NZLARPS projects and intellectual property


NZLARPS projects and intellectual property

TL;DR: Your IP belongs to you, and NZLARPS does not claim it or ask for it.

Under NZ law, larp creators have intellectual property (IP) rights over their works. They automatically acquire copyright over text and images they create, and the law against “passing off” protects their general branding. Those rights remain with a larp’s creators unless they give them away.

While NZLARPS financially supports larp projects, it does not claim any IP rights over them. NZLARPS does not consider projects to be “work for hire”. Unless specifically given to us, all rights reside with their creators, usually the project’s owners.

NZLARPS Auckland’s project definition form does contain a section on “Copyright and Intellectual Property Rights”. This states, in full:

Unless stated otherwise here, all rights to any Original material generated by this Project shall remain with the Project Manager as defined in the previous section. All rights to pre-existing material should be acknowledged and legitimate. State what rights are granted to the Society – e.g., permission to use the rules in perpetuity, permission to use the Project Name for future projects. Also, state who will be able to continue this Project if the Project Manager leaves.

In other words, unless rights are granted, they remain with their owner, who is expected to be the project manager. Other regions don’t use such formal documentation, so the issue doesn’t even arise.

Many NZLARPS projects leave this section completely blank, meaning they retain all rights. Exile and Musketeers fall into this category. Chimera notes that all games run remain the property of their creators. The convention itself and its branding are the sole property of its project manager.

Some NZLARPS projects have granted NZLARPS limited rights to their material. Saga has granted NZLARPS the right to use their rules in perpetuity provided credit is given, and Dying World has made their rules “available for other projects to use, change and adapt freely”. This isn’t an exclusive right, and simply makes explicit the long tradition of sharing and building on previous rules within the NZ larp community. NZLARPS does not own these rules, and can not stop anyone else from using them - and nor would we want to. Our purpose is to encourage larp, not to lock it away.

We hope this clarifies the issue. If you have any questions, feel free to respond below, or email "".

NZLARPS National Committee quarterly summary January 2019

What brought this on?


Not really one specific thing, but there are a few misconceptions out there about NZLarps and intellectual property rights. It comes up from time to time, so we thought it might be helpful to clarify this point somewhere public too. :slight_smile: