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Licensing use of real weapons

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by unitedone3D, Aug 1, 2022.

  1. unitedone3D

    unitedone3D

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2017
    Posts:
    127
    Hi there! Just a 2 cents.

    I found out (some 5 years later, albeit I kind of guessed but I mean, I did not think it was this real);
    Apparently, some people (of which I was one), don't know that if you use
    Real guns in your games, you expose yourself to licensing issues because you can't use any 'brand' guns--
    ex: ak-47, glock 9mm, m-16 carbine, colt 1911, because these are 'recognizable' firearms...
    This is basically - ''you can't use our lamborghini gallardo 2022 in your game'' without a license.
    Which is, totally understandable, for being 'brand' material...it's just striking - that guns???...are now 'running' after people putting them in their games; I mean, guns are in so many games - that like, it'S Blurry what's suppose to be 'marked/branded' gun...vs simulacre/facsimile/clone...I guess if the 'fantasy guns' in your games 'are too real' and 'too similar' to existing 'gun design/concepts/models'...than you can have the gun makers wanting to ask you to pay a license to you use their guns/designs/brands/models....in your game.
    I was stunned to find out there is a Digital Gun Licensor...like a company going after people using their guns in games, movies, virtually/online,..etc...I read that there was price that varied to the license depending on the media (evidently/most likely, video games/game dev will ahve high license price - for being, in all games...with that said, a small solo indie it will be smaller price for being alone to license them); I found out that Call Of Duty or Counter-Strike or Raibow Six games or SWAT games (And other huge selling shooter games) Had to License all their 'real' guns (because they are basically, Real guns, used in simulated 'real-like context' (by forces/army/police/soldiers/military..)); I am stunned because so many 3d guns are sold on Asset STore...and basically, every otehr asset store online; and it's striking, there is royalty free license usage -- but that's just someone offering a 'duplicate' of a real gun...it is not 'license by the manufacturer' 'of guns'...(like colt, remington, benelli, mossberg, heckler&koch..etc); once you pay that license (I am guessing several hundreds to thousand dollars...would not be surprised); Only Then, are you allowed to use 'real guns' in games.. (like as said...the m16 assault rifle, the ak-47...etc); I was also stunned that this digital gun licensor, was basically, Licensing - for like 10-15 gun companies - At the same time. Thus, they establish how much money you make/your production budget and your endeavor (games/movies..) and then they license the guns...for 'virtual game dev usage'...

    I am not against a company wanting to get the funds it is dued for their products/the licensing..for using Their guns...
    IT,s just ...a bit striking; I guess if you do 'sort of semblants' of guns...did the 'fair' terriroty 'fair use'...where you are not using a Specific Brand/Model gun...but a 'look alike'..so it could be ok (because they can't say you used our gun model..); no.. it'S 'inspired' only..not copy/clone of their specific gun model...
    with that said, I think there is a lot of 'grey area' there (And why some would say -- ''don't take chances, don't use any 'real gun' ina video game; make fake-semblant like ones; or pay the gun licensor license...or..consult a lawyer that can tell you if you are 'infringing' (on gun makers' rights/property) by using real guns' in a video game...
    I am sure Call of Duty had to pay thousands/millions? to 'license' real guns..int heir games 'for accuracy/realism'.....
    I read that some said, you have no problem with that, just 'Change the weapons' to 'looking alike' and it will be ok; still, it's a bit risky; others said, you don't have any problem --- as long as your game makes little (no) money; if it makes tons of money --- you will ahve the 'digital gun manufacturer representor' go after you -- for using real guns -- and your game making money -- and not having licensed them (like Call of Duty had to do...I read that Call of Duty..for a while, did not even bother and did not license any of the guns...and then, the digital guns licensor went after Call of Duty game maker/publisher (Activision)....

    So if your game is not going to be super succesful (you have a feeling of so); then i guess the digital licensor can't Go after everyone...so they only go after the Big Ones (Call of Duty...$$$$); and so, if your game, Does become successful; or you think you definitely stand some chance of that...then, it would be wiser to license them (if you do use real guns --- the cost may be prohibitive...and thus, you will fiind out you can't use real guns...then you would change them to 'sort of look alike/real-like 'generic' guns'...because if you use the real guns - without the firearms licensing (direct from the manufacturer himself) - you stand a chance of a Much More prohibitive cost...they will come later to ask much more --- much more than just the regular license...they will, probably, say :'you made a ton of money from using our guns...now, you pay...'; so they will 'profit' from your success -- i.e they won't just charge you for 'using guns - a license'...they'll charge you -- like Call of Duty -- for being a Succe$$ -- using their guns.....thus, this is equal to suing for 'max profit'...they may say : ''you use them without our conscent/licensing..so 'damages'...'legal damages = expensive'. --> max profiting). In any case, it is better to consult a game development lawyer and then firearm licensing compnies..Before doing all that/using any real guns.

    Thanks for reading.
    Just a 2 cents.

    PS: If you did not know...now you know...(!) it can be a ('fun') surprise.
    PPS: I am guessing quite many/?tons of game devs....use 'real-like' guns (recognizable concept/gun designs..from real counterparts) and don't even know that you can'T use them, unless licensed --- like a Car manufacturer licesning you...to use their Brand/Model...in your game. same thing; I thought that games were a more lax on this; and gun makers - make a Lot of profit from FREE Advertising -- of their guns -- In Video games...it's basically Free Marketing ...to them/their weapons.. and that means many sells (there was a study with NRA...that showed that children that had played games like Call of Duty...would much more likley become gun owners..than children that never played any games that featured 'real like' guns...)...and the gun manufacturerse...saw it and said 'young people can then...buy our Real guns...for protection...they Convert into real gun owners..later/older'...from video games --> to real life (for getting them). IT's normal, if your are 'Influenced' by it/exposed to it...you may care more about it then someone not exposed to it ''Out of Sight, Out of Mind''.
    PPPS: Last thing, if you check other online asset store like turbosquid or others...if you search real guns...many of them are 'editorial only' use...this is a Tell Tale - tale...signal..that these guns or like cars...you can't use them - unless the manufacturer -- licensed you. I typed, for example, 'm16'...then all the m16 appear, I had checked box - 'editorial use only'...and all of them were editorial, when I unchecked the box....no more m16...none for commercial usage/licensed for so. This is a sign. I tried other 'generic guns...'...and Very Little of them are 'for editorial use only'....that's because they are not real guns/but just look alikes. I typed 'tommy gun/Thompson submachine gun/Uzi...'...all of them editorial...you'll find some of them that not Editorial --- they are by people who made them --- they were never Licensed by the manufacturer; they sell them anyway; so don't buy them (Unless the person that made this 3d model replica..Got a license to Sell Licensed Guns for digital/game usage...you would have to 'ask' the 3d model seller of this model if they have a manufacturer license to sell the gun --- I bet...that a Ton...don't have that or even Know of that.).
     
  2. spiney199

    spiney199

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2021
    Posts:
    3,477
    I don't see why licensed guns being a copyright issue is at all surprising. They're intellectual property and they're to be treated no different to any other intellectual property.

    Sorry but that was an incredibly pointless rant that boils down to: You can't use that which you don't have the rights to. Such has always been the case.

    It's like people acting surprised when [Insert Fangame of popular franchise (pokemon for example) here] gets taken down. There's nothing surprising, part of having rights over intellectual property is that you're required to enforce it too. Failing to enforce can often lose your hold on it (I am not a lawyer, mind you).
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2022
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  3. unitedone3D

    unitedone3D

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2017
    Posts:
    127
    Dear spiney199, Thank you for that. Just a 2 cents.

    I felt (kind of (very)) felt dumb about it (for sure), honest, and it's true/just doubling on as (what) you say; that intellectual properties...are, intellectual properties/copyrighted stuff/property. And, it's understandable that other people would be 'no surprised' when others are so 'surprised' about it...like discovering that water is wet/a great revelation.

    With that said, I think that the example of pokemon is much more precise (despite the popularity of it);
    guns are far more ubiquitous and impernanent (i.e. in all/many games -more, much more; than any pokemon game);
    so, I thought that there was some 'laxism' there; with gun makers getting 'free advertisting' from games using them..and I did not read a Ton of people that were sued 'for using real guns'...if I had--trust me I would know. With that (else) said, I am outside USA...so mind is different/mindset different--maybe in USA it's all known' (fact)...not outside.
    Outside, people could not know (or care to). But, of course, they should, since 99% of guns are from USA (and Europe).
    But, yes, I agree with you
    I don't think it was a rant..rather a 'I was dumb...dumb-founded...fooled myself thinking guns could be used'...they are like any other product; but they have a Much Longer standing and is why there is more ambiguity about them; in 'Public Domain'...(copyright expired) thinking..I mean a thommy gun/thomson submachine gun...is licensed/need manufacturer Thomson license to use that recognizable iconic gun (a gun from 1920s...over 100 years ago...ok...that's what we call 'making cash until teh cow dies'); and you have Tons of Asset Sellers...who Sell these guns...and have No gun license to sell them --- that means, we, game devs, get (once more) played/'in error'...so we can only do 2 things; never make that error/buy the manufacturer license; or, make a 'generic' false lookalike gun...
    To end, no rant...it may help some people that were not fully aware avoid legal problems later 'down the line' -- just by noticing/now caring more/searching about it. We'er humans, we make mistakes. Even devs. And it's not ''you should not be a dev...if you did not even know that, these brands are IP material''

    Just a 2 cents.
    Thank you.
     
  4. spiney199

    spiney199

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    I get the feeling you're assuming I'm American when I'm in fact Australian. Australia is basically the opposite of America in terms of gun ownership and attitude towards firearms, FYI.

    I get what you're saying, but when buying any asset you should be mindful of the copyright implications, regardless what it is an asset of.
     
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  5. MadeFromPolygons

    MadeFromPolygons

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    3,671
    Wow that was a needlessly long and completely unformatted wall of text that basically boils down to "I cant believe I didnt realise things were copyrighted".

    Yes, guns are copyrighted. No, this has nothing to do with the USA. Yes, you have to abide by copyright.

    And also a bonus: Yes, formatting on posts that long does matter. Reading that was like putting both my eyes into a blender.
     
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  6. pekdata

    pekdata

    Joined:
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    I'm sure there are a lot of Counter-Strike players who have never fired a real gun but have strong opinions about them based on their performance in the game. However I don't think gun companies really want to advertise guns with games. That could be a bad PR move.
     
  7. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    *sigh*
    There's no laxism of any sort. If you're using an unlicensed intellectual property in your game, that gives the owner of that property an opportunity to destroy you, especially if you're in the same country as them. They may not pursue that opportunity, but the thing is, they can do that at any time.

    "free advertising" is not really an argument, because when guns are products, the product manufacturer wants to control how that product is being represented. If you give their flagship gun to a major villain that uses it to kill random passerbys, they may be upset by that ruining their brand image, which is not how they wanna advertise their gun.

    Normally a manufacturer of material goods would want you to associate with something positive and insists that only the stuff they sell allows you to achieve true happyiness, even if they're making toilet paper. For example a gun producer may try to associate their product, with security, or freedom, or (in USA) 2nd amendment right, or how special that gun makes you compared to everybody else when you buy it.

    Oh, by the way, fan art is also illegal, and so is selling fanart for money (although there's sorta fair-use, but...). Welcome to the amazing world of copyright.
     
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  8. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    You'd be entirely wrong.

    https://www.eurogamer.net/shooters-how-video-games-fund-arms-manufacturers
     
  9. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    18,367
    Speaking of which there's a talk on this subject on YouTube.

     
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  10. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    Yes, I used to cite this specific guy and this specific video in the past.