About Game Copyright

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#1 gfcf14  Icon User is offline

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About Game Copyright

Posted 12 October 2011 - 03:09 PM

I'm on the end stages of creating a Java game, basically all I need to do is finish up the credits page and create an instruction file. Since the game is not too long that should take little time. But the thing is, I am concerned about the sound and probably some of the images I might use in it. If I were to use a song that is owned by someone else (say a song from a Megaman X game, presumably owned by Capcom), should I necessarily contact its owner informing them about it, or should I just give mention to the author the way they do in youtube videos? Maybe something like:

I do not own the sound or images used in the game. They belong to their respective owners and should not in any way be used for monetary gain or in a way that may discredit them (or something like that)

It's not that I'll be selling my game (I made it for fun and to learn to make graphic aided games in java), but I want to be on the safe side. I would give a copy of the game to my friends for them to see it and have fun with it, but aside from that I don't know where it might end (the internet is too open to predict), or if they would forward it to their non-mutual friends. Please let me know if anyone has an idea, about how to properly make mention of a resource used in a game WITHOUT infringing any rights of any kind

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Replies To: About Game Copyright

#2 Sergio Tapia  Icon User is offline

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Re: About Game Copyright

Posted 12 October 2011 - 03:15 PM

I'm not a lawyer but you're better off being safe and not using something you don't own. Whether or not you are getting paid for your application is irrelevant.

Consult with a lawyer before following any advice given in this thread.

This post has been edited by Sergio Tapia: 12 October 2011 - 03:16 PM

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#3 AVReidy  Icon User is offline

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Re: About Game Copyright

Posted 12 October 2011 - 03:22 PM

If the copyright of these images and songs belong to someone else, you can't legally make any other copies of them at all. Though maybe not as serious, this is for the same reason that you can't make copies of Harry Potter or Microsoft Word (especially for distribution) without permission.

You could contact the people who possess the copyright and ask for permission to copy their work, but (not that I'm suggesting you break the law) I would just give credit to the owners and disclaim their work. Then show off your game to your friends :)

If the music and pictures are free (taken from the internet), I wouldn't bother contacting the owners. I might assume that the song isn't free, though, so you might want to watch out with that one. Play it safe, especially when dealing with copyrighted material that is sold by the owner.

This post has been edited by AVReidy: 12 October 2011 - 03:27 PM

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#4 gfcf14  Icon User is offline

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Re: About Game Copyright

Posted 12 October 2011 - 03:28 PM

Allright. I'm mostly concerned about the sounds though, since some of the pictures I made and modified myself. If I were to use a software that allows me to create my own music (like Magix Music Maker http://www.magix.com...ogleAffiliateUS ), would it suffice if I make mention of the software I used to make the game?
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#5 AVReidy  Icon User is offline

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Re: About Game Copyright

Posted 12 October 2011 - 03:32 PM

I would assume that would be sufficient, but you should make sure that the license for that software allows you to claim ownership to the music you create with their program.
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#6 creativecoding  Icon User is offline

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Re: About Game Copyright

Posted 12 October 2011 - 03:55 PM

People can sue you for anything, so don't give them a reason to. I don't think they would really care as long as this game of yours is being sold and has made over a few hundred sales.

Even if you edit an image/sound, it's still copyright. You do not have to mention the program used to create stuff though.
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#7 gfcf14  Icon User is offline

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Re: About Game Copyright

Posted 12 October 2011 - 04:04 PM

Well I would just put that to let know what I used to make the game. But If I declare I'm not doing this to gain money (say inside the java classes and in a document attached to the game file) would it be ok? I'm thinking of creating my own sounds anyways to avoid trouble from there
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#8 creativecoding  Icon User is offline

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Re: About Game Copyright

Posted 12 October 2011 - 04:10 PM

View Postgfcf14, on 13 October 2011 - 12:04 AM, said:

Well I would just put that to let know what I used to make the game. But If I declare I'm not doing this to gain money (say inside the java classes and in a document attached to the game file) would it be ok? I'm thinking of creating my own sounds anyways to avoid trouble from there



nope. Copyright is copyright and unless you have permission from the copyright owner, you cannot use that material.
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#9 gfcf14  Icon User is offline

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Re: About Game Copyright

Posted 12 October 2011 - 04:20 PM

Ok thank you very much. I'll make sure I erase that from my game. I did read Magix Music Maker's EULA, and since it says "The music, photo and video files included in the MAGIX products may be used only for non-commercial purposes " at http://www.magix.com/us/eula/consumer/ I don't think I'll have a problem with that. But if anyone knows of any other music creation software, please let me know
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#10 WolfCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: About Game Copyright

Posted 13 October 2011 - 09:32 AM

OK now for the other side.

If you're making something for fun and for learning, don't be afraid to use stuff from other games or classic games if you really wanted to. There is something called fair use, you know. Not every company is some asshole who will sue some random hobbyist on the Internets. Exercise your right to the freedom of information and don't go with this fear bullshit.

I know a community full of people who make games as a hobby and use like almost all material from old commercial games and other sources. Hell, lots of people make flash funnies using old game material. What about people who make video reviews about movies and stuff and use clips and sounds? They're operating under fair use too.


Seriously, do all of you think this guys little hobby game is going to cause these companies monetary damage?

This post has been edited by WolfCoder: 13 October 2011 - 09:39 AM

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#11 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: About Game Copyright

Posted 13 October 2011 - 09:44 AM

1) this sounds like it was for learning/education purposes

2) this sounds like for private distribution between your friends and family

3) this sounds like you do not seek to make any profit


This all falls under fair-use.



Now if you had to reverse-engineer something to get the assets. Say decompile the mega-man X game, then you've broken patent laws. It's not really the act of making the game though, it's the reverse-engineering that can get you in trouble.

Or if you wanted to publicly distribute through some service like Steam or Windows Live Games. In this situation, even if you give the game away, it is acting as a product that indirectly supports the service. And that service is technically profiting from it, and thusly there is liability. This is actually the youtube gamble, which youtube/google takes the brunt of for their users. This is why you can contest any removals with fair-use claims with no cost because they have made the agreement to remove anything that is borderline copyright infringement, to basically cover there ass, while still allowing the users to post away with out liability, and to equally get the right to wield their own rights to fair-use with out tons of court cases. Services like Steam/WindowsLiveGames do not offer such cushy benefits to the distributors on their service.

This post has been edited by lordofduct: 13 October 2011 - 09:49 AM

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#12 WolfCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: About Game Copyright

Posted 13 October 2011 - 09:48 AM

We need to go for a dinner and a movie sometime, lordofduct
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#13 Rhymer  Icon User is offline

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Re: About Game Copyright

Posted 13 October 2011 - 09:57 AM

You could send a copy of your program to the copyright holders and ask them for permission to use their song. No harm in that (except now they'll KNOW you). You might even be able to parlay a sweet deal with them as promotional material and you could try for $1 (or 10 cents) per copy. If you think the program won't go farther than a handful of friends then I'd say don't worry about it.
"I'm not a lawyer but I played one on TV."
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#14 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: About Game Copyright

Posted 13 October 2011 - 10:02 AM

He would only have to contact them if he wanted to distribute publicly/commercially.

And in that case that is NOT the way you contact for licensing negotiation. Furthermore, he ain't going to parlay nothin' with Capcom, I can assure you of that.

Sure, send it along to them, it'll either get lost in the mail room, or deleted from the e-mail folder. Do you know how much garbage flows through a company like Capcoms systems about such mundane crap as some homebrew game by a kid just trying to learn? This is why fair-use exists, and it's why most companies actually agree with fair-use to some degree.

This post has been edited by lordofduct: 13 October 2011 - 10:05 AM

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#15 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: About Game Copyright

Posted 13 October 2011 - 10:12 AM

Personally I would etch a copy of your game onto a disc and make a pilgrimage to Capcom's door step and proffer the game in person, properly.

Depending where you live it's not far.

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