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Morgoloth
Acolyte

3 Posts

Posted - 25 Aug 2020 :  23:49:05  Show Profile Send Morgoloth a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Hey everybody! So I've run across a little bit of a conundrum here and I didn't know where else to ask about this. Hopefully you all might be able to help me in the matter..

So a character of mine is a bit of a tinkerer. And when I say a bit, I mean she's quite the inventor. As an artificer, it's her bread and butter! So anyway, she's been working on a few items and is on the cusp of essentially creating a slot machine. Obviously, we're not talking anything absurd, but similar to the items that are already in Sigil. But in Faerun, we're working that this would be a monumental creation..

..which brings me to the question of how, if at all, would she be able to copyright such an invention? Is that even a thing within Faerun? I know that Volo puts his name on the books he sells and gets royalty payments, so I'm sure there is a layer of this somewhere.. and I am sure that certain smiths put their brands on items they make.

I was hoping you all might be able to shed some light on the matter. Have you come across such a thing in your readings? Or if this has come across in one of your campaigns, how did you handle it? Thank you so much for the help!

The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2224 Posts

Posted - 26 Aug 2020 :  00:24:43  Show Profile Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Not really... the only thing I know of that is similar is the restriction of southern mages from sharing their secrets with outsiders.

When those secrets were stolen, some were sent to hunt the thief down.

Beyond that I've never heard of anything like proprietary information.
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Kentinal
Great Reader

4513 Posts

Posted - 26 Aug 2020 :  00:26:46  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well you are talking more about a patent for items created then copyright.

The only way I can see the "Lawn ornament on Elminster's lawn for over a year" earning funds from copyright is by one of his spells compels people to send him coin on reading one of his writings. There could be another way magic prevents copy and Volo sells each and everyone.

All in all I do not see either working well in the Realms. There is no international law and regional and local law subject to change of rulers.

"Small beings can have small wisdom," the dragon said. "And small wise beings are better than small fools. Listen: Wisdom is caring for afterwards."
"Caring for afterwards ...? Ker repeated this without understanding.
"After action, afterwards," the dragon said. "Choose the afterwards first, then the action. Fools choose action first."
"Judgement" copyright 2003 by Elizabeth Moon
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Divinity
Acolyte

USA
34 Posts

Posted - 26 Aug 2020 :  00:29:42  Show Profile Send Divinity a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On page 26 of "Ed Greenwood Presents Elminster's Forgotten Realms" it says, while talking about books in Cormyr, there is no such thing as copyright.

My Faerūn Continent Map

Edited by - Divinity on 26 Aug 2020 00:31:30
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Storyteller Hero
Learned Scribe

USA
248 Posts

Posted - 26 Aug 2020 :  01:34:38  Show Profile  Visit Storyteller Hero's Homepage Send Storyteller Hero a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The last time that a Blackstaff was known to have encountered lawyers, he cast Cone of Cold and hoofed it out of the scene.


#forgottenrealmscomic




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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7315 Posts

Posted - 26 Aug 2020 :  01:48:57  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Copyrights are ownership claims. Trademarks and brands are property claims. Patents are monopoly privileges.

One thing they all have in common is reliance on legal enforcement. You can be the original creator or inventor of anything, but if it's a truly useful or valuable thing then somebody somewhere will find a way to copy or pirate it. All the copyrights, trademarks, and patents do is give you a legally defined territory and legal deed you can take to a court to legally eject/prosecute any trespassers.

The Realms does not have the same sort of sophisticated and entrenched legal systems on any national or international level. So I think you can claim copyrights on anything you like but aside from advertising your name (the same way an artist signs a painting or a blacksmith stamps his signature imprint) these copyright claims have no useful meaning. Others can steal or adapt these inventions, there's no way to stop them and there's no way to punish them.

The Church of Gond has "invented" numerous things which bear a striking resemblance to what some sages have scried on our world. Wizards copy spells from each other without any regard for the original creators. People will use useful things they've seen others use without any concern for where these ideas originated. No supreme court or legal entity has jurisdiction to accuse and condemn violators, no supreme army or guild has actual ability to track down violators and assert justice.

[/Ayrik]
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Morgoloth
Acolyte

3 Posts

Posted - 26 Aug 2020 :  02:52:06  Show Profile Send Morgoloth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the insight all! :) The character is eventually going to start her own gambling hall and will be stocking a few of these clockwork machines there. I'm guessing that she'll just have to have them guarded very carefully. And break a few kneecaps if someone starts poking at the machine -too- much for her liking, haha.
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AJA
Senior Scribe

USA
549 Posts

Posted - 26 Aug 2020 :  03:26:05  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik
Others can steal or adapt these inventions, there's no way to stop them and there's no way to punish them.

*cough cough* murder hobos adventurers.

But other than that, no. A guild would help in dealing with outsiders selling your product on guild turf, but not with competition among their own members, nor would a religion (gods of artifice, literature, song and magic benefit more the more such creations are shared and spread in their glory). That's why Mystra's prohibition on mages stealing each other's sigils is so terrifyingly absolute, because its' the only enforced "copyright ban" in existence in the Realms.


AJA
YAFRP

Edited by - AJA on 26 Aug 2020 03:27:52
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
34225 Posts

Posted - 26 Aug 2020 :  04:38:21  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Storyteller Hero

The last time that a Blackstaff was known to have encountered lawyers, he cast Cone of Cold and hoofed it out of the scene.


#forgottenrealmscomic







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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7315 Posts

Posted - 26 Aug 2020 :  05:15:18  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
@AJA ... I believe you're describing something more akin to "trade secrets". A copyrighted or patented item must openly declare how it works and how it's made. A trade secret is a jealously-protected mystery, it relies on anti-tamper traps, misinformation, disinformation, and simple lack of explanation - the less anyone knows about how to duplicate it the better.

Realmslore has described many groups - especially thief guilds and assassin guilds and bardic colleges and druidic circles and meddling Harpers and Black Zhents and Red Wizards - who will go far out of their way to prevent others from using the stuff they invented. If they openly display any identifying signature on their stuff at all it is meant as a warning or as a conduit for magical retribution.

"Mystra's Thrice-Damned Curse" upon those who attempt forgery of magical sigils is actually an example of an ultimate authority able to impose ultimate copyright law.

But Tyr maintains nothing equivalent. Nor does Gond. And all the other deites are basically interested in openly sharing, promoting, or destroying things - not in assigning (and enforcing) things linked to individual owners.

I suppose Leira (or Cyric) and even Shar might actually wield some practical "copyright law" within fields which affect their portfolios. And any deity (any being more powerful than a typical mortal) could do the same within fields which attract their attention - a good example is the Simbul (and later all of Mystra's Chosen) being constantly aware of any utterances of their names (and informed about the sources and contexts of these usages).

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 26 Aug 2020 05:53:30
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
9761 Posts

Posted - 26 Aug 2020 :  12:48:02  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AJA

quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik
Others can steal or adapt these inventions, there's no way to stop them and there's no way to punish them.

*cough cough* murder hobos adventurers.

But other than that, no. A guild would help in dealing with outsiders selling your product on guild turf, but not with competition among their own members, nor would a religion (gods of artifice, literature, song and magic benefit more the more such creations are shared and spread in their glory). That's why Mystra's prohibition on mages stealing each other's sigils is so terrifyingly absolute, because its' the only enforced "copyright ban" in existence in the Realms.





LOL, makes me want to consider a spell like "Deneir's Copyproofing" that when cast on a book makes anyone who tries to plagiarize (even if into another language and script) said work get hit with a nasty effect.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 26 Aug 2020 12:50:05
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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1861 Posts

Posted - 26 Aug 2020 :  13:17:50  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Even after the printing press in the real world, copyright claims would have been impossible to enforce and were not recognized for centuries. The first inkling of copyright law, which applied only within a single kingdom (England) was in the 18th century. It wasn't until the late 19th century that international copyright protection became even remotely realistic in the real world.

The reason it wasn't a thing in the real world was not that nobody had 'invented' it, but simply that governments, legal systems and legal enforcement were not rich or powerful enough for any such thing until the modern era.

People often fail to get the distinction between a modern government and historical ones. Yes, kings, emperors, lords and governors might historically have had all kinds of despotic powers and checks and balances might have been lacking. But practically, the power of governments in the past was infinitely less, because they simply didn't have the vast revenue, hordes of public servants and mountains of available information. The role of modern governments is so much more active in the daily lives of people that all sorts of legislation and, crucially, enforcement thereof, becomes a possibility in ways that they weren't before.

So, if you want copyright claims to be in any way enforceable in your Realms, you are essentially postulating that governments on Toril are effectively much more powerful than any historical one before the 18th century. Basically, that the rule of law is stronger and that the state is involved in more things than it ever was historically. In my opinion, many adventures and stories set in the Realms do not suggest such a strong state in many places. Even in Cormyr, there are definite limitations to what the Crown can know about and interfere with.

What I would consider likely is that there are no laws (or certainly not enforceable ones) to prevent someone from printing and selling books that someone else wrote. So, if the author or someone else wants to prevent this, they have to do it the old fashioned way, by intimidating or killing those who do, if they are not prepared to just accept it. That is, after all, how IP disputes were resolved for centuries in the real world.

Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!

Forgotten Realms fans, please sign a petition to re-release the FR Interactive Atlas

Edited by - Icelander on 26 Aug 2020 13:19:51
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SaMoCon
Learned Scribe

USA
291 Posts

Posted - 26 Aug 2020 :  13:34:25  Show Profile Send SaMoCon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Setting divine retribution aside, the OP's original question that erroneously pointed to copyright laws sent me down a rabbit hole to find the world's first such law, the Statute of Anne in 1709. Obviously, intellectual property existed prior to the passage of this law, but no law was made to protect such things even though there was profit derived for rightful productions and wrongful reproductions or commercial "fan" productions (my favorite example is the scurrilous Second Book of the Ingenious Knight Don Quixote of La Mancha). This is not to say that the real world history was devoid of rights for authors because there were legal rights established in antiquity from Jewish & Greek-influenced Roman laws that had been disseminated across the European continent that persisted long after the Roman Empire disappeared- "the moral rights of the author who created a work, the economic rights of a benefactor who paid to have a copy made, {and} the property rights of the individual owner of a copy." It was these notions that guided resolutions to disputes even though the resolution may involve warfare. As much as we are influenced & protected by the laws of our world, the Forgotten Realms has little to nothing beyond what the local Brute Squad is willing to mete out within their area of control and what happens in other jurisdictions or realms would simply get a shrug unless it rises to the level of regional/national interest.

This way of thinking easily applies to all other intellectual properties from formulas to processes that reinforces the secretiveness of tradesmen & guilds up to the point for hiring assassins to hunt down anyone that has stolen their methods. It isn't laws that keep these business concerns profitable but zealous guarding of their techniques & ruthless persecution of those that have somehow copied or infringed upon their designs. The only reason for a legal framework to be proposed for enforcing the rights over intellectual properties is the usual for any government: money & (threats to) power. An automatic gambling machine itself is likely to evoke a response by government powers (gambling has always attracted criminal endeavors, usury, violence, and a ready pool of coins that can be legally confisca- ahem, taxed).

By the by, why a slot machine when dice are much cheaper? The slot machine was initially made of cast iron with precision machined parts - it was both durable & heavy. If an empty 5e breast plate costs 400gp then what would the equivalent filled with mechanical gears cost. I have always looked askance at players introducing gadgets that were invented in the real world after the Industrial Revolution, and the slot machine (1891) was preceded by both the recoil-operated Maxim machine gun (1884) and commercially available gasoline powered cars (1888).

Edit: And, as per usual, someone got a message in while I was still composing mine that made my main point, but Icelander did it better.

Make the best use of the system that's there, then modify the mechanics that don't allow you to have the fun you are looking for.

Edited by - SaMoCon on 26 Aug 2020 13:37:04
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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1861 Posts

Posted - 26 Aug 2020 :  13:46:15  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Note, however, that the original question should should been about patents and that those existed, in the form of city-wide or sometimes royal prerogatives like monopolies within the kingdom, since the time of Ancient Greece.

They were usually for only a year or, later, ten years, and they definitely weren't given to powerless, unconnected inventors, but they did exist in stronger mercantile societies and I would consider them plausible in many Realms locations. But, mind you, until and unless you could convince a ruler to back your effective monopoly within their territory (likely only for a year or at most several), your enforcement of your rights would have been limited to a) Trying to actually keep your secret methods secret, b) Intimidating anyone who tried to copy them, or c) Violence toward those who did.

Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!

Forgotten Realms fans, please sign a petition to re-release the FR Interactive Atlas

Edited by - Icelander on 26 Aug 2020 13:46:43
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7315 Posts

Posted - 26 Aug 2020 :  15:08:39  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What we call Patents were once often called Royal Patents or Imperial Patents. The King or Emperor (or his proxy) gave you a fancy piece of paper covered in nifty seals and impressive flourishes. He also gave you exclusive "permissions" (rights) to use or sell the patented thing within his nation. And he'd deploy magistrates (lawyers) or police/soldiers (thugs) to deal with any offenders you complained about. He of course expected some sort of permission to use (or discount to purchase) the patented thing in his own Royal/Imperial military or household - and if he didn't then it was likely because he was showing favouritism to the patent-holder to promote friends or manipulate his aristrocratic peers.

But he made (and could make) no promises about patent exclusivities outside the borders of his nation. He was unlikely to declare war vs neighbouring nations simply because they ignored the promises he made to you on his patent.

Patent law has become a complex thing (and multi-million-dollar industry) in our world. We have "patent pools" (aka "patent trolls") who are basically just investment companies sitting on piles of patents, allowing them to collect licensing incomes and exert controls (such as they are) on whatever patented things they own.
The Realms is sophisticated enough to have Faerun-spanning guilds, groups, and organizations. Alliances of city-states. Distributed crime syndicates. Guilds galore. Numerous Churches, Cults, Faiths, and Religions. So I wonder if they have real patent protections in the more "civilized" areas of the Realms. (Though, to be honest, I think Cormyr and Waterdeep and all the rest are woeful backwaters in comparison to the ancient civilization of mighty Shou. Let alone any cosmopolitan connections to Realmspace and the planes and beyond.)

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 26 Aug 2020 15:29:56
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
9761 Posts

Posted - 26 Aug 2020 :  16:51:39  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ultimately, what we call patents and copyrights and what not depends on a level of civilized cooperation which honestly doesn't appear to exist in the realms. When your neighbors are literally willing to eat you and see no problem with such (and by neighbors, I mean the local goblins, ogres, gnolls, etc..), it becomes very hard to believe that anyone is going to be able to hold anyone to the levels of rules and laws that we see in our own societies. Honestly, the idea that they have an established agreement for coinage is pretty amazing. This is one of the things that I think many new people don't quite get when they ponder the realms (and even some of us who have been here since the beginnings forget it at times), because they're picturing some Arthurian realm with knights and fair maidens, when ultimately the place is extremely barbarous. The "civilization" that we're presented is little more than a veneer, with the people willing to draw daggers at a moment's notice. We see very few actual kingdoms of significant size (pretty much Tethyr, Cormyr, and Impiltur), and of those three one of them had its royalty overthrown (Tethyr). Other similar empires, such as Mulhorand, have seen their pharaoh assassinated and replaced by a child. Impiltur as well sits on the cusps of losing its lineage. Only Cormyr shows a relatively strong royal lineage, and I think we can all agree that that one has its own difficulties.

On the original poster's idea though, I encourage him to ask some other questions.... if you install "slot machines" in the realms, just exactly how do you plan to prevent them getting robbed clandestinely? If you're depending on a locking mechanism to hold the coins used with the slot machine, there's magics galore for opening simple locks. How will you prevent someone just picking up the machine and walking out with it? After all, one of these slot machines, if tipped over into a bag of holding becomes relatively weightless. Then there's simply the idea that some real robbers show up and kill the owners and take the time to empty the machines. If all of these things involve having to pay adventurers to sit there and guard the slot machines, your profits are gone in paying them. Finally, in a society where there are whorehouses, gambling dens, drug pits, etc... why is anyone going to be interested in playing slots? Again, this is a system that almost requires a level of society and civilization that just doesn't exist in the realms. It might exist in some place like Eberron mind you.

This conversation has made me think about something for my own homebrew, in that I know some have heard me speak of a netherse enclave (Doubloon) that has been flown on the outskirts of the atmosphere with a VERY slow moving helm. I placed the Zulkir of Illusion there (Mythrell'aa) and I've been trying to picture the society they might set up as "like our world's Las Vegas". I was picturing strip clubs, slave auction houses, drug dens, bars, dance halls, and gambling dens galore, aided by the glitz and glamour that illusion magic can provide. Exactly what level of gaming can occur though becomes questionable, and the need to control magical funny business in gambling is definitely something that would need to have some thought and write ups.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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see
Learned Scribe

223 Posts

Posted - 26 Aug 2020 :  21:44:35  Show Profile Send see a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Note, of course, the specific evolution of the term patent. It originally came from a French term meaning "open letter", and in English came to mean "A document conferring some privilege, right, office, etc." Thus a "patent of nobility" historically was a royal "open letter" officially declaring you to be a noble.

This meaning evolved to cover one specific such privilege granted by that sort of document: "A licence to manufacture, sell, or deal in an article or commodity, to the exclusion of other persons;"

Thus, for example, a 21-year "patent" was granted in 1566 to a couple of guys named Dollyne and Carye on the making of glass in England. This is not because they invented making glass, or (as it turns out) even knew how to make glass; they simply got a government-granted a monopoly throughout England on the making of glass (in exchange for some terms and conditions they failed to meet, so the patent was cancelled early).

It wasn't until rather later that "patent" as a government monopoly was narrowed to mean in relation to inventions. And the old meanings are not entirely dead; Cambridge University owns the Queen's Printer's Patent (or Royal Letters Patent as The Queen's Printer) in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, which gives it the right to print and publish the King James Version of the Bible, and to control and license its publication.
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Demzer
Senior Scribe

757 Posts

Posted - 27 Aug 2020 :  11:55:55  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thinking about this, the only really enforced thing (similar to copyright and patents) is the minting of coins (and trade bars and the like). That's the only example in the Realms with governments, guilds and basically everyone involved beside the occasional swindler doing their best to keep things straight (to the point were there are kind-of fixed conversion rates for coins from different places in some kingdoms/states, if I remember correctly).

Everything else, it's up to you and your hired muscle to protect your intellectual property.
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
9761 Posts

Posted - 27 Aug 2020 :  13:54:25  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
By the way, in thinking more on the lines of a "Las Vegas" isolated floating Netherese enclave, I've been pondering more and more what kinds of things might be happening. If you don't mind, I ask scribes here to come up with some "schticks" that might be regularly occurring. By that, I'll throw out some ideas that might seem to fit "Vegas" lifestyle and the idea of illusion and/or "lies"/"shapechanging" and other things being relatively common. Some of these ideas may be entirely stupid, and don't be afraid to tell me if that's the case. I'm more throwing out whatever is flooding to my brain really quickly just to see what makes sense.

Drinks are just water and "flavored" via cantrip for a short term using some kind of minor magic item. They are served by attractive bar maids who walk around serving them for relatively cheap rates plus tips. This money gained goes back to the house for the rental of items like hats of disguise that are used by the bar maids, so that even the most normal looking bar maid can get good tips based solely on her imaginative ability for what she "should" look like. Perhaps no single bar maid is allowed use of a device for more than say an hour before having to return it for the next person to use it, and thus when they have use of the device they really need to hustle. This also helps prevent loss of devices by someone taking them away. Perhaps these items are also quasi-magic items using the local mythallar, such that they are of no use outside of the enclave.

Similar to the above, but instead of bar maids, sexual partners might be able to advertise themselves for prostitution. There might also be beings like doppelgangers amongst these numbers earning an "honest" living.

Some places might cater to more tame pursuits than outright sex for money, but still use similar methods, such as dance clubs. These dance clubs should possess actual bards to play music, but also they might possess animated instruments or simple auditory "recordings" to play well-known or requested tunes. This might make a huge difference from ordinary realms inns which don't have "constant" music on tap. Perhaps there are even places where one can put in "requests" for certain songs for money, somewhat like a magical jukebox, and rivalries might exist between people "competing" to have "their music" playing. Some relatively rich person might even pay a thug to discourage the average person from changing the music, and fights might break out between entitled nobles who use their thugs to duke it out to determine whose music is going to be getting played.

There might be "rides" that are accomplished via magic, technology, or a blending of both. The idea of a roller coaster for instance that consists of an animated construct "car" that can pull several attached cars along a track might not be outside the realm of possibility. this track would most likely be metal, and perhaps its not as convoluted as our modern idea of a coaster (a simple loop could be exhilarating for most folks). Along similar lines but less mechanical, a mage using a tenser's floating disk that holds some cushioned seats and a strap, could have people "ride" along behind him as he pulls them very fast using a broom of flying or some other cheap conveyance (you can't go UP mind you with a tenser's disk). For a lot of folks, just riding really fast for a short term could be very exhilarating and worth a few coins.

Carnival "competitions" might also be setup wherein people might try to win simple toys and/or prizes. The prizes might be something less like what we would get in our world (i.e. a stuffed doll) and more like food, drink, or perhaps a simple article of clothing (a pretty scarf, a comb/brush, some hair ribbons, makeup, lipstick, etc...). These competitions might employ illusions of a sort. For instance, we commonly have throwing darts at balloons. Perhaps the balloons are replaced by simple color illusions that "pop" if a dart hits them and are all renewed via a minor illusion cantrip. Some others that come to mind are things wherein water is shot into something that gathers it and moves, and this should be a level of technology that might be able to be easily accomplished. In this area, I might need a little help, as I haven't been to any carnivals in a long time.

There might be magical illusory light displays that occur at specified times to draw people to some specific location. These might be funded by hotels, dining locations (perhaps a collection of dining locations pool money to pay for a service as a type of advertising), or some tourist attraction.

Not everything in the city would be about the clubs themselves. There would also be how you are seen travelling to and from the clubs. One of the "stylish" ways to travel is actually a small prestigious carriage pulled by a pegasi. Some are pulled by "pegacorns", though the vast majority of these pegacorns are actually pegasi with an illusory and/or transmuted unicorn's horn (or simply a fake horn of wood/marble attached to a horse's headgear). In fact, a lot of these "pegasi" aren't even true pegasi, but rather their carriages have the ability to allow any animal attached to sprout wings and fly. For more on this, look at

Pegasus, Pegasi, Pegacorn, and Pegacoaches (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4404593) by sleyvas is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution license. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4404593

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1861 Posts

Posted - 27 Aug 2020 :  14:00:23  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
sleyvas, title a new scroll for a new subject.

On the actual subject in this scroll, I found confirmation in Council of Blades that the city-states of the Blade Kingdoms had patents, both for magical and technological innovation. As their social organization and technology matches our Italy around the year 1500 CE, that seems perfectly feasible.

I'd expect that rulers of individual city-states in the Vilhon Reach and perhaps even some Chessentan rulers, might grant similar patents, each valid only where their writ ran and probably always limited to a short period of time, say a year or several years, depending on the political power of the person obtaining the patent.

Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!

Forgotten Realms fans, please sign a petition to re-release the FR Interactive Atlas
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7315 Posts

Posted - 27 Aug 2020 :  14:10:51  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think Realms coinage is still commodity-based instead of representative-based or fiat-based.

Meaning that one gold coin is worth one gold coin because of the weight of gold it contains, not because a government or financial institution maintains an arbitrary economic value of one gold on the coin they minted. Likewise for silver coins, copper coins, bars and ingots of the same.

Meaning that gold vs silver vs copper have exchange rates based on their relative scarcities - and that a kingdom has little control over these values aside from hoarding or releasing reserves. They might also focus on mining (or not mining) certain metals, although good luck convincing the dwarves next door to forgo mining rich metal lodes "for the good of the kingdom", and good luck convincing the local scary dragon that it needs to pay some sort of tax or tribute from its hoard.

Or meaning that the consistent and convenient stable Faerun-spanning economy is controlled by greater powers which are capable of policing "copyright" on those who devaluate the system.
Perhaps the First National Bank of Sigil? The Elven Armada Investment Authority? The Tinker Gnomes of Zurich? The Ao Overtrade Index? The goddess Waukeen?

[/Ayrik]
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SaMoCon
Learned Scribe

USA
291 Posts

Posted - 28 Aug 2020 :  00:14:02  Show Profile Send SaMoCon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

... So I wonder if they have real patent protections in the more "civilized" areas of the Realms. (Though, to be honest, I think Cormyr and Waterdeep and all the rest are woeful backwaters in comparison to the ancient civilization of mighty Shou. Let alone any cosmopolitan connections to Realmspace and the planes and beyond.)


As far as the lore goes on Waterdeep there is a line from City of Splendors: Waterdeep on page 51 that says, "Guilds can never restrict all trade to themselves; the Lords are adamant in enforcing the right of merchants and tradesfolk to operate outside the strictures of the guilds if they prefer." This can be interpreted to mean that any claim to violations of process or design ownership are not respected by the powers that be; although, that is not necessarily what the authors intended to imply since both economics & the legalities thereof are scarcely mentioned in that (or any) FR product.

As far as "Faerun-spanning," I never got the sense that such groups were cohesive whole organizations except for the Thayan colonies. The other orders that spanned far seemed more like loose confederations of franchisees (they run their own local operations but willing to help a properly credentialed visitor from another franchise location) at best to territorial monopolies (treating out-of-towners like business rivals, industrial spies, or potential usurpers of the guild hierarchy) at worst. This interpretation hews closely to the FR world model where laws only extend as far as the point of the duly empowered sheriff's sword as Icelander pointed out earlier (26 Aug 2020 : 13:17:50) and a thrust dagger in the night can expeditiously end an irksome threat.

Make the best use of the system that's there, then modify the mechanics that don't allow you to have the fun you are looking for.
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cpthero2
Master of Realmslore

USA
1812 Posts

Posted - 22 Nov 2020 :  05:54:42  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Great Reader Ayrik,

I can't believe it took me so long to find this scroll. I love discussions on this kind of stuff. Of course, your points as usual Great Reader Ayrik have been spot on.

quote:
"Mystra's Thrice-Damned Curse" upon those who attempt forgery of magical sigils is actually an example of an ultimate authority able to impose ultimate copyright law.


Great point, though, I think the DC15 is a bit weak, but then again, you'd expect mages more powerful than 10th to be able to find clever ways to get around it.

quote:
But Tyr maintains nothing equivalent. Nor does Gond. And all the other deites are basically interested in openly sharing, promoting, or destroying things - not in assigning (and enforcing) things linked to individual owners.


True, but that is because Tyr isn't the kind of god of justice that I think people think of in a colloquial sense. There is nothing "equitable" or fair about his approach, unless it happens to coincide randomly with some sort of ruling or other decision.

quote:
I suppose Leira (or Cyric) and even Shar might actually wield some practical "copyright law" within fields which affect their portfolios. And any deity (any being more powerful than a typical mortal) could do the same within fields which attract their attention - a good example is the Simbul (and later all of Mystra's Chosen) being constantly aware of any utterances of their names (and informed about the sources and contexts of these usages).


I would think that Gond, Waukeen, Deneir and Oghma would be the biggies on trying to get the economic effects averaged out with the negatives that can come of it all.

Best regards,




Higher Atlar
Spirit Soaring
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cpthero2
Master of Realmslore

USA
1812 Posts

Posted - 22 Nov 2020 :  05:56:55  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Great Reader sleyvas,

Well hot damn: had I read one more post down clearly, I would have seen you had in fact thought of the idea in my head! haha

quote:
LOL, makes me want to consider a spell like "Deneir's Copyproofing" that when cast on a book makes anyone who tries to plagiarize (even if into another language and script) said work get hit with a nasty effect.


You really would think that Deneir especially would have offices that work closely with branches of civil lawyers/solicitors of Tyr that seek to protect people's property. It honestly has some great adventure potential! :)

Best regards,



Higher Atlar
Spirit Soaring
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cpthero2
Master of Realmslore

USA
1812 Posts

Posted - 22 Nov 2020 :  06:24:54  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Great Reader Ayrik,

I feel it is more of a mixture. There are clearly places that have altered forms of specie. The Waterdeep Harbormoon demonstrates that alone. Also, consider the impact that the electrum mines of Dambrath can have on currency the world over with its Crints to cause fluctuations in the value of specie and drive it from commodity to representative.

Best regards,




Higher Atlar
Spirit Soaring
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Returnip
Acolyte

14 Posts

Posted - 26 Nov 2020 :  20:04:22  Show Profile Send Returnip a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Like others have said you're probably thinking of patent rather than copyright. But I'd like to muse on this for a moment.

Consider that this is not a world and time of mass production. No printing presses or factories making hundreds of the same item, making copying of things somewhat more time consuming. There are plenty of references in the official source material of the option of copying texts. For example the scribes of Candlekeep can copy a text for you for a fee (FRCS). The closest I can recall to patent handling would be the church of Gond. I am fairly sure it's been mentioned that they handle patents in some 3rd edition or 3.5 source book, although I can't remember which one. If that is correct I would assume it is handled similarly as with texts in Candlekeep. Perhaps the church of Gond even assists with protecting the patent with their inquisition that they use to keep the secret of smokepowder from leaking? If it's a lucruative enough patent or an invention that needs protecting I can totally see that happening.

On the other hand you have different fingers.

Edited by - Returnip on 26 Nov 2020 20:05:24
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