Questions about the terms of use in one of the DLC packs.

TakumaGao

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I was reading through the terms of use for the 8bit Retro Graphics Materials All-In-One pack, and I noticed this line:

2.2 You shall use the Product for game-creation and project-specific advertising media only (screenshots, videos).

This brings me to two questions:

1. This means that I would not be allowed to use the graphics in this pack as part of my RPG Maker Web forum account avatar, right? I was thinking about making one of the face graphics into my avatar, but that sounds like I wouldn't be able to...

2. Would I be allowed to use the graphics in the pack for the purpose of making a game manual and walkthrough? Not physical ones, but a pdf, or maybe even just plain images packed in a folder along with the game. For example, I would want to make profile pages for each of the characters, which would utilize their face graphics, sprites and battler artwork from the pack. The manual/walkthrough would also contain screenshots of gameplay. This manual/walkthrough would only be distributed along with the game, and not available as a separate download. So... would that be allowed or no? If not... would it be allowed to make a manual that is physically inside of the game? Like if I made the manual pictures like I mentioned, but they were made to appear via a Show Picture event accessible via the main menu, and would not be accessible outside of this in-game menu? Would that be okay?
 

Andar

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1) no
2) should be OK as such a walkthrough would be considered project-specific advertising.
the important part is that even inside the walkthrough it has to be in the form of screenshots of the game, NOT as independent art.
basically you sould not be able to extract any single resource in an independently usable form. That is why screenshots are allowed for advertisement but the game itself has to be encrypted: no player should be able to simply take and use any of the resources.
 

TakumaGao

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1) no
2) should be OK as such a walkthrough would be considered project-specific advertising.
the important part is that even inside the walkthrough it has to be in the form of screenshots of the game, NOT as independent art.
basically you sould not be able to extract any single resource in an independently usable form. That is why screenshots are allowed for advertisement but the game itself has to be encrypted: no player should be able to simply take and use any of the resources.

I gotcha. Though this does make me wonder... Hypothetically, what if I made the game draw a scene of the sort of profile page I'd be looking to put in a manual, and then put that screenshot into the manual? Would that still be considered a "screenshot for advertisement purposes" or would I get in trouble for obviously trying to exploit a loophole? :p
 

Andar

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if the screenshot was obviously made to circumvent the "no redistribution" clause, then you'll get in trouble.
If the scene/screenshot is such a mix that extracting the resources is too much work then it is most likely ignored.
 

coyotecraft

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Last I check, the forums were part of a platform meant to market the publisher's client's products and brand. I really don't think an Avatar is "redistribution", it should be considered promotional.
Not just you (a game developer), but also your players, should absolutely be allowed to post images on social networks.
If anyone gave you trouble for it, I would encourage you to contact the resource creators.

For example, a DMCA notice by someone that's not the copyright holder is potentially fraudulent. They could just be trying to remove the competition or suppress someone's visibility.

As for a publisher trying to protect their sales or licenses, if I was their client I would like to know if they were treating prospective customers as criminals. I would remove my content from their store and take my business elsewhere. They're not doing me, or themselves, any favors by making people regret their patronage.
 

TakumaGao

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if the screenshot was obviously made to circumvent the "no redistribution" clause, then you'll get in trouble.
If the scene/screenshot is such a mix that extracting the resources is too much work then it is most likely ignored.

I gotcha. So if I put the manual inside of the game as an event displaying pictures, I could use pretty much any of the assets that I wanted, right?
 

RianQuenlin

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.
 
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TakumaGao

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So... now I've gotten conflicting answers... which one is it?
 

Sword_of_Dusk

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If you want to make a manual, I don't see any issues here. Visuals inside of a game manual are not odd in any way, so I would think you're good to go as far as that's concerned.
 

ATT_Turan

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Manuals and strategy guides are considered complementary to the product as a form of educational material, meaning it would be considered "fair use" since it is essential to the point being made.
Just to point out for future viewers of the thread, that is not necessarily true under U.S. fair use doctrine.

For one thing, the educational clause is specifically for nonprofit education, so depending on whether the OP is charging for the game it's a moot point. (yes, some commercial things can also be fair use, but in that case it wouldn't be playing off the claim of being educational)

Secondly, there are almost no hard rules about fair use. Every case that gets contested is tried individually.

While I would also be inclined to think that this is all a part of the materials for your game, it's unsafe to give hard statements that "this is considered fair use," because it might not be and it requires a trip to court to be sure.

Having said all that...for how long this thread has been drifting around for, I feel like it should be just as easy to contact the authors of the assets and ask if it's okay to include the images in these game-related documents. It doesn't really matter what any of us on the forums think.
 

TakumaGao

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Just to point out for future viewers of the thread, that is not necessarily true under U.S. fair use doctrine.

For one thing, the educational clause is specifically for nonprofit education, so depending on whether the OP is charging for the game it's a moot point. (yes, some commercial things can also be fair use, but in that case it wouldn't be playing off the claim of being educational)

Secondly, there are almost no hard rules about fair use. Every case that gets contested is tried individually.

While I would also be inclined to think that this is all a part of the materials for your game, it's unsafe to give hard statements that "this is considered fair use," because it might not be and it requires a trip to court to be sure.

Having said all that...for how long this thread has been drifting around for, I feel like it should be just as easy to contact the authors of the assets and ask if it's okay to include the images in these game-related documents. It doesn't really matter what any of us on the forums think.

Well I mean, it's an official RPG Maker MZ DLC pack, so... would this not be the proper place to ask them?
 

Andar

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yes, but none of the people who can give an official answer have been seen here so far.
@Touchfuzzy
 

ATT_Turan

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Well I mean, it's an official RPG Maker MZ DLC pack, so... would this not be the proper place to ask them?
Everyone you see on the forums are people who own the software and choose to come to the Web site. Y'know, just like you. There are, like, two moderators or something who are actually affiliated with Degica.

If you have a technical question about something the company made and the opinions/advice of random Internet people don't matter (such as a legal issue), there are Contact Us links on the Web site.

I, personally, would not choose to post on a Web forum about something that needs to be answered by a company. Those are not official channels.

But, also, I forgot that you were asking about a product you didn't already own so that you could see who the actual author was and contact them individually. :stickytongue:
 

TakumaGao

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yes, but none of the people who can give an official answer have been seen here so far.
@Touchfuzzy

Ooh, I see.

Everyone you see on the forums are people who own the software and choose to come to the Web site. Y'know, just like you. There are, like, two moderators or something who are actually affiliated with Degica.

If you have a technical question about something the company made and the opinions/advice of random Internet people don't matter (such as a legal issue), there are Contact Us links on the Web site.

I, personally, would not choose to post on a Web forum about something that needs to be answered by a company. Those are not official channels.

But, also, I forgot that you were asking about a product you didn't already own so that you could see who the actual author was and contact them individually. :stickytongue:

I do own the product though. That's what I've been making my game with. The person who made it is apparently Koji Marumugi, though I don't know how to contact him directly. The only thing listed in the readme is the regular customer support link... which I guess would probably work, though I figured that asking on the forum would give me an answer just as quickly, if not quicker :p
 

Touchfuzzy

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For questions about EULAs for packs the best method is to contact our store support.

For the answers I can give:

1. I actually have no idea.

2. Creating a manual/walkthrough for your game using the graphics would be considered materials for the game and allowed, as long as it doesn't include the materials themselves loose (so a PDF would be fine).
 

TakumaGao

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For questions about EULAs for packs the best method is to contact our store support.

For the answers I can give:

1. I actually have no idea.

2. Creating a manual/walkthrough for your game using the graphics would be considered materials for the game and allowed, as long as it doesn't include the materials themselves loose (so a PDF would be fine).

Awesome, thanks for the confirmation! :D
 

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