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"No, you can't make a damn fan game."

  • Just saw a very relevant post on Reddit gamedev.

    Thought I would share the link.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/gamedev/commen ... needs_and/

  • newt Thanks for posting, that information is extremely useful!

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  • The article is not accurate. You can make fan games all you want for your own use as long as you are not selling or publishing the content there are also laws protecting parody within limits.

    That is an article written by a lawyer trying to scare game makers in to using his exorbitant services.

    Most game designers never sell a single game and hiring a lawyer is a waste of money until you start producing commercial games in my opinion.

    A quick google of Ryan Morrison the attorney shows he just graduated in 2013 and I don't see a single client or case list on his website.

    Scare tactic advertising IMO.

  • Ay caramba!

  • [quote:3c3r79qn]No, you can't make a damn fan game. Yes, it's infringing. No, it doesn't matter others do it. O.J. got away with murder, don't try to do it yourself though.

    I've seen so many developer lives ruined (lost home, wife, kids, etc) all because of a silly fan game.

    These companies are brutal about protecting their IP. The reason you never hear about it? All settlements come with an NDA that makes it so no one can write or talk about it.

    I smell bullshit, as far as it can go, your game gets shut down, and that's about it. No "lives ruined" crap.

    Game companies aren't as evil as this "attorney" thinks.

  • No, but I imagine he knows lawyers, and what they can do.

    They don't even have to worry if the game made any profit. They do have to be aggressive when it comes to protecting a product.

    Not doing so sets a precedent, and can cause a lot of loss.

    So take the gamble if you like, but don't expect that guy that's got hundreds of thousands of dollars in law school loans is going to be very forgiving.

  • No, but I imagine he knows lawyers, and what they can do.

    They don't even have to worry if the game made any profit. They do have to be aggressive when it comes to protecting a product.

    Not doing so sets a precedent, and can cause a lot of loss.

    So take the gamble if you like, but don't expect that guy that's got hundreds of thousands of dollars in law school loans is going to be very forgiving.

    I said so because 99% of fan games are crap. Game companies wouldn't even have heard about them.

  • Gamejolt recently got a notice from Nintendo for 562 "fan" games

    http://fireside.gamejolt.com/post/dmca-notices-for-fangames-bzc9h583

    Never heard of the guy who created Mario and Sonic Adventures?

    His house was burned, his wife left with the kids, aliens kidnapped him and threw him into a black hole.

    Don't earn money with fan games.

  • lamar correct. That article is just an ad. "You need THIS! But it costs THIS! But, we do it for THIS!"

  • Gamejolt recently got a notice from Nintendo for 562 "fan" games

    http://fireside.gamejolt.com/post/dmca-notices-for-fangames-bzc9h583

    Never heard of the guy who created Mario and Sonic Adventures?

    His house was burned, his wife left with the kids, aliens kidnapped him and threw him into a black hole.

    Don't earn money with fan games.

    Yup and that is standard practice for any publisher that sees a name like Mario or Zelda or Pokimon being used in a title of a game to send a take down notice but that is a far stretch from being taken to court for copyright infringement.

    The reason they went after Gamejolt is there were game knock offs using ripped sprites from the actual games and not just a few games but hundreds. Gamejolt was making money by advertising on those games submitted as were some of the game designers.

    There is quite a difference in that and a person making a theme game using homemade or sprites in public domain and the lawyer wants you to think they will go after everyone to scare them in to using their services and that just prevents people from even thinking about designing games and suppresses independent game design.

    I don't recommend anyone use ripped sprites from any commercial game and using the name of a well know game in your title is sure to bring a DMCA notice.

    If it is a true fan game it uses parody and unique sprites or assets in public domain and is obviously not an attempt to copy any original game.

  • You should check out what's needed to protect yourself legally, and see what the going rate is to have an expert help you with that sort of thing before you start saying stuff like "suppressing independent thought".

    That's what I think.

  • You should check out what's needed to protect yourself legally, and see what the going rate is to have an expert help you with that sort of thing before you start saying stuff like "suppressing independent thought".

    That's what I think.

    Yes all game designers and authors of any material to be published should be aware of and comply with copyright laws but what this attorney is doing is scare advertising in my opinion and hurts the independent game designers and suppresses creativity.

    Some commercial games allow addons and fan games because it helps promote their games.

    The big issue is with knock off games using ripped sprites and using a well known registered copyright and trademark in the title and you will find black market copies of Nintendo games all over usually produced in foreign countries and they do take that serious.

    I just think the article is way over the top scare advertising and needs additional clarification as to what you can and can not do legally. Parody and using sprites in public domain or unique homemade sprites that RESEMBLE but are not copies of commercial sprites is legal and there are also fair use laws that apply.

    If you want to create a unique plumber character that jumps through unique plumbing and kicks unique turtles and you make it clear it is parody it is extremely unlikely you would face any legal challenge but companies will try to scare you off and if you do receive a DMCA notice take your game down but ask for the exact sprites or assets they claim are being infringed and for the exact game or source of the infringement.

    If they can't give you an exact source it is just a scare tactic. Make some changes and avoid close resemblance to a commercial game.

  • > You should check out what's needed to protect yourself legally, and see what the going rate is to have an expert help you with that sort of thing before you start saying stuff like "suppressing independent thought".

    >

    > That's what I think.

    >

    Yes all game designers and authors of any material to be published should be aware of and comply with copyright laws but what this attorney is doing is scare advertising in my opinion and hurts the independent game designers and suppresses creativity.

    Some commercial games allow addons and fan games because it helps promote their games.

    The big issue is with knock off games using ripped sprites and using a well known registered copyright and trademark in the title and you will find black market copies of Nintendo games all over usually produced in foreign countries and they do take that serious.

    I just think the article is way over the top scare advertising and needs additional clarification as to what you can and can not do legally. Parody and using sprites in public domain or unique homemade sprites that RESEMBLE but are not copies of commercial sprites is legal and there are also fair use laws that apply.

    If you want to create a unique plumber character that jumps through unique plumbing and kicks unique turtles and you make it clear it is parody it is extremely unlikely you would face any legal challenge but companies will try to scare you off and if you do receive a DMCA notice take your game down but ask for the exact sprites or assets they claim are being infringed and for the exact game or source of the infringement.

    If they can't give you an exact source it is just a scare tactic. Make some changes and avoid close resemblance to a commercial game.

    This is completely wrong. Here's why.

    1 - IP Holders can go after anyone to the fullest extent of the law, which in the US is heavily in their favor. See: any Nintendo IP fan game that Nintendo notices. If you don't comply, Nintendo WILL prosecute. The attorney is correct.

    2 - If you're an independent game designer and you think not being able to use other's successful IP hurts you or suppresses your creativity, you've already failed. Create something new or get written permission from the IP holders. In the indie world, people are more willing to provide this. The attorney is correct.

    3 - "Some" commercial games, maybe. But they allow it. And it's their decision to allow it or not, and no one else's. The attorney is correct.

    4 - Nintendo would sue the pants off of the creator of any parody game based on Mario, legal or not. Unless you're Nintendo-sized, you cannot afford to fight them. Once again, the attorney is correct.

    5 - IP holders are not required to provide the exact source of where you used content from their games. That is not part of the requirement of such a lawsuit. Even if you used not a single sprite from one of their games and drew every single sprite yourself, if you used content similar enough to be mistaken as content from one of their games, they can sue you, and because they have more money than you, you cannot afford to fight them. The attorney is correct. Noticing a theme here yet?

    6 - If you need more clarification, contact an attorney familiar with IP/copyright/trademark law. Expecting all of the information for free to be handed to you by someone who's entire career it is to understand and ensure compliance with related law matters is unrealistic. As he states, most attorneys will provide a free consultation, but once you need to dig deeper into that information, expect to open your checkbook. Otherwise it's like expecting a free meal at a restaurant because you're curious what a hamburger tastes like.

    Posts like this are dangerous because it makes people inexperienced in matters related to IP/copyright/trademark law think they can get away with more than they can. Listen to the lawyer. If you think he's just advertising his services with his post, you probably can't afford him, in which case make doubly sure you know what you're doing when it comes to content ownership laws in your respective country.

    By way of an example, my game Sombrero includes characters from a few other games. To make sure this is entirely legal, a written agreement (written by a lawyer, but not this lawyer) was supplied to each and every IP holder, discussing what my rights are in relation to using their IP - the characters are legally permitted to be included in Sombrero, which is its own separate IP, registered with the US trademark office - as well as establishing that they still retain full ownership of the IP and are granting a limited license to use the likeness of their character in-game. If the game content is monetized outside of the game itself (t-shirts, posters, etc.) and that additional content includes usage of their IP, they retain final approval of the look/feel of their IP, which keeps everyone happy, and keeps everything legal. It's really not that hard to do, but it does involve at least a limited understanding of how the law actually works (in the US, where I'm based. This may vary by country).

  • >

    > > You should check out what's needed to protect yourself legally, and see what the going rate is to have an expert help you with that sort of thing before you start saying stuff like "suppressing independent thought".

    > >

    > > That's what I think.

    > >

    >

    > Yes all game designers and authors of any material to be published should be aware of and comply with copyright laws but what this attorney is doing is scare advertising in my opinion and hurts the independent game designers and suppresses creativity.

    >

    > Some commercial games allow addons and fan games because it helps promote their games.

    >

    > The big issue is with knock off games using ripped sprites and using a well known registered copyright and trademark in the title and you will find black market copies of Nintendo games all over usually produced in foreign countries and they do take that serious.

    >

    > I just think the article is way over the top scare advertising and needs additional clarification as to what you can and can not do legally. Parody and using sprites in public domain or unique homemade sprites that RESEMBLE but are not copies of commercial sprites is legal and there are also fair use laws that apply.

    >

    > If you want to create a unique plumber character that jumps through unique plumbing and kicks unique turtles and you make it clear it is parody it is extremely unlikely you would face any legal challenge but companies will try to scare you off and if you do receive a DMCA notice take your game down but ask for the exact sprites or assets they claim are being infringed and for the exact game or source of the infringement.

    >

    > If they can't give you an exact source it is just a scare tactic. Make some changes and avoid close resemblance to a commercial game.

    >

    This is completely wrong. Here's why.

    Oh good grief!'

    The average game designer never sells any games and the whole reason most kids get a C2 version is to create a game like their favorite games and you are just crushing their creativity with scare tactics IMO.

    You can claim the lawyer is correct and I can tell you it is a scare tactic and advertising for his services and looks like he has some paid shills on here?

    I have been publishing content for over 10 years and I have many ebooks, songs, and games copyrighted with the US library of congress and occasionally I send out a DMCA notice so I guess I have as much experience as you and while you are certainly entitled to your opinion you are misinformed and spreading fear that will hurt C2 and game designers and crush creativity.

    That is my opinion!

  • Oh good grief!'

    The average game designer never sells any games and the whole reason most kids get a C2 version is to create a game like their favorite games and you are just crushing their creativity with scare tactics IMO.

    You can claim the lawyer is correct and I can tell you it is a scare tactic and advertising for his services and looks like he has some paid shills on here?

    I have been publishing content for over 10 years and I have many ebooks, songs, and games copyrighted with the US library of congress and occasionally I send out a DMCA notice so I guess I have as much experience as you and while you are certainly entitled to your opinion you are misinformed and spreading fear that will hurt C2 and game designers and crush creativity.

    That is my opinion!

    I don't know this lawyer, have never spoken to this lawyer, and have my own legal counsel related to IP, copyright and trademark laws. If you think someone is a paid shill just because they have more experience with how the law functions in relation to IP, that's on you, and no one else.

    Your opinion is irrelevant. My opinion is irrelevant. What matters is how the law works (again, I'm speaking of US law), and you're wrong on that. The average "game designer" makes money designing games and needs to understand the legalities involved. If you're not selling any games, you're a hobbyist, but you are still affected by the same laws. IP law is also different than copyright law, so confusing the two isn't helpful, and points to a fundamental misunderstanding of how to function within it. Much like thinking NOT being able to use someone else's creativity to piggyback on somehow limits your creativity points to a complete lack of awareness of how the law works or what creativity means. Getting sued would hurt those using C2 or other game development tools much more than having to depend upon your own creative well.

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