Permissions for game making

Discussion and feedback on Construct 2

Post » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:20 am

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.
B
20
S
9
G
6
Posts: 607
Reputation: 6,112

Post » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:58 pm

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.Ashley2011-10-27 14:59:58
Scirra Founder
B
359
S
214
G
72
Posts: 22,952
Reputation: 178,580

Post » Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:50 pm

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.

B
16
G
2
Posts: 21
Reputation: 1,592

Post » Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:05 pm

@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.
If your vision so exceeds your ability, then look to something closer.
Moderator
B
120
S
28
G
68
Posts: 4,844
Reputation: 48,289

Post » Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:12 pm

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.Cobra50002011-10-27 19:12:59
B
16
G
2
Posts: 21
Reputation: 1,592

Post » Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:21 pm

Just for now, why not Google for free sprites and use those to get the hang of this software. At least that way you can start to try and learn the program without worrying unnecessarily.
If your vision so exceeds your ability, then look to something closer.
Moderator
B
120
S
28
G
68
Posts: 4,844
Reputation: 48,289

Post » Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:35 pm

and last questions:

1. Do you know if ripping the sprites from known games it's legal because most of the fan-game contain many game-sprites.

2. When i asked you to use "Zig and Sharko" characters, i mean that i want to draw and make my own sprites of those characters and add them to my game by basing my sprites from the tv-series screenshots, wallapers and more, not taking the characters from them, that i mean.

Thanks and sorry for the annoying questions.
I just want to understand them.
Cobra50002011-10-27 19:36:05
B
16
G
2
Posts: 21
Reputation: 1,592

Post » Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:44 pm

Just because lots of people do it doesn't mean it's legal. Yes, there are lots of fan games. No, probably not many of them have permission. If you ask we'll tell you you're not allowed, because it isn't. That's the situation.

If you redraw the characters yourself it's probably more OK, but I don't know, that's a difficult question!
Scirra Founder
B
359
S
214
G
72
Posts: 22,952
Reputation: 178,580

Post » Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:55 pm

i understand your questions

what did you mean "If you ask we'll tell you you're not allowed, because it isn't."

you can answer and then close this threat.

I just had a dream of a game which contain many favorite character and i wanted to make it but cause of issues of copyrights, i understand.

and by the way, there is a digimon game which made in Construct 2:

Digimon Game

Thanks for the help as you did.Cobra50002011-10-27 19:57:39
B
16
G
2
Posts: 21
Reputation: 1,592

Post » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:36 pm

Ashley has it for the most part spot on.

I'll also start with the disclaimer that I'm no lawyer, but as a semi-professional original musician I've had to do a lot of studying up on copyright law in order to better protect myself.

So, first off, to clear up a few misconceptions about U.S. Copyright Law:

* If the character itself is someone else's creation, you need a license given by the copyright holder to use the character (in most famous characters' cases, it is a company, often cold and heartless ).

* Non-profit does not equal fair use. Copyright is what you'd call "as advertised". It means that only the copyright holder has permissions to control how their creation is copied, in any way, shape or form. They can issue licenses to third parties, for a fee or for free, but they still get to control who gets those licenses, with a couple exceptions.

* The exception, in the case of music, is a compulsory license. That, however, is not applicable to your case, as that deals only with covering songs, not for doing things like compilation albums, which needs a different licensing deal. You'd need to obtain a different license to use someone else's characters.

* Fair Use laws come into play when dealing with commentary and parody, or for educational use (though educational use is more meant for examples to teach classes, does not actually qualify for fan games). It has nothing to do with percentages or an infringer's economic profit. A copyright holder could sue you for dilution of brand if they'd like (I make a god awful Mario game that could give people who don't know Mario a bad impression of the plucky plumber, which would hurt future Nintendo sales), or if an infringer's product obtains the specific demand the copyright holder's product or potential products would have held (if I made a free Mario game that was better than Nintendo's $50 Mario game and people substituted Nintendo's game with mine instead, that equals lost earnings for Nintendo).

Some companies don't mind people using their sprites and characters in free fan games. Capcom is famous for unofficially supporting it. Others, like Nintendo, often turn a blind eye to it, unless it could potentially compete with their own products, in which case they almost always just send a cease and desist. There are just so many people out there, and sending a cease and desist to them all would be a waste of time. You still risk a lawsuit of course. That's their right.

I'm sorry if that's a lot to digest, but copyright law is a complicated affair that's meant to protect everyone from all sorts of scenarios.

Short version:
Are you allowed to, by law? For the purposes of your fan game, not without a license from the copyright holder. You can decide for yourself whether or not you feel your use would be ethical and if the risk of you being taken to court is worth it.TL222011-10-27 22:39:10
B
58
S
20
G
7
Posts: 305
Reputation: 8,804

PreviousNext

Return to Construct 2 General

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests