[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

RE: (TFT) Open Source TFT

BTW I hope to have some free time to work on this project in a month or two.

- Greg Thorne

> -----Original Message-----
> From: tft-owner@brainiac.com [mailto:tft-owner@brainiac.com] 
> On Behalf Of Ty Beard
> Sent: Friday, July 08, 2005 6:21 AM
> To: tft@brainiac.com
> Subject: (TFT) Open Source TFT
> Howdy all. As some of you guys know, I'm an attorney *and* a 
> TFT loon -- a dangerous combination to be sure. I also love 
> miniature wargaming, plastic model building and the Dallas 
> Cowboys, so there's really no hope. Anyhow, enough about my 
> mental illnesses.
> I've been thinking about how to bring TFT back to the gaming 
> world. For many years, I've quietly attempted to locate the 
> owner of the TFT intellectual property, to no avail. My guess 
> is that the property got assigned to some bank when 
> Metagaming shut down. At the very least, they would have had 
> a lien on the property. The problem is that Texas banks have 
> gone through many mergers and sales over the last 20 years. 
> My own bank, for instance, has been merged 4 times in 12 
> years. So, it's nearly impossible to determine which bank has 
> the stuff. And of course it would be a formidable challenge 
> to find a bank president willing to discuss a sale for the 
> minimal value that TFT should command. There's also the 
> possibility that TFT was secretly sold to some third party, 
> who, for nefarious reasons of his own, has kept it out of 
> print since 1983. Personally, I doubt that scenario, since 
> that person would be leaving money on the table, but it's 
> possible. It's also possible that HT retained the 
> intellectual property (he would have leased it to Metagaming 
> or DTI and the rights would have reverted back to him in this 
> scenario).
> And since the penalties for copyright infringement can be 
> downright medieval, there's (rightly) very little enthusiasm 
> for just putting TFT back into print without the permission 
> of the copyright owners.
> However, I am becoming increasingly convinced that we could 
> re-write TFT and not infringe anyone's copyright. This is 
> *not* legal advice; it's just my opinion. Do not rely on it 
> -- pay your own attorney if you want to run the risk. Etc.
> But *if* a group of folks were willing to undertake this, I 
> would be willing to be the "front guy" on the project. This 
> offer is not due to any presumption on my part. Well, not 
> much. <grin> But as an attorney, I'd be (a) well placed to 
> evaluate any threats of litigation, orders to desist, etc.; 
> (b) well placed to negotiate terms if the copyright holder 
> did materialize; and (c) not as susceptible to intimidation 
> from other attorneys.
> I think that such a project would need to look like this:
> 1. The game would be produced under our own version of the 
> open gaming license. In other words, it's free to distribute.
> 2. We could probably call it The Fantasy Trip -- that 
> trademark was abandoned long ago. I'd be willing to apply and 
> pay for the trademark in my own state, once the product was 
> being produced (a requirement for trademark registration). A 
> federal trademark would cost too much, but they aren't 
> strictly necessary and would probably be overkill for this project.
> Alternatively, we could call it something different -- say, 
> "TFT 2" or somesuch.
> 3. We would have to re-write the entire rules set. That means 
> that every single sentence would need to be re-stated. Of 
> course, since most of us scanned the original text long ago, 
> that would not be as difficult as it sounds. Obviously, the 
> more folks we have, the faster it would go.
> 4. Someone has to own the intellectual property, even though 
> it will be effectively public domain. I have a company that 
> can be the titular owner. I can draft an agreement in which 
> all work by the collaborators on this project will be owned 
> by the company, but only if the work is licensed per our 
> version of the OGL. I can also draft the OGL (I'll use the 
> Wizards of the Coast version as a starting point).
> 5. A proposed structure:
> - Someone (the "Outliner") needs to produce an outline of all 
> the current TFT rules, organized into logical sections. The 
> Outliner will also produce a logical ordering scheme. 
> Sections could be assigned to Collaborators who would produce 
> the first draft of their particular section. I suggest that 
> the Outliner also be responsible for assigning sections (as a 
> practical matter, volunteers will emerge for various sections).
> - After comments from the group, the revised first draft 
> would go to a smaller number of editors (or even one editor), 
> who would edit it for style, thereby ensuring that everything 
> flows together despite being written by numerous folks. We'd 
> want to agree on a style sheet -- I'd steal the Steve Jackson 
> Games style sheet (though I'd avoid their infatuation with 
> sidebars). The Editors would also need to verify that every 
> sentence has been restated.
> -At this stage, we would re-create the canon TFT rules. (Of 
> course, we have to agree on what canon is). Truly ambiguous 
> rules would need to be identified and an "official" ruling 
> would be created and agreed to, with alternatives put into 
> the expansion section (below). I suggest that we leave the 
> final decision to a group of 3 people (the "Mnoren", perhaps) 
> who will vote on it. Or, we can all vote on it. But we need a 
> resolution mechanism because reasonable people can and will disagree.
> -Expansion material and rules changes should be added (and 
> marked as such) later on.
> My guess is that a lot of this work has already been done by 
> individual members of this list. This proposal would simply 
> harmonize that work and produce a common rules set.
> Comments?
> --Ty
> =====
> Post to the entire list by writing to tft@brainiac.com.
> Unsubscribe by mailing to majordomo@brainiac.com with the 
> message body "unsubscribe tft"
Post to the entire list by writing to tft@brainiac.com.
Unsubscribe by mailing to majordomo@brainiac.com with the message body
"unsubscribe tft"