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Re: Rules for submitting licenses for review

On 8/25/05, Ken Arromdee <arromdee@rahul.net> wrote:
> 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.

Well... to the degree that those "game mechanics" are creative elements,
(as opposed to mechanical elements) they are copyrightable.

Copyright regulates the tangible expression of creative works.  For
material which is not very creative the protection is thin.  For material
which is highly creative it's... not so thin.  Copyright will protect 
against using characters and material unique to one book in some other
book written by some other author with a different plot.

That said, it looks to me like this license grants you the right to use those
game mechanics, including making and distributiong modified versions of 
them.  If you've spotted someplace in this license which prohibits that kind 
of thing, I'd appreciate it if you could point that out to me.

[Note: I do agree that their trademark language should be upgraded so
that the usual implicit rights to use trademarks are retained by users
of this license.]

> 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.

The fact that they've used other licenses in the past, and might not offer
all their material under this license does not constitute a flaw in this



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