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The Cult project - Technical issues (copyright, IP etc.) 
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Executioner

Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2003 9:34 pm
Posts: 192
Location: Denmark
MartialArtist brought up the issue of IP, copyrights etc. in relation to the Cult Rewrite project. Now, I'm not a lawyer, so I could be missing something when I read GW's guidelines on the use of their IP etc., which is available on their homepage (just follow the link to the "Legal" part, and there you have it all).

When I read over the various issues that GW mention, the issues that I believe will be the most important issues to take into account, when making the Cult army and any eventual background for it is:


- Make any direct copies and/or scans of Games Workshop publications, images, or other materials. This includes any Out-o- Production materials, web site materials, and White Dwarf articles. We would however suggest that you produce your own materials (as long as you follow the other requirements of this policy).


Basically we can't use any of the official artwork made by GW, and we can't do any "Copy-Paste" of existing fluff. One could argue that we could potentially rewrite it, so as to maintain the official message, but not copy the material, but I'd have to say that I think that this might be threading on dangerous ground/thin ice. What I believe that we can do, however, is create fluff and background material that builds upon the existing fluff, and complements it. Thus we could flesh out the background for the Cult by adding additional historical "facts" and stories, but we can not copy it into existing material directly.


- Create, distribute, or use any material that is not consistent with the functionality, atmosphere, and parameters of the Warhammer universe as created and owned by Games Workshop

This one might be the hardest one not to get in conflict with, because GW basically, for the time being at least, have decided that they want to keep the Druchii distinct from Chaos so as to avoid creating "Chaos Elves". One way they have done this, is by moving away from the focus on Slaanesh as a God actively being worshiped by the Druchii, and in stead introduce a new Elven Pantheon, and (as I recall) generally refer to the Cult as the Cult of Pleasure. Basically steps that seem to distance the Druchii from Slaanesh and the Chaos Gods.
However, I believe that we can get around this issue by focusing on the Cult as the Cult of Pleasure, and by marrying the worship of Atharti with the Cult. This also opens up the logical step of "examining" the Druchii worship of the various Deities. To maintain Slaanesh as a power worshiped by some Druchii within the Cult, the, in my eyes, logical step would be to also examine the relationship between Atharti and Slaanesh respectively, and then find a way to perhaps introduce a sort of "slippery slope" leading towards Slaanesh and higher and higher levels of depravity.


- Create, distribute, or use any material that is derogatory, obscene, or offensive.
- Create, distribute, or use any material that devalues any Games Workshop product in any way.


I don't think that this should be a problem in any way, but it's probably worth keeping in mind when writing fluff and making descriptions of the Cult practices.


We would ask you not to take direct scans or copies of our maps. We suggest that you create your own equivalents. Again, please avoid reproducing our trademarks.


Basically we can't copy the official artwork for the world maps, if we should want to point out specific locations of great importance for the Cult specifically. We can, however, describe their location in relation to other existing points on the official maps, and I believe that we would be allowed to create our own artwork depicting the Warhammer World, added the Cult related sites we might want. Creating a loose copy of the official "mapwork" along with a few additions might be skirting the edge of what might be allowed (even though I seriously doubt that GW would object to a playermade copy of their map, added some additional sites).



Photos of Painted Models

We encourage fellow hobbyists to show off their painting skills by taking photos of their miniatures and putting the on the site. Please remember to correctly credit the IP - "miniature © Games Workshop 2003. All rights reserved. Used without permission - model painted by xxxxxxx"


Shouldn't be a problem, but it's something that we would have to remember, if we want to include pictures of painted GW miniatures or GW miniature based conversions for the Cult army.


Background

Background text is a major part of the hobby and writing your own is almost as much fun as reading it. Please remember to use the correct trademark disclaimer somewhere on your site, zip file and/or document. We would also ask that at the top of the material you state something equivalent to the following: "Death Ravine" an unofficial story by K. Roundtree derived, without permission, upon the Warhammer intellectual property owned by Games Workshop Ltd." Please note that we consider any background material you write to be a work which is derivative of our intellectual property. As such, you should refrain from putting any notice claiming that anyone other than Games Workshop Ltd has any right over Games Workshop-owned intellectual property or derivatives thereof.


Self-explanatory I believe.


Rules

We encourage fellow hobbyists to invent rules that work for them. There is no need to stick precisely to the published rules. However, if you are thinking about making your own Codex for your Space Marine chapter (in addition to following the other guidelines in this policy), please avoid making it look official as this may confuse gamers and amount to a challenge to our trademarks. Also, do not copy our official publications or documents.[i]


This one's worth remembering.


[i]Conversions

Conversions are a major aspect of the hobby, although in intellectual property terms, they also constitute a major infringement. However, we are certainly not about to stop people making cool conversions of our products, although, there are certain things to keep in mind:

Please do not combine our intellectual properties with IP owned by any third parties.
Your conversions should be one-time, unique masterpieces of hobby goodness. Do not create a production run of conversions for sale. Whilst infringing our IP, this is also simply not hobby.


This one also speaks for itself I believe (and I'll refrain from commenting on my personal view on the issue of using 3rd party IP miniatures along with GW IP ones to create interesting conversions...).


Fonts

Unfortunately, GW cannot allow third parties to use our trademarks without properly crediting our ownership, lest they be damaged. With fonts, it is difficult, if not impossible, to use the marks and credit Games Workshop as rightful owners. Accordingly, do not use our IP in relation to fonts.


To be honest, I'm not really certain what GW mean by this. If anyone with actual legal knowledge can comment on this, pls. do so.


[i]Out-of-Print Material

Please do not scan, copy, or republish any out-of-print (OOP) materials. It may be that in the future we reuse or license out the use of this material.[i]


Arguably this one is the biggest problem, because you could argue that it essentially prevents us from actually making an update of the 6th ed. Cult army list, since GW at some unknown point in the future might make a Cult army list again, or license the right to do so to a 3rd party. The main question I see, however, is just how one should interpret "copy". Obviously a straight "Copy-Paste" of the old Cult army list, word for word, visual setup etc. would be a problem. But would what we are trying to do also be considered to be "copying" the out-of-print Cult army list? I'm unfortunately tempted to say "Yes", but on the other hand it could well become a question of how much we change the army, compared with the version GW released for the Storm of Chaos. Again, if anyone has actual legal knowledge of how this particular issue should be interpreted, pls. comment.


Finally, any eventually finished Cult Armybook must start off with some sort of disclaimer that makes clear that it's an unofficial and unlicensed work based on GW's IP rights, and that no infringements etc. is intended. Or however something like that should be written...


Sat Nov 15, 2008 4:37 pm
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Black Guard
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Also not a lawyer, and while I had a lecture in basics of IP law last year I have nor memory of details of it, nor time to check my notes right now. So following comments come rather from what I gathered and believe to be true of GW additude to unofficial supplements, looking at both profit (like Lord of Winter supplement for polish ed of WFRP) and non-profit ones (like many currently available on the net... including Fishmen armylist :roll: ).

BTW - as I uderstand it, paragraph referencing to fonts simply means that official GW fonts cannot be used in unofficial products, as they believe there is no other sufficing way of securing their IP in this case.

That's all as for my legal knowlege, what's to follow comes rather from my common-sense assumptions.



1. I belive GW puts restrictions for a reason, and it's to protect its profit by disallowing:
- blatant plagiarism
- making commercial products not aproved by GW
- making people believe WFB (or any other GW game or setting) is something else than it is (and by this discouraging form buying GW products).


2. Unofficial materials are generally endorsed by GW (as even their 'legal text' shows in places) - unless they believe it hurts their interest, they allow it, even though they could forbid it.


3. As our project is non profit we might benefit from more liberal additude than those who do commercial products linked to GW creations; Also, as we try to keep faith to 'warhammer feel' and background, there is little risk of having problems with GW in that regard.


4. What (as already elaborated by Kyrel) we should definitly do is:

- mark GW copyright and IP where owned
- do not copy art nor exact text of background
- do not include rules from official ABs


5. Because of that, what IMO we also need to do is to write our army list in format similar to the one Storm of Chaos took, so like this:

"Except when noted otherwise, all entries have point costs, stats, special rules and options as decribed in respective armybooks (given at each entry).

Marauder Warlord - 100 pts
Equippement: Light armour, hand weapon
Rules: Mere Mortal
<Stats, options and other rules as Exalted Champion (WoC AB)>

[...]

Daemonettes (DoC AB)

[...]

DE Crossbowmen (DE AB)
- May have Mark of Slaanesh for 5 pts

[...]"
etc.


While anyone having access to ABs needed may write down a complete version of this list, we should not put such thing for open access on the net; that would IMO be the thing to meet with GW's disaprooval.


6. What I believe we can safely do is:

- use official names from WH world (with appropriate credits/disclaimers given)

- use our own version (that is: drawn by one of us) of Naggaroth map (or other land should need be)

- include our own art, witch uses GW symolics/background (such as symbol of Slaanesh)

- use modified version of 6th ed list (not a copy-paste version)

- paraphrase some parts of official fluff (1st perspective narrator might help, just in case of any inconstencies with offical fluff, as one could always asume such narrator simply has limited/false view)

- develope background beyond it's official part


- also, in particular, I see no IP rights problem in including Slaanesh worshipping among DE; not only does a lot of earlier GW background describe that, but it's also in still official (as in: aprooved by GW and currently sold by BL) publication (Liber Chaotica).



So to sum things up:

- it's not as much as what GW can disallow, as what GW wants/can be bothered to disallow

- we give due credits to GW & all legal disclaimers needed

- it's an unofficial project and described as such

- it's a non-profit project

- it's in no way a stand-alone armybook. One will have to get hold of three official ABs (DE, DoC, WoC) to make use of it, so, would it have any real infulence on GW profits, it would be helping them rather than hurting.


Conclusion: as an unofficial fan-project we have much more freedom than creators of official WFB supplements or licenced products (such as WAR). Should we have any doubts, we can always send a copy/link to GW and ask 'hey, we've come up with this and put it on the site; is it ok for it to stay there?'


Sun Nov 16, 2008 12:15 am
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Corsair
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Kyrel wrote:
We encourage fellow hobbyists to invent rules that work for them. There is no need to stick precisely to the published rules. However, if you are thinking about making your own Codex for your Space Marine chapter (in addition to following the other guidelines in this policy), please avoid making it look official as this may confuse gamers and amount to a challenge to our trademarks. Also, do not copy our official publications or documents.[i]

This one's worth remembering.


Weenth wrote:
5. Because of that, what IMO we also need to do is to write our army list in format similar to the one Storm of Chaos took, so like this:

"Except when noted otherwise, all entries have point costs, stats, special rules and options as decribed in respective armybooks (given at each entry).

Marauder Warlord - 100 pts
Equippement: Light armour, hand weapon
Rules: Mere Mortal
<Stats, options and other rules as Exalted Champion (WoC AB)>

[...]

Daemonettes (DoC AB)

[...]

DE Crossbowmen (DE AB)
- May have Mark of Slaanesh for 5 pts

[...]"
etc.

While anyone having access to ABs needed may write down a complete version of this list, we should not put such thing for open access on the net; that would IMO be the thing to meet with GW's disaprooval.


Damn, that's annoying, seeing as I've just spent several hours this weekend creating such an armylist with all of the profiles, weapons options, points values etc. for our new armylist (but so far only done stuff imported from DE and DoC books, plus the stuff we've made up (eg. Marauder warlord) as I don't yet own the new WoC so Knights, Warriors, Marauders etc. don't have the correct information.

I see that we are a little stuck here in terms of changing this, but could we at least TRY and get approval to publish the proper rules etc. and not just have references to the GW AB's? Of course I could always just use the document that I've made just for myself, but I put a lot of work in and it would be so much more useful for the general public if they didn't have to buy 3 separate AB's just to use our new rules... I know this might not be so popular with GW, but if we could convince them that people would just buy more models if they wanted to use our rules and stuff...

MA

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Sun Nov 16, 2008 1:06 am
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Executioner

Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2003 9:34 pm
Posts: 192
Location: Denmark
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Ya. That one is annoying. Basically I believe that there are two aspects in that particular requirement:

1) We can't make it look too much like the other army books out there. We can get around that by changing visual setup, so that we don't use the same fonts and layout as the normal army books. This I'm not too concerned with. It'll require some additional work on our part, but it's not insurmountable.

2) Just how far can we go with regards to reproducing the rules and stats for the various troop entries? This one is potentially the most troublesome issue, because arguably it prevents us from displaying the stats and rules for any entries which uses the official GW rules for them. And arguably this includes the rules from the Storm of Chaos material, despite the fact that it's out of print at this point.

I'm not really sure if and how we can get around this issue. Arguably it's usually easier to receive forgiveness than permission, but we are dealing with legal issues pertaining to IP and Copyrights belonging to a multinational company that will undoubtedly defend it's legal rights tooth and nail, if it needs to. While I don't believe that GW would actively go after the throat of a handful of fans and gamers, that out of their love of one of GW's games have updated an outdated armylist and produced some IP derived background material for the Warhammer world, it is a gamble, and the question is where the legal boundary lies with regards to where GW is forced to "come after" the perpetrators in order to maintain their various rights, and where they can make do with a simple "cease and desist" e-mail message to the people that made the offending material.

/Kyrel


Sun Nov 16, 2008 2:01 am
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Black Guard
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From what I saw to happen with material published on the net and using GW copyright material:

1. Good news is:

- should GW feel what we publish is not right, they will ask us to remove it before taking any other legal action; At least that's what happened in case of other situations not involving making profit on such material - large portions of soon-to-be-released ABs or pictures of miniatures to come. I belive this simply comes from the fact, that if sending an e-mail is enough, there's no need to pay the lawyer. ;)

- nowadays GW seems to be more liberal with what info from ABs can get into the net; maybe has something to do with their decision to publish stats on their site

- we can get away with using just names of the rules from official ABs, also - probably, though would check with GW before doing it - we might get away with as much as publishing stats;


2. Problems are:

- we surely cannot publish official point values

- we cannot publish full wording of rules included in official ABs

- we might have problems if we 'copy/paste' (now unavailable) SoC material


3. What I believe we can do to help that:

- include both 'referenced armylist' and space for a 'fill it in yourself' type armylist (pages with layout, art, legal info on units - like names - and otherwise empty tables/space left); this would both allow those with access to original ABs get it all in one place for ease of reference, and at the same time keep us away from publishing unallowed copyright material (also, including a comment that such is the purpose of these pages would be neede IMO)

- replace references to 6th ed CoS with references to easily available sources, eg:

Devoted
<stats, point value of single trooper and command group options as Har Ganeth Executioners (DE AB), except:
# +1 I on top of that
# Mistress (champion) may have Speed of Slaanesh for 10 pts
# Standard Bearer may carry a Magic Standard chosen from the Common, Dark Elf or Slaanesh magic items lists, worth up to 50 pts>


Equippement:
two hand weapons

Special rules:
Eternal Hatred, Mark of Slaanesh, Narcotic Fumes


- We can easily deal with Anointed in the same way and other entries already have references in current ABs

- I believe we may inculde general army rules(such as: 'general must be a Supreme Sorceress, or Sorceress if no SS present') in full, as these will be a bit different to original CoS. It would be hard to paraphrase each and one of general rules and still keep their clarity, but we should try it in each case where it is possible.

- What's otherwise left to deal with are Anointed gifts from CoS and 6th ed HoC book; I believe we might try to simply parapharse them (we also do need to change names of two of them not to other double 7th ed gifts) and include in such form in our document - as these are just few paragraphs of not-up-to-date rules, I hope we won't have problem because of that


Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:02 am
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Executioner

Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2003 9:34 pm
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I think that when it comes to the layout and exactly how we describe the different units we'll have to play around with some options, when we get a little further in the process.

We agree that we can't outright copy-paste official information from the various armybooks and Storm of Chaos, but I think that we might be able to get away with listing stats and point values for Cult specific units like the Devoted and Anointed. But I could be wrong.


Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:31 pm
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Corsair
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I still think that we should try and contact GW, make them aware of our project, and see if they will grant us permission to reproduce the rules (just some points values, stats, and maybe copy the exact wording of a couple of special rules) etc. on the basis that it will make it easier for those wishing to play the Cult and more
Cult players means more DE players buying Daemon and Mortal models, hence GW profits.

Failing that, I see Weenth's idea as a good second option, where we simply reproduce a "blank" army list with all of the structure in place and simply leave the players to borrow a friends book and fill in the stats. This is still okay for the player as they don't have to buy new books to get the rules, but is still worth seeing if we can be given permission to give out the full thing. If this blank option was taken, do you think things like "May take the Mark Of Slaanesh for +15 points" would be accepted? If so, than my document minus the stats and point costs for the actual models could work fine, with blank spaces for the players to fill them in.

MA

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Strike hard and fast, but strike silently.

Revive the Cult! http://www.druchii.net/viewtopic.php?t= ... sc&start=0


Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:55 am
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Executioner

Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2003 9:34 pm
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Location: Denmark
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I'm fairly certain that if we ask GW for permission to make this book at this point, then we will get a "No". The reason I believe this to be the case, is that we do not have a finished product to show them, and hence it is basically impossible for them to determine what they might or might not approve. Yes. We can ask them specifically for the permission to reproduce some stats and rules for some specific units. Unfortunately I don't believe that they will permit that, because it will mean that they will enter dangerous ground with regards to maintaining their various IP rights, and giving us permission to reproduce some of their rules can set a dangerous precedent, which I don't believe that they can allow. At least I wouldn't allow it, if I was the one to make the decision for GW.

Making the "empty template" version that people can then "fill out" with the real stats on their own, might or might not be acceptable. In the end I believe that it would depend on the exact layout, compared with the one GW uses for their own armybooks. Basically I'd have to say that if we get too close to the look they use, then we will be in violation of the point concerning the look of the product. Assuming that we can get a layout that can't be confused with an official GW one, then it's probably a fair way to go, even if it's probably on the edge. But I'd need to see a concrete example in order to make up my mind on this.

Our best bet (though it is rather labor intensive), I think, is probably to create the armybook, and then prior to it's "release", contact GW, let them have a look at it, and then see if we can get them to point out anything we'll need to change, in order for it to be acceptable for them. However, we do run the risk of creating the book only to have them tell us that we can't use any of the stuff we've made, regardless of how good it might be. (Alternatively we just make it and release it, and if they find it and have any objections to it, then I've no doubt that they will ask us to remove it from public access.)


Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:16 pm
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Corsair
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Kyrel wrote:
Our best bet (though it is rather labor intensive), I think, is probably to create the armybook, and then prior to it's "release", contact GW, let them have a look at it, and then see if we can get them to point out anything we'll need to change, in order for it to be acceptable for them. However, we do run the risk of creating the book only to have them tell us that we can't use any of the stuff we've made, regardless of how good it might be.


I'm actually all for this. I see it as the best chance we have to get a "proper" list up and not some templates or something. It might be a total waste of time, but I'm happy to accept the risk. IF we do it well, I think the GW guys would recognize all we put into it, and we'd have a reasonable chance of getting the best result possible. All effort to the Cult!!

MA

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Strike hard and fast, but strike silently.

Revive the Cult! http://www.druchii.net/viewtopic.php?t= ... sc&start=0


Tue Nov 18, 2008 8:25 am
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