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turlisk

question about some law

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turlisk    103
I read up on http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson39.htm a little bit I also did some google searching, however I've got just a quick question. I'm currently in the process of designing a game concept and I'm not "taking" per say the exact section of one type of game, i am taking the idea behind it changing it completely into my own innovation and placing it into my game which we'll call game X, the company of game A sees what i have done with game X. do you think anything could be done in a law standing as it has been completely changed including any possibility of names matching up and the way it looks?

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Atrix256    539
It sounds like you are safe but don't trust free legal advice from strangers on the internet! hehe

Basically, if you are unsure, you should talk to a lawyer.

However, if you want to roll the dice and take the chance, i think the way it works is if a "reasonable person" saw your work, and the work you are thought to have copied, and they agree that it is copying it, that you could get in trouble legally for it.

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lightbringer    1070
Quote:
Original post by turlisk
do you think anything could be done in a law standing as it has been completely changed including any possibility of names matching up and the way it looks?


With regards to ideas, they are mostly covered by patent laws, so if you are not infringing on any software patents (patent offices around the world have the unfortunate tendency to be pretty generous with regard to handing out software patents for the most mundane concepts) you are going to be safe, most likely - lots of games (even high profile ones) rip off the game mechanics or other ideas of lots of other games, adding only a bit of innovation. Obviously the more you change the better off you are. Most character/place/race/whatever names are candidates for trademarks and hence a big no-no but you said you changed names so that's fine. You might get a clearer answer if you describe what exactly you are "borrowing" and how you are going about it, but obviously I am not a lawyer and if you want to know anything for sure you will need to seek qualified legal counsel.

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turlisk    103
Quote:
Original post by frob
Quote:
Original post by turlisk
I read up on http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson39.htm a little bit

You were on #39. Eventually you'll get down to #61. Please read them more than "a little bit".


Touché good sir..

Okay so a little more insight i'm making (prepare to laugh in about 10 seconds or less) a multiplayer that "might" expand into a MMO..

I'm not going to go into details, however there are some concerns that the possibility that words could be copyrighted with class/race but i'm not sure if generic things such as elf, or human can be copyrighted or protected by someone else?

the feature thing that i'm turning into my own thing we scrapped and are doing something else so this is like a sub question to my original question.

I guess this is where a lawyer would come in handy. But does anyone know if something like fighter and human would be copyrighted or are they too generic of a IP setting?

--edit--

is there somewhere i can check for things like this that are copyrighted

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lightbringer    1070
You are not going to get sued for having elves, fighters, or humans in your game. Those are far too generic for anyone to claim that they own the trademark for it. The actual descriptions (text or images or models or w/e) of elves, humans, etc in other games are of course copyrighted - you can't use them.

You might get sued (for violating trademarks) for having something like a beholder or illithid in your game, especially if it has an appearance or description that is similar to what you can see in WotC products.

Quote:
Original post by turlisk
is there somewhere i can check for things like this that are copyrighted

Anything ever published by anyone is automatically copyrighted (unless they specifically relinquish their rights by releasing it into the public domain), so your only real recourse is to google it extensively. For trademarks you can check with the patent and trademark office if the trademark is registered (but to be sure you'd have to check with the equivalent offices in other countries, too, and not all trademarks are registered - once again google might be useful). Same for patents. I don't have personal experience but I believe any IP lawyer will be happy to bill you to perform this kind of research on your behalf.

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Tom Sloper    16040
Quote:
Original post by turlisk
(1) there are some concerns that the possibility that words could be copyrighted...
(2) does anyone know if something like fighter and human would be copyrighted...
(3) is there somewhere i can check for things like this that are copyrighted

1. Single words can't be copyrighted. Strings of words can be copyrighted.
2. The words "fighter" and "human" cannot be copyrighted. They're too well-used. The concept you're looking for is "trademark," not "copyright." Those words aren't trademarked in that context, AFAIK.
3. Those articles you say you've read but apparently you haven't, for one. A good book on copyright and trademark, for another.

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