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[Freeciv] Re: copyright infringement

[Freeciv] Re: copyright infringement

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To: <freeciv@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [Freeciv] Re: copyright infringement
From: "Brandon Van Every" <vanevery@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2000 13:51:58 -0700

> 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.

You're nuts.  Clearly you don't know anything about corporate law, or what size
of $$$$$$$ war chests are involved here, or Hasbro's history of predatory
behavior regarding the Monopoly trademark.  You haven't got a rat's chance in
hell at beating Hasbro in an intellectual property dispute regardless of whether
you think your case is winnable on legal grounds or not.  Check out if you want to learn what a 10 year legal war feels like.
And the thing is, Civ wasn't invented by Quakers.

Someone else asked what nationality is Microprose.  It doesn't matter.
Microprose is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Hasbro.

Someone else asked about Dogs Of War and shamelessly copying the artwork from
Axis & Allies, whether this was critical to the case.  It never made it to
court.  Under legal threat the company making shareware profit on Dogs Of War
disbanded.  I don't know if any money changed hands for the settlement, I don't
think it's a matter of public record.

You'd be in a much better legal position if you (1) stopped calling this thing
Freeciv, gave it a completely different name, and changed your domain name
accordingly, (2) expanded and engine-ified the game so that it didn't have
cloning all the Civ games as the dominant priority, leaving Civ as just a
happenstancical compatibility mode, (3) removed all the stuff about cloning Civ
from your website.  Sure, that's a lot of work.  But failure to do so is merely
more damning evidence of willful intellectual property infringement.

As for the legal hairs you might like to split over whether you guys are
infringing, I'd suggest taking it up in  I think the
10,000 miles up answer is you're just plain wrong about rules of games not being
covered by copyright.  Bruce Hayden gave a good response about what sorts of
legal tests the lawyers would apply, and it's not as simplistic as "yes the
rules are protected" or "no they are not protected."  It depends upon
abstractions of software functionality.  Since your entire intent was to
directly clone Civ II, my layman's guess is there isn't any level of abstraction
of functionality whatsoever, you guys are simply ripping Civ II off and are
therefore liable.

Anyways, I've brought this all to your attention because (1) having done the
freeware project thing before, I respect that you guys believe in freeware and
so forth, (2) being a game developer, I think you need to stop biting off other
people's stuff and quit being so cheap that you can't cough up $10..$20 for the
legitimate work of other game developers.  Sheesh, I bought Civ II: TOT for $20
at full retail!  If you're going to flatter by imitation, you should at least
have the integrity to diverge.  *Improve* the Civ genre, don't sit around just

Cheers,             Infernal Troublemaker                    Troll
Mallor              "By simple mistake, mortals themselves amuse."

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