Legal Database (Free legal information)
Works put on the Internet are considered "published" and therefore qualify for copyright protection. A work put on the Internet is not considered public domain simply because it was posted on the Internet and free for anyone to download and copy. You need permission from the site owner to publish any materials, including photographs, music, and artwork from the site.
The best way to enforce Internet copyright is through the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 is designed primarily to limit the liability of Internet service providers for acts of copyright infringement by customers who are using the providers' systems or networks. The DMCA was enacted both to preserve copyright enforcement on the Internet and to provide immunity to service providers from copyright infringement liability for passive, automatic actions in which a service provider's system engages through a technological process initiated by another without the knowledge of the service provider.
If you feel your rights have been violated under the DMCA, you should write a DMCA letter to the infringing person's Internet Service Provider and the major search engines, such as Google at (www.google.com/dmca.html).
To do further research on Copyright Law as it pertains to the internet, you may also wish to visit: http://www.chillingeffects.org/. (Chilling Effects)
Free-form role play is a cooperative experience. Authors and players work together to spin a web of inter-related tales, and in the process entire worlds can grow and evolve.
The world of Lyran Tal, its history, setting, and many of its stories are the result of the collaborative effort of many. Therefore, issues of copyright and ownership can be rather complex. We have prepared this document for you so that you can familiarize yourself with your rights and ours. It may not be fascinating reading, but we feel there are some important issues covered here.
Remember that this document is a guideline and may not cover each and every single possible circumstance. When in doubt, remember that successful role playing endeavors are always built upon respect, and Lyran Tal Press reserves the right to use our best judgment in such matters, based on that very concept. If after reading this document you find that you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the owner.
Stories. The stories that are posted to the LTP Forums in the In-Character section (Lyran Tal Press Forum) and in the Archive section of the Almanac (Story Archives) are the property of the respective author(s) and may not be copied, reproduced or used without express permission of the author(s) except for the following circumstances: 1) By posting on the LTP forums, you acknowledge that Lyran Tal Press may archive these stories and posts on the main website (www.lyrantalpress.com) for safekeeping, and may make them available by download through that website to members and participants for personal use only (such as research or reading). Archived stories will include the screen name/log-in name of the original author(s). 2) Lyran Tal Press may, from time to time, use short excerpts from posts and stories for promotional, non-profit purposes. Lyran Tal Press must include proper credit for excerpts.
Original Characters. The characters that you create to play or write for in the world of Lyran Tal are yours to do with as you see fit. No one can control your characters for you without your permission. (For more information on this topic, role playing etiquette, and how we strive to deal with crucial characters suddenly disappearing because a player leaves, etc, please visit our section on "Being a Good Partner".)
One thing to keep in mind. While your characters and stories are your own, remember that once they have been played out or posted, they become a part of the rich tapestry of events and history that make up Lyran Tal and will remain so. Should you choose to leave the forum one day, no one can claim ownership of your stories or characters, but reference may be made to them; it won't be as if the characters never existed, or the events you wrote about never took place.
Setting Characters. These are characters which have been created by Lyran Tal Press, and can include heads of government from various regions and leaders of organizations, heroes and villains alike. From time to time, LTP offers these characters to players to 'run' with and write for. The characters usually come with a background, a profile, and often an entire story. They may be played however the individual player given stewardship deems appropriate, as long as it embraces the spirit of role-playing and conforms to the setting structure as laid out within the Lyran Tal website.
The player does not own the character, however, nor do they have the right to copyright the work based on these characters. Copyright of Setting Characters belongs exclusively to Lyran Tal Press.
In the event that a player takes on the role of a Setting Character, then leaves the forum, that character (if the player left him/her alive upon his departure) still continues to exist. Another player will be asked to take over that character because he/she is crucial to running storylines.
Setting Details and Website Content. The world of Lyran Tal and all of its setting information are the exclusive property of Lyran Tal Press. This includes but is not limited to: regions, geography, maps and graphics, political systems, magic, non-player characters, setting characters, etc. You are welcome to include these details in the stories you play out and post within the Lyran Tal Press Forum, but you cannot claim any copyright over these details and they may not be published or included in any works published outside of Lyran Tal Press.
Players and writers at Lyran Tal are always encouraged to further flesh out and enhance the setting by suggesting setting details of their own. These may include, but are not limited to, plants, animals, non-player characters, towns, etc. However, be aware that once you submit these ideas and concepts to the website, to forum leaders, or post them on the boards, these setting details (if used and accepted) become the property of Lyran Tal Press. Here is an example: You come up with the idea for a type of herb that has some unique characteristics and grows in a particular region. You use this type of herb in your stories, and you also submit the idea to the webmaster for inclusion in the website's Plants and Herbs section. If accepted, that variety of herb becomes a part of the world of Lyran Tal setting and you can no longer claim copyright over it.
All website content, unless otherwise noted or specified, is the property of Lyran Tal Press. You shall not copy, transmit, modify, distribute, show in public or in private, modify, reproduce, upload, post, or create any derivative works from the Content you find at Lyran Tal Press, unless Lyran Tal Press expressly authorizes you to do so. Making unauthorized copies of any Content found on Lyran Tal Press (see conditions noted in this document) can lead to the termination of your Account (or revocation of Guest status, if you are a guest) and may subject you to further legal action.