You can do the first two steps yourself.
Once you receive the initial notice, demand that they state the legal theory behind your alleged infringement. They're going to have to at some point anyway.
They probably won't back down right away, but shining light into the dirty cracks is a good thing. It makes the cockroaches^Wcopyright trolls scoot around all over the place, so they're more likely to make a mistake and you can stomp on them.
It takes years for a case to make its way through the courts - let them try to get an injunction first if they're serious. The most likely event is they'll ignore you instead of continuing, once they realize that you know the law is on your side.
And if they continue, you introduce them to Ms. Barbara Streisand Effect. Worked out okay in the end for the whole Righthaven mess
The government says as much: http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl108.html
Copyright does not protect the idea for a game, its name or title, or the method or methods for playing it. Nor does copyright protect any idea, system, method, device, or trademark material involved in developing, merchandising, or playing a game. Once a game has been made public, nothing in the copyright law prevents others from developing another game based on similar principles. Copyright protects only the particular manner of an author's expression in literary, artistic, or musical form.
Material prepared in connection with a game may be subject to copyright if it contains a sufficient amount of literary or pictorial expression. For example, the text matter describing the rules of the game or the pictorial matter appearing on the gameboard or container may be registrable.
If your game includes any written element, such as instructions or directions, the Copyright Office recommends that you apply to register it as a literary work. Doing so will allow you to register all copyrightable parts of the game, including any pictorial elements. When the copyrightable elements of the game consist predominantly of pictorial matter, you should apply to register it as a work of the visual arts.
The deposit requirements will vary, depending on whether the work has been published at the time of registration. If the game is published, the proper deposit is one complete copy of the work. If, however, the game is published in a box larger than 12" x 24" x 6" (or a total of 1,728 cubic inches) then identifying material must be submitted in lieu of the entire game. (See âoeidentifying materialâ below.) If the game is published and contains fewer than three threedimensional elements, then identifying material for those parts must be submitted in lieu of those parts. If the game is unpublished, either one copy of the game or identifying material should be deposited.
Identifying material deposited to represent the game or its three-dimensional parts usually consists of photographs, photostats, slides, drawings, or other two-dimensional representations of the work. The identifying material should include as many pieces as necessary to show the entire copyrightable content of the work, including the copyright notice if it appears on the work. All pieces of identifying material other than transparencies must be no less than 3" x 3" in size, and not more than 9" x 12", but preferably 8" x 10". At least one piece of identifying material must, on its front, back, or mount, indicate the title of the work and an exact measurement of one or more dimensions of the work.
FL-108, Reviewed November 2010
U.S. Copyright Office
101 Independence Ave. S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20559-6000
Most people don't know the law, so they fold when they get the C&D.
So you're free to make your own version of Risk or Tetris - but when you write up the rules, you have to use your own words to describe them - you can't just cut-n-pasta the original rules. The rules aren't protected - only their physical expression is (font, layout, artwork).
People are surprised that there's no copyright to a game name or movie title - but that's why you can see 3-4 movies with the same name and different decades at IMDB, and there's no copyright infringement.
For example if somebody reposts a post of mine (of which I automatically own the copyright) in part or in whole, they're breaking my copyright.
Just want to point out that you are perpetuating a common misconception - two, actually.
1. Not everything you post is automatically copyrightable.
For example, if you posted "1+1=2", that is not subject to copyright. It is neither original nor creative, as well as being a non-copyrightable fact.
Also, things that are trivial are not copyrightable. Look at the whole linux header files debate.
Then there's this HUGE hole - people think that they can protect an idea by copyright, when copyright doesn't allow it:
(b) In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work.
This is why you can't copyright the rules of a game - just the artwork, etc.
2. People can repost your post without your permission under certain circumstances without breaking your copyright.
Fair use is just one example. Libraries and archives are another. In Canada, news media can repost it under section 29.2 of the Canadian Copyright Act without compensation as long as they provide attribution.
And public events, like concerts - are you seriously suggesting that the person organizing that should have to put everyone in a circle just to keep them updated?
Why not? Once G+ is into beta, there will be an API that you'll be able to pretty much automate it.
And a hangout sounds ideal for a big event - let people drop in and out of the hangout at will, and yack with each other.
One of the negatives of facebook is the abundance of spammy "business" accounts, and the fake user accounts that business creates to try to generate buzz.
As for events, just start a new circle for that event. Or even a hangout.
Google+ doesn't have much of a community as of yet, just a bunch of accounts without a lot of activity.
I would have agreed with you a few days ago
the Streisand Effect...
Funny that this article was submitted by Barbara.
I must be having a blonde day - this is the sort of article that just screams "Streisand Effect."
Too bad I used up my mod points earlier today, so consider yourself +1 Funny.
1. Close the G+ window
2. add people (email + name) to your gmail account contacts
3. re-open the G+ window from within gmail
Now, when you click on "circles", and then "Find and invite", it will import the new contacts in your gmail contacts list. Enjoy
"Joy is wealth and love is the legal tender of the soul." -- Robert G. Ingersoll