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Permissions for game making

  • 1. Must i get Permission from the copyright of the TV series and movies to use their characters and objects and more for my free games(non-commercial games)?

    For example: I want to add "zig and sharko" characters for my game and it is owned by Xilam Animations, must i get permission for them for us their characters for my free games (non-commercial games).

    another example: I want to use power rangers characters which owned by Saban and Nick, must i get permission for them for us their characters for my free games (non-commercial games).

  • If you want to be legal then yes.

  • So how i get permission to allow me to use their characters for my own free-games?

  • You'll have to contact them. I can't read their web site, as the language is not English or Chinese, but if you can find it, just look for their contact email, postal address or phone number and ask for permission.

    Their site: xilam.com/xilam/home.html

    Normally, they wouldn't let you because it comes down to control over the assets and representation. For example, the company I used to work with would right off the bat reject everyone who wants to create games after our characters unless they were hired by us or partnered with us for that specific purpose.

    However, you should still give it a try. You never know if a company like them would want some extra exposure.

  • Come up with your own characters... there's no need to copy other company's designs.

  • If you aren't selling the game, aren't claiming ownership of the characters, etc., and crediting the rightful owners, then I don't see the problem. There are thousands of fan-games out there. Sure, some (like, 3) have been shut down, but only because the rightful owners saw them as a threat, or they were profiting from their work.

  • Even a fan game should ask permission to use characters/images/intellectual properties in any form first.

    Maybe the companies close their eyes on the thousands of known (and less known) fangames out there but legally, you are bond to ask first as long as it is copyrighted material.

    Naming the righful owners is a thoughtful/respectful thing to do, but it doesn't prevent you from having a permission first. If they feel like it, companies might take action towards your game (as ginseng samurai said "because it comes down to control over the assets and representation.")

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  • Well yes, I suppose you should..but good luck even getting their attention.

    I'm not trying to say crediting the rightful owners and such makes it legal, but it's definitely something you'll want to do.

  • I wouldnt even bother trying to contact them since what you wanna make is a fan made game and finding contact to the original owner is almoust imposible in the first place.

    I would just put in credits "zig and sharko (c) Xilam Animations" and there you go.

    But you can try contact them if you can, I just see no reason to spend time on such thing for a non profit fan game.

  • Considering how litigious society is in general these days, is it really worth the risk?

  • You won't get sued for having a free game up with their assets, but most companies today will issue a cease and desist if it's big enough to catch their attention. If you still won't take it down, well, then they might take legal action.

    In other words, if your goal is to have your game out there for everyone to play, it's probably not worth it.

  • I generally would not recommend using other people's or company's artwork in your games at all.

    (I'm not a lawyer, but I think it goes a bit like this...) According to copyright law, by default you are not allowed to copy another game's artwork in to yours, at all, even if you release the game for free. This kind of copy-pasting of other people's work unmodified is generally not allowed unless you have explicit permission. I think there are grey areas if it's for satire or commentary, but the average game does not fall in to that category.

    To get explicit permission, first you have to gain the attention of the company or person. This isn't easy. Expect to be put in touch with a generic customer service assistant who won't necessarily know what to do with your request.

    Assuming you get past that, now you need to persuade the company's lawyers you're significant enough for them to spend time, money and effort to write a letter saying you can do what you want. (You should not count anything less than a physical letter as permission.) Generally, they won't bother - why should they? Alternatively they may decide to levy a hefty fee to justify their time.

    Then, even if you have a letter saying you can, bear in mind many companies are large organisations with different departments that don't actually talk to each other much. So you might get legal threats anyway, from a different department that doesn't know what's happened!

    Then you have to use your letter as proof to try and persuade them they really did give you permission. (This is why you need a real letter: if they threaten you, they probably won't accept emails or what someone said on the phone as proof.) They might ignore your letter anyway and still tell you to stop, because companies don't always care about your predicament.

    All in all, it's probably a huge amount of hassle. I'm not saying it will always happen like that, but it could. By then you probably could have come up with some original artwork and made a cool original game.

    So I would not recommend it - if you want to do it by the book, it's best just to use your own artwork.

  • But i don't know how some sites like Newgrounds, Smosh and etc and some fan-games made parodies and games from TV-Series like Pokemon,Power Rangers and more without getting complained by the copyrights.

  • Cobra5000

    All we can offer is our own opinions - we are not lawyers (at least, I don't think anyone on here is a lawyer!).

    What you do after that is entirely your responsibility. If you choose to go ahead and use 'potentially' copyrighted material, then that's your choice. We can't make that choice for you.

  • there's a great example of a game which made with many cartoon-TV and games like Kirby, Pokemon, TMNT and more:

    Example

    I know that you aren't lawyers. I just asked if it's OK to use TV characters based to my game, that all.

    And do you know which games were built in Construct 2 contain famous TV series and movies characters?

    I just want to start to make my own game in this software and i need my own ideas like a game of Power Rangers VS TMNT for example.

    Thanks for the try.

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