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James Hébert
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There's both a legitimate question needing a clear response here, and the gripe that I have with BGG here.

When you want to upload a file from a game that is out of print, whose publisher no longer exists, and whose designer/creator is unlisted, is it still possible to upload the rules?

My experience is no.

Despite the fact that there's a huge number of uploaded files containing rules and artwork "from the old days," either grandfathered in because no one's complained yet, or which have gone unnoticed or uncontested as of yet, is there a legitimate method for sharing the rules in a case such as I have described?
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Michael Berg
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My thought was that if the rules are restructured into a different format, either as a reference guide or flow chart, those are fine. Uploading straight scans of rules is asking the image mods to make a decision on copyright law and probably not a good idea.

Not sure what the official BGG stance is though.
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Seanville
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Probably a fear of being sued or receiving a C&D order (which takes resources to address), when it was unnecessary to begin with. In short, a clear violation of copyright law.

If you are interested in posting rules, you need to modify them in some way to make them fan created - not a direct scan.
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Holger Doessing
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Jhebert, I've also been frustrated about the rules - after all, what is the difference between a scan and some BGG user's refactoring into a Word document? But, as the others have already pointed out, it is simply a way of getting around any potential copyright issues.

Now, if you are sitting on a gold mine of old stuff that you'd like to upload to BGG, consider taking your scans and run them through an online OCR service. Nevermind that the OCR software sometimes makes weird mistakes; we can all read around that, and getting the stuff up here before it's lost in time is what matters.
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"She comes out of the Sun in a silk dress runnin' like a watercolor in the rain."
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    Post a file indicating that you have a scanned copy, and that people should contact you privately to receive a copy.

             S.


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Bryan Thunkd
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Amusingly though, if you have a woman with cleavage hold up a page of the rulebook as though she's reading it (with another page visible to the camera) that picture will get through without a problem.

So just get twenty or some women to each display a page and make sure the resolution is good enough that people can enlarge the image enough to read the page.
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Seanville
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holgerd wrote:
Jhebert, I've also been frustrated about the rules - after all, what is the difference between a scan and some BGG user's refactoring into a Word document? But, as the others have already pointed out, it is simply a way of getting around any potential copyright issues.

Now, if you are sitting on a gold mine of old stuff that you'd like to upload to BGG, consider taking your scans and run them through an online OCR service. Nevermind that the OCR software sometimes makes weird mistakes; we can all read around that, and getting the stuff up here before it's lost in time is what matters.


It really comes down to the desire to prosecute and protect. There are abandoned properties out there that are still pursued from any infringement (ie The Fantasy Trip RPG), and then there are materials in which nobody really cares about and wouldn't know if they were being posted. The problem for BGG is that it isn't their job to differentiate between these states, so it is only most efficient for them to prevent direct postings of materials that aren't approved/presented by the rights holder. That only makes sense from a logistics/work-flow approach.

As for a scanned, but reformated/OCRd version of something, and if that constitutes NOT breaking a copyright... well, that really is up to the lawyers. I would assume that a direct 1:1 reproduction of something (in content) that is slightly tweaked in style (raw text vs printed press design) would still qualify as copyright infringement, since its the wording that is important, not the presentation.

That is why fan-made, reinterpreted rules helpers or rule sets are typically allowed.

I think trying to fight the "why won't they post copyrighted materials" is a worthless battle, because it will never be won as long as BGG has any liability - which they would have most of the liability if a right's holder decided to go after them.

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Curt Carpenter
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Give BGG a break. It's not their place to go making up their own intellectual property rules. If you're confident in the safety of hosting the rules, just host them yourself (in one of the many free file hosting sites) and post a link.
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Trent DePonte
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You can't copyright the rules of a game, there is absolutely no legal issue with typing up the rules for Monopoly into a word document and posting it.

What IS an issue however, is that the distinct layout of the rules for a game is probably copyrighted including any artwork that may appear on the scanned pages.
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FellintoOblivion wrote:
You can't copyright the rules of a game, there is absolutely no legal issue with typing up the rules for Monopoly into a word document and posting it.

What IS an issue however, is that the distinct layout of the rules for a game is probably copyrighted including any artwork that may appear on the scanned pages.


I'll let someone else handle this one.
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Russ Williams
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FellintoOblivion wrote:
You can't copyright the rules of a game, there is absolutely no legal issue with typing up the rules for Monopoly into a word document and posting it.

If you mean typing the same text which is in the published Monopoly, well, that most certainly is a violation of copyright. Text copyright is not about its distinct layout in some particular published edition.

If you mean typing some new original text which expresses how Monopoly works, but in different words, then agreed: rules themselves (as opposed to text describing rules) are not able to be copyrighted. But text certainly is.
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Trent DePonte
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russ wrote:
FellintoOblivion wrote:
You can't copyright the rules of a game, there is absolutely no legal issue with typing up the rules for Monopoly into a word document and posting it.

If you mean typing the same text which is in the published Monopoly, well, that most certainly is a violation of copyright. Text copyright is not about its distinct layout in some particular published edition.

If you mean typing some new original text which expresses how Monopoly works, but in different words, then agreed: rules themselves (as opposed to text describing rules) are not able to be copyrighted. But text certainly is.


Yes, that is what I meant. I didn't say it was OK to plagiarize the rules of Monopoly.
 
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FellintoOblivion wrote:
You can't copyright the rules of a game, there is absolutely no legal issue with typing up the rules for Monopoly into a word document and posting it.

What IS an issue however, is that the distinct layout of the rules for a game is probably copyrighted including any artwork that may appear on the scanned pages.


OK...

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.


To rehash: You can copyright your rules booklet and your artwork, that's about it.
 
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FellintoOblivion wrote:
russ wrote:
FellintoOblivion wrote:
You can't copyright the rules of a game, there is absolutely no legal issue with typing up the rules for Monopoly into a word document and posting it.

If you mean typing the same text which is in the published Monopoly, well, that most certainly is a violation of copyright. Text copyright is not about its distinct layout in some particular published edition.

If you mean typing some new original text which expresses how Monopoly works, but in different words, then agreed: rules themselves (as opposed to text describing rules) are not able to be copyrighted. But text certainly is.


Yes, that is what I meant. I didn't say it was OK to plagiarize the rules of Monopoly.


So, if I type verbatim the rules from Monopoly, am I plagiarizing those rules?

If I type verbatim directly from a John Grisham novel, am I plagiarizing the novel?


Please, do further define what you intended to express in your first post.
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Trent DePonte
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Florida
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darthhugo wrote:
FellintoOblivion wrote:
You can't copyright the rules of a game, there is absolutely no legal issue with typing up the rules for Monopoly into a word document and posting it.

What IS an issue however, is that the distinct layout of the rules for a game is probably copyrighted including any artwork that may appear on the scanned pages.


OK...

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.


To rehash: You can copyright your rules booklet and your artwork, that's about it.


Thanks for agreeing with me.
 
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Trent DePonte
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darthhugo wrote:
FellintoOblivion wrote:
russ wrote:
FellintoOblivion wrote:
You can't copyright the rules of a game, there is absolutely no legal issue with typing up the rules for Monopoly into a word document and posting it.

If you mean typing the same text which is in the published Monopoly, well, that most certainly is a violation of copyright. Text copyright is not about its distinct layout in some particular published edition.

If you mean typing some new original text which expresses how Monopoly works, but in different words, then agreed: rules themselves (as opposed to text describing rules) are not able to be copyrighted. But text certainly is.


Yes, that is what I meant. I didn't say it was OK to plagiarize the rules of Monopoly.


So, if I type verbatim the rules from Monopoly, am I plagiarizing those rules?

If I type verbatim directly from a John Grisham novel, am I plagiarizing those rules?


Please, do further define what you intended to express in your first post.


Wasn't aware John Grisham wrote rule books.
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Seanville
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FellintoOblivion wrote:
darthhugo wrote:
FellintoOblivion wrote:
You can't copyright the rules of a game, there is absolutely no legal issue with typing up the rules for Monopoly into a word document and posting it.

What IS an issue however, is that the distinct layout of the rules for a game is probably copyrighted including any artwork that may appear on the scanned pages.


OK...

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.


To rehash: You can copyright your rules booklet and your artwork, that's about it.


Thanks for agreeing with me.


I don't think you understand some of the words in the English language. Keep trying. It is a hard language to grasp and use effectively.
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Russ Williams
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FellintoOblivion wrote:
Wasn't aware John Grisham wrote rule books.

Are you suggesting that the legality of posting copyrighted text depends on whether it is a rulebook or a novel?
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Trent DePonte
United States
Florida
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darthhugo wrote:
FellintoOblivion wrote:
darthhugo wrote:
FellintoOblivion wrote:
You can't copyright the rules of a game, there is absolutely no legal issue with typing up the rules for Monopoly into a word document and posting it.

What IS an issue however, is that the distinct layout of the rules for a game is probably copyrighted including any artwork that may appear on the scanned pages.


OK...

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.


To rehash: You can copyright your rules booklet and your artwork, that's about it.


Thanks for agreeing with me.


I don't think you understand some of the words in the English language. Keep trying. It is a hard language to grasp and use effectively.


And I don't think you understand how not to be a condescending jerk but c'est la vie.
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Trent DePonte
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russ wrote:
FellintoOblivion wrote:
Wasn't aware John Grisham wrote rule books.

Are you suggesting that the legality of posting copyrighted text depends on whether it is a rulebook or a novel?


No I was suggesting that before someone wants to condescend about how hard it is to grasp the English language they should proofread their posts.
 
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Pete
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The real trouble with copyright is that it's difficult to know what's covered and what's not without litigation, which of course BGG does not want to deal with. When you make an exact duplicate of anything, whatever copyright was there, you just infringed. Nobody wants that kind of risk.

Pete (doesn't blame bgg for playing it safe)
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Pete
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Antagonistic, insulting, or otherwise disruptive comments ARE NOT welcome here.

Pete (probably just infringed on Octavian's copyright)
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Seanville
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FellintoOblivion wrote:
russ wrote:
FellintoOblivion wrote:
Wasn't aware John Grisham wrote rule books.

Are you suggesting that the legality of posting copyrighted text depends on whether it is a rulebook or a novel?


No I was suggesting that before someone wants to condescend about how hard it is to grasp the English language they should proof read their posts.


Oh, I did. I wasn't at all commenting that you caught my typo, but instead of your misunderstanding of plagiarism, law, and other important concepts....

directly in response to the quoted post.

I applaud you for trying to be snarky with my mistype over Grisham Rulesets.
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Mark T
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I guess I'm a bit confused then, by the proliferation of pdf rule book files available on BGG. I can think of at least a half-dozen rule books I've downloaded from BGG in order to answer the questions for a contest here. How is it ok to post a PDF of the rule book?
 
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ace hawkster
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I agree with original post as in its weird that some games have the rule books and others don't on here. But I've only found one game I was interested in that I could not find any where on the tinternet. So I would say just Google name of game and pdf rulebook and see what happens .
 
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