Star Probe and the Public Domain: Analysis and Discussion Nov 7, 2021 21:03:21 GMT -6 Zenopus and son of bear like this
Post by dicebro on Nov 7, 2021 21:03:21 GMT -6
I am interested in having a friendly discussion about some of the early TSR games and the possibility that any of them have fallen into the public domain due to failure to comply with the Applicable Copyright Laws effective after the initial time of publication and before the statutory termination.
Why am I interested? It’s because I enjoy reading copyright laws and I am a player of those classic TSR games. I also enjoy researching IP law, discussing IP law and educating myself. I would also like to know if any of those early TSR games could possibly be publicly owned.
Despite a somewhat bizarre and defamatory allegation by a member of this board in a previous post, I do not intend to engage in piracy. Put simply Copyright infringers and IP pirates do not engage in open discussions about the law. They aren’t interested in the law. Further there is nothing illegal, or unethical, about having a discussion about early TSR games and educating ourselves about what may have prematurely fallen into the public domain, or why they have not. I have no personal stake in this field of discussion other than seeking knowledge.
My background. I am a lawyer who has retired from government service with over 20 years experience in a separate field of the law. I do not practice in the field of IP law. I will not be using this forum to seek legal advice. Nor will I dispense any.
The intent of this forum thread is purely for discussion of those TSR games initially published during the purview of the United States Copyright Act of 1909. That Statute is an interesting read. I would like to discuss its provisions, the case law interpreting it, and conduct an analysis under various sets of hypotheticals. This is a purely educational endeavor and I am not here claiming to be an expert. I am here to discuss and learn.
If you are interested in this, then may we have a friendly discussion?
I would like to begin with one of my favorite games: Star Probe authored by Col. John Snider, US Army Retired. The TSR game known as Star Probe is a fascinating work that was initially published in 1974 by a partnership entity known then as Tactical Studies Rules. I would like to discuss the legal question of whether or not this game fell into the public domain.
The public domain analysis is a little different than the infringement analysis. But there are many parallels.
I hope this post clears up any misunderstandings about my intent.