I think that the Freeciv project should do a full review of
copyrights, trademarks and patents that it might infringe
from the various Civilization versions released by Firaxis/Microprose.
I don't think that the project violates any of there rights,
but it would be better to review these issues thoroughly
just to be sure.
The Freeciv FAQ mentions this issue: http://freeciv.wikia.com/wiki/FAQ
"There have been debates on this and the honest answer seems to be:
we don't know. The link to the debates on this issue is broken.
Perhaps other people know more about these issues than me, but here are
some things that might be worth checking further.
"Sid Meier's Civilization IV, Civ, Civilization, 2K Games, the 2K logo,
Firaxis Games, the Firaxis Games logo, and Take-Two Interactive Software
are all trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Take-Two Interactive
Software, Inc." from http://www.civilization.com/
Does Freeciv violate the Civ trademark there?
The FAQ states that "Freeciv doesn't contain any actual material from the
commercial Civilization games." However, it would still be a good idea to
check that Freeciv's technology trees, unit lists, buildings and game
rules aren't too similar to the Civilization ones that they violate any
copyrights. It is obvious that Freeciv has "borrowed" a lot of ideas from
Civ, but are these ideas intellectual properties that someone owns, and
that are restricted from re-use?
I haven't found any relevant patents, but haven't looked much yet.
Does any company have any relevant patents in this area?
I would suggest that these issues are checked, and that other potential
intellectual property rights are investigated. If there are any areas
where Freeciv is in a grey-area with regards to using ideas from Civ,
then I would suggest that these are replaced with new content.
What do you think about looking closer at these issues?
Looking over these issues can give the Freeciv project, and potential
Freeciv contributors the confidence to know that they are
not violating any copyright laws and will not recieve any cease and
desist letters from Sid.
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