GAME DESIGNERS ARE ORIGINATORS!
Small chronology of the discussion with the Fachgruppe Spiel to which 20 game publishing houses belong:
With a legal opinion, an open letter,
and a signature campaign, the Game Designer Association (Spiele-Autoren-Zunft
e.V., SAZ) counteracts in April 2013 the refusal of the Fachgruppe Spiel e.V. (Game Publisher Association in Germany) to acknowledge
game designers the status as originators and to continue the discussions about
contract matters with the SAZ as the game designers' representation.
Link to the open letter to the FACHGRUPPE SPIEL (PDF download 89 KB)
The current edition of the SAZ Points No. 5 "Intellectual Property Rights Regarding Games" is exceptionally public. This
legal opinion serves to defend the legitimate interests of game designers as
originators and to underline our point of view that the SAZ is the representative (and only) organisation of game designers following § 36 of the German Intellectual Property Law.
Link to the PDF download of the SAZ Points No. 5 (284 KB)
In addition to this report, we conducted a random sampling survey, which demonstrates clearly that the SAZ is the representative voice for game designers in practice – at least in the German speaking countries:
Link to the survey
In early April 2013, the Game Designers Association (Spiele-Autoren-Zunft, SAZ) started the petition "Accept game designers as authors and the SAZ as a negotiation partner!" on change.org. The background was the denial of the organization of game publishers (Spieleverlage e.V.; formerly: Fachgruppe Spiel) to acknowledge the status of game designers as originators according to German copyright law.
Selected comments from supporters (PDF download - update of July 13, 2013)
The SAZ initiated a new beer coaster proclamation at the end of May 2013 at which 50 well-known game designers declare as first signatories: “We do not sign any contract that does not expressly acknowledge us as the originator of our game”. Following, on the 32nd game designer meeting in Göttingen on 1./2 June 2013 and later further game designers have signed. Up-to-date we have in total 99 signatures. Game designers who still want to sign can do this here.
On June 8th 2013 was a conversation in Berlin between the board of the SAZ and our lawyer with the executive board and further representatives of the Fachgruppe Spiel (publishers). We also have presented a list with all 4.300 signatories of our petition on change.org. To the results of the conversation the SAZ published a press release. We will see, how it goes on in October ... Until we have clarity here, we will continue the collection of signatures and furthermore ask for your support.
In June 2014, the SAZ closes the Authors Petition with 4,712 Signatures. In the meantime, the position of the organization of game publishers unfortunately has not changed at all, although many companies that are members of the organization actually document the authorship of game designers, acknowledging their work through their license agreements.
Therefore, the SAZ will continue to advocate the clear and general acknowledgment of game designers as originators, also at a political level, and extend its function as a strong representative of their interests. Concrete proposals for a more precise definition within German law about Authors' Rights were published in April 2014. The SAZ board thanks all supporters and considers the signature campaign a helpful support and a definite success.
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