Regarding copyright laws.

Broozer

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
May 30, 2018
Messages
48
Reaction score
7
First Language
Dutch
Primarily Uses
RMMV
I'm not sure where the correct forum is to post these questions, and they are probably dumb questions.
But here goes.

I've been working on a game for a while now, and so far I'm quite happy with the results.
At first, I was planning on releasing it only for me and my friends, but I've been thinking about putting it somewhere online for downloading.

But the problem I am having, is regarding to copyright laws.
I'm using a LOT of material (Mostly music) from other games, for example, I use some songs from World of Warcraft and Ori and the Blind Forest.
If I were to put my game up for download somewhere, will I be violating laws?
As far as I understand, you break the copyright laws when you charge for other peoples work.
But I have no intention of charging people a fee. I'm mostly curious to see if people would be interested in it.

But as I stated above, I do not know wether this breaks any copyright laws, and if it does, what the repercussions are.
I would like to be properly informed about these situations before I start doing something, and my own research hasn't quite brought up the answers I needed.
If anyone could clarify it up, I would be most thankful! <3
 

Tw0Face

Chief Executive Officer
Veteran
Joined
Nov 12, 2018
Messages
332
Reaction score
337
First Language
German
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
Hi, Broozer. I think you posted this in the wrong subforum. I'll try to answer your question anyway.
But I have no intention of charging people a fee.
It doesn't matter if you're going to charge people a fee or not. The copyright makes no difference in this case. Better look out for different music to use. I'm quite sure you will find some pretty neat tracks on this forums that fit your need. Try it here for example.

Greetings,
Tw0Face
 

bgillisp

Global Moderators
Global Mod
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
12,711
Reaction score
13,107
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
Redistribution of others work without permission is still violation of copywrite laws. So it doesn't matter if you charge a fee or not, you cannot distribute that game legally with those musics.
 

Kes

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Aug 3, 2012
Messages
21,779
Reaction score
11,000
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
The only time you can use music from another game is if you have the explicit permission of the copyright holder to do so. This is true of any other asset e.g. graphics.

Charging for your game or not is totally irrelevant. A free game is breaking copyright law as much as a commercial game.

As for what can happen - this can be a Cease and Desist letter, meaning you have to withdraw the game from public circulation. It can also be being taken to court for damages. Please note that in many legal jurisdictions, the copyright holder must go after you in order to protect their copyright.

EDIT
semi-ninja'd
 

Broozer

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
May 30, 2018
Messages
48
Reaction score
7
First Language
Dutch
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Ah, I see.
Thanks for the clarification guys! <3
 

dulsi

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Dec 4, 2018
Messages
88
Reaction score
71
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
N/A
My suggestion is to keep a credits file. Anytime you add music, artwork, or scripts to your project record where you got it in the credits file and what the license is for the content. This may not be sufficient to ensure everything is legal. For example, if someone takes an image, modifies it, and post it, they are derived from the original image and need rights for that image. The person posting the image may not know that.
 

Broozer

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
May 30, 2018
Messages
48
Reaction score
7
First Language
Dutch
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Putting in credits would be mandatory, I know for a fact, that the people I make this game for will recognize the music. That's part of the reason why I chose it, but if I were to upload it for others, I would've made sure I credited the right people/companies.
But credits don't necessarily stop you from breaking copyright, right?
 

dulsi

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Dec 4, 2018
Messages
88
Reaction score
71
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
N/A
But credits don't necessarily stop you from breaking copyright, right?
No. Credits won't help in your case. Credits can be useful if you thought you had the rights but someone questions the rights. Even in a case like this, it could be helpful. If you wrote down where everything came from, you would know what you need to replace to make it legal.
 

OmnislashXX

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Mar 30, 2012
Messages
597
Reaction score
3,684
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
I would take out all of your copyrighted material and replace it with something else.
 

TheoAllen

Self-proclaimed jack of all trades
Veteran
Joined
Mar 16, 2012
Messages
4,819
Reaction score
5,511
First Language
Indonesian
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
I know for a fact, that the people I make this game for will recognize the music. That's part of the reason why I chose it
Are you making a fangame?
 

Traverse

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jul 3, 2014
Messages
129
Reaction score
77
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
(Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and none of the below is legal advice. Please see an actual lawyer if you want any information pertinent to your country's laws.)
But as I stated above, I do not know wether this breaks any copyright laws, and if it does, what the repercussions are.
"Copyright", as the name suggest, simply refers to the right to make a copy of something.

What the exact laws surrounding are it depends on your jurisdiction and country, but by and large most places (as most countries are signatories of the international Berne Convention) share the common thread that only the creator of the material automatically gets given sole copyright and then if they want to, they have the capacity to license the right to make copies to other people so that other people can do it too.

So if you are not the original creator and don't have a license to copy it, making any copy of the thing in question is illegal by default in most places. Even if a creator wanted to allow other people to copy their creations for free, they would actually need to go out of their way to set up a public license for other people to use. You probably don't pay attention to them, but there will often be one attached to anything you download for free, either together with the download or visible on the website - the ones that don't have them tend to be illegal downloads. How much money is involved has nothing to do with it.

So if you ripped music from the World of Warcraft client, you have likely already violated copyright since AFAIK just having a World of Warcraft subscription doesn't give you the right to rip the track (only the right to listen to the music). If you ripped them from a music CD, it's likely copyright violation too since (even though some places let you make personal backups) it is usually still illegal to circumvent copy protection on CDs and official music CDs usually come with copy protection on them. Same thing if you downloaded them from some random website that didn't own a license to distribute copies. If that other site was a pirate site and the uploader didn't have any right/license to make copies, then the file you downloaded was a pirate copy to begin with and copying an illegal copy is still illegal.

If you then put it in your game and upload it for download, you are making another illegal copy of it on the server you upload it to as well - and then the person who downloads it violates copyright by downloading it too.

The creator will always have the right to sue you for making an illegal copy and depending on the laws of your country, certain license holders may also be able to sue you too. Whether they will actually do it is a different story, obviously. Most fangames that use ripped assets only stay up because the copyright owners are nice enough or just don't care enough to sue.

Not all such fangames stay up.
 
Last edited:

Broozer

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
May 30, 2018
Messages
48
Reaction score
7
First Language
Dutch
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Thanks for the explanation.
I haven’t really looked at the public licenses, but considering the risk and potential trouble it would cause, I think I’ll keep my game to my intended audience. :p
 

dulsi

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Dec 4, 2018
Messages
88
Reaction score
71
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
N/A
If you ripped them from a music CD, it's likely copyright violation too since (even though some places let you make personal backups) it is usually still illegal to circumvent copy protection on CDs and official music CDs usually come with copy protection on them.
Music CDs do not usually have copy protection. There was a time Sony I believe did release CDs with copy protection but that was a bit of a hack. It actually used Windows autorun feature to run a program on the CD to implement the copy protection. If you disabled autorun you could rip the music CD without problem. If you run Linux like I do, you could rip the CD without a problem. It may still be illegal but not because you are breaking copy protection.
 

Kes

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Aug 3, 2012
Messages
21,779
Reaction score
11,000
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
@dulsi I think what people meant was breaking copyright, not copy protection. Whether it is a physical object like a CD or a digital item, both have equal copyright protection.
 

dulsi

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Dec 4, 2018
Messages
88
Reaction score
71
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
N/A
@dulsi I think what people meant was breaking copyright, not copy protection. Whether it is a physical object like a CD or a digital item, both have equal copyright protection.
Well Traverse was specifically talking about copy protection on music CDs. I wanted to clarify that music CDs do not have copy protection. It may be perfectly legal to rip your CDs and play them on a music player or phone. It still isn't legal to put them in your game.
 

Traverse

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jul 3, 2014
Messages
129
Reaction score
77
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
I wanted to clarify that music CDs do not have copy protection. It may be perfectly legal to rip your CDs and play them on a music player or phone.
Again, depends on jurisdiction and the audio disc in question. As you yourself already noted, there are audio CDs that do come with copy protection, even if the ones you personally are used to do not. Sony might have been the most well known to do it, but wasn't the only one. And bear in mind that the copy protection doesn't necessarily have to be -good- protection - it might even be so outdated it gets automatically bypassed by most modern software - it just has to be there and no matter how effortless bypassing it might be it would still count as bypassing it.

And it is possible some jurisdictions may not allow ripping for personal use at all - at the very least, I know places that impose limits on how many backups you are allowed to make. How legal it is depends on the specific laws of the country. It may be, it may not be.

Sharing a personal backup with somebody else is usually still a violation though, as it is then no longer only being used for personal purposes and tends to stop being covered by whatever exceptions for personal backups there might be.
 

Drpsyche

Warper
Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2018
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVX
I'm not sure where the correct forum is to post these questions, and they are probably dumb questions.
But here goes.

I've been working on a game for a while now, and so far I'm quite happy with the results.
At first, I was planning on releasing it only for me and my friends, but I've been thinking about putting it somewhere online for downloading.

But the problem I am having, is regarding to copyright laws.
I'm using a LOT of material (Mostly music) from other games, for example, I use some songs from World of Warcraft and Ori and the Blind Forest.
If I were to put my game up for download somewhere, will I be violating laws?
As far as I understand, you break the copyright laws when you charge for other peoples work.
But I have no intention of charging people a fee. I'm mostly curious to see if people would be interested in it.
But as I stated above, I do not know wether this breaks any free essay writer copyright laws, and if it does, what the repercussions are.
I would like to be properly informed about these situations before I start doing something, and my own research hasn't quite brought up the answers I needed.
If anyone could clarify it up, I would be most thankful! <3
An official release of the game can become a very tough and painstaking process in your case. Anyway, you need to clarify the copyright laws and rules with an expert. As far as I know, in Australia, for example, they have Creative Commons licenses for music. So it depends on the country and its laws indeed.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Latest Threads

Latest Posts

Latest Profile Posts

This just in: RPGMaker 10 announced. We are pleased to release an engine that takes full advantage of the WIndows 10 platform. Also will have cross platform to TI calculators, Atari, the Ouya, and your toaster!
Posted a game thread. Then accidentally pressed x. Then found out rmweb saves drafts :D all is good
I also enjoy using the new RPG Maker 2.0 Beta
...
...
...
...
April Fools!
I have a character named "Corona". Her name are supposed to refer to sun light / aura. I guess I couldn't use that name anymore. Any suggestion?
Wow RPG Maker MV 2 is really good

Forum statistics

Threads
95,535
Messages
929,873
Members
125,807
Latest member
YesMissYesSir
Top