Copyright Infringement

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Rob Repp

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Jul 18, 1994, 6:11:19 PM7/18/94
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For the record, since everyone (including me) was curious, I had legal
take a
look at the idea of having users type the relavant part of books into a
piece
of software designed specifically to use that info.

This is unlawful for a couple of reasons. First, copyrights limit a user's
right to reproduce information. It is implicit in any copyright statement
that it's unlawful to copy information from a book to a machine readable
form. This means that anyone using the software as it would be intended
would
be in copyright violation.

The person who writes the software would be guilty of "contributory
infringement." Basically, this means that it's also unlawful to provide
people with tools created for the sole purpose of violating a copyright.
You
can't legally enable someone to infringe a copyright.

We DO still require licenses for any creation that uses one of our
copyrighted properties. We have to do this, or we'd lose the rights to
those
properties. The law says that if we allow people to use our properties
for a
specific use, we lose the right to claim ownership of that property for
that
use. That would mean that, unless we move to protect our copyrights on
things
we want to use in books, modules, software, etc., we can't claim
ownership of
them anymore.

TSR needs to protect the way in which it derives revenue, or we'll have to
learn to get things done without the benefit of offices, electricity,
phones,
etc.

We ARE aware of the fact that people want to be able to share their
creative
efforts with others, and we're trying to find a way to manage licenses to
allow this without giving it all away.. In the meantime, any software,
netbook,
etc. which uses TSR copyrighted names, material, etc. is unlawful.

Thanks for your interest.

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

John Michael Martz

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Jul 19, 1994, 10:49:50 AM7/19/94
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In article <30eum7$5...@news1.mcs.com>,
Rob Repp <mob...@Mercury.mcs.com> wrote:

snip

>We ARE aware of the fact that people want to be able to share their
>creative
>efforts with others, and we're trying to find a way to manage licenses to
>allow this without giving it all away.. In the meantime, any software,
>netbook,
>etc. which uses TSR copyrighted names, material, etc. is unlawful.

While I don't begrudge TSR its rights, I do have a concern/question. As
we all know, there are numerous netbooks out there, many of which use TSR
copyrighted names--I won't mention any names :-) except the one I edit,
the DARK SUN Net Handbook. And what about discussion lists that take the
names of TSR worlds? Taken to the extreme, how about directories on ftp
sites that have TSR names or even PBeM (play by e-mail) campaigns, which
translate descriptions into text? Am I to understand that DARK SUN (a
copyrighted name, I assume) cannot be used in any of them? How are these
different from a DM photocopying parts of a map for his "real world" game,
spells for a "real world" spell book, or lending a TSR product to a
player? Taken to an extreme, how about a newspaper publishing the words
DARK SUN in a product review?

I make no money from my efforts editing the DARK SUN Net Handbook. The
DSNHB has been well-recieved by DARK SUN enthusiasts. The authors retain
all the rights to the material, so they can submit it to TSR publications
if they desire (at which point, they would probably turn their rights over
to TSR). I don't scan in TSR material. I refer readers to the proper TSR
materials when necessary (e.g., I wrote some paraelemental spells,
refering the reader to the Earth, Air, Fire, & Water supplement for a
description of the paraelemental spheres in DS). I'm even considering
writing a brief review of each of the DS supplements for the next edition
(which vary from good to excellent, IMHO).

While I can see your concerns about software, I do not see them about
netbooks (assuming that they contain original material and aren't simply
scanned versions of TSR products). I think you risk stomping on a LOT of
free advertising and creativity that fuel a growing game/setting, such as
DARK SUN. I can only assume that the DSNHB helps feed interest in DS
products--it even includes an extensive bibliography of DS-relevant
publications (i.e., modules, supplements, DRAGON articles, DUNGEON
articles)--I know it does mine; I religiously purchase any new DS
novel/supplement because I want to stay on top of the setting (I only buy
the "epic" modules because I've found the modules a bit too expensive and
not a match for the high quality of the supplements).

>Thanks for your interest.

You're welcome.

JOHN


--
* John M. Martz: Psychology Dept, UNC-CH * *
| CB# 3270, Davie Hall | B = f(P,E) |
| Chapel Hill, NC 27599 | --Kurt Lewin |
* JOHN_...@UNC.EDU * *

Justin Raphael

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Jul 19, 1994, 11:57:32 AM7/19/94
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Well, we finnaly heard from someone FROM Tsr. What a shock.


-Aedon@DuneMUSH

Belrose The Blue

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Jul 19, 1994, 8:56:53 AM7/19/94
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I have a question regarding copywright infringement that perhaps someone can
answer...

If I own a particular book (say the Players Handbook) and found that I
continually used a section of it (say the first three wizard spell levels).
Is it illegal for me to photocopy this section of the book for my own personal
use, in an effort to keep my book in good shape? What if I just copy it out
by hand?

If that is not illegal, then is it illegal for me to type it into a word
processor (again, assuming that I will not share it with anyone else)?

Belrose The Blue

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Jul 19, 1994, 9:25:08 AM7/19/94
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In article <30gt5c$i...@crl.crl.com> k...@crl.com (Justin Raphael) writes:

> Well, we finnaly heard from someone FROM Tsr. What a shock.

Cut them some slack! It is typically in their best interest not to get
involved in the daily shenanigens of this board. I for one appreciate his
comments. Who else on this group has access to a legal department that they
could ask such questions? And if you do, why don't you? And I'm not talking
about any so-called pseudo-intellectual trying to pass off their understanding
of the law.

From the way people around here respond to the mention of TSR (I guess
actually you folks prefer T$R) I wouldn't choose to subject myself to that
kind of personal assault either. And by the way, no matter what anybody else
thinks, I believe that money has to come before any other motivation for any
company. If you can't make a reasonable profit from it, then you shouldn't be
doing it.

Rob Repp

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Jul 19, 1994, 4:10:58 PM7/19/94
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(deletia)

In article <30gp6e$a...@bigblue.oit.unc.edu> John Michael Martz,


jma...@gibbs.oit.unc.edu writes:
>* John M. Martz: Psychology Dept, UNC-CH * *
>| CB# 3270, Davie Hall | B = f(P,E) |
>| Chapel Hill, NC 27599 | --Kurt Lewin |
>* JOHN_...@UNC.EDU * *


I'm going to run your message by our legal department, and I'll get back
to
you as soon as I can with the reply.

Thanks for your response.

John Michael Martz

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Jul 19, 1994, 9:16:28 PM7/19/94
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In article <alias.139...@fred.nb.ca>,

Belrose The Blue <al...@fred.nb.ca> wrote:
>If I own a particular book (say the Players Handbook) and found that I
>continually used a section of it (say the first three wizard spell levels).
>Is it illegal for me to photocopy this section of the book for my own personal
>use, in an effort to keep my book in good shape? What if I just copy it out
>by hand?

No. Not if it's like music, anyway. You are permitted to make copies
for your own, personal use.

>If that is not illegal, then is it illegal for me to type it into a word
>processor (again, assuming that I will not share it with anyone else)?

Again, I doubt it. But who knows, lawyers can get you for just about
anything :-).

James Shields

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Jul 20, 1994, 2:19:26 PM7/20/94
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I agree! It's great to have someone here from TSR ... after all,
this is the D&D, AD&D, et al newsgroup.

Pat Berry

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Jul 20, 1994, 11:24:10 PM7/20/94
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In <30gp6e$a...@bigblue.oit.unc.edu> jma...@gibbs.oit.unc.edu (John Michael Martz) writes:
>In article <30eum7$5...@news1.mcs.com>,
>Rob Repp <mob...@Mercury.mcs.com> wrote:

>>we're trying to find a way to manage licenses to
>>allow this without giving it all away.. In the meantime, any software,
>>netbook,
>>etc. which uses TSR copyrighted names, material, etc. is unlawful.

>While I don't begrudge TSR its rights, I do have a concern/question. As
>we all know, there are numerous netbooks out there, many of which use TSR
>copyrighted names--I won't mention any names :-)

This is NOT a copyright issue, folks. Names cannot be copyrighted. They
*can* be trademarks, but trademark law does not forbid *mentioning* a
trademarked name.

--
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Patrick M. Berry | Maybe we'd better talk out here. The Observation
Cary, North Carolina, USA | Lounge has turned into a swamp.
-=- Team OS/2 -=- | -- Commander Riker, "Masks"
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Pat Berry

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Jul 21, 1994, 12:22:47 AM7/21/94
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k...@crl.com (Justin Raphael) writes:

> Well, we finnaly heard from someone FROM Tsr. What a shock.

Not to me. I've been seeing Mr. Repp's posts here for weeks.

Jason Stephenson

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Jul 21, 1994, 11:55:48 AM7/21/94
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In article <KxdLuA5...@berry.Cary.NC.US>

p...@berry.Cary.NC.US (Pat Berry) writes:

>
>In <30gp6e$a...@bigblue.oit.unc.edu> jma...@gibbs.oit.unc.edu (John Michael Martz) writes:
>>In article <30eum7$5...@news1.mcs.com>,
>>Rob Repp <mob...@Mercury.mcs.com> wrote:
>
>>>we're trying to find a way to manage licenses to
>>>allow this without giving it all away.. In the meantime, any software,
>>>netbook,
>>>etc. which uses TSR copyrighted names, material, etc. is unlawful.
>
>>While I don't begrudge TSR its rights, I do have a concern/question. As
>>we all know, there are numerous netbooks out there, many of which use TSR
>>copyrighted names--I won't mention any names :-)
>
>This is NOT a copyright issue, folks. Names cannot be copyrighted. They
>*can* be trademarks, but trademark law does not forbid *mentioning* a
>trademarked name.

Neither are the rules of a game protected by copyright. Only the text of the
rulebook is covered by copyright law. Of course game terms, as well as names,
can be claimed as tradmarks and can even be registered trademarks. Palladium
Books, for example, claims S.D.C. and M.D.C. and Mega-Damage as trademarks.
You have to be careful how you use trademarks, though, you might get sued.

+----------------------------+-----------------------------+
| Jason Stephenson | "Curiouser and curiouser," |
| jjst...@ukcc.uky.edu | said Alice. |
+----------------------------+-----------------------------+





John Michael Martz

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Jul 21, 1994, 9:24:54 PM7/21/94
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In article <16FFAA7C7S...@ukcc.uky.edu>,

Jason Stephenson <JJST...@ukcc.uky.edu> wrote:
>Neither are the rules of a game protected by copyright. Only the text of the
>rulebook is covered by copyright law. Of course game terms, as well as names,
>can be claimed as tradmarks and can even be registered trademarks. Palladium
>Books, for example, claims S.D.C. and M.D.C. and Mega-Damage as trademarks.
>You have to be careful how you use trademarks, though, you might get sued.

I think TSR might disagree. See another post I just made to the list.
According to TSR, "elements" of the gaming system are protected.

Pat Berry

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Jul 21, 1994, 9:03:13 PM7/21/94
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In <alias.143...@fred.nb.ca> al...@fred.nb.ca (Belrose The Blue) writes:

>From the way people around here respond to the mention of TSR (I guess
>actually you folks prefer T$R)

I don't. I think it's asinine.

--

Jason Stephenson

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Jul 22, 1994, 11:26:07 AM7/22/94
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I read the portions of the T$R policy statement that appeared here on the net
and as an editor at a university press who knows the copyright law extremely
well, I can tell you that most of their claims are bogus!

1. The copyright law is very explicit in that rules to games are not protected.
(How could there be so many versions of Monopoly running around?) Only the
text of the rule books is protected by copyright, so if your software or
supplements borrow heavily on the material in the printed books (as almost
all character generation programs inevitably do) then you are in danger of
copyright infringement.

2. Game terms and mechanics are not protected by copyright, either. You can
use "hit dice," "rounds," "segment," "initiative," etc. until you are blue.
T$R cannot sue you for using those terms. If so, they could sue other game
manufacturers.

3. Settings and specific characters are protected by copyright. So, you can
get in trouble for your DARK SUN tm creations, your RAVENLOFT tm additions,
and for copying the characters out of TSR books and modules. However, you
do not cross the line for using the names of characters and settings unless
the content of (almost left that out)
your characters and settings are the same as those presented in TSR copy-
righted material or unless those names are trademarks.

4. To the extent that your game material relies on previously published TSR
material, it could be considered a derivative work, which means they could
sue you. But, here's the loophole, if you include characters as a simple
collection of powers and abilities, do not copy the descriptions of those
powers and abililities into your supplements, and do not rely on any back-
ground material from their campaign settings, you're in the clear. Simply
stating that a tribe of 200 orcs with an ogre chieftain live in the
Valley of Mist, will not get you in trouble. If you reprint the stats for
the ogre and orcs, then you will be in trouble. You can use their monsters
so long as you do not copy the monster's stats into your work. Further,
you can invent your own monsters so long as they do not rely on any TSR
"official" settings. In other words, a book describing a campaign world
is perfectly legitimate so long as it is a new campaign setting and does
not borrow from previously published settings.

Some of what was said in that letter is true, and most of the supplements and
programs that I have seen will be in violation of TSR's copyright, but there
are many things that would be acceptable & most of what exists could be
modified so it is not longer in violation.

dk...@cas.org

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Jul 22, 1994, 1:13:58 PM7/22/94
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In article JJST...@ukcc.uky.edu, JJST...@ukcc.uky.edu (Jason Stephenson) writes:
>4. To the extent that your game material relies on previously published TSR
> material, it could be considered a derivative work, which means they could
> sue you. But, here's the loophole, if you include characters as a simple
> collection of powers and abilities, do not copy the descriptions of those
> powers and abililities into your supplements, and do not rely on any back-
> ground material from their campaign settings, you're in the clear. Simply
> stating that a tribe of 200 orcs with an ogre chieftain live in the
> Valley of Mist, will not get you in trouble. If you reprint the stats for
> the ogre and orcs, then you will be in trouble. You can use their monsters
> so long as you do not copy the monster's stats into your work. Further,
> you can invent your own monsters so long as they do not rely on any TSR
> "official" settings. In other words, a book describing a campaign world
> is perfectly legitimate so long as it is a new campaign setting and does
> not borrow from previously published settings.

If this is true, then why did TSR get into trouble from the Tolkein estate
for using the name hobbit for a race (they had to change it to halfling).
They also got in trouble for putting in the Melnibonian (sp?) and Cuthulu
(sp?) deities/creatures into their Deities & Demi-Gods book. They just
used the names (and invented their own stats) and put them in their
game world, but still had to change them. Why?

As always any opinions I may have written above are mine and mine alone.

Dave.

an...@orion.alaska.edu

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Jul 22, 1994, 9:38:57 AM7/22/94
to

He's got a point...as someone running a business, one of my main objectives
is to make profit (lots of it, because I'm greedy ;) ) and TSR/T$R is no
different. And I hope everyone remembers that the common worker at TSR/T$R
is not some evil trogladyte. They're people like you and I, just doing what
they're bosses tell them to do. So, I try to keep that in mind when I
correspond with TSR employees as I probably most everyone else should as well.
Because, if you piss off the little people, you won't get to the big people
who make big decisions.

-Bill Knight
"The Guardian"
AN...@acad2.alaska.edu

Ken Arromdee

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Jul 22, 1994, 2:52:07 PM7/22/94
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In article <16FFBA0CFS...@ukcc.uky.edu>,

Jason Stephenson <JJST...@ukcc.uky.edu> wrote:
>I read the portions of the T$R policy statement that appeared here on the net
>and as an editor at a university press who knows the copyright law extremely
>well, I can tell you that most of their claims are bogus!
>...
>2. Game terms and mechanics are not protected by copyright, either. You can
> use "hit dice," "rounds," "segment," "initiative," etc. until you are blue.
> T$R cannot sue you for using those terms. If so, they could sue other game
> manufacturers.

Hmm... why is it that Gary Gygax uses different terms like "Heroic Persona"
in Dangerous Journeys? It sounded like he was deliberately using new terms
just to avoid TSR complaints about copyright violation.

Of course, defending oneself against even frivolous lawsuits is expensive,
which could explain it....
--
Ken Arromdee (email: arro...@jyusenkyou.cs.jhu.edu)
ObYouKnowWho Bait: Stuffed Turkey with Gravy and Mashed Potatoes

"You, a Decider?" --Romana "I decided not to." --The Doctor

Mark Crump

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Jul 23, 1994, 10:27:29 AM7/23/94
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Theres a point there. TSR has a lively and well run forum on GENIE, I
play in several games there run by TSR staffers and non-tsr staffers, and
have been open and candid about answering some of the questions/problems
that I have encountered with their rules systsems

What I think some people may forget it that TSR sells a product that for
the most part is not TANGIBLE. that is you cannot hold it your hands. All
you buy from TSR are the tools. That's why they take copywright rules
very succesfully. I for one have never had a major problem or complaint
with TSR. I started playign D&D back in the late '70's and I think its
one of the best rules systems around. I also realize that some poeple
enjoy making money off of other peoples toils, that if TSR did not
strringently enfore their copy protection, then we may not have TSR to
complain about.

I feel thet the products that TSR are releasing now are of a much better
quality than they were 15 odd years ago

MTC

Pat Berry

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Jul 23, 1994, 10:07:18 AM7/23/94
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JJST...@ukcc.uky.edu (Jason Stephenson) writes:

> In article <KxdLuA5...@berry.Cary.NC.US>
> p...@berry.Cary.NC.US (Pat Berry) writes:
>
> >This is NOT a copyright issue, folks. Names cannot be copyrighted. They
> >*can* be trademarks, but trademark law does not forbid *mentioning* a
> >trademarked name.
>
> Neither are the rules of a game protected by copyright. Only the text of the
> rulebook is covered by copyright law.

Huh? The text of the rulebook *is* the rules. What other form do you
think they exist in?

Pat Berry

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Jul 24, 1994, 1:28:11 PM7/24/94
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In <1994Jul22...@orion.alaska.edu> an...@orion.alaska.edu writes:

>I hope everyone remembers that the common worker at TSR/T$R
>is not some evil trogladyte. They're people like you and I, just doing what
>they're bosses tell them to do. So, I try to keep that in mind when I
>correspond with TSR employees as I probably most everyone else should as well.
>Because, if you piss off the little people, you won't get to the big people
>who make big decisions.

Well said. But there's another, more basic reason. If you contact someone
at TSR, they have never heard of you before, and there is no particular
reason why they should automatically listen to you and consider what you say.
The first thing you have to do is convince them that your ideas are worth
hearing. If you don't do that, you've blown your chance before you even
begin.

Now, suppose your approach is to be rude, insulting, and arrogant from the
moment you open your mouth. Do you really think that you have *any* chance
of getting your message across? Of course not. The folks at TSR will
immediately dismiss you as a jerk. They don't have time to waste listening
to someone who can't even be civil.

If you want people to take you seriously, act like you deserve it.

--

Bill Hay

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Jul 24, 1994, 11:40:49 AM7/24/94
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Pat Berry (p...@berry.Cary.NC.US) wrote:
> JJST...@ukcc.uky.edu (Jason Stephenson) writes:

> > Neither are the rules of a game protected by copyright. Only the text of the
> > rulebook is covered by copyright law.

> Huh? The text of the rulebook *is* the rules. What other form do you
> think they exist in?

The rules can be expressed in a different way without copying from the
rules. Many of the rules of AD&D also exist in the form of the various SSI AD&D
computer games. These games do not have a huge text file containing the
text of the PHB and DMG which is read and interpreted by the program. The
rules therein are represented therein by various procedures, functions and
tables. The programs are copyright SSI not TSR unless SSI have signed
something specifically handing copyright over to TSR. TSR still hold the
Trademark on the name AD&D which SSI payed to use.

If I wanted to explain the rules of scrabble to you I wouldn't necessarily
have to quote the 17 clauses exactly as written on the inside of the box
cover.


--
Bill Hay

Alex Oren

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Jul 24, 1994, 3:48:57 PM7/24/94
to
Now that's some valuable info (below).
Thanks Jason!

BTW, any lawyers out there like to comment?

>>>

Jason Stephenson (JJST...@ukcc.uky.edu) wrote:

: I read the portions of the T$R policy statement that appeared here on the net

Jason Stephenson

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Jul 25, 1994, 10:53:56 AM7/25/94
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In article <1994Jul22.1...@chemabs.uucp>

dk...@cas.org () writes:

>
>If this is true, then why did TSR get into trouble from the Tolkein estate
>for using the name hobbit for a race (they had to change it to halfling).
>They also got in trouble for putting in the Melnibonian (sp?) and Cuthulu
>(sp?) deities/creatures into their Deities & Demi-Gods book. They just
>used the names (and invented their own stats) and put them in their
>game world, but still had to change them. Why?

They got in trouble because they adapted characters into their game. It can
be argued that more than just the names "Elric, Moonglum, etc." appeared in
the TSR books, but that they were also copying the personae. TSR attempted
to describe the characters and setting sufficiently so that a DM could base
a campaign on that material. This description went too far for the copyright
holders. Furthermore, TSR used material for which Chaosium had just acquired
a license from the publishers (in both the Cthulhu and Melnibonean) cases.
Chaosium, or someone, threatened to sue and TSR removed the material from
the books to avoid a lawsuit.

Thing is, your character can have the same name. I could name a character
Elric if I wanted, but you cannot have that character be the same Elric as
found in Michael Moorcock's excellent novels. If you do the same for
characters found in TSR modules, then you will run into the same problem.

Be advised, you can do nearly anything you want with TSR material provided it
is entirely for your own use in your own campaign. You will run into problems
once you try to distribute this material.

Larry Smith

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Jul 25, 1994, 2:00:10 PM7/25/94
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In article <Ve7wPc...@berry.Cary.NC.US>,

Pat Berry <p...@berry.Cary.NC.US> wrote:
>JJST...@ukcc.uky.edu (Jason Stephenson) writes:
>> Neither are the rules of a game protected by copyright. Only the text of the
>> rulebook is covered by copyright law.

>Huh? The text of the rulebook *is* the rules. What other form do you
>think they exist in?

Under US Copyright law, if I were to pick up a copy of the Dungeon Master's
Guide and paraphrase every sentence in it, the result would _not_ be a
copyright violation. It _would_ be plaigerism, but plaigerism is not copy-
right violation. TSR claims copyright on the tables to be found in the rules,
but this has not been shown to be viable in the courts, to my knowledge.
Copyright does not, and is not intended, to protect an idea, only the
expression of it. The rules are an idea, the text of the rules - mine or TSR's,
the expression of that idea.

That _used_to_be_ the right answer. It is still the _official_ answer.

Copyrights were set up under the theory that _ideas_ were cheap, but the
expression of them was real work and needed to be protected from being
stolen. Otherwise, someone could just "copyright" an idea in a few paragraphs
then sue anyone for using that idea - even inadvertantly - in another work.
As if I were to copyright the phrase "game where people play roles of fictional
characters" and then sued TSR because D&D was based on the same idea.

Sadly, the courts are now thrashing out the idea of "intellectual property",
where people are trying to do exactly that - copyright the idea, not the
expression - so copyrights are now settled by ruling a favor of the company
with the most expensive lawyers. Your "rights" in the United States are
whatever you can convince a judge to give you, and they have _wide_ latitude,
especially in cases where the gray areas have expanded to fill the entire
issue, as they have with copyrights.

Bottom Line: _NO_body knows what copyrights are, or what they protect,
not even lawyers, not even courts until one gets to rule on a specific
issue, and then only until the appeal, unless someone runs out of money.
So let this thread die.

--
Larry Smith - My opinions alone. lar...@io.com/thes...@mv.mv.com
A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take
everything you have. -- Barry Goldwater. Liberty is not the freedom to do
whatever we want, it is the freedom to do whatever we are able. -- Me.

Rusty Miller

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Jul 25, 1994, 2:15:16 PM7/25/94
to
In article <16FFBA0CFS...@ukcc.uky.edu> JJST...@ukcc.uky.edu (Jason Stephenson) writes:
>
>3. Settings and specific characters are protected by copyright. So, you can
> get in trouble for your DARK SUN tm creations, your RAVENLOFT tm additions,
> and for copying the characters out of TSR books and modules. However, you
> do not cross the line for using the names of characters and settings unless
> the content of (almost left that out)
> your characters and settings are the same as those presented in TSR copy-
> righted material or unless those names are trademarks.

I do not understand this point. Could you clarify this, perhaps with an example?
Thanks.

Rusty


Jason Stephenson

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Jul 26, 1994, 9:44:41 AM7/26/94
to
Just as in novels, characters and settings created for a fantasy module are
protected by the copyright law. Thus, if I were to write a game based on
Robert Heinlein's novel GLORY ROAD, and if I were to sell that game or
otherwise to distribute many copies, then I would be in violation of the
Heinlein estate's copyright on the material in the book.--I'd need to get a
license to use that material.--This is what happened to TSR when they put
the Cthulhu and Melnibonean mythoi in the original DEITIES & DEMIGODS. If
I were merley to call my game GLORY ROAD and it is was clear that the work
had nothing to do with Heinlein's novel, then I'd be in the clear.

The same goes for published adventure modules, settings and characters. You
cannot use published settings and characters without violating the copyright
of the owner of that setting or character. You could have a similar name
provided it was clear from the context that this was not the same character.
Parody is also allowed (a la MAD magazine) but your creations would have to
be of a humorous nature with satire being a prominent element.

However, with many of the TSR names, you could run into trouble for trademark
rather than copyright infringement. The legal department at TSR has recently,
in about the last five years, taken to sticking a little tm after everything.
Don't ask me about trademark, I'm an editor not a lawyer.

BTW: I don't think they could sue you for this: T$R. It's satiric intention
is plainly obvious.
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