SPI materials in hands of a copyright troll ?

after the posting of the release of Winter release I give a careful look into the 'net and from this goggle search, seems that the “copyright holder” is in reality a known copyright troll, as seems from his webpage and this set of google hits:


Any opinions ?

Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.

Thus spake “dott.Piergiorgio”:

after the posting of the release of Winter release I give a careful look
into the 'net and from this goggle search, seems that the “copyright
holder” is in reality a known copyright troll, as seems from his webpage
and this set of google hits:

google.it/?gws_rd=ssl#q=Zag … ight+troll

Any opinions ?

It’s not obvious to me what search hits there are relevant, if any.
I’m not seeing what you’re seeing.


The question regarding the copyright on the old SPI games is longstanding.

I don’t know who currently holds, in part or entirely the copyrights of such games.

In any case, no one can prevent a gamer who has purchased a game in the good old
times of SPI to create a Vassal Module for this game for “personal use” (euphemism).

What is (for now) not allowed is uploading such a module in the Module section of Vassal site.

Well, I am currently working on a Vassal module for SPI game CENTURION published in issue #25 of the magazine S&T.
When this module will be completed, in order to respect the actual Vassal policy about copyrights, I will not upload this module in the Module section, but send instead an ad in the sections devoted to this game at Boargamegeek and Comsimworld forums.
Player eventually interested in that module, will receive the module simply asking for it to me via email.




Note that Decision Games which owns the copyright to most of Simulations Publications games is now accepting Vassal modules:


Well, at this point, I have a single, very simple question to ask the moderator of this forum.

Is it possible, now, to upload a module for any SPI game n the Module section of the Vassal site?


Yea or no ?

Thank You.

It is as per the restrictions - always has been

vassalengine.org/wiki/Module … strictions

Contact the copyright holder

Specifically in this case for most of the SPI titles, that would be Decision Games,. If they say ok, go ahead and note it was allowed in the comments for us so we don’t remove it, or better yet have DG drop us a note that they have changed their position w/r/t vassal hosting their SPI titles. That way we will gladly change our restrictions.

Our last direct contact with them told us we were not allowed to host SPI titles they hold copyright over and we have heard nothing from them directly since then that they have changed their position on SPI titles.

I noticed someone mistakenly claimed I was somehow a “known copyright troll.” Nothing could be further from the truth and it would be nice to put this erroneous allegation to rest. Hopefully the original poster will see fit to apologize for the misunderstanding.

Let me give you some background as to how Paragon Simulations ended up with the copyright of Winter War. Back in the mid 1980s, I partnered with Mike Taber (currently head of Historifigs) to start Paragon Simulations. We purchased Winter War from 3W (prior to 3W selling Strategy and Tactics to Decision Games) and I still have the original contract to prove this, which I will be more than happy to post if requested. Permission has been granted for both a Cyberboard and a Vassal module to be uploaded on the net and the only thing required was acknowledgement of our copyright by stating that the uploading was done with the permission of Paragon Simulations, since we hold the copyright. This is important not only to acknowledge this fact but also because, as has been pointed out here, Decision Games, which own the vast majority of SPI games, does not currently allow such modules. By pointing out that the copyright is owned by Paragon Simulations, rather than Decision Games, it serves to ensure that your Vassal module is not the tangential victim of an overzealous takedown notice.

With respect to Winter War, so long as your modules are not sold, there has never been any issues with making them available (if you want to SELL them, you need to license it and pay a licensing fee but, if you don’t sell it, I don’t see any issues). Indeed, we have actively encouraged such developments whenever asked.

Zagros Madjd-Sadjadi, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics
Winston-Salem State University

I have an email line open with Doc Cummings, owner of the Decision Games. He clearly states that:
“… we have clearly stated in our Vassal update of 24 Mar 14 (decisiongames.com/wpsite/whats-new/dg-vassal/) that everyone is free to create Vassal modules of our games (whether DG, S&T Press, or SPI or other titles we have purchased from other parties) so we had already provided you with permission to do as you please.”

and in their site is written:
“What we decided: Back in 2011, DG decided to start working first on VASSAL modules in support of our monster boxed games. As we sought to utilize VASSAL in supporting the wider play test of our upcoming boxed games to improve the overall quality of these games (this was among several other actions we took that will see published results beginning with Atlantic Wall). At the same, we announced anyone could make VASSAL modules and post them as they pleased.

So, why don’t you allow the upload of SPI titles? Can you contact them for a check?


A couple of things. Just today, a module author was contacted by DG and received said permission.

talk.consimworld.com/WebX?14@763 … 6d04b/1807

This was after a somewhat contentious round of (mis)communication that mirrored my experience with DG. That is, I sent TWO emails asking for permission to post a module for a DG-copyrighted game here on the Vassal site and received NO ACKNOWLEDGEMENT WHATSOEVER, let alone an OK. DG did, however make use of the copy of the module I attached and put it on their own VASSAL page within the Decision Games site, without any acknowledgement or so much as a “thank you”.

So: I agree that Vassal should make an attempt to contact DG and see if their stance has changed. However, I wouldn’t hold my breath on getting ANY kind of response. That would be a huge change. The fellow I cited above seemed like he had to pull eyeteeth just to get a response at all.

I’m interested in creating a module for the original version of Frederick the Great - published by SPI in 1975 in S&T Magazine. But I don’t know who currently owns the copyright.

AH seem to have obtained the rights at some point since they produced their own version in 1982. Now I’m told Decision Games hold the rights to many (but not all) of the old SPI games. But I see no mention of the game on their website.

How can I find out who currently owns the rights?

Make a Vassal module, or a module for any of the other boardgame assistance programs, upload it somewhere (like here, if it’s a Vassal module) and then wait and see who complains about their copyrights being violated.

I say that only half-jokingly because, frankly, I’m at a loss to understand why so many people seem to fret over whether they are legally allowed to post modules of 40-year-old, half-forgotten games, most of whose copyright holders have changed numerous times over the years, if they are even still identifiable.

I mean, yes, if it’s a new game whose publisher does not allow modules to be made, I could understand the hesitation, but for an SPI game? What do you think might happen, that someone will sue you and take your house away? :laughing:

(That having been said, I’m not the owner of this site and whatever policies the owner wants to enforce are entirely up to him/her.)

I completely agree with your sentiment (RobS) but if you look for modules of SPI games on this site you will see almost none. There are only 33 pages related to SPI games - almost all have had the modules removed and show the following notices in big red boxes:-

“VASSAL is not allowed to host this file or provide external links to the module in accordance to the wishes of the present Copyright Holder(s)”

“If you would like to see a module of this game made available please contact the Copyright Holder(s) to change their policy”

Unfortunately none of the pages so marked actually say who the copyright holders are. Which makes it very difficult to verify the first statement or follow the advice of the second.

Can anyone here tell me who currently owns the rights to the original SPI version of Frederick the Great?

OK, understood.
Have you actually emailed Decision Games? Just because a game isn’t listed on their website doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t have the legal rights to it. Or they might know who does.
If they don’t, I would then still try my option of simply making and uploading a module. Like I said, the worst that can happen is that someone will ask for it to be taken down, in which case you can still share it with opponents - you just wouldn’t be able to upload it anywhere.

In any event, if a module is taken down to a “copyright holder’s” complaint, then it must be stated WHO the copyright holder (supposedly) is. Otherwise, these issues will never be resolved.

And it’s a damned shame that, apparently, there is a knee-jerk “can’t post that” response for any game published by one of the most prolific game publishers the world has ever seen.

Well, apparently, given the many interventions in this regard, the old question concerning the possibility or not to create Vassal modules for the old SPI games is still the subject of discussion.

When, in 2010, I discovered the existence of Vassal, I was very surprised not to find practically any module of the old SPI games to download from the Module section.

Subsequently, I became aware of the fact that the company that currently owns the copyright of most of them (Decision Games) had expressly requested to forbid uploading of modules of SPI games on the Vassal website : “VASSAL is not allowed to host this file or provide external links to the module in accordance to the wishes of the present Copyright Holder(s)”.

Now, one thing should be clear to everyone: what is currently prohibited is the sole fact of uploading Vassal modules of SPI games or provide external links to the module in the Vassal site.

None can prevent a guy in possession of an old SPI game from making a Vassal module “for his personal use” (here, in my humble opinion, human stupidity has reached its peak).

None, likewise, can prevent who have developed a Vassal module for an SPI game to report it on one of the boardgames related sites, such as Boardgamegeek and Comsimworld.

Moreover, as an AHIKS member, I have also noticed that in the last “K” (the AHIKS newsletter) in the “Open Match Requests” section there are numerous requests for old SPI games with a match code of “V” which means the use of a Vassal module for these matches. There were requests for Armageddon, Battle For Germany, Flight of the Goeben, The Green Field Beyond, Renaissance of Infantry and Seelowe.

This is the striking demonstration that SPI game modules exist and are available somewhere; the only real limitation is therefore that these modules cannot be uploaded to the Vassal website.

I believe, therefore, that anyone who wants to do this, can build a Vassal module for their favorite SPI games without bothering to violate any copyright.

Too bad that it is not possible to upload them to the Vassal site!


Panther 2010.


They are free: here is the link to the page to search SPI games that have a vassal mod on Dg’s site:https://shop.decisiongames.com/SearchResults.asp?searching=Y&sort=4&cat=106&show=10&page=1