Does a senior project count as personal use?
May 2, 2006 8:02 AM   Subscribe

For my undergrad senior project, I want to create a Java version of a board game that my friends and I play. I don't intend to ever distribute this game. Is this legal? Do I need to get permission?
posted by Who_Am_I to Law & Government (9 answers total)
Absolutely legal.
posted by mcstayinskool at 8:11 AM on May 2, 2006

Don't duplicate it exactly. Call it "Chance", not "Risk". Use different names for things. You can easily and legally duplicate the exact game play without exactly copying the trappings of the game, which is where people get into trouble.
posted by jellicle at 8:18 AM on May 2, 2006

Students do it all the time. Professors don't care.

Given that, you may want to change the name of your version, if it's not important, since that decreases the likelihood of them doing a Google search and sending you a cease-and-desist letter.
posted by smackfu at 8:20 AM on May 2, 2006

Sounds like what was done w/ a Java version of Settlers of Catan for a school project.
posted by artifarce at 8:54 AM on May 2, 2006

We made a Connect 4 game in one of my first CS classes, as assigned by the professor. In another class, we made a version of the game Go. No one ever sued me.
posted by geeky at 9:17 AM on May 2, 2006

Or just choose something really obscure. We chose Input. How could we not.. it's "The strategy game ahead of its time"!
posted by howling fantods at 12:24 PM on May 2, 2006

It falls under fair use provisions, because it's for educational purposes (and possibly also for a private meeting). You could also change the names and things, just to be safe.
posted by acoutu at 1:14 PM on May 2, 2006

Response by poster: Cool, thanks guys.
posted by Who_Am_I at 4:58 AM on May 3, 2006

Just to put a finer point on things, here is my understanding.
1. The name of a game, or the rules "ideas" are not copyright.
2. Box art (or any art) and the rules "text" are protected by copyright.

Note however that the name can be a "Trademarked" which is similar. What this means is that if you made another game called "Risk," it would not allowed to be similar to the existing popular Risk game or marketed in a way such that it might be mistaken for the original. One example being that you could create a game called "Risk" with a Wall Street finance theme, and that is OK. Another example is you could create a game that played just like Risk, but with different maps and re-written rules and called "Battle Dice Fest" and that is OK.

posted by markhu at 10:40 PM on October 8, 2006

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