NationStates Jolt Archive

Question regarding the legality of resubmitting others' proposals

10-10-2005, 02:02
I don't want to be too specific in this, because I suspect if I am, I will have a whole load of horseshit pre-emptively dumped on me for all the wrong reasons. And anyway, although mine is clearly a leading question, it is an abstract that I couldn't find an answer to and which might apply to others.

For a short while, I've been working on a redraft of a long-dead proposal that - as far as I can tell - hasn't been rendered redundant or illegal by legislation passed or repealed in the interim since its demise. There were legality issues surrounding at the time, some of which can be simply resolved, and some of which will - when the time comes - need checking on again. Whew, a lot of disclaimers.

My questions are thus:
1. is it legal to submit a proposal that was withdrawn by its author, without the author's permission, even where the author suggested that they would not want a resubmission until several details were worked out?
2. is it legal to resubmit another's proposal at all? If so, would that only be the case if the entirety of the text were changed, or could a simple 'based on the work of' acknowledgement suffice?

I appreciate Hack and Cog are generally regarded as the most experienced when it comes to UN proposal legality, and that it doesn't matter who responds so long as it is a mod (clearly, this is a mod-only topic, please), but I wouldn't mind hearing Fris's opinion on the matter.

I'm sure this'll all come to nothing: I'm appalling at legislation composition, so I'm sure I'll manage to fuck up what once seemed quite promising. And I'm still working on it any case, so there's no hurry. But these are copyright issues - both within the game and, more importantly, RL law - that I would need an official answer to before I could submit the proposal.

Many thanks in advance for your consideration.
10-10-2005, 06:40
I don't *think* there is anything wrong with that, as long as you ask the original author for permission. If you don't, then he might not like that, but if he's dead, then how would he even know?
10-10-2005, 17:23
There is no copyright on ideas in this game (apart from what is stated in the TOS and the One Stop Rules Shop, of course) . I would recommend following the simple courtesy of not submitting a variant of someone's idea while theirs is still under discussion in the UN forum, but that's not a matter of law.

If you take someone's proposal, file off the serial numbers, toss on a coat of paint, and claim it for your own ... I'd be hesitant to give the OK on that. If you take their original idea and entirely revamp it with your own phrasing and content, that's an entirely different cat.

What I won't do, now or ever, is grant you a blanket permission to do something in the future that I haven't seen or had a chance to review. No, this does not mean I want to see all your posts before you post them. It simply means that I will not give mod approval for a series of vague suppositions (such as stated above), only to read later that a blatantly plagerised proposal was "already approved by Frisbeeteria". Not gonna happen.

We've got tons of rules, FAQs, precedents, and Terms of Service. If you think something you're going to post will violate one or more of these ... don't post it. Duh.
10-10-2005, 18:18
Ok, thank you. I, of course, wasn't expecting you to be able to rule on the case specifically - that wasn't my intention - but rather was just checking whether there were intellectual property concerns. I appreciate that's probably being a bit over-zealous, but these things matter. As such, I'm not taking this in any way, shape or form as an endorsement of the legality of the proposal, but just as a check that resubmitting work based on others' ideas isn't illegal.

I will naturally be changing the text so as to avoid exact repetition. Thank you for your prompt reply.
10-10-2005, 18:37
and we assume that the original author is dead?

if he is, i would ask him for the go, but otherwise you're fine
10-10-2005, 18:49
if he is, i would ask him for the go, but otherwise you're fine
As there was already a mod ruling in this thread that contradicts this statement, we'd appreciate it if you didn't post misleading and incorrect advice.
10-10-2005, 22:06

To take it out of the abstract. Thank you for already spending time on this, and I'm not sure a reply is needed, unless you do have a legality issue. Thanks again anyway.

Yours thankfully,