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How protected are Zyngo Machines by copyright?


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Hi there!


Okay, so here's a thing I've been wondering about for a couple of years. When I first joined SL, one of the most impressive things I fell over was the game "Zyngo." It could make you rich, while also incredibly poor. So I spend lots of hours in front of those machines playing. However- I thought that they were scaringly similar to a game I played before...

And I was not wrong. I had been playing Zyngo before. Just not under that name. I had been playing it under the name of "Slingo." (Link to the game is here, and a link to the wikipedia can be found here).

 

So now  question goes; how protected is the game concept of "Zyngo" or "Slingo" in reality? Could I also make the game, although slightly altered, and avoid problems with the so called "creator"?

 

Discuss :)

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You can't copyright an idea so you could do that.  But the appearance of your game and your scripts have to be original and not derivative of their work.  Chance are you'll get a DMCA notice, however if you are sure all your work is original and can prove it, then if taken to court over it you'd be ok. 

Of course you may have to hire a lawyer if it went as far as court and that can be expensive, particularly if you are sued in another area of the world from where you live.  It is a risk you take and large one too.  For that reason, I'd suggest if you want to do a game, that you come up with an original concept too.  Another reason to do that is those two games are well established in SL and you'd have a hard time competing with them if you sell your game, unless you charge a LOT less or your game is a LOT better and you have the time and money to market it well.

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What I'm interrested to know behind all this is whether or not it is possible. I don't want to actually try and compete, as you pointed out, that would be -very- hard.

 

If you try to take a look at Zyngo's devil, angel and joker you will see that the graphic reminds me scaringly much of the ones from Slingo (Link here) so I am also wondering if the owners of Zyngo might have done a bit of stealing themselves..

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That is hard to say and only the maker of Slingo could decide or do anything about it.  Either they have decided that it is not the same or they are unwilling to pursue it in court possibly due to the cost. It could also be that a DMCA was filed, and then Zyngo counter filed and the matter is still pending in a court somewhere.  These types of suits can take longer than you think to resolve.  Sometimes it takes years.

It is up to each creator to protect their own IP rights.  If you don't , no one including LL will do it for you.  So it can easily boil down to how much you may be losing out on sales, versus the time and cost of taking someone to court.

A lot of people think LL should take a more active role to eliminate having to take anyone to court.  However I for one don't want LL to be the judge and jury.  LL consists of a bunch of coders, not experts in copyright law.  They also have no legal authority to make judgements.  From their point of view, if they did and made a mistake in their judgement, the injured party could prove it in RL, they possibly sue the pants off them.

 

 

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