Intellectual Property (IP) is legal shorthand for all the stuff you brand with your creation. “Star Wars” toys, “Pokemon” chewing gum and “Hello Kitty” t-shirts are examples of a company leveraging their creation to expand the brand. Oh, and they generate income through licensing, of course.
The danger lies in flooding the market with too many, low quality items coated with your IP and devaluing it. Nothing says quality like “Hello Kitty” toilet paper!
That said and with all do respect to “Hello Kitty,” Wizards of the Coast continues to impress me with its “Dungeons and Dragons” IP management incompetence. Wizards flogs D&D products and licenses with wild abandon with no concern as to what it is doing to the brand as a whole. D&D is the most famous RPG in the world. Even non-gamers have some awareness of its existence. It is a flagship IP that deserves respect and careful management before it becomes a national joke. Rather than respect, we get “Dungeons & Dragons: The Book of Vile Darkness.” Yes, the other two movies sucked (a Wayans brother?), but this film is Eastern European trash cranked for zero budget with third-rate English thespians spewing words from a high schooler’s fanfic script. The first appearance of a “Mind Flayer” on screen is particularly awful. I could not stop laughing.
I hold no malice towards the film makers. They bought a license to produce a D&D movie from Wizards. No, the blame is 100% on WOTC. Wizards had to know that they were selling to a low-rent film operation. What possessed them to allow a great IP to wallow in SYFY channel movie of the week purgatory is beyond me.
So, now I make this plea to WOTC; sell the license to someone with a brain and some budget.
Joss Whedon, please save us!
Trask, The Last Tyromancer