Copyright on chess games?

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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0 | Chess Event Coverage
Every now and then the discussion flares up again. Can copyright be applied to a chess game? Is the game score a specific property of the players, or perhaps of the tournament, and can they prevent others from publishing them? The discussion is topical again because of the little gadget of the company Monroi which is being used more and more at chess tournaments (like Gibraltar, the US Championship and the current European Championships). Players 'write down' their moves digitally and the games are broadcast live on the internet automatically. But what is the case? Monroi's small print says that by registering to their website, you have agreed to recognize Monroi's copyright on game scores!

Boylston Chess Club's blog quotes an e-mail thread which includes a post from USCF Executive Board candidate Joe Lux. He writes:

"Stephen Dann has written a chess column for the Worcester Telegram and Gazette for over 30 years. Two weeks ago, he submitted a column that included a game score: Curdo-Rizzitano. The newspaper refused to include the gamescore. It was included on the Monroi website. It seems if you register to use the site, you have agreed to recognize Monroi's copyright on game scores. A week ago, Harold Dondis had the same problem at the Boston Globe, where he has written a column for 50 years."


Are we journalists and bloggers in trouble? Don't think so. It's not sure if Monroi can defend this policy in court, and if they will, I can't imagine the gadget will be used by many tournaments.

What do you think? Is a chess game something you own, and should you be able to forbid it from being published?
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