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HEROQUEST in Crowdfunding
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TOPIC: HEROQUEST in Crowdfunding
Re:HEROQUEST in Crowdfunding 1 Year ago  
The comparison to the sci-fi franchises doesn't hold up. Those all involved mutually consensual and contractual transfers of the intellectual properties in question, and strict enforcement of the rights of all parties. In the case of the HeroQuest 25th Anniversary Tribute Game, there was no attempt to secure any rights from the creators or owners of the HerQuest name or product until after the name was registered and the contesting deadline had passed. (And I would wager that they only have rights to the name -- the word -- HeroQuest, not to any of the content.)

GameZone registered the name in Spain in November 2012, then waited until July 2013 to request use of the intellectual property in the United States from Moon Design.

When Moon Design turned them down, GameZone went ahead and tried to crowdfund their project through the Canadian branch of a US company and got shut down when Moon Design sent a cease and desist.

Then GameZone tried to crowdfund through a Spanish company and got shut down without a cease and desist. Verkami told backers, "After carefully studying the campaign, we believe that the content of the project could be misleading to our users."

Now GameZone is crowdfunding through another company in Spain.

GameZone's own project statement says that they saw a well known but out of print product was approaching an important milestone date, and since nobody else seemed to be doing anything with it they just decided to do it themselves. They didn't approach anybody who has a legal claim to the intellectual property (Hasbro, Milton Bradley, Games Workshop, Moon Design) beforehand.
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Re:HEROQUEST in Crowdfunding 1 Year ago  
HeroQuestFrance wrote:
We're not talking about COPYRIGHT since the products are different.
There's no violation of copyrights in a such case.

GZ hasn't released the rules and other written material, so you can't say this -- yet. Copyright laws protect original and "derivative works", but the latter has to satisfy copyright law’s requirement of "originality" (which, frankly, seems pretty ambiguous to me). As I understand it, GZ will have entirely new quests and includes new character classes, and will have a revised ruleset. How much will the ruleset have to change before being "original"? And if they change the ruleset entirely, how will fans react?

A derivative work must "The transformation, modification or adaption of the work must be substantial and bear its author's personality to be original". However, even though it's trademarked in Spain, "HeroQuest 25th Anniversary Edition" *might* be interpreted by a judge as failing to have the "author's personality", despite the different sculpts and other components. Who knows.


If Hasbro sends a C&D or otherwise brings legal action of GZ, GZ does not have the legal resources Hasbro has. The Up Front / Airborne in Your Pocket KS has shown that a legal case can drag out a KS for a year or longer. So, even if GZ is in the right, they may still not be able to fight back against Hasbro. Certainly their backers will have to be very patient as the case is worked out in court.

However, this assumes Hasbro brings legal action. If HQ really had value to Hasbro, why hasn't Hasbro republished the game? Or perhaps Hasbro and GZ will work out a licensing agreement. Only Hasbro knows -- and that's the problem.

KS -- or, rather, crowdfunding -- is not a store. Some potential backers are waiting for HQ25 to be available retail because, by then, the risk (ie. uncertainty) will be much lower. Forty-one days to go! :D
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Last Edit: 2013/12/30 20:19 By ced1106.
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