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Old 08-23-2021, 10:45 AM   #1
David Johnston2
 
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Default Copyrighting a Deck Build

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Hovden’s latest [attempt at baiting an IP holder] is filing for — and receiving — a copyright on a Magic: The Gathering deck he calls “Angels and Demons.” This deck — a collection of cards made by a corporation through work-for-hire arrangements with creators — is now claimed as Hovden’s exclusive IP.

Hovden’s public communications around this tease that he may prohibit others from using this deck in tournament play, and says it’s all about “owning culture and people’s participation in culture through copyright.”
https://www.polygon.com/22627617/mag...-robert-hovden

This is being a copyright troll in a different sense.
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Old 08-23-2021, 11:02 AM   #2
RyanW
 
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Default Re: Copyrighting a Deck Build

Well that's going to last about three seconds in court.
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Old 08-23-2021, 11:42 AM   #3
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Well that's going to last about three seconds in court.
With something like this, the idea is usually to make sure that your targets don't have the resources to defend themselves and that the stakes are low enough that backing down is easier than fighting it out.

Plenty of corporations get away with intellectual property abuse that's not much less ludicrous; the difference is that they have lawyers on retainer and can afford to wear their victims down by attrition if it does come down to a court case, whereas I doubt that's a viable option for this guy.
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Old 08-23-2021, 01:12 PM   #4
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Default Re: Copyrighting a Deck Build

Hunh. I put this in the wrong forum. Oops.
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Old 08-28-2021, 12:22 PM   #5
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Default Re: Copyrighting a Deck Build

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Originally Posted by ravenfish View Post
With something like this, the idea is usually to make sure that your targets don't have the resources to defend themselves and that the stakes are low enough that backing down is easier than fighting it out.

Plenty of corporations get away with intellectual property abuse that's not much less ludicrous; the difference is that they have lawyers on retainer and can afford to wear their victims down by attrition if it does come down to a court case, whereas I doubt that's a viable option for this guy.
Hopefully he tries to push it, and the court finds him in copyright infringement.

He was smart enough to list it as a derivative work copyright...
If he prevails, it will be not good for the CCG mode.
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Old 08-29-2021, 03:59 AM   #6
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Default Re: Copyrighting a Deck Build

How different from his deck does another deck have to be to evade copyright?
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Old 08-29-2021, 08:12 AM   #7
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Default Re: Copyrighting a Deck Build

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
How different from his deck does another deck have to be to evade copyright?
I am not a lawyer, but my impression is that a deck design cannot be copyrighted. It's well established that simple lists of components or ingredients, as in a recipe, are not subject to copyright, and it would appear that there's a similar case here. If the deck design is simply a list of cards, then it's not eligible for protection.
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Old 08-29-2021, 09:49 AM   #8
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Default Re: Copyrighting a Deck Build

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
How different from his deck does another deck have to be to evade copyright?
Exactly 0 cards.

A decklist is essentially the same as a cooking recipe (a list of ingredients and instructions for how to mix them together) and standing law dictates that those can't be copyrighted.
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Old 09-06-2021, 05:18 PM   #9
RyanW
 
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Default Re: Copyrighting a Deck Build

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Originally Posted by WingedKagouti View Post
Exactly 0 cards.

A decklist is essentially the same as a cooking recipe (a list of ingredients and instructions for how to mix them together) and standing law dictates that those can't be copyrighted.
The closest form of IP protection that could apply would be trade secret. But using the deck in play makes it no longer "secret", and not using it in play makes it not "trade."
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