Question about giving credit to older/non-existent companies and games

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Argentdragon, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. Argentdragon

    Argentdragon Veteran Veteran

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    I'm not entirely sure how else to phrase the question for the title. The game I'm working on currently is my first with RMMV, and I want it to be a smaller project, but I also want to tribute it to an older game I played that no longer exists. In fact, all related companies that had anything to do with the creation/development of said game have dissolved and there is next to no information about them anymore other than some older articles about the game itself.

    The only thing I'm keeping from the original game is the city names, everything else is either going to be more generic RPG terms or original content. I would like to credit the entity involved in creating the names, but other than the companies' names I don't really know who to credit? I figure this is something I should credit since I didn't make the names myself, but I'm not really sure.

    I guess I would like more clarification on how that would all work. Thanks in advance!
     
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  2. JazzGotBlues

    JazzGotBlues Villager Member

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    ofc the mods are going to give a better explaination... cuz they smarter then me xd

    but as far as I know crediting the company name should do the trick. Also mention that for copyright issues they can contact.

    I suggest googeling copyright laws in your country? And the country the company comes from. Just to be sure
     
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  3. gstv87

    gstv87 Veteran Veteran

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    technically the copyright is still valid, even if the holder can't enforce it, and the right is now inherited by whomever bought the rights from the original rights holder.

    laws, and inheritance, and succession, and whatnot.

    to be on the safe side, just credit the original creator, even if they're no longer around.
    if anyone says anything about it, you pop out the "see here? this is the person who made this, and only them can say anything about it"
     
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  4. EthanFox

    EthanFox Veteran Veteran

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    Quick FYI - this post is not intended to make any comment on what is right or what should be allowed; just what I understand the current rules to be.

    Let's pretend for a sec that the company still existed. Going by US Law (which is what most internet commenters are familiar with on this particular issue), you can make "fair use" of another's copyrighted works for four purposes; Education, Parody, Satire or Criticism - note that "homage" is not one of these four. This suggests that no, you can't do this.

    But when the comany doesn't exist, it's murkier. It's to do with whether anyone still holds the licence. Companies buy out the catalogues of other companies all the time, so it can be difficult sometimes to know if something has a licensor. In the modern-day, videogames are quite good at keeping track of this stuff, but back in the 80s/90s etc. things were different, and contracts often weren't quite so well-written, so sometimes companies themselves aren't sure if they have the rights to something!

    If you say you're just using the names of something in a game (rather than the actual name of the product) then I'm uncertain precisely how that works. Wikipedia has a good article about how this applies to fictional characters...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_protection_for_fictional_characters

    ... though as for places, I'm unable to find a precedent.

    Anyway, putting all that aside...

    Pragmatically, you should be okay if you credit the original source - BUT!

    Technically, I should be clear that you never know - you could run into trouble down the road. It honestly might not be worth the risk.
     
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  5. Argentdragon

    Argentdragon Veteran Veteran

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    First off thank you guys for the response! It is quite confusing, and I planned on crediting them to begin with, but I still had (sort of still do have) some reservations about it.

    @EthanFox Thank you for that, I actually didn't know about homage and "fair use" policy, so I'll keep that in mind for future definitely.

    This game in particular is an early 2000s game but dissolved around 2012 or so. There were, in fact, two companies that owned the license to the game, but both went out of business. I actually talked with some ex-mods from that game after the fact and I did learn (as far as they know) that no one has the license anymore, in fact, pretty much all data and files relating to the game was wiped.

    I'd like to be able to use the names of the cities in the game if possible, and of course, I would credit all entities involved, but I would understand if I couldn't or shouldn't do that in the end.
     
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