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Question about [Kickstarter] Papers & Paychecks

Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 9:49 am
by True_Atlantean
Hi everyone,

I was hoping I could ask for some advice. This Kickstarter launched recently (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/11 ... escription) and is based solely on the work of Will McLean, whose cartoons in 1st edition are an iconic part of the books.

I have a distinct problem with commercial exploitation of intellectual property, so I looked around to see if there were openly licenced versions of the image or versions in the Public Domain - with no luck. My understanding of US copyright law (as Australia adopted some clauses as part of our Free Trade Agreement) is that copyright is retained for seventy years after the passing of the creator. Obviously, as a TSR employee, Mr McLean probably signed a contract of sorts for his output.

So - is this Kickstarter a concern? I thought there would be some very knowledgeable folk over here so thought I'd ask as a matter of interest.

Thanks for any help in advance.

Re: Question about [Kickstarter] Papers & Paychecks

Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 7:15 pm
by dulsi
I don't think the idea of making a Papers & Paychecks rpg is a violation of intellectual property. The original image is copyrighted but that wouldn't apply to the title Papers and Paychecks because it is too short. They wouldn't be able to take the cover image from the drawing but I doubt they intend to since it is just the name. Since they use the image in the kickstarter campaign there could be a copyright case there. But they may also have received permission.

From looking at the kickstarter, I wouldn't back it. They don't provide enough information on who they are, why they can accomplish this, how far along in development they are, and no information on the use of funds. Basically it looks risky to me but not for the reasons you mention. I do not recommend giving to campaigns because they have an idea you like. Give to campaigns that have a great idea and show they can deliver. Even then understand the project may fail and you may end up with nothing or the end result may not be to your liking.

Re: Question about [Kickstarter] Papers & Paychecks

Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 9:15 pm
by Havard
Is it okay to use McLean's name and his cartoon (possibly owned by TSR?) in the marketing though?

-Havard

Re: Question about [Kickstarter] Papers & Paychecks

Posted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 12:51 pm
by dulsi
Havard wrote:Is it okay to use McLean's name and his cartoon (possibly owned by TSR?) in the marketing though?

-Havard
I don't know. There could be a copyright infringement or they could have permission. The kickstarter doesn't tell you either way. It doesn't strike me as professional enough to have gotten permission but you never know.

Re: Question about [Kickstarter] Papers & Paychecks

Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:57 am
by True_Atlantean
Thanks for the reply, everyone. I had no intention of backing the game (the premise is of no interest to me) and you're right - the level of professionalism isn't present. I've backed White Wolf/Onyx Path Kickstarters and they engender a lot of trust from the outset with links to near-completed documents, samples of art, and very solid stretch goals.

As I said, thanks for the information, it has been helpful.