thenerdmansion

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So, I was surfing the web practicing for the Olympics and making sure I take on every wave big or small when I suddenly noticed that a FEW Chinese mobile game websites had MY game in them. At first I was like, nope!!! What am I going to do about this? I’m not going to let them get away with this. I sat there thinking, and I thought, and I thought, and I thought some more. I told my self, wait a second… this game is free to play… I’m not losing any money and they aren’t selling the game either. This is FREE advertisement!!!! Can I see statistics and amount of downloads? Nope, but I can see the comments Chinese players leave behind. My brand is growing FOR FREE. I do not encourage this, especially if you are not letting the developer know but just this game and just because it’s free. I’ve decided to let it slide because… Free advertisement!!

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Andar

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but are they linking back to you?
if not then this is not advertisement for you, and you might be accused of stealing their game as well.

that said this is not limited to either chinese nor games. Another example is that every year a few of the free stories available on writer websites end up being sold through amazon.com under a different name. And each time the person who stole the work gets paid for a while before the original author even detect this scam and can go through the hoops to make amazon take those stories down again.

and this forum also has several old and locked topic where someone tried to either sell games made here for free, or tried to trick the developers here to allow their games to be distributed for false promises.
 

CleanWater

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It's a "positive" way to see things, but in reality, I only would repeat what Andar and RianQuenlin already said here in the posts above.

Also, keep in mind that this Chinese site might be earning money through Ads or similar, so, you are being robbed in any case. That's all.
 

BCj

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I once found mine reuploaded on a Russian website... I asked a friend of mine who speaks russian to post there that this was a pirated copy from the real game, with a link to the real version in it.
 

RePeat

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Threads like this are not helping my anger issues. Good for you that you can be chill about it but it sucks to see stuff getting stolen. I always wonder if people doing that and running sites/apps like that can really look themselves in the mirror but I'm not sure if I want an answer.
 

CleanWater

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Threads like this are not helping my anger issues. Good for you that you can be chill about it but it sucks to see stuff getting stolen. I always wonder if people doing that and running sites/apps like that can really look themselves in the mirror but I'm not sure if I want an answer.

The truth is: They don't care. That's all.

As long as they can earn an easy profit from it, they are good to go. And we, who did all the hard work, pay taxes and respect copyright laws, keep losing money from them until we fall apart.
 

thenerdmansion

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I mean, yes. It’s really bad that they stole from me. If I were to take action. That does very little for China’s none existent/never enforced copyright laws. Ultimately, I have the files of the original dates of creation for the game and it shows when you click on properties for a file. Secondly, they can’t steal something very special that you and I have and that is the creativity that you have in your brain. You know everything about your game, about the switches, resources and licenses that you’ve obtained for the game. With all of that said. If I upload my game into the Chinese market with a translation then me as a player has only one thing to say. “Why would I bother with a pirated copy if I can just download the official game from the official developer in my own language with continuous updates and benefits and free of charge while also staying out of law enforcements eyes by not downloading pirated content?” The benefits are too great for the player. I believe that we as developers have the power to crush these people by simply uploading your game into their own markets. Players and people are going to get their hands on your game one way or another if your game is good enough and that could be a good thing. If it’s from the official source instead of pirated sites.
 

Shaz

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What are you going to do when you make a commercial game and they do the same thing?
 

TheAM-Dol

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What are you going to do when you make a commercial game and they do the same thing?
I mean...what is anyone going to do when a Chinese company rips you off?
If the company is from Mainland China and not Taiwan, then the best you can hope for is them taking it down, but even that is a toss-up. Even if they take it down, they likely have other mirrors for it.
And legal action isn't going to work. Even if somehow you could get the court of China to take your case (which they won't), they will always take the side of the Chinese company. (And let's face it, most of us here don't have the funds to spot for international legal fees)
I've found some of my own music on chinese sites before. I asked them to take it down...they just ignored me. There's nothing you can really do.

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As someone pointed out, using the above imagery is a big no-no in China (among other things), so watermarking your product with it maaaaaay prevent it from being stolen, but still not a guarantee.
 

BCj

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What's offensive about Winnie the Pooh?
 

tienery

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I think one way to avoid this kind of crap is to add a copyright notice in the image of your title screen so that it is easily identifiable who the copyright owner is.

At least that way the removal of the copyright notice waives the stealer's rights to steal the content and resell it under a different name and makes it more obvious from a legal standpoint that the content was stolen and that they are not the original owner.

Another thing to do is apply on a Credits screen the real names of the individuals involved in producing the project.

The problem occurs when you have tools out there that decrypt RPG Maker games, which effectively renders any ability for you to apply the above mentioned legalities to avoid having your game stolen by scammers and copyright infringers.

The alternative is to use a proprietary encryption program separate from RPG Maker to create an executable, which means making it more difficult for in-game assets to be stolen and reused, but does not allow for artists to know if they are not being credited for their resources. And then you may be left with an angry mob of resource designers who claim their resources are being used without credit. Of course, this can be solved by crediting the right people and not miss anyone.
 
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Tai_MT

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The important thing to remember here is this:

If you do not enforce your copyright, you no longer own it. Which means, not enforcing your copyright is basically a legal way for someone else to steal your IP and make bank off of it.

Allowing other people/websites to distribute your own work (even if it's free!) without repercussions can lead to our legal system saying, "You didn't actually care about your IP, so you were letting it enter the public domain... and now this other person/company has enforced copyright on it and made money off of it. So, it's effectively theirs now."

It's one of the main reasons that Nintendo is so "protective" of all its IP's. If they do not enforce their copyrights to those IP's, then it sets a precedent and they can potentially LOSE CONTROL of their IP.

It's also one of the reasons that when you get into "distribution" of your intellectual property (books, poems, movies, games, etcetera) you should hire a lawyer who specializes in those things and who WILL throw C&D's at people. A lot creatives really don't look much beyond, "I made a thing and people enjoy it!" until they've lost control of that thing and now have to fight a legal battle to KEEP the thing they made.

There's a business side to this stuff that most people don't think about. You need to be aware of it. Especially if you ever intend to distribute. For free or not.

Heck, it would be decently easy to even steal Plugins from this website (Yanfly's included!) and sell for a profit and then claim that they belong to you, just based on current Copyright law. It's very important to always know your legal rights and responsibilities.
 

rpgLord69

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The important thing to remember here is this:

If you do not enforce your copyright, you no longer own it. Which means, not enforcing your copyright is basically a legal way for someone else to steal your IP and make bank off of it.

I googled around and that was called a myth in many (US/UK) sites. You only need to defend a trademark. Only thing I read could happen is that if you sue someone you could get less compensation if the judge thinks that you haven't defended your copyrighted material for years or something.
 

Andar

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@rpgLord69 not exactly - it always depends on context, and unfortunately a lot of the context is often missing when people parrot single sentences.

To my knowledge the "loss of enforcable copyright" is real but comes from a context that has nothing to do with directly stolen works. It comes from fanfiction and adaptive works like that.

If someone allows others to create their own work into a context that is his/her own copyright, then the copyright holder can lose the right to prevent others from using his work in adaptive works, like if a writer does not take a stance against fanfiction in his stories, then he loses the right to prevent others from commercialising his work with their own adaptive works.

That however has nothing to do with directly stealing that writers work, which will always be protected by the original copyright that can't be lost.

So stealing that original game and distributing it will always be a copyright violation. The problem is just that china doesn't care and never allows a foreigner to enforce their copyright (not unless the foreigner has a lot of weight to throw around).
Which is also why @tienery s idea of a copyright notice is useless in this case, it is simply ignored by the chinese company.
 

rpgLord69

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@Andar That may be true, I haven't read about these things too much, but the only case I see as relevant to RPG Maker users is someone directly stealing your work or parts of it (or publishing it with minor edits, which is basically the same thing as directly stealing it). Or has there been cases of someone doing fanfic of RPG Maker games? (Ok, maybe some emos write Omori fanfic)
 

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