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

Ideas and discussion about publishing and distributing your games

Post » Wed Jan 25, 2017 2:28 pm

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.
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Post » Wed Jan 25, 2017 2:46 pm

newt wrote: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.
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Post » Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:26 pm

lamar wrote:
newt wrote: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).
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Post » Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:08 pm

digitalsoapbox wrote:
lamar wrote:
newt wrote: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!
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Post » Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:23 pm

lamar wrote: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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Post » Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:31 pm

digitalsoapbox wrote:
lamar wrote: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.


Let me help you out:

US Copyright laws

https://www.copyright.gov/title17/

Fair US law:

Fair use is a US legal doctrine that permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holders. ... Examples of fair use in United States copyright law include commentary, search engines, criticism, parody, news reporting, research, and scholarship.

https://www.copyright.gov/fair-use/more-info.html

I repeat:

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.
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Post » Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:55 pm

Im sure you'll be willing to go out on a limb and say that you take full responsibility for anybody that reads what you've said to make a game using protected material?

Let's work on the "crushing my creativity" defense.
I think it starts by trying to turn the lawyer into the boogey man.
You could reference a bunch of games that were never made, and possibly all the stuff you claim to have made over the past 10 years.
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Post » Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:14 pm

newt wrote:Im sure you'll be willing to go out on a limb and say that you take full responsibility for anybody that reads what you've said to make a game using protected material?

Let's work on the "crushing my creativity" defense.
I think it starts by trying to turn the lawyer into the boogey man.
You could reference a bunch of games that were never made, and possibly all the stuff you claim to have made over the past 10 years.



You can start by referencing the law:

US Copyright laws

https://www.copyright.gov/title17/

Fair US law:

Fair use is a US legal doctrine that permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holders. ... Examples of fair use in United States copyright law include commentary, search engines, criticism, parody, news reporting, research, and scholarship.

https://www.copyright.gov/fair-use/more-info.html

Trying to turn this into a personal attack is not going to work.

I addressed your article with the laws that apply.

End of discussion.
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Post » Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:38 am

lamar wrote:
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 would consider that a personal attack.
I think the lawyer would too.

Anyway, the fact that you don't state that you are willing take responsibility for any of your advice answers everything.
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Post » Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:53 am

One can stand theoretical correct, and yet make no sense in practice. Not attacking anyone, just in general.

Case: 'Oh what can happen, you get a take down notice, take it down an all is solved'. Theoretical correct, in practice .... take it down and you plain lose. I have seen projects taking down with the value of 8 years work for several people. Do not take it down and you are in a big war with a lot of damage and collateral damage. You can not win against class justice as a normal individual.

It smells like robbery, if put as "'Oh what can happen, you get a take down notice ....". Similar. One puts a gun to my head and says : "Give me your iPhone". If i give it, all is solved ? No harm done ?

Case: 'I am protected by Fair Use'. (We have a similar law, a bit better formulated). Can be theoretical totally correct. In practice you are never ever protected by Fair Use, unless you work for someone/something who is to big to fail. As individual you are never protected, because this is a law that needs interpretation:

In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:
- the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
- the nature of the copyrighted work;
- the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
- the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.


This law fits perfect in a class justice. And will be always provoked that way.

Contrary to the constitutional guarantees of due process and equal protection of the laws and the etching “Equal Justice Under Law” on the Supreme Court building, the kind of justice people get in America’s courts depends very much upon the amount of money they can spend at an army of lawyers. That is reality. Not only in America. An upcoming trend here too.

My 2 small cents.
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