Stance on fan games, proving your license ownership

10kk

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A few questions I would really like a hard answer on because it's seems ambiguous right now.
It sucks there isn't a general Q&A forum, so I just post these here, which are site related but not feedback.

1. How do you prove you own your engine, when you publish a game? I have it on steam, but is there some official way to connect that authentic engine on these forums?

2. If you are okay with the chance of a company requesting takedown of a non-commercial fan game which you post in the Completed games section, is it allowed to be posted at all?
Such as a game using sprites or re-made music inspired by a game, but not direct rips of actual content like the original soundtrack or graphics.

3. Completed games section rules also doesn't specify if the engine used has to be legal. Is that also a requirement?
 

Tonko

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3. Completed games section rules also doesn't specify if the engine used has to be legal. Is that also a requirement?
I think it's pretty obvious that if you post a game made with a specific game engine, on the official forums of that game engine, you are supposed to be using a legal copy of that game engine.
 

10kk

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I think it's pretty obvious that if you post a game made with a specific game engine, on the official forums of that game engine, you are supposed to be using a legal copy of that game engine.
Considering it would be a 'given' in the same regard that fan games and fan resources that are very popular on the free resources section aren't technically legal either, I believe they have sway as well.
All i`m asking for is definitive answers since they aren't clear. The main questions are 1 and 2.
 

Windows i7

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@10kk The rules clearly state that piracy is not tolerated. You can actually be banned if it is found that you are using a pirated RPG Maker. Posting a game made with an illegal copy of the engine is a really bad idea.
 

10kk

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@10kk The rules clearly state that piracy is not tolerated. You can actually be banned if it is found that you are using a pirated RPG Maker. Posting a game made with an illegal copy of the engine is a really bad idea.
My questions parlay into how do you go about authenticating your legitimacy etc. I also really want to know about the fan game aspect, because derivative works aren't so clear cut piracy. If so, why are 'illegal' fan creations like sprites of Cloud from FF7 allowed to be posted?
 

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My questions parlay into how do you go about authenticating your legitimacy etc. I also really want to know about the fan game aspect, because derivative works aren't so clear cut piracy. If so, why are 'illegal' fan creations like sprites of Cloud from FF7 allowed to be posted?
Proof of purchase is what they ask for before banning for piracy so having that on hand would be a good idea. For Steam you should have an email containing a receipt of sorts of the RPG Maker purchase or activation (if you bought the key elsewhere like Humble Bundle). As for sprites of trademark characters, I'm not too sure. Some of it might fall under fair use.
 

Shaz

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10kk

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SweetMeltyLove

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If so, why are 'illegal' fan creations like sprites of Cloud from FF7 allowed to be posted?
You can't use that sort of stuff in commercial games, you'd accused of stealing intellectual property (IP). And in the case of a free game, it's up to whoever owns that IP. It's what happened to fan games like Another Metroid 2 Remake. Nintendo comes in and say, "either take it down or we'll send the lawyers". But a company like Sega rarely takes any action against fan games (Sonic fan games at least). So it really depends and it's usually not worth risking it
 

Tonko

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You can't use that sort of stuff in commercial games, you'd accused of stealing intellectual property (IP). And in the case of a free game, it's up to whoever owns that IP. It's what happened to fan games like Another Metroid 2 Remake. Nintendo comes in and say, "either take it down or we'll send the lawyers". But a company like Sega rarely takes any action against fan games (Sonic fan games at least). So it really depends and it's usually not worth risking it
You are totally right, just wanted to add that there are some companies that like fan games, like Valve, but even in that case, as long as they own the Intelectual Property, it's their decision
 

ChampX

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Personally, I would avoid anything that has IP on it altogether. The risk for cease and desist is just too great regardless of that company's stance. It also is generally frowned upon by professionals in the industry using someone else's IP even in a free fan game. The easiest way to avoid copyright issues on content with IP, free or not, is to just not use them at all.
 

mlogan

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1.) If there is question here as to whether or not you are using a legally purchased copy of an engine, you will be asked to show proof of purchase. If you cannot provide that, you will be banned. This is either with a game development topic or just if something is suspicious in a support question or the like.

2.) We allow games using fanmade resources, but not rips. So, if I made sprites of say, Pokemon characters in MV style and used the in my game, that would be allowed to be posted here, unless the site was contacted by Nintendo asking for it to be removed.

3.) Yes. Because, again, our general rules prohibit piracy of the software, therefore it was not felt to be necessary to specify again in Completed Games rules.
 

gstv87

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I don't know the EULA by heart, but doesn't it state that if you're working with the program then you agree that you're using the engine *to build* your game?
like, it allows you to sell your game under Degica's engine, which you can't claim as yours, but you can claim as yours *a game created with Degica's engine*
something like that.

if you publish a game built using RM, you're doing so under the EULA, which you put in effect when you activate the program.... you can't use the program unless you activate it first!

Such as a game using sprites or re-made music inspired by a game, but not direct rips of actual content like the original soundtrack or graphics.
if they claim ownership of the character represented, they can argue you're stealing the character, even though the sprite is not the original one.
unless, the owners of the copyright allow third parties to make fan games including their characters, as long as they don't attempt to interfere with canon storylines or other releases.
look at the amount of novels or games made including characters from comics or TV series that are not canon.
 

10kk

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Thanks for the informative responses.
 

Andar

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@10kk
You have mixed several different things in your assumptions.
Unfortunately I don't have time to write corrections, but if you search the commercial discussion forum on copyright, you'll find several discussions explaining those points.

In short:
1) while rips are always illegal, creating a new work "inspired by" is not. But that is a new work, not a derivative work.
2) don't mix up copyright and trademark. All fangames are automatically violating trademark laws by using the name of the original game, but copyright violations are not as automatic as long as you stay away from rips. It's still a grey zone, but usually fangames are taken down for trademark violation because that is easier to prove than copyright violations.

3) this forum is company-owned and operates under corporate laws, not a fanforum under civil laws. That makes a lot of difference in requirements on handling piracy and IP violations....
 

10kk

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@10kk
You have mixed several different things in your assumptions.
Unfortunately I don't have time to write corrections, but if you search the commercial discussion forum on copyright, you'll find several discussions explaining those points.

In short:
1) while rips are always illegal, creating a new work "inspired by" is not. But that is a new work, not a derivative work.
2) don't mix up copyright and trademark. All fangames are automatically violating trademark laws by using the name of the original game, but copyright violations are not as automatic as long as you stay away from rips. It's still a grey zone, but usually fangames are taken down for trademark violation because that is easier to prove than copyright violations.

3) this forum is company-owned and operates under corporate laws, not a fanforum under civil laws. That makes a lot of difference in requirements on handling piracy and IP violations....
Thank you for the clarification!
 

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