Creating a Minesweeper-like-game copyrights

Anything to do with minesweeper...
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osamaaboelezz
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:38 am

Creating a Minesweeper-like-game copyrights

Post by osamaaboelezz » Fri Aug 19, 2011 6:26 pm

I want to create a game based on Minesweeper for a university project in which mines represents problems that players try to avoid. Anyway, for the copyrights issues, I tried to search for Microsoft Games copyrights and I reached this page for Microsoft Game Content Usage Rules http://www.xbox.com/en-US/Community/Developer/Rules.

However, I don't really understand if these rules only works on using game screenshot, music, and these "game content" materials or it works as well for using the "game concept" or game rules.

Any advice from Game developers who already made a Minesweeper clone on copyrights issue?

tomclegg
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: Creating a Minesweeper-like-game copyrights

Post by tomclegg » Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:44 pm

My experience:

I wrote a clone called "Yams" in 1990-92 (someone got me hooked on it in high school but I had an Atari ST instead of a PC clone so I had to write my own). The name is different but the game play is identical to the Windows 3.1 version, including the left/right click, chord, names/dimensions of the preset board sizes.

Nobody has hassled me (yet!) about copyrights or patents or anything.

Possible reasons, in estimated order of importance:
* No lawyers have found my program yet.
* Minesweeper IP is not valuable enough to pay lawyers to defend.
* I didn't call it Minesweeper or copy any text, graphics, code, etc.
* I'm not super rich so there's not much to gain by suing me.
* I never charged money for the program.

tepples
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Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:17 am

Re: Creating a Minesweeper-like-game copyrights

Post by tepples » Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:06 pm

I'm not a lawyer, and I don't know about other countries' laws, but the rules of a game are not subject to U.S. copyright. (Source: U.S. Copyright Office Form Letter FL108, citing Title 17, United States Code, section 102(b).) A particular wording of the rules is copyrighted, but when you implement them in a computer or write your own manual, you're putting them in your own words.

If KMines or GNOME Mines gets taken down, then you might be in trouble. But I don't see that happening any time soon.

EWQMinesweeper
Posts: 410
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:50 pm

Re: Creating a Minesweeper-like-game copyrights

Post by EWQMinesweeper » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:31 pm

i'll ask the makers of zombieminesweeper for some input on this. should have struck me so much earlier that their game has a non-free version and that should certainly have already made up their minds on the issue.
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