This overview of Mayfair Games' intellectual property (“IP”) should address many of the questions you have about our copyrights, trademarks, etc.
General IP Philosophy
While Mayfair Games will vigorously defend its IP ownership rights, we believe in the principle of "fair use." We encourage our consumers and trade customers to employ our IP freely for personal use. In some cases (e.g., magazine scenarios), we even encourage creation of "derivative works" (i.e., material based upon Mayfair Games' intellectual property). Of course, you should always obtain authorization for all such derivative works. You can obtain our authorization by complying with the following guidelines:
Contacting Mayfair Games
Please email Pete Fenlon, Mayfair's CEO, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mayfair Games Credit Notification
You must incorporate a prominent copyright notice stating that the work is based upon Mayfair Games' work. You must specify the Mayfair Games property upon which the derivative work is based.
Designer Credit Notification
You must incorporate a prominent notice stating exactly how the work is derived from another work. You must clearly and prominently credit the original author(s) and owner(s) accordingly.
Derivative works occasionally fall into the category of "fair use." This is in the case with satire or commentary (analysis). Nonetheless, you cannot heavily quote or recreate copyrighted material to an extent greater than that necessary to achieve the underlying purpose--and such purpose must be legally "fair." When in doubt about what is fair use, please contact us.
Mayfair Games Permission Notice
You may not publish a derivative work based on our IP unless it is: (1) authorized by Mayfair Games; and (2) its publication is accompanied by a valid permission notice in/by the credit notification stating: "Published with the permission of Mayfair Games."
You may not publish a derivative work that substantively reduces or otherwise dilutes the value of Mayfair Games' IP.
You may not publish a derivative work based on our IP that is libelous, pornographic, or in other ways tortuous or criminal or in nature.
You may not publish a derivative work based on our IP that substantively deviates from the standards of quality associated with the product from which the work is derived.
Freeware may be, or embody, derivative work. The fact that it is electronic in character and derived from a non-electronic source is not relevant.
Mayfair Games Trademarks
Mayfair Games' publications are protected by copyright and trademark protection. Trademark protection applies to the identification of goods in commerce. A trademark infringement usually arises when someone trades in commerce with a product that is in whole or part identified with an existing mark. For instance, if you sell a good on the basis of the fact that it contains "Empire Builder" material, you are trading upon our trademark.
Mayfair Games Copyrights
Copyright protection applies to the original manifestation of an idea. We generally use text or artwork or music to express (i.e., manifest) an idea. Only this manifestation of an idea receives protection. You cannot copyright the idea itself. This is true even in the case of a patent, which affords protection to a novel method, formula, or process.
A copyright infringement arises when someone publishes text, art, music, etc. that substantively recreates copyrighted material. For example, you may be subject to an action for copyright infringement if you sell a product that contains text or artwork that is derived from "Empire Builder" material.