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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
"Violation of our forum rules and GW Copyrights". Supreme Court ruling say otherwise!

Where exactly is this website owned and operated from? In the United States & Canada game mechanics cannot be protected under copy-write. This been this way for over 10 years in the united states and the last few years in Canada with the revision of their copy write law. If this site has received threatening letters from GW's legal department they are blow hot air.


http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl108.html
 

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I think GW has accurately (albeit too aggressively, me thinks) sent C&D and presented suits on the exact portions of the nature of the copyright law, as in violations of their designs and literary work and never really on gameplay per se.

Where GW clearly steps outside and harms themselves is when they C&D discussion forums, ideas and such that really have no bearing on harming GW, except to promote their own game in different aeas. They claim intellectual copyright from every corner and need to have a team of attorneys that is better adept at navigating marketing environments to see the distinction between causing harm to GW (righfully so) and merely increasing exposure for the game in general.
 

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LO is based in the UK. Not sure of their copyright laws, so we're taking this from a US standpoint. Also, copyright law applies to (if I remember) the country that holds to the rights, not the country of the person violating those rights.

In the US they can still copyright the written portion of the rules as a literary work, and the images/minis as artistic works, and they did. There is a copyright notice in the front of all of your rulebooks. The fact that they can't copyright game mechanics simply means that you can make a game like 'Kings of War', where the idea of using dice to roll 'To Hit' and 'To Wound' based on charts and a similar statline etc is totally valid. Likewise, companies can create knockoff models just like Mantic did with Kings of War. However, the instant that Mantic produces a regiment of "Orc Boar Boyz", GW has every legal recourse to swoop down and sue their pants off. Which is why you have "Orc Gore Riders" instead - same thing, Orcs on boars, but different name, and slightly different facial features.

LO has actually never received a C&D from GW, to my knowledge, except for once a long time ago, and it seems we've "shown them the bird" on that one as well. GW threatened us over LO's use of the Aquila in our logo. Pretty sure that was a valid complaint, and the owner did change it, citing that a two-headed bird was alright as the Romans and Germans used it before GW ever existed. Now it looks like we changed it right back to the standard GW device. Oh well.
I think that LO also might have received a warning at some point about posting box-art, WD photos, and GW's own pics of the minis onto our front page. Again, I'm fairly certain that GW could have won that suit if they pursued it, as they hold the copyrights to all of those images.

When most other sites eat a C&D, it is usually because they did violate the copyrights. When BoLS hit the bricks a little while back, I'm fairly certain that GW's grounds for coming down on them was because they were leaking copyright-protected White Dwarf photos. Those pictures, and pictures of a magazine page like that would be considered illegal use. Likewise, sites which hosted (not necessarily linked to, or promoted) illegal copies of GW publications, like those nifty .pdf files that I'm not allowed to tell you my PC is full of, would catch letters.

What LO is trying to do with our rule, is simply to keep a low profile. It's better that GW doesn't really have anything to potentially complain about with this site, so that they leave us by-and-large alone. And that's really nice, don't you think?
Also, while the use of points cost and the standard M/WS/BS/S/T/I/A/Ld/Sv statline is considered "game mechanics" and therefore not copyrightable, we're not so sure of the legality of copying a unit down verbatim. This is pretty standard even on other sites. It also keeps players from sneakily recreating entire codexes on the forums, which would be considered copyright infringement (remember, they are copyrighted as Literary work). It's easier on the moderators to simply say "no points costs" than to have a long list of rules regarding when it is acceptable for a member to post points costs or particular bits of stat lines.

Finally, it's always best for sites like LO to err on the side of caution. Remember that if GW issues us a letter, we can either close down, or face litigation for remaining open. In the latter case, it's on the site owner to come up with the cash to pay any legal fees incurred. Even if the owner decides to defend himself in court, he runs the risk that - if he loses - GW could (and probably does) sue for their own legal fees, plus the fines and other associated penalties. For the common owner of a site, the guy running it as small, barely profitable business, this would be a disaster that would spill over into their personal lives. It's easy to call your friend paranoid for worrying that he left the oven on, but if your entire belongings were in the house, you'd probably want to go back and check as well. Same goes for these websites. A C&D scares these owners because they literally cannot afford to lose the case against GW, so why risk it at all?
 

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Where exactly is this website owned and operated from? In the United States & Canada game mechanics cannot be protected under copy-write. This been this way for over 10 years in the united states and the last few years in Canada with the revision of their copy write law. If this site has received threatening letters from GW's legal department they are blow hot air.


U.S. Copyright Office - Games
This website is owned and operated from Toronto, Canada.

~ AS, Community Support
 
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Discussion Starter #6
This website is owned and operated from Toronto, Canada.

~ AS, Community Support
Good because Canadian Courts do not uphold copyrights/patients on game mechanics either. Oh to the person asking earlier it doesn't matter that the UK may have different copyrights/patients laws. Canada does not extradite people for copyrights/patients offences, the US has tried to do this to Canadians multiple times and failed.
 
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