Sign in to follow this  
caho

Risk & Diplomacy clones

Recommended Posts

Hi I see a lot of Risk and Diplomacy clones around the web. Could you tell me if this is legal? Games like landgrab.net and webDiplomacy. Is it legal to copy a boardgame as long as you just give it a new name? Is it legal to use the exact same rules as a boardgame in an online game? Thanks Caho

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah. That´s my guess too. But maybe the original Risk is no longer patented (or copyrighted, or whatever protects a game). That would explain the new Risk rules and all the spin-offs.

Maybe you don´t know Risk, but multiple spin-offs have been made, like Lord of the rings risk, and so on. And the original game has some differences in the gameplay compared with the original.

Both Risk and Diplomacy are from the 1950s.

Just a thought?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Board game mechanics cannot be covered under copyright. They CAN be patented, but rarely are, because this is a much more expensive process.

The actual RULES are covered under copyright. If you re-use the text or images, you're toast.

Many of the titles, logos and other IP are also covered under legislative protections. Use them -- you're toast.

Those web games which are doing it? Mostly they're relying on people not being bothered to sue them yet. The minute they start making any brass, there WILL be lawyers all over the place. And they'll be after having all the money the game made plus extra. Relying on the apathy of an opponent who vastly outguns you is probably not a good long term survival strategy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In the US, both games are protected by copyright. So you can't use the same exact board and copy the exact rules. Now that being said, you can make a game that uses the map of the world and similar methods of play provided that they are created by you or someone that works for you. Taking a googled map of the world (or any photo of a map because they are copyrighted), assigning the same values to similar countries (selection of point values on a board may be of sufficient originality for copyright protection) and/or posting the same rules or link to the original rules (wikipedia sets out the rules) will get you in trouble with the copyright holders.

It's possible those sites running their own version of Risk/Diplomacy are too obscure for Parker Bros to notice or located in jurisdictions where Parker Bros believes that sending a C&D will be futile. However that does not make it any less illegal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi. thanks for your replies. Difficult area. But basically if you are serious about creating a new game you should apply for some kind of protection (patent, copyright on the rules, maybe a trademark) before developing the software(? semi-question/note).

But I´m sure I can read much more about that elsewhere on this forum.

Thanks again
caho

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by caho
if you are serious about creating a new game you should apply for some kind of protection (patent, copyright on the rules, maybe a trademark) before developing the software(? semi-question/note).

Usually not before. You would usually apply for the copyright around the time the game is released for sale, trademark just after. Patent... do you really have something patentable? Can you really afford it? Talk to your lawyer before you go that route.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this