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[Enigma-devel] Re: Oxyd revival

From: Cellar of Rats
Subject: [Enigma-devel] Re: Oxyd revival
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 10:42:41 +0200

There are a lot of misunderstandings with copyrights, so allow a few comments from a member of entertainment industry. First and foremost, copyrights protect expressions of ideas, not the ideas themselves. So from that standpoint there is no copyright infringement with Enigma. Secondly, copyright is a right that gives the owner of the content exclusive rights to decide how, when and where will their material be published. By publishing is understood any release to general public, like posting to internet. Since Enigma is written from scratch, uses original artwork and sounds, there is no copyright infringement from that standpoint either. Thirdly, copyrights are set for certain regions including entire world. Since you are not limiting the download of Enigma for german users only, it is assumed that you are distributing it for entire world. There is one small problem, though. The "expression of ideas". This can be very ambiguous in the case of Enigma. Oxyd is a very unique game. It has unique concepts of gameplay, and it could be argued that Enigma is a derivative of Oxyd with substantial amount of similar parts. However, proving that would demand lawsuits and large amounts of money which, I firmly believe, is in no one's interest here. The worst thing that can happen, hypothetically, is that a software giant picks up the rights for Oxyd and sues Enigma. And in that case the worst thing that can happen is for Enigma project to be shut down. Hypothetical worst case scenario. By the way, a patent and a copyright are not the same. Game ideas *can* be patented. Anything can be patented.

Erich Schubert writes:
didn't violate any trademarks AFAIK.  And I doubt that game ideas can be

Well, of course this could change soon (stupid patent laws coming
up... stop software patents, ensure interoperability!), but I asked
Ravensburger some years ago about an online "Memory" type game I made.
They quickly replied to me that they have a trademark on the Memory
game, so I must not use that name, but the game principle is not
All parties mentioned here - Ravensburger, me (ok, not right now, but
back then), Dongleware 8the makers of oxyd) and AFAIC the main authors
of enigma are based in germany, so that is most likely the legal
situation for us. IANAL.

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