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Re: Rules for submitting licenses for review

On Thu, 25 Aug 2005, Raul Miller wrote:
> > Game mechanics, methods, procedures, etc. are not copyrightable.
> To the degree that their concrete implementations are a creative work, 
> their implementations are copyrightable.

But that's not what TSR means.  They're claiming that if you use their game
mechanics in your own work, even without copying a concrete implementation,
you're violating copyright.

This started in the mid-1990s when TSR tried to shut down a lot of sites for
using game mechanics (whether or not anything was copied).  For instance,
see http://groups.google.com/group/rec.games.frp.dnd/browse_thread/thread/ce23543781715cdf .  TSR claimed that if you created material using TSR game
mechanics and posted it elsewhere than on TSR's own site, you were violating
copyright.  Later, TSR changed hands, and they created the OGL, which
seemed to take a more lenient stance, but which was still based around the
idea that TSR can copyright game mechanics and that you need a license to
create materials that use them.

I suggest doing a Google groups search for rec.games.frp.dnd, TSR, and
"game mechanics" to see just what was going on at the time.

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