TSR NuTSR Sells Rebound 1E Core Rulebooks For $650 Each

Despite being embroiled in ongoing legal disputes with WotC regarding use of the TSR trademark (amongst other things), NuTSR has posted images of leather-bound compilations of AD&D 1E books they say are rebindings of old material, complete with the disputed logo. They're selling these books for $650 each.

The Deities & Demigods book (middle top in the image) has a typo on the front cover.


rebound1e.jpg


About these books, NuTSR says "Look what just came in. Sorry, we didn't have these in for TSR CON. (in the beginning, WotC said similar to what people below are saying. We said they are rebound of old material. Long story short, WotC said ok no problem, we have it in writing)"

As rebindings, these would be existing books simply being resold. However, the covers with the disputed logo are new.

In early March WotC launched a lawsuit -- (PDF attachment of filing) -- naming TSR, TSR CEO Justin LaNasa personally, and the Dungeon Hobby Shop museum. WotC seeks a judgement that TSR hand over all domains, take down all websites, pay treble damages and costs, hand over all stock and proceeds related to the trademarks, and more.

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Rabulias

the Incomparably Shrewd and Clever
For the US, isn't copyright for anything from 1923 to 1977 done 95 years after date of first publication? Does life of the author or renewing matter as far as making those older things go longer? (Now trademark is different...)
IANAL, but I don't think making game statistics for fictional characters in works still under copyright violates copyright*. Back in the day, Dragon Magazine presented D&D/AD&D stats for many fictional characters without a problem. There were also some Top Secret stats and Boot Hill stats for film and TV characters, IIRC.

As I understood the Deities & Demigods issue it was more of a licensing issue. Chaosium has acquired the rights to produce game statistics for its Call of Cthulhu game and Elric! games. Another company producing game stats of those same creatures for another game system violated that license, but Chaosium allowed TSR to continue to do so with an acknowledgement. Later printings of Deities & Demigods included "Special thanks are also given to Chaosium, Inc. for permission to use the material found in the Cthulhu Mythos and the Melnibonean Mythos." But this agreement with Chaosium soured and the Cthulhu Mythos and the Melnibonean Mythos needed to be removed. (Side note: the acknowledgment remained in many later printings, even after the two mythoi were removed.)

* Unless such works of fiction also included game stats and one copied them exactly. ;)
 
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see

Pedantic Grognard
For the US, isn't copyright for anything from 1923 to 1977 done 95 years after date of first publication?
Yes, except for the wrinkle of renewals for many of them.
Does life of the author or renewing matter as far as making those older things go longer?
Life of the author doesn't matter, but renewing does.

Specifically, if a work's copyright predates January 1, 1964, it had to be properly renewed to remain under copyright after 28 years.

So:

Everything from 1926 or earlier is in the public domain in the US.
Everything from 1927 through 1963 is either in the public domain from failure to renew, or under copyright for a term of 95 years from publication.
Everything from 1964 to 1977 is under copyright for a term of 95 years.
Stuff from 1978 to present is either life of the author + 70 years or 95 years, the latter being the term for works-for-hire.
 


I love this company. NuTSR is the gift that keeps on giving. At this point, I've got to assume that everyone associated with the company has some sort of brain damage.
 

prosfilaes

Adventurer
IANAL, but I don't think making game statistics for fictional characters in works still under copyright violates copyright*. ... As I understood the Deities & Demigods issue it was more of a licensing issue. Chaosium has acquired the rights to produce game statistics for its Call of Cthulhu game and Elric! games. Another company producing game stats of those same creatures for another game system violated that license, ...
I disagree about making game statistics, but IANAL. More to the point, a contract between parties A and B doesn't bind party C. Unless there was copyright or trademark involved, no one would have any right to stop Chaosium or TSR from publishing game stats. Obviously Chaosium and TSR believed that the licensing parties could at least make a colorable claim before a court that game stats for a fictional character violates copyright.
 

Rabulias

the Incomparably Shrewd and Clever
I disagree about making game statistics, but IANAL. More to the point, a contract between parties A and B doesn't bind party C. Unless there was copyright or trademark involved, no one would have any right to stop Chaosium or TSR from publishing game stats. Obviously Chaosium and TSR believed that the licensing parties could at least make a colorable claim before a court that game stats for a fictional character violates copyright.
I found this history of the Deities & Demigods issue: The True Story of the Cthulhu and Elric Sections Removed from Deities & Demigods

Short summary: It seems that Arkham House (Cthulhu fiction copyright holders) and Moorcock had authorized TSR to produce game statistics for their characters in D&DG, and had also licensed Chaosium to produce whole games for both settings, not realizing the conflict between the two. The accommodation was struck between TSR and Chaosium for D&DG, but TSR later decided to remove the content on their own; they were not forced to, and IMO, had no court case to fear.
 

Shakeshift

Adventurer
I have two of the D&DG hardcovers with the Cthulu/Elric printings intact, and I'm considering donating one of them to the new Gary Gygax exhibit opening in Lake Geneva if it's going to be a permanent fixture of the museum. I'm hesitant to give it away carelessly, but I don't really use either of them and giving away one doesn't really impact me in any way. I just want to ensure that it finds a good home.
 



I have two of the D&DG hardcovers with the Cthulu/Elric printings intact, and I'm considering donating one of them to the new Gary Gygax exhibit opening in Lake Geneva if it's going to be a permanent fixture of the museum. I'm hesitant to give it away carelessly, but I don't really use either of them and giving away one doesn't really impact me in any way. I just want to ensure that it finds a good home.
If this is The Dungeon Hobby Shop Museum, you'd be better off setting the book on fire.
 

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