misinformation circling. SO, rumour control, then my own thoughts on the whole situation:

OK, yeah, pretty close font usage.

  1. Vallejo released a new line of colour shift paint.
  2. Green Stuff World went after them because they claim ownership over both their brand, Chameleon, and the term "colorshift". (There was also a claim that some things had been copied, right down to font and packaging.)
  3. GSW won and Vallejo was forced to rebrand and they've gone with the name Shifters.
  4. People had already received the original product line and one such person, posted a review on her YouTube channel Sword 'n' Steele.
  5. Instead of reaching out to her, GSW asked their legal team to order takedowns of anyone displaying the infringing products. And they did. Full YouTube copyright strike and the ensuing demonetization.
  6. Sword 'n' Steele released a reaction video with shots of all her communication with GSW and a few other people are sharing images of their own communications with the GSW social media accounts.
  7. GSW has removed the strike against the channel but warned if it was posted again and still displayed the infringing imagery or says/uses the word "colorshift" then it'd get striked again.
  8. GSW and Vallejo have released statements and Sword 'n' Steele has rereleased her original video with a bunch of hilarious large [CENSORED] tags and audio of her saying "beep" instead of the brand "colorshift". (Or is she saying "colour shift" as a description? More on that later...)

Now, I'm going to say I've used a lot of Green Stuff World products before and I like them. I've tried and reviewed their colour shift paints and the offering from Turbo Dork. Will this incident make me stop using / buying them? No. BUT, it will make me more likely to try a competitor's product.

I'd hate to piss off some other brand of product I'm completely
unaware of who have their own line of foliage...
Don't my Nightstalkers look coooool?
Do I think this was an extreme reaction from GSW? Absolutely. At no point should 3rd parties be dragged into battles like this. GSW should have ensured Vallejo contacted customers to prevent situations like what happened and reacted out themselves to try and correct this issue. Sword 'n' Steele was simply reviewing a product they legally bought and it's not her fault there was a problem with that product.

GSW has tried to play the underdog in this situation, which is difficult when you're striking the community instead of your competitor. They also claimed they thought YouTube (the platform FAMOUS for wrecking channels over nothing) would give Sword 'n' Steele a warning. Personally, I find situations / reactions often reveal a business' internal culture and was rather disappointed by ALL of this and hope they learn and grow from this. I do like the GSW brand and actually ordered a bunch of their product before starting my current Nightstalker project and was planning on buying more for an upcoming project I have when I wrap these. (I dunno, any other brands out there offer great winter effects that could use some spotlight time as my site kicks off again? Yes world, Wargaming Tradecraft is ramping up again...)

When I emailed them, their response suggests they're learning from all this, but I'm not going to quote from the email since they use a scary footer warning about disclosing the contents. 🙄 (Irony being they miss a positive plug because I'm protecting myself from their legalese)

My largest issue with this is something that goes beyond a single channel and affects the community and language as a whole. Green Stuff World claims ownership over the term "colorshift". That would be like Microsoft removing the space between the worlds "operatingsystem" and sending their legal department after Apple and Google for using "operating system" to describe what runs Macs, iOS, Chromebooks and Androids. See what I'm getting at? Give GSW "Chameleon" as that's their brand afterall... but not colour shift. I'm not going to stop describing all colour shift paints as colour shift paints because this is a term that's been widely used for decades, in the likes of fancy sports cars, airbrushing and even craft paints... WELL before miniature artists were using them.

Side note: In the past I've seen cases where businesses lose trademarks for non enforcement. For example, When TONS of companies named themselves winBlank or winWhatever, Microsoft only sued winZip when they started making money and winZip not only defended themselves but caused MS to lose the term "win." (This may be why so many non Apple products are iBlank or iWhatever.)

Anyways, yeah, it'd be like claiming ownership of the term "metallic" paint. You won't find me changing how I refer to Createx Colors colour shift paints, Folk Art's color shift colour shift paints, Rust-oleum's colorshift colour shift paints, Testors color shift colour shift paints, Green Stuff World's Chameleon colour shift paints, Turbo Dork's Turboshift colour shift paints, Vallejo's Shifters colour shift paints, etc.

What is this madness?? Why are all these large companies infringing on Green Stuff World's trademarks?!
Honestly, I think it'd go a long way if Green Stuff World voluntarily relinquished their claim on the term "colorshift."

Oh snap! What was that about Vallejo using GSW's font???
That's why I don't like when companies throw their weight around. Since I've reviewed some of these products, I don't want them taking down my videos or reaching out to Google on the Blogger platform because I use the widely used term "colour shift" I don't feel they should have any claim to in order to describe this type of paint, not a brand. I don't like to have to worry that my own content may be at risk, especially because a brand I actually like is getting ham fisted and overly eager to exercise control over words. (Though they've assured me my videos are in no danger.)

Especially when the company in question apparently lives in a glass house... Gotta say, it's interesting the stuff people are pointing out on the statement from GSW like the photo of marketing below. (Unless, do you suppose this is a licensed partnership with Dragon Ball Z to promote their product?) Meanwhile, Vallejo is obviously loving this after everything they were put through, based on the subtle shade they're throwing GSW's way in their own statement.

Do you need to boycott Green Stuff World like some are calling for? I think that would be extreme. They do make quality products and appear to be attempting to handle this appropriately and learn from their mistakes. I'm still planning on buying from them... BUT, I place quite a bit of value on how a company treats people. Both their own staff and the community. And all of this just feels wrong...

I welcome your thoughts below.....


Sword 'n' Steele's Reaction Video:

Sword 'n' Steele's Review of Vallejo [CENSORED] colour shift paints:

Green Stuff World's statement:


Vallejo's statement:


My review of GSW and Turbo Dork colour shift paints:

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