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Say there is a card game and they have a feature that allows setting join requirement when hosting a game. These are: Only people I like, No one I Dislike, Invite Only, Everyone.

If I created a card game and had a similar join requirement feature with similar features: eg: Only Buddies, No Enemies, Invitation, Everyone, is this copyright infringement or is it just an idea and not an expression of one?

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closed as off topic by Tetrad Feb 24 '12 at 18:04

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Stackexchange sites are not meant to replace personal legal counsel. That being said, you'd more likely run into patent issues (unlikely) than copyright issues. –  Tetrad Feb 24 '12 at 18:04
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That makes it sound like people aren't supposed to ask legal issues here - but we usually allow it if it's directly relevant to games. –  Kylotan Feb 24 '12 at 20:54
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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Game mechanics can't be protected by copyright laws as far as I know. At least not where I live (Europe) and I think it would be similar in US as well. Only written documents (like books or story in games), music pieces and graphic assets can be protected by copyright... ok, I probably missed something, but I'm pretty sure you can't protect game mechanics.

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