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Re: (TFT) Devil's Advocate

From: Michael Taylor <MichaelTaylor1@compuserve.com>
Subject: Re: (TFT) Devil's Advocate
Date: Wed, 14 Jun 2000 00:09:28 -0400

Message text written by INTERNET:tft@brainiac.com
   3)  Use TFT as a model and write our own RPG that is based
       upon it.  We can agree it will be in the public domain,
       what the term "official release" means, etc.  This has
       a lot of possible benefits, the only drawback I can see
       is the committee development approach.<

Here's my take on this briefly.

My point is that if we write it close enough to TFT to duplicate what makes TFT fun, we'll be violating copyright. If we move far enough away from TFT to be safe from copyright infringement, we'll probably ruin the game.

You said it yourself about "Pocket Fantasy/Compact Warrior". No
matter how close it is. It's not close enough...(sorry Guy, but that also goes for several other games that have been very

Now I dont think the TFT design can't be improved, but I doubt we
could develop something 'very similar' and yet something that doesnt violate the copyright laws in a manner that would hold up in court. No matter how much we went by the 'letter' of the law, the courts could still determine that we violated the 'spirit' if we adhered too close to TFT.

Whaddya think?


Unfortunately, I agree with you Michael. I say unfortunately because I probably won't try out Pocket Fantasy/Compact Warrior. Not because they might not be good games but because 1) Nowadays, unless I am shown how to play the game, usually at Cons, I won't play it...Hmm now that I am writing this, though, I might buy it because I like to read other gaming systems... 2) I am already deeply into TFT. Slight TFT alterations are acceptable to me. If it isn't the TFT game, the fanaticism I have probably won't transfer. [My, What a provincial view that is. And I'm trying to get others to buy MY game?]

One could publish something similar and perhaps violate the copyright laws. I guess it only becomes a problem if you're told to desist and you don't. Then you get taken to court and sued. But who is it that is going to tell you to desist? That would only be the copyright holder. If he doesn't fight for his copyright, I guess it won't stop the similar product. I think the government moight itself stop copyright violations, but I doubt this is a case the government would take up.

Hail Melee

John Paul
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