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[Freeciv] Re: it's like a screenplay

[Freeciv] Re: it's like a screenplay

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To: "Freeciv General Mailing List" <freeciv@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [Freeciv] Re: it's like a screenplay
From: "SamBC" <sambc@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 22 Jul 2000 17:28:13 +0100
Reply-to: <sambc@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

I will repeat, as I said previously:

"... But if you see the movie an make one strikingly similar, yet different
in key ways, I might be miffed, but fair dos anyway. Especially if your
similar version brought something new to the film."

That is the flaw of your Screenplay argument. How many
sci-fi-save-the-galaxy movies are there out there, and does George Lucas (or
possibly other writers) sue every screenwriter?? No.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: freeciv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:freeciv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxx]On
> Behalf Of Brandon Van Every
> Sent: 20 July 2000 09:08
> To: freeciv
> Subject: [Freeciv] it's like a screenplay
> > While (3) appears ridiculous when applied to a house, it's daily
> praxis
> > when software is concerned and it is a key fundament of Free Software
> > development.
> Stop talking about houses, start talking about screenplays.  What are
> the rights of the author?  This is the realm of Intellectual Property
> and games are not special in this regard.  You guys are making the
> mistake of thinking my argument is about software algorithms, it isn't.
> You're infringing upon the intellectual property of the game rules
> themselves: tech trees, play mechanics, etc.  These are concrete
> expressions of intellectual property.  It's not "a" tech tree you're
> utilizing, it's the Civ II tech tree.  It's not "a" set of relationships
> about minerals and money and unhappiness, it's the Civ II relationships
> about minerals and money and unhappiness.  So long as you have cloning
> Civ II as a stated goal of your project, you are infringing upon the
> authors' intellectual property.
> Let's put it this way.  Throw out the software aspect.  Let's say you
> ripped off the original Civilization board game by Avalon Hill.  You
> wanted to make your board game "compatible" with AH's board game.
> *That's* intellectual property infringement.  There's nothing stopping
> you from creating a computer readable file of all of AH's game rules and
> printouts of the map board, and distributing them willy nilly for free
> to everyone and anyone.  Just because you can infinitely reproduce
> intellectual property does not mean you have the right to do so.  In
> fact, one of the rights of Copyright is the right to reproduce the work.
> You don't have that right, the author does.
> > What Microprose or Hasbro get paid for, is not the idea (=ruleset) of
> > Civilization but their implementation of it.
> Incorrect.  If that were true, novelists and screenwriters would never
> be paid a dime of royalties.
> I am beginning to think that you guys are so wrapped up in technological
> issues of Free Software that you really don't have a clue what good old
> fashioned Intellectual Property law is all about.  Forget all this
> algorithms and software stuff.  Think books.  Plays.  Works of art.
> > Since there existed
> > "Civilization" the board game before and Sid Meier commited the same
> > "theft" as anyone else who cloned the idea thereafter (SMAC, Birth of
> > the Federation, any round based strategies) - the idea of patenting
> > round-based strategy is ridiculous.
> WRONG about your purported theft.  "Civilization" the computer software
> is in no way, shape, or form the same game as "Civilization" the Avalon
> Hill boardgame.  There is no Copyright infringement whatsoever, it's a
> completely different game with completely different rules.  It would
> take a moron to try to say that they're in any way the same game, or
> even vaguely similar games.  The only thing they have in common is
> they're both games about civilizations.  Unlike what you guys have been
> up to, Sid Meyer did a completely original work of authorship, as
> original as any work of authorship can be or has to be.
> There is no patent issue here either, as to my knowledge neither game
> tried to patent anything about their rules - nor could they.
> The only issue here is a Trademark issue, whether the word
> "Civilization" is trademarkable.  I think the full title, "Sid Meyer's
> Civilization" probably got completely around the issue as far as the
> lawyers were concerned.  One is distinguished from the other and so the
> consumer is protected against confusion - which is what trademark law is
> set up to do.  It isn't about protecting companies, it's about
> protecting consumers.
> I think it is very likely that you're violating Sid Meyer's Civilization
> II's copyright.  It's as simple as if you had lifted a screenplay and
> called it your own.
> I think it is possible you are violating Hasbro / Microprose's trademark
> by using the "Freeciv" name, at least to the extent that they could
> probably bully you about it, in the context of other evidence of willful
> intellectual property infringement.  But that's a hair for lawyers to
> split.  Whether you're in violation probably depends on how good your
> lawyer is vs. how good their lawyer is.
> You aren't violating any patents.  It's not even a debating point and
> shouldn't be introduced into the discussion.  A tendency to conflate
> these different categories of intellectual property tells me you aren't
> rowing with your legal paddles in the water.
> Cheers,             Infernal Troublemaker                    Troll
> Mallor              "By simple mistake, mortals themselves amuse."

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