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knowles5150

"licensing" A Puzzle Cache

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I love the puzzle, haven't really solved a lot, but I also like creating them.

 

I search around alot for Ideas and found some really interesting ones out there that I would LOVE to do but simple geography prevents that. But really I was wondering is has there been a lot of puzzles copied over and over throughout the country. Obviously a guy in the Midwest won't take a drive to San Diego to solve a cache, but maybe the San Diego Cache can come to the Midwest!

 

Obviously, some things would change as far as the solution goes, I was thinking more along the lines of the story and methodology. In other words, I could copy a cache from another place, maintain it, but give credit to the original creator. Sort of a "License" to use his/her cache in another part of the planet? I am sure there is a lot of replication going on, without proper credit being given.

 

Thoughts?

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It happened to a puzzle cache of mine called Needle In A Haystack.

 

I'm in the Atlanta area, but a guy from SC liked my cache he asked if he could clone it. Then someone else liked his, and cloned it again. As of now there are 4 versions. :mad:

 

I've put links on my cache page to the other 3. It's very flattering when someone else likes your idea enough to hide one of their own.

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I've seen a few puzzle caches that I wouldn't mind using the same idea myself, but I don't think there is enough interest in puzzle caches around here to warrant its placement. My wife has a few devious puzzle caches in the works and one that we are about 80% done constructing is something that at least *I* have not heard about anyone doing before. However, I have found that none of my caching ideas are EVER unique - even if I think they are. A few caches that I made I had thought at the time they were different to later find out they were common ideas in other places. I didn't give credit to previous caches on those cause I didn't know they existed at the time I started with the idea.

 

I do think if I did find a cache idea that is truely unique I really want to do, I would contact the owner and ask permission for copying the idea. I don't mind if anyone copys my caches either - of course like I said I have found that they are really not original even if we hadn't heard of the idea before. I am sure our next cache will be logged within a week with "Nice cache - this style of cache is really popular in New Guinea" :mad:

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Hey, I live in San Diego, and we do have some really cool puzzle caches.

 

As for the using of someone else's idea, go for it. They haven't copywrited it or patented it, and if they did, there is no way of proving you stole the idea. (I didn't tell you to break the law.)

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I've done some great puzzle caches locally that were based on caches hidden in other parts of the country. You would not want to redo them too close by. Permission is usually asked, if the puzzle is original, and credit is usually given to the original source.

On the other fin, my brother and I have collaborated on some puzzle caches. He hides his in Seattle; I hide mine in north Jersey. A local cacher asked if I knew of any caches in the Seattle area, and I suggested Des Moines Park, and also gave him my brother's e-mail address. One of his logs ran something like: "There are great puzzle caches out here, even if I seem to have done a few of them before." :mad:

I've even borrowed a non-puzzle idea from a cache that I did in New Hampshire. ET Dial 00.000. I liked the idea, borrowed it, and credited rjbnh43 for the idea.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

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I've done it and had it done to me. What I can say though is know your audiance what works in one area may not in anohter.

 

cheers

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I have a lot of experience diving deep shipwrecks around New England, and quite often these wrecks share their violent end with unfortunate members of their crew. In some cases, these wrecks still contain the remains of the crew and I can assure you, it is a surreal experience to be 130 feet deep and 50 feet into a wreck and gingerly swimming over skulls and femurs every few feet.

 

A portion of this particular wreck had been removed in the 1950s and though the salvaged items were a centerpiece for quite some time, they were eventually relocated to a field that has since overgrown. It took quite some time to relocate these salvaged items, and it was finding them forgotten in an overgrown field that prompted the idea for the mystery cache.

 

So, I had the rough idea in my head and I needed some image files to assist with the storyline.

 

I was very surprised to find that "JudgeCrater" had a cache in California that was not only of a similar topic, but it had some exceptional image files that I could use. JudgeCrater seemed to have an interest in German U-boats based upon his letterbox hybrid caches like U-101, so I contacted him directly and let him know that I was developing a mystery cache that was related to a German U-boat, and though I actually had a U-boat to incorporate into the cache, I was lacking in image files that I could tailor to the cache.

 

JudgeCrater was happy to allow use of the image files, and as such, I incorporated his name and a less directly related cache into the Mercury Rising mystery cache long description.

 

Since then, I've developed two other mystery caches involving a United States Balao Class submarine, and a Soviet Juliett Class guided nuclear missle submarine.

 

Had I developed the first cache without asking for approval from JudgeCrater, I think that he would have been very displeased in the long run had he been searching for German U-boats and found my cache page loaded with images that were modified from his own.

 

The same would hold true if someone helped themselves to my concepts and work and applied them as their own for subsequent caches.

 

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but only when it is a condoned imitation.

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As a puzzle cache creator, I've had many people ask to borrow cache ideas before. Personally, all I ask is that the cache creator credit me on their cache page. I can think of at least 5 or 6 caches out there that other cachers were nice enough to ask to copy from me. And on one of my puzzles, I did the same thing --- asked to borrow an idea and gave credit on my cache page.

 

Having looked at tons of puzzle caches out there though, I'll say this -- it is EXTREMELY difficult to come up with a completely original idea. Tons of puzzle ideas out there. Some of them are overused (SuDoku and resistor color code come to mind) but that doesn't matter if the idea is new to your area.

 

I'm actually flattered if someone likes an idea I've put together. In my opinion, it would be a waste of time to try to patent an idea. But if you do a straight ripoff of someone else's idea, and they find out (which has happened to a couple of people I know of) don't be surprised if they're not too happy about it. Asking for permission is just plain polite.

 

--Dave, The Cow Spots

Edited by The Cow Spots

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The key is asking permission if you're copying someone's unique idea. Most people will say "sure", but it's nice to be asked.

 

It's even covered in the Geocachers' Creed examples (see the last bullet point in this section)!

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Tons of puzzle ideas out there. Some of them are overused (SuDoku and resistor color code come to mind) but that doesn't matter if the idea is new to your area.

Resistor color code equals the lightpole hide of puzzle caches. <_<

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Ironic that The Cow Spots mentioned SuDoku as being overused. If I do a search using Keyword "SuDoku" I only see six of them in four states in the entire USA (Texas, California, Wisconsin, Michigan). Maybe people are using SuDoku as a puzzle for a cache without making it a keyword? I was thinking it would be a good puzzle for my first cache hide.

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If I do a search using Keyword "SuDoku" I only see six of them in four states in the entire USA (Texas, California, Wisconsin, Michigan).

Well, the one I am in the process of making is called "Pseudo-Coo."

 

And no, that idea is not available for licensing.

 

<_<

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Tons of puzzle ideas out there.  Some of them are overused (SuDoku and resistor color code come to mind)  but that doesn't matter if the idea is new to your area.

Resistor color code equals the lightpole hide of puzzle caches. <_<

Dang! I have one of each! Now, I feel so cheap!

Neither has been used in this area, and the one still has some people stumped! And stop revealing where I hid the cache! :cry:

 

"There is nothing new in the world."

That applies to mystery caches. Actually, it applies to caches in general.

If you enjoy Sudoku, who cares if the idea is not original? It's a fun cache, and people enjoy it. That's all that matters.

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"There is nothing new in the world."  That applies to mystery caches.  Actually, it applies to caches in general.

I place a very high priority for my puzzle caches on originality. I think there are original puzzles out there.

 

Here are a few examples of puzzles I have created that I consider original:

 

See the Light is, as far as I know, a unique math puzzle. I have certainly never seen other cache puzzle quite like it.

 

Neutrino is one of those calculate-the-geodesy puzzles, but it's a real-world problem that I believe is unique.

 

Buzzy Kaboom is definitely original. I have never seen anything like it in any caching puzzle.

 

Just Your Average Puzzle Cache is also one-of-a-kind. Generating the puzzle took a signficant effort that I believe nobody else has ever done.

 

I don't believe that all the good puzzle ideas have been taken. Not by a mile.

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I do detective stories where each puzzle gives you the username and password to open up another part of the story. They are very graphical... they have you finding real world clues too which is kind of neat.

 

Smith's Chase is the first one in the series. it'll have you going to libraries, graveyards and cliff tops.

 

Smith's Identity is the second in the series and see you team up with your partner "Brody" who leaves you voice mail messages along the way to aid in your puzzle solving. At one point you have to use a micro fische at a library in this one!

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As others have said, if you are blatantly copying the methodology of someone else's puzzle, giving that person credit is good practice.

 

If the puzzle shares a topic with another but with a different methodology, then "licensing" is a judgement call. Fizzymagic will let you know if his puzzle idea was inspired by one of yours (but not necessarily on the cache page itself). Due to the almost-eccentric-uniqueness of his puzzles, I just can't imagine people copying his ideas and getting away with it. :lol:

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I was very surprised to find that "JudgeCrater" had a cache in California that was not only of a similar topic, but it had some exceptional image files that I could use. JudgeCrater seemed to have an interest in German U-boats based upon his letterbox hybrid caches like U-101, so I contacted him directly and let him know that I was developing a mystery cache that was related to a German U-boat, and though I actually had a U-boat to incorporate into the cache, I was lacking in image files that I could tailor to the cache.

 

JudgeCrater caches rock!

 

The hardest puzzle caches I have found were his

 

Viper's Secret GCHMPN

Hide and Seek #1 GC2AB2

Crazy Hobbit by JudgeCrater GCH6CE

 

I have several caches that I decided to create without any reference. It turned out the method was already used by other cachers, but I never borrowed their idea.

 

The problem with too crafty of a puzzle, is that it severely limits the number of people who will be able to figure it out. I don't want only advanced cryptographers to be able to solve my puzzles.

 

Someone who has very creative puzzle caches is PSGeo I have all of here "Gauntlet" puzzles solved, but have not had the time or the funding to make the 130 mile (one way trip) to find her caches.

 

The logic puzzles were a blast.

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