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Legal questions about games



So let me have something better defined to take to legal.

It seems to me that we've got three different categories:

1. Straight rip-offs of copyrighted games that we know are being defended.  
Tetris falls into this category.  The answer is clearly no.

2. Straight rip-offs of copyrighted games for which no known policy by 
the copyright holder is clear.  If someone comes up with "PyStratego" 
using the PyGames libs, is it acceptable or not?  My guess is "probably 
no."

3. Games that mimic other licensed games, but use different names.  Lots 
of precedent here for safety.  We shipped freeciv in RHL forever; 
similarly, Reversi is a well-known workaround for the copyright of 
Othello.  My guess is that we've got more room here.

If I ask counsel about these three game categories, will that likely be 
sufficient?

And I'd much rather not shunt these games out to Livna unless *absolutely*
necessary.  I think that being able to install cool games for Fedora
straight out of box is a big win for us.

--g

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On Mon, 25 Apr 2005, Tom 'spot' Callaway wrote:

> On Mon, 2005-04-25 at 20:10 +0200, Michael Schwendt wrote:
> 
> > Lawyers (or authorities at Red Hat) would need to comment on "clones" and
> > "remakes" of such games.
> 
> This almost certainly needs to be a legal review item:
> 
> "Are clones of existing trademarked games legally permissable for Fedora
> Extras?"
> 
> It may almost be safer to just let those packages live in Livna.
> 
> ~spot
> -- 
> Tom "spot" Callaway: Red Hat Sales Engineer || GPG Fingerprint: 93054260
> Fedora Extras Steering Committee Member (RPM Standards and Practices)
> Aurora Linux Project Leader: http://auroralinux.org
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