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#41 kiki443   Members   -  Reputation: 140

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 05:02 AM

OK the question I am about to ask has  nothing to do with copyright or trademark but I wont create another topic for that question.

 

I am still making a project (movie), as I said I will create my own movie however I am concerned about something.

 

what about real personal names, so for my movie I need actors and I need names, what if I accidentally use already existing name, I mean someones name can He/She do something against me?



#42 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 14539

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 07:31 AM

what about real personal names, so for my movie I need actors and I need names, what if I accidentally use already existing name, I mean someones name can He/She do something against me?


It's unlikely that anyone would sue you for defamation or whatever if you used a name that coincidentally
was his or her name, especially if the character in your movie bears no resemblance to the individual and
doesn't have the same job or characteristics as the individual. If you created an evil rapist character,
depicted him as fat and freckled, and named him Gill Bates, it's unlikely that Bill Gates would think you
had chose to use his name, thinly disguised. But if you created a character who headed a software mega-
lopoly and then went into philanthropy, depicted him as nerdy with glasses, and named him Gill Bates, then
Bill Gates would think you had created the character after him. He might not sue you for that, unless you
then made your character an evil rapist multibillionaire.

If you created a character named Tom Sloper, no matter what your character did, I'd assume you did it
intentionally, because my name is not that common and we have had this conversation, so I know you are
aware of my existence. Would I sue you for that? I don't know - depends on a lot of things.

I'm going on too far afield with this question. In general, you can make up random names in safety, since
there are so many people with similar names and it's unlikely that someone could prove malicious intent
on your part in using the name.

I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice.

Edited by Tom Sloper, 24 July 2016 - 07:33 AM.

-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#43 kiki443   Members   -  Reputation: 140

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Posted Today, 03:56 AM

So I may use names that are same as someone's real name.

 

But what about company names and different other names like using name microsoft or etc.

or using an agency names like CIA or FBI or even NASA for my movie becouse there will be some CIA agents.

 

so my question is do I need permission from them to use that names (can I use agencyes like FBI without FBI's permission)?



#44 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 39087

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Posted Today, 08:33 AM

So I may use names that are same as someone's real name.

 

You may not use a specific "someone", but you may use an arbitrary "someone".

 

When the Jack Ryan character was created there were likely people in the world with that name, but it wasn't anyone in particular.

 

When the Jason Bourne character was created, when the Homer Simpson character was created, when the James Kirk character was created, there were likely people in the world with those names but it wasn't anyone in particular.

 

BUT.... If you name your character Jack Ryan, or Jason Bourne, or Homer Simpson, those names now ARE someone in particular, so you're likely to get in trouble with them if you use them.

If you open up a book of names, or an (archaic) phone book and use that to pick a first name and last name that sound good together, that's fine.  But if you pick an existing famous name you are asking for a lawsuit.

 

But what about company names and different other names like using name microsoft or etc.
 

 

No. Company names are trademarks and their names are owned by the companies.  You need permission from the company or you are asking for a lawsuit.

 

or using an agency names like CIA or FBI or even NASA for my movie becouse there will be some CIA agents

Get approval before using their names, logos, buildings, or any other distinctive elements, or be prepared for a lawsuit. 

 

do I need permission from them to use that names (can I use agencyes like FBI without FBI's permission)?

 

YES.

 

If you did not imagine it into existence you need permission to use it.  

 

The concept really shouldn't be that difficult to grasp.  You need permission to use EVERYTHING that  you did not create yourself.  

 

For movies that includes permissions for the furniture, wall hangings, even the distinctive clothing.  If you pay attention to TV and movie characters an extremely high number of them wear generic clothing with no logos, no distinctive stitching patterns on pants pockets, no logos on shirts, and typically plain color clothing. They generally need permission for the buildings they incorporate, creators of any distinctive landscapes. They've got standing licenses to record and publish the pictures of vehicles.  EVERYTHING NEEDS PERMISSION.

 

In games this means making items that are unique to the game. Games either license real-world vehicles or make their own designs for general boxes-on-wheels. Games either license real-world weapons or make their own designs for handheld tube-shaped bullet-throwers. Games either license real-world uniforms and armor or make their own designs for character costumes.  

License it or make up something new and distinctive.  This is true for all things.  

It shouldn't be a difficult concept to grasp, and is normally taught starting with toddlers and earliest childhood:  If it is not yours you need permission to use it.


Check out my book, Game Development with Unity, aimed at beginners who want to build fun games fast.

Also check out my personal website at bryanwagstaff.com, where I occasionally write about assorted stuff.






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