You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
December 13, 2018, 11:13:00 PM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: Copyrighting a Setting?  (Read 1399 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline FurgieTopic starter

Copyrighting a Setting?
« on: December 01, 2015, 11:03:28 AM »
So for about 5 years now I've been working on an absolutely MASSIVE Roleplay Setting.  Initially it was going to be a book, then a comic, then I started to realize I had more information than could ever really be shared in either format.  I've been tinkering on a ruleset to fit the setting's demands, and I'm finally able to type up that ruleset.  However, I don't really know how to proceed; do I type the guidebooks up to include the setting, or do I type it up separately?  If I combine the two, will the setting inadvertently be included under the common rights on the ruleset?

Feel free to poke me if you need more info. 

Offline Thufir Hawat

Re: Copyrighting a Setting?
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2015, 05:18:07 AM »
Consult an IP lawyer, really.

Offline HockeyGod

Re: Copyrighting a Setting?
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2015, 06:54:51 PM »
That's a tough one and in the end, I believe Thufir is on the right track. This is a complex issue and there are a number of questions one of which most primary is are you talking the U.S.?

Offline Tamhansen

Re: Copyrighting a Setting?
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2016, 06:15:26 PM »
As a lawyer, though based in the UK, and a starting publisher myself, I can offer some advice, but remember this does not count as legal counsel.

If you write an RPG book, you can copyright it, just like any other creative work. Copyrighting takes some paperwork, but isn't expensive. You'd also need to acquire ISBN's but those can be bought online for a few tenners each. The copyright protects the entirety of your work, with the exception of the math in your system. Taking d20 (most famous game around atm) The idea of having 6 attributes with scores from 3-18 + bonuses, or the idea of saving throws is common rights. Flat out copying the description of these rules is breach of copyright, but can be seen as fair use by some jurisdictions. Copying elements from your setting would be theft of creative property, and as such illegal. No matter if it is from the same book.

Now if you want people to use part of your work, but not all, you could give out an OGL type license, but I'd suggest getting a really good IP lawyer before doing that.

Offline hellrazoromega

Re: Copyrighting a Setting?
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2016, 12:44:14 PM »
I know this is an old topic but I will throw this out there because it may apply not only to this situation but to others thinking about publishing a system. As another option, if you are OK with people using your work but not making money off it and still giving you credit as the originator a Creative Commons License is something to consider. 'Google' Creative Commons and look at the website, all the types of licenses are described there.