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(TFT) Appropriate use of copyrighted material

Message text written by INTERNET:tft@brainiac.com
>In discussions with someone else the question of the use of procedures
from a 
game in developing a program that duplicates said game came up. Since
covers the textual material of the game, and trademark covers the name of
game, and the processes and procedures of the game are covered by patent
would it be legal to write a computer game of, say, Melee, not call it
or use the text of the game, but use the 'rules' of Melee in the game,
since it 
is very unlikely that a publisher would patent those rules (except for
of the Coast)?<

That's a good question. Let me add another one along the same lines. Say
you took an 'encounter table' created for a game - maybe the AD&D one from
the Dungeon Master's Guide. Say you wrote a computer program that used that
table to 'roll' encounters. Would that be a copyright violation? I think it
probably would. 

BUT what if you combined several other encounter tables. Then would it
simply be research material for your program? What if you then changed the
states to be say - TFT instead of D&D. 

What's the legal difference between doing that and say, turning the text
from a library book into a computer program. In other words, what makes
game material different from legitimate 'research material' when it comes
to using it for the internal workings of a computer program. 

Just curious...

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