Black Ridge Island
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Post Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 6:00 pm 
 

For those who don't know, or haven't taken a look at his stuff, BRI-3 is now available from Ben Burns....



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Ben is self-publishing pretty good quality 1E AD&D dungeons from his campaigns of yesteryear, and these are the sorts of things that will disappear and quickly be forgotten when Ben's life takes a change. They are the sort of non-TSR D&D item that become rare in years to come. For the sake of a few bucks, buy a set now.


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

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 6:30 pm 
 

Is this even legal. I understand the open gaming license for D20, but I did not think it applied to producing 1e or 2e stuff...


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

New modules for your Old School game http://pacesettergames.com/

Everything Pacesetter at http://pacesettergames.blog.com/

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 8:42 pm 
 

Of course it is. As long as no trademarks are used, you can write and sell whatever you like.

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 10:32 pm 
 

Deadlord39 wrote:Of course it is. As long as no trademarks are used, you can write and sell whatever you like.

Yep.  Just don't say "Designed for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons", or you'll be in trouble.  (Actually they probably won't notice or care; they wouldn't even know about the rampant copyright infringement that happens daily on eBay if it weren't for bclarkie...they should probably pay him.)

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 3:47 am 
 

WoTC wouldn't be able to enforce copyright over their trademarks (Dungeons & Dragons, DM, hit point, armour class, etc.) against an independant publisher. The defendant would just need to demonstrate that WoTC were not defending their copyright or trademark on eBay to prove that WoTC were unjustly singling him out.

Besides. I very much doubt they even care.

I'd rather see original work being published on eBay than all those people selling PDF files. At least if there is a body of original work being published it expands our hobby.


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Post Posted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 8:15 am 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:WoTC wouldn't be able to enforce copyright over their trademarks (Dungeons & Dragons, DM, hit point, armour class, etc.) against an independant publisher. The defendant would just need to demonstrate that WoTC were not defending their copyright or trademark on eBay to prove that WoTC were unjustly singling him out.

Besides. I very much doubt they even care.

I'd rather see original work being published on eBay than all those people selling PDF files. At least if there is a body of original work being published it expands our hobby.


I don't know how things work in the UK, but WotC (or Hasbro) can certainly act against an independant publisher. Not acting against PDF thieves versus people creating material without a trademark or copyright license is indeed different...at least as far as lawyers go. The "no fair, you just picking on me and not all those other crooks," is also not generally going to work. The fact that ebay does not enforce copyright laws as vigorously as they should has no bearing on what WotC might do. Also, PDF infringement is "new" law and the courts will eventually catch up with it. Publishing without permission is "old" law and more easily prosecuted.

Now, don't get me wrong, also. I am 100% in favor or seeing new 1e AD&D stuff hitting the marketplace. I think there is a market for it. Hell, I would print some stuff out myself - given the time to do it; no danger of that with my life :cry:

If someone buys one of those pieces, let us know if he refers to D&D/AD&D in the body of work. Not that it really matters, I guess, as he certainly has used tons of material directly out of the various hardcovers.


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

New modules for your Old School game http://pacesettergames.com/

Everything Pacesetter at http://pacesettergames.blog.com/

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 10:57 am 
 

I have the first two. They are well worth the money.

IIRC TSR ran into the 'have to prove you 'vigorously' defend your trademeark in all cases in order to enforce your trademark before. That was the ruling that brought about the end of so many small publishers in the 80's. In order to prove their claim to a trademark, TSR had to prove that they 'vigorously' pursued 'all' cases, and TSR ended up pulling JG and may of the other small publishers uses of the D&D brand.

Bear in mind that TSR's original trademark extended to the terms 'DM, Dungeon Master, AC, Armour Class, etc.

I think if someone is going to publish we should all be behind them, otherwise the Acaeum and Dragonsfoot and the like are all infringing on the use of WoTC's trademark.

Are we saying you should not be allowed to publish on paper but it's okay to publish electronically? Or should all D&D related matter be removed from the internet?


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

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 11:34 am 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:BRI-3 is now available from Ben Burns....

Ben is self-publishing pretty good quality 1E AD&D dungeons from his campaigns of yesteryear


Sorry about my question but... who is Ben Burns?

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 12:22 pm 
 

It is more than just publishing. It is selling your publication.


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

New modules for your Old School game http://pacesettergames.com/

Everything Pacesetter at http://pacesettergames.blog.com/

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 12:33 pm 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:I think if someone is going to publish we should all be behind them, otherwise the Acaeum and Dragonsfoot and the like are all infringing on the use of WoTC's trademark.

Are we saying you should not be allowed to publish on paper but it's okay to publish electronically? Or should all D&D related matter be removed from the internet?

Dragonsfoot might be another story, I don't know, because works are actually published there from time to time.  Because they publish material, they need to be more careful.  But I think an argument versus them is very thin, at best.

As far as I know, The Acaeum is not infringing anywhere.  It provides some general reference information, but it does not contain copyrighted material, nor does it make any claims against established trademarks.

It's not illegal to utilize another's trademark; it's illegal to claim it's your own.  It's not illegal to cite an excerpt from a copyrighted work for the purposes of discussion.  It's certainly not illegal to discuss the contents or aspects of a work in your own words.

The legal notice on the Front Desk page supports this nicely:
http://www.acaeum.com/frontdesk/credits.html

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 3:07 pm 
 

Yeah. There is a difference between cataloguing and publishing material. Dragonsfoot publishes material.

Anyway. I'm just flagging up the new publication. I'm happy to buy it and the bulk (almost 80%) of the non-TSR D&D stuff breached TSR's trademark. That's normal in the RPG market.

That's how stuff gets published. The trademark is just there to make sure TSR keeps its alpha company status.


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

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 3:30 pm 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:Yeah. There is a difference between cataloguing and publishing material. Dragonsfoot publishes material.

Anyway. I'm just flagging up the new publication. I'm happy to buy it and the bulk (almost 80%) of the non-TSR D&D stuff breached TSR's trademark. That's normal in the RPG market.

That's how stuff gets published. The trademark is just there to make sure TSR keeps its alpha company status.


I am curious about the 80% comment. What stuff are you referring to?


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

New modules for your Old School game http://pacesettergames.com/

Everything Pacesetter at http://pacesettergames.blog.com/

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 4:56 pm 
 

Well, off the top of my head, Scale Designs, Spellbinders Games, Arkwen Research Foundation, Archaic Structures, Baron Publishing, Balboa Inc., Dave Casciano, Claymore Games, John Scott Clegg, Felix Enterprises, Greg Flay, Inetrnational Gamers Association, Larry Leeds, Bob Liddil, Massconfusion, Mayfair Games (Role Aids), Judges Guild, Naios Publication, Mercury Games, Alan Patterson, TAG Industries, The Warwick Working Party, Matthew Whalley and Wilmark Dynasty all published items that infringe on one or more of TSR's trademarks.

Not to mention practically every fanzine ever published, and every internet dungeon and 'netbook' since.

TSR took Balboa Inc., Judges Guild, and Mayfair Games to court at various times for trademark infringement.

It is how things get published in this business. Is this news to people? Were we not aware of this?


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

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Post Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 7:27 am 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:WoTC wouldn't be able to enforce copyright over their trademarks (Dungeons & Dragons, DM, hit point, armour class, etc.)


Hit points and Armour Class are Trademarked ???

Are you sure? I thought it was stuff like "Greyhawk", "Mordenkainen" etc.

I bet you could dig out a pre D&D, non-tsr wargame that uses 'hit points' in its rules.

  

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Post Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 7:52 am 
 

TSR claimed trademark over the terms 'Dungeon Master', 'Armour Class', 'Hit Point' and the abreviations 'DM' and 'AC', as I recall. I don't know which of those have been overturned since the 80's. Certainly 'Dungeon Master' and 'DM' were upheld as TSR trademarks.

I imagine WoTC would be able to confirm which trademarks they still hold.

In any case, trademark violation is how things get published. You will note that TSR only ever pursued the companies that began to grow considerably, and even then, they only ever achieved a 'cease and desist' order. I don't believe they ever managed to affect a product recall against a 3rd party publisher.

Frank M should be able to confirm what TMs TSR held. Didn't you spend some time in the relevant 'compliance' department, Frank?


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Post Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 10:55 am 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:Well, off the top of my head, Scale Designs, Spellbinders Games, Arkwen Research Foundation, Archaic Structures, Baron Publishing, Balboa Inc., Dave Casciano, Claymore Games, John Scott Clegg, Felix Enterprises, Greg Flay, Inetrnational Gamers Association, Larry Leeds, Bob Liddil, Massconfusion, Mayfair Games (Role Aids), Judges Guild, Naios Publication, Mercury Games, Alan Patterson, TAG Industries, The Warwick Working Party, Matthew Whalley and Wilmark Dynasty all published items that infringe on one or more of TSR's trademarks.

Not to mention practically every fanzine ever published, and every internet dungeon and 'netbook' since.

TSR took Balboa Inc., Judges Guild, and Mayfair Games to court at various times for trademark infringement.

It is how things get published in this business. Is this news to people? Were we not aware of this?


I'll be the firs to acknowledge I don't know a great deal about numerous small time publishers. But I have never heard of at least half the people on that list.

Now at one time Judges Guild had license to produce stuff...not so sure about Mayfair, but I think they did too. TSR did give permission to others also, including MDG to produce AD&D and D&D materials in The Deck of Many Things of which I was editor at the time.

Now, I also never bought much non-TSR stuff because it was almost always garbage...TSR was surely more interested in the quality of publications as it could easily be abused. All they needed was some idiot publisher printing up an adventure loaded with drug abuse, sex or some other hot button problem.


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

New modules for your Old School game http://pacesettergames.com/

Everything Pacesetter at http://pacesettergames.blog.com/

 WWW  

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Post Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 11:36 am 
 

Who are MDG? I just don't recognise the abreviation.

TSR revoked nearly all 3rd party publishers licenses in the early 80's following a ruling by some court that TSR needed to demonstrate that it enforced it's trademerks in order to claim trademark over various elements of their game.

That's also why 'Approved for use with AD&D' disappeared.


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Post Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 12:16 pm 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:Who are MDG? I just don't recognise the abreviation.


Metro Detroit Gamers

  

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Post Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 12:33 pm 
 

I take it The Deck of Many Things was a licensed fanzine then? I haven't heard of it, but then I don't know much about fanzines.


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Post Posted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 1:01 pm 
 

In a similar vien, Kent Krumvieda is an experienced tournament DM, and has been fine tuning Loki's Wine, the Ghengis Con tourney for the eoght of the past nine years. He is now selling copies, along with his Tarracina city state and the Terror in Tarracina tournament.

The tourneys are very complexed and require a good DM to run them well, but they are well worth the money. The City State is his inhouse campaign setting. You'd probably be better off with a Judges Guild city state unless you're a collector and a completist at that.

You'll find his website link on Afterglow2 under 'Future Collectables'.



If you know someone who is publishing and deserves recognition, PM me.

.


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

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