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Subject: Martin Wallace accuses Winsome/FRED of copyright infraction rss

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Richard Dewsbery
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thepackrat wrote:

Given this, perhaps the wild speculation earlier about John controlling the Rust Belt maps wasn't quite as wild as someone implied. Or, at least it was as wild as Martin said.


Balancing maps - pretty much whatever the game is - often depends not simply on geography (which is pretty hard to copyright), but on how geography is subtly bent to meet the needs of the game. Which involves not only a degree of work (something I wonder about when I think of Railroad Tycoon), but arguably produces a creative work (which is much easier to copyright). Age of Steam is by no means unique in having such fine-tuning - Canal Mania, for example, saw precisely such a subtle revision of the board between the first and second editions. And On the Underground has a board that - for gameplay reasons as well as the source material - bears almost no relation to the *real* geography of London (and of course it's reminiscent of, but quite different to, the oft-revised Beck map - the copyright to which Transport For London still guards jealously).

Whether John "controls" the original Age of Steam Rust Belt map is something that people could cheerfully debate ad nauseam, but IIRC various people who can be regarded as being in possession of the full facts regarding the progress of AoS from an idea to a fully-fledged game have credited John with the work done to make the geography of the Rust Belt a good fit with the Age of Steam mechanics.

Rather than get into an argument about precisely what that might or might not mean, the decision was taken with Steam to side-step the issue altogether and come up with new maps. And it's not like Age of Steam itself requires just *one* precise layout of starting cities, towns, terrain et cetera - all the expansion maps I've ever played on provided a fine game too. I'm of the opinion that Steam will be similarly robust when it comes to being playable on many different maps. Though there are still "good" maps and "bad" maps, and it's the job of the designers and developers to make sure that bad ones are eliminated (usually by doing precisely the sort of geographical tweaking I mentioned above, to ensure that the map features are not only in the right areas for real-world geography, but have the right effect on gameplay, with cities in not only the "right" locations but bear the right values and colours).

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Richard Dewsbery
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Does the sudden lack of thumbs today mean:

(i) there's only a handful of us still reading this thread? (Which makes the most sense as a theory)

(ii) nobody's said anything either lucid enough (or should that be partizan enough?) to attract silent support?

(iii) my instance of BGG is broken, the thumbs are still there but I just can't see them anymore?
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Kevin Maroney
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Golux13 wrote:

I doubt that patent law would apply to a map design.


To a map in general, no, absolutely not. To a map as a game component, as part of the general patent of the game, probably.
 
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Anthony Simons
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RDewsbery wrote:
Does the sudden lack of thumbs today mean:

(i) there's only a handful of us still reading this thread? (Which makes the most sense as a theory)

(ii) nobody's said anything either lucid enough (or should that be partizan enough?) to attract silent support?

(iii) my instance of BGG is broken, the thumbs are still there but I just can't see them anymore?


You'll probably get fewer in future, because thumbs are (c) Anthony Simons 2009 and I granted the licence to BGG (though there isn't a shred of evidence this is true, it must be because it says so right here on BGG, in this post).
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Dan Schaeffer
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womzilla wrote:
Golux13 wrote:

I doubt that patent law would apply to a map design.


To a map in general, no, absolutely not. To a map as a game component, as part of the general patent of the game, probably.


Possibly the existence and general layout of a map could be a part of a game patent. But I don't think that a patent would ever include, for example, the specific placement of cities on a map. I can just imagine the claim:

"...such map board (121) consisting of a rectangular playing field with four board corners (122), overlaid with hexagonal spaces (123) and including a plurality of marked city spaces (124), the first such marked city space being in a first hexagonal space three hexagonal spaces away from the first board corner and twelve spaces from the second board corner and labeled "Toronto" (125); the second such marked city space being..."

Gad.yuk
 
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Eric
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fellonmyhead wrote:
RDewsbery wrote:
Does the sudden lack of thumbs today mean:

(i) there's only a handful of us still reading this thread? (Which makes the most sense as a theory)

(ii) nobody's said anything either lucid enough (or should that be partizan enough?) to attract silent support?

(iii) my instance of BGG is broken, the thumbs are still there but I just can't see them anymore?


You'll probably get fewer in future, because thumbs are (c) Anthony Simons 2009 and I granted the licence to BGG (though there isn't a shred of evidence this is true, it must be because it says so right here on BGG, in this post).


Of course, if Warfrog wrote that on a box it published, you would have a much stronger claim and more than a shred of evidence that you licensed it to Warfrog.
 
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Christopher Dearlove
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RDewsbery wrote:
And On the Underground has a board that - for gameplay reasons as well as the source material - bears almost no relation to the *real* geography of London (and of course it's reminiscent of, but quite different to, the oft-revised Beck map - the copyright to which Transport For London still guards jealously).


On the Underground has the appropriate permissions from TfL - including use of their famous logo, which I presume is an equally jealously guarded trademark.
 
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Anthony Simons
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Dearlove wrote:
RDewsbery wrote:
And On the Underground has a board that - for gameplay reasons as well as the source material - bears almost no relation to the *real* geography of London (and of course it's reminiscent of, but quite different to, the oft-revised Beck map - the copyright to which Transport For London still guards jealously).


On the Underground has the appropriate permissions from TfL - including use of their famous logo, which I presume is an equally jealously guarded trademark.


Not jealously enough; but perhaps they really aren't interested in pursuing small fry like Mind the Move
 
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