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Bypassing copyrights

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by femor, Aug 14, 2019.

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  1. femor

    femor

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    I'd like to know if I'd be responsible for copyright infringement through player customization. Example if I provided popular super heroes costumes in parts like mask/hair type, body, arms, boots. A player can buy and end up looking fully like captain America but can also end up with captain America mask, superman body and spiderman boots. Also I can provide a striped shield with options of star, donut or what ever and player can end up with a captain america shield. So am I responsible for the infringement if there's any and also it can be argued that individually, none of assets provided actually infringes any copyright
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  2. angrypenguin

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    If you specifically provide a Captain America helmet, or his boots, or any other specific part of his costume then yes, you are still infringing on that IP because you are deliberately copying parts of their design. This is true whether you copy the whole thing or just parts of it, so breaking it up into parts is not a defence here.

    If you make an Editor and your users are able to copy those designs themselves using primitive components then that's different. Microsoft won't get in trouble if I copy someone else's work using MS Word.

    Copyright and trademarks are different. If you don't understand the difference then you should read up on it a bit.
     
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  3. femor

    femor

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    Sorry for my misunderstanding. But are you saying I can't use a random blue mask with an 'A' or even a 'B' or changing the superman s to a z. My assets aren't detailed in design mostly colour combination that suggests a particular character
     
  4. Lurking-Ninja

    Lurking-Ninja

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    You can try. But be prepared to be taken down in no time if you get noticeably successful.
    https://www.americanbar.org/groups/...rty/practice/2015/dc-comics-trademark-police/

    Superman logo is a trademark. Trademarks are based on potential confusion by consumers and customers. This means in the US it would be resolved in court and that is expensive for you. I wouldn't recommend to do anything like that. Stay away from (other people's) trademarks as much as possible. You can roll your own IP, you don't need to rely on other people's. If you do, ask them and pay up.
     
  5. femor

    femor

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    For example there's the run race 3d game with skins suggesting dead pool, captain america, spiderman, avatar, super Mario, wolverine and its got millions of downloads
     
  6. Lurking-Ninja

    Lurking-Ninja

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    And?
     
  7. femor

    femor

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    Can they get sued or not
     
  8. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    If you're deliberately trying to profit from your design looking similar to someone else's then you're potentially asking for trouble. Exactly where the boundary is and under what circumstances things are allowed are questions for professionals, not random internet people.
     
  9. AcidArrow

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    Anyone can get sued for anything.

    We are not lawyers, we can't answer things like that, copyright is complicated.

    But I'll say this, there's a line somewhere, where something goes from fair use to copyright infringement, and I haven't seen your game, but since your thread title is "bypassing" copyrights, meaning you yourself understand that copyright is a potential issue for you that you need to bypass, I'm willing to bet you are pretty close to that line.
     
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  10. Diana72

    Diana72

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    I was also searching for some info regarding copyright.
    What if i made certain changes to the original.
    Is it then be a copyright after doing minor changes?
     
  11. femor

    femor

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    Was hoping someone had an idea on how these things work. Fun run 3d art is quite defendable and so is mine. Only thought it would be safer creating in parts + more stuff for players to spend on. It's just a way of getting players relate / have an existing attraction to the characters
     
  12. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    That is definitely infringement, because you're starting by copying something.
    Which is exactly why IP protection exists. That existing attraction is the result of a bunch of work and investment the owners have put in, which is diluted if just anyone can copy it and use it themselves.
     
  13. sxa

    sxa

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    The classic superman 'S' is inside a stylized diamond-like shield shape, with the outlines of the letter being part of the shape as well. The font serifs are quite specific too.

    If your options included an A-Z letter decal across a few common fonts, inside an outline shape decal, including some common shield shapes, in whatever combination of colours, but didnt include a similar font, or the outline merging, then I suspect then it could be argued that its a generic logo creator. As long as you ensure that what you provide is generic; Simple shapes, common symbols, dingbats etc etc,
    If you were to provide web, spider, and bat shaped decals, then you're probably more likely to get in trouble. A star less so, though.

    And as for customisation of the model; if something can be specifically identified by look as 'Captain America Helmet' or 'Superman Boots; then you've answered your question about whether its legit to include it. Provide a helmet that looks a bit like a 30's football helment and a set of separate domino masks, and a user could get close enough without it being your problem for copying a specific masked helmet.
     
  14. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    The fact is if a certain combination is possible in a game, then yes expect to be sued. It's expected the developer will make it impossible to use a combination that results in a likeness that can be mistaken for the real thing.

    Typically, legal action will wait until it's worth the cost (you make money) but it can also happen if they feel it's damaging to the brand.
     
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  15. Socrates

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    No one here is a lawyer, but lawyers were involved when one of the popular, professionally made superhero MMOs got into a legal fight because the comic company felt that they allowed the players to make costumes that were too close to their signature characters. Nobody provided a Wolverine costume, for example, but you could make something that made you look like him.

    Basically, just don't do it.
     
  16. femor

    femor

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    I think it is arguable. If I allow players to choose what color of body, Cape, boots with a text on the chest and a player ends up looking like superman then it's def not my fault
     
  17. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    It really is your fault though, if the specific combination matches too closely, and yes you will be liable. Don't take my word for it though.

    And... get actual legal advice from a professional, not the internet. Locked.
     
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