Q: Can I make copies of my home-brewed Fluxx (or Chrono, or Nano, etc.) deck to give free to my friends? Or to sell as a fundraiser for my excellent cause? Can I license the Fluxx engine from you to make a version for my special-interest community?

A: Short answer, NO.

Here at Looney Labs, we do always try to encourage creativity, and we love hearing stories about the fun our fans have had by putting their own twists on our games. Fluxx in particular lends itself to customization, and we make blank Fluxx cards available for those who want to add their own cards into one of our games.

We’re all in favor of house rules and homemade cards, and we love it when people adapt our ever-changing game to suit their own tastes. And just as we’ve had fun creating entire Fluxx decks in many different flavors, so too have countless others, on every subject you can imagine.

However, it’s one thing to make your own Fluxx deck, for you to use and even play with your family and friends. We happily encourage that. But when you ask if you can start duplicating your deck and distributing copies — basically publishing it, even if the print run is very small — then we have a problem. This is not ok. Even if you are distributing it for free – this is not ok.

(If you represent a publisher seeking to license the rights to Fluxx, our answer will almost certainly be no, but feel free to ask. The only license grants we offer are for foreign-language translations of our own designs.)

Looney Labs is the exclusive publisher of games that use the Fluxx engine, for which privilege we pay royalties to designer Andrew Looney. Fluxx is our most important brand, and it is simply not in the best interests of Looney Labs to permit competing entities to distribute copies of a game based on Fluxx (no matter how small the production run nor how unique the theme) to others in the marketplace.

• It is ok to post/share a written card list and photos of a few sample cards
• It is NOT ok to post a PDF (or any digital file) of your card designs online
• It is NOT ok to send a friend your files, or to print an extra copy to give to them
• It is NOT ok to pay a printer to make you one nice copy for yourself
• It is NOT ok to send digital files to anyone – not a friend, not a print-on-demand printer

If you are a teacher, and want to design Fluxx games in your classroom, go for it. It is a wonderful creative exercise. But make sure your students understand these rules about not publishing the design online, and no, it is NOT ok to make a small print run so each student gets a copy.

Again, one-of-a-kind Fluxx decks are fine, we encourage anyone who feels creative to try their hand at making one. In legal terms, that’s “Fair Use.” You can make your own deck and play it with anyone you like. But you may not make copies. Sorry, we simply cannot condone that.

We realize this answer will be disappointing for would-be Fluxx designers, but unfortunately we’ve concluded that this is the best policy for us. We hope you can understand our reasoning. Thanks!