Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Can you copyright a chess move? A chess game?

Somewhere in the intersection of Internet culture, intellectual policy law, and the game of chess, comes this interesting lawsuit in Germany over whether you can copyright the moves of a chess game.

In addition to the extensive details at the ChessVibes site, you might also find these essays by Mike Masnick interesting for his take on things.

Of course, most of the commenters seem to have little knowledge of the actual game of chess. Although it seems like a finite game, and in fact in some ways it sort of is, the number of actual different chess games is so large that being able to copyright an entire chess game does not seem like a totally silly notion to me.

Personally, I have always felt that a chess game does in fact "belong" in some way to the two players who played it. Surely ever chess player who's spent any time whatsoever on the game knows Morphy v. Duke of Brunswick, and has always credited Paul Morphy (now dead 125 years) with the creation of and "rights to" the game, in whatever sense that means.

1 comment:

  1. In the US, they probably wouldn't own it. There was a lawsuit previously in baseball as to whether Major League Baseball owned the stats to the games it played. The ruling was that these were facts, not intellectual property, and so anybody can print and publish MLB stats.