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Re: (TFT) Re: TFT copyrights

At 03:40 AM 7/4/98 -0600, Dan Tulloh wrote:
>>At 03:31 PM 7/3/98 -0400, Joe Hartley wrote:
>>> If the game says that you run into a wizard of ST10, DX10, IQ12 that
>>> casts a Rope spell at you, is that infringement?
>> No. Though most gaming companies want you to think it is.
> Really?  I didnt know that.  Is there a written document somewhere
> that I could view saying this?

Lots of them. Check out http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/, the Library of
Congress's (who runs the Copyright Office) web page regarding the topic.

The most applicable document is Form Letter 108, "Games", which I've
excerpted below:

        "The idea for a game is not protected by copyright. The same is
        true of the name or title given to the game and of the method or
        methods for playing it.

        "Copyright protects only the particular manner of an author's
        expression in literary, artistic, or musical form. Copyright
        protection does not extend to any idea, system, method, device,
        or trademark material involved in the development, merchandising,
        or playing of a game. Once a game has been made public, nothing
        in the copyright law prevents others from developing another game
        based on similar principles.

        "Some material prepared in connection with a game may be subject
        to copyright if it contains a sufficient amount of literary or
        pictorial expression. For example, the text matter describing the
        rules of the game, or the pictorial matter appearing on the
        gameboard or container, may be registrable."

In short, game mechanics and terms aren't protected by copyright -- just the
exact written text & pictures of a game-related work.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to 
do nothing." -- Edmund Burke (1729-1797)
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