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View Full Version : Releasing a campaign book - any advice?



nedius
19-10-2009, 15:18
Hi all,

I'm making a campaign book, featuring missions based on those available as part of the Deathwing capaign from the PC/Amiga Space Hulk game by EA. This will be fan made, freely distributed, appropriate credits given etc.

I'm getting close to being finished (not imminently, but close enough to be considering aesthetics, rather than content). However, I want to know what I need to do to ensure that this book is not going to have any issues being distributed - eiter legally or here on Warseer and other forums.

So, what things can/can't I do? I run a games club, and the GCN lets you use GW copyrighted images for the purposes of advertisement as long as appropriate copyright disclaimers are in place. So is it ok to use GW images, as long as the copyright disclaimer is in place? After all, it will have images of the board sections, as it's been mapped using CRasterImage's TileSystem set. People have edited and released new varients of those, counters and tracking sheets with no issue, as far as I can see anyway. How about screenshots from the EA game?

And just generally, how should it look? Should it look like a supliment to the official rules, or VERY different? Would a predominantly black front cover, with SPACE HULK long the top and an appropriate central image be ok, or not?

I want this to look good, and in keeping with the current Space Hulk release - but how close can I go before I might get warned off?

Any advice you can offer would be very much appreciated!

DarthSte
19-10-2009, 15:28
If you're serious about it you should probably contact GW legal before going any further. It would be a shame if they shut you down after loads of hard work!

grissom2006
19-10-2009, 15:57
Yep any reproduction needs GW permission before release otherwise your breaking IP and copyright laws and other issues on top.

Cpt. Drill
19-10-2009, 16:18
I would be interested infomation you find out about releasing suppliments as I am in the process of putting together one of my own.

I cant really say much on the legal stuff but over at Board Games Geek they have alot of the old space hulk resources avilible to download as they have some kind of deal with GW legal, so maybe that could be a way to distribute without worry.

As for aesthetics I like the idea of keeping in line with the current edition. The black front cover with large portrait on it sounds good and I have seen some really pro looking missions put up on these forums where the presentation of them looks like something out of the rule book.


If everything fails for some reason, I cant imagine it will. I am really looking for expansions for space hulk as we have basically exhausted what we have. Please send me a copy of what ever you made. I wont tell anybody

AndrewGPaul
19-10-2009, 18:07
It's not GW legal you should be qworried about (although be sure to check the legal page on their website regarding logos and the like); it's Activision's. After all, you're copying content from their game.

You might be OK with using the Mission 13 PDF as a base for the layout, but using scans of the tiles is iffy, IMO.

Your best bet as regards GW is to mock up a sample page and fire it off to them, see what they say.

grissom2006
19-10-2009, 18:20
But Activision did it under license from GW as such a good amount of it will be covered by GW from a legal stand point. Activision will no doubt hold IP though other layouts graphics and such.

AndrewGPaul
19-10-2009, 19:49
I'm thinking of the actual text of the mission briefings and the map layouts. That'll be Activision's property, as will the actual artwork and designs.

The likenesses of the Terminators and 'stealers will be GW's property. Basically, (and IANAL), if you copy the graphics or text from the game, Activision will sue you for copyright infringement. If Activision were to put Terminators into another one of their games, GW would sue them for copyright infringement.

nedius
19-10-2009, 22:16
The back story of the missions I'm keeping the same, but writing my own text, so that won't be a problem. I've also made my own maps of the in-game missions, rather than use any images from the PC game or manual. I've used two or three screenshots, each with a caption stating that they are from the PC game and copyright EA.

As for using images of the boards, plenty of missions have been released using the board images from the Tile System set. Is that really going to be a problem?

AndrewGPaul
19-10-2009, 22:48
I've no idea. That's why I said to ask GW - they're the only ones who can tell you if they'll object.

If anything, images exported from TileSystem and used in something else are likely to be less objectionable than the TileSystem tileset itself - CRasterImage's tile images are of sufficiently high resolution to be printable, unlike maps included in a PDF.

nedius
20-10-2009, 07:49
Well, I emailed GW, and will await their responce. If it seems informative, I'll let people know.

Going over their 'Legal' page carefully, there's a couple of things that would be helpful to anyone undergoing such an activity.

Probably the most important one from the list is this example:


if you are thinking about making your own Codex for your Space Marine chapter (in addition to following the other guidelines in this policy), please avoid making it look official as this may confuse gamers and amount to a challenge to our trademarks. Also, do not copy our official publications or documents.

If we change 'codex' to 'campaing book', we've got the base level guidance for such stuff. It has to be something very different from the official stuff, so it's clear that it wasn't made by GW.


make it clear that your use is unofficial by including some wording to the effect that, for example, "This website is completely unofficial and in no way endorsed by Games Workshop Limited."

Please make the origins of the intellectual property very clear, in other words, make sure that from a brief review of your material people know that you are unofficially using Games Workshop's intellectual property (and not your own IP or the IP of a third party).

Basic disclaimer info - a must.


Are people likely to be confused as to whether your web site or any material was produced by Games Workshop just by looking at it? If so, then you need to alter it. In other words, do not try to make your material look "official."

So, I can't make it look like the Mission and Rulebook. My campaign book will need a unique front cover design, so as to not make it look 'official' - or at least sufficiently altered so that it is obviously not official.



Please do not change our trademarks in any way (e.g., stretch or deform them)

Make any direct copies and/or scans of Games Workshop publications, images, or other materials. This includes any Out-o- Production materials, web site materials, and White Dwarf articles. We would however suggest that you produce your own materials (as long as you follow the other requirements of this policy).

Hmmm... an interesting one for anyone wanting to make their own map tiles etc. Seems to mean that you can't 'cut and paste' bits to make new tiles? The second part of the quote suggests you can make new tiles, but they must be entirely new images.




Maps

We would ask you not to take direct scans or copies of our maps. We suggest that you create your own equivalents. Again, please avoid reproducing our trademarks.


An interesting one! So, we can use their map layouts, but they must be our own versions of them, not a copy of something they published themselves.



"miniature Games Workshop 2003. All rights reserved. Used without permission - model painted by xxxxxxx"

Any photos of games and minaitures need this disclaimer.

Just thought this collection of relevant points might be useful to anyone wanting to make their own campaign books as well!

Znail
20-10-2009, 08:29
Yupp, their policy is pretty strict but clear. Althou you can obvously get away with bending it as long as they dont notice.

AndrewGPaul
20-10-2009, 08:45
You could make a fully bells-and-whistles version for your own use at your club, and one using your own mpas and stuff for public use.

nedius
20-10-2009, 09:51
You could make a fully bells-and-whistles version for your own use at your club, and one using your own mpas and stuff for public use.

Sounds like the way to go. Still, I can do the 'bells and whistles' one, just so long as the stuff used is sufficiently different from the GW stuff. The Bell of Lost Souls mini-dexes and other fan based publications are pretty well made, very bells and whistles, but don't seem to get any legal problems.