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  #311  
Old August 16th, 2007, 04:31 PM
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Jolly and Dave HAVE confirmed that the Dragon CD was a significant issue between them and WOTC. They have not said it was the only one. They did file, and did settle before hearings, WRT the Dragon CD.

In short, the Dragon CD is permanently OOP, since TSR didn't secure the rights properly for reprints, let alone electronic reprints. There is a whole thread on that over at K&Co.
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  #312  
Old August 16th, 2007, 05:07 PM
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If I remember correctly, Trademarks are renewable but copyrights eventually expire. When does Dragon Magazine enter public domain?

If the copyrights last 100 years, then we could start seeing reprints in another 70 years or so. I'll put them next to my 1923 Sears catalog reprint.
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  #313  
Old August 16th, 2007, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mytholder View Post
The current outline suggests the book would come in at 160 pages, but having our own printing monster means that we can be flexible on that. I'm certainly comfortable with a 160-page length - it's short enough to be manageable, but not so short that all the core material can't be covered.
Sounds like the perfect size.
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  #314  
Old August 16th, 2007, 06:22 PM
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Copyright: At least 70 years by current laws in the US. supposedly non-renewable; used to be 26 years, renewable for 26 more, or life+20, whichever was shorter.

Trademark: Lasts indefinitely. Essentially, lasts as long as defended.

Patent: 7-20 years, depending upon type of item or process. Non-renewable.
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  #315  
Old August 16th, 2007, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aramis View Post
Copyright: At least 70 years by current laws in the US.
Good news. If the first issue of Dragon was published about 30 years ago, then we have only 40 more years until we see a reprint of Dragon #1.

When is the singularity going to happen? Do we have enough time to reprint the issues before we evolve into a new life form (that will understand the importance of 2D6 for science fiction games).
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  #316  
Old August 16th, 2007, 11:39 PM
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Unless something DRASTIC changes, it never will.

Mainly because WEDCo/Disney will keep lobbying to extend copyright to protect Steamboat Willie. Every time it comes close, WEDCo funds copyright extension lobbying.
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  #317  
Old August 17th, 2007, 01:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
Agreed that this is the current state of the law. As I said earlier: "Ideas cannot be copyrighted, but their expression can. This glib statement has proven difficult to apply in the Real World. Thus, business were unsure as to just how much they could take from (say) AD&D without infringeing on TSR/WOTC intellectual property. And even if a defendant ultimately won, the cost of fighting might put him out of business."
GDW was sued by TSR for allegedly publishing products derivative of D&D and AD&D . . . the list of derivative points included things like using dice to create random character attributes and to resolve combat. Another allegation was having a game version of a spell to heal wounds. It was two years before the case was settled (out of court).

So yes, you can be sued for almost anything, and it can take a while for the legal bills to stop. Fortunately, GDW's license contract for the intellecual property involved had a "hold harmless" clause so we didn't have to pay the legal bills. Frank Chadwick DID have to waste a lot of time answering depositions, however.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aramis
WOTC has sued to enforce their trademark on the specific mechanic of "Tapping" cards.

TBeard:

Haven't seen that one, but I just found that WizKidz has sued WOTC and is attempting to get a declaratory judgment that the WOTC patent on CCGs is invalid.
IIRC, the "tapping" thing is the patent that WotC got nearly a decade ago, and then sent letters to every gaming company who published a game with cards in it. GDW got one, but we had no games that used the "tapping" mechanic. As far as I know, this patent has never been the subject of litigation.

Also IIRC, the issue in the WizKidz/WotC is _another_ patent, something about games with pieces that are disassembled to represent damage received . . . or something. I am not a lawyer, so I don't follow these things very closely.
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  #318  
Old August 17th, 2007, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LKW View Post
GDW was sued by TSR for allegedly publishing products derivative of D&D and AD&D . . . the list of derivative points included things like using dice to create random character attributes and to resolve combat. Another allegation was having a game version of a spell to heal wounds. It was two years before the case was settled (out of court).

So yes, you can be sued for almost anything, and it can take a while for the legal bills to stop. Fortunately, GDW's license contract for the intellecual property involved had a "hold harmless" clause so we didn't have to pay the legal bills. Frank Chadwick DID have to waste a lot of time answering depositions, however.
Yep, the incidental cost of litigation can be significant. In my experience, this can exceed the amounts being fought over. The problem is that most folks (even business owners) fail to consider the value of their time. So when (say) Frank Chadwick spent 20 hours preparing for and attending depositions, GDW lost the value of 20 hours of his time in addition to the legal fees incurred. If his time was worth (say) $50 per hour to GDW, then the deposition effectively cost $1000 + legal fees. Because this is a non-cash expenditure, it's often overlooked by the parties.

As a business litigator (usually defense) I ALWAYS explain the purpose of the legal system to my clients:

The law is not designed to produce truth or even justice. It is solely designed to resolve disuptes between the parties without gunfire. It accomplishes this objective by being expensive, time consuming, burdensome and incredibly unpleasant. The reason 95% of lawsuits settle is that eventually most folks get tired of paying legal fees.

I then show them a graph illustrating the estimated cumulative cost of a lawsuit at each stage--filing the answer, completing discovery, mandatory mediation, trial prep, etc. I then ask "where, on this timeline do you want me to get serious about settling this case?"

I'd also note that while GDW was fortunate in having an enforceable "hold harmless" provision, such provisions are only valuable if they can be enforced -- i.e., the indemnifying party actually has assets that the indemnified party can reach.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LKW View Post
IIRC, the "tapping" thing is the patent that WotC got nearly a decade ago, and then sent letters to every gaming company who published a game with cards in it. GDW got one, but we had no games that used the "tapping" mechanic. As far as I know, this patent has never been the subject of litigation.

Also IIRC, the issue in the WizKidz/WotC is _another_ patent, something about games with pieces that are disassembled to represent damage received . . . or something. I am not a lawyer, so I don't follow these things very closely.
I sporadically follow them. I personally don't think that WOTC will prevail in the patent suit if it goes the distance. But I also doubt it will go the distance -- remember, ~95% of civil suits settle.

If WOTC's legal team agrees with me, I'd expect them to settle with WizKidz -- probably by granting them a very cheap license to use WOTC's purportedly patented process, in exchange for dropping the suit and signing a very comprehensive non-disclosure agreement. That way, WizKidz gets what it wants and WOTC preserves its purported patent.

On the other hand, if WizKidz legal team thinks that it will probably lose (or if WizKidz thinks the suit will be too costly to continue), I'd expect them to settle with WOTC -- probably by purchasing a license to use WOTC's purportedly patented process, in exchange for dropping the suit and signing a very comprehensive non-disclosure agreement. In that case, WizKidz gets as good a deal as it can and WOTC preserves its purported license and avoids the risk and expense of trial.

And in either case, third parties will not know who actually got the better deal since everyone will be under an NDA.

Last edited by tbeard1999; August 17th, 2007 at 01:35 PM..
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  #319  
Old October 9th, 2007, 02:12 AM
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Well unless the technology is upgraded in the new versions to what we have now then it is going to be laughed at by potential players who wern't even in school or born when CT first emerged.

It may be just an impression I have, but allmost all the current stuff available is bought by people who already played earlier version (except those who still play CT of course). Is there any indication of whether new players have been picking up on Traveller?
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  #320  
Old October 10th, 2007, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
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Not sure if you've checked out our Gateway material. Not exactly in the classic era, but very close (993). You won't find much difference in the tone or feel.
What is your "Gateway material"?
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