The question Can one effectivly copy a game without infringing copyright? was recently closed by a moderator with the comment that

legal questions are off topic. See Card Game Legal Questions are off topic (apparently) can this be added to the of topic FAQ?

But in that thread, the most up-voted answer (6 votes as opposed to 2) states:

I ... think that we should be explicit that legal questions are off topic if that is the stance that we are going to take. [Emphasis added]

No addition to the help center on this matter was ever made, so i do not think that thread establishes a consensus that such questions are off topic on this site.

As I said in a comment to the closed thread:

Isn't this stack about designing & creating games as well as playing them? If so, aren't the copyright issues that may face either designers wanting to protect new games, or those wanting to clone them on-topic here?

I went on to say:

This started as an answer to a meta thread, but I thought it was too potentially useful to those concerned with such issues to leave in the relative obscurity of meta, so I edited it to make it, I thought, proper for this site, removing the meta-specific aspects. I often post at law.se, and I will delete it here and re-post it on law.se if there is a consensus to do so.

I would be looking for a consensus for or against that in this thread.

It seems to me that questions about the legal issues of game design ought to be on-topic at bcg.se, just as copyright issues are often on-topic at writing.se (I have answered a number of questions about copyright there. I note thsat we do have a copyright tag with a tag summery and 7 q2uestions on the main site. Not a huge number, but enough to show that people do think this a proper place to ask such questions from tiem to time. I suggest that we make such question explicitly on-topic here.

There are now two votes to reopen the question first linked above.

Do people want such questions to be allowed here, or not?

If the answer is "no", then I urge making this explicit in the site help center.

1 Answer 1


I would say they are not on topic here as the legal issues can be very tricky and users on this site are not expected to have the required legal knowledge to properly answer those questions. I can very easily see that an incorrect answer is given due to some misreading of the exact situation involved in the question and it could cause anyone reading and taking advice from the answer some serious legal and financial trouble.

I think a better place to check for these types of legal questions would be law stack exchange where they seem to be on topic as they regularly are expected to answer these types of legal questions.

  • 3
    It is certainly true that such questions are on-topic at law.se, indeed I have answered several hundred questions on copyright issues on law.se. But questions can be on-topic on more than one site in the SE network. Indeed I have answered several copyright questions on writing.se. Jan 12, 2022 at 20:49
  • @DavidSiegel I have some participation on the site so I figured it would be good for them but I wasn't 100% certain that they would be welcome.
    – Joe W
    Jan 12, 2022 at 21:00
  • 2
    It may be worth noting that we handle such topics just fine at RPG, here is our list of questions in the [intellectual-property] tag. For our reasoning behind allowing such topics, see SSD's answer to this question on our meta: We are not lawyers. Why do we allow law topics?. The answer there addresses some of your concerns, and may be applicable in some fashion to this site as well. Jan 26, 2022 at 21:32

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .