I made a web-app of the popular board game Onitama, and am looking to host the code open source on Github, and on the portfolio website I'm building.

Since I'm not putting any adds on the site or monetising the game in any way is it legal to use in my job search and to allow strangers to enjoy it?

What license would I use?

  • 1
    If you copy any artwork, then it is a copyright infringement. – ctrl-alt-delor Apr 14 '18 at 17:50

If you didn't copy any code directly, this is more a question of trademark (using the Onitama name) and patent (covering the way the board game works) infringement than copyright, if either of those apply. Generally, game mechanic-type patents are difficult to enforce (see nullpomino, which labels itself as an 'action puzzle' game and to my knowledge hasn't encountered legal trouble despite being an exact clone of Tetris mechanics).

So if you don't use the original 'Onitama' name anywhere in the code, I don't think it will be an issue. You can use any FLOSS license on the code, because those generally only cover copyright without respect for trademarks or parents. A notable exception would be the GPL which has a few patent restrictions that I'm not sure would apply to this situation or not.

  • As an admirer of the designer's work, I'd really like to attribute their name in a credit. Is it too risky to mention Onitama and the designer in the readme? Possibly even on the main menu? I would feel wrong just blatantly ripping off their work like nullpomino, even if this is essentially just a portfolio project. – sleepy_pf Apr 12 '18 at 0:14
  • 4
    If "Onitama" is not a registered trademark (which you can check in the U.S.) then there is definitely no issue with that. If it is, it may still be OK but you'd need to explicitly state that your program has no official affiliation with "the" Onitama. And of course all this presumes that you wouldn't be infringing upon any patents (you can look them up yourself on e.g. Google Patents) in the game design. – Harry Apr 12 '18 at 3:54
  • In EU and some other places there is no patent for software. – ctrl-alt-delor Apr 14 '18 at 17:49

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