TSR'S OFFICIAL LETTER -IMHPO

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Wayne E Parillo

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Oct 18, 1994, 2:48:23 PM10/18/94
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Ok, I grabbed this when I was at the Jove ftp site. The contents include
a letter from TSR to the Administrator and reply. The result has been
that jove site no longer has AD&D stuff, and TSR can claim a victory.
However, TSR should note that people on the Net tend to find ways around
things, and as more ftp sites pop up, TSR is not going to be able to keep
up with all of them.

I would like to add that the above portion was my own opinion, and the
jove ftp site had nothing to do with this, I'm must posting it for any
interested Netters.

Date: Thu, 28 Jul 94 17:28:59 -0400
From: TSR...@aol.com
To: postm...@rigel.cs.pdx.edu
Subject: TSR Copyrighted Material

SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR:

Your site was recently included in a list of noted FTP sites for DUNGEONS AND
DRAGONS and ADVANCED DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS gaming material. You should be
aware that DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS and all related marks and properties are
copyrighted by TSR, Inc. of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

You should also be aware that any items created without a specific license
are infringements of TSR copyrights. Such items include (but are not
limited to) any software, net.books, modules, tables, stories, or rules
modifications which contain elements from our copyrighted properties,
including characters, settings, realm names, noted magic items, spells,
elements of the gaming system, such as ARMOR CLASS, HIT DICE, and so forth.
To date, TSR has not licensed any of these net publications.

On behalf of TSR, Inc. I ask that you examine your public net sites at this
time and remove any material which infringes on TSR copyrights.

Our intention is to find a way to license these and future creative efforts.
In the meantime, remove them from your sites without delay.

To clarify reasoning for this request, I recently posted the following policy
statement to rec.games.frp.dnd:

> As we have begun to explore the online community in depth, we've found many
> avid gamers and fans. We're interested in providing you with the best in
> gaming products that meet our own standards of quality, as well as suiting
> your needs and interests. We know that many gamers develop campaigns and
> other materials entirely for their own use. We think this is great!
> However, when gamers begin sharing their creations with the public, whether
> for profit or not, they are infringing our rights. If we don't make an
> earnest attempt to prevent this infringement of our trademarks and
> copyrights, our ownership of these extremely valuable assets may be
> jeopardized.
>
> A gamer in this situation has a few options. He can strip every TSR
> trademark and all copyright from his creations before putting them in
> public
> (i.e. "genericize" the adventure). Or he can share his creations with the
> public in a way that is licensed and approved by TSR. This is the more
> desirable solution, as it protects our rights, and still leaves room for
> gamers to share their creative expressions.
>
> Sometime very soon, we're going to create a place where gamers can legally
> upload and share their creations, including modules, stories and software.
> At
> that time, I'd be happy to work with you to give your product a base to
> work
> from. We are definitely interested in fostering goodwill among customers,
> and we'd like to see our upcoming effort as a pilot project. Eventually,
> we
> want gamers to be able to turn to TSR in cyberspace as easily as they do in
> a
> hobby store.

Please feel free to contact me with comments or questions. I will refer any
pertinent queries to our legal department as soon as I receive them.


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

> From daemon Tue Sep 20 16:55 GMT 1994
> Message-Id: <m0qn8RL...@mercury.mcs.com>
> Mime-Version: 1.0
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
> Date: Tue, 20 Sep 1994 11:53:57 -0500
> To: fr...@LOKI.CC.PDX.EDU
> From: mob...@Mercury.mcs.com (Rob Repp)
> Subject: jove.cs.pdx.edu
> Cc: JAN...@EE.PDX.EDU
>
> Mr. Fred Dayton
> cc: Mr. Janaka Jayawardena
> Portland State University
>
>
> Mr. Dayton,
>
> My name is Robert Repp. I work for TSR, Inc., makers of DUNGEONS AND
> DRAGONS products. In the course of looking through the public FTP site at
> Portland State, I came across a directory pub\frp\*. This directory appears
> to contain an older mirror of the MPGNet FTP site. Contained within this
> directory are several files which contain trademarks and copyrights owned
> by TSR, Inc.
>
> Among these files are several PLAYER'S HANDBOOK entries reproduced in their
> entrirety, several net.books which contain TSR copyrights and trademarks,
> and properties owned by several other publishers.
>
> While I cannot speak for other companies, on behalf of TSR, Inc. I must ask
> you to remove all of these files from your site. They infringe on TSR
> copyrights and trademarks, and should not be published from your site. We
> have licensed MPGNet's FTP site at ftp.mpgn.com to be the sole carrier of
> TSR trademarks and copyrights on the Internet at this time. If you wish to
> contact them regarding moving your collection to their site, please email
> David Brooks (d...@mpgn.com) for information.
>
> Please feel free to contact me at any of the addresses listed below, or by
> voice from 9am to 5pm CST. I will gladly try to answer any questions you
> may have regarding this matter.
>
>
>
> 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
>
>

- - ------- End Append: Thu Sep 29 02:35:18 PM 94 -

- - --------- Appended: Thu Sep 29 02:35:59 PM 94 -

- --------Date: Thu, 29 Sep 1994 13:33:53 -0500
From: mob...@mercury.mcs.com
To: c...@ee.pdx.edu
Cc: c...@ee.pdx.edu, fr...@loki.cc.pdx.edu
Subject: jove.cs.pdx.edu

Anthony Fiarito
cc: Janaka Jayawardena
Fred Dayton
Constance Lindman, TSR Legal Dept.


Mr. Fiarito

I connected to jove.cs.pdx.edu today, and was dismayed to find that your
administrative staff has still not removed several files which infringe on
TSR trademarks and copyrights. Further, I found a notice (see below) which
states the administrator's intention to keep and disseminate several of
these files. I must warn you that these files clearly contain
infringements, and that they cannot lawfully be published from your site.

For your convenience, I have listed several sample files which infringe on
TSR copyrights and trademarks. This is not a complete list, but rather
meant to give you some idea of the material in question. Also, your site
appears to be mirroring a European site which is carrying several
questionalble files. I will direct an appropriate note that site's
administrator. In the meantime, you should be aware that these files remain
problematic, regardless of their country of origin. Republishing foreign
files doesn't abbrogate the need to comply with domestic regulations.

I remind you that we have licensed a site to carry TSR trademarks and
copyrights on the Internet (ftp.mpgn.edu). If you wish to keep your
collection intact and public, I suggest that you email Rob Miracle at
r...@mpgn.com and make arrangements to transfer your holdings en masse.
Otherwise, they should be made inaccessable to the public.


I am in anticipation of your prompt reply.


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

______________________________________________________

ftp://jove.cs.pdx.edu//pub/frp/Mirrors/eklektik/Net.Spell.Book.tar.Z
ftp://jove.cs.pdx.edu//pub/frp/Mirrors/eklektik/Net_Monster_Manual.Z
ftp://jove.cs.pdx.edu//pub/frp/Mirrors/eklektik/eklektik/adnd/adventures
ftp://jove.cs.pdx.edu//pub/frp/Mirrors/eklektik/eklektik/adnd/magicitems
ftp://jove.cs.pdx.edu//pub/frp/Mirrors/eklektik/eklektik/adnd/misc
ftp://jove.cs.pdx.edu//pub/frp/Mirrors/eklektik/eklektik/adnd/monsters
ftp://jove.cs.pdx.edu//pub/frp/Mirrors/eklektik/eklektik/adnd/README.Z
ftp://jove.cs.pdx.edu//pub/frp/Mirrors/eklektik/eklektik/adnd/rules
ftp://jove.cs.pdx.edu//pub/frp/Mirrors/eklektik/eklektik/adnd/spells
ftp://jove.cs.pdx.edu//pub/frp/char-sheets/add-choinski-york.ps.Z
ftp://jove.cs.pdx.edu//pub/frp/char-sheets/add-choinski.ps.Z
ftp://jove.cs.pdx.edu//pub/frp/char-sheets/add-cleric.ps.Z
ftp://jove.cs.pdx.edu//pub/frp/char-sheets/add-generic.ps.Z
ftp://jove.cs.pdx.edu//pub/frp/char-sheets/add-german.tex.Z
ftp://jove.cs.pdx.edu//pub/frp/char-sheets/add-mage.ps.Z
ftp://jove.cs.pdx.edu//pub/frp/char-sheets/add-simple.tex.Z
ftp://jove.cs.pdx.edu//pub/frp/char-sheets/add-thief.ps.Z
ftp://jove.cs.pdx.edu//pub/frp/char-sheets/add.latex.Z
ftp://jove.cs.pdx.edu//pub/frp/char-sheets/add.ps.Z
ftp://jove.cs.pdx.edu//pub/frp/char-sheets/add2.ps.Z
ftp://jove.cs.pdx.edu//pub/frp/char-sheets/add3.ps.Z
ftp://jove.cs.pdx.edu//pub/frp/char-sheets/add4.ps
ftp://jove.cs.pdx.edu//pub/frp/magic/alpha-spells.Z
ftp://jove.cs.pdx.edu//pub/frp/magic/cursed-items.Z
ftp://jove.cs.pdx.edu//pub/frp/magic/jayme-spells
ftp://jove.cs.pdx.edu//pub/frp/magic/laundry
ftp://jove.cs.pdx.edu//pub/frp/magic/magic-items.Z
ftp://jove.cs.pdx.edu//pub/frp/magic/MagicItems.Z
ftp://jove.cs.pdx.edu//pub/frp/magic/MD.colleges.Z
ftp://jove.cs.pdx.edu//pub/frp/magic/MD.intro.Z
ftp://jove.cs.pdx.edu//pub/frp/magic/MD.notes.Z
ftp://jove.cs.pdx.edu//pub/frp/magic/MD.ps.Z
ftp://jove.cs.pdx.edu//pub/frp/magic/MD.spells.Z
ftp://jove.cs.pdx.edu//pub/frp/magic/music
ftp://jove.cs.pdx.edu//pub/frp/magic/New.Magic.Item.List.Z
ftp://jove.cs.pdx.edu//pub/frp/magic/spells
ftp://jove.cs.pdx.edu//pub/frp/magic/wand-o-wonder

Robert Blanchard

unread,
Oct 19, 1994, 1:52:52 PM10/19/94
to
: > 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
: >
: Isn't it nice how Mr Repp leaves his "All opinions are my own, not TSR's"
: disclaimer even on his "offical" mail. One would assume that in these
: case the disclaimer does _not_ apply. When is one to know what is
: "offical" TSR dogma and which is not?

: Colm.

Are you too stupid to realize the difference between opinion and policy,
or are you just trying to rekindle old flamewars?

Yes, TSR is being an asshole about the whole thing. We will probally see
mirrors when hell freezes over, but it's done and TSR wont budge.
change games if you must but realize that the horse is dead. Live with it.

Robert
rob...@comtch.iea.com


Colm O'Donaill

unread,
Oct 19, 1994, 4:51:19 AM10/19/94
to
In <38159n$1...@nic.umass.edu> w...@twain.ucs.umass.edu (Wayne E Parillo) writes:
> 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
>
Isn't it nice how Mr Repp leaves his "All opinions are my own, not TSR's"

disclaimer even on his "offical" mail. One would assume that in these
case the disclaimer does _not_ apply. When is one to know what is
"offical" TSR dogma and which is not?

Colm.

--
_/_/_/ _/ O'Donaill > These opinions are somebody else's.
_/ _/_/_/ _/ _/_/_/_/_/ >> Colm O'Donaill.
_/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ >>> codo...@alf1.tcd.ie
_/_/_/ _/_/_/ _/_/_/ _/ _/ _/ >>>> codo...@vax1.tcd.ie

Jeff Kesselman

unread,
Oct 19, 1994, 2:50:36 AM10/19/94
to
Okay I've annotated this with my comments. Please note that I am not a
lawyer and this is not to be taken as legal advice. Both of my parents
have been freelance authors and publisher for abotu 30 yrs now, though,
so I kind of grew up with the concept of Copyright (wonder why Kinkos
will no longer copy Copyrighted materials withotu a waiver? Thats a
direct result of my parents agittaing through the writers group they
belong to, The American Society of Journalists and Authors, after they
discovered that Kinkos was actively ENCOURAGING professors in our
home-town (Madison, WI) to violate Copyright and run off copies of book
sections for their students...)


In article <38159n$1...@nic.umass.edu>,


Wayne E Parillo <w...@twain.ucs.umass.edu> wrote:
>Ok, I grabbed this when I was at the Jove ftp site. The contents include
>a letter from TSR to the Administrator and reply. The result has been
>that jove site no longer has AD&D stuff, and TSR can claim a victory.
>However, TSR should note that people on the Net tend to find ways around
>things, and as more ftp sites pop up, TSR is not going to be able to keep
>up with all of them.
>
>I would like to add that the above portion was my own opinion, and the
>jove ftp site had nothing to do with this, I'm must posting it for any
>interested Netters.
>
>
>
>Date: Thu, 28 Jul 94 17:28:59 -0400
>From: TSR...@aol.com
>To: postm...@rigel.cs.pdx.edu
>Subject: TSR Copyrighted Material
>
>
>
>SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR:
>
>Your site was recently included in a list of noted FTP sites for DUNGEONS AND
>DRAGONS and ADVANCED DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS gaming material. You should be
>aware that DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS and all related marks and properties are
>copyrighted by TSR, Inc. of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
>
>You should also be aware that any items created without a specific license
>are infringements of TSR copyrights. Such items include (but are not
>limited to) any software, net.books, modules, tables, stories, or rules
>modifications which contain elements from our copyrighted properties,

Very true. This stuff should NOT be posted.

>including characters, settings, realm names, noted magic items, spells,

Only as such is lifted from a TSR publication, otherwise its BS.

>elements of the gaming system, such as ARMOR CLASS, HIT DICE, and so forth.

This is true if you are posting the to-hit table, either as printed in
their book or in a derivitive form. If they mean this to mean putting AC
on a player or judge generated character, its also BS.

>To date, TSR has not licensed any of these net publications.
>
>On behalf of TSR, Inc. I ask that you examine your public net sites at this
>time and remove any material which infringes on TSR copyrights.
>

Thats reasonable, given the qualificatiosn above.

>Our intention is to find a way to license these and future creative efforts.
>In the meantime, remove them from your sites without delay.

Translate: Our intetnion is to find a way to pull a revenue stream out of
anything even remotely related to our products. That may not be what
they mean, but that sure is how it reads...

>
>To clarify reasoning for this request, I recently posted the following policy
>statement to rec.games.frp.dnd:
>
>> As we have begun to explore the online community in depth, we've found many
>> avid gamers and fans. We're interested in providing you with the best in
>> gaming products that meet our own standards of quality, as well as suiting
>> your needs and interests. We know that many gamers develop campaigns and
>> other materials entirely for their own use. We think this is great!
>> However, when gamers begin sharing their creations with the public, whether
>> for profit or not, they are infringing our rights.

Nonsense.

>> If we don't make an
>> earnest attempt to prevent this infringement of our trademarks and
>> copyrights, our ownership of these extremely valuable assets may be
>> jeopardized.
>>

BS. If they don't make an attempt ot keep people from posting parts of
their books, or paraphrases there of, they might risk losing Copyright.
Independant creations taht contain no significant part of their work (and
the letters AC are NOT significant) are NOT within there Copyright to begin
with.



>> A gamer in this situation has a few options. He can strip every TSR
>> trademark

Not a problem. Woudl you mind posting these in a list form, TSR?
(Also, under certain situations you CAn use another compasnies trademakr,
as long as it is well attributed. I wouldn't swear to it, because
trademark law is something I am less verse in, but I THINK such statemts
as 'AD&D COmpatable' or 'an AD&D character' ARE legal as long as you
attribute the trademark back to TSR. Comapnies mention each other in
advertising all the time. Still, none of what I am saying is qualified
legal advice, and as I've already admitted Trademark law is not a stroing
point of mine (I DO have a book on such things by an intellectual
property law team around here somewhere, Ill see abotu digging it up.)

> and all copyright

This is a silly statement. You don't strip 'copyright' you strip
copyrighted material out. If you remove your own copyright line, then
you are weakening your own Copyright protection. Thsi makes me wonder if
a lawyer actually wrote this thing. They usually are ALOt more precise...

>> from his creations before
>> putting them in
>> public
>> (i.e. "genericize" the adventure). Or he can share his creations with the
>> public in a way that is licensed and approved by TSR. This is the more
>> desirable solution, as it protects our rights, and still leaves room for
>> gamers to share their creative expressions.

Okay TSR. As long as you aren't going to try and extort money, we'll be
happy to at least get your opinion on materials, wont we, people?

>>
>> Sometime very soon, we're going to create a place where gamers can legally
>> upload and share their creations, including modules, stories and software.
>> At
>> that time, I'd be happy to work with you to give your product a base to
>> work
>> from. We are definitely interested in fostering goodwill among customers,
>> and we'd like to see our upcoming effort as a pilot project.

Umm. is this going to be a FREE ftp site, TSR? Runa t your own expense?
That might foster SOME goodwill. I think SYSOPS will STILL want a way to
take approved material off your board to post locally and/or a way to
submit stuff for your approval.

If you are willing to do this all for free, i think the community is
probobly willing to help you make sure that such materials don't contain
your (legitimately) Copyright controlled materials. Give your statemnts
above, though, you will have to go alot further to prove to us that you
are going to be reasonable and responsible about what you claim as
Copyright infringement.

>> Eventually, >> we
>> want gamers to be able to turn to TSR in cyberspace as easily as they do in
>> a
>> hobby store.
>

And pay money just like in a hobby store?
This is cool if its your work (a significant amount of your words from your
books, magazines, and other materials) this is UNCOOL if it is someone
elses (independantly created modules, charatcer sheets, etc as long as
those do not contain a significant amount of your verbage from one of
your publications.)

>Please feel free to contact me with comments or questions. I will refer any
>pertinent queries to our legal department as soon as I receive them.
>
>
>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

Okay Robb. Above are my comments.

Add to them the following statement:
Copyright law was invented in order to protec authors works from
unauthorizeed duplication. In the case of books it covers words, not ideas.
In addition the doctrine of 'fair use' allows use of the matrial in a
reasonable manner, coincident with the use for which the published work
was intended.

You have published a game. Its use is the creation of characters and
modules. As long as such do NOT contain pararaphs or tables, lifted
directly or paraphrased, from your books, I doubt that it is Copyright
infringement.

I support your efforts IF they are truely to contain 'electronicm
piracy'. If they are an attempt to control all materials in any
way related to AD&D, then they are ill concieved, grasping, and doomed to
failure in the first challenge. In addition they wil win you no friends,
particularly in the older gamer community, who remember that we built
this thing for you from the original miniature-rule supplement it was.
Ofcourse, we older gamers ALSO control a disproportionate share of the
spending on RPG games...


Oh, lastly, a question: GEnie is also connected to the net, at least for
mail. Since mpgnet is the 'sole internet' provider of copyrighted
materials, where does that levae GEnie and TSR-OnLine?


Jeff Kesselman


c_k...@cc.colorado.edu

unread,
Oct 19, 1994, 5:44:54 PM10/19/94
to
In article <CxwwL...@news.tcd.ie>, codo...@tcd.ie (Colm O'Donaill) writes:

>> 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
>>
>Isn't it nice how Mr Repp leaves his "All opinions are my own, not TSR's"
>disclaimer even on his "offical" mail. One would assume that in these
>case the disclaimer does _not_ apply. When is one to know what is
>"offical" TSR dogma and which is not?

I would presume when he says "This isn't my opinion; it's a fact and/or the
official TSR position.

You do know the difference between opinion and fact? I'll give an example.

AD&D is a game. <<<<<<<<<<<<<< FACT
AD&D is a fun game. <<<<<<<<<< OPINION

AD&D has become a better game
under TSR's direction the past
six or seven years. <<<<<<<<<< RIDICULOUS OPINION


You see the difference?

// Cameron

MARCUS L. STONE

unread,
Oct 20, 1994, 3:33:40 PM10/20/94
to
Mads Haahr (ha...@cs.ubc.ca) wrote:
: It looks as if TSR is really getting itself in trouble, and it looks
: as if it is time to change game system. After all, it is not the
: system that matters, but the setting, the plot -- the story.

: I've heard that Steve Jackson's GURPS is a good game in a fantasy
: setting. Does anybody know what Jackson's opinion on free distribution
: of GURPS-related material is? Anybody has their email address?

: --Mads

I believe that the address that you want is sjg...@io.com. From what I
have been reading about sjgames' policy, I BELIEVE that their policy is
that no 'wholesale' coping of text be made and give credit where credit
is due with a disclaimer that says the parts copyrighted by SJ are his
company's and those by the poster are their's. (something to that
effect). The best place to find out more is in rec.games.frp.misc.
Many people associated with GURPS are there, somewhat quick to respond,
and willing to help and work with you.

These were the things that convinced me to switch and to get an account
on their system so that I could find out more. And, to boot, they have
a reputation for working WITH the net in such things as playtesting and
errata and answering questions.

As a note, I left T$R after 12 years of STEADY buying and have now
started converting my campaign to GURPS and it looks much better so far,
but ask in rec.games.frp.misc for more info. They will admittedly tell
you the bad parts of their OWN games as well as the good, and many are
'former' players of AD&D (TRademark of TSR).

--
+-------------------------------------+--------------------------------+
| Endless Loop; n.: See Loop, Endless | O'Toole's Law: |
| Loop, Endless; n.: See Endless Loop | Murphy was an optimist. |
+-------------------------------------+--------+-----------------------+
| mst...@osf1.gmu.edu | |
| myt...@io.com | http://io.com/user/mythril |
| myth...@aol.com | |
+-------------------------------------+--------------------------------+

Jeff Kesselman

unread,
Oct 22, 1994, 7:23:21 PM10/22/94
to
In article <1994Oct21....@news.wrc.xerox.com>,
Guy Robinson <guy....@rx.xerox.com> wrote:
>MARCUS L. STONE (mst...@osf1.gmu.edu) wrote:
>
>[...]
>
>: These were the things that convinced me to switch and to get an account

>: on their system so that I could find out more. And, to boot, they have
>: a reputation for working WITH the net in such things as playtesting and
>: errata and answering questions.
>
>: As a note, I left T$R after 12 years of STEADY buying and have now
>: started converting my campaign to GURPS and it looks much better so far,
>: but ask in rec.games.frp.misc for more info. They will admittedly tell
>: you the bad parts of their OWN games as well as the good, and many are
>: 'former' players of AD&D (TRademark of TSR).
>
>Well I have a history of 16 years as a customer of TSR and I am unwilling
>to flush this away due to TSR applying anti-competitor tactics against
>their own customers over the space of a few months.
>
>What I am chiefly concerned about is that TSR is attempting to set a
>precident that alarms me. Their lawsuits against other companies had
>the same characteristics, I must admit, but I did not realise that
>they would attempt the same bag of tricks on the fans of their games.
>
>Besides I have read GURPS thoroughly and found that it possesses too
>many flaws for it to be playable. I would really have to produce a
>General Universal verion of the The Fantasy Trip (AKA In The Labyrinthe)
>that is compatable with GURPS before I switched to this system.
>
>It will probably be easier for me to convert to FUDGE, building detail
>from simplicity, rather than taking GURPS and reducing complexity and
>paradoxes into something playable.
>

Myself, I'm going to use Fantasy Hero and build package deals for
'equivelents' of all the familiar character race and class kits. Itll
take some time, but itll be kind of fun. (Anyone want to help? We coudl
split the work. I don't think Hero Games has any objection to our
sharing them across the net...)

Jeff Kesselman

Pat Berry

unread,
Oct 23, 1994, 11:28:18 AM10/23/94
to
In <jeffpkCx...@netcom.com> jef...@netcom.com (Jeff Kesselman) writes:

>BS. If they don't make an attempt ot keep people from posting parts of
>their books, or paraphrases there of, they might risk losing Copyright.

No, that's impossible. No one loses their copyright under the current law.

Infringement may represent a financial loss to TSR, but it's not a risk to
their copyright.

--
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Patrick M. Berry | We apologize for the substandard number of typos
Cary, North Carolina, USA | in the last issue.
-=- Team OS/2 -=- | -- The Annals of Improbable Research
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jeff Kesselman

unread,
Oct 23, 1994, 8:05:39 PM10/23/94
to
In article <CMnquAQ...@berry.cary.nc.us>, Pat Berry <poster> wrote:
>In <jeffpkCx...@netcom.com> jef...@netcom.com (Jeff Kesselman) writes:
>
>>BS. If they don't make an attempt ot keep people from posting parts of
>>their books, or paraphrases there of, they might risk losing Copyright.
>
>No, that's impossible. No one loses their copyright under the current law.
>
>Infringement may represent a financial loss to TSR, but it's not a risk to
>their copyright.
>

The correct attribution must have gotten cut-out, sicne I never said
ANYTHING liek the former... i think it was an answer to something I said.
(Just keepign the record clear.)

I agree with Mr. berry. Its important to note however that TSR is NOT
just trying to keep their boosk or parpahrases off-line, they are tryiong
to keep ANY woprk taht in ANYWAY references their amterial off line. The
poster of the quote Mr. Berry reponded to shoudl go read the official
TSR policy statement I reposted last night. If he cant find it, he can
mail me a note and Ill send him a copy.

This policy is a simple extension of TSR's previosu policy of threatenign
with legal action any game manufacturer who tried to compete by offering
D&D compatable products. Its monopolistic intent is VERY plain.

If the previosu poster REALLy believe TSR is just trying to cover the
bases, then why didn't TSR just OFFER a liscense to ftp sites for $1.00
and a signed agreement to police and remove direct copies or parphrases of
their manuals??? That would have been much more effective AND good PR.
(Answer: They then couldnt charge MPGN or AOL big-buck liscensing fees....)

Jeff Kesselman


Mads Haahr

unread,
Oct 19, 1994, 7:25:25 PM10/19/94
to
w...@twain.ucs.umass.edu (Wayne E Parillo) writes:

>You should also be aware that any items created without a specific license
>are infringements of TSR copyrights. Such items include (but are not
>limited to) any software, net.books, modules, tables, stories, or rules
>modifications which contain elements from our copyrighted properties,
>including characters, settings, realm names, noted magic items, spells,
>elements of the gaming system, such as ARMOR CLASS, HIT DICE, and so forth.
>To date, TSR has not licensed any of these net publications.

It looks as if TSR is really getting itself in trouble, and it looks

GOUTSMIT SAM

unread,
Oct 24, 1994, 8:26:37 AM10/24/94
to
Hi, I've recently started a Ad&D 2nd Edition campaign based in Sembia, and
I have two questions :

1. Is there anyone else out there in Netland who has ever DM'ed a
Sembia-based campaign? If so, want to talk to me about it?

2. So far, I have scenario's to get my PC's to level 4, but after that I
have a bit of a problem.
You see, I recently bought the Horde trilogy (Storm Riders, Black
Courser and Blood Charge), but to be able to use them, I need to get my
PCs from Sembia to far-east (beyond Rashemen and Thay).
Also, I want them to be 5th level when they start Storm Riders, so
I'll have to give them some adventures while they go there.
Now, my question : does anyone have ANY suggestions what kind of
adventures I can run, to get my PCs over there? General suggestions,
adenture outlines, good Modules, all is welcome!

ALL responses are welcome!!

Respond on E-Mail (preferred) or on this newsgroup.

Thanks,

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sam Goutsmit Computer Science Student
Free University of Brussels

E-Mail we4...@vub.ac.be

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Guy Robinson

unread,
Oct 21, 1994, 3:21:35 AM10/21/94
to
MARCUS L. STONE (mst...@osf1.gmu.edu) wrote:

[...]

: These were the things that convinced me to switch and to get an account


: on their system so that I could find out more. And, to boot, they have
: a reputation for working WITH the net in such things as playtesting and
: errata and answering questions.

: As a note, I left T$R after 12 years of STEADY buying and have now
: started converting my campaign to GURPS and it looks much better so far,
: but ask in rec.games.frp.misc for more info. They will admittedly tell
: you the bad parts of their OWN games as well as the good, and many are
: 'former' players of AD&D (TRademark of TSR).

Well I have a history of 16 years as a customer of TSR and I am unwilling


to flush this away due to TSR applying anti-competitor tactics against
their own customers over the space of a few months.

What I am chiefly concerned about is that TSR is attempting to set a
precident that alarms me. Their lawsuits against other companies had
the same characteristics, I must admit, but I did not realise that
they would attempt the same bag of tricks on the fans of their games.

Besides I have read GURPS thoroughly and found that it possesses too
many flaws for it to be playable. I would really have to produce a
General Universal verion of the The Fantasy Trip (AKA In The Labyrinthe)
that is compatable with GURPS before I switched to this system.

It will probably be easier for me to convert to FUDGE, building detail
from simplicity, rather than taking GURPS and reducing complexity and
paradoxes into something playable.

An example of a GURPS problem is that in GURPS Supers a player worked
out that, as buying a Health of greater than 15 was totally uneconomic
in terms of GURPS character points, he could build a far too cheap
instant death attack at an incredible range.

D&D, AD&D & AD&D's advantage is that it is familiar, about as familiar
to most gamers as Basic Roleplaying (RuneQuest, CoC & Stormbringer)
another common starting point for role players that I have met.

But you can only share your work with these TSR games on the net by
surrendering your creative material to TSR without compensation
and by having placed it on a single FTP site in a single country.

--
Guy Robinson guy....@rx.xerox.com

[implied disclaimer]

The real meaning of Christmas is a Mid-Winter feast.

Kris Van Hees

unread,
Oct 26, 1994, 7:55:18 AM10/26/94
to
In article <38159N$1...@NIC.UMASS.EDU>, w...@twain.ucs.umass.edu writes:
> Ok, I grabbed this when I was at the Jove ftp site. The contents include
> a letter from TSR to the Administrator and reply. The result has been
> that jove site no longer has AD&D stuff, and TSR can claim a victory.
> However, TSR should note that people on the Net tend to find ways around
> things, and as more ftp sites pop up, TSR is not going to be able to keep
> up with all of them.
>
> I would like to add that the above portion was my own opinion, and the
> jove ftp site had nothing to do with this, I'm must posting it for any
> interested Netters.

<< Quoted posts deleted >>

It's sad to see how a system administrator gets intimidated by such mails.
No one can deny that sending a mere mail is not in any case an official
statement, nor can it be enforced. If such sites would get a registered
letter stating this, then it might be a reasonable, and official complaint.
If RR is going to use this filthy way of scaring system administrators, then
it's time for some FTP admin to have the guts to ignore the mail from RR.
There is not the slightest legal value in those mails. It's merely a way
to scare admins. If they really think they can force ftp sites into removing
Ad&d stuff, then they should come up with a nice proof that the mentioned
stuff is indeed copyrighted, and they ought to use the proper way of informing
the site. As long as it's mail, it's worthless.

Kris

Trent A. Fisher

unread,
Oct 26, 1994, 2:25:10 PM10/26/94
to

In article <1994Oct2...@cc4.kuleuven.ac.be> stu...@cc4.kuleuven.ac.be (Kris Van Hees) writes:
>It's sad to see how a system administrator gets intimidated by such mails.
>No one can deny that sending a mere mail is not in any case an official
>statement, nor can it be enforced. If such sites would get a registered
>letter stating this, then it might be a reasonable, and official complaint.
>If RR is going to use this filthy way of scaring system administrators, then
>it's time for some FTP admin to have the guts to ignore the mail from RR.

You should differentiate between the SysAdmins and the maintainer of
the FRP ftp archive. I am the latter, I own the frp directory in the
archive, and that's it (I do not even have root access). All the mail
was sent to the SysAdmins (they forwarded it to me after the fact).
They made the decision to close up my archive, and not let it open
until it was cleaned up.

However, if a registered letter had been sent to the University
administration, they would have told the SysAdmins to shut the archive
down. They don't care about any FRP info on their machines, and they
certainly don't care to stand up for it no matter how noble the purpose.

>There is not the slightest legal value in those mails. It's merely a way
>to scare admins. If they really think they can force ftp sites into removing
>Ad&d stuff, then they should come up with a nice proof that the mentioned
>stuff is indeed copyrighted, and they ought to use the proper way of informing
>the site. As long as it's mail, it's worthless.

This is true, but the fact that they sent the mail in the first place
is telling. If they are willing to threaten people on the basis of a
questionable legal tactic, it indicates a lack of ethics which I
cannot abide by in companies I do business with. So, in light of this
I am quite willing to remove AD&D stuff from my archive (and from my
personal gaming library, also).

Vote with your feet!

trent...
--
The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian
of true liberty. -- James Madison

Chris Anderson

unread,
Oct 26, 1994, 10:14:00 PM10/26/94
to
According to Kris Van Hees <stu...@cc4.kuleuven.ac.be>:

You have to understand that many ftp sites are on-the-side type activities,
that would be curtailed if they were noticed. A letter from a lawyer is
noticed.

On the other hand, you don't have to knuckle under. If you really wanted
to fight this, you could make it so expensive for them to keep this pace
up, that they would stop. You have to remember: they are serious newbies,
and many of us are not. They *can't* fight and win, legally. They can't
fight and win if you just peacefully resist.

They can only frighten you.

Chris
--
+------------------------------------------------------------+
| Chris Anderson c...@unify.com |
| Unify Corporation Technical Support Manager |
+------------------------------------------------------------+

Jeff Kesselman

unread,
Oct 27, 1994, 12:12:27 AM10/27/94
to
In article <1994Oct2...@cc4.kuleuven.ac.be>,

Pardon, Kris. Your post was very authoratative in tone, so I just wanted
to clear up one point. Are you an attorney and is this actual legal
advice, or just an opinion froma perhapse knowledgable amature?

Ild just hate to see an FTP site get the wrong idea and get in trouble.

Thanks.

Jeff Kesselman

P.S. i DO agree with you that its scummy intimidation tactics, WHATEVERR
the legality of the amnner in which the site was notified.


Mads Haahr

unread,
Oct 27, 1994, 8:37:41 PM10/27/94
to
mst...@osf1.gmu.edu (MARCUS L. STONE) writes:

>Mads Haahr (ha...@cs.ubc.ca) wrote:
>: It looks as if TSR is really getting itself in trouble, and it looks
>: as if it is time to change game system. After all, it is not the
>: system that matters, but the setting, the plot -- the story.

>: I've heard that Steve Jackson's GURPS is a good game in a fantasy
>: setting. Does anybody know what Jackson's opinion on free distribution
>: of GURPS-related material is? Anybody has their email address?

>I believe that the address that you want is sjg...@io.com.

Thanks, Marcus. I wrote to SJG and asked them about it. Here is my
letter to SJG:

] Date: Wed, 26 Oct 1994 14:46:20 -0700
] From: Mads Haahr <ha...@cs.ubc.ca>
] To: sjg...@io.com
] Subject: SJG Policy Question
]
] Dear Steve Jackson Games,
]
] As you may be aware, there is currently a rather heated debate in at
] least one of the role-playing newsgroups on the Usenet. The debate
] has to do with TSR and material related to their D&D and AD&D game
] systems.
]
] TSR has recently been advocating its official policy concerning
] distribution of material related to its games. This has caused the
] closing of public archives carrying worlds, creatures, items,
] et. al. created by players and game masters for use with TSR's game
] systems.
]
] Allow me to quote from a letter sent by TSR officials to one of the
] sites carrying D&D/AD&D-related material, posted in the newsgroup
] rec.games.frp.dnd (the site subsequently closed off its D&D/AD&D
] section):
]
] > You should also be aware that any items created without a specific


] > license are infringements of TSR copyrights. Such items include (but
] > are not limited to) any software, net.books, modules, tables,
] > stories, or rules modifications which contain elements from our
] > copyrighted properties, including characters, settings, realm names,
] > noted magic items, spells, elements of the gaming system, such as
] > ARMOR CLASS, HIT DICE, and so forth. To date, TSR has not licensed
] > any of these net publications.

]
] I find it reasonable that TSR claim the rights to software based on
] their creations and to material present in their publications, but I
] cannot accept that creations of individual game masters cannot be
] freely exchanged simply because they contain key words from TSR's rule
] books.
]
] The reason that I am writing to you is that I have decided to move
] away from TSR products, and GURPS is one of the systems I am
] considering instead. The change of system requires me to convert my
] existing AD&D campaign to another game system -- a reasonable amount
] of work that I hope only to do once.
]
] Therefore, I am carefully considering what game system to choose for
] the future. During the debate on Usenet I have become aware that one
] of the principal matters is to be able to share one's creations with
] other people. GURPS has been recommended to me, but before deciding
] upon it I would like to know Steve Jackson Games' official opinion on
] the free distribution of GURPS-related material.
]
] I apologize for the length of this letter, but I felt that some
] background was necessary to shed light on the matter.
]
] Regards,
]
] Mads Haahr <ha...@cs.ubc.ca>

And here is SJG's reply:

] Date: Wed, 26 Oct 1994 17:42:59 -0500 (CDT)
] From: Steve Jackson <s...@io.com>
] Subject: Re: SJG Policy Question
] To: Mads Haahr <ha...@cs.ubc.ca>
]
] The answer is simple: If you're selling a separate product based on our
] material, or free-distributing something that competes with things we
] license (e.g, software), then we would keep a level of control and ask for
] a piece of the action. On free-distribution GURPS software, we go through
] a quality-control and licensing procedure but no money changes hands.
]
] If you're creating a fanzine, or sharing your own original stories or
] online, then more power to you. We think it's great. We make no attempt
] to license or control fanzine writers, whether their medium is print or
] electrons. The two are indistinguishable these days, really.
]
] If you do create something neat, it would be a courtesy to send our
] webmaster a copy and give YOUR permission for us to archive it on our own
] system for our users to enjoy.

It seems that one of the key issues are "free-distributing something
that competes with the things we license". This could be the case for
some net.books (at least the best of them), and it is probably the
goal of most net.book-admins to have their net.book reach the highest
possible quality.

The net.books, though, are still text-only and while some of the
contents may be of excellent quality, I would not say it "competes"
with official material, simply because of the lack of chrome.

Also "a piece of the action" does not make much sense for something
freely distributed. Zero divided by anything is still zero, so unless
people start charging money for net.books I suppose we're safe there.

I am not quite certain of how wide the term "fanzine" can be used.
Can it cover the net.books or other game-related material? Does a
publication have to be regular to be a fanzine? Can the net.books be
considered regular (they *are* updated every once in a while...)?

Oh, maybe I just ought to quit investigating this legal crap and get
the system switch done with instead. I don't want to become a
spare-time law student...

Anyway, I liked the tone of SJG's reply; "more power to you" and a
president who uses email? Not bad.

Thoughts welcome,
--
Mads Haahr <ha...@cs.ubc.ca> -- Don't tell me this isn't related to TSR!

Jeff Kesselman

unread,
Oct 28, 1994, 12:09:24 AM10/28/94
to

i wish I coudl agree with this. Unfortunately, even if they are
completely in the wrong, they CAN nonetheless take you to court, at which
point the question is can you (the ftp site) afford a lawyer and the time
it will take to fight it.

If you can't, and they can, they can just make it so expensive to fight
that you have to drop it before winning. (Nobody said our legal system
was perfect. A classic case of this was the IBM suit I mentioend awhiel
back. IBM was able to tie up the anti-trust action for 10 years just by
throwing lawyers and paper work at it. They could get away with this
because they had more money then the justice department and were willign
to spend it to keep the thing out of court until the courts looked more
favorable (they finally let it coem to court during Regan's second
term....))

Jeff Kesselman

S. Keith Graham

unread,
Oct 28, 1994, 10:18:39 AM10/28/94
to
In <38ph4l$e...@cascade.cs.ubc.ca> ha...@cs.ubc.ca (Mads Haahr) writes:

>mst...@osf1.gmu.edu (MARCUS L. STONE) writes:

>] Mads Haahr <ha...@cs.ubc.ca>

>And here is SJG's reply:

SJG>] Date: Wed, 26 Oct 1994 17:42:59 -0500 (CDT)


>] From: Steve Jackson <s...@io.com>
>] Subject: Re: SJG Policy Question
>] To: Mads Haahr <ha...@cs.ubc.ca>
>]
>] The answer is simple: If you're selling a separate product based on our
>] material, or free-distributing something that competes with things we
>] license (e.g, software), then we would keep a level of control and ask for
>] a piece of the action. On free-distribution GURPS software, we go through
>] a quality-control and licensing procedure but no money changes hands.

If you aren't selling a product (module), or software, then he doesn't
care. The probable reason for the software request is that a) software
often includes copyrighted material such as tables and lists, and b)
they may have sold exclusive rights to some other company to produce
GURPs software. (Or at least, "Car Wars" arcade style video games.)

I have seen a licensing form for free software, and its very reasonable..
But he does want a copy, so he can verify you aren't distributing a
complete SJG game, as was done with Ogre, in several incarnations.

>] If you're creating a fanzine, or sharing your own original stories or
>] online, then more power to you. We think it's great. We make no attempt
>] to license or control fanzine writers, whether their medium is print or
>] electrons. The two are indistinguishable these days, really.

A fanzine was, in another age, a free/at cost magazine put out by SF
(typically) fans that was a low budget 'zine similiar to professional
print magazines. In some cases, they compared surprisingly favorably.

So basically, anything you might see in "Pyramid" is probably legal.

This includes rule additions, modules, characters/NPCs, etc.

>] If you do create something neat, it would be a courtesy to send our
>] webmaster a copy and give YOUR permission for us to archive it on our own
>] system for our users to enjoy.

Nice to see they recognize the users copyright; unlike certain
Three Letter Acronyms who are currently distributing user written
material *without* any legal authorization from the authors.

>It seems that one of the key issues are "free-distributing something
>that competes with the things we license". This could be the case for
>some net.books (at least the best of them), and it is probably the
>goal of most net.book-admins to have their net.book reach the highest
>possible quality.

SJG does not license production of modules, world books, etc. (They
do that in house.)

They do license minatures and software. (Not sure about anything else.)
So unless you've found a way to distribute pewter over the 'net... :-)

>I am not quite certain of how wide the term "fanzine" can be used.
>Can it cover the net.books or other game-related material? Does a
>publication have to be regular to be a fanzine? Can the net.books be
>considered regular (they *are* updated every once in a while...)?

Think of it as "fan material", as referenced in the front of TSR's
DMG (1st edition.) (That TSR, at the time, claimed was widely
available.) You may just have one issue of your fanzine. :-)

Keith Graham
vap...@cad.gatech.edu

David Summers

unread,
Nov 1, 1994, 5:39:03 AM11/1/94
to
ha...@cs.ubc.ca (Mads Haahr) wrote, in article
<38ph4l$e...@cascade.cs.ubc.ca>;

[Letter about copyright to SJG's and the reply deleted]

>It seems that one of the key issues are "free-distributing something
>that competes with the things we license". This could be the case for
>some net.books (at least the best of them), and it is probably the
>goal of most net.book-admins to have their net.book reach the highest
>possible quality.

There was discussion on this when the license form was being written.
The main driving force was (at least such is my understanding) driven by
things like character creation software. Things that had stuff like
tables (and other copyrighted material) incorporated into them. The
liscence was developed to address SJG's concerns (which were based on
what their lawyer was telling them) while allowing people to pass around
software they had written as games aids. It is my understanding that
SJG's is mostly concerned with people copying and distributing material.
Not with refering to terms like "fatigue" and "passive defense".


>
>The net.books, though, are still text-only and while some of the
>contents may be of excellent quality, I would not say it "competes"
>with official material, simply because of the lack of chrome.

It is my understanding that they have no problem with net.books. I'm
sure they are aware of the GURPS net.vehicles books and don't seem to be
concerned.

>Also "a piece of the action" does not make much sense for something
>freely distributed. Zero divided by anything is still zero, so unless
>people start charging money for net.books I suppose we're safe there.

I think the idea is that, for things that are being passed around for
free, they just want to protect their rights. If you expect to use their
material to make money, they figure they are entitled to a piece of the
profits.

>Anyway, I liked the tone of SJG's reply; "more power to you" and a
>president who uses email? Not bad.

Actualy he also reads rec.games.frp.misc, though I don't know how
carefully (I don't know if he reads rec.games.frp.dnd). If you have more
questions you might post them there and see if you can't get replies from
them.
--
________________________
(Disclaimer: If NASA had any postion on any of this do you
think they would have ME give it?)
David Summers - Sum...@Max.ARC.NASA.Gov

Thomas Petersen

unread,
Nov 1, 1994, 7:13:18 AM11/1/94
to
Mads Haahr (ha...@cs.ubc.ca) wrote:

> Anyway, I liked the tone of SJG's reply; "more power to you" and a
> president who uses email? Not bad.

For more on the net.policies of other companies you could read
the basic _Call of Cthulhu_ book. They actually tell you where
the FTP sites and mailing-lists are, and nowhere do Chaosium
claim to be especially gracious or permissive for letting FTP
sites exist. It seems that Chaosium has realized that no one are
going to stop buying their books just because they can download
a character sheet or some new spells from the Net.


Thomas


--
//If the worship of Great Cthulhu was criminal
only criminals would worship Great Cthulhu.//
Check my guide to Internet resources on Role-Playing Games at
http://fys-hp-1.risoe.dk/petersen/rpg/
--


Jeff Kesselman

unread,
Nov 6, 1994, 2:31:48 PM11/6/94
to
In article <395bcu$k...@news.uni-c.dk>,

Thomas Petersen <pete...@fys-hp-1.risoe.dk> wrote:
>Mads Haahr (ha...@cs.ubc.ca) wrote:
>
>> Anyway, I liked the tone of SJG's reply; "more power to you" and a
>> president who uses email? Not bad.
>
>For more on the net.policies of other companies you could read
>the basic _Call of Cthulhu_ book. They actually tell you where
>the FTP sites and mailing-lists are, and nowhere do Chaosium
>claim to be especially gracious or permissive for letting FTP
>sites exist. It seems that Chaosium has realized that no one are
>going to stop buying their books just because they can download
>a character sheet or some new spells from the Net.
>

I might even go further and say that Chaosium appears to have realized
that the availability of such materials INCREASES the diserabiltiy of
their product!

Jeff kesselman

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