Re: materials the user can alter

From: Mike Holderness <mch[_at_]>
Date: Fri, 6 Sep 96 20:31 BST-1

Greg Yukl <gyukl[_at_]> asked:
> <long questions follow^H^H^H^H^H^H snipped>
> Suppose someone writes some sort of computer based starship combat
> game. Suppose further that the game does not use any copyrighted terms
> or images but does allow the user to easily change the terms and images
> used in the game.
> The tool itself does not use any terms from the
> series, but does allow the user to customize the terms it uses.
> Further, the tool does not have any apparent use or value other than
> for use with this game, and changing the terms used to the terms from
> the game (copyrighted in turn by the licensing company) would be
> necessary for the user to conveniently use it. Would the programmer
> be in violation of copyright if he were to distribute this tool as
> freeware on the net? Would he be in violation if he were to use the
> tool (already customized to include copyrighted terms) in the presence
> of a group of his friends? Would users of this tool be in violation
> of copyright when they did the customization?

Umm... are the users *really* going to type in all those names by hand?

If not, you need to take a look at Lotus vs. Brown Bag Software. BB's VP-Pro spreadsheet was twice as fast and half the price of Lotus 1-2-3 Release 2. You started it, it looked like itself. You went through a few operations to customise the menus, it looked like 1-2-3. I don't remember how far through the trial and appeals process it went, but BB withdrew it from sale in ca. 1990 after losing somewhere...


Mike Holderness
<mch[_at_]> Received on Fri Sep 06 1996 - 19:34:54 GMT

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