Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
24 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » General Gaming

Subject: How close to a copyrighted game can you print yourself? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Matt H
United States
Frederick
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
While reading on The Game Crafter, I got curious about printing games that resemble copyrighted games. Obviously, you can't just print your own copy of a game due to copyright laws, but does anyone have any experience with trying to print a similar game? How about rethemes of actual games?

I'm interested in printing some cards for a game soon, and I sort of want to steal a few things here and there, but of course don't want to break any laws... also nothing I print will be to sell, just for some friends and me.

Anyone have any experience with something similar or have general thoughts on the matter?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
ackmondual
United States
SoCal
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
chewbacca390 wrote:
While reading on The Game Crafter, I got curious about printing games that resemble copyrighted games. Obviously, you can't just print your own copy of a game due to copyright laws, but does anyone have any experience with trying to print a similar game? How about rethemes of actual games?

I'm interested in printing some cards for a game soon, and I sort of want to steal a few things here and there, but of course don't want to break any laws... also nothing I print will be to sell, just for some friends and me.

Anyone have any experience with something similar or have general thoughts on the matter?
IANAL, but if you're printing copyrighted stuff for personal use, that's either fine, or "fine" as in the parties who care will most likely not get wind of it anyways (and if they do, they still may not care). It's when you're trying to profit off of it that creates friction, like selling copies of it, or using material from it to make money like variant games for your own game design or sales.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Walking on eggshells is not my style
United States
North Pole
Alaska
flag msg tools
You can make an identical copy of a game for yourself.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
C M
msg tools
mbmb
In the strictest legal sense you'd probably be breaking the law. For the most part though copyright laws are only enforced when the copyright holder goes after your specific instance of infringement which rarely happens unless distribution is involved or the infringer somehow attracts a lot of attention.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt H
United States
Frederick
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Well that makes my question a lot easier! And you all still agree if I make 100 copies and give them away?

Custom Love Letter as a wedding favor seems legit now cool
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Walking on eggshells is not my style
United States
North Pole
Alaska
flag msg tools
chewbacca390 wrote:
Well that makes my question a lot easier! And you all still agree if I make 100 copies and give them away?

Custom Love Letter as a wedding favor seems legit now cool
I think you are joking but...

Just to be clear: no you can't do that.

That is counterfeiting, not fair use.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt H
United States
Frederick
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm not joking and am definitely confused now.

Can I make a "Love Letter"-like game? I guess this is my original question, just more direct. How close to that game can I get before it's not kosher?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew J.
United States
Missouri
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Mechanics can't technically be copyrighted. However, all of the artwork, logos, and card designs from Love Letter are property of AEG. In the case of that specific game, AEG is also pretty strict about copies because it's so easy to copy.

If you did want to print wedding favors, you would need a different name, different card designs, and not list it for sale anywhere. You could, conceivably, save it on Game Crafter as a draft and just order a 'proof copy' with the quantity you need.

This is a legal grey area, use discretion.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sonia S
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
ninja'd while writing.
In the love letter forum there are lots of fan made variants of love letter in the images. As AEG asked in the thread about the re-themes, no one makes the files downloadable and easily used by others. You'll also see none of them directly scanned/used plopped new photos onto the original card layouts. The created card backs/backgrounds to suit the re-theme.

So if all you talking about a set just for your wedding made with members of the bridal party you'll probably be okay. But with buying tokens, bags, getting them custom printed, assembly it might be cheaper to get a bulk discount of the actual game from your FLGS. ninja
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
C M
msg tools
mbmb
chewbacca390 wrote:
I'm not joking and am definitely confused now.

Can I make a "Love Letter"-like game? I guess this is my original question, just more direct. How close to that game can I get before it's not kosher?


Artwork and wording is protected by copyright. The game play itself has no protection.

If your goal is to be truly legal keep in mind that most art that you find online and may be thinking of using is also protected by copyright unless it's old enough or creative commons. As long as you don't use any copyrighted elements you are likely fine.

If your goal is to just not get in any trouble you're probably fine doing whatever unless someone from AEG shows up at the wedding.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gláucio Reis
Brazil
Rio de Janeiro
RJ
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Games are not protected by copyright, but the art and the expression of the rules are. As long as you don't copy the text or the art, you are legally fine. Ethically, though, it's a completely different matter.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
kalvin connor
United States
rochester
New York
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
No no, you could even sell the game even if it was EXTREMELY similar. However, as stated, it can not be the same images as any current form. The game play can not be copywrited. See: Bang the Dice Game and its almost exact copy from china that is almost the exact same game, just different artwork. Of course, it went to court and it turns out, games are not copywritable. Imagine if they were! our hobby would be in a whirlwind of "thats my idea, I implemented that first". Not deck building game woulda came after domininon exex.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Walking on eggshells is not my style
United States
North Pole
Alaska
flag msg tools
chewbacca390 wrote:
I'm not joking and am definitely confused now.

Can I make a "Love Letter"-like game? I guess this is my original question, just more direct. How close to that game can I get before it's not kosher?


Selling, or even giving away an exact copy is not kosher.

For your own use is ok.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Greg Darcy
Australia
Blue Mountains
New South Wales
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
You could always write to AEG, explain you want to do a one use custom variant specifically for the wedding of Bill and Donna on 14 Feb 2017. They may well give you explicit permission, possibly with the stipulation that you supply them with a copy.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt H
United States
Frederick
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Okay, I am beginning to understand more. Thanks again guys.

All art and text in the game will be created by me. I won't be using anything from AEG, except a slight resemblance in gameplay. I think from what you guys are saying, this technically won't be illegal. I'm obviously not worried about AEG showing up at the wedding, I am only slightly concerned about the Game Crafter guys rejecting the printing. It won't aesthetically resemble Love Letter at all, upon first glance.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bob Flaherty
United States
Loves Park
Illinois
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
TGC will reject printing projects if they contain copyrighted artwork or images. And will err on the side of caution in all other cases.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Cornixt
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
What is legal, what a company will print for you, and what is morally wrong, are all often very different.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Anon Y. Mous
msg tools
mbmb
As long as you can get it printed, you shouldn't have an issue. The bad publicity you would get from suing someone for printing wedding favors would sink a company.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Martin Larouche
Canada
Longueuil
Quebec
flag msg tools
Melting souls with cuteness since 2007
badge
Lovin' N-16
mbmbmbmbmb
GregDarcy wrote:
You could always write to AEG, explain you want to do a one use custom variant specifically for the wedding of Bill and Donna on 14 Feb 2017. They may well give you explicit permission, possibly with the stipulation that you supply them with a copy.


I sorta doubt they'll agree. Their answer is more than likely going to be:
"Buy our own wedding-edition of Love Letter".

yes... it's a thing that exists. And it's a version made SPECIFICALLY for wedding guests. As in, you can't order it if you cannot provide proof of the wedding and you need to order a minimum quantity.

https://www.alderac.com/loveletter/products/love-letter-wedd...
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alexandra M
Canada
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
chewbacca390 wrote:
Okay, I am beginning to understand more. Thanks again guys.

All art and text in the game will be created by me. I won't be using anything from AEG, except a slight resemblance in gameplay. I think from what you guys are saying, this technically won't be illegal. I'm obviously not worried about AEG showing up at the wedding, I am only slightly concerned about the Game Crafter guys rejecting the printing. It won't aesthetically resemble Love Letter at all, upon first glance.


I don't know why people are telling you no. You're fine - if you aren't using the official artwork, you're legal. Good to go. Congrats on the wedding!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Will Beckley
United States
Brooklyn
New York
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
IANAL, but the legal precedent for this is very recent and very much in your favor. Here was the BGG coverage earlier this year:

https://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/54775/links-davincis-bang...

If you have 100% original artwork, new names and ability text (which could be the same abilities, mechanically speaking) for the 8 cards, and a total rewrite of the rules, you could probably sell the thing if you wanted to. I know that you don't, but that seems to be the conclusion of this recent suit.

Doing so for commercial purposes would likely not be popular with the community. Doing so for a fun wedding favor seems like a pretty cool thing, in my opinion.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paradox Games
msg tools
publisher
mbmbmbmbmb
I made a complete replica of S.P.I's Chicago! Chicago!. It's even colorized, where the original has a black and white board. The board is broken into 4 panels to fit in an 8 1/2 x 11 bag. I provided my own dice (green d6 for protestors and blue for park police) Strangely, I played it solitaire just the other day. Since the magazine is collectible I didn't want to cut it up. I've gotten adept at making counters that look professional . A few Avalon Hill counters were damaged and I replaced them.

I'm getting off-topic. So I printed a copy of a copywritten game.

i understand, though, you mean adapting rules. Yeh, copyright laws don't cover mechanics. AEG changed Magic: The Gathering's "tapping" and renamed it "tacking" for 7th Sea, and they're in the clear.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jonathan Ham
United States
The Colony
Texas
flag msg tools
HONK HONK
mbmbmbmbmb
If you're that concerned about The Game Crafter approving it, you could always print through ArtsCow.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt H
United States
Frederick
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
deedob wrote:
I sorta doubt they'll agree. Their answer is more than likely going to be:
"Buy our own wedding-edition of Love Letter".

I looked into this initially and was led to believe it'd be perfect

but apparently it is just Love Letter where the princess is wearing white and the felt bags are different. It's not widely available and it's expensive.

alexangiraffe wrote:
I don't know why people are telling you no. You're fine - if you aren't using the official artwork, you're legal. Good to go. Congrats on the wedding!

Awesome! And thanks a bunch!!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.