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dr_slash_uh

Is it illegal

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Is it legal to use someone elses music in a non profitable game you are creating. Also, I read somewhere that it was illegal to convert a midi to a wav. God Bless Robert

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It is not illegal to convert a midi to a wave, unless you got the midi illegally. And I don''t know the answer to your first question... it probably is illegal, because if it is distributed, you are distributing copyrighted music.

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I am using music from an old game in the 80's. Someone updated the music into a midi file. I then converted it to a wav. That person (likely) didn't get a profit for it.

Also, I got the music off one of the gaming fansites that have all kinds of sound effects on them. Would the situation be helped if I mention where i got the music from or give credit to the person who made it?

[edited by - dr_slash_uh on January 14, 2004 12:05:00 AM]

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Profit or not you still have to have permission from the orginal author (which includes if the music was released under a license which allows distribution) to distribute the music.



Drakonite

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Are you tellin me that all of the homemade games I have played, many peope created who are in this forum have illegal music in them? If I was a big time company, I would hang out here and try to catch unsuspected victims who use there sounds. I am sure there is a clause. Not knocking anyone. I am going to look up more information.

Thanks

God Bless

[edited by - dr_slash_uh on January 14, 2004 12:43:17 AM]

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quote:
Original post by dr_slash_uh
Are you tellin me that all of the homemade games I have played, many peope created who are in this forum have illegal music in them?



Probably, unless they wrote the music themselves or had a friend write it for them or whatnot.

quote:

If I was a big time company, I would hang out here and try to catch unsuspected victims who use there sounds. I am sure there is a clause. Not knocking anyone. I am going to look up more information.



I''d imagine they have more important things to do then to sue every minor copyright infringer; but, all the same, it''s probably not a good idea to test their limits.

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Then, when you do criticize them, you will be a mile away and have their shoes." -- Deep Thoughts
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quote:
Original post by dr_slash_uh
Are you tellin me that all of the homemade games I have played, many peope created who are in this forum have illegal music in them? If I was a big time company, I would hang out here and try to catch unsuspected victims who use there sounds. I am sure there is a clause. Not knocking anyone. I am going to look up more information.

Thanks

God Bless

[edited by - dr_slash_uh on January 14, 2004 12:43:17 AM]


No there is no clause. You have to get permission to use some copywrited material, period.

There reason why you see a lot of hobby games using this music is that attornies aren''t free. It cost money sue somebody and their is no profit in sueing some who cant pay. Another reason is that they don''t konw.

If the copyright holder finds that you made any money at all from the game, expect a lawsuit. If you didn''t make any money, they will likely send a cease and desist letter.

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quote:
Original post by dr_slash_uh
Are you tellin me that all of the homemade games I have played, many peope created who are in this forum have illegal music in them? If I was a big time company, I would hang out here and try to catch unsuspected victims who use there sounds. I am sure there is a clause. Not knocking anyone. I am going to look up more information.

Thanks

God Bless

[edited by - dr_slash_uh on January 14, 2004 12:43:17 AM]


Copyright violations are a bit different than just "breaking the law" You don''t call the cops on a violator and wait for go to jail. Instead, you have to gather evidence, hire a laywer, and sue them.

After all that trouble usually the most you could hope for if you win against a hobby game developer who has distributed a small number of copies for no profit is to force them to stop distributing.

It comes down to if anyone really cares that you are using their music enough to ask you to stop, or to take you to court.


The good news is that there is a lot of composers who write midi type music and don''t care if it is used for non-commercial purposes. If in doubt about some music you have found, ask the author.



Drakonite

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As mentioned, it''s copyright infringment, but, as many homebrew/hobby/fanmade games out there show, usually most companies aren''t willing the effort to pursue every small hobby developer who write a little game using some of their assets.

Of course, some companies are *really* picky about this, and you should take care to not mess with them (aka: try to avoid popular stuff).

But you should worry more if you''re using material from non-gaming sources.

An example: Capcom is pretty lax when it comes to homebrew/hobby/fanmade games using their graphics and sounds. Search for MUGEN sites and you''ll see plenty of Capcom characters avaliable, all using ripped sprites. But once, someone made this very, very cool shockwave version of X-men Vs. Street Fighter. It ran in a browser and had an online versus mode, that became quite popular.

But they received a cease-and-desist letter... from Marvel Comics, not Capcom. Marvel Co. recently became *VERY* picky on any unauthorized website with any of their copyrighted materials, be it wallpapers with Marvel characters, image galleries and such stuff, so that cool online game had to go down.

So, if you''re gonna infringe copyright, take care, and keep it as private as possible.

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Well, I remember a story from another community I am involved in. Someone created a game that included either images or music (I can''t remember which, its been a few years) from an old Hasbro game. Unfortunatly for the author, the game became quite popular (!?!), which brought it to the attention of someone at Hasbro. Once they clicked that some of their copyrights were involved, they immediatly emailed the author of the game, demanding that he pull the game from his website! They threated legal action if he refused!

The moral of the story is that its really better not to run the risk if you can avoid it, you really never do know where your game''ll end up.


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