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[Freeciv] FW: [Freeciv-Dev] Re: Re: copyright infringement

[Freeciv] FW: [Freeciv-Dev] Re: Re: copyright infringement

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To: "Freeciv General Mailing List" <freeciv@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [Freeciv] FW: [Freeciv-Dev] Re: Re: copyright infringement
From: "SamBC" <sambc@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2000 18:19:48 +0100
Reply-to: <sambc@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

oops, wrong list before...

-----Original Message-----
From: freeciv-dev-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:freeciv-dev-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of SamBC
Sent: 19 July 2000 17:34
To: Freeciv Development Mailing List
Subject: [Freeciv-Dev] Re: [Freeciv] Re: copyright infringement

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Stan Shebs
> If it were that simple, then it wouldn't be possible for the Tolkien
> Estate to license LotR characters and settings to some game makers
> and forbid others to use them in games.  This can get really fine-grained,
> for instance Silmarillion characters are not so restricted.

Characters are different - they have names for starters. There would be
nothing stopping someone from having a character in a game called Gendilf,
for example, who was to all intents and purposes almost identical to
Gandalf. Freeciv is the same.

Okay, so the legal ground is shaky, and if Hasbro/Microprose pressed the
point then we would only win if we actively fought back, which costs. But if
we did fight, we would win. No doubts there.

> It really depends on how successful FreeCiv is on the platforms that
> Hasbro wants to sell on;  if they feel that FreeCiv is going to cost
> them $2 million in revenue, they'll give $1 million of that to their
> lawyers and say "shut it down".  At that point you'll either have to
> spend your own money to fight it, or divest FreeCiv of anything that
> looks like it was derived from Sid's original design.

If you get pedantic, that's the whole game structure. Oops. But I don't
think it matters. As has been pointed out, you can copyright and/or patent
names, specific implementations (in some countries), graphics, texts,
*but*not*ideas*. All we nicked was the idea, so tough titty to Hasbro.

> Short-term, I don't think all this is much of a problem; but the best
> long-term strategy would be to continue to engine-ify FreeCiv
> and isolate all the Civ1/2 clone bits into separate files, so if it
> ever becomes an issue, you can remove them from the main package
> without disrupting development.
As you probably gather, I see no need for that personally.


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