3rd party copyrights and intellectual property

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cyto
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3rd party copyrights and intellectual property

Post by cyto » Sat Feb 23, 2019 22:09 pm

I've never asked this, but what's your general take on copyrights and intellectual property in the context of e.g. medieval fantasy themed games, online or not? I mean, races such as 'kobolds' did not drop down to us from the heavens, but are clearly inspired/inducted from TSR/wizards of coast content. I want to know where do you draw the line? Even as we are a completely non-profit organization, should we still secure our six by renaming our kobolds into "ko-ugh-bolds" and snakemen into "snake-egh-mannan" to satisfy our inner lawyers?

Think about this all especially in context of MUDs, which is a very gray wasteland of internet in general. I know only a couple of MUDs which were given a cease-and-desist, but they went grossly over the line. For example, one of them was a forgotten realms themed mud, in which, as the rumor has it, the whole world was close to 1:1 replica of what was written in all forgotten realms handsbooks.

However, one could argue that real people can be attracted to the game by e.g. the chance of playing a beholder or some TSR originated race, and this satisfaction transforms into money in form of Jää ry membership, which is used to e.g. run the game server.

I wanted this out in the open so that 1) I get a general feeling of how we feel about the topic, and also 2) as a FYI for anyone outside our community to know what we've been thinking about these things and also has a chance to chime in without playing the game.

Truth to be told, in most medieval themed MUDs you cant throw a stick behind your back without hitting something that could not be claimed as being originated by TSR/wizards of coast etc. in some direct or indirect manner. In this sense, in most MUDs, it is actually very little that is original.

This thread is to discuss about this. Speak NOW or forever hold your peace. :)

bandar
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copyrights issue

Post by bandar » Sat Feb 23, 2019 22:26 pm

TSM just for example has gotten many things from different folk lore stuff.
Every big company must have some own lil traits and innovations to fantasy theme, but they have origins in different folk lores... Which are 'common knowledge' and hence not under copyrights afaik?
Some one with more practice in that field should check it out.

ezenya
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Post by ezenya » Sun Feb 24, 2019 08:11 am

well, i dont really mind one way or the other. Many many games have these kobolds and orcs and whatnots laying around, and they damn sure didn't invent them. If you want to go through every race in Ice and re-invent them, go ahead! I'm just afraid this would drain Icesus from it's limited resource "current active wizard's energy" pool, which could be used to fix existing bugs which haven't been touched in ages, or adding new stuff, before you retire.

But to be completely honest, i think copyright strikes are the least of our worries! There has been a lot of new stuff added thanks to you, but in the long run we all know that most of the time a wizard will stay interested for only so long, and then we end up with no wizards around for a long time, unless we get a lucky streak and a new one emerges around the same time!

And these wiz-dry spells tend to cost us players due to existing playerbase becoming salty and scaring away what little new players show up with our "oh, a bug? who cares, nobody has fixed bugs in a decade" etc comments and so on :D
(and some of us stay salty even when a wiz is working it's butt off on things, because humans are inherently asshats).

Anyways, I use this occasion to thank you for your hard work, Cyto! (and obviously all the other wizards (Belannaer,Fimvar, Mumzy,Sowilo, Terces and the ones I'm not familiar with as well!) too, but they aren't around to thank atm!)

khade
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Post by khade » Tue Feb 26, 2019 00:45 am

I'd have to check for other things, but the only thing I can think of that we actively have that DOES in fact belong to Wizards of the Coast is the Beholder, that creature was in fact invented for D&D. There might be some monsters around that are in the grey area, but that one is actively in their cease and desist folder.

riley
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Post by riley » Tue Feb 26, 2019 04:05 am

Probably not worth worrying about unless Icesus/Jaary actually receives a cease-and-desist, given that we've had beholders since I first played here (around 2002 or so, I think) and WotC doesn't appear to have bothered with us in all that time.

Of course, I may be biased, since I've been a beholder for the last several years.

Also, coven beholders should be able to use the guild item gauntlets and WP beholders should be able to channel with shields equipped.

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