This following question concerns different copyright issues.

A friend of mine and myself are planning to develop an app to facilitate a role playing game. (Most of the time it is called "Werewolf", I believe that the game "Ultimate Werewolf" is at least one of the English versions of it. It has got the same principle as a game often referred to as "Mafia".) And as we are German, we would base our app especially on one of the german versions of the game, but there are at least two german ones (3), one french (4) and an English one that I know of.

The questions that came up was: How much can we use from one of the rulebooks? Can we use the texts? Are those protected? Could we maybe even use the pictures of the cards, …? What if we would produce pictures that are clearly inspired by the images from one of the editions? What kind of laws apply, as we are developing for the whole world when we are basing us on a german version (which is produced by a french company)?

The descriptions of the different roles and the functioning of the game are for example also found on the Wikipedia page of this game.

Thank you in advance for any insight!

(Sadly I am not allowed to post the other two links to the other german and french version, the other german version (3) is found by googling "werwölfe pegasus" and the french one (4) is called "Les Loups-garous de Thiercelieux".)

  • There's almost nothing original in the French version "Les Loups-Garous de Thiercelieux". Of course the images are copyrighted, and the text of the ruleset is copyrighted, and the name "Thiercelieux" is trademarked, but all the cards and roles are adapted directly from a game that has existed for a very long time before it was commercialised. Just draw your own werewolves and seers, don't use the name "Thiercelieux", write the ruleset yourself in your own words, and you'll be completely fine.
    – Stef
    Commented Mar 29, 2023 at 15:05

1 Answer 1


I am not a lawyer and nothing below is to be seen as legal advice.

You can't copyright an idea.

However, every scrap of text, procedure, or visual which implements and/or supports that idea can be copyrighted. Almost anything you find with respect to an existing product will be copyrighted and using such materials in part or whole, would probably be seen as infringement.

You should also be aware that there is no such thing as "change it by X amount and you're okay". If the original material can be discerned in any way within your copy, you may be infringing, if not directly then as a derivative work. With this in mind, if your desire is to not infringe upon the copyrights of others, create original content.

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