Using Robert E. Howard's Conan and Kull as a basis for game

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psi29a
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Using Robert E. Howard's Conan and Kull as a basis for game

Post by psi29a » 12 Mar 2020, 13:53

As it says in the title, the world building that is done by Howard is enough to get started and the copyright for Howard's books has expired:
Following Howard's death, the copyright of the Conan stories passed through several hands. Eventually, under the guidance of L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter, the stories were edited, revised, and sometimes rewritten. For roughly 40 years, the original versions of Howard's Conan stories remained out of print. In 1977, the publisher Berkley Books issued three volumes using the earliest published form of the texts from Weird Tales, but these failed to displace the edited versions. In the 1980s and 1990s, the copyright holders of the Conan franchise permitted Howard's stories to go out of print entirely, while continuing to sell Conan works by other authors.
This can go in many directions, as a stand alone FOSS game or even as a basis for the Example-Suite where we can keep adding to this world as time progresses. With being able to use those books as source materials, a story can be created rather quickly or even just verbatim. It still remains that the world itself needs to be created but that can easily be broken up into tasks to be done.

Now that we are moving in the direction of supporting later versions of NIF, that means we're no longer tied to using old tools that only support Morrowind's NIF version. That means tools that could be used to create content for Oblivion, Skyrim and Fallout can be used. This should open up additional possibilities.

What do you guys think?

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Re: Using Robert E. Howard's Conan and Kull as a basis for game

Post by lysol » 12 Mar 2020, 14:18

Let's base it off of Star Wars instead.

Just kidding
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Re: Using Robert E. Howard's Conan and Kull as a basis for game

Post by AnyOldName3 » 12 Mar 2020, 21:45

That's got decades left on its copyright at the minimum.
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Re: Using Robert E. Howard's Conan and Kull as a basis for game

Post by lysol » 13 Mar 2020, 17:19

Read again. The tiny text... :)

Since Disney is -- I mean were, before corona -- making trillions of sweet dollarz, even thinking about using SW as a basis would result in a C&D.
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Re: Using Robert E. Howard's Conan and Kull as a basis for game

Post by psi29a » 14 Mar 2020, 09:10

Yeah, best steer clear of anything copyrighted. ;) To be honest, there are lots of public domain sources now that I think would make a wonderful game.

For example, all of Edgar Allen Poe's works.

Anything written before 1923 is in the public domain and can be used for a multitude of purposes, including reproducing, performing, and so on.

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Re: Using Robert E. Howard's Conan and Kull as a basis for game

Post by AnyOldName3 » 14 Mar 2020, 15:06

That isn't necessarily accurate. While the works themselves are public domain, trademarks may still apply. E.g. it would be legal to distribute a Mickey Mouse film made in 1922, but not to make a new one and sell it as a Mickey Mouse film as Mickey Mouse is definitely a trademark.
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Re: Using Robert E. Howard's Conan and Kull as a basis for game

Post by psi29a » 16 Mar 2020, 08:24

AnyOldName3 wrote:
14 Mar 2020, 15:06
That isn't necessarily accurate. While the works themselves are public domain, trademarks may still apply. E.g. it would be legal to distribute a Mickey Mouse film made in 1922, but not to make a new one and sell it as a Mickey Mouse film as Mickey Mouse is definitely a trademark.
Now you're on to another can-worms, I was addressing copyright and copyright only, not trademarks, because I was specifically talking about Howard's books and the ideas presented in those books.

Conan has a trademark on it now but through a completely unrelated business, however, because Conan exists in earlier form and as thus generic, it cannot be enforced. Sadly, it will have to go to court though if the owner of the TM wishes that.

Your example also falls flat because that was Steamboat Willie, not Mickey Mouse though it is considered Mickey's first appearance. ;) A bit like how the very first Tom & Jerry cartoon was about a cat named Jackson and a mouse. Anyway, that film is public domain and you can make a new one and you can call it Steamboat Willie 2 if you wanted.

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Re: Using Robert E. Howard's Conan and Kull as a basis for game

Post by AnyOldName3 » 16 Mar 2020, 21:46

I picked The Mouse because it's the symbol of overreaching IP restrictions, not because I thought any mouse-based content had fallen into the public domain yet.
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Re: Using Robert E. Howard's Conan and Kull as a basis for game

Post by psi29a » 17 Mar 2020, 09:27

Right, and to be clear... trademark != intellectual property

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Re: Using Robert E. Howard's Conan and Kull as a basis for game

Post by AnyOldName3 » 17 Mar 2020, 22:31

Trademark ⊆ Intelectual property

It's in the first sentence: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trademark
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