Copyright question
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Post Posted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 3:54 pm 


Not sure which forum to post this.. so I'll try my luck here..

Just a quick (?) question about copyright..  Say I want to put some
material up on the internet about the campaign we are playing, and that
campaign, while being mostly original material, did make  some use of copyrighted material - would it be acceptable to just publish say the maps and player handouts from that material, without causing a breach of copyright?

I'm also hoping its OK to describe what the characters do when they are attempting to do a module, without breaching the copyright on that module?

If either of these  do cause a copyright problem, is it legal to put it on a web site protected by user/passwords for the players in the campaign, so that the general public cannot see the site?

any advice appreciated..


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Post Posted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 7:14 pm 

If you want to post copyrighted material such as maps and player handouts, you'd be in violation of the Berne Convention if you did.  The only fair use here in the US (UK law may differ) is a couple sentences or perhaps a paragraph, if used solely for the purpose of review or critique.  Maps and illustrations are not subject to fair use, although you CAN create your own version of the map that others can look at, since ideas are not copyrighted, only their expression.  Yet, these legalities do not stop some from posting entire rulebooks for download on the Internet.

Describing what the characters do during a module, as well as describing the contents of the room in your own words is perfectly acceptable and in fact is protected by copyright the moment it is posted.  However, if you are simply reading from the module, then you'd be in breach of the Berne Convention.

Password protecting a web space simply to avoid copyright infringement would be useless unless you yourself were the only one able to see it.  If even ONE person outside of you can see the digital copy of the work in question, then you have committed copyright infringement.

My advice?  Draw your own maps.  Rewrite the text of the player handouts in your own words.  Then post it all.

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