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Copyright Issues?

Started by mistercrapdaddy, February 23, 2006, 05:53:00 AM

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Hey everyone, my name is Sheldon and I'm new to the site.

I'm very eager to start discussing my new game ideas here on the Forge.  I've heard excellent things about how nurturing the site is for novice designers and I can't wait to start utilizing this wonderful resource.

However, I have some reservations about discussing uncopyrighted material on an internet site.  I've been burned on issues relating to copyright before and I'm terrified of it happening again.   

Can anyone help me out with this?  Has stolen material been an issue on the site before? 

Am I just being too paranoid?

Probably.  :-\

Thanks everyone.


Hi Sheldon, welcome to the forge!

Leaving aside the semantic issue that anything you write is automatically protected under copyright laws, you're being too paranoid.

Of the top 5 selling games through the forge booth at Gencon last year, 3 of them had previously been available free, in some way or another.

Polaris and The Mountain Witch were both developed from Iron Game Chef, and Breaking the Ice has been a work in progress for well over a year, and been available online in it's current complete state through out.  It was also given away free at Gencon the previous year.

Folks are cool. 

It wouldn't be a bad idea to make sure you read through the various forum stickies to get an idea of what the forge considers polite conversation - we hold a different standard here than most places on the internet, and if you're like me, you came with a lot of baggage from other sites.  Most of that stuff can get checked at the door, here.

Welcome to the forge!



I write games. My games don't have much in common with each other, except that I wrote them.

joshua neff

Hi, Sheldon! Welcome to the Forge.

A couple of things about copyright:

1) I don't know where you you're posting from, but in the US, anything you publish is automatically copyrighted. You don't have to go through any special process of registering it: you wrote it, you published it, you own the copyright to it. (Enforcing copyright is another matter entirely. That requires lawyers and money. Unless you're Disney, Time Warner or Microsoft, you probably can't afford to really go after anyone who violates your copyright. If this worries you, it's probably better not to publish at all.)

2) You can't copyright game mechanics. You can copyright your words, but you can't copyright mechanics for playing a game, so even if you do publish a game, anyone else can take your mechanics and build a new game from them. If they're cool (and the people on the Forge are cool), they'll ask you first and give you credit when they're done.

"You can't ignore a rain of toads!"--Mike Holmes


Thanks!  This makes me feel LOADS better.

I'll get right to work!