Hi Shaun,
I'm not an expert on copyright law, but I know enough there is a clear
line between originality and copyright infringement.  By and large you
can't copyright anything that is common and is not unique such as
weapons like swords, guns, missile launchers, etc. Even a game as long
as it contains mostly original content is protected under the fair use
copyright laws. Mysteris of the Ancients was inspired by the Tomb Raider
games, but is protected under the fair use laws because I never used the
Tomb Raider logos and trade marks, did not use Lara Croft, or any
character from the Tomb Raider games/books/movies. As a result in the
eyes of the law it is an original product even though it  is obvious
that it is inspired by Indiana Jones, Tomb Raider, Rogue Angel, and
other books/movies of the same genre.
What can be copyrighted are characters with a unique background story, a
specific trade mark held by person x, unique weapons such as a light
saber that is tied to a certain trade mark, and so on. So we have to be
careful to use only generic or common content and not stray too far into
specific copyrights and trade marks.


On Fri, 2010-01-15 at 06:05 +1300, shaun everiss wrote:
> well doom1 2 at least quake1, duke nukem 1 2 3 3d and maybe others all use 
> the same keyboard layout.
> So they couldn't get us over that nore the weapons, there are always missile 
> type, several guns and at least one automatic or various types.
> There is usually one  big weapon and maybe another one.
> there are mines.
> true they are  called different names but its basically the same concept.
> I have also seen clons and hacks of stuff.
> The docs will say its based off something and then give credit to the 
> origional product and company, some things are recompiles of the same thing 
> or different things under the same name but the origional stuff is quoted and 
> in that respect it happens all the time.
> I suppose if we blatently used the lagit name weather by accident if one was 
> already active no matter what it was then there would be a case but we have 
> loads of leeway as long as we are not obvious about it.

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