This article is from the Go FAQ, by Morten PAHLE email@example.com with numerous contributions by others.
Much information (and misinformation) on this subject has appeared in
rec.games.go. In general, the editing, collection or compilation of
written material (including game records) and all game comments are
subject to copyright protection in countries which have adopted
international copyright conventions. Additional laws (not related to
copyright) may also apply.
If you are considering some project using someone else's efforts,
obviously the safest approach (both for legality and social harmony)
is to ask for permission.
If you particularly want NOT to ask permission as your legal "right",
then you should consider consulting a qualified attorney regarding all
laws that might apply (including copyright laws and non-copyright
In any case, please take care to avoid insulting any institutional
sponsors of Go.
For more general information on copyright law only, see
Please remember that other kinds of laws also may apply.