@ifixcoinops The other big effect is computer software being copyrightable. In the 1970s, no one knew if computer code could be copyrighted, but in the 1980s that became an issue. The courts looked back at the player piano situation: a player piano roll isn't that different than punch cards for a computer, a set of instructions for a machine to follow. And if a player piano roll falls under the 1909 copyright law, so does computer code.

So all software licensing also comes out of player pianos.

@ifixcoinops This ruling is so unpopular that Congress completely overhauls American copyright law in response, releasing the 1909 Copyright Act.

This has a lot of effects on how stuff works, and still underlies current laws.

One effect is that it puts in a mandatory licensing clause: anyone can release a recording of your music without your permission, just by following a simple procedure.

This is why cover songs exist. That's one big effect of all this.

@ifixcoinops That causes problems for the musicians of the time. Is a player piano roll treated as a copyrightable piece of information like sheet music, or is it treated like the spindle of a music box (not copyrighted, just a piece of the machinery)?

In 1908, the Supreme Court decides a case that says piano rolls are not copies of the music but part of the piano's machinery.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White-Sm.

@ifixcoinops The key fact here is that the player piano was basically the first really important and prominent way you could record music. Before that you could distribute sheet music, but that still required a skilled musician to play. With player pianos, you could encode a song on a scroll of paper and then reproduce that anywhere that had a compatible piano, no musician needed.

@ifixcoinops I assumed everyone was already aware of this fact, and I was just making a casual observation about something obvious.

It's definitely a little weird how player pianos (the kind you'd find in the corner of a saloon in a cowboy movie) are the cause of so much of modern copyright law being the way it is.

@cavedueller @PaulCzege Just do the same forbidden romance plot during the invasion. One of the alien invaders has fallen in love with one of the humans they must exterminate, and now the two have to figure out how to make their love work as one species annihilates the other.

Gencon 

And then the last game of Gencon was For the Queen. Games on Demand was a bit understaffed Saturday evening, so I volunteered for an extra GM slot. The table was full, so I didn't play and just helped it run. Which was super easy, since For the Queen includes all the rules and instructions on cards to read aloud during play. So I really just acted as audience during the game, asking questions and giving feedback but the players did all the real work.

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Gencon 

And two more games of Rusalka I think? Lots of undead spirits of drowned women granting monkeys paw wishes for desperate mortals.

Rusalka continues to be the best game that I have made, as it always makes a consistently good experience at the table.

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Gencon 

Yesterday started with Monsters and Other Childish Things, one of the few times I got to play a game rather than facilitating it.

We had some trouble packing the entire adventure into a 2 hour slot, and didn't really get to resolve the plot. But it was reasonably fun, though the system is not a particularly good fit for the theme.

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Gencon 

I think there were two more games of Rusalka yesterday, but I might be losing track. In one, we wound up with a weird menagerie of creatures living on the shores of our pond: an orphan girl the rusalka was raising as their own, an undead giant skeleton draped in seaweeds for skin, and a man transformed into a giant hermit crab so large it used a house boat as it's shell.

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Gencon 

And another game of Rusalka, where plot threads came together in the last scene in unexpected ways. A petitioner from an earlier scene returned as a crazy forest witch riding a hut with chicken legs. She sought to capture the weird magical turtle that lived in the pond and was an ongoing plot thread in the background. One rusalka tried to stop her but was destroyed by dark magic, which was exactly what my rusalka wanted to happen because she and I ha been rivals in life and as undead.

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Gencon 

Starting Friday with Rusalka, which worked very nicely despite me forgetting the rules to the game I wrote. Lots of death and tragedy and weird magic turning out in unexpected ways.

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Gencon 

Second game was Fiasco, using the News Channel Six playset. This culminated in a helicopter race above Indianapolis, and then my producer being arrested for cocaine possession, destruction of police evidence and murdering the anchor's identical twin. And he wasn't even the guy I had been trying to murder!

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Gencon 

First actual game was For the Queen. Which is great because it means basically no work for me.

I think this might be the first time I have played where everyone helped protect the Queen when she was attacked. Usually at least one person chooses not to. This time, no one *trusted* the Queen, but we all had reasons to help her nonetheless.

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Gencon 

Games on Demand is tiny this year, with only two tables running each time slot.

So far I have failed to actually play anything at Games on Demand today due to a series of mixups. But I'm running one of the games at 6, so hopefully that will actually happen.

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Gencon 

Gencon day 1

The Crowne Plaza hotel it deeply weird. The rooms are not laid out like a hotel, I think because it used to be a train station? This isn't great, as the trains pass a few feet under your bed while you try to sleep.

There is an entire train in one hallway for no clear reason. Is it an exhibit? Offices? Guest rooms?

There are creepy ghost-white statues around the hotel of orphan kids and sad looking nuns and shit, like the hotel has a bunch of undead spirits encased in resin.

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