Monday, March 18, 2013

Heroes of the United World 13 - Calooh Callay!

Not directly connected with the setting, but Jeff Dee and Jack Herman have won the rights back (at least in part) to their classic RPG Villains & Vigilantes, which was the engine I used for this setting. They didn't get full rights back but the Judge did make it clear that their original publisher, Fantasy Games Unlimited, has lost the trademark and has no rights to electronic publication, new works or derivative product (such as T-Shirts with the V&V logo).

Obviously I am thrilled by this - Jeff ad Jack's formation of Monkey House Games two years ago helped kickstart some more support for the game (though it's design was always open ended enough to not need support, but more support doesn't hurt), not just from them but from Scott Bizar's mad scramble to produce new product (for a property he'd let moulder for years) in hopes of improving his claim to the copyright. More attention to a game like V&V, which embodies to me so much of what was good about early RPG design, is an unvarnished good, and the fact that the creators won back rights to publish their work is even better.

Huzzah! Lets go out there and make some Justice!

1 comment:

  1. Just learned that Jeff & Jack are not officially announcing this because Bizar has appealed the decision. Reading the report I think the odds of it holding up are stacked in their favor because the judge didn't rule on Bizar's original defense (that despite FGU being shut down for years that doesn't qualify as it being shut down for the terms of the contract) but on the specifics of FGU having a lack of electronic or derivative copyright. With this ruling Bizar can still legally make and sell _printed_ versions of the 1979 and 1982 editions, he just can't do so in the electronic/PDF form that is so common nowadays (which I'm sure makes up the bulk of his business). This decision is based on relatively stable, decade-old case law. I have faith that Jeff and Jack have won a substantive (but not total) victory, but respect their decision to wait for the final ruling.