Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw & Ethics · 1 month ago

Is it legal to write a sport rule book in my own words and illustrations without committing copyright infringement?

So I have an awesome idea for self-publishing a small pocket sized book about the rules to many different billiards games that players can carry anywhere and use as a reference tool when disputes arise about game rules. The book would not in any way change or alter the structure of the official rules set by the BCA, the US governing body of the sport. I would only use them as inspiration to create my own unique way of presenting them to the players, which would also be something very good for the sport. As a long time student and player with 22+ years of experience, I think this would be a great project for me to take on. However, I'm looking for legal advice concerning intellectual property and copyright laws pertaining to this subject matter prior to getting started, I live in Pennsylvania. My inclination is to believe that this project would be ok, since being a player of the sport it is certainly expected of me to know and understand these official rules myself. Also, would this book fall under "How To" for book category and would I be safe in producing and publishing this book without requiring permission from the original author and/or receiving a claim for copyright violation? 

2 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    You cannot use any references to the governing body. And then, who's going to care?  Why would they bother buying a book on non-sanctioned rules?

  • 1 month ago

    I am pretty sure the rules for billiard predates the BCA. The Book of Hoyle clearly is one of the oldest authorities and no doubt has the same rules.

    So just as the BCA can write a book of rules with out infringing on Hoyle, it is very likely that you can write a book explaining the rules with out doing so on BCA. Keep in mind proper foot noting is still needed. Credit must be given where credit is due even in this case.

Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.