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Re: [18xx] copyright protected components of 18xx games

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  • Michael.Bruenker@t-online.de
    David G.D. Hecht schrieb: map... ... yes, you understood right. if you could protect a blank hexmap you could also protect a chess board. ... they invented the
    Message 1 of 41 , Jan 5, 2004
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      David G.D. Hecht schrieb:

      map...
      > In order to make sure I undersatnd you, you do not mean by this that a
      > hexmap in general is copyright-protected? I think the bees invented this
      > pattern a few million years ago!

      yes, you understood right. if you could protect a blank hexmap you could
      also protect a chess board.

      > I know that SPI put a copyright legend on their blank hexmaps, but they told
      > me that the copyright only applied to a hexmap with an individual, unique
      > four-digit identifier printed in each hex.

      they invented the numeration in combination with the hexmap. i think
      this can be protected.

      tiles...
      > I think you can make a colorable case that tiles with specific colors and
      > numbers might be subject to copyright: e.g. using a yellow tile with a black
      > overprint and designated "9" for a "straight-track" tile. Not otherwise.

      agreed. the colour and the number make the track tile unique. hard to
      say if only changing the number would be no violation.


      station markers
      > Disagree: the use of round markers to designate ownership cannot possibly be
      > protected, and neither can the use of rectangular cards to designate partial
      > or full ownership.

      agreed, its an "ordinary" game elemnt found in many games, sorry, i was
      concentrating on the rules behind station markers

      rules...
      > Rules "as a whole" are only protected to the extent that they are
      > "chinese-copied": similarly, the specific wording of individual rules may be
      > subject to copyright. There is actually a court case about this where a
      > Spanish games company was found to have infringed on another company's
      > copyright when some of their rules were found to be identically-worded as
      > the other company's.
      >
      > But the underlying ideas--by definition of copyright--cannot be copyrighted:
      > so if I restate 18xx rules in my own words, I am not in violation of
      > copyright.

      Disagree. What about adapted books for screen-plays/scripts? Isn't
      adapting "rewriting"?

      In theory one could patent the underlying ideas: but, insofar as
      > I am aware, no one has ever undertaken this (expensive and time-consuming)
      > process.

      agreed.

      Let's talk about Vellani's Transformation rules. They are absolutely
      unique. I used these rules in 1898, adapted and corrected (in my sense)
      the rules but I feel that I have stolen this rule, at least ethically.
      If I am understanding your answer right I did not violate the copyright
      of Vellani.
      Or what about 1851Moon. This game I created for my group to play 1851
      with more than 3 players. I did not change the rules except adding new
      trains, adding more companies, changing the map. And I used 1851 in the
      title to characterise it as an 1851 variant. I think I stole
      Xris'/Marks' ideas.

      Michael
    • Noel Leaver
      ... certainly aware of it by now. So it s reasonable to assume they re willing to tolerate us. They may however take a different view of a commercially
      Message 41 of 41 , Jan 8, 2004
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        >Could be. OTOH, the hobby has been around for a long time and Hasbro is
        certainly aware of it by now. So it's reasonable to assume they're willing
        to tolerate us.

        They may however take a different view of a commercially produced game to a
        game kit sold largely privately.

        Noel
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