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Buster

Three Sides article... try again my friend.

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The author seems not to know about one legal rule. You can''t copyright or trademark an idea. Sorry, you just can''t. Ok, sure "3D Asteroid Battle" probably wasn''t the best name for a game. But I can make an Asteroids clone tonight, name it "Your Momma" and sell it tomorrow. There aint one little thing Hasbro can do. Sue me? Go ahead, you won''t win and I''ll collect legal fees. This guy probably opened up that email virus too when he got it.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Ideas can''t be copyrighted or trademarked, no, but that''s
not what you build your case on. If your realization of the
''Asteroids''-idea is very similar to Hasbro''s (i.e. flying around shooting rocks) they have a case.
What''s the point in releasing such clones anyway?

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What''s the point?
__It''s called competition. Without this [or any] competition, most products would never get improved upon; video games, OSes, ice cream scoops, cars, etc. would most likely still be the same as they were or very close without competition. Heck, without competition we''d all still be amoebae.

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Hi all.

Well, I don''t know about the other issues, but I do know (unless they changed the law since I last checked) this article has an important error.

Suphixing your registered "My Name(R)" like this *WILL NOT* do. You need to use "My Name®", you need to put the "R" insinde of a circle, parenthesis *WILL NOT* do. The same holds true for copyrights as "My Copyright(C)" *WILL NOT* do, you need to use "My Copyright©".

Topgoro

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The dude said:
>>
If your realization of the ''Asteroids''-idea is very similar to Hasbro''s (i.e. flying around shooting rocks) they have a case.
<<

Here''s an excerpt from http://www.nolo.com/encyclopedia/articles/pct/pct13.html?r=00150056111181999 which is a legal encyclopedia:

>>
Does copyright protect an author''s creative ideas?

No. Copyright shelters only fixed, original and creative expression, not the ideas or facts upon which the expression is based. For example, copyright may protect a particular song, novel or computer game about a romance in space, but it cannot protect the underlying idea of having a love affair among the stars. Allowing authors to monopolize their ideas would thwart the underlying purpose of copyright law
<<

They don''t have a case... they know it, but hey... if they do win by some chance then they''ll make out pretty good... and put quite a few companies under.

40

www.databyss.com
www.omlettesoft.com

"Don''t meddle in the affairs of wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger."

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The point is that my idea can be EXACTLY like Asteroids. The only way to protect that would be a patent, but getting one for Asteroids seems very unlikely to happen.

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quote:
Original post by Topgoro

Hi all.

Well, I don''t know about the other issues, but I do know (unless they changed the law since I last checked) this article has an important error.

Suphixing your registered "My Name(R)" like this *WILL NOT* do. You need to use "My Name®", you need to put the "R" insinde of a circle, parenthesis *WILL NOT* do. The same holds true for copyrights as "My Copyright(C)" *WILL NOT* do, you need to use "My Copyright©".

Topgoro




You are in fact utterly wrong.

For example, "Copr. 2000 Apogee Software, Ltd." is a perfect legitimate notice. In fact, failure to give *any notice* whatsoever is not considered a forfeiture of copyright protection--there are legal remedies for the author/owner for this oversight. The latest Copyright Act has de-emphasized penalties for failure to provide proper notice. A notice such as (C) 2000 GameDev, Inc. will hold up perfectly well in court.

Scott

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Like the article states, "Hasbro are legally required to protect that Intellectual Property to the best of their abilities."

It''s a common fact that if you don''t object to (i.e. don''t do anything about) the misuse of your IP, it''s equal to giving consent; that is to say, permission is given by default. That is why you see "all rights reserved" in a million-and-one places -- that''s where they say you don''t have permission.

You can''t copyright or trademark an idea. Sorry, you just can''t.

You can copyright the expression of an idea -- that''s what a copyright is.

This guy probably opened up that email virus too when he got.

Sheesh. You people are always so spiteful. This isn''t condusive to a debate, more a war. It would be best to stem the insults.

It''s called competition.

Hold up cowboy. Clones aren''t competition, they are veritably a form of plagiarism. You can get expelled from universities after only a single instance of plagiarism...so why is cloning tolerated?

Competition comes from a similar (read: not a clone) product being on the market.

If you recall, Apple once went after Microsoft because Windows looked too similar to MacOS...they failed, but only because the judge felt that the products did not share enough in common to be clones.

Suphixing your registered "My Name(R)" like this *WILL NOT* do.

Actually, it is fine to do that. (Btw, it''s "suffixing".)

They don''t have a case...

They do... these defendants have cannibalized the expression of ideas used in the games in question.

A lot of people seem to think in the manner of "I came up with a new thing: it walks like a duck, flies like a duck and quacks like a duck. But I''m calling it a muck, so the original inventor can''t sue me."

The point is that my idea can be EXACTLY like Asteroids.

No, it can''t. Can you create a game EXACTLY like Quake 3: Arena, call it Quark 3: Arena, and get away with it? Hell no. The same applies here.

The only way to protect that would be a patent...

Patents are for algorithms and processes. You can''t patent a story, image or most aspects of multimedia.


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Copyrights protect an exact copy of something. Patents protect implementations of ideas. Gameplay mechanics are implementations of an idea and fall into patents. In order to infringe on the copyright, one would need to literally copy their artwork or sounds or code or something along those lines. If all of their assets are original, they have not actually copied anything except the idea.
There are thousands of novels that share the same basic plots. However, since they use different details, they are not copying. I believe gameplay is similar, you can use the same general idea, but as long as you do so using different specifics, you should not be guilty of copyright infringement.
This is simply an issue of "how much". At some point, you are copying too much of the original and it becomes an infringment. Unfortunately, there are no solid rules for determining it. Traditionally, Hasbro has sued people for many reasons, beyond actual infringements. They sued clue.com for infringing on their "trademark" for their Clue game, and promptly lost.
And yes, you could make a game that generally looks and plays like Quake 3 and get away with it. You couldn''t get away with an exact copy, but to my knowledge, no one has ever made an exact copy (that would be reusing the exact same art, etc). Just about every First Person Shooter made has been an extension of Doom, which was an extension of Wolfenstein 3d. I''d say that none of these clones of id''s games are making copyright infringements though, because although the general idea is the game, the details are sufficiently different.

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