Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
7 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » Do It Yourself

Subject: Copyright Issues with Creating your Own Expansion rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: copyright [+] [View All]
evan fitzgerald
United States
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Anyone have a good summary for what is and is not o.k. for creating your own expansion?

Let's assume it's for Blue Moon and I want to put the file up on this site without breaking any laws.

Could I reuse their card templating?

Could I make a card that clearly uses their game concepts (i.e. no game without the existing game)

Could I reuse icons they have?

Any other issues?

I have tried to read up on copyright, derivative work, transitive work, fair use...but so much of that deal with writing or photos and not something comparable to a game.

Could I make something like TCG token cards and sell them via a POD site? What restrictions would I have to worry about?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Doug Iverson
United States
Ripon
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't want to be mean or impolite, but it seems that every other week this question pops up here. Just do a forum search and see what everyone has said. Or, pay a lawyer who practices copyright law or just ignore the whole idea and do whatever you want to do.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Johnston
United States
North Hollywood
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
papalorax wrote:
Anyone have a good summary for what is and is not o.k. for creating your own expansion?

Let's assume it's for Blue Moon and I want to put the file up on this site without breaking any laws.

Could I reuse their card templating?

Could I make a card that clearly uses their game concepts (i.e. no game without the existing game)

Could I reuse icons they have?

Any other issues?

I have tried to read up on copyright, derivative work, transitive work, fair use...but so much of that deal with writing or photos and not something comparable to a game.

Could I make something like TCG token cards and sell them via a POD site? What restrictions would I have to worry about?


Short answer is you can not use artwork, templates, icons, names, trademarks, word-for-word rules, etc. Those are considered copyright. Sure, the legalities get more complicated than that, and a fan made expansion is a grey area for most people. But if you're worried about the law, you don't use anything they created which has a physical reproducible form (i.e. art) or anything they've taken the time to claim legal ownership of (trademarks, product name, etc).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pelle Nilsson
Sweden
Linköping
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Some company or companies ran into trouble with Avalon Hill or Hasbro over third-party scenarios publshed for Advanced Squad Leader. I don't know if anything ended up in court or how it was resolved, but I know that everyone publishing ASL scenarios these days avoid using a layout or any graphics that are too similar to anything used in the original game. They probably go a bit further than required by law, but I guess it is a good idea to not get in trouble with Hasbro.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
evan fitzgerald
United States
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
having now read the long thread about the fan stuff taken down

a) I realize I am not getting "legal" advice.
b) I am trying to determine vaguely the legal bounds, not if i will get caught or sued...etc

do you think i could make an expansion to agricola that did not use any of their art or templating, but by all trained eyes would clearly be made for agricola?

could i publish a card that showed
Zombie
1/1
with a picture of a zombie i drew?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Roop
United States
Three Rivers
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think that "can you do this under the law" is not what worries most people,
it's "will X company sue me for doing this". Alot of lawsuits are filed to scare off the person without backing from doing something. It doesn't mean
it's not legal to do, just that they don't want you to do it, and you (the
person being sued) don't have tons of money or time to spend in court just to
prove your point.

I remember one guy back when magic:tg first came out. He packaged up sticker
cards that had the different mana symbols from MTG and he put the casting cost
in the middle section (between picture and text box), and power and toughness
(not what he called them) up on the top of the card, and made no reference to
tapping, and he still got shut down. Would he have had a case? Noone knows
except the judge...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pelle Nilsson
Sweden
Linköping
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Luckily the culture of sueing people like that has not quite reached out to most parts of the world outside of the US yet. devil
1 
 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.