[Q] HTML'ing rules for personal use _and_ WWW site for j

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Jim Jowski

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Jul 15, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/15/95
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> Judging from the FAQ and previous posts to this newsgroup, Avalon Hill
> has expressly forbid reproducing the rules. Before making a HTML version
> available to the public, I would check with someone who is more
> knowledgeable about the law and/or contact Avalon Hill.

The bottom line is that if you make an HTML or any other electronic copy
of the rules available to anyone, then the judges are history! None of
us wants or needs this, so for the common good, don't.

Jim


Melle Koning

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Jul 17, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/17/95
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Hello Jim.J...@203-1657-3.gigo.com!

Saturday July 15 1995 10:53, Jim.J...@203-1657-3.gigo.com wrote:

>> Judging from the FAQ and previous posts to this newsgroup, Avalon Hill
>> has expressly forbid reproducing the rules. Before making a HTML
>> version available to the public, I would check with someone who is more
>> knowledgeable about the law and/or contact Avalon Hill.

Jc> The bottom line is that if you make an HTML or any other electronic copy
Jc> of the rules available to anyone, then the judges are history!

I don't think so.

I have a copy of the rules [now lying on top of the monitor] and am still
playing via the judges. The judges are just one of the perfect places to play
this game! The judges are here to stay and won't dissapear.

Jc> None of us wants or needs this, so for the common good, don't.

I know people who don't have the rules by hand, hear about the game of
diplomacy from me and want to play via a judge. So for common good (more
people for the hobby) placing the rules on some WWW-page might be very handy.

--
Greetings from the Netherlands,
Melle me...@rtbbs.iaf.nl
+--------------------------------------+
| Not tonight dear, I have a modem... |
+--------------------------------------+


Manus Hand

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Jul 19, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/19/95
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Melle, you misunderstand.

If the rules (Avalon Hill property) appear on the Internet,
available to all, Avalon Hill will pull the plug on the judges.
They can do this, since the judges have their blessing ONLY if
the rules remain their sacrosanct property. The agreement that
Ken Lowe (the creator of the judge) has with Avalon Hill is that
the judge can exist if the rules are not distributed. When ANY
net player violates their copyright, AH will come down on the
judges since this compromises Ken's agreement.

Now whether or not AH could legally shut down the judges is
questionable (frankly, I doubt it) but it is also moot. Just
their threat to try to do so (which, in my opinion, is a
justified one) is enough to keep us all on guard for their
rights. Because if it came to it and AH tried to shut down
the judges, I guarantee the judges would shut down, because
we players couldn't get the money together to fight the
actions of Avalon Hill in court.

Is *is* their game, after all, until someone buys a copy (and
no one can buy the judge, so the judge is a special case and
Ken knew he had to talk to them about it). They and they
alone have the rights to distribute the rules to the general
public. You can share with your friends the one copy that
they printed and sold to you, but you cannot copy it in any
form for public consumption or else you risk not only yourself,
but the whole Internet diplomacy hobby. The judges (which,
I agree, are the very best way to play the game) exist with
the knowledge and at the pleasure of Avalon Hill. Effectively,
we are advertising for them for free (I wonder how many games
or rulesets they've sold due entirely to the judges!) so it is
very doubtful they will ever start some kind of legal action
to stop the judges, but if the net players start publishing the
rules in a forum where the public can get to them, AH can,
should, and will do everything in their power to protect their
copyright, and this includes following through on a threat to
unplug the judges.

(I know that the original poster has said his intention is NOT
to let the world see his HTML; that it will be on a private
WWW page -- behind some personal firewall? -- and if this is
indeed the case, then I think he has every right to retype
the rules which he owns in whatever form he wants. I just
thought that I'd waste some time and bandwidth restating the
reasons why it can't -- and shouldn't, both legally and
ethically -- go any farther than this.)

Knowing (and owning a set of :-) the rules as I do, I think
that Avalon Hill's copyright on them is probably the most
valuable copyright in the whole world. It's the gaming
equivalent of holding a copyright on the Mona Lisa. If I
were AH, I'd protect it too. :-)

Manus


Uncle Don Ross

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Jul 19, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/19/95
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In article <46e_950...@rtbbs.iaf.nl>, Melle Koning wrote:

M> I have a copy of the rules [now lying on top of the monitor] and am still
M> playing via the judges. The judges are just one of the perfect places to
M> play this game! The judges are here to stay and won't dissapear.

I think you are missing the point here. No one doubts the judges are a
great idea and greatly advance the hobby, however...

Who?> Judging from the FAQ and previous posts to this newsgroup, Avalon Hill
Who?> has expressly forbid reproducing the rules.

Jc> The bottom line is that if you make an HTML or any other electronic copy
Jc> of the rules available to anyone, then the judges are history!

I think what they meant by this is that, if you make an HTML or any other
electronic copy of the rules available to everyone on the net, Avalon Hill
will see this as a threat to their revenue and SUE.

The judges are on the net with the blessing of Avalon Hill, along with
numerous postscript maps (which may or may not have originated at AH).
However, the rules are still copyrighted, and AH has given this blessing
with the explicit disclaimer that -no copy of the rules- be made publically
available. If you want to start playing, you still have to BUY THE GAME.

M> I know people who don't have the rules by hand, hear about the game of
M> diplomacy from me and want to play via a judge. So for common good (more
M> people for the hobby) placing the rules on some WWW-page might be handy.

It would be very handy, I agree. I would love to see such a thing.
However, Avalon Hill still wants their fair share of the take - as the
producers and copyright holders (I don't know or care if they invented it)
of the game, they have that right. And your WWW page essentially allows
people to play without ever giving a penny to AH.

So, Avalon Hill finds out about your web page (lovely thing, this internet),
and if we are lucky you get a polite letter asking you to take it down and
pay reparations for every copy of the rules downloaded from your site.

If we are not lucky, a great hue and cry goes up and the judge keepers are
all pressured to close down by their internet providers to avoid lawsuit.

I suspect a sufficiently warped sense of humour could find a way this
benefits the hobby, but to my limited perspective, no.

- Uncle Don
new to Judge diplomacy but picking up fast

--
This electronic mail is infected with the GOOD TIMES virus. To propagate
the virus, please copy these two lines into your .signature.

Eric Coffey

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Jul 19, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/19/95
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In <46e_950...@rtbbs.iaf.nl> me...@rtbbs.iaf.nl (Melle Koning)
writes:


>>Saturday July 15 1995 10:53, Jim.J...@203-1657-3.gigo.com wrote:

>> Judging from the FAQ and previous posts to this newsgroup, Avalon

>>Hill has expressly forbid reproducing the rules. Before making a


>>HTML version available to the public, I would check with someone who
>>is more knowledgeable about the law and/or contact Avalon Hill.
>

>>The bottom line is that if you make an HTML or any other electronic

>>copy of the rules available to anyone, then the judges are history!
>
>I don't think so.


>
>I have a copy of the rules [now lying on top of the monitor] and am

>still playing via the judges. The judges are just one of the perfect
>places to play this game! The judges are here to stay and won't
>dissapear.
>


> Jc> None of us wants or needs this, so for the common good, don't.
>

>I know people who don't have the rules by hand, hear about the game of

>diplomacy from me and want to play via a judge. So for common good

>(more people for the hobby) placing the rules on some WWW-page might
>be very handy.
>

You don't seem to understand the point poeple are trying to make.

Avalon Hill currently allows the Judges, as long as the rules are not
reproduced anywhere. If the rules are reproduced, AH will likely
revoke its allowance of the Judges. And then potentially sue the JKs,
institutions/locations/providers which run them, etc.

Your argument that because it helps *YOU* to have the rules on the Web,
you should be able to, etc., ignores the fact that Diplomacy is the
*PROPERTY* of AH. Just because you *WANT* to play for free doesn't
mean you can...

Please accept the wisdom of the hobby's greybeards (not me) who are
more familiar with this than you. The existence of the hobby depends
on it.

--Eric
--
Goldfinger said, 'Mr. Bond, they have a saying in Chicago:
"Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence.
The third time it's enemy action."'

-- Ian Fleming, "Goldfinger" Eric N. Coffey
ecb...@ix.netcom.com

John Twilley

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Jul 19, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/19/95
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->"Eric" == Eric Coffey <ecb...@ix.netcom.com> writes:

Eric> In <46e_950...@rtbbs.iaf.nl> me...@rtbbs.iaf.nl (Melle
Eric> Koning) writes:


>>> Saturday July 15 1995 10:53, Jim.J...@203-1657-3.gigo.com wrote:

>>> Judging from the FAQ and previous posts to this newsgroup, Avalon
>>> Hill has expressly forbid reproducing the rules. Before making a
>>> HTML version available to the public, I would check with someone
>>> who is more knowledgeable about the law and/or contact Avalon
>>> Hill.

I specifically said that it wouldn't be made available to the public.
It would be a collection of pages that would be on floppy not on the
net.

>>> The bottom line is that if you make an HTML or any other
>>> electronic copy of the rules available to anyone, then the judges
>>> are history!
>> I don't think so.

That bottom line isn't accurate. It's true that if you give away
information that AH makes money on, they'll be upset. But if you give
away the same information that someone already has, but in a different
format, you're not violating a copyright as far as I know.

>> I have a copy of the rules [now lying on top of the monitor] and am
>> still playing via the judges. The judges are just one of the
>> perfect places to play this game! The judges are here to stay and
>> won't dissapear.
>>
Jc> None of us wants or needs this, so for the common good, don't.

It's not an issue of 'the common good'. And I know three people who
have their very own copies of the rules but are salivating at this
prospect.

>> I know people who don't have the rules by hand, hear about the
>> game of diplomacy from me and want to play via a judge. So for
>> common good (more people for the hobby) placing the rules on some
>> WWW-page might be very handy.

This would violate copyright, I think, to let it out into the public domain.

Eric> You don't seem to understand the point poeple are trying to
Eric> make.

Eric> Avalon Hill currently allows the Judges, as long as the rules
Eric> are not reproduced anywhere. If the rules are reproduced, AH
Eric> will likely revoke its allowance of the Judges. And then
Eric> potentially sue the JKs, institutions/locations/providers which
Eric> run them, etc.

Actually, those would be frivolous lawsuits. They'd probably go after
me instead. :-)

Eric> Your argument that because it helps *YOU* to have the rules on
Eric> the Web, you should be able to, etc., ignores the fact that
Eric> Diplomacy is the *PROPERTY* of AH. Just because you *WANT* to
Eric> play for free doesn't mean you can...

And I agree with this. That's why I said they were for personal use.

Eric> Please accept the wisdom of the hobby's greybeards (not me) who
Eric> are more familiar with this than you. The existence of the
Eric> hobby depends on it.

I haven't seen a 'greybeard' make a comment. And I doubt that making
a WWW page of the rules would honestly destroy the hobby as we know
it. However, I might offer to market it to AH for possible commercial
use if it's done professionally.

Jack.

--
Jack Twilley (Nautilus) | "Shake gently before enjoying."
twil...@amdahl.ctstateu.edu | -- Minute Maid Fruit Punch and me
naut...@f611.n320.z1.fidonet.org | "Subtle as a stomach pump." -- me
GAT c+++ d++ e+ f? g+ h++ !l m n--- p++ r-@ s+/- t-@ u+++(-) w+++ y+

Mark Nelson

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Jul 19, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/19/95
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From: me...@rtbbs.iaf.nl (Melle Koning)

>Hello Jim.J...@203-1657-3.gigo.com!

>Saturday July 15 1995 10:53, Jim.J...@203-1657-3.gigo.com wrote:

> >> Judging from the FAQ and previous posts to this newsgroup, Avalon Hill
> >> has expressly forbid reproducing the rules. Before making a HTML
> >> version available to the public, I would check with someone who is more
> >> knowledgeable about the law and/or contact Avalon Hill.

> Jc> The bottom line is that if you make an HTML or any other electronic copy
> Jc> of the rules available to anyone, then the judges are history!

>I don't think so.

>I have a copy of the rules [now lying on top of the monitor] and am still


>playing via the judges. The judges are just one of the perfect places to play
>this game! The judges are here to stay and won't dissapear.


In case you missed it the implication is that if someone makes the
rules for diplomacy available by email/WWW then AH would be displeased
since this would be a flagrant breach of copyright.

In the past AH has succeeded in shutting down pbem it did not
approve of. If AH decided to `shut down the Judges' in a fit of
pique do you think that they were succeed? Do you want to take the
*risk* that they will succeed?

> Jc> None of us wants or needs this, so for the common good, don't.

>I know people who don't have the rules by hand, hear about the game of


>diplomacy from me and want to play via a judge. So for common good (more
>people for the hobby) placing the rules on some WWW-page might be very handy.

So you're syaing that you don't believe in the concept of copyright?

Mark.

Jeffrey M. Beigie

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Jul 19, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/19/95
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I read on the Net last night that Avalon Hill is up for sale.
The new owners may not be so strict.
Remember - wherever you go... There you are.
- Buckaroo Banzai

Adam Kuehn

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Jul 19, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/19/95
to
In article <TWILLEYJ.95...@amdahl.ctstateu.edu>,
twil...@amdahl.ctstateu.edu wrote:

> >>> The bottom line is that if you make an HTML or any other

> >>> electronic copy of the rules available to anyone, then the judges


> >>> are history!
> >> I don't think so.
>

> That bottom line isn't accurate. It's true that if you give away
> information that AH makes money on, they'll be upset. But if you give
> away the same information that someone already has, but in a different
> format, you're not violating a copyright as far as I know.

Be careful of these kind of general conclusions! This isn't a legal
newsgroup, but suffice it to say that distributing a copyrighted document
in a new format such as you propose may in fact be a copyright violation,
even if all those on the distribution list already have their own copy of
the paper rules. Of course, if the distribution is not very broad and not
very public and made for free, Avalon Hill will be unlikely to test you on
it. Just be clear that what you have is your personal property only.
Avalon Hill still owns *all* distributional rights.

> >> I know people who don't have the rules by hand, hear about the
> >> game of diplomacy from me and want to play via a judge. So for
> >> common good (more people for the hobby) placing the rules on some
> >> WWW-page might be very handy.
>

> This would violate copyright, I think, to let it out into the public domain.

This is manifestly true. DO NOT release your HTML on the web, whatever
else you may do, or you'll undoubtedly get a call from Avalon Hill's
favorite lawyer.

--
Adam Kuehn
Berkeley, CA
phr...@mendel.berkeley.edu

Andy Schwarz

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Jul 20, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/20/95
to
Without any quoting of subjects, I think an anaology might be
that

1) I think it is legal to make a cassette copy of a CD you own and GIVE
it to your friend if he/she also owns the CD already, since he/she
can legal make copies him/herself for personal use.

2) You cannot make money off of this though

3) You could not make a CD of a CD (imagine you own a Cantonese boootleg
factory) you own and give it to a friend who own a casette of the
same music, because you've changed to an improived medium

This is not a legal opinion per se, but I have studied the U.S.
copyright acts from a business perspective.

If the analogy of the paper copy being a cassette and the HTML being a
CD is valid, then it seems that distribution would be illegal. if
this is aking to a cassette dub of a CD, and both parties are legal
owners of the CD already, then it would seem cool.

To rephrase Eric's bottm line, i think the legality of distribution
is questionable enough that i would be wary before doing it. None
of us want to lose our judge access. Given that AH shut down
Jim Van Verth's amazing MacDip program (which really was only a
convenient means of keep track of games quickly and you could do
it by hand, this was just a nicer format and he wasn't charging
for it), I would err on the side of caution on this one and keep it
under wraps, private, etc.

Andy


Andy Schwarz

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Jul 20, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/20/95
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mad...@tartarus.uwa.edu.au (Michael Adams) wrote:
>[copyright discussion cut]
>I have it now, the solution to all our problems, why doesn't
>rec.games.diplomacy BUY Avalon Hill, then we can rescind the copyrights
>on Diplomacy and Colonial Diplomacy, making the rules freely available
>to all and leading to an explosion of the hobby!
[more deleted]

I'm in. Can I be VP of marketing?

Andy

Michael Adams

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Jul 20, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/20/95
to
Subject: Re: [Q] HTML'ing rules for personal use _and_ WWW site for
Newsgroups: rec.games.diplomacy
References: <060_950...@gigo.com> <46e_950...@rtbbs.iaf.nl> <DBxwI...@world.std.com>
Distribution:

Uncle Don Ross (dr...@world.std.com) wrote:

[cut]

: The judges are on the net with the blessing of Avalon Hill, along with


: numerous postscript maps (which may or may not have originated at AH).
: However, the rules are still copyrighted, and AH has given this blessing
: with the explicit disclaimer that -no copy of the rules- be made publically
: available. If you want to start playing, you still have to BUY THE GAME.

Not necessarily... I have been playing for about 5 years now, and have
even published a PBM zine, yet I do not have a copy of the rules.
Before you phone the copyright police, neither do I have a photocopy of
the rules - I don't need them. I learnt how to play using a friend's
set, and have been meaning to buy it ever since. I still do intend to
buy the game when I can spare the cash, as I reckon AH should be
rewarded for designing such a great game.

On the subject of putting the rules onto HTML, the original poster
stated that that would be for personal use. Is this a violation of
copyright laws? I think not. What if these rules were then sent thru
email to another person who had bought the game. Is this a violation of
copyright? I do not think so either. The only problem is how can the
person who made the HTML rules be certain that the person he is mailing
has actually bought the game? He could then be liable to lawsuits. In
my opinion, I do not think it is worth the risk. I dont think it is
worth putting the rules onto HTML for personal use only. Once you have
read the rules, and played a game it is rarely that you need the rules
again.

Mike
--
Michael Adams - mad...@tartarus.uwa.edu.au
3rd year Chemistry/Materials Engineer, UWA, Perth
Disclaimer: No responsiblity taken for those (such as seppo's) who do
not recognise sarcasm or irony if it is used.

Michael Adams

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Jul 20, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/20/95
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Jeffrey M. Beigie (jbe...@melpar.esys.com) wrote:

[copyright discussion cut]

: I read on the Net last night that Avalon Hill is up for sale.


: The new owners may not be so strict.

I have it now, the solution to all our problems, why doesn't


rec.games.diplomacy BUY Avalon Hill, then we can rescind the copyrights
on Diplomacy and Colonial Diplomacy, making the rules freely available

to all and leading to an explosion of the hobby! The price of buying
the two games could be reduced to cost price (on the subject, does
anyone know how much CD costs in Australia? I heard it was 50 pounds in
England which is over A$100, a ripoff in my opinion and a purchase I
would never make unless I won lotto, and maybe not even then on the
principle that buying overly expensive games only encourages producers
to keep the price that high) and Machiavelli could be put back into
production. I put myself forward to organise this purchase, if you all
send me all your money we should get enough!

Seriously though, how much would it cost to buy a copyright (are they
even for sale?) Could the copyright for Diplomacy be bought?

Mike
--
Michael Adams - mad...@tartarus.uwa.edu.au
3rd year Chemistry/Materials Engineer, UWA, Perth
Disclaimer: No responsiblity taken for those (such as seppo's) who do

not recognise sarcasm or irony.

Melle Koning

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Jul 20, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/20/95
to
Hello All!

I just received three messages saying basicly the same thing and it seems I
missed the point. To correct two of these messages: The WWW-page we are
talking about here is not mine, actually I don't own or maintain any WWW-page
at all. I felt a little bit attacked, they should read the messages more
carefully before flaming someone.

Rick Desper

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Jul 21, 1995, 3:00:00 AM7/21/95
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mad...@tartarus.uwa.edu.au (Michael Adams) writes:

>On the subject of putting the rules onto HTML, the original poster
>stated that that would be for personal use. Is this a violation of
>copyright laws? I think not.

It depends what he's doing with the "copy". If he makes the rules
publicly accessible, he is certainly violating the copyright.

>What if these rules were then sent thru
>email to another person who had bought the game. Is this a violation of
>copyright? I do not think so either.

I would not be so sure of this point. "Personal use" does not, in my mind,
include making a copy to give to somebody else, regardless if said person
owned a copy.

>The only problem is how can the
>person who made the HTML rules be certain that the person he is mailing
>has actually bought the game?

He wouldn't be able to unless he were only emailing people he knew
personally.

>He could then be liable to lawsuits. In
>my opinion, I do not think it is worth the risk. I dont think it is
>worth putting the rules onto HTML for personal use only. Once you have
>read the rules, and played a game it is rarely that you need the rules
>again.

I do not see any need for a HTML version of the rules, but I see a _lot_
of potential for abuse, and would probably guess that AH would try to
squelch such an outlet.

I am not a copyright lawyer - the above only represents my (often
inaccurate) idea of what the law should be.


>Mike
>--
>Michael Adams - mad...@tartarus.uwa.edu.au
>3rd year Chemistry/Materials Engineer, UWA, Perth
>Disclaimer: No responsiblity taken for those (such as seppo's) who do

>not recognise sarcasm or irony if it is used.

Rick

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