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Sylverthorne

Impudent Mortal Presents: Mech Cockpit Simulator (Battletech)

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13 minutes ago, Weird-O said:

Wow, they're not even trying to hide the copyright violations...

 

It's not clear to me that there are any copyright violations.

 

I haven't seen a Battletech box in a while, but IIRC, the record sheets used to be free for copying. When added to the fact that game rules aren't covered by copyright, it might be wise to avoid accusations of tortious conduct.

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There are two Battletech boxes in print right now, and there's a big difference between photocopying sheets for your own(or your group's) use, and printing those sheets on whatever material he uses to sell them to folks. I'm looking at the record sheet for the Locust right now, and it says 

 

"© The Topps Company, Inc. BattleTech, 'Mech and BattleMech are trademarks of The Topps Company, Inc. All rights reserved. Catalyst Game Labs and the Catalyst Game Labs logo are trademarks of In Media Res, LLC. Permission to photocopy for personal use."

 

I'll admit that it might not necessarily be copyright violation. But if it's not, it's certainly IP theft, or something similar by another name.

Edited by Weird-O

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47 minutes ago, Weird-O said:

There are two Battletech boxes in print right now, and there's a big difference between photocopying sheets for your own(or your group's) use, and printing those sheets on whatever material he uses to sell them to folks. I'm looking at the record sheet for the Locust right now, and it says 

 

"© The Topps Company, Inc. BattleTech, 'Mech and BattleMech are trademarks of The Topps Company, Inc. All rights reserved. Catalyst Game Labs and the Catalyst Game Labs logo are trademarks of In Media Res, LLC. Permission to photocopy for personal use."

 

I'll admit that it might not necessarily be copyright violation. But if it's not, it's certainly IP theft, or something similar by another name.

 

Only if there is some element to the record sheet that is sufficiently creative to activate the copyright law that is not necessary for play and the project creator doesn't have an agreement to use that element. From the information I have, that does not rise to an obvious violation of IP. Perhaps you have other information from a closer reading of the project information or other, non-public sources.

 

The situation here is very fact specific, which is to say that litigating it would be expensive for all sides and the results would depend on erratic decisions.

 

It's also not clear to me that this project would harm anyone in any way, so there wouldn't be much point to complaining about it on the part of the Battletech IP owner. And it might well help to sell more copies of Battletech.

 

The more interesting question is whether this violates the Trademarks of the game. This is a much closer question to my eyes, but ultimately I think the usage is nominative rather than a violation of the mark.

 

NB: Not a lawyer and this is definitely not legal advice. Talk to a lawyer who is licensed to practice in your area and who specializes in IP law if you want something to act on.

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I can't imagine how they could have the exact same mech name, model number, and correct stats without it being infringing.

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20 minutes ago, Weird-O said:

I can't imagine how they could have the exact same mech name, model number, and correct stats without it being infringing.

 

The same way an aftermarket lightbulb manufacturer can advertise replacement bulbs for the highbeams in a 2014 Toyota Camry LE. It's a nominative use and required rather than optional.

 

Not a slam dunk argument, because that kind of use is, as I noted above, subject to judgement calls on the part of a judge or jury.

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I'm still skeptical, but I'll stop filling up this thread with it so people who like this can get on with the business of liking it.

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