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Subject: the Legality of uploading Scanned RuleBooks? rss

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Ben Greenman
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Hey guys,
i've just got some new boardgames/RPG stuff, and was wondering what dictates whether its legal or not to scan the rule book and put it on someplace like this?

Thanks for any help,

Nandalf
 
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Sterling Babcock
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No, it is not legal. If you upload it as a file, it is one more file we will have to spend time looking at and then reject for copyright.
 
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Rob Rob
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I assume this is why the Wooden Ships & Iron Men rules I submitted months ago have never shown up. I don't understand why since it's the same PDF publicly available from the official Hasbro site and labeled as such. Is there a different way I should do this?
 
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CHAPEL
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Robrob wrote:
I assume this is why the Wooden Ships & Iron Men rules I submitted months ago have never shown up. I don't understand why since it's the same PDF publicly available from the official Hasbro site and labeled as such. Is there a different way I should do this?


Submit the link.
 
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Chris Shaffer
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Nandalfnarcoleptic wrote:
Hey guys,
i've just got some new boardgames/RPG stuff, and was wondering what dictates whether its legal or not to scan the rule book and put it on someplace like this?

Thanks for any help,

Nandalf


If you want it to appear on BGG, your best bet is to scan it, host it elsewhere, and submit it as a link. That way, people here on BGG can access the information but BGG doesn't have to worry about enforcement or non-enforcement of copyright.

Of course, 98% of user avatars on BGG also violate copyright...
 
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Sterling Babcock
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Robrob wrote:
I assume this is why the Wooden Ships & Iron Men rules I submitted months ago have never shown up. I don't understand why since it's the same PDF publicly available from the official Hasbro site and labeled as such. Is there a different way I should do this?


If it was rejected for copyright you would get a message.

Note that there is another option: Get permission to post it from the publisher. If you make the effort and get permission, then put a note in the comments field so that we know. i.e. "(Posted with permission of xxx from xxx)".

The other advantage there is that the file would remain available for as long as the geek is around.

TheCat wrote:
If you want it to appear on BGG, your best bet is to scan it, host it elsewhere, and submit it as a link. That way, people here on BGG can access the information but BGG doesn't have to worry about enforcement or non-enforcement of copyright.


That is another good way to do it. It would be too bad if the link went bad, though. I agree that the copyright issues are troublesome.

Personal comment (Not BGG): In a perfect world, we would have an ability to collect everything: Rules, counter scans, maps, everything, for future generations in a copyright legal way (i.e. files kept until the copyright runs out). It is a shame to see out of print items become unavailable. I could see some day in the future, an electronic table that had 1000's of games stored and available. But then you loose the whole tactile feel of the pieces. Hmmm. I think I got sidetracked there.

TheCat wrote:
Of course, 98% of user avatars on BGG also violate copyright...


In a manner of speaking. I forget, but isn't there something about taking a piece of work as a fair use? I really know nothing about it.
 
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Rob Rob
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Quote:
Of course, 98% of user avatars on BGG also violate copyright...


Oh no, not mine... this is how I really look.
 
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Stephen Roney
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Quote:
Of course, 98% of user avatars on BGG also violate copyright...


And I actually am a partner of the company that now owns the rights to mine........

( http://www.intellivisionlives.com )
 
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Ann Hamon (annhamon@aol.com)
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Fair use is just that. If you make a copy of a piece of a book or item you own for your own use that is fair use. Selling that copy or making a copy of a book or other item so you don't have to buy it is a copyright violation. Basically you can test copyright violation by saying "Am I trying to get around buying the item?" Or am I trying to profit from someone else's work? But I am not a copyright lawyer.



 
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David Rauscher
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Fair use is a complicated issue. Fair Use allows more than just personal use - for example, most educational uses (unless the material was designed for the educational market) would probably consititute fair use. But even that's an over-simplification, and, if it's a valuable property, even a well-founded fair use right doesn't protect you from a lawsuit. (You might win, but how much are you willing to spend to prove you're right?) I think there's a strong case for OOP games, especially if someone just spends a few minutes contacting someone from the defunct company to find out if anyone's still holding the copyrights.

BGG could probably hire a lawyer to develop an expansive policy (that is, would provide rules that would easily categorize the maximum amount of postable material), but I would estimate that it would take 20-40 hours for the attorney to fully understand the subject matter (games, OOP, etc.) and then to draft the policy and provide examples / interpretations. At $250 an hour, that's a lot of money. Best for BGG to stay on the safe side.

I'm a lawyer, and know a little about intellectual property and fair use (and have some copious notes somewhere if I needed to refresh my memory as to detail), but I am certainly not a specialist. Maybe there's an I.P. attorney boardgamegeek who could volunteer to draft a policy, or at least provide some guidance?
 
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Robert Washington
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annhamon wrote:
Fair use is just that. If you make a copy of a piece of a book or item you own for your own use that is fair use.


Actually, no, not in the least - "Fair use" encompasses several different uses of copyrighted material, and for your own personal use is not at all one of them.

annhamon wrote:

Selling that copy or making a copy of a book or other item so you don't have to buy it is a copyright violation.


No, no not necessarily - depending on the exact circumstances, either situation could conceivably be an instance of fari use.

annhamon wrote:
Basically you can test copyright violation by saying "Am I trying to get around buying the item?" Or am I trying to profit from someone else's work?


No, this is a hopeless oversimplification - even "fair use" doesn't rreally have a set test that conclusively establishes it one way or the other.

annhamon wrote:
But I am not a copyright lawyer.


Trust me, you didn't need to tell anyone that at all...it's really really obivous from your "offerings"...


 
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Robert Washington
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Robrob wrote:
Quote:
Of course, 98% of user avatars on BGG also violate copyright...


Oh no, not mine... this is how I really look.


sroney wrote:

And I actually am a partner of the company that now owns the rights to mine........

( http://www.intellivisionlives.com )


DANGER! DANGER! My sensors indicate at least one of you is perpetrating FALSEHOOD!!!
 
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