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Showing posts with label copyright law. Show all posts
Showing posts with label copyright law. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

What's Legal and What's Right

First let me assure you that at some point we're actually going to talk about something that relates to playing Low Limit Holdem, it's just not going to be this entry.

This entry I'm going to talk about the site (www.lowlimitholdem.com) and one of the longest running unchanged entries in it--the starting hand selections.

Back in the day (the day being towards the end of the year in 2000) we listed the Sklansky and Malmuth starting hands (from their book Hold 'em Poker For Advanced Players) to show a contrast between what they suggest for a typical middle limit game and what works for a loose passive game (the no foldem holdem games you find at especially the 2-4 and 3-6 limits in brick and mortar cardrooms). This section of the web site stood as is for a few years and then in December 2003 I received an email from Mason Malmuth, or at least someone impersonating him, demanding that we remove their starting hand selections from the site.

My initial reaction was that this may be a prank of some sort and even if it wasn't I felt that we probably had a right to publish this short excerpt to compare to what we were offering for low limit games. The first thing I did was to ask Mr. Malmuth to give me a call to talk about it. This would scare off most casual pranksters but Mason did in fact phone me and we talked about the situation for about ten minutes.

At the end of the phone call I decided to remove the section in our starting hand selections that listed the S&M starting hands. I didn't do this because I thought I was in legal danger but simply because I respect both of these poker authors and because we got right down to it on the phone and the bottom line is that I told him that although I didn't like the tone of the original email that all he needed to do was ask me to remove them and I would--not for legal reasons but for reasons of respect and acknowledgement of his contribution to the poker world before it was the chic thing to do.

Since I removed them I've received several emails from various people pointing out that the copyright law has the following restriction:

Several categories of material are generally not eligible for federal copyright protection. These include among others:

Ideas, procedures, methods, systems, processes, concepts, principles, discoveries, or devices, as distinguished from a description, explanation, or illustration

In short that legally I shouldn't feel compelled to keep the S&M starting hand selections off the web site. Legally I don't. But I did make an agreement with one of the great poker writers to keep it off the site so I will.

Really it's irrelevant because if you're serious about playing poker you're at least going to own a copy of the book they wrote that contains these starting hand selections anyhow, right? You can order a copy directly from the publisher at www.twoplustwo.com. Tell them I sent you.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Plagiarism, UltimateBet, and Cheesy Calls

Plagiarism

Recently we've had a problem with people taking the pages from our website and converting them to PDF files and selling them on eBay. We had to go so far as to become a VeRO (Verified Rights Owner) on eBay so that we can request that they take down other people's listings when they are selling these sorts of ebooks.

Today we've gone international and received word that a version of this ebook is being sold on the UK version of eBay. I'm not sure whether I want to laugh or cry! Why would anyone bother to do something like this when they have to know they'll be found out? Of course if anyone knows who is distributing these ebooks for resale we'd definitely like to know. You can email me at kmslogic@lowlimitholdem.com.

UltimateBet

UltimateBet is using a quote from one of our pages on their home page. I actually found out about this on our discussion forums (www.lowlimitforum.com) and was a little skeptical but there it is. Check out a bit of our site on http://www.ultimatebet.com/.

Cheesy Calls

On a personal note I've been playing a number of tournaments lately (best result last week was 1st of 27 in a $250 buy-in event on Paradise). I've noticed an interesting effect especially when playing tournaments on Paradise poker but also elsewhere and that is that people seem very willing to take crazy risks in the very early stages of these tournaments. I've been knocked out more than once in the last week by getting a big preflop hand (including AA) cracked in the very first round of the tournament when the blinds are $10 and $20 with a $1500 stack.

I will always take this risk with AA to get a chance to have a dominating stack in the middle portion of a tournament however I've improved my tournament results quite a bit by avoiding these sorts of situations entirely until the blinds have increased 3 or 4 times. Yes, its nice to have a bigger stack when going into the middle section, however when there is a lot of gambling even being a 4:1 favorite will catch up to you especially in huge preflop multiway pots. By essentially sitting out the first 20 minutes of a Paradise tournament I can avoid a big percentage of this preflop gambling. Give it a try!