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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » General Gaming

Subject: Finding the holder of a licence. rss

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Tim Albers
Germany
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Hello everybody,

I didn't know where to put this but I hope this forum is ok.

I was just reminded of a game that was published 30-ish years ago and I would love to see it make a comeback. Problem is I can't find any contact on most of it designers, the one I found does not reply and the publisher is long since gone.

How can I find out who holds the rights to the licence? Is there any chance of "republishing" a game with a specific Intellectual Property when there is no rights holder?

I deliberately didn't mention the game in question since I already got some "I heard that" answers and I really need hard facts, not rumours if possible. If there is no way to find it somewhere I will give further details.

Please help me boardgamegeek-kenobi! You are my only chance! ;)
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Paul DeStefano
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It's a Zendrum. www.zendrum.com
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Without details, this is a pretty pointless post.

If its a sports game, location based, the sun maid raisins, a branded game or a Disney property, or whatever else, how to find the answer will be vastly different.
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Bill Cook
United States
Massachusetts
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You could republish the game and see who, if anybody, sues you
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Tim Albers
Germany
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as I had feared. The game in Question is "Full Metal Planete"
 
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Andreas Esbech
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Odense M
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SunDancer wrote:
as I had feared. The game in Question is "Full Metal Planete"


It seems to have been reimplemented twice. The latest being TF22 from 2011, my work blocks the TF22 website, so you'll have to look that up for yourself.
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Jeff Saxton
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Affton (St. Louis)
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From reading on various French language forums, the "Full Metal Planete" designer doesn't really care anymore, and the German guy who "re-implemented" it (outright copied and stole it, is much more likely) used some loophole in German laws to do so. He (the German guy) has actually had eBay remove auctions for old used games people were selling, under the grounds that he owned ALL the rights to the game. He also tried to extort fees from folks who had sold used games, under the guise that they were somehow illegally selling things they owned, that he had never had a hand in.

Your aim to do something with it now would therefore seem to be destined to garner his interest (in a negative way).
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Pete
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Well, there's one sure way of finding out...

Pete (wouldn't recommend it though)
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Tim Albers
Germany
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tf22.de is defunc and for sale... so there seems noone to have any rights to it... or care about.
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Markus Hagenauer jr.
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I think the first step should be to contact the designers.
As long as there is no other running contract, which is verry unlikely if the game was not sold for such a long time, they are the ones who can license the game to you.
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Bradley Eng-Kohn
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If I remember correctly, there were multiple people who held the license together, who now want nothing to do with each other.

Kind of a “if he says yes, then I say no,” situation.
 
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McDog
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Markus Hagenauer wrote:
I think the first step should be to contact the designers.
As long as there is no other running contract, which is verry unlikely if the game was not sold for such a long time, they are the ones who can license the game to you.



He tried that, sheesh....
 
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Andrew Birkett
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I think that as others have stated the rights holders are likely the designers. If you try to make it without their permission than you'll be setting yourself up for law suits.

They might not care and let it be. However, if that is the case in likelihood it would be because the game didn't sell enough copies for them to justify suing you, which wouldn't be all that great for you.

If the designers aren't responding than you might be able to make a similar game without the same branding. That would be perfectly legal and would provide a similar outcome for you other than needing new artwork, a name and some game design.

You've done all the correct things thus far so now it is out of your hands IMHO.
 
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Michael Lowrey
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Based upon the description above, this sounds like an “orphaned work” — something that’s still in copyright, but the rights holders can’t be found.

Such a situation is a recognized problem around much of the world and there are laws to address it. I don’t know what the EU’s rules on orphaned works are and how they would apply to a board game but that would seem to be the next logical thing to research.
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