The exact definition depends on the country's laws.Are you sure? IANAL, but as far as I've always understood copyright, it is the expression that is copyrighted, not the idea behind the expression. With that in mind, I would've thought the mechanics/flow/idea of the combat system is not copyrightable, and if one created a similar combat system with an original expression/implementation of it, it would be fine. I don't claim to know for sure though.
Yes. Copyright protection is automatic as soon as an idea is expressed in tangible form.
Would it be possible to put a copyright on it?
I was thinking it might be possible?
The idea is not protected.
The expression of the idea is protected immediately and automatically.
If you create a system that is similar to but slightly different than a previous implementation, it could be considered a derivative work of the first system.
It is up to the judge, and it is not uncommon to see copyright claims mixed in with other IP rights claims; in the US the definition is intentionally vague, "a work based upon one or more preexisting works". It can be radically different, but a judge still gets to decide if it was based on the earlier work.
Frequently an idea can be protected through copyright this way.
There are all kinds of liabilities.
wuat kind of liabilities?
how can it hurt to just give advice?
He can even say for protection its his unprofressional advice.
lawyer is for creating contracts and tailoring the contract for your business and deal etc..
but he can still say in a nice advice how its generally done
There are potentially professional 'expectations', where a person is speaking as an expert and legally they can be required to meet certain standards. There are liabilities for injuries, meaning you followed the lawyer's casual advice but got in trouble anyway. There is always tort liability, and it can vary based on the reasonableness of applying specific advice to arbitrary situations.
Professionals of ANY field can be liable.
As for how it is done, you've been told: You talk to an experienced lawyer in the field. It is not a difficult thing, they will help you build a license. If they are experienced in the field and you know exactly what you want, you're only looking at a few days worth of billable hours. It isn't a big thing.
The expressed idea is copyrighted. Someone expressing the same system but with different words could easily be challenged as an unauthorized derivative work. What matters is if the judge is convinced one work is derived from another.
The D20 system might be patented, and it might be trademarked. Likewise, "Dungeons and Dragons" is a trademark.
The words on those D20 pages are copyrighted, but the ideas behind them are not.
Copyright is not patent, and neither is trademark.
Most IP rights complaints include copyright claims. I've seen copyright claims for animation sequences, claiming the animation was based on it and therefore a derivative work.
If you've been following the EA Sims Social / Zynga The Ville lawsuit, there are copyright claims about animation sequences, copyright claims about character creation sequences, there are even copyright claims on the 8 color skin tones with the same rgb values.
The standard in the US is fairly low: They must convince a judge with a reasonableness standard that the work was based on the original. Being based on it is a vague thing. The new work can be radically different in expression and still meet that criteria of being based on the original work.
Fan fiction, where they might only use a half dozen names in the entire work, often get defined as derivative works. If I wrote an article about a magical world where a small family included Garion, Aunt Pol, and Mister Wolf, that's about all it would take to convince a judge it is covered as a derivative work from the Belgarath series of books. Similarly if I had a group of hobbits named Frodo, Samwise, Pippen and Merry, then if it ever came up in court simply having those words could place it before a judge as a copyright violation.