Copyright Chess positions and GM-Ram

Charlie101

hello community, i had a curiosity:

basically, would you be breaking a copyright agreement if you being a chessplayer  made videos following the diagrams and positions of the GM ram book?

i have a friend that wants to do a support group on a gmram website and does not know if this is legitimate or not.

here is a link to the book, if your not familiar with the book it is a training book with little text and about 300 diagrams that you are suppose to analyze to reach master level.

http://www.amazon.com/Gm-Ram-Essential-Grandmaster-Chess-Knowledge/dp/0938650726/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1284579793&sr=8-1

dpruess

tough question!

rigamagician

You could ask Ziyatdinov himself: ziyatdin@msn.com or gmrashid@mail.ru.

Charlie101

good insights, thank you guys.

chessbuzz

I have heard that PGNs cannot be copyrighted, so if you are adding your own comments and not using any of the author's annotations you should be in the clear.

chessroboto

I agree with chessbuzz. If all you need from the book is the selection of games and their exact positions, there is no fault there.

Think of it as citing historical events.

More accurately, think of how many chess books have been published about the Kasparov-Deep Blue 1997 Rematch.

heinzie

A single chess position cannot be copyrighted - a collection of positions can be.

Archaic71

As can the annotations and discussions.

chessroboto

I was bordering on henzie's idea about the collection of positions.

To be safe, contact the publisher and confirm the legalities of using the same exact positions for your own work.

If you were planning to use the work (new annotations, ideas, theories, comments) for personal use, you didn't even have to ask.

But if you planned to distribute it to the public or copyright your own work and possibly make a profit from it, then you should clear it with the publisher first.

EDIT

Here's the publisher's email: (Bob Long) blong@chessco.com

Estragon

No, you cannot copy the contents of the book in their entirety.  Period.

Even if all the positions were studies by composers from the 19th Century whose work is public domain, the value and originality of the book is how these are presented and analyzed. That's what the copyright protects.  For instance, all of the words in the latest bestseller are public domain individually, but if I copy them in the order they appear in the book, I'm violating copyright.

On a user group, you can take one or two positions at a time for discussion, and eventually the archives might contain all the positions in the book, but because they are not organized and analyzed in the same way, it should pass the "fair use" exception to copyright.  Don't take them in the exact order in the book, don't post them all at once, and keep the discussion going - if it's just a sham to get around the law, it doesn't qualify as "fair use."

Charlie101
dpruess wrote:

tough question!


thank you David

Charlie101
chessroboto wrote:

I agree with chessbuzz. If all you need from the book is the selection of games and their exact positions, there is no fault there.

Think of it as citing historical events.

More accurately, think of how many chess books have been published about the Kasparov-Deep Blue 1997 Rematch.


this makes alot of sense.

Charlie101
charlesgalofre wrote:
chessroboto wrote:

I agree with chessbuzz. If all you need from the book is the selection of games and their exact positions, there is no fault there.

Think of it as citing historical events.

More accurately, think of how many chess books have been published about the Kasparov-Deep Blue 1997 Rematch.


this makes alot of sense.


this sounds like the safest way.

Charlie101

thank you all your contributions are invaluable. 

Petrosianic

games and moves and positions are not copyrightable in the united states.  annotations and published works, yes. i agree with chessroboto on the rest.

winter has some chess note/article about this, copyright history in chess. also i believe on chessgames, there was an interesting discussion, and the above viewpoint was taken.

trigs

this may be slightly off topic but...

i was considering making a blog that follows one (or more) of the chess books that i own. i wanted to do this for two reasons:

1) it would help me learn better if i was to go over the lessons in such detail and rewrite them for myself (although, in general it would be the same lesson because i'd still be writing about the philidor position for example, just in my own words), and

2) i could share some great chess knowledge with those who don't own these books.

more specifically, let's say that i took silman's complete endgame course and made blog posts about each of the positions discussed in the book. i'd obviously read over what silman writes, but i'd explain the positions, tactics, etc. in my own words.

would this be considered as a copyright issue? does it make a difference if i cite silman (or don't cite him)? anyone?

William_Smitham

I think, as many have stated, your friend should error on the side of caution.  I am not familiar with the 1976 Copyright Act or the amendments to it, but it does state in the copyright link for that particular book:

"All rights reserved.  No part of this work may be reproduced..."

While later on that same page:

"Requests for permission..."

I think your friend should get ahold of the contact listed there (I believe Chessroboto, and perhaps others listed the name).  That way, all bases are covered so to speak, and then your friend's project can move along without issues!

Cordially,

William

chessroboto
Estragon wrote:

No, you cannot copy the contents of the book in their entirety.  Period.

... the value and originality of the book is how these are presented and analyzed. That's what the copyright protects.  For instance, all of the words in the latest bestseller are public domain individually, but if I copy them in the order they appear in the book, I'm violating copyright.

Don't take them in the exact order in the book, don't post them all at once, and keep the discussion going - if it's just a sham to get around the law, it doesn't qualify as "fair use."


I was also concerned about the legality of owning the selection of the positions within games. The possible loophole in that is that one can change the sequence of selected positions and games. As already mentioned earlier, do not use any of the original analysis and comments from the book.

nimzo5
trigs wrote:

this may be slightly off topic but...

i was considering making a blog that follows one (or more) of the chess books that i own. i wanted to do this for two reasons:

1) it would help me learn better if i was to go over the lessons in such detail and rewrite them for myself (although, in general it would be the same lesson because i'd still be writing about the philidor position for example, just in my own words), and

2) i could share some great chess knowledge with those who don't own these books.

more specifically, let's say that i took silman's complete endgame course and made blog posts about each of the positions discussed in the book. i'd obviously read over what silman writes, but i'd explain the positions, tactics, etc. in my own words.

would this be considered as a copyright issue? does it make a difference if i cite silman (or don't cite him)? anyone?


 You could write about your experiences but I don't think you could include the actual positions and any of Silman's commentary. What you could do is choose one position and publish your analysis on it. While it is a noble notion to want to share the ideas of the book with people who don't own it, that is precisely something IM Silman would not be ok with. The closest you could come is probably something like the Julie/Julia project where you could blog about your trials and tribulations attempting to work through Silman's endgame book.

This is not even considering that you chose an endgame book as your focus which will limit you to a reading audience of about 3 people at the most.

:)

chessroboto
chessroboto wrote:
Estragon wrote:

No, you cannot copy the contents of the book in their entirety.  Period.

... the value and originality of the book is how these are presented and analyzed. That's what the copyright protects.  For instance, all of the words in the latest bestseller are public domain individually, but if I copy them in the order they appear in the book, I'm violating copyright.

Don't take them in the exact order in the book, don't post them all at once, ...


I was also concerned about the legality of owning the selection of the positions within games.


Challenge question concerning the selection of positions from other sources: Do chess authors get permission or pay royalties to Chessbase or Convekta to use positions from games that they found by searching through their game databases?

If no, then why should it be different when using the positions from print publications? Are the copyright laws different?