Page 1 of 2

Copyright: Who is right - or some questions for beginners...

Posted: Sat Nov 19, 2005 5:04 pm
by 007
Sorry for my bad english, I hope you will understand me . . . As a journalist I know most facts about the "writing rules and laws". But nevertheless I have some problems with the copyright laws at software. So here simple questions:

There are more than 100 software titles for the boardgames chess, go or backgammon. No one can stop you if you are going to write another chess, go or backgammon game and sell it . . . and yes, you can call it "xxx chess"!

On the other hand: Do not even think about making a Monopoly game and call it Monopoly. Even if the game is only "very near by the rulesset" of Monopoly, you are getting post from Hasbro . . .

And what if I make a football computergame, like table soccer. Can you also make such a game or not (I know there are several out there). Can you call it table soccer too? If not, what do you have to change? Handball instead of football?

Last case: If I design a boardgame (no software) - can you make a software out of it? What do you have to change - where is the difference to Go or Chess?


So, where is the difference and what kind of case is that here? Any ideas and minds are welcome . . .

Greetings, Sascha

Posted: Sat Nov 19, 2005 8:22 pm
by Quitch
You're getting copyright and trademark confused. You can't used the name Monopoly because the named is trademarked.

Posted: Sat Nov 19, 2005 8:30 pm
by 007
Quitch wrote:You're getting copyright and trademark confused. You can't used the name Monopoly because the named is trademarked.
If it is so simple, where is here the Problem? Why was changed the theme (space instead of isle) and not the name?

Posted: Sat Nov 19, 2005 8:59 pm
by Quitch
Because you can copyright artwork. There has never been a game called END of Atlantis, thus there's no trademark and therefore no need to change the name.

Posted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 1:54 am
by Brice Manuel
As a journalist I know most facts about the "writing rules and laws".
Copyright laws, as they pertain to literary works are quite different from copyright laws that pertain to software.
No one can stop you if you are going to write another chess, go or backgammon game and sell it
Correct, although you may run into issues with a trademarked name.
Even if the game is only "very near by the rulesset" of Monopoly, you are getting post from Hasbro . . .
Yes/No. The "Monopoly" name is trademarked. Monopoly was actually patented before Parker Brothers aquired it, when they did, they aquired the patent. Unfortunately, they had bought Monopoly from Charles Darrow, who actually copied an existing game that was patented by Lizzie Magie in 1904.

Because Monopoly was copied from an existing game, the US. Supreme Court, in 1983 ruled against Parker Brothers in a Trademark lawsuit saying that it was not illegal use "Monopoly" in the name of a clone game since Parker Brothers were in fact using a "copied" game.

"If", you wanted to make a copy of Monopoly or even use the name, you would likely get contacted by Hasbro (who now owns Parker Brothers), but since the above ruling is "on the books" as a precedent, it would make for an interesting study as there isn't much Hasbro could legally do since they have already been ruled against by the US Supreme Court.
And what if I make a football computergame, like table soccer. Can you also make such a game or not
Yes/No. Anybody could make an American Football game or a Soccer game, but it would not be legal to use "NFL" or whatever the Soccer League's name is. You also would not be able to legally use real team names or real player names. Here in the US, to use those names requires a "license" which should be the same in Europe.
Last case: If I design a boardgame (no software) - can you make a software out of it? What do you have to change
Yes/No. You cannot copyright the ruleset to a game. You can trademark the name of a game if it is unique enough. You cannot patent the ruleset to a game, but in some cases, if your game is unique enough you can obtain a patent on the game which "can" cover the ruleset. It is really hard to patent a board game though as the patent criteria is very hard to meet for board games.

Posted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 2:46 am
by sid6.7
i suspect that 007 is julian lets not get involved in his
childish games of rehashing this crap over and over...

Posted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 11:35 am
by 007
Thank you for your explanations. Yes, there are big differences with the copyright rules for journalists here in germany. I understand now some better the "what" and "why". I also read something about it in the wickipedia.

Sorry for my last stupid question. Does anybody know here the game from Julian, which he calls the original? Is it a clasic boardgame or is it a software? I just would like to see it and make me my own mind . . .

Do not misunderstand me - I have the complete package and I love all the games by Sean (I wish he would translate all to the PocketPC too).
If the other game is "just" a classic board game, they should find a agreement - they should think about it: if the game by Julian is just a board game, they have difernet markets. I love the software by Sean, others likes a boardgame . . . . so they could coexist. Perhaps somebody who played it at the PC would like to purchase a board version for friends or his childs etc. It could be a gesture from Sean to give a remark on Julian at the Credits or something like that . . .

OK, if the game by Julian is also software and he was first and only (his idea, his ruleset, his art etc.) I can understand him in different ways - I would not be happy, if I could reed an artikel written by me in another paper under another name . . . I think, anybody who works with his / her brain can understand what does it mean to see a "stolen" work.

But I know (until now) too little to be a jugde here . . .


Just my two cents, greetings and a nice sunday

Sascha

Posted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 11:49 am
by 007
Just a PS: In my opinion it is very good that Sean is no censor here. He could easy erase post - so I have to give him my respect for his behavior here in the forum - I think many others would push more often the delete button . . .

Sascha

Posted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 11:53 am
by 007
sid6.7 wrote:i suspect that 007 is julian lets not get involved in his
childish games of rehashing this crap over and over...
??? Sorry, I do not understand your post at all. Perhaps it depends on th fact that english is just my third language after german and french - so please explain in other words. Thank you!
007

Posted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 11:56 am
by Andy
sid6.7 denkt, dass Sie Julian sein k?nnten, der einen Decknamen verwendet
________
free magento themes

Posted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 12:05 pm
by 007
Andy wrote:sid6.7 denkt, dass Sie Julian sein k?nnten, der einen Decknamen verwendet
Da liegt er leider etwas daneben. Ich denke, unabh?ngig davon, ob ich die Spiele von Sean mag, darf man wohl versuchen, einen im Raum stehenden Vorwurf zu hinterfragen und sich ein unabh?ngiges Urteil bilden . . . Nicht jede kritische Frage ist gleich ein Angriff, aber auch ein ?Fan? sollte in der Lage sein, beide Seiten zu sehen und ?n?chtern? zu bewerten.

Gr??e, Sascha Warnem?nde (007)


(Bad translation: There he is wrong. I think, no matter that I realy like the games from Sean, I have the right, to clear this question for myself and building my own mind. Even as a fan of Sean, you should be able to see boths sides of a story.)

Posted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 12:08 pm
by Andy
lol im scottish, i used a translator site for your benefit.

did a bit of german in high school, wasnt very good :wink:
________
Toyota 3S-GTE engine history

Posted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 12:12 pm
by Quitch
Julian apparently designed Escape from Atlantis (known as Survivors in the US).

Posted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 12:13 pm
by 007
Quitch wrote:Julian apparently designed Escape from Atlantis (known as Survivors in the US).
Board- or computer game?

Posted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 12:36 pm
by Quitch
Board game, from the '80s.