Evidence Chainmail Had Material from Dave Arneson

Bardic Dave

Explorer
So I assume, as a serious scholar, you looked at the copyright registrations submitted by Lowry and Gygax in 1973, right?

Let's see, there was:

1. Alexander the Great (A299083)
2. Chainmail (A299078)
3. Dunkirk (A299082)

All of them have the same date. May 15, 1971.

That was a good Saturday. Wasn't it?
I think it might help if you tone down the snark just a smidge. And yes, that must have been an extraordinarily productive Saturday! Gary invented three games from scratch and made it down to the copyright office and back in time for supper!
 
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lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
I think it might help if you tone down the snark just a smidge. And yes, that must have an extraordinarily productive Saturday! Gary invented three games from scratch and made it down to the copyright office and back in time for supper!
I really should - I wasn't even trying that time.

The snark is a byproduct of frustration; I should know better by now. :(
 

Hriston

Adventurer
According to this article , Arneson’s notes were auctioned off in 2012, and scans were supposed to have been made before that, which were to be given to his estate. Has anyone been allowed to look at them, and are they available to the public?
 

Bardic Dave

Explorer
According to this article , Arneson’s notes were auctioned off in 2012, and scans were supposed to have been made before that, which were to be given to his estate. Has anyone been allowed to look at them, and are they available to the public?
Good find. Something for the OP to investigate, if he cares to.
 

mwittig

Explorer
Notice that there aren't just a few sources that state that the correct date is March, 1971. It's all of the sources. Everything from wikipedia, to blog posts, to less-serious scholarship (Empire of the Imagination) to serious scholarship (Playing at the World) to websites that specialize in the buying and selling of old manuscripts.

All of them.
So that makes it right? Is that why "serious scholarship (Playing at the World)" doesn't include a citation or explanation of that date?
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
So that makes it right? Is that why "serious scholarship (Playing at the World)" doesn't include a citation or explanation of that date?
...you didn't even notice, did you?

I would say that those dates are a lot more right than yours is, unless Gygax had the best Saturday ever.
 

mwittig

Explorer
Let's see, there was:

1. Alexander the Great (A299083)
2. Chainmail (A299078)
3. Dunkirk (A299082)

All of them have the same date. May 15, 1971.
This is a great find, thank you for contributing something meaningful. This would seem to make sense; Chainmail actually seems to have appeared later than May 15, 1971. Perhaps the May 15 date is the earliest date of the three. Lowry did publish all of them in 1971.
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
This is a great find, thank you for contributing something meaningful. This would seem to make sense; Chainmail actually seems to have appeared later than May 15, 1971. Perhaps the May 15 date is the earliest date of the three. Lowry did publish all of them in 1971.
Do you know what the mark of a true fanatic is?

When they lose sight of their goal, they redouble their effort.

You just found out that the only piece of evidence you have that Chainmail was not published in March is indisputably incorrect* .... and you now assert that it must be after the completely arbitrary date?


@Bardic Dave ... eh, how can I not be snarky? I mean .....



*Again, this is something I've been telling you since the beginning, and you refused to look into it, so I had to check it out. WHICH YOU SHOULD HAVE DONE YOURSELF IF YOU WERE DOING ACTUAL RESEARCH.
 

Bardic Dave

Explorer
This is a great find, thank you for contributing something meaningful. This would seem to make sense; Chainmail actually seems to have appeared later than May 15, 1971. Perhaps the May 15 date is the earliest date of the three. Lowry did publish all of them in 1971.
See this, right here? That's not scholarship! You're making blind inductions based on information you don't understand, and you don't seem at all interested in untangling what this new information actually means.

What you should be doing now is looking into how copyright applications actually work and what the significance of the date on the application actually is. Not making unfounded conjecture!
 

mwittig

Explorer
You just found out that the only piece of evidence you have that Chainmail was not published in March is indisputably incorrect .... and you now assert that it must be after the completely arbitrary date?
Just because Lowry put down the same date for three titles published in the same year does not mean that its an arbitrary date. Like I said, it could correspond to the earliest date of the three. In any event, the March, 1971 date appears to be completely unsupported; the fact that multiple books use it (without explanation or citation) does not make it right.
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
What you should be doing now is looking into how copyright applications actually work and what the significance of the date on the application actually is. Not making unfounded conjecture!
If only there were people that were familiar with copyright applications, and would try to explain to him what these things meant.

...Oh, wait. sigh
 

mwittig

Explorer
I'll say it again: the fact that multiple books use it (without explanation or citation) does not make it right.
 

Bardic Dave

Explorer
I'll say it again: the fact that multiple books use it (without explanation or citation) does not make it right.
You know that it's in the interest of the applicant to choose the latest reasonable date, right?

@lowkey13 , please spell it out for him in black and white without any snark, because he really doesn't get it and needs to understand.
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
I'll say it again: the fact that multiple books use it (without explanation or citation) does not make it right.
And as everyone else is saying to you, if you can establish (through actual evidence) a different date ...

then you'd have done a great thing! You would then be cited and feted as someone who has done good and serious research. You have not done that.

But I will try one last time.

The date is arbitrary. As you know, these copyrights were mass submitted in 1972. They were not contemporaneous with the actual publication dates.

If you're familiar with the topic you know that a selection of the 1st or the 15th indicates that the individual in question is most likely choosing a random date*; in addition, the actual retail practice back then means that this particular date, which fell on a Saturday, is certainly wrong.

Moreover, we can easily see that there are three copyrights submitted for three different products, in 1972, that all claim the exact same date a year prior in 1971. We further know that this is impossible, because contemporaneous evidence is that Chainmail, Dunkirk, and Alexander were released at different times.

So we know that this is an arbitrary and incorrect date that does not suffice as evidence of publication date.

Finally, while today we are used to the perpetual copyright, it wasn't always that way. From 1909 on it was a 28 year term, renewable once. 1971 is an important date (think Berne treaty), but long story short, it is and was common practice to affix a reasonable, but later, date of publication on a copyright registration, especially back then.

So long as it's not a knowingly bad date (years off, for example) it won't invalidate the registration. It's presumptively valid.

This gets into a slightly different issue w/r/t to the difference between copyright (creation), copyright (publication) and copyright (registration) dates, but the long story short is that the date chosen on the registration as a publication date will usually reflect a later date.**


As always, advise is what you pay for it, etc. etc.


*Weirdly enough, no one ever chooses the 30th!

**Absent a slightly different issue not relevant here.
 
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Bardic Dave

Explorer
And as everyone else is saying to you, if you can establish (through actual evidence) a different date ...

then you'd have done a great thing! You would then be cited and feted as someone who has done good and serious research. You have not done that.

But I will try one last time.

The date is arbitrary. As you know, these copyrights were mass submitted in 1972. They were not contemporaneous with the actual publication dates.

If you're familiar with the topic you know that a selection of the 1st or the 15th indicates that the individual in question is most likely choosing a random date*; in addition, the actual retail practice back then means that this particular date, which fell on a Saturday, is certainly wrong.

Moreover, we can easily see that there are three copyrights submitted for three different products, in 1973, that all claim the exact same date. We further know that this is impossible, because contemporaneous evidence is that Chainmail. Dunkirk, and Alexander were released at different times.

So we know that this is an arbitrary and incorrect date that does not suffice as evidence of publication date.

Finally, while today we are used to the perpetual copyright, it wasn't always that way. From 1909 on it was a 28 year term, renewable once. 1971 is an important date (think Berne treaty), but long story short, it is and was common practice to affix a reasonable, but later, date of publication on a copyright registration, especially back then.

So long as it's not a knowingly bad date (years off, for example) it won't invalidate the registration. It's presumptively valid.

This gets into a slightly different issue w/r/t to the difference between copyright (creation), copyright (publication) and copyright (registration) dates, but the long story short is that the date chosen on the registration as a publication date will usually reflect a later date.**


As always, advise is what you pay for it, etc. etc.


*Weirdly enough, no one ever chooses the 30th!

**Absent a slightly different issue not relevant here.
You did good.
 

mwittig

Explorer
The date is arbitrary. As you know, these copyrights were mass submitted in 1972. They were not contemporaneous with the actual publication dates.
Chainmail's application was signed by Lowry on Dec. 31, 1971.
Chainmail_copyright_notarization_cropped.jpg


If you're familiar with the topic you know that a selection of the 1st or the 15th indicates that the individual in question is most likely choosing a random date*;
It almost certainly is not completely random. I would think it was an estimate of when one of the three products first went on sale, perhaps rounded to a half-month. The application states: "Give the complete date when copies of this particular edition were first placed on sale, sold, or publicly distributed."

date_specifics.jpg


in addition, the actual retail practice back then means that this particular date, which fell on a Saturday, is certainly wrong.
Hobby stores are open on Saturday, I would not assume that.

Moreover, we can easily see that there are three copyrights submitted for three different products, in 1973, that all claim the exact same date. We further know that this is impossible, because contemporaneous evidence is that Chainmail. Dunkirk, and Alexander were released at different times.

So we know that this is an arbitrary and incorrect date that does not suffice as evidence of publication date.
That is an assumption, and likely an incorrect assumption. There's no reason to think the date is completely arbitrary; the application spells out in plain English that the applicant is supposed to give the date the product was first sold.
 

Attachments

Bardic Dave

Explorer
Chainmail's application was signed by Lowry on Dec. 31, 1971.
View attachment 115525


It almost certainly is not completely random. I would think it was an estimate of when one of the three products first went on sale, perhaps rounded to a half-month. The application states: "Give the complete date when copies of this particular edition were first placed on sale, sold, or publicly distributed."

View attachment 115526


Hobby stores are open on Saturday, I would not assume that.


That is an assumption, and likely an incorrect assumption. There's no reason to think the date is completely arbitrary; the application spells out in plain English that the applicant is supposed to give the date the product was first sold.
Look man, you're just making stuff up. You say things like "no, it's not like that. It's got to be like this instead" and you appear to think that that's a reasonable argument. Some of the things you are asserting could be true, but you don't do any of the work necessary to establish how or why that might actually be the case.

In contrast, lowkey is someone who has done actual legal scholarship. They've explained common copyright application practice to you in great detail, and provided information specific to the time period in question. You could accept lowkey's expertise, or you could verify the veracity of what they're saying for yourself by educating yourself on the subject. You could talk to an IP lawyer or a legal historian. You could talk to a publisher.

But you're not going to do any of that. You'd prefer to just conjure counter-arguments out of thin air because it's easier and it's less likely to force you to confront the possibility that you might be wrong.
 

mwittig

Explorer
Look man, you're just making stuff up.
Those scans don't look made up to me. The directions that Lowry likely read that instruct him to "Give the complete date when copies of this particular edition were first placed on sale, sold, or publicly distributed" don't look made up. Lowkey may have some legal training, but by saying "the date is arbitrary," he makes it sound like Lowry rolled dice in deciding on May 15, 1971, and that was almost certainly not the case. Maybe Lowkey can clarify what he meant by "the date is arbitrary."
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
Maybe Lowkey can clarify what he meant by "the date is arbitrary."
I did. It's unfortunate that you both do not understand it, and seem incapable of a modicum of curiosity to try and grasp both what I said, and why I both knew what I was talking about and was able to easily find that all the games had the same copyright date after you refused to do any research. I think we're done.

Lowkey "May Have Some Legal Training" 13


ps- for your reference, the date of submission of a registration is not the date of execution.That's why this would be listed in the 1972 copyrights.

But why would anyone bother explaining these things to you? Since you clearly have no desire to learn.
 

Bardic Dave

Explorer
Those scans don't look made up to me. The directions that Lowry likely read that instruct him to "Give the complete date when copies of this particular edition were first placed on sale, sold, or publicly distributed" don't look made up. Lowkey may have some legal training, but by saying "the date is arbitrary," he makes it sound like Lowry rolled dice in deciding on May 15, 1971, and that was almost certainly not the case. Maybe Lowkey can clarify what he meant by "the date is arbitrary."
Maybe arbitrary should have been qualified. Maybe lowkey should have said "largely arbitrary" or "somewhat arbitrary". However, the omission of an appropriate qualifier doesn't invalidate lowkey's point, which was extremely well articulated. I understood it perfectly clearly.

Let me break this down for you.

1. When I say you're making stuff up, I don't mean you're forging the documents. I mean you're asserting things about the significance of those documents that aren't well founded.
2. The form provides a particular instruction to the applicant. That is a piece of evidence in favour of your assertion.
3. Lowkey has explained to you how that instruction is interpreted in actual practice. Specifically, that the dates are chosen somewhat arbitrarily and tend to be later than the actual date of publication. That is a piece of evidence against your assertion.
4. Three different games all have the exact same copyright date. That's a piece of evidence against your assertion.
5. There is a mountain of anecdotal evidence from contemporaneous sources that puts the publication date at March 1971. That's a bunch of evidence against your assertion.

So maybe the inference you're making about the significance of the date on the copyright application could be incorrect? Do you think that might be possible?
 
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