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Derivative work, Similar Work..

  • I am currently reading up on Copyright laws.

    I would hate to get sued for my game.

    Would like some opinions on this :)

    Left, Blizzard. Right, Me:

    <img src="http://i1294.photobucket.com/albums/b603/oliverschoening/copyrightstaff.png" border="0" />

    <img src="http://i1294.photobucket.com/albums/b603/oliverschoening/WowCompareToMyMesh.png" border="0" />

  • [I'm not a lawyer]

    It is difficult to define a specific boundary, one side of which is illegal, and the other side legal.

    If your works are made originally from scratch by you, that's slightly better. But if you want to be 100% safe, just come up with original work and don't base it off existing copyrighted work.

  • Thanks Ashley.

    Well the point of the Game is to be a homage to a part of World of Warcraft that I am very fond of.

    The body (Without hands) is from World of Warcraft, but the mesh was heavily modified.

    Would there be a difference if I made the entire mesh myself even though it looks similar?

  • In my opinion, it's better to be safe than sorry with a commercial game. I'm fairly sure heavily modifying something you are not allowed to use doesn't stop you from being prohibited from using it. But that's just my opinion, I'm not a lawyer ;)

  • Well the point of the Game is to be a homage to a part of World of Warcraft that I am very fond of.

    Well, if your intent is to deliberately mimic the game, and the game is copyrighted, that's probably on the wrong side of copyright law. Again I'm not a lawyer, but I still think you'd be better off putting your efforts in to original work.

  • Also you can't use their models as a base, even if you modify them significantly.

    On the other hand, if the game is going to be free and you don't plan to make any money, even something like advertising, I am not sure they'd do anything.

  • Thanks for the Input people.

    Yes I decided to remodel the Human Body to avoid to fall under Derivative work.

    I still want the game to be an homage. But I will do this more subtle then previously though.

    Change up story elements and such.

    I am very fond of the staff... (I love crystals!) But I will try to model something that is a bit less straightforward the same object with a Higher Poly-count.

    Look forward to seeing a WIP Topic in the Construct 2 Forums ^^

  • Yeah. There's no need to make the staff look exactly the same.

  • Yes I decided to remodel the Human Body to avoid to fall under Derivative work.

    If you used their model as a base, then it is derivative by definition.

  • This is an interresting topic.Where do fan made games fit in?.Are they also violating certain copyright laws if it's a fan made game?.How strict are these laws exactly?.There's 1000's off mario , rockman etc clones out there and i don't see them being deleted from certain websites.

    I also played a few world off warcraft fanmade games and videos and they don't get deleted or sued.Nor do certain people which has popular tv programs as thier signatures.I think one should read the legal info about a game or whatever first before making a fan made banner ,game etc.

  • Where do fan made games fit in?. Are they also violating certain copyright laws if it's a fan made game?.

    Yes they are.

    How strict are these laws exactly?.There's 1000's off mario , rockman etc clones out there and i don't see them being deleted from certain websites.

    Just that you don't see it happen doesn't mean it never happens.

    It's never a clear cut case. Most fan made games are pretty bad, and for the IP holders most of them don't enter into the IP holders signal to noise ratio. The two most common causes for a fanmade game to be C&D'd are a) if they are actively making money off the project, or b) the quality of the game is sufficient enough as to detract from sales of proper releases.

    Nintendo has shot down quite a few fan projects. The most memorable for me being the Ocarina of Time de-make, where a guy was recreating Ocarina of Time using A Link to the Past assets.

    However, copyright (like trademarks and patents) is something that the holders must actively enforce themselves. Simply put, the reason you see so many games that do not get taken down is because there are so many games that people make. It's not feasible to C&D each and every one.

    In some cases, though, an IP holder can actually encourage fanmade material, as it generates good-will. AFAIK Lucas Arts have been pretty openminded about fanmade material (though Disney is quite the opposite. I wonder which way this issue will tilt with Disney at the reins).

    Hasbro is also pretty openminded about fanmade material for MLP:FiM, for instance, but not without limits. They haven't done anything against Fighting is Magic, but the fanmade Magic: The Gathering MLP set was C&D not too long ago.

    Edit: What is this, the fifth or tenth time this discussion has come up?

  • I think it is a good thing that those laws are in place.

    But like every law, it can get to some nitpicking issues ^^

    Let's see how it goes.

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  • Nintendo has shot down quite a few fan projects. The most memorable for me being the Ocarina of Time de-make, where a guy was recreating Ocarina of Time using A Link to the Past assets.

    Haven't heard of that, is that a recent thing? Doesn't sound like Nintendo, when I was young I spent many years in the fan game communities and Nintendo didn't seem to care about any of them.

  • alspal:

    The key thing there is that Nintendo didn't seem to care. Just because you didn't see it doesn't mean it didn't happen, and as a rule Nintendo have traditionally been pretty strict about this type of thing.

    I'm a staff member and forum moderator at a very popular game development site (GameDev.Net), and 5 or 6 years ago now after requesting we take down recruiting posts for a few individual projects -- who themselves received C&D notices -- Nintendo actually made a blanket request that we do our best effort to disallow any fan project using Nintendo's properties.

    Just commenting on something above as well, obviously if you re-use an asset (model, sprite, whatever) from an existing game -- even if you modify it -- you're violating copyright. A lot of people don't realise however that if you create a new asset for yourself completely from scratch but based upon something from an existing game you're still creating a derivative work.

  • I know Tetris sued a similar game and won

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