Of Copyright and Gaming

Recently, there has been some debate on violating copyright on some of the social platforms (specifically in regards to the game Memoir ’44). I would like to state up front, I am not a lawyer but…I certainly have had a considerable interest in the subject ever since I started creating extra materials for games. Here is what I understand so far…

You cannot copyright a game – it doesn’t meet the criteria for copyright. So if I decided to make up my own game that is similar to an already published game, that is perfectly ok so long as I don’t infringe on their copyright. A good example of this was my creation of Dire Heroes.

Copyright pertains to the creation of the content itself – I can’t, for example, use the Days of Wonder scenario generator to make a scenario then sell that scenario. Not because it is a Memoir ’44 scenario (more on that in a bit) but because they own the copyright to the images used to make that scenario (well, that and they have you agree to their terms before you can even get the editor to make it in the first place…you’ll note, thanks to my Dire Heroes they’ve added the clause that you won’t make other games with it either now!). However, in theory, I could create my own graphics from scratch and sell the scenarios but then I would have a new problem, Trademarks!

Trademarks prevent confusion about brand – So if I made a game, scenarios etc… that don’t violate the copyright, I can still run into trouble here. I can’t pretend to be another brand and must declare even on a mere mention of Memoir ’44 that ‘Memoir ’44 is a Trademark of Days of Wonder’.

So as I understand it, I could create, for example, a Memoir ’44 campaign book. All of the content would need to be created entirely by me (I can’t even duplicate any of their existing rules I can only reference them…and declare the trademark). I could then sell it…but the law here is still a little murky and Days of Wonder could still pursue legal action (nothing stopping that anyway)…and I’m not even sure they would win but it just doesn’t seem worth the risk. Honestly, it takes a lot of work to create something like a campaign book and while I might make a few bucks I would likely lose that and more in legal fights.

Short answer here, don’t bother. Create content if it’s your passion and simply share it. That’s what I mostly do. The hook here is again, it takes a lot of work to produce something nice and if there is nothing in it other than a community ‘thanks’ (which I do appreciate, it just doesn’t pay my bills) then it likely won’t get done…or not properly.

All that being said, I would like to reiterate, this is just my current understanding. If anyone can enlighten me on any of the above professionally, I would love to hear from you.

A Memoir ’44 Campaign for D-Day

With the D-Day anniversary quickly approaching, I thought it would be appropriate to post something for all my friends to have to play. So I went through my unpublished archives and found this little gem – Memoir '44 Hasty Campaign - Normandy, The American Experience (237 downloads) (you can also find it on the Memoir ’44 page under the Campaigns button near the bottom).

I conceived this concept after my first draft of what was eventually to become the Memoir ’44 Campaign Book Volume 1. I wanted something that had a campaign feel but light and quick (ok, four scenarios isn’t really ‘quick’ but the rules for it are). I then looked at putting together a group of already published and official scenarios (so that anyone with the base game could play) and tried to balance the idea while still offering some choices.

Sadly, this concept got buried after approval of the campaign system as we all know it came into being…that soon consumed a lot of my time (in retrospect, too much!).

On the plus side, here it is now, eleven years late but better late than never. Hope you enjoy!

For the Memoir ’44 Volk!

While I may be more Tide of Iron oriented lately, it doesn’t mean I’m going to neglect the M’44 community. I still have that Hong Kong campaign to complete along with a couple of others as yet unpublished (or even mentioned). Today I have on offer, The Encirclement of Nancy, A Memoir ’44 Overlord scenario (requires the Terrain Pack) that sees the German forces in the city of Nancy being encircled by U.S. forces.

Otherwise, The Canadians in Normandy Campaign for Tide of Iron is rolling along. There are a couple of scenarios already published here (the opening scenario, Assault on Putot-en-Bessin and Worthington Force) with an additional six to make for a robust campaign for both the Allies and Axis sides. All wrapped in a high end graphic treatment and some goodies thrown in 😉

More info to follow…

In the meantime, happy gaming and I hope you enjoy The Encirclement of Nancy!

Re-Org!

Now that I’ve started back into wargaming again, I had a hard look at this site. Thanks partly to a comment I received about the need for new scenario notification I decided to do what started out as a simple re-organization of the information. Well, that quickly grew! My wordpress skills have developed considerably over the years so I put them to the test here.

Now you can find scenarios by game, expansion, setting, year and even units involved!

I also took the opportunity to brush up a number of things and one thing led to another. As a result, I think, I present a more logical site. Also, the blog is now a more of a blog…which is something I’ve wanted for a long time.

So now, players can get to where they want to go without having to hear me go on and on about something they really don’t care about (but you still can!).

Hope you enjoy!

Now back to designing…

Warriors Weekend

Well…it’s been awhile but the Tide of Iron bug bit again and none too soon. I’ve signed up for Warriors Weekend here in Victoria BC this Sunday.  

I’ll be demonstrating one, if not two new Tide of Iron scenarios. Both involve the Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary’s) and the 12th SS Panzer Division (Hitlerjugend).  The first is introductory friendly but I think even veteran players would enjoy.  

Tide of Iron scenario - Assault on Putot ← Here is a sneak peak

UPDATE – The Assault on Putot scenario is now available in the Battles section

 

You can also find me now on Facebook (funny, I pick the time when everyone is running away) @brummbar44

You might find something rather interesting there right now as well in fact.

 

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Advanced Memoir '44 - card back

Advanced Memoir ’44

While doing some general site maintenance (yes, I still pay attention from time to time), I came across an old concept that I put together a decade ago now (where does the time go?). Anyway, thought it would be of interest to the Memoir ’44 community at large.

It’s an Advanced Memoir ’44 concept that brings into play some house rules for enhancing the base game along with some advanced unit cards with some fun rules of their own.

Advanced Memoir ’44

Hope you enjoy and Happy Gaming!