meeple Hello everyone,

I'm a junior web developer and I have spent the last 5-6 months building a Carcassonne clone to be played online.

But honestly I'm not sure if I will be sued by the owners of the game or not because I don't know much about the copyrights. So if I designed the tiles by myself (the artwork) and named it a very different name, would it be legal to share the game? Even for free?

If not? What should I do?

Here is a screenshot of the game. I'm yet to design the tiles so I'm just using the original tiles for now.


 
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Dave Dyer
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Asobrain.com also has a Carcassone clone called Xplorers.
They don't use the name or any of the artwork.
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ddyer wrote:

Asobrain.com also has a Carcassone clone called Xplorers.
They don't use the name or any of the artwork.
Aha, thanks! I just Googled it and i found it named Toulouse (a city in France). So this one plus the android app Farmassonne, I understand now that if I change the name and the artwork, they won't sue me?
 
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Brad Miller
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You are using their art.

I'd expect a Cease & Desist...
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Hernan Ruiz Camauer
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Brad, he asked about if he changed the art to use his own. In which case I think he would be fine, as long as he does not include their rules in text form, since those are also copyrighted.
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B
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You ask if you could get sued, but the real question here is if it is the right thing to do?
 
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Windopaene wrote:
You are using their art.

I'd expect a Cease & Desist...
I am using their art just for the time being for developement puposes, I will design my own artwork when I finish building the game

 
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heruca wrote:
as long as he does not include their rules in text form, since those are also copyrighted.
You mean I shouldn't copy-paste their rules from their official guide document?
 
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teg2 wrote:
You ask if you could get sued, but the real question here is if it is the right thing to do?
If it's legal, I think it's ok. Countless games are being created based on other people games and they are still out there just like Toulouse and Farmassonne are still playable and they are cloned from Carcassonne.
 
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Rich Keiser
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Simple answer...

Question 1: Are you using any of their original artwork, visual design elements (specialty meeples) or rules (verbatim)?

If N, then you are not violating any copyrights. Proceed without worry.

If Y, you will get sued or at the very least, a C&D.

Which brings up the associated point/question... hasn't anyone developed a licensed, official version of Carc to date?

If so, expect to get sued by them also.

So, be sure to lawyer up and protect your assets if the answer to question #1 is Yes.

As for the morality of creating another version/flavor/theme of this game, ignore those discussions.

 
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Dave Dyer
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You'd be on firmer moral ground if you were just making a game
"like" Carcassonne, rather than a copy. There are probably
a hundred of those already. Start by searching the database
for games with a tile placement mechanic.
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darthhugo wrote:
Simple answer...

Question 1: Are you using any of their original artwork, visual design elements (specialty meeples) or rules (verbatim)?
Thank you for your reply. I think my answer would No because I'm gonna build my own artwork by myself and with playing piece other than meeples, but about the rules (verbatim) you mean, I should at least tweak them a bit to be considered legal? If yes so I will do my best to come up with some new rules changes. What if I changed the ruels but kept the concepts of tiles have Cities, Roads and Fields? Farmassonne for example their tiles have Farms instead of Cities.

And what the about the font they are using? I found on the internet for free and it's called 'Lindsay Becker'
 
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ddyer wrote:
Start by searching the database for games with a tile placement mechanic.
TIL. Thank you laugh
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ilovecarca wrote:
darthhugo wrote:
Simple answer...

Question 1: Are you using any of their original artwork, visual design elements (specialty meeples) or rules (verbatim)?
Thank you for your reply. I think my answer would No because I'm gonna build my own artwork by myself and with playing piece other than meeples, but about the rules (verbatim) you mean, I should at least tweak them a bit to be considered legal? If yes so I will do my best to come up with some new rules changes. What if I changed the ruels but kept the concepts of tiles have Cities, Roads and Fields? Farmassonne for example their tiles have Farms instead of Cities.

And what the about the font they are using? I found on the internet for free and it's called 'Lindsay Becker'
You should completely rewrite the rules in your own voice/style. I wouldn't lift anything from the rulebook (like copy and paste)... that is just opening the door for trouble.
 
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ilovecarca wrote:
about the rules (verbatim) you mean, I should at least tweak them a bit to be considered legal? If yes so I will do my best to come up with some new rules changes. What if I changed the ruels but kept the concepts of tiles have Cities, Roads and Fields? Farmassonne for example their tiles have Farms instead of Cities.
You can use the same rules, but you can't use their rulebook.In other words, you have to explain the rules completely in your own words. It's kind of like what some BGG/YouTube reviewers do. When they are done, you are ready to play the game even without looking at the original rulebook.
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Geoffrey Burrell
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If you declare your version unauthorized and market it as so there will be less problems for you. Xenogames did this with Axis and Allies.
 
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Bill Eldard
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ilovecarca wrote:
teg2 wrote:
You ask if you could get sued, but the real question here is if it is the right thing to do?
If it's legal, I think it's ok. Countless games are being created based on other people games and they are still out there just like Toulouse and Farmassonne are still playable and they are cloned from Carcassonne.
And then there is the Carcassonne digital game . . .

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carcassonne_(video_game)

I'm not an attorney or expert on intellectual property, but if your game plays exactly like this one, I'd be concerned about legal challenges even if the artwork and title are different.

 
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C&H Schmidt
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It should be completely obvious that you can't legally copy and paste their rulebook. That is obviously copyright infringement.

ilovecarca wrote:
teg2 wrote:
You ask if you could get sued, but the real question here is if it is the right thing to do?
If it's legal, I think it's ok. Countless games are being created based on other people games and they are still out there just like Toulouse and Farmassonne are still playable and they are cloned from Carcassonne.
It is almost certainly not legal at least according to most European jurisdictions.

The question is, would anyone care? (You yourself might.)
That isn't clear.

You are not creating something based on their game. You're copying their game.
(Don't get me wrong, I don't think providing free-to-play online boardgames is terrible or wrong under all circumstances even though it is illegal without the publisher's permission, but let's be clear about what you're doing.)
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GeoffreyB wrote:
If you declare your version unauthorized and market it as so there will be less problems for you. Xenogames did this with Axis and Allies.
Didn't their game have a different mapboard and some different units? If so, it might have been different enough to dodge copyright infringement.
 
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ilovecarca wrote:
darthhugo wrote:
Simple answer...

Question 1: Are you using any of their original artwork, visual design elements (specialty meeples) or rules (verbatim)?
Thank you for your reply. I think my answer would No because I'm gonna build my own artwork by myself and with playing piece other than meeples, but about the rules (verbatim) you mean, I should at least tweak them a bit to be considered legal? If yes so I will do my best to come up with some new rules changes. What if I changed the ruels but kept the concepts of tiles have Cities, Roads and Fields? Farmassonne for example their tiles have Farms instead of Cities.

And what the about the font they are using? I found on the internet for free and it's called 'Lindsay Becker'
When you are asking about whether or not something is "legal" it is very hard to answer without context.

Laws are different in individual countries. Some countries have treaties for international issues, particularly regarding copyright, but then don't enforce them uniformly or have different laws domestically.
 
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Eldard wrote:
[q="ilovecarca"][q="teg2"]
I'm not an attorney or expert on intellectual property, but if your game plays exactly like this one, I'd be concerned about legal challenges even if the artwork and title are different.
But there are already 2 games I know about that are still out there and looks exactly the same, like Farmassonne on Android (in a different theme of farms instead of cities) and Toulouse.
 
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