Read Me First - The rules of "...here be dragons"

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Read Me First - The rules of "...here be dragons"

Post by S W Dickson on Sun Dec 06, 2009 12:22 pm

I would like to take the opportunity to welcome you to "...here be dragons", a new forum created to design new wargames, with the onus on "open" material.

Please feel free to join in the discussions, help create a community-led set of wargaming rules that will be supported and published for free online and possibly, in the future as a tome of knowledge available to the masses in print format. Whilst doing so, as this has been created with the purpose of a community-led and open-source game, I would ask you to endeavor not to list protected IP works. If your ideas, pictures, writing or anything is published as part of the ruleset, it will be under the protection of a Creative Commons license - if you cannot agree to this, then perhaps it is not for you.

The concept is to not make money from the rules, and any we do make by additional sales of T-shirts or that sort of thing will be for the upkeep of the community and future expenses. This is not a business venture.


What you can and can't do
Using a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license, any work found here or as part of any future undertaking will be free to distribute in a non-commercial manner, but must always state the source. This means that you could print out a couple of copies for your mates, but if you bulk printed and sold at a car-boot sale for more than the cost of paper and printing, you'd be going against the rules. This would protect the hard work by the people who gave their talents in the first place. It would also allow you to muck about with the source as much as you like for your own ends, as long as you released it under the same license.

Creative Commons is not a replacement for current copyright laws, more of a clarification of them for people who want to publish for the good of everyone, rather than limit their uses. We could have made it public domain and free from copyright altogether, but as we saw the possibility of big businesses, authors, etc, being able to draw upon this potential resource and making real money with it, without inputting anything to the community it is meant to support, we figured the non-commercial clause was needed. This is not to say that we would not consider an alternative arrangement with a third party if and when that occurs. If someone was to want to take the works into film, animation, computer gaming or anything similar, then that could be arranged. Media being what it is today - reliant on fan material as well as professional studio quality works - we would be crazy to disallow fans to create their own stuff based on our work. Anything that adds further dimensions to an interesting concept is always good, but we are not blind to the fact that any artistic work requires protection of some description, and this is the best fit at the moment.

If you are unsure if what you want to do is legal when it involves the matter featured here, then please do contact us. If you redistribute, without license, the works here for monetary gain, then we'd have a problem. If you make a derivative work, without license, for monetary gain, then we'd have a problem. If you mention us and talk in detail about the work on a public webspace, and even base your personal avatars on our artwork, that'd be cool. If you make a videogame mod for free using our worlds, then that'd be cool. The reason a developer would have to give us money to make a game is simple - we get cash to support our webspace, and help recruit more of the community, and they get a chance to make lots of money off a professionally designed game using interesting new worlds that they didn't have to develop themselves.

The understanding of the exact nature of the Creative Commons license is essential fr creating work for the project. There are many rules regarding copyright, and for us to be able to be the progressive side of IP, then we must also make sure that we are clean as a whistle ourselves. Whilst a lot of Fantasy and Sci-fi work is obviously derivative, there are a lot of areas we don't want to go. Make sure you have a unique piece of work with no copyright infringement.

1. Be careful of your source material. If you use any image that you have not created from scratch yourself, then be aware of any copyright that may be surrounding it. Some images are in the public domain, but not a lot. Most have some degree of licensing to go with them. This also includes embedded fonts, symbols and designs. Even photographs of toys are copyrightable - especially if it is specifically of that as subject matter. If your source is licensed through a Creative Commons license, we would prefer to use those that are not under the "non-commercial" banner. A little weird since thats the terms of our own, but we would like the opportunity to keep any proceeds of any products we sell for money within the community, not out to third-parties.

2. Think about how you came to a decision to write/draw something a certain way. If it is close to someone elses copyrighted/patented design, then that could be infringement. If you simply drew it that way through a natural exercise of sketching, design, thought, then that should be fine, and any similarities are excused through pure coincidence. It is still best if it looks too much like alien (a) from film (b), then maybe it should be looked at closer. We have not the funds to defend a legal case.

3. Do not post copyrighted works on the site. Even for a comparison. If you must show something off that has copyright attached, link to its site, do not embed an image, or quote from text.

4. If you feel that something here does infringe on someone elses copyright, speak up. We're all human, and we have not all seen every possible film, read every book, or seen everything on the internet. Keep us a community. Accidents can happen.

Here are some links that you may find useful regarding this complex matter -

Legal stuff
Creative Commons
Chilling Effects

Resources
Open Font Library
Open Clipart
MorgueFile (Free CC Images)
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S W Dickson
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Posts : 228
Join date : 2009-12-06
Age : 40
Location : Terra Incognita

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