The recent discussions of copyrighting chess games (see here and here) focus on one angle. That is, actually using other people's games complete and unchanged. But what if we were to use a game, but with one or two little details omitted or even altered?
Consider this, for example:
URS-ch27, Leningrad 1960
Spassky, Boris V
Bronstein, David I
1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 d5 4. exd5 Bd6 5. Nc3 Ne7 6. d4 O-O 7. Bd3 Nd7 8. O-O h6 9. Ne4 Nxd5 10. c4 Ne3 11. Bxe3 fxe3 12. c5 Be7 13. Bc2 Re8 14. Qd3 e2 15. Nd6 Nf8 16. Nxf7 exf1=Q+ 17. Rxf1 Bf5 18. Qxf5 Qd7 19. Qf4 Bf6 20. N3e5 Qe7 21. Bb3 Bxe5
Position after 21...Bxe5
And now 22. Nxe5+ Kh7 23. Qe4+ 1-0
The well-informed will immediately recognise that the same position after black's twentyfirst was used in the film From Russia with Love, except that white's c and d pawns were removed by the film makers!
So, what do we have here, then? Perhaps not so much a breach of copyright, but it is certainly downright sacrilegious! It's like adding or removing a single note from a Mozart concerto!
For an extensive discussion of this insult, see Chessbase.