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Subject: Copyright question about gaming content. rss

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Adam Thompson
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I wasn't sure where to post this question, thus it ends up in the General Gaming forum. So many smart people here, I know my question will get answered correctly anywhere I post it.

I was thinking about making and binding my own game-specific scoresheet pads. For example, scoresheets for Puerto Rico or Race for the Galaxy that contain all the different scoring sources in one place for recording/tabulating.

Is it ok to use the name of a game and the names of scoring types (6-Cost Development Bonus from RFTG for example) on something that would be sold?

This may seem like a dumb question to many of you, I'm sure...but I am quite ignorant when it comes to compyright/trademark issues.

Thanks for your help!

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Nate Straight

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If you are using the name of the game on your product, you are almost certainly violating the trademark if you sell it for profit.
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Greg Filpus
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Yeah, trademark is probably the issue here, and most lay people probably understand it even less than copyright.

Mayday Games might be the people to look to for precedent. Sometimes they list games as "compatible with" (http://maydaygames.com/train-wooden-tokens-pink.html), sometimes they mention they've made an agreement with the publisher (http://maydaygames.com/yucatan-wooden-token-set-95-pack.html). Something that's only useful for one game might be trickier, though.
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Dave G
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Rules(instructions) are not copyrightable.
Names are trademarked, which is the law you would get in issues with. Images can fall under both copyright and trademark infringement.

You are normally going to be OK if you make a free pdf of it for download. They will normally send you a cease and desist. Then you take it down, or ask you if they can use it on their website or link back. Steve Jackson Games, let me create an online version years ago of their TOON RPG game.

If you want to sell it, you should get their approval first. You can create a scoresheet that would just work with their game no branding around their game. Say I created a new score sheet for Yatzhe, then I would say the best score sheet for your favorite five die poker style game.
 
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David Heiligmann
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[q="wer2chosen"]Rules(instructions) are not copyrightable.

Actually, they are copyrightable. Game mechanics are not copyrightable.
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