Joachim Breitner

Copyright infringement without Lawyers

Published 2006-01-26 in sections English, Digital World.

As blogged previously, I wrote a mobile phone version of the game "taboo" called tapu, for personal use. But as I like to share my work, I put the game with code and cards on my website. I did know that I most likely infringed someones copyright there, but I hoped that it was minor enough for them to not care.

Well, someone did care. To my honour, it was the original author of taboo, Brian Hersch, who personally mailed me that he wants to contact me, and in an second mail requested removal of the copyright infringement, which I of course did immediately.

Why am I blogging this? Because you don't need expensive lawyers to fix your problems, if a simple mail does it too. So before you send your legal team to someone, ask him first directly, and let them keep their money...


What exactly was the copyright infringement? Just the words?
#1 beza1e1 (Homepage) am 2006-01-27
I did not ask, but I assume it is mostly for the work. AFAIK, game ideas are not copyrightable.

Maybe I will republish the code names as "GCGC" (General Card Games with Counters), so you can play any game that shows cards with some words for some time and counts points for two teams, that should be on the safe side.
#2 Joachim Breitner (Homepage) am 2006-01-27
for copy right,

if words are home-made, there is no copy right?

also, how can he stop you?

your product is software, not a board game , no 100% imitation?

what do you thing?
#3 nunoGomez (Homepage) am 2006-01-31
Right, the infringement was the world list that I copied from the German board game. The game code itself would probably not make problems, nor would home made world lists do.
#4 Joachim Breitner (Homepage) am 2006-02-01
He must publish his copyright or an web link to refer his right
#5 Anonymous am 2006-01-31
do you think to improve this?

adding board?

i sent my friends this game?

what is the risk for copyright ?

Do you think to make this work commercial?

selling this game no such game on the net?

your software more usable than this

i think many people had wanted to write mobile version of this game?

problem of that is Brian Hersch?

#6 hallederiz am 2006-02-01

I don't think there is a risk to send it to your friend, as long as it is no "distribution", just like it is safe to pass music CDs to your friends. I currently do not plan to enhance or commercially use that game, as I currently don't even have a mobile phone that it can run on :-)

I hope that answers your questions,


#7 Joachim Breitner (Homepage) am 2006-02-02

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