From: "" <shogi-l <at> SHOGI <dot> DE>

Subject: Re: Copyright of game score

Hi Katsutoshi,

the actual moves of a chess game are not considered to be under copyright
because they are considered to fall into the category of 'facts' but not
'creation'. For example, anyone can publish the scores of sporting events,
hockey, baseball, etc. because these are just facts.
On the other hand, you cannot republish chess games that contain commentary
by another individual without his consent. In this case, his comments do
fall under the copyright law since they are the product of his 'creative'

Some years ago FIDE (World Chess Federation) tried to take over control of
all 'blank' chess games with the stated idea of generating money for the
players of the game. As far as I know this attempt created a lot of heat for
FIDE and they backed off. (I can't really imagine how they could legally
enforce this anyway since they don't have the powers needed to actually
change copyright law.)
It is general opinion in chess world that it would be bad for chess if
publishing of every single game score has to be paid for. The result would
be that almost all marketing activities for chess would disappear

The TWIC site ( posts new games
every day, which is an example of how blank chess games fall into the realm
of the public domain.

Current state of copyright varies from country to country, so no answer to
this question is authoritative.
But: I am not aware of *any* country which allows the copyright of a single,
plain, unannotated game score.

see also:

bes regards

visit german shogi site:
please join (menues in japanese, english or german):

> Hi all,
> Katsutoshi Seki sent this to me instead to the SHOGI-L.
> Marc
> ############################################
>     Hi, everyone.
> Every now and then I find Japanese people discussing on the matter of
> copyright of shogi game score on BBS. For example, a long discussion
> has been made until recently on this page:
> bin/mibbstest.cgi?mo=p&fo=pro&tn=0030
> Most of the discussion fall into the interpretation of Japanese law of
> copyright, which I would not want to do on this list in English. After
> all,
> the interpretation of Japanese law is controversial among Japanese
> because it is difficult, so how can we discuss it in English? ;)
> What I would like to know is:
>   Why game score of chess is not considered to be a copyrighted
> material?
> I googled up for a while but couldn't find a page answering this
> question.
> I know that in the world of chess, game score is not copyrighted and
> hundreds
> of thousands of game score files, maybe even millions, in pgn format is
> publicly available on the internet. A lot of people analyze these games
> and
> make research on chess strategy, and it helped to improve the theory of
> chess. However, because some people strongly insist that shogi game
> score is protected by copyright and distributing the score can be
> illegal
> without copyright holder's consent, people are afraid of exchanging game
> score.
> If we get a clear answer to the above question, I think we don't have to
> be afraid of such claim as exchanging the game score is illegal, and
> exchange game score without any hesitation, thereby making a lot of
> Japanese and international shogi fans happy.
> Finally for those who can read Japanese and want to know more about
> this issue, following page of Japanese shogi ML well expresses what
> Japan Shogi Association thinks about this issue.
> Best wishes,
> Katsutoshi Seki
> seki (at)