(Redirected from BattleTechWiki:Copyright)

BattleTech is a wargaming and military science fiction franchise launched by FASA Corporation in 1984, acquired by WizKids in 2001, which was in turn acquired by Topps in 2003; and published since 2007 by Catalyst Game Labs. The Battletech intellectual properties and trademarks are currently owned by Topps and, for games, Microsoft's Xbox Game Studios; Catalyst Game Studios licenses the franchise from Topps. Many of the products detailed and much of the information on BattleTechWiki comes from material created by Fantasy Productions and/or Catalyst Game Labs, who hold (or have held) the license to produce such materials as Classic BattleTech. BattleTechWiki should not be seen as a challenge to those copyrights.

BattleTechWiki's goal is to be a free content encyclopedia on the BattleTech Universe, with free content defined as content that does not bear copyright restrictions on the right to redistribute, study, modify and improve, or otherwise use works for any purpose in any medium, even commercially. Any content not satisfying these criteria is said to be non-free. This includes all content (including images) that is fully copyrighted, or which is made available subject to restrictions such as "non-commercial use only" or "for use on BattleTechWiki only".

The content licensing of this website does NOT apply to the original works and trademarked names. The BattleTech titles and associated names are the sole property of Topps. The administrators of BattleTechWiki believe that the operation of this website falls under the definition of "Fair use" under United States copyright laws.

Contributors' rights and obligations[edit]

If you contribute material to BattleTech Wiki, you thereby license it to the public under the GFDL (with no invariant sections, front-cover texts, or back-cover texts). In order to contribute, you must be in a position to grant this license, which means that either

  • you hold the copyright to the material, for instance because you produced it yourself, or
  • you acquired the material from a source that allows the licensing under GFDL, for instance because the material is in the public domain or is itself published under GFDL.

In the first case, you retain copyright to your materials. You can later republish and relicense them in any way you like. However, you can never retract the GFDL license for the copies of materials that you place here; these copies will remain under GFDL forever.

In the second case, if you incorporate external GFDL materials, as a requirement of the GFDL, you need to acknowledge the authorship and provide a link back to the network location of the original copy.

Using copyrighted work from others[edit]

All works are copyrighted unless either they fall into the public domain or their copyright is explicitly disclaimed. If you use part of a copyrighted work under "fair use", or if you obtain special permission to use a copyrighted work from the copyright holder under the terms of our license, you must make a note of that fact (along with names and dates). It is our goal to be able to freely redistribute as much of BattleTech Wiki's material as possible, so original images and sound files licensed under the GFDL or in the public domain are greatly preferred to copyrighted media files used under fair use.

Never use materials that infringe the copyrights of others. This could create legal liabilities and seriously hurt the project. If in doubt, write it yourself.

Note that copyright law governs the creative expression of ideas, not the ideas or information themselves. Therefore, it is legal to read an encyclopedia article or other work, reformulate the concepts in your own words, and submit it to BattleTech Wiki. However, it would still be unethical (but not illegal) to do so without citing the original as a reference.


BattleTechWiki requires proper attribution of sources for all materials uploaded to the server. During the upload process, the user will be shown a template requesting information for four fields: summary, artist, source & licensing. The first two are optional, but highly valued. The last two, source & licensing, are required.

Licensing requires the uploading user to assume the legal responsibilities for his actions, by indicating the item being uploaded meets one of three different criteria, per the user's best judgment: public domain, fair use or used with the legal owner's permission (i.e., "used with permission"). If the user chooses not to assume the responsibility associated with the decision, permission to upload is denied & not allowed. If the uploading occurs in violation of this permission, regardless of user's intent or ignorance of the legalities, the user still retains responsibility for the action and all resulting issues, by virtue of the voluntary and non-coerced actions taken. The act of uploading indicates compliance and agreement with all responsibility for the action.

The proper tags to be placed within the licensing field are: {{public domain}}, {{fair use}} and {{used with permission}}.

If you find a copyright infringement[edit]

If you suspect a copyright infringement, you should at the very least bring up the issue on that page's talk page. Others can then examine the situation and take action if needed. The most helpful piece of information you can provide is a URL or other reference to what you believe may be the source of the text.

Some cases will be false alarms. For example, if the contributor was in fact the owner of text that is published elsewhere under different terms, that does not affect their right to post it here under the GFDL. Also, sometimes you will find text elsewhere on the Web that was copied from a Wiki. In both of these cases, it is a good idea to make a note in the talk page to discourage such false alarms in the future.

If some of the content of a page really is an infringement, then the infringing content should be removed, and a note to that effect should be made on the talk page, along with the original source. If the author's permission is obtained later, the text can be restored.

If all of the content of a page is a suspected copyright infringement, then the page should be reported on BattleTechWiki:Administrators and the content of the page replaced with a notice.

Contributors who repeatedly post infringing material after appropriate warnings will be blocked from editing, in order to protect the project.