[Pathfinder] Rare chance for collectors!
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Post Posted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:05 pm 
 

Dear Friends & Collectors,

As an RPG enthusiast and gamer I always dreamed as a young adult of seeing my name in print in an RPG supplement.  Later as a DM those dreams became larger and I dreamed of publishing my own world.  15 years later that dream has come true and my company, BlackStar Studios, is publishing its "teaser" module and first supplement to generate interest in the world.

We are currently running a Kickstarter to pay for the cost of producing the two books.  If you have ever dreamed of seeing your name in print, or if you just believe in supporting the RPG industry and indie gaming, please consider helping us.

We are publishing under the D&D 3.5/Pathfinder system and we would love your help.  We need backers and collectors and enthusiasts to make this dream a reality.

Please check us out, and if you would like to be part of our World and help bring it into being, please consider donating.

Thank you!

More here: http://kck.st/qOP9Re

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Post Posted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:33 pm 
 

Good luck.


This week I've been mostly eating . . . chicken and wild rice soup.

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Post Posted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:44 pm 
 

Thanks very much for your well wishes! Hopefully its something which will be interesting for collectors to have.  We think so at least!

For anyone in the New York City area, we will be holding a thank-you fundraising event for all of our area donors at the SoHo Gallery for Digital Art next weekend.  

If you are in the New York area and would like the chance to attend, to meet myself, game designer Ben Cacchione, or acclaimed Pathfinder and D&D cartographer Jon Roberts (Fantastic Maps, Open Design), we would love for you to stop by.  We will be providing wine & cheese, displaying hi-resolution images of some of the amazing art, and generally talking about the setting.

We'll send out information through the Kickstarter page (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sha ... gn-setting), but if you are in the area, we would love for all to attend!

Thanks again!

Chris
BlackStar Studios

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Post Posted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:55 pm 
 

Is "Shadowlands" really not a copyrighted campaign name out there already?

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Post Posted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 6:18 pm 
 

Nope, although there is the film of the same name as well as the C.S. Lewis story.  Haven't been able to track down a campaign setting by the same name though.  Please let me know if you do.

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Post Posted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:52 pm 
 

You didn't look too hard. Shadowlands is a setting for the Arduin RPG. Plus, it's currently still in print and the current publisher is not afraid to issue Cease and Desist orders.



  

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Post Posted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:08 pm 
 

I'd agree that the OP didn't search too hard, but as has been pointed out, "Shadowlands" is the name of several other things:

1) A book by Peter Straub.

2) A made-for-tv film by the same name, about C. S. Lewis.

3) A feature film based on that.

4) A website for crackpots who want to post their ghost sitings.

5) An Arduin campaign setting, evidently.

So the name's hardly very original. I'm no lawyer, but I'm not sure you can even lay claim to a fairly commonplace term like this.

The "Arduin" people can issue cease and desist letters all they want. Then they can bankrupt themselves retaining a lawyer and paying him for 1 day's worth of work. C'mon, no one's getting sued here.


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-==(UDIC)==-

  


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Post Posted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:43 pm 
 

IIRC there's an L5R setting called Shadowlands, in addition to the old TSR planar module that was never published, but was offered for sale in catalogs/etc.


Allan Grohe ([email protected])
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https://www.facebook.com/BlackBladePublishing/

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Post Posted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 3:22 pm 
 

There is also a Shadowlands CRPG that was released in 1993.

Regarding the Arduin IP, they have money and the OP doesn't. In such disputes it isn't about who is right, but who has the most money. It isn't fair, but that is the reality of things. That is why cease and desist letters are so effective.



  

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Post Posted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 4:03 pm 
 

I wouldn't have thought shadowlands could be copyrighted as a name.


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Post Posted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:05 pm 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:I wouldn't have thought shadowlands could be copyrighted as a name.

In America you do not and cannot 'copyright' a name.
Copyright applies to a quantity of text far larger than that.

You can file for Trademark of a word or phrase, and even Register that trademark (after lots of additional research and fees). You can also Patent a unique Thing.

imnsho Prior Use documentation would show Shadowlands to have been freely used, for long enough and by enough persons, to be rejected as a Registered trademark.

  

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Post Posted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:35 pm 
 

I meant Trademark.
Wouldn't have thought anyone could trademark 'shadowlands'. It's such a generic common name, like 'Blackridge' or 'Priory Hall'.

The caution that should be taken by novice authors is that by using common names, they are defining their product with that image. Not something an inexperienced author/publisher may know or understand or give much thought about, but something that the experienced and the accomplished tend not to do, either by experience, or intuition.

I don't get the USP or what is intended to set it apart from everything else in the market, and the name doesn't tell me, evoke an image that is congruent with the concept, or engender an idea or emotion. Not a good name.


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Post Posted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:22 pm 
 

Two minutes of research shows that Shadowland is impossible to Trademark: Shadowland d20/3.0 RPG product, Shadowland book by Straub, Shadowland magazine (for Shadowrun), and lots more.

If this product is a revision of the d20 product, fine... but otherwise it's a very ill-advised choice, imho.

  


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Post Posted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:48 pm 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:It's such a generic common name, like 'Blackridge' or 'Priory Hall'.


Trademark law, for just such reason, is the most nebulous concept of intellectual property. It's inevitable that there are a zillion companies out there with similar names, as there are only so many words & names in existence. So the law has worked out complex, ever-changing systems to determine right-of-way. As with much of government, "justice" means "the most money to spend on lawyers & lobbyists."

  

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Post Posted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:40 pm 
 

Not like it is easy to derive a new, unique campaign or system design name that will capture people's attention quickly, anymore.

You could trademark a unique Font and Color style for a particular name.
A logo.  If they can make a fancy or very interesting one...


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Post Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 2:09 pm 
 

ExTSR wrote:In America you do not and cannot 'copyright' a name.
Copyright applies to a quantity of text far larger than that.


Edit: Nix the following, it's true but I can't remember if it's enough for an underlying claim or whether it's a baseline for material used to prove up that claim without necessarily supporting an independent cause of action. I'll leave the comment since it's relevant, but the context of it might not be correctly stated.

What I wrote was this:
Just as a caution to people, there's a significant exception to this (which doesn't apply in the case of Shadowlands). While as Frank says, you can't copyright something purely because it's a title, if there's a made-up word in the title its presence can give rise to a copyright. Made up words aren't inherently or automatically copyrighted just because they are made up, but if they are both invented and significant then they can be. Here I don't know, but I strongly suspect that an invented word could hit the required level of significance by being in the title (have not seen a case on this, but I'd bet small amounts of money on it).

So if it were something like "sdfWOWtenFeet Land" there might very well be a copyright claim against someone for writing a second sdfWOWtenFeet Land campaign.

As Frank says, even an invented word needs a something extra to make it a copyright violation. Either it needs more exact words being duplicated, or a requisite level of general significance for an invented word is required. The fact of an invented word being in the title gives it no more protection (except indirectly as to significance, I suspect) than words anywhere else in the document. Titles have to be protected by trademark, which is legally quite different.

  

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Post Posted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:00 am 
 

ExTSR wrote:In America you do not and cannot 'copyright' a name.
Copyright applies to a quantity of text far larger than that.

You can file for Trademark of a word or phrase, and even Register that trademark (after lots of additional research and fees). You can also Patent a unique Thing.

imnsho Prior Use documentation would show Shadowlands to have been freely used, for long enough and by enough persons, to be rejected as a Registered trademark.


That is correct.
And the American copyright laws are very similar to world-wide copyright laws.
For example, you can write a novel titled The Godfather if you wish.
Its plot can even be about the Italian mafia.  
What you cannot do is infringe on Puzo's characters, settings, or other artistic creations.

~Keith


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Post Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:05 pm 
 

Brette:)


Being healthy is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.


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Post Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:06 pm 
 

Brette:)


Being healthy is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.


Last edited by beasterbrook on Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:06 pm 
 

I tipped some money in.. looks like it has nice maps..

Brette:)


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