I've been developing an app to augment a Tabletop RPG (mainly for dice pool and roll and damage calculation according to the game's rules). Is the app considered to be a derivative work of the game (the rulebook in particular)?

  • "Derivative work" means that if you run diff, it turns up a lot of copying-and-pasting. Ideas (including rules), removed from the words or medium used to express them, are not copyrightable. They are, however, patentable. – Aleksandr Dubinsky Nov 5 '15 at 8:52
  • @AleksandrDubinsky So the app is not a derivative work of the RPG? – Dorklord Nov 5 '15 at 8:55
  • It could still be a derivative work if you have cut and pasted tables out of the rule books into your code. – Simon B Nov 5 '15 at 10:20
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it asks for legal/copyright advice beyond what can be expected of a programmer. You are recommended to consult a lawyer. – Bart van Ingen Schenau Nov 5 '15 at 13:40
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    You are asking whether the app is a derivative work of the game, but you first need to ask what aspects of the game are subject to copyright protection. As far as copyright infringement is concerned, you only need to worry about copying or deriving from those aspects of the game. Of course, you also need to worry about patent and trademark infringement, if any aspect of the game is covered by patent or trademark protection. – phoog Nov 5 '15 at 23:08

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