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Thread: Legal Concerns

  1. #11

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    It isn't the problem of what loophole or semantics you employ to attempt to get around the issue of using copyrighted works, it's the process of being hit with a Cease + Desist and then having to deal with your day in court. Not only that, but the website (Tangled Web) will have to deal with the entire rigmarole as well, and may be forced to deal with service interruption while they defend themselves in court. And then, regardless of being found innocent of any wrongdoings, there's also lawyers and legal fees.


    On the flip side, here's a collection of maps I have created that are free for everyone to use as often as they wish:

    http://www.dropbox.com/sh/adn040gdii...HWBN1XDXqYZ9Ca


    If you like what you see, and want to tip me for the maps, or become a regular paid supporter, you can go to my Patreon page: www.patreon.com/b_simon_smith
    Last edited by Simetradon; 05-11-2014 at 01:35 PM.

  2. #12
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    As soon as I finish the last few levels of my massive thirteen-floor dungeon I'll open that up to other folks here on TTW as well. Just a lot of details to work through on the last third of the floors yet.
    "To warmth, whiskey, and thoughts of women 'ere break of day!"

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  3. Default

    I'm an ip lawyer. If you want to avoid risk of any cease & desists coming your way, limit Elite Array campaigns to being only 100% homebrew materials and rulesets. I'm not exactly clear on what the back-end relationship will be between Tangled Web and the GM's involved, but I'd say be very cautious entering into anything approaching an employment relationship (i.e. Tangled Web shouldn't take a cut of the proceeds, if you do be careful about complying with the law). It will be up to the individual GM's to ensure they do accurate tax reporting, as the fees they're charging are certainly income (if TW takes a cut, it will have its own reporting obligations - you might want to form an scorp or llc). If you want Elite Array to be able to run non-homebrew games, you could potentially try to structure the fees to be for things other than the games themselves. Perhaps there's unique forums access (which are necessary to participating in the campaign), or a special forums badge, etc. Or perhaps the premium is the knowledge that the games are being dm'd and played only by paying forum members, who are, as a result, likely much more serious about getting what they paid for. (By comparison, think of the D&D section of something awful forums. Goons pay for those forums in part to read the forums, but in part to be a part of a community of players that go and play various games and can look to other goons for input/playing alongside them.) But all that is, as the previous poster said, arguably just a loophole that wouldn't necessarily stop WOTC or others from stepping in and slamming you with a cease and desist demand. How likely is a C&D going to come for this small of a community? Depends. If it does come, statutory damages for copyright infringement is no joke. Both the site and users would potentially be on the hook. That said, there are certainly dm's out there who ignore all these risk and charge for their games.

    In short, there's no risk free option. One would have to read the T&C of the actual games being used and do an in depth legal analysis to have a clearer idea. Safest bet seems to me to be a premium forums section for paying players to find quality gm's. Perhaps those gm's are paid by Tangled Web (riskier) to do other things in addition to GM'ing (forums maintenance? back massages?), perhaps not. Avoid the 1-to-1 direct fee for game relationship imo though if you want to lower risk of problems. Forming an llc or scorp could also insulate TW from liability. Lots of options, or you can just say screw it and rely on this being too small a deal for WOTC to care. I mean, at base, they want people to buy and play their games, so is it that big a concern that there are dm's out there getting a fee to further that activity? Reasonable minds could differ.

    None of this is intended to be legal advice and should not be relied upon. Take these comments for what you will and at proceed at your own risk.
    Last edited by Troy47; 05-28-2014 at 11:12 PM.

  4. #14
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    That is great advice. I appreciate your input. Making TW an llc is something i plan to do and it is quite easy to create. It just costs $80 or so bucks and a simple paper to do.

    We have to just take it one step at a time and get the money to do what needs be done.

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