Legal Question

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  • Not even gonna bother to discuss this any further... one thing though... what in blazes are you talking about being copy and paste job? Do you even know what Chrono Trigger is? Did you even bother to read through the lines?

  • Did any of you ppl even manage to get a reply from companies when you try get permission? I personaly have this huge problem to even get any response from the copyright holders no mater if its a song or a character, they never respond to messages. Even from few popular resources i know that iam not the only one with this problem when it goes to get legaly permission for using copyrighted material in the first place so i asume it becomes easily the cause of why many start not to bother even try get the permission when the companies dont bother to ever reply.

    Personaly i see nothing good about copyrights and in my opinion, only those exposing theyr actual identification will more likely get in trouble for using copyrighted material than the anonymous ones.

    If the ilegal project then gets too popular, then the company will more likely notice and decide in taking posible actions as they risc of loosing customers.

    But hey, not all companies seem to be so touchee.

    Ppl seem to be free to make MLP projects without the owners minding to get a huge fanbase from it for example.

  • It has been long enough that this is probably unlawful thread necromancy, but I feel this thread has left the subject detrimental and may wane people from doing this which they could do in fear of legal action. I'm not a lawyer as anyone before, but I'm legally conscious. Laws are made to protect, not attack. You will never have a law suit that costs you money unless you terrorize, slander, or charge someone else money for something which you shouldn't have charged them for.

    Using Construct 2 you will almost never have to fear someone attacking you for patent unless you rip off someone else's Construct 2 game. If you make a game just like Mario or Sonic, but implement all your own features, graphics, and orientation using Construct 2, you will be totally okay. In recent law, the obvious copycat Samsung Galaxy S3 tablet was under fire from the iPad3. Apple lost the case in the UK because tablets are now generic, and the two methods were considered different enough even though the intended market and goal were identical.

    If you're using Trademark or characters in any way that isn't gaining you financial profit or slandering them, you will almost never have a law suit. If the owner of the Trademark decides to flex their muscles, they can order a seize and desist followed by court order if you don't follow through with their demands(and if they can find you-- if you upload your game to a web server like Scirra's site, they would get the seize and desist, and Scirra would undoubtedly comply and privately notify you what happened. If you don't take credit for your work, the credit falls onto the host). There may be literally a thousand Mario flash games on the internet which Nintendo could easily get rid of. The reason they still exist consistently and multiply is that it's flattering, good advertising, and cheaper for Nintendo to not hire someone to take care of it. If something graphic depicting Mario characters got in the news, they might do something about it, but System Every Tick-> 'noharm'='nofoul'. On this same subject, in my six degrees of separation table, I know a girl who was helping work with a guy that was making a Halo mod for Counter Strike Source. The intention was to take the Source Engine and make it as much like Halo as possible. Including that one of their members ripped the models and textures off of the Halo 2 disc and they were using the characters and vehicles as a part of their project. When the project got big, Microsoft ordered them to stop on account of the fact that they were making a game which could not be told apart from Halo 2 on a free engine and it could cut into future sales if there was a free version of it that you could get so long as you had the source engine on your computer. What this team was doing was an obvious ripoff, and months of work had been lost, but there was no lawsuit or financial damage.

    Case in point, technically, a Trademark prevents you from blatantly using features from another company, but most of the time a big name company won't care unless you garner a serious amount of attention and you may be harmful. If I made a hack n' slash game, and then you made a hack n' slash game with my main character as one of the bosses, I would be flattered. I would be bothered, however, if that character was the selling point of the game, you were making money on it, and it wasn't discussed with me first. If I were a big name company and you were getting a lot of attention for my property, I would probably do something about it. Otherwise, knock your socks off! There's a lot of discretion involved with law, and not a whole lot someone can do to you financially if you're not making money.

    My last big example(I promise) is South Park. They always request permission for their uses of celebrity names and media influences, and they don't always get it. Everyone knows what the episode of Chimpokomon was about, but it was in good parody(and not necessarily slanderous). Saying 'but yeah, everyone laughs at South Park', is not true. I don't laugh at South Park. I can see why anyone would find it offensive and not want to be involved with it. South Park makes a lot of money, and will make fun of whatever they want careful about what is legal and what isn't with the use of disclaimer. Parody is fair use, free to play games built around similar ideals is fair use, slander is not, ripping off hard work is not. There's a game on XBox Live Arcade called Angry Fish which is a shameless ripoff of you-know-what and costs a buck. It's still there. Sony's obvious Smash Brother's ripoff is the first Smash Brother's clone that's coming to America(!'thefirstmade') because in Japan Smash Brother's has been out long enough that it can legally be considered a genre now.

    Chances are pretty slim that you won't run into the legal issue on pretty much any regard, but there are obvious reasons why you could. Being original on characters and art will pretty much keep you covered. Concepts are considered generic after you can name three games that do what you want. Small features that you take will go unnoticed to most people, and, most of all remember: to take ideas from one source is called plagiarism, but taking ideas from a group of people is called research!

    Edit:I should note that this point is mostly American law, but internationally it seems to stand in most cases. the first example with the iPad and the Galaxy Tab is a funny one now that I checked my sources. The Galaxy Tab has been banned for sale in America, although Apple didn't win any money on it. It's legal to sell in the UK though, on account of the iPad "being cooler". Weird.

  • I think it also highly depends on the company that you may be borrowing assets from. Case in point: Nintendo. I think they're a little less litigious when it comes to people using sprite sheets from their old NES/SNES games in free PC games. I mean, if you go to the NewGrounds website, there are literally hundreds of platformer style games using their assets. Another couple games which heavily borrow graphics from Konami, Capcom, Nintendo, etc is Super Mario Crossover, another is Mario Kingdom Fusion which I believe was written in Game Maker.

    Reasons why they might allow this:

    1. They don't produce computer games, so maybe those games don't compete with their primary market

    2. Fan games are non profit

    3. Fan games may help to promote their image (assuming they are not used inappropriately)

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  • TLDR, but have to say so there is no thing in the world like "Intellectual Property". The whole term "Intellectual Property" is nothing more than juristical fantasy as non physical things cant be anyones property.

    The thing is not about someone owns something but about laws that grants someone legal monopoly to do some things. laws about copyright gives someone monopoly right to copy something but this dont mean they own something. They only have right to forbid anyone else to copy things.

    Understanding of this legal joke is most important thing to undesrtand how copytights or trademarks or panetst work.

    Second most important thing to understand is so there is a lot laws linked to this joke and non of them linked together. Patents have nothing to do with copyrights and copyrights have nothing common with patents.

  • These replies are rather extensive, but your tree bears no fruit, Goury. "Intellectual Property" is the term to generalize and sum up all of the above on legal ownership rights on things of non substance. The topic is extensive and only gets longer when you include more angles like types of rights and what countries they come out of. Ultimately, if you want to be positive, do your own research:

    The purpose of the question in this thread is to ask someone at least somewhat knowledge to cut some of the fat and clarify what you should be afraid of when tapping into possible property rights. What I wanted to say (in a way which was very clear, descriptive, and used many examples) was go ahead and make a Mario, Sonic, Smash Brothers, Final Fantasy, Dragon Warrior, Zelda, et cetra. Just don't use any of the names, audio, or ripped graphics. I also wanted to include that infringing is not always illegal and even when it is, the instances which the owner may not care anyway.

  • Since when wikipedia became source of research?

    Things dont happens just because some greedy one wants them to happen.

    If you want to do research - do it, dont read pediwikia as it wrote and moderated by those greedy ones. There is no single good article regarding any laws.

    The whole term made by those greedy ppl to confuse other ppl. As long you belive in this stories ull never do real research and never understand where is truth came from.

    Research is about understanding where the truth came from, not just reading business fantasies.

  • I was waiting in hopes for you to falsify my wiki link. Wikipedia is a website where people take their education from outside sources and put them on the inside. I have a few friends who have a similar standpoint on life, the universe, and everything with snowballed philosophies of half thought truths of aimless doubt. The difference here is that you and I met on a middleware forum. If you do not see the irony in that without further explanation, it would not surprise me. I've spent enough time in court to tell you that when you get there it plays out like a game where the rules may seem somewhat subjective, but that does not mean there is no substance. You don't read a wiki article and become enlightened, but there is no shame in starting there and finding the appropriate sources.

    I will not argue Wikipedia's stance further, I am well aware of the rigid validity and that knowledge is assumed to all readers and writers.

    I will not steer the topic into senseless nitpicking. The point is made.

    I will not further defend law from fantasy impressions. I have provided example, clarification, simplification, sources, and inspiration to research of its diversity and existence.

    I will not argue that I have done less than solid on any of my points to anyone who doesn't demonstrate having at least tried to see what I mean.

    That having been said, I would respond to a solid standpoint or an honest curious question about a grey area. Further spam and banter of this thread would be spam.

  • You dont even know what spam is and misuse this term as any other.

    You dont even know how wiki works this days.

    Things dont became senseless if you call em senseless.

  • Goury, even a cursory glance at the citations/edit history of the Wiki article gives massive weight to it's validity... It's page ranking of 4+ out of 5 for each category (Trustworthiness, Completeness, Writing quality and Objectiveness)furthers the point. Ripping on Wikipedia has become the joke dumb people feel smart laughing at.

    For the topic at hand, I'd avoid using other's work as much as possible, in having to do work for yourself that you may not be experienced in is a great learning technique.

  • Goury: If I draw an original sprite, it's my creation and it's my right to protect it from theft/abusive use by someone else if I want to.

    Paying a copyright to protect a work I did gives me "legal ownership" to it, makes it my "intellectual property".

    Even on a philosophical point would you deny me this right ?

    I agree that patents are not copyrights and copyrights are not patent.

    The famous Notch posted an interesting blog article on the subject today as a matter of fact.

    I used to make music and wanted to be a professional at it.

    I recorded some songs with my bands and protected those songs by paying/depositing those songs to define my copyright.

    That would allow me/us to not get our songs ripped while we were sending the CDs to labels.

    Copyright in that case would prevent a label to steal our songs and make sure we would get a deal if they were interested by those.

    The copyright in that case really protects the original creator from having his creation took away from him, modified/reused out of his grasp. edit: I should probably rather say without a legal leverage. Owning a copyrights don't prevent the possibility of theft, but it's there to be able to pledge in court that "I did that first and the work was taken out of me without my consent".

    Also I read through this topic some, apparently, confusion about big companies acting on "fan games" or derived works from their IPs (characters, stories, musics, game).

    I don't know if you may have heard/remember about a legal issue that occured between Mojang (Notch's studio) and Bethesda software last year.

    Mojang went to apply for a copyright for the name of their new game: "Scrolls".

    Bethesda Software went into some legal turmoil with Mojang because of their own copyright ownership of "The Elder Scroll", pledging that "Scrolls" might get confused with "The Elder Scroll" and lead to loss of sales or other issues.

    As explained pretty well in that blog article, it was Bethesda's duty to react to protect their copyright.

    One might argue that it wasn't a smart move, since they "lost" their case, but Mojang also didn't got to copyright "Scrolls" as it was considered a generic word and shouldn't be copyrighted anyway.

    Yet, they can't be blamed for this action either.

    One can argue that it's a corporation and that the copyright doesn't protect the "creators" (the devs and artists who actually made the game) but rather protects financial interests.

    Once again, the point of the topic is about the legal question, how it works in the real life.

    As Stercus said, a court is a "game" set by constrictive rules that one must deal/play with if involved in a legal action.

    You can't just dismiss them as being "philosophically unfair/irrelevant".

    And to finish on Nintendo's case, they don't really bother with suing fan games. But also, most of their characters (mario, Link, etc...) are video games icons. They know it and understood it.

    Mario kind of belongs to the gamers. And anyway, when you think Mario, you think Nintendo's Mario, the character is associated with the brand.

    So in their case, their copyright is not threatened by a fan game.

    Nevertheless go on and make a GTA Mario where he pays to have sex with Goombas and piss on flowers, all that with sprites displaying a penis, I bet that you will soon hear from them and be asked to remove the game from distribution right away.

    Also about the TL;DR, when one takes the time to make an elaborate answer, the least politeness is to read it as a whole, especially on such subjective/debatable subjects.

    If you don't have the time to read it right away, save it for later and answer only after having read the post.

    It helps keeping the discussions relevant and not a simple battle of opinions.

  • A great read Kyatric, thanks for taking the time, you made a lot of good points.

  • Kyatric

    You obiviously used my copyrighted text to inspire your drawing (either you read it or broken forum rules) so i decide your drawing is partially inspired by my work. I forbid you to stole it and offers to license use of my text for low price of $1000000 per sprite youu draw.

    Dont steal my copyrighted texts!

    Only because something looks easier to understand it does not means its truth.

    Do you really belive so the only things that determines truth is "how famous talking person is" and "how easilly you can understand he"?

    Famous persons fancy talks is most obivious way to spread global lies to hide the truth.

  • Goury: You'd be well within your rights to claim that; you would then file a statement expressing that claim to your legal counsel who would take it further: It could be a cease and desist, it could even be a lawsuit for damages incurred if you feel you're out of pocket, at the end of the day it would be brought before a judge and ultimately decided which party was in the wrong.

    In your case your solicitor would likely tell you that you didn't have a case, or more likely the judge would simply tell you to come back with a more convincing one.. As yours, whilst hypothetical, seems crazy: Inspiration is not copyright infringement, it would have to be fairly blatant forgery or contain incredibly strong similarities to even be considered as such.

    You don't seem to have a firm grasp of how the world works with talk of a conspiracy surrounding IP laws...

  • E Bear

    You not famous enough for me to belive in your stories

    There is no such thing like IP laws, Internet Protocol is determined by RFC documents, not laws

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