Over 3,300 signatures already! The SAZ calls on the publishers to acknowledge game designers as originators.
The Fachgruppe Spiel e.V., the association of German game companies, still refuses to acknowledge that game designers are originators within the meaning of German copyright law. Consequently, the Fachgruppe also denies to acknowledge that the Game Designer Association (Spiele-Autoren-Zunft e.V., SAZ) is the representative association of game designers.
Therefore, on April 8, 2013, the SAZ went public with an open letter, a legal opinion and a signature campaign on the platform change.org in order to promote its claims. Meanwhile, the petition has been signed by more than 3,300 supporters worldwide.
In contrast, the reaction of the Fachgruppe Spiel to the open letter was really startling. They refer to the Game Designer Association as a group of "suppliers" with whom they cannot conduct negotiations, for reasons of antitrust law. The Fachgruppe restricts the basic intellectual property rights regarding games to possible individual cases and demands jurisdiction on a case-by-case basis. This shows a strange interpretation of copyright law. To the contrary, what is correct is that the copyright law applies automatically and individual works do not require legal evaluation. We are greatly disappointed by this peculiar interpretation by the Fachgruppe Spiel; instead, we would be very happy with a common procedure to solve pending problems.
At the same time, with this response, the member companies of the Fachgruppe Spiel jeopardize the prior relationship of trust that has existed with the game designers; in the past, the companies had actually concluded license agreements with game designers regarding the production and distribution of the designers' works in a good spirit of mutual understanding. It is within the company where the question of the level of creative content and thus the suitability for the company's product line might arise. This responsibility cannot be taken away from the publishers by any court.
Therefore, the Game Designer Association (Spiele-Autoren-Zunft e.V.; SAZ) will continue resolutely advocating for the Fachgruppe Spiel and its member companies to acknowledge intellectual property rights regarding games, and the SAZ will continue the signature campaign on change.org.