I'm a copywriter with a flair in creating games for children.
I'm working for hire to create a board game in the lines of Monopoly without using any of their copyrighted terms like "Go to jail" etc. The format is the same with 9 steps on each side and four square zones for special situations. And some play money (or value-cards) for trading.
However, my client does want to use the "poly" in the name.
I have a game named Earth-o-poly on the environment. I wonder if they have had to go through the process of obtaining written permission or paying royalty of some sort.
What if my client created an XXXXpoly game and have a regular board game where players don't have play money but some kind of cards to hold on to and pay taxes or pay fines etc.
So, summing up, here are my questions:
Is it a coypright infringement if the generic format is used and XXXXpoly is used?
What if the format is hugely modified/changed but we only keep the "poly" suffix?
Is it extremely expensive to negotiate and pay a fee to them to get the permission?
Is there anything else I should keep in mind and didn't ask here?
Thanks, in advance, for your responses.