Diplomacy maps copyright

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Tom Fumia

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Mar 19, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/19/97
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Hello,
I was wondering about all the maps and map utilities available
on the net, when on cserve AH has said they will not allow any maps to
be uploaded to the DIP forum. They also say the have never given their
consent to any utilities, maps etc on the 'net. It seems everybody
around here thinks otherwise, not that I mind I really need those map
utilities to manage my games :-)
-Tom

Manus Hand

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Mar 20, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/20/97
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I don't know what AH said on CompuServe, but they have indeed given explicit
permission to the Internet PBEM hobby to create and electronically distribute
copies of the map (with the one and only restriction, I believe, that notice
of their copyright is maintained on the copies). Someone, somewhere (is it
Nick? or Ken?) has the written agreement saying so. They require only that we
do not reproduce or distribute the rules in any form and that we in good faith
encourage purchase of the game and the rules from them. If we don't hold up
our end of the bargain, they have threatened to pull the plug on the judges
with legal action. The fact is that they probably don't have the legal RIGHT
to kill the judges, but (compared to us, at least until the hobby goes
professional :-) that they have the legal FUNDS to do it, and since we like
them and we like their terms regarding protection of their copyright on the
rules, it's no big deal.

Stab you soon,
Manus

Tom Fumia

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Mar 20, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/20/97
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Manus,
If you get any more information on this written agreement saying
so, or if anyone else has, it I'd be very interested in seeing it. AH
on cserve is very adamant in saying they have never ever given
permission to transfer the map electronically. They feel they are being
jilted and have no way to stop it. They say the rules are too simple,
easily remembered and it's the map that force's someone to buy the game.
Once again if anyone has more information I'd be very interested.
-Tom

fen...@memphisonline.com

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Mar 21, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/21/97
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> (A.H. & Dip Map)
> <snip>

I wonder if Avalon Hill also allows the Empire in Arms Map to be Used as
such on the 'net?

Jim Burgess

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Mar 21, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/21/97
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fen...@memphisonline.com writes:

This was a specific negotiated agreement that the Judge hobby worked out
with Avalon Hill. Thus, the answer to your "I wonder" question is
probably "no". If there is a community of Empire in Arms players,
you should approach AH directly, and not wait for them to approach you.

Others know better the details, but the CompuServe hobby had a different
experience that was older (the CompuServe hobby existed for many
years before the Judges began) and they have not received the same
permission. The important point to people out there is: this is
serious! Buy the rules!! If AH monitored this forum (which they don't)
they would be annoyed by the number of rule questions (especially the
simple ones) as evidence that people aren't buying the rules. The
tradeoff that they would sell lots of copies of the rules, convinced
them to allow the map to be distributed with their copyright.

This means you!!!

Jim Burgess


Tom Fumia

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Mar 21, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/21/97
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JIm,
But AH reps on cserve, 2 of them, have stated permission has
NEVER EVER been given to have DIP maps transferred electronically or by
any other means. Including for the judge community. They believe the
rules are easily remembered and it's the map that forces someone to buy
the game. That is what I've been told and I have yet to find anybody
with evidence to contradict this.
-Tom

Brian Kieslich

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Mar 22, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/22/97
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I would like to buy the rules.
The problem is that I want the rules in english and I live in Denmark.
I have written AH three times but no reply.
Found the rules on a webpage. But still want the original ones.
How do I get them ?
Brian Kieslich.


Loki

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Mar 23, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/23/97
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In article <3331D7...@concentric.net>, Tom Fumia
<tfu...@concentric.net> writes
Excuse my ignorance (since I have never seen the AH boxed set) but what
have AH contributed to the game since, if I remember correctly, they
only bought into Diplomacy in 1976 when it was already being played
world wide.
Can AH copyright a map of Europe? - are the coastlines, Cities,
countries, sea areas 'copyrightable'.
Presumably the intellectual rights for the Diplomacy map and rules
rests with Allan Calhamer or the originator of the map - can they be
'purchased' along with the Diplomacy trademark??? ((My earliest set
has rules and copyright by Intellectual Diversions Ltd 1962 ))

--
Loki

Jamie Dreier

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Mar 23, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/23/97
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Loki <Lo...@rhubovia.demon.co.uk> wrote:


> Excuse my ignorance (since I have never seen the AH boxed set) but what
> have AH contributed to the game since, if I remember correctly, they
> only bought into Diplomacy in 1976 when it was already being played
> world wide.
> Can AH copyright a map of Europe? - are the coastlines, Cities,
> countries, sea areas 'copyrightable'.

No, you're right, I think. It's pretty dubious for Avalon Hill to claim a
copyright on relevant features of their map.

First, they obviously can claim no copyright on a map of Europe.

Second, I don't believe they can claim a copyright even on the topology of
the map for Diplomacy.

What they can do, as I understand it, is copyright a particular
presentation. Thus, they can demand that no one scan in a conference map
and distribute it as a GIF, or anything like that. But if you draw a
topologically equivalent map freehand, color it differently, and fix other
details, I am pretty sure you're quite safe. (But I'm not a lawyer, and
this is not legal advice!)

> Presumably the intellectual rights for the Diplomacy map and rules
> rests with Allan Calhamer or the originator of the map - can they be
> 'purchased' along with the Diplomacy trademark???

Yes, I'm just about certain that they can.

-Jamie

Stephen Agar

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Mar 23, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/23/97
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In article <pl436000-220...@bootp-19.college.brown.edu>, Jamie
Dreier <pl43...@brownvm.brown.edu> writes

>No, you're right, I think. It's pretty dubious for Avalon Hill to claim a
>copyright on relevant features of their map.
>
>First, they obviously can claim no copyright on a map of Europe.
>
>Second, I don't believe they can claim a copyright even on the topology of
>the map for Diplomacy.
>
>What they can do, as I understand it, is copyright a particular
>presentation. Thus, they can demand that no one scan in a conference map
>and distribute it as a GIF, or anything like that. But if you draw a
>topologically equivalent map freehand, color it differently, and fix other
>details, I am pretty sure you're quite safe. (But I'm not a lawyer, and
>this is not legal advice!)

Well I am a lawyer (although a UK lawyer) and I have said for a long
time that AH constantly overstate their entitlement under copyright law
- or at least UK copyright law. They cannot stop people from redrawing
their own maps (there is no copyright in the spatial relationships of
spaces on a map - only in the artwork). CompuServe take AH far too
seriously - they would not even allow me to upload a Diplomacy variant
based on a map of Europe which had totally different spaces and players,
on the spurious ground that it would infringe AH's copyright.

AH do have right in the Trade Mark "Diplomacy", they do have copyright
in the rules and they do have copyright in their specific artwork for
the board. That's it.

They do not have any rights over software (such as Judge code) which
manipuates text on the basis of algorithms designed by the progammer
which tries to apply Diplomacy rule conventions to sets of orders. Nor
do they have rights over other representations of the Diplomacy map
drawn by individuals. All they seem to do is claim such rights and
threaten litigation knowing that in the US people (and especially
CompuServe) are intimidated by such things.
--
Stephen Agar, Brighton, UK
www.spoff.demon.co.uk

Manus Hand

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Mar 23, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/23/97
to

Tom Fumia (tfu...@concentric.net) wrote:
: But AH reps on cserve, 2 of them, have stated permission has
: NEVER EVER been given to have DIP maps transferred electronically or by
: any other means. Including for the judge community.
:
They are mistaken. I just received confirmation that it is David Kovar who
has possession of the concrete evidence to the contrary.

: They believe the rules are easily remembered and it's the map that forces
: someone to buy the game.
:
Others there apparently believe the opposite, and for many years now, we in
this community have done our best to prove the opposite view. (And frankly,
I think we've done them proud and spurred their sales much more than if we
hadn't been here doing what we do.) As Stephen Agar points out, AH really
doesn't have a leg to stand on in any threat to shut down the judge or forbid
distribution of hand-made (or original electronic) maps. However, since they
have the money to at least make the threat, and since it is in our interest
to promote growth of the hobby and eternal support for the game by AH, by
encouraging purchase of the game and/or rules, we're all one big happy family.

: That is what I've been told and I have yet to find anybody

: with evidence to contradict this.

:
Consider it contradicted, and David has the evidence. The text of the
agreement has been posted in the past, so if I had saved the posting, I
would have the evidence as well.

For the record, Avalon Hill has been very nice to us and I want us to keep
being very nice to them.

Stab you soon,
Manus

Rp

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Mar 24, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/24/97
to

I'm sure that if they kill the judges, by innitiating litigation, that
they will have single handedly jilted themselves. The presumption they
make about the rules, and their being so simple, is that someone has
already provided an outline of them to the beginning player.
(Note: the rules may be simple, but the rulebook requires several
readings, just to gain a basic understanding of gameplay.)

If you scan the messages on r.g.d. you will find one or two messages a
week where some 'old-timer' tells people to buy the rules. (There is no
better free-advertisement) I believe several online resources also make
mention of how you can acquire a set. I've always taken the stand of
suggesting the box, with the map, set of units, con maps, and of course
the rules. There is just no other option available which makes thinking
out strategy easier. The tradeoff being, the space requirement to setup
a 32x32 inch map.

Lastly, as AH has not specifically mentioned their disapproval here,
their statements on cserve's closed forum has no bearing here.

I'd be interested in reading their posts to cserve on this subject, if
that were possible.

-Rob

Furthermore,

Greg Lindahl

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Mar 24, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/24/97
to

In article <5h3ntm$6ni$2...@citadel.evolving.com>,
Manus Hand <ma...@hoss.evolving.com> wrote:

>They are mistaken. I just received confirmation that it is David Kovar who
>has possession of the concrete evidence to the contrary.

This should go into the FAQ when it is revived. Ken Lowe wrote AH for
permission and received it.

>For the record, Avalon Hill has been very nice to us and I want us to keep
>being very nice to them.

Amen. Ignore the compuserve goobers; speak nicely of AH, and buy the
rules if you don't have a copy. Me, I have a set with wood blocks...

-- g

Jim Burgess

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Mar 24, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/24/97
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Brian Kieslich <kies...@post1.tele.dk> writes:

Did you send them any money or an International Reply Coupon?
It is a shame, but I can understand why AH decided not to pay
international postage to send you a catalog. I believe the
rules price is $10 US (someone please correct me if I am wrong,
it might be only $5 US). I would suggest either sending them the money OR
sending them an International Reply Coupon OR perhaps BOTH.

Jim Burgess


Jim Burgess

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Mar 24, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/24/97
to

Tom Fumia <tfu...@concentric.net> writes:

>JIm,

> But AH reps on cserve, 2 of them, have stated permission has
>NEVER EVER been given to have DIP maps transferred electronically or by

>any other means. Including for the judge community. They believe the
>rules are easily remembered and it's the map that forces someone to buy
>the game. That is what I've been told and I have yet to find anybody

>with evidence to contradict this.

> -Tom

Sorry, Tom,

But that just isn't true. I have not seen the Judge community's
agreement with AH; however, I have seen what AH wrote to accompany
that agreement and it DOES allow the map to be distributed with
copyright notes.

I do NOT know first hand the entire history with the CompuServe forum
and thus am reluctant to describe what is rumor from my point of
view. What I am saying is that I do understand that their experience was
different.

Jim

David Lane

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Mar 24, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/24/97
to

First, let me say, I am not now, nor have I ever been, a lawyer.

In article <9WXZHCAB...@spoff.demon.co.uk> Stephen Agar
<ste...@spoff.demon.co.uk> is alleged to have written:

In article <pl436000-220...@bootp-19.college.brown.edu>, Jamie
Dreier <pl43...@brownvm.brown.edu> writes
>No, you're right, I think. It's pretty dubious for Avalon Hill to claim a
>copyright on relevant features of their map.
>
>First, they obviously can claim no copyright on a map of Europe.

They can and do make such a claim. Though not on a generic map of
Europe, only on *their* map of Europe. Remember, the Diplomacy map
*isn't a correct map of Europe in any year.*

>Second, I don't believe they can claim a copyright even on the topology of
>the map for Diplomacy.

Not sure if their claims mention the topology. Mostly the US
copyright would cover the artwork, except that it's a fictional map.
If it's an historically accurate map, then it's *almost* a non-issue.

>What they can do, as I understand it, is copyright a particular
>presentation. Thus, they can demand that no one scan in a conference map
>and distribute it as a GIF, or anything like that. But if you draw a
>topologically equivalent map freehand, color it differently, and fix other
>details, I am pretty sure you're quite safe. (But I'm not a lawyer, and
>this is not legal advice!)

Well I am a lawyer (although a UK lawyer) and I have said for a long
time that AH constantly overstate their entitlement under copyright law
- or at least UK copyright law. They cannot stop people from redrawing
their own maps (there is no copyright in the spatial relationships of
spaces on a map - only in the artwork). CompuServe take AH far too
seriously - they would not even allow me to upload a Diplomacy variant
based on a map of Europe which had totally different spaces and players,
on the spurious ground that it would infringe AH's copyright.

AH do have right in the Trade Mark "Diplomacy", they do have copyright
in the rules and they do have copyright in their specific artwork for
the board. That's it.

Well, yes, but it extends a little beyond this (though how much is a
matter of interpretation).

They do not have any rights over software (such as Judge code) which
manipuates text on the basis of algorithms designed by the progammer
which tries to apply Diplomacy rule conventions to sets of orders. Nor
do they have rights over other representations of the Diplomacy map
drawn by individuals. All they seem to do is claim such rights and
threaten litigation knowing that in the US people (and especially
CompuServe) are intimidated by such things.

To some extent, they can claim that a computer implementation of a set
of prose rules is a "derivative work" of those rules. This would be
on a par with translating the rules into, say, French. Translations
into other forms are derivative works.

There is some case law for this in the US.

--
Stephen Agar, Brighton, UK
www.spoff.demon.co.uk

David.
--
David Lane dl...@contactpt.com
Chief Cook and Bottle Washer http://dlane.contactpt.com
Contact Point Technologies http://www.contactpt.com

Manus Hand

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Mar 24, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/24/97
to

Brian Kieslich (kies...@post1.tele.dk) wrote:
: I would like to buy the rules.

: The problem is that I want the rules in english and I live in Denmark.
: I have written AH three times but no reply.
: Found the rules on a webpage.
:
I hope you *didn't* find the rules on a webpage! If you did, please
send me --in private e-mail-- the URL of this page! Its owner should
be made aware of his illegal behavior and the very real danger that
it poses to the hobby at large.

Stab you soon,
Manus

Tom Fumia

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Mar 24, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/24/97
to

Rp wrote:


> I'd be interested in reading their posts to cserve on this subject, if
> that were possible.
>

> -Rob Here's one of the posts:

The situation is rather difficult to manage, not just from the
standpoint of the policing effort involved. If we go after people, we
kill interest in the very games we are trying to sell. If we don't,
people see that as free license to do anything. Company policy has been
to pursue legal actions against people abusing our Intellectual Property
Rights, so as to maintain the right and to continue to sell the games at
a profit. However, the internet creates a policing problem. Naturally,
we want every player of an internet game of DIPLOMACY to own the
boardgame. As the rules are simple and commonly known through
experience, the map remains the item that makes the game unique. This
is why we do not want it put on the net --because it undermines the need
to buy the boardgame (and incidentally can become a revenue source for
the people behind the net game). Quite frankly publication of DIPLOMACY
boardgame variants could become impossible, if people on the internet
are going to steal the map the first chance they get. Taken to the
extreme, we sell 1 copy for $40 and never see another dime. Do you
think such a game can be produced with such gross sales? Of course not.
If internet DIPLOMACY players are truly interested in an expansion of
their hobby with further products from The Avalon Hill Game Company,
then surely you understand our interest in sales of the components.
Electronic bytes are all-too-easy to pass around with no reward to the
originator.
--Stuart K. Tucker, ed. of The GENERAL

Jason Bock

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Mar 25, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/25/97
to

In article <333726...@concentric.net>, Tom Fumia
<tfu...@concentric.net> wrote:


This is an interesting, if somewhat illogical stance. Most game
manufacturers understand the concept that more than one person plays their
games per sale. If I take Diplomacy up to the local university and set up
a game, I will have only one copy per seven players. It would be somewhat
strange if more than one person bought the game within a group of seven.
Sure, every once in a while, someone else might crave a copy and purchase
it, but I doubt it would ever be any better than 3 or 4 to 1 (non-owners
to owners). But, for some reason, on the internet, every PLAYER s expected
to purchase a full copy of the game?

I actually own a copy of Diplomacy. What are the limits of my legal rights
to play THAT game. Am I not within my rights playing Diplomacy by e-mail
with my friends, even though I am the only one who owns the game? While
the game is copyrighted, there are certain fair use assumption made upon
my purchase of the game. It is, after all, a seven player game. It's not
like the Blue English units are sold differently so Bob needs to buy them
to play England.

Are the small maps included in the Diplomacy game box licensed to by
photocopied? I thought that they were (so you could make extra discussion
maps).

ciao!
Jason Bock

Joseph Chen

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Mar 26, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/26/97
to

Jason Bock (jeb...@bright.net) wrote:
: In article <333726...@concentric.net>, Tom Fumia
: <tfu...@concentric.net> wrote:

: > Rp wrote:
: >
: >
: > the people behind the net game). Quite frankly publication of DIPLOMACY

: > boardgame variants could become impossible, if people on the internet
: > are going to steal the map the first chance they get. Taken to the
: > extreme, we sell 1 copy for $40 and never see another dime. Do you
: > think such a game can be produced with such gross sales? Of course not.
: > If internet DIPLOMACY players are truly interested in an expansion of
: > their hobby with further products from The Avalon Hill Game Company,
: > then surely you understand our interest in sales of the components.
: > Electronic bytes are all-too-easy to pass around with no reward to the
: > originator.
: > --Stuart K. Tucker, ed. of The GENERAL

Just to note I've trimmed some of this, and although I don't like
including too much of a previous posting ina message, this thread has
become quite interesting. Hopefully people have been following the
discussion.

: This is an interesting, if somewhat illogical stance. Most game


: manufacturers understand the concept that more than one person plays their
: games per sale. If I take Diplomacy up to the local university and set up
: a game, I will have only one copy per seven players. It would be somewhat
: strange if more than one person bought the game within a group of seven.
: Sure, every once in a while, someone else might crave a copy and purchase
: it, but I doubt it would ever be any better than 3 or 4 to 1 (non-owners
: to owners). But, for some reason, on the internet, every PLAYER s expected
: to purchase a full copy of the game?

At my gaming club, perhaps 3 people own their own copies of Dip (maybe
more, hard to say really) but I know dozens who play. In fact, in our
office where we keep the set we use the most, we lost the rules some
time ago. So does this prevent us from playing? Not in the least.

: I actually own a copy of Diplomacy. What are the limits of my legal rights


: to play THAT game. Am I not within my rights playing Diplomacy by e-mail
: with my friends, even though I am the only one who owns the game? While
: the game is copyrighted, there are certain fair use assumption made upon
: my purchase of the game. It is, after all, a seven player game. It's not
: like the Blue English units are sold differently so Bob needs to buy them
: to play England.

: Are the small maps included in the Diplomacy game box licensed to by
: photocopied? I thought that they were (so you could make extra discussion
: maps).

: ciao!
: Jason Bock

I'd like to bring up my own example. It's quite simple to memorize all
the game parameters of a popular game like Monopoly. If you and 3 people
have all the property rents memorized, and all the board locations and
such memorized, what's to prevent you from playing with a set of dice,
and two stacks for the community chest and chance cards? But yet, so
many households own a copy of the game. Why? Because they like the game
enough to put money into Parker Bros. pockets. Why do so many of us own
a copy of Dip? Cuz we enjoy it, and like supporting a company like
Avalon Hill because we like their products. If we didn't, we'd just
continue playing with other people's sets, or with a map off the net
with memorized instructions.

-Joe


Tom Wright

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Mar 27, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/27/97
to

> boardgame. As the rules are simple and commonly known through
> experience, the map remains the item that makes the game unique.

It is obvious that the person who wrote this does not keep up with this
newsgroup. I would bet that those of us who know the rules through
experience learned them by reading the rules in the first place. I only
began playing this game in January of last year, and if I had tried to
learn the rules through questions to people on the internet, I would still
be a clueless newbie. After playing my first game (FTF) and then learning
that there was a large internet contingent, I wanted to start playing
immediately. Very soon after, I found that nobody in the internet
community would answer more than a very basic movement question, but would
jump at the chance to say "buy the rules". I was (and still am) impressed
by the devotion of the players to not step on the toes of the company. I
ordered an overnight shipment of the game from Avalon hill that same day.

I now have quite a few games under my belt, yet I still consult the
rulebook every now and then. To say that the mapboard is more unique than
the rules is ridiculous.

Tom

Rp

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Mar 28, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/28/97
to

I agree with what you're saying. Furthermore, I have a 'trivia'
question for those who feel they know the rules of Diplomacy:

Without cheating, can you draw a standard diplomacy map, naming all the
provinces, and identify which are supply? (For the less artisticly
inclined, just name the provinces, and know where on the map they are)

I'm still wondering how the CServe discussion area deals with the
'rules question'. Maybe they do just blurt out a subsection from the
rules.

On the subject of the post that was kindly posted here, from the Cserve
area, I noted was written by an editor of 'The General'. How closely, if
at all, does the post reflect Avalon Hill's philosophy? I mean, isn't he
just working for a gaming mag, and stating his opinion?

Lastly, if AH reads this, I would suggest updating the AH WWW pages to
include a secure online ordering capability. I'm sure that enough of us
would: 1. Place a link to it, at no cost. 2. Point people to it when
questions are asked, regardless of how idioticly simple the question is.
(Obviously, AH has never read/understood the foreign language
translations of their manual. I've read the dutch version, and I would
play the game completely different based on that reading.)


-Rob
FTR, I am responsible for the purchase of 3 '84 versions (the plastic
pieces) of Diplomacy.

Dennis Brennan

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Mar 31, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/31/97
to


Jamie Dreier <pl43...@brownvm.brown.edu> wrote in article
<pl436000-220...@bootp-19.college.brown.edu>...


> Loki <Lo...@rhubovia.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>
>
> > Excuse my ignorance (since I have never seen the AH boxed set) but what
> > have AH contributed to the game since, if I remember correctly, they
> > only bought into Diplomacy in 1976 when it was already being played
> > world wide.
> > Can AH copyright a map of Europe? - are the coastlines, Cities,
> > countries, sea areas 'copyrightable'.
>

> No, you're right, I think. It's pretty dubious for Avalon Hill to claim a
> copyright on relevant features of their map.
>
> First, they obviously can claim no copyright on a map of Europe.

Yes, they can.

17 U.S.C.A. sec. 102 (a)(5)

Copyright protection subsists, in accordance with this title, in
original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression,
now known or later developed, form which they can be perceived,
reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid
of a machine or device. Works of authorship include...

pictoral, graphic, and sculptural works.

17 U.S.C.A. sec. 101

"Pictoral, graphic, and sculptural works" include ... maps ...


As I've pointed out elsewhere, maps have been protected by U.S.
copyright law since 1789.


> Second, I don't believe they can claim a copyright even on the topology
of
> the map for Diplomacy.

Yes they can. See above.


> What they can do, as I understand it, is copyright a particular
> presentation. Thus, they can demand that no one scan in a conference map
> and distribute it as a GIF, or anything like that. But if you draw a
> topologically equivalent map freehand, color it differently, and fix
other
> details, I am pretty sure you're quite safe. (But I'm not a lawyer, and
> this is not legal advice!)

17 U.S.C.A. sec. 106

Subject to sections 107 through 120 (which are irrelevant to this
discussion except to the extent that sec. 107 provides for "fair use,")
the owner of copyright under this title has the exlusive rights to
do and to authorize any of the following:

...

(2) to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work ...

17 U.S.C.A. sec. 101

A "derivative work" is a work based upon one or more preexisting works,
such as a translation, ... art reproduction, abridgement, condensation,
or any other form in which a work may be recast, transformed, or adapted.
A work consisting of editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or
other modifications which, as a whole, represent an original work of
authorship, is a "derivative work."

In other words, copyright doesn't just keep you from photocopying the
map, it also keeps you from creating new works based on the old work
to the extent that such activity really consists of borrowing the
expression of the original. For instance, if I created a cartoon version
of a copyrighted painting, that would be an infringing derivative work
(unless my activity were licensed, or "fair use," or otherwise
defensible). In some derivative work cases, there is a problem of proof
of borrowing from the original: was this play based on this novel, or did
the playwright independently come up with the story? In a case of a
diplomacy map, the proof problem is absent because Avalon Hill's map is
pretty fanciful and you can tell if another map is a copy of Avalon Hill's.


> > Presumably the intellectual rights for the Diplomacy map and rules
> > rests with Allan Calhamer or the originator of the map - can they be
> > 'purchased' along with the Diplomacy trademark???
>
> Yes, I'm just about certain that they can.


Correct. Copyrights are perfectly marketable. I think it can be assumed
that copyright in the Diplomacy rules and map currently rests in The
Avalon Hill Game Company, since they've been putting copyright notices
on copies distributed.

> -Jamie

I am a law student, not a lawyer. I have taken some copyright, but my
analysis is not necessarily God's word on the subject. This is not
legal advice.


Dennis Brennan
sp...@dolphin.upenn.edu

Dennis Brennan

unread,
Mar 31, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/31/97
to


Jason Bock <jeb...@bright.net> wrote in article
<jebock-2503...@find2-cs-15.dial.bright.net>...


> In article <333726...@concentric.net>, Tom Fumia
> <tfu...@concentric.net> wrote:
>
> > Rp wrote:
> >
> >

> > > I'd be interested in reading their posts to cserve on this subject,
if
> > > that were possible.
> > >
> > > -Rob Here's one of the posts:
> >
> >
> >
> > The situation is rather difficult to manage, not just from the
> > standpoint of the policing effort involved. If we go after people, we
> > kill interest in the very games we are trying to sell. If we don't,
> > people see that as free license to do anything. Company policy has
been
> > to pursue legal actions against people abusing our Intellectual
Property
> > Rights, so as to maintain the right and to continue to sell the games
at
> > a profit. However, the internet creates a policing problem.
Naturally,
> > we want every player of an internet game of DIPLOMACY to own the

> > boardgame. As the rules are simple and commonly known through

> > experience, the map remains the item that makes the game unique. This
> > is why we do not want it put on the net --because it undermines the
need
> > to buy the boardgame (and incidentally can become a revenue source for

> > the people behind the net game). Quite frankly publication of
DIPLOMACY
> > boardgame variants could become impossible, if people on the internet
> > are going to steal the map the first chance they get. Taken to the
> > extreme, we sell 1 copy for $40 and never see another dime. Do you
> > think such a game can be produced with such gross sales? Of course
not.
> > If internet DIPLOMACY players are truly interested in an expansion of

> > their hobby with further products from The Avalon Hill Game Company,

> > then surely you understand our interest in sales of the components.
> > Electronic bytes are all-too-easy to pass around with no reward to the
> > originator.
> > --Stuart K. Tucker, ed. of The GENERAL
>
>

> This is an interesting, if somewhat illogical stance. Most game
> manufacturers understand the concept that more than one person plays
their
> games per sale. If I take Diplomacy up to the local university and set up
> a game, I will have only one copy per seven players. It would be somewhat
> strange if more than one person bought the game within a group of seven.
> Sure, every once in a while, someone else might crave a copy and purchase
> it, but I doubt it would ever be any better than 3 or 4 to 1 (non-owners
> to owners). But, for some reason, on the internet, every PLAYER s
expected
> to purchase a full copy of the game?

I don't see how it's an illogical stance. If you buy a copy of
the game, you can play with whomever you like. However, you aren't
permitted to copy the entire game and give it out. If you own
a copy of a book, you can lend it to another, or sit down and read
it together with a friend, but you can't photocopy the entire book so
that you each have a copy.

A map certainly is copyrightable, even if it just consists of the
outline of Europe, relatively arbitrary province lines, and some
names. Maps have been copyrightable in the United States since the
first copyright statute in 1789. (in fact, that statute provided
for copyright in "maps, charts [nautical maps] and books," so in
a sense maps were the very first thing Congress chose to protect
by copyright.

An interesting question is whether, assuming that no license exists,
the internet diplomacy "Judge" software infringes AH's copyright in
the rules. Arguably, the "judge" keepers could rely on the Supreme
Court's holding in _Baker v. Selden_ that when copyrightable expression
"merges" with uncopyrightable idea, an implementation of the idea-
albeit incorporating some of the expression- is not an infringement.
That is, the judges might not be infringing because they operate
according to the mechanics and principles of the Rules, rather than
copy the word-for-word expression of the Rules.

That was probably pretty incoherent. My apologies. This is not intended
to be legal advice. I have no intention of attacking the Avalon Hill
Game Company's valid copyrights.

Dennis Brennan


Ben Brown

unread,
Mar 31, 1997, 3:00:00 AM3/31/97
to

>the playwright independently come up with the story? In a case of a
>diplomacy map, the proof problem is absent because Avalon Hill's map is
>pretty fanciful and you can tell if another map is a copy of Avalon Hill's.
>

As an aside, this is no small issue. On such a map as the Diplomacy map of
europe, where a derivative work is obvious, protecting the copyright is
fairly easy, but on such things as road maps, cartographers have been known
to put in fake towns or fake streets on city maps, just so they know if
someone's using their map as a source. There's some amusing examples in a
book entitled _How to Lie With Maps_.

since nobody's actually making money off of the on-line dip maps, this is
not as big a deal, but if someone were to try to sell them, you can bet that
AH would start throwing lawyers real darned quick.

-Ben


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