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Cosmic variant and legal implications


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#1 deeminllama

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 02:43 PM

Good day

 

I have sent the legal@fantasyflightgames.com a mail...quite...a while ago with still no response so I am trying my luck here.

 

I have designed a card version of Cosmic Encounters and I am looking for someone to tell me where I might be crossing the copyright law.

 

From what I know, in general and in short, one can not copyright an idea but one can however do so for the specific expression of an idea.  I can therefore not copy paste their artwork, manual etc.  In my version of the game I use all of my own designs and artwork, writing my very own manual from scratch, I introduce at least three new gameplay mechanics that changes how the game works etc.

 

The only thing I am essentially using is:

 

a. The basic idea behind the game.  There will be encounters and morph cards and alien powers...it is Cosmic Encounters afterall.  Does Mayfair or Fantasy Flights own the right/patent to, for example, "variable alien powers" like MTG has to "tapping"?  Or something similar?

b. Alien names will ofcourse be the same.  Does anyone know if they have copyright to  specific names?  I know Wizards have copyright on specific names in the DnD ruleset as they created them.

 

These are the only things I can see being a problem.

 

Any feedback would be very much appreciated.

 

Regards

 

Leon


Edited by deeminllama, 07 November 2013 - 02:46 PM.


#2 GrimJester

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 02:11 AM

I can't help you with the legal side, but my gut tells me that if you're using the name, concept and aliens, you should be getting permission first. Instead of going at it alone, why don't you see if FF will publish/develop it?



#3 deeminllama

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 12:54 PM

Good day GrimJester

 

Thank you kindly for the response.

 

Funny enough: the idea was to sell..my idea...to Fantasy Flights.  The problem is that I live in South Africa.  I will not soon, if ever, be able to aford to go to the yearly game conventions.  I have heard that one can apparently approach/demo your game ideas to representatives there.  They are the company who introduced me to the game so I my idea was to mail them the prototype and go "Hey, try this.  Its a card game of Cosmic that is about 20 dollars cheaper to make without loosing any of the gameplay".

 

I was/am just afraid that if it arrives on their doorstep they sue me for some kind of copyright infringement whilst I am not simply copying and pasting.  I am doing my own artwork, changing the game mechanics etc.

 

Do you perhaps know what/how I can approach them to see if they will publish/develop it? Is there a channel that I have perhaps missed?

 

Regards

 

Leon






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