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Subject: Trademarks and Copyrights (parody related) rss

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Eric Etkin
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Does anyone know if I'm opening up a can of worms if I create a game called - let's say - "Chutes and Ladders and Snakes" or "Battleboat" that's clearly designed to lampoon the theme of the established game?

I would think under parody I would be covered here. Yes? No?
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Sturv Tafvherd
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War Raft!

(Obviously a parody of both Battleship and WarCraft)

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Andrew Walters
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At first blush, yes. It's important that you're lampooning the game whose name you are parodying. If you make a Battleship-ike game called Battleboat to lampoon fishery treaty policies under the Warren court you could have trouble. But parodies are protected under fair use.
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Paul DeStefano
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Stormtower wrote:

War Raft!

(Obviously a parody of both Battleship and WarCraft)



How is that obvious?
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Eric Etkin
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Geosphere wrote:
Stormtower wrote:

War Raft!

(Obviously a parody of both Battleship and WarCraft)



How is that obvious?


Maybe he forgot the tiny c.

WARcRAFT
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John "Omega" Williams
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First off. If you are going the parody route just to dodge the law and flat out steal a preceeding design then you've likely failed right out the gate. You might as well go with a straight up bootleg.

If you are going the parody route then make sure its the title AND the game theme that are obviously changed. A ha-ha name but the exact same game inside can potentially land you in court. Cover all bases.

Keep in mind that if its an old game then theres likely already a few hundred bootlegs and at least one parody already. Also keep in mind that a vile parody is exponentially more likely to kill your career DOA. Or at least get you on a few ignore lists or worse yet, blacklisted in the gaming biz.



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Eric Etkin
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Omega2064 wrote:
First off. If you are going the parody route just to dodge the law and flat out steal a preceeding design then you've likely failed right out the gate. You might as well go with a straight up bootleg.


I don't think I'm being clear - I'm not in the habit of stealing ideas for the simple lack of having them.

I want to take an existing IP, parody it with a name-change and theme-twist, and use a completely different set of mechanics. The idea isn't to create a bootleg or rip-off, it's to take a well-known property and do something different while parodying the IP.

The analogy is much closer to Star Wars and Spaceballs, not Star Wars and "Turkish Star Wars."
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So what is it then?

Anti-Trust
A parody of Monopoly that doesn't glorify out of control capitalsim.

or...

The Game of Death
If you thought The Game of Life was hard, just wait until you have to traverse the Nine Layers of Hell!

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James Hutchings
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MOTHDevil wrote:
The analogy is much closer to Star Wars and Spaceballs, not Star Wars and "Turkish Star Wars."


Or its sequel, The Ottoman Empire Strikes Back.
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J J
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morari wrote:

So what is it then?

Anti-Trust
A parody of Monopoly that doesn't glorify out of control capitalsim.


What, like the original design of monopoly? The second stage that Parker Brothers cut out?

Yes, monopoly was turned into a parody of itself during its own production

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James Hutchings
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morari wrote:
Anti-Trust
A parody of Monopoly that doesn't glorify out of control capitalsim.


There's an actual game called Anti-Monopoly. According to Wikipedia they got sued, and the maker's defence was based on the idea that the game, or at least its predecessor, is in the public domain, rather than on a parody defence. Eventually Parker Brothers 'settled' = gave in. So that implies that Parker Brothers didn't want a court judgement confirming that.
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norman rule
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MOTHDevil wrote:
I would think under parody I would be covered here. Yes? No?


You might very well be covered. But it may take a judge & jury to make that determination.

Sometimes being right can still cost you a lot of money in legal fees.
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John "Omega" Williams
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MOTHDevil wrote:
Omega2064 wrote:
First off. If you are going the parody route just to dodge the law and flat out steal a preceeding design then you've likely failed right out the gate. You might as well go with a straight up bootleg.


I don't think I'm being clear - I'm not in the habit of stealing ideas for the simple lack of having them.

I want to take an existing IP, parody it with a name-change and theme-twist, and use a completely different set of mechanics. The idea isn't to create a bootleg or rip-off, it's to take a well-known property and do something different while parodying the IP.

The analogy is much closer to Star Wars and Spaceballs, not Star Wars and "Turkish Star Wars."


You were, but I like to be thorough for those who come after.

A good parody can stand on its own. And the more you deviate from the original source, while making clear still what the source was, the less chance you have of getting taken to court while still maybee attracting those who liked the original.
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Filip W.
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Omega2064 wrote:
First off. If you are going the parody route just to dodge the law and flat out steal a preceeding design then you've likely failed right out the gate. You might as well go with a straight up bootleg.


Not quite true. The design isn't protected. You could make any number of monopoly games if you didn't use the artwork or text (copyrighted) or name (trademarked, as is the "monopoly guy").

Fair use pertains to the usage of artwork/likeness/text, not design.
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