Scared of copyright

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Vaschak

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Hey fellas, I've been working on a game for me and a group of mutuals on discord, the game is centered about me and those guys and i had a lot of fun working on it, but as i was working on it i realized that what i been doing could get me in trouble, you see the pictures i used for characters where the avatars those guys use on discord like Ichigo, naruto, etc and using pictures and animations i found on google images. And took music from shows and games i liked. As soon as i realized what i was about to do i said an excuse to them like "i deleted it by accident" or something like that. It's been months sice i dropped that proyect, and started working on a new one that has nothing to do with those guys where i only used music from the game and dlc and used the charater generetor to make my characters.

-Do you think it would be wise to rekindle that old proyect ? i was thinking of putting a disclamer like "This game was made for an specific group of fellas it wasn't made with the intention of earning any kind of profit now or in the future" or should i let sleeping dogs lie ?

-How can i check if something is copyrighted or taken ?

-Do you know where a newcomer like me could find free resources that the author wouldn't mind me using them ?
 

??????

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there are many many many fan made games out there that use resources that the game creator had no right to use... Its a moral choice if you want your game to be on that list. :)

With that said, as long as you don't make money from the game, i think fan games actually help the legitimate franchise'. What I think, and whats technically legal though...

Either way, I believe you couldnt post about it here if your using ripped resources from other games etc.
 

Vaschak

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there are many many many fan made games out there that use resources that the game creator had no right to use... Its a moral choice if you want your game to be on that list. :)

With that said, as long as you don't make money from the game, i think fan games actually help the legitimate franchise'. What I think, and whats technically legal though...

Either way, I believe you couldnt post about it here if your using ripped resources from other games etc.
Oh no no, i wouldn't do that "using ripped resources from other games" i'm aware that would be bad, i meant like music from shows like "one punch man" and sprites/drawings from dudes that publish them of deviantart or some other website.

Where i was thinking on posting it was a folder i would make on a google drive and share it on the server
 

MushroomCake28

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Law student here.

Do you think it would be wise to rekindle that old proyect ? i was thinking of putting a disclamer like "This game was made for an specific group of fellas it wasn't made with the intention of earning any kind of profit now or in the future" or should i let sleeping dogs lie ?
A copyright infringement is a copyright infringement, no matter if you profit from it or not. With that said, there is no police unit for copyrights will that knocks on your door for infringing on copyrights (although what the EU is doing with the new copyright legislation is a step in the wrong direction...). The only trouble you could get into is getting a cease and desist letter from one of the companies that own the copyrighted materials. Now believe me, those companies aren't searching the internet for little fan game of their material (unless it's Nintendo). Anyways is what you want to do legal? Probably not. Will companies care? Not really. Will you get in trouble? Not really.

How can i check if something is copyrighted or taken ?
Well there isn't a centralized list with everything that is copyrighted. Some countries have some national archives for copyrights, but intellectual property is a right that is usually born from the simple creation of the object/work. Meaning the moment someone compose a song for example, that song is copyrighted and the composer holds that copyright. However, in real life, people often add the © to indicate copyrights, or sometimes it's just obvious (pokemon for example). So general rule: assume a work is copyrighted unless it clearly states that it is public domain, free to use, or it allows you to use it under certain conditions, or you're sure the author is dead for more than 50 years (75 or 100 for some countries), or if its a company that holds the copyright, that it was created more than 50 years ago (75 for the US).

Do you know where a newcomer like me could find free resources that the author wouldn't mind me using them ?
Those are called public domain, or royalty free resources. There's also a lot of artists on this forum that share their resources for free if you follow their terms (usually simple enough, just credit and don't repost). Even though it is the exception, there is TONS of free resources on the internet. This forum alone contains a lot of free resources, so I would suggest looking around.
 

Dreadshadow

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What you shall NOT and NEVER use:
https://forums.rpgmakerweb.com/index.php?threads/resource-blacklist-the-resources-you-should-definitly-not-use.36763/

This first link is a thread for things to avoid, along with blogs and sites that share them.


Our forum is the official Degica forum and contains resources with specific terms of use.
https://forums.rpgmakerweb.com/index.php?categories/resource-central.27/

Finally you can buy assets that come with specific terms of use, either through Steam if you own RPG Maker, either from this forum, either from elsewhere, since artists give assets under specific licenses. If you can't find info on that, you can always ask the creator.

@MushroomCake28 can you give us insight on registered trademark infringement too?
 

??????

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This first link is a thread for things to avoid, along with blogs and sites that share them.
so thats like - this is what you should'nt use, but here it is incase you want it... lol??
 

MushroomCake28

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Well to be fair they don't link it on this site, or add a watermark on top of it. We still need to inform people what they can/can't use, and simply the name of the "author" or the tileset might not help for most people.
 

Kupotepo

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@Vaschak, I do not think you should use copyright music. If it is popular, a player will knew that you take a copyright stuff which make a player question your credibility and your talents. If you do a game just practice, I do not see the problem if you do it on your computer and do not distribute.

It is full of free music here with a proper credit. I believe it is in a resource section.
 

Vaschak

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Law student here.


A copyright infringement is a copyright infringement, no matter if you profit from it or not. With that said, there is no police unit for copyrights will that knocks on your door for infringing on copyrights (although what the EU is doing with the new copyright legislation is a step in the wrong direction...). The only trouble you could get into is getting a cease and desist letter from one of the companies that own the copyrighted materials. Now believe me, those companies aren't searching the internet for little fan game of their material (unless it's Nintendo). Anyways is what you want to do legal? Probably not. Will companies care? Not really. Will you get in trouble? Not really.


Well there isn't a centralized list with everything that is copyrighted. Some countries have some national archives for copyrights, but intellectual property is a right that is usually born from the simple creation of the object/work. Meaning the moment someone compose a song for example, that song is copyrighted and the composer holds that copyright. However, in real life, people often add the © to indicate copyrights, or sometimes it's just obvious (pokemon for example). So general rule: assume a work is copyrighted unless it clearly states that it is public domain, free to use, or it allows you to use it under certain conditions, or you're sure the author is dead for more than 50 years (75 or 100 for some countries), or if its a company that holds the copyright, that it was created more than 50 years ago (75 for the US).


Those are called public domain, or royalty free resources. There's also a lot of artists on this forum that share their resources for free if you follow their terms (usually simple enough, just credit and don't repost). Even though it is the exception, there is TONS of free resources on the internet. This forum alone contains a lot of free resources, so I would suggest looking around.
This is a lot, and it helps me a lot. Thank you for taking your time in writting this after reading all this i've come to a conclusion it may not be legal and i may not get into trouble, but i think i would feel more confortable if let that old proyect drop. I do want keep this question open tho, im learning a lot looking throught this comments. Thank you again you been really helpful
 

Vaschak

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@Vaschak, I do not think you should use copyright music. If it is popular, a player will knew that you take a copyright stuff which make a player question your credibility and your talents. If you do a game just practice, I do not the problem if you do it on your computer and do not distribute.

It is full of free music here with a proper credit. I believe it is in a resource section.
To make things better i should make my own music then, it been on the back on my head to learn it anywho. Thank you
 

Vaschak

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What you shall NOT and NEVER use:
https://forums.rpgmakerweb.com/index.php?threads/resource-blacklist-the-resources-you-should-definitly-not-use.36763/

This first link is a thread for things to avoid, along with blogs and sites that share them.


Our forum is the official Degica forum and contains resources with specific terms of use.
https://forums.rpgmakerweb.com/index.php?categories/resource-central.27/

Finally you can buy assets that come with specific terms of use, either through Steam if you own RPG Maker, either from this forum, either from elsewhere, since artists give assets under specific licenses. If you can't find info on that, you can always ask the creator.

@MushroomCake28 can you give us insight on registered trademark infringement too?
Thank you i will keep it on favorites in case
 

Dreadshadow

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so thats like - this is what you should'nt use, but here it is incase you want it... lol??
This is like:
"Hey people in order to be on the safe side, we inform you."

Imagine you getting assets that "seem legit" and end up while making your game to have to suddenly search for alternatives, because guess what? Someone was an @sshole and based their art on rips, thus your game might face legal issues. This is serious and THAT's why such a thread exists.

@Vaschak , please avoid double posting, as it is against the forum rules. You can review our forum rules here. Thank you.

 

??????

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yea thats fair - that would suck!! and i can imagine it has happened to people in the past :(
 

Vaschak

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This is like:
"Hey people in order to be on the safe side, we inform you."

Imagine you getting assets that "seem legit" and end up while making your game to have to suddenly search for alternatives, because guess what? Someone was an @sshole and based their art on rips, thus your game might face legal issues. This is serious and THAT's why such a thread exists.

[dpost]@Vaschak [/dpost]
Alright i'll be careful in the future thank you
 

Dreadshadow

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By the way this is not MV specific, don't worry about blue texts I just move this thread to a proper place.

I've moved this thread to General Discussion. Please be sure to post your threads in the correct forum next time. Thank you.

 
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DRG

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I actually made a game very similar to yours (at least by description). It was me an my friends going on a stupid and dumb adventure. it contained a lot of copyrighted stuff like music from other games, images I got from google, and references to other media (like fortnite, undertale, RWBY, Homestuck, Overwatch, etc. . .) and I published that game, and I made a stupid and dumb sequel. And nothing happened to me or the game, (mainly because it was free).

TL;DR games like the one you are describing are fine, as long as you keep it free.
 

Henryetha

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Well, violating copyrights is violating copyrights.. not making any profit out of it doesn't change that little fact.
When people get away with that, then it is, cause they've been lucky so far.

Sure, it's up to oneself to take that risk..
And - no matter the copyright - I'd say, you're pretty safe, if your project is for personal use only. Meaning.. for you, your family or your friends. But NOT for uploading it somewhere, where other people could download it - even if it's free.
(besides that, you'll always be able to make a kind of profit, when sharing something public, and if it's just letting people know about your existence as a developer - for future commercial projects for example).

I can't understand at all, how people can easily state, you would be fine, just because it is unlikely that those big companies would sue you.

And where is the moral?

Let's take Celianna's Ancient Dungeon tileset for example. I believe, even for non commercial use one should buy the license for it.
Would you still say it is fine? Just because it is unlikely that she would check and sue you?

Or do you think, the work is less worth to be protected, just cuz it is copyrighted by bigger companies?

Ofc this doesn't apply for material approved for fanmade medias.
So you probably want to check that.
 

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I can answer that one. Fan works of original works are covered by two copyrights, the original retains the copyright over their own material and the fan works retains copyright over anything original they added in the making of the fan work. So, for example, if I made a fan game of Mega Man Legends, Capcom would need to get my permission to do anything with my game other than shut it down, even though they own the copyright and trademarks for Mega Man.
 

Andar

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With that said, as long as you don't make money from the game, i think fan games actually help the legitimate franchise'. What I think, and whats technically legal though...
no, unfortunately not - quite on the contrary a fangame can void the rights of the original copyright holder.
That already has happened before and it is the reason why companies are very carefull with copyrights.

Any fangame is automatically breaking trademark even without ripped resources unless it is for parody or teaching - and NO, game playing is NOT covered in fair use unless the game is clearly a parody on the original. If you use ripped resources it is also alway breaking copyright, and same goes if you copy an exact scenario or description.

Now you might not have any commercial interest in the result, but sometimes others have. And when they do break copyright of the original IP and get sued by the IP-Holder one of the defenses they can try is to say: But the IP-Holder had known about this other fangame and never done anything to stop it, that clearly shows that he has no problems with others using his copyrighted whatever.

And yes, there have been cases where that excuse was successfully used to destroy an authors copyright.
And there are only two ways to prevent that: Either the copyright holder can proof that he didn't know of it, or he can prove that he moved against it as soon as it was brought to his attention.

That is why some companies are actively searching for copyright violation of their work on the internet and take it down, while others (most of those who don't have the resources to hire lawyers for this) just make sure that they officially have no knowledge of a fangame even if they know that fansites exist.

And that is also why any fangame may stay on the internet for years only to be taken down if it gets so popular that too many references to it pop up in public boards - for example the pokemon essentials were around for a dozen years or so without big problems, but when more people began using them nintendo had to take them down because they were referenced everywhere.
 
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