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Re: copyright guidance

On Wednesday 10 September 2003 01:01 am, John Lightsey wrote:
> The problem with this package (commercial music, sounds, graphics and levels 
> used without any license) isn't something I'd picture anyone on Debian-Legal 
> defending.  It shouldn't have made its into Debian in the first place.

Are you sure that's what's been done (e.g. did you figure this out from
a readme in the upstream sources), or are you just guessing based on
similar "look and feel"? Some elements such as sprites, may not actually
be copyrightable (for example, bitmap fonts aren't), and "similar" as
in "having the same tune" is not generally a violation for music.  Similar
things might apply for game levels that are organized the same way,
but on a completely different game engine.  Remember, *copyrights
aren't patents*, and the difference between "an idea" and "an
expression of an idea" is both significant and subject to legal interpretation.

So there's obviously gray area, but debian-legal will give you
an earful about all the edge-cases on this. ;-)  So, the case may
not be as clear-cut as you think (then again it might be, I've
played R&D, but I've never seen any of the original games it's
based on -- and it is based on several, not one, IIRC).

Anyway, if it turns out to need "re-skinning", I might be able to
help with sourcing or creating free resources, if you want to
contact me privately after verifying there really is a problem to
be solved.


Terry Hancock ( hancock at anansispaceworks.com )
Anansi Spaceworks  http://www.anansispaceworks.com

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