[casual_games] RE: game copyright
Lionel barret De Nazaris
lionel.bdn at free.fr
Fri Nov 11 04:07:20 EST 2005
Kim Pallister wrote:
> 1. Re: game copyright (Lennard Feddersen)
> Having a microsoft.com domain on my email address, I'll just don the
> flame-retardant suit before clicking send :-)
This as nothing to do with you microsoft domain (have you nice jobs
offer ?) but i am afraid you'll need it. read below.
> Wow, this has been a really interesting thread. I'm not sure I have
> anything conclusive to add, but I do think there are a couple
> observations that might help frame the discussion:
> 1 - There's a difference between copyright (a name, a concept) & patent
> (an artistic work - which can be defined as anything from a name like
> 'snapple' to a story 'a man bitted by a radioactive spider develops
> spider-like powers and uses them to fight crime'). A lot of the
> contention around game-related patent issues has to do with disagreement
> about whether the "magic" in a game's success belongs in one bucket or
> the other (i.e. is it game mechanic or game content? Or both?)
You confuse many issue there. Your description of patent is simply *wrong*.
A *patent* is a set of exclusive rights
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exclusive_right> granted by a state
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State> to a person for a fixed period of
time in exchange for the regulated, public disclosure of certain details
of a device, method, process or substance (known as an invention
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invention>) which is new
A patent is about a technology. period.
It cannot be "an artistic work which can be defined as anything from a
name like 'snapple' to a story 'a man bitted by a radioactive spider
develops spider-like powers and uses them to fight crime'"
This is *an idea* wich is very different from a patent. You cannot
What you protect is *your brand* (the name "Spiderman" and some
caracteristics like spiderman outfit, the spiderman font and so on).
> 2 - This is one man's opinion, but the difference between software and
> hardware patents is largely pedantic. Inventing a mechanism to serve a
> function or solve a problem is the patentable idea. Building it in SW or
> HW is an implementation decision. (It's an aside, but this distinction
> will become increasingly blurry in the 'custom fab' generation)
Wrong ! Sorry to be blunt but this is simply wrong. implementation in
programming is only *disguised math*. How could you patent mathematical
On the other hand, implementation in hardware means solving specific
(often unique) problems. The protection given by patent is a trade off
for having a record of theses uniques solutions.
Before the patent systems, many solutions were lost. The patent systems
has been built to address this problem.
> 3 - It's important to distinguish between the role of patents(&USPTO)
> and the abuse of the patent system. There is plenty of mis-use of the
> system which makes a strong case for fixing the system or finding an
> alternative, but that doesn't mean there isn't a role for protecting IP
> & inventors of that IP.
The USPTO is clearly under financed, understaffed, under qualified. The
"prior art" condition is very rarely checked.
But more to the point, many economist think that patent as a tool is no
longer useful. There is no more risk of loosing invention.
Patent is only a legal weapon for big company. It doesn't serve the
society as a whole, even on long term.
case 1 ) You have a small company. You have a patent. you cannot do
anything against a big player who use your tech. you don't have pocket
deep enough to fight *and win*.
case 2) You have a small company. You have a patent. which indirectly
use a big player (dubious) patent..you don't have pocket deep enough to
fight *and win*..
case 3) You have a big company. You have a patent. you have pocket deep
enough to fight *and win*. That's could be useful.
Sadly, no politicians would reduce the area of the patent systems. The
big companies are the main sponsors of the political life of the USA.
Small companies doesn't give money.
> Just adding fuel to the fire here. Hope this helps.
Not really, but you're welcome. ;)
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