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Subject: Obtaining permission for making PnP copies of OOP games rss

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Oliver Kiley
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Has anyone had any experience (or any thoughts) regarding asking a publisher for permission to assemble and print a PnP copy of an out of print (OOP) game, using copyrighted material, for personal use? I feel like this is something that tends to be a "don't ask, don't tell" kind of thing (given all the component scans floating around BGG). It's one thing to print stuff yourself on your own equipment, but the situation changes when using a commercial printing service (e.g. GameCrafter, PrinterStudio) to make a copy (still just for personal use).

Anyone have any thoughts on the matter? I'm considering just asking a few publishers directly to see what their thoughts are.

Cheers!
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Pete Goch
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If you aren't using any material that's actually protected by copyright (like the original artwork and the rules as written and published in the game) you aren't really going to run into any problems.
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Oliver Kiley
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TheOneTrueZeke wrote:
If you aren't using any material that's actually protected by copyright (like the original artwork and the rules as written and published in the game) you aren't really going to run into any problems.


Right. But if I were to use copyrighted material its a different matter entirely. That's what I'm asking about (clarified in the OP).
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Ian Toltz
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If you're doing it for personal use, just do it. Probably not technically legal, but if it's OOP then no harm, no foul. Nobody's going to know or care.

If you're going to be selling it, then you'll get in trouble if the holder of the copyrights notices. And there's no way the owner would assent.

If you're going to be distributing it for free, it's a crapshoot as to how the copyright holder would react. Depending on how comfortable you are with your efforts potentially being wasted (at least in as much as you might be served a C&D to stop distributing it), I'd just go ahead and hope they don't notice or care.

As far as how the company would react if you asked (or if they noticed), it depends a lot on the company and the game. Even a company that's otherwise happy to support fan projects might be contractually obligated to defend a game that uses copyrighted material they don't own (FFG, for example, is usually pretty good but they're assholic when it comes to their Star Wars properties, presumably for contractual reasons because they don't own the SW copyrights).
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Oliver Kiley
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Thanks for the thoughts.

Asmor wrote:
If you're doing it for personal use, just do it. Probably not technically legal, but if it's OOP then no harm, no foul. Nobody's going to know or care.


So what about a service like GameCrafter, or PnP Productions, or Drive Thru Cards, where the people potentially printing a PnP copy might very well recognize the original game/artwork being used in the PnP file.

Most of these sites have a big check box where you acknowledge "I'm not using any copyrighted materials" prior to placing an order. Now I'm assuming, that might be just to release them from any legal consequence on their end, but still doesn't feel right (and probably legally isn't, since the printer is profiting off the material).

Quote:
As far as how the company would react if you asked (or if they noticed), it depends a lot on the company and the game. Even a company that's otherwise happy to support fan projects might be contractually obligated to defend a game that uses copyrighted material they don't own.


Yeah, that's the risk of asking ;(
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Martin V
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I think YMMV, depending on who you ask.

I agree with the above post, if you're just doing it to play at home, just do it. I did the same thing with a game that was OOP, and when it returned to the market, I bought a copy of the newest version. Perhaps your game will never return to print, and making your own copy is the only way you'll get a chance to experience it. I think that for personal use, you'll be just fine. I don't know what the printing service will say. At that point you're involving not just people, but companies as well.

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Ian Toltz
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Mezmorki wrote:
So what about a service like GameCrafter, or PnP Productions, or Drive Thru Cards, where the people potentially printing a PnP copy might very well recognize the original game/artwork being used in the PnP file.

Most of these sites have a big check box where you acknowledge "I'm not using any copyrighted materials" prior to placing an order. Now I'm assuming, that might be just to release them from any legal consequence on their end, but still doesn't feel right (and probably legally isn't, since the printer is profiting off the material).


Just do it. Worst case scenario, they cancel and refund your order. Chances are most of the process is automated and all the actual labor is done by workers in China earning slave wages, though. Nobody at the company who would give a shit would ever even see your order.
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oystein eker
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https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1362882/hasbrowotc-release-...
 
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