TSR and the name game

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Rob

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Jul 30, 1994, 9:52:52 AM7/30/94
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In article <31adb9$i...@Venus.mcs.com> ka...@MCS.COM (Karl Denninger) writes:
>In article <31a9f7$4...@netaxs.com>, Brian Trosko <btr...@netaxs.com> wrote:
>>Karl Denninger (ka...@MCS.COM) wrote:
...
>
>You can't. And, in fact, I don't think that if you say "hit point" you can
>get in trouble. Why? Because it was in common use BEFORE TSR co-opted it.
>
>On the other hand, if you pick a creature that they invented, oh, a "bugbear",
>now that's probably a problem.

Actually, TSR did NOT create the bugbear. By Websters states the following
as a definition to the word:

1 : an imaginary goblin or specter used to excite fear.

Now if we used to TSR definition of bugbear, we might have a problem, but
we can use the word BUGBEAR and assign it whatever characteristics we want.

This is a small point, but I wonder if we could compile a list of 'standard'
monster names that TSR doesn't own.

scar...@sage.cc.purdue.edu

** Reality is a crutch for those who can't handle science fiction **
-unknown

Mike Nancarrow

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Jul 30, 1994, 4:28:28 PM7/30/94
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I don't see how T$R is winning any friends with its recent activity. In
fact, This is the first time I've used the $. These monsters and creatures
exist in works or legends other than those of T$R (hey, that's easier to
type, too.), or they are real.
Aerial Servant
Animal, Herd
Ant
Ant, Giant
Ant Lion, Giant
Ape, Carnivorous
Badger
Barracuda
Basilisk (Dracolisk may not be ok, though)
Bat (maybe not mabat)
Bear
Beetle
Boar
Bookworm
Brownie
Bugbear
Cats, Great
Centaur
Centipede
Chimera
Cockatrice
Coatl
Crocodile
Crustacean
Daemon
Demon
Devil
Dinosaurs
Dogs
Dolphin
Doppleganger
Dragon
Dragonfly, Giant
Dwarf
Dryad
Eagle
Eel
Elemental
Elephant
Elf
Einhariar
Ettin
Fish, Giant
Frog
Gargoyle
Genie
Ghost
Ghoul
Giant, all
Fomorian
Cyclops
Firbolg
Gnome
Goblin
Golem
Gorgon
Gremlin
Griffon
Groaning Spirit
Hag
Hobbit
Harpy
Hawk
Nightmare
Hippogriff
Hobgoblin
Homonculous
Hornet, giant
Horse
Hydra
Hyena
Iguana, giant
Imp
Jackal
Jackalwere
Kobold
Lamprey
Larva
Leech
Leprechaun
Lich
Lycanthrope
Lizard, giant
Lizard Man
Manticore
Marut
Medusa
Men
Merman
Minotaur
Mummy
Naga
Nixie
Nymph
Octopus
Ogre
Orc (Couldn't tolkein sue T$R for this?)
Owl
Pegasus
Phoenix
Piranha
Pixie
Pleistocene Animals
Poltergeist
Porcupine
Ray (Except, maybe, Ixitxachitl)
Rakshasa
Rat, all
Raven
Revenant
Roc
Salamander
Satyr
Scarecrow
Scorpion
Sea Horse
Sea Lion
Shark
Skeleton
Skunk
Snail
Slug
Snake
Spectre
Sphinx
Spider
Sprite
Squid
Sylph
Toad,Giant
Titan
Treant (Tolkein, anyone?)
Triton
Troglodyte
Troll
Turtle,giant
Unicorn
Urchin
Vampire
Vodyanoi (acquatic umber hulk)
Vulture
Weasel
Whale
Wight
Will o' Wisp
Wolf
Wolfwere
Wolverine
Worm
Wraith
Wyvern
Yeti
Zombie

--

In all of these, I have erred on the side of caution. I will do some
research and most likely add to this list. If you are sure about a
monster, please feel free to add to the list. If you do so, amend the
subject to so indicate (i.e. T$R-Safe monsters 2)
Mike "Defiler Lord" Nancarrow

irina_rempt

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Jul 31, 1994, 11:14:41 AM7/31/94
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In article <nancarrow.2-...@slip2-30.acs.ohio-state.edu> Mike
Nancarrow (nanca...@osu.edu) wrote on T$R-Safe Monsters


> These monsters and creatures
> exist in works or legends other than those of T$R (hey, that's easier to
> type, too.), or they are real.

[list deleted]

You forgot "humans". They're in the Monstrous Compendium.

Irina

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e-* u*(**) h----(++) f+ r+++ n@ x? ====== ir...@rempt.hacktic.nl

Brian Trosko

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Jul 31, 1994, 6:37:48 PM7/31/94
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Mike Nancarrow (nanca...@osu.edu) wrote:
: I don't see how T$R is winning any friends with its recent activity. In

: fact, This is the first time I've used the $. These monsters and creatures
: exist in works or legends other than those of T$R (hey, that's easier to
: type, too.), or they are real.
: Aerial Servant


[irrelavancies deleted]

: In all of these, I have erred on the side of caution. I will do some


: research and most likely add to this list. If you are sure about a
: monster, please feel free to add to the list. If you do so, amend the
: subject to so indicate (i.e. T$R-Safe monsters 2)

Again, this is all missing the point. TSR can't sue me if I publish a
'generic' adventure with the monster 'goblin' in it. But if I list that
goblin as having AC 7, 1-4 hp, THAC0 20, Intelligence Low, etc, then I'm
using TSR's copyrighted monster. If I needed the Monstrous Manual or
other TSR product to get the information for 'goblins', then I've
probably violated copyright. Note, I am NOT saying TSR can copyright
terms like Armor Class, Intelligence, etc. But, if I get the information
for goblins from a TSR product, and republish it in another form, I've
created a derivative work, and am thus liable.

Tor Iver Wilhelmsen

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Aug 1, 1994, 5:39:24 AM8/1/94
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btr...@netaxs.com (Brian Trosko) writes:
>
>Again, this is all missing the point. TSR can't sue me if I publish a
>'generic' adventure with the monster 'goblin' in it. But if I list that
>goblin as having AC 7, 1-4 hp, THAC0 20, Intelligence Low, etc, then I'm
>using TSR's copyrighted monster. If I needed the Monstrous Manual or
>other TSR product to get the information for 'goblins', then I've
>probably violated copyright. Note, I am NOT saying TSR can copyright
>terms like Armor Class, Intelligence, etc. But, if I get the information
>for goblins from a TSR product, and republish it in another form, I've
>created a derivative work, and am thus liable.

But a lot of the discussion goes on whether T$R can get angry if you, in
your adventure, state: "For the statistics of the goblins, see Monster
Manual p. xx or Monstrous Compendium p. yy." As for trademark protection,
look at all the fuss Palladium Books generated when The Primal Order was
released. In that case, T$R were a lot more lenient and allowed the use of
TSR as long as Wizards included the "TSR, AD&D etc. are trademarks of TSR
Hobbies, Inc." line.

- Tor Iver
--
Tor Iver Wilhelmsen <tor...@pvv.unit.no> CS student at NTH, Trondheim, NO
Info: http://www.pvv.unit.no/~toriver/ Member of The Software Workshop, UNIT
"Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced."
- Dr. Barry Gehm's corollary to Clarke's law

Jason Stephenson

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Aug 1, 1994, 12:43:31 PM8/1/94
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In article <31h93s$k...@netaxs.com>

btr...@netaxs.com (Brian Trosko) writes:

>Again, this is all missing the point. TSR can't sue me if I publish a
>'generic' adventure with the monster 'goblin' in it. But if I list that
>goblin as having AC 7, 1-4 hp, THAC0 20, Intelligence Low, etc, then I'm
>using TSR's copyrighted monster. If I needed the Monstrous Manual or
>other TSR product to get the information for 'goblins', then I've
>probably violated copyright. Note, I am NOT saying TSR can copyright
>terms like Armor Class, Intelligence, etc. But, if I get the information
>for goblins from a TSR product, and republish it in another form, I've
>created a derivative work, and am thus liable.

Actually in the case of goblins, you have not created a derivative work but
rather *copied* information from their work. This is different. A deriva-
tive work would be one that includes T$R's settings and characters (and yes
they could try and claim that monsters are characters). However, most of the
monsters in the game come from some mythology or another, so they can't get
you for simply mentioning their names.

If you want to genericize your material simply use a nondescript setting and
give only the names of monsters. This will make your stuff suitable for use
with other systems as well.--Do not use any monsters that you are uncertain
of their origins.

Rob Repp

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Aug 1, 1994, 12:48:55 PM8/1/94
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This interpreatation is correct. I checked with legal, and you've got it.


Rob Repp | InterNet: tsr...@aol.com
Manager, Digital Projects Group | InterNet: mob...@mercury.mcs.com
TSR, Inc. | CompuServe: 76217,761
__________________________________ | GEnie: TSR.Online AOL: TSR Inc
All opinions are my own, not TSR's | 414-248-3625 Fax 414-248-0389

Kendall Bullen

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Aug 1, 1994, 8:54:08 AM8/1/94
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Irina wrote to All on 7/31/94,

Ia> You forgot "humans". They're in the Monstrous Compendium.

He listed them, as they are listed in the Monster Manual (dunno where they are
in the Monstrous Compendium), under 'Men'. . . .

Kendall

Brian Trosko

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Aug 1, 1994, 2:56:42 PM8/1/94
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Rob Repp (mob...@Mercury.mcs.com) wrote:
: > Again, this is all missing the point. TSR can't sue me if I publish a
: > 'generic' adventure with the monster 'goblin' in it. But if I list that
: > goblin as having AC 7, 1-4 hp, THAC0 20, Intelligence Low, etc, then I'm
: > using TSR's copyrighted monster. If I needed the Monstrous Manual or
: > other TSR product to get the information for 'goblins', then I've
: > probably violated copyright. Note, I am NOT saying TSR can copyright
: > terms like Armor Class, Intelligence, etc. But, if I get the information
: > for goblins from a TSR product, and republish it in another form, I've
: > created a derivative work, and am thus liable.

: This interpreatation is correct. I checked with legal, and you've got it.


: Rob Repp | InterNet: tsr...@aol.com

Ah, get with the program, then! Fire your legal staff, and hire me! I can
almost promise that I'll be a lot cheaper! :)

Morning Reaper

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Aug 1, 1994, 7:27:01 PM8/1/94
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>Treant (Tolkein, anyone?)
Tolkien uses Ent (or Ent-wife). I believe that the "Thomas Covenant Series" by
Donaldson uses the word treant. I know it's not unique to TSR.

As a side note the Huorns (treeish-Ent) of Tolkien are more like the standard
TSR treant. More information may be found in the second book of _Lord of the
Rings_.

-Morning Reaper
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Kendall Bullen

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Aug 1, 1994, 7:34:10 PM8/1/94
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btr...@netaxs.com (Brian Trosko) wrote to All on 7/31/94,

BT> Again, this is all missing the point. TSR can't sue me if I publish a
BT> 'generic' adventure with the monster 'goblin' in it. But if I list
BT> that goblin as having AC 7, 1-4 hp, THAC0 20, Intelligence Low, etc,
BT> then I'm using TSR's copyrighted monster. If I needed the Monstrous
BT> Manual or other TSR product to get the information for 'goblins', then
BT> I've probably violated copyright. Note, I am NOT saying TSR can
BT> copyright terms like Armor Class, Intelligence, etc. But, if I get the
BT> information for goblins from a TSR product, and republish it in
BT> another form, I've created a derivative work, and am thus liable.

True, but then why don't you just put down *specific* hit point totals (could
be for/from any game system), and list the armor *type* and not the class, and
who *needs* THAC0? Why do people think they need to quote the entire
description & stats of 'goblin' in order to *use* 'goblin' in their modules?!
Some of these derivative problems are so easy to bypass, and in (what looks
like to the non-lawyer me to be) legal ways. . . .

Kendall

Daniel Pasco

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Aug 2, 1994, 12:49:29 AM8/2/94
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Also note that Tolkien's Balrog had at first evolved into the Balor (Type VI)
Demon, now refered to as the Greater Tan'nari (sp?)

Tommy Thornton

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Aug 2, 1994, 8:07:31 AM8/2/94
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In article <nancarrow.2-...@slip2-30.acs.ohio-state.edu> nanca...@osu.edu (Mike Nancarrow) writes:
> I don't see how T$R is winning any friends with its recent activity. In
>fact, This is the first time I've used the $. These monsters and creatures
>exist in works or legends other than those of T$R (hey, that's easier to
>type, too.), or they are real.
>Orc (Couldn't tolkein sue T$R for this?)
Nope. Orc is an old english word I believe for pig


Jean-Marc Libs

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Aug 2, 1994, 5:25:27 PM8/2/94
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In article <17005B2F6S...@ukcc.uky.edu>,
Jason Stephenson <JJST...@ukcc.uky.edu> wrote:
>[mucho deleted]

>
>If you want to genericize your material simply use a nondescript setting and
>give only the names of monsters. This will make your stuff suitable for use
>with other systems as well. [deletia]

Such as "details about goblins available in the DragonNet.Monsters.Book (soon
to come)"?
Sounds great, if the DragonNet.Monsters.Book just presents monsters in
a generic form.

J-M

James Sneeringer

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Aug 4, 1994, 3:54:51 AM8/4/94
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In the Monstrous Compendium(tm) (MC1 I think) they are listed under 'Men'.
In the updated Monstrous Manual, the heading was changed to the more
politically correct 'Humans'.

>Kendall

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Jeff Hildebrand

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Aug 4, 1994, 3:48:28 PM8/4/94
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Rob (scar...@sage.cc.purdue.edu) wrote:

: In article <31adb9$i...@Venus.mcs.com> ka...@MCS.COM (Karl Denninger) writes:
: >In article <31a9f7$4...@netaxs.com>, Brian Trosko <btr...@netaxs.com> wrote:
: >On the other hand, if you pick a creature that they invented, oh, a "bugbear",

: >now that's probably a problem.

: Actually, T** did NOT create the bugbear. By Websters states the following


: as a definition to the word:

: 1 : an imaginary goblin or specter used to excite fear.

They didn't invent kobolds, gnomes, dwarves, banshees or any of a number of
other things. BTW: Kobolds are not reptilian. They are little nasty fairy
types in old German mythology (maybe Gaelic too). Look sort of like dirty
small children with big, pointed, furry ears and nasty pointed teeth... So
if you just go back to the originals in many cases you short cut their
copyright information and shouldn't have any problem because mythological
and folklore stories are generally PD (though someones presentation of one
may be copyrighted, see the book "Fairies").

--
jr...@ssec.honeywell.com

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