The Creator's Legal Clinic: Advices and Explanations

Elissiaro

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@Elissiaro What do you mean when you say that you're separating the sprite into little bits? Any edits to the RTP must obey to the RTP's license, meaning it has to be used in an RPG Maker Engine.
I'm not saying an edit, but making a sprite from scratch. With RTP as reference. Maybe even just the face image or promotional art or something.

And by little bits I mean, like... Okay say I'm making Harold.
So I make the base body, then the shirt, and pants, armor, tabard, hair, and so on.
But I save all the stuff separately, and reuse it to save time on another completely original character, who has like, the cloak and pants or Harolds bangs or whatever.

(Like the new Harold sprite would definitely only be able to be used with rpgm products... I'm pretty sure. It's reusing it to make other stuff I'm wondering about.)
 
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MushroomCake28

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@Elissiaro Ahh, now you're talking about the biggest gray area of intellectual property that no one can really answer. So in theory, variations, improvements, and edits are a violation of copyright if you don't have the permission of the original author. However, inspiration is not a violation. Now, the real question is what is the difference between inspiration and variation/edit/reference, and there is no clear answer. It always depends on the situation and it's a case by case thing.
 

Elissiaro

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@Elissiaro Ahh, now you're talking about the biggest gray area of intellectual property that no one can really answer. So in theory, variations, improvements, and edits are a violation of copyright if you don't have the permission of the original author. However, inspiration is not a violation. Now, the real question is what is the difference between inspiration and variation/edit/reference, and there is no clear answer. It always depends on the situation and it's a case by case thing.
Right... I'll probably wait to make RTP based sprites then. Until I have a much bigger hoard of original sprites.
So I don't get tempted to reuse the parts, just in case.
Grey areas are too scary for me when it comes to the law.
Thanks for the help!
 
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BreakerZero

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Speaking of gray areas, I have a sort of question regarding material written for a specific project upon which one decided to prototype on something contemporary and well-known yet not necessarily out of protection. I haven't had a question about things on the subject since you answered my last one but I was wondering how to accommodate a prototype of a soundtrack addition for which you wrote your own lyrics yet the base on which the song is set would otherwise be in question for the final product.

In this case I came up with the wild idea to prototype a closing rap track for my project, and in my typical style chose something that fits my description in this matter (and this time it's from Superfreak which for obvious reasons has also prompted the the inclusion of a "hammer time" joke). The question here relates to the process of going from prototype to final product in terms of the difference between finding an equivalent to your test beat or validating against "fair use" (and whether or not that's even in play).
 

MushroomCake28

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Speaking of gray areas, I have a sort of question regarding material written for a specific project upon which one decided to prototype on something contemporary and well-known yet not necessarily out of protection.
Just be sure, but "prototype on something", do you refer to the process of taking a soundtrack and singing on top of it, or even sampling some parts of existing song?
 

BreakerZero

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Not the whole thing of course, just the required parts and singing over it. I guess the gray area here is when you have a bit of both, so I decided that my baseline would have to be centered on how the YouTube analysis system would react to my track (but without using the branded account for obvious reasons).

I started with just a small, 30 second portion of the track, and followed up with a full length version. Oddly, on the 30sec. version the beat didn't trip the content detection system immediately, though after awhile it did ultimately show a claim advisory. However, the reaction to my full-length version was a rather immediate one.

So in the end, I decided it was best to delete both of my test clips and will be starting over on my end at some point. (And for obvious reasons, they were both set as unlisted so it's not like anyone else would have seen 'em anyway.)
 

MushroomCake28

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@BreakerZero Sampling is generally considered copyright infringement if you do not have the composer's permission. Obviously, the same logic applies if you take the full soundtrack and remove the voices and lyrics. The soundtrack is still protected. Fair use usually doesn't apply, but you can use the samples if you modify them to make obtain something that is inspiration rather than a variation. The line between variation and inspiration is something determined case by case.

Also, the Youtube algorithm is not a determining factor to identify copyright.
 

BreakerZero

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@BreakerZero Sampling is generally considered copyright infringement if you do not have the composer's permission. Obviously, the same logic applies if you take the full soundtrack and remove the voices and lyrics. The soundtrack is still protected. Fair use usually doesn't apply, but you can use the samples if you modify them to make obtain something that is inspiration rather than a variation. The line between variation and inspiration is something determined case by case.

Also, the Youtube algorithm is not a determining factor to identify copyright.
Again, I didn't use a branded account for testing out the possibility of issues which is what the YouTube analysis was intended to verify. It didn't necessarily have to be a part of the final decision, though as a precaution (and due to the presence of claim advisory notices) I decided to simply back down and not risk my project, sanity or anything else for that matter.

And to be fair (and for the sake of disclosure and clarification) I only stuck with the main beat for the most part, except for the chorus which uses part of the segment with the backup voices followed by the main hook, which is repeated twice per function call (or four times in the case of the track's ending) although some variation in this structure does exist (which just might have been enough to set off the alarm system). I may still end up posting the snippets to my cloud storage for archival and demonstration purposes, but otherwise I'm probably going to end up having to scrub this plan as opposed to facing an undue exposure to such extremes in terms of creative risk.

As a side note, I have done similar things before with this strategy in terms of testing a set piece (and one such case was even built off Peter Gunn!!!) Obviously once the events and writing had been completed, I would switch things over to use the final track for the given situation... and such would probably also be the case in this matter.

EDIT: It turns out that I kept the 30-second version after all, since it it didn't end up having a content claim like I thought it did. I'll go ahead and post it so you can judge for yourself:


EDIT 2: And here are the lyrics (which are past the spoiler, since it relates to story material)

"Sacred tune
Of the advent flute
Break the mold
Now we bust through

Smash
Bash
Mix and match
Keep your slither
off my stash

You’re going down
Then we gone out
Time don’t wait
For a twist and shout

The spell is broke
The truth is known
Your twisted curse
has lost its tone

The gears of fate?
It’s not too late.
Don’t waste time
to set things straight

Advent’s call
must run its course.
And now we rise
upon its force"

And the chorus hook is the whispered phrase:
"come forth and rise upon the advent"

EDIT 3: I decided that I would change the format of the lyrics to a four-line structure instead of all at once, just so it's not as messy on smartphone displays.

EDIT 4: Apparently the video embed doesn't work properly on mobile devices (basically it's something about a restricted mode which I can't quite figure out) so if that's an issue for you then try it with a direct link.
 
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:3c here's a thing i made a while while while back
Tried mochi for the first time. It's quite nice. Has a pleasant smell and taste, and is nice and chewy.
made a bio for the protag in my project!
Beggar : "I haven't eat for days..."
Kid : "Just do crime! You will get daily necessity for free in prison~"

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