The Tyranny of Small Decisions

It's a blog on a board-gaming site. Pretty safe bet it'll be about board games then...
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You've got to fight. For your Right. To Party (game)

John Shepherd
United Kingdom
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I bought a copy of Just One this week. It's a title that's been receiving a lot of commendations for being highly-playable over video conferencing platforms... AND happens to be last year's SdJ winner, so it seemed like a pretty good bet for an additional option/backup plan if the packages that I mentioned in yesterday's post don't make it to their destinations on time.

However, as I flicked through the rule book, a bit of small-print caught my eye. I'm not sure why; I'm not a compulsive small-print reader, and it's not a particularly obvious bit of text ... but it says this:

From gallery of MrShep

"The contents of this game can only be used for strictly personal and private entertainment."

And while that's the kind of spurious post-purchase licensing term that you often see splashed around in video game licences ... or attached to movies and music... I don't recall ever seeing such a phrase written on a board game before. "strictly private and personal entertainment". Is this a new thing?

I mean... I haven't done a great deal of research, other than pulling another random Repos Production game off the shelf to see if that had the same phrase (it didn't), and doing a quick google search to see if anybody else had picked up on this phrase (nothing there!). And it's not like I buy Games Workshop or Fantasy Flight games (which are companies which are notorious for controlling the way that their content is represented in the world) on a regular basis, and which I wouldn't be suprised-in-the-slightest if they pulled some bullshit like this, but...

It kind of got me thinking. Thinking about what this statement is actually trying to enforce, amongst purchasers of this particular game. And If there's one thing I know about the internet, it's the fact that it's full of people who are legal experts! So I thought I'd pose a question...

Suppose (and it's maybe a bit of a leap, to be fair... but let's just suppose...) this stipulation was something that Repos Productions pursued and enforced. Taking into account a very STRICT interpretation of fair use/fair dealing with respect to copyright laws, which of the following do you think you're allowed to do with your copy of Just One?...

  Allowed Not allowed
Post a review on YouTube
Post a play-through on YouTube
Live-stream a game on twitch
Review it in a patrons-only post on your blog
Play it in a pub
Play it at a convention
Play it at a games club where non-members of that club are present
Offer it as a game at the Board Gaming cafe you own
Show a photograph of the game contents, without accompanying commentary
Show a photograph of the game contents on a web site where you make money from banner ads.
      101 answers
Poll created by MrShep

Thin end of the wedge, my friends. Thin end of the wedge.

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