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Usage of real game characters

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If I made a game for distribution ONLY between me and a few friends with no cost to it at all and I wanted to use say mario, master chief, cloud, etc. in the game would I need permission from the companies that own these characters? I doubt they would ever know that theyre even in my game since its only for a small group of friends but just to be safe I would like to know. Thanks. ShdwMarth

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It really depends on the copyright holder. Technically, creating any derivative work without permission and distributing it is against the law, but creating something between friends would very likely not make anyone care. But again, it depends on the copyright holder. They have the rights to their creations and you do not, so whatever they say goes, no matter how much you may think it sucks.

Anyway, technically, yes, you would need permission and no, you won't get it. However, you will very likely NOT get any trouble at all, and if you do, you'll probably only be asked to delete it (and if you are asked, be sure to do it).

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It doesn't make any different how many people you are distributing it between and it doesn't make any difference if it is commercial or free. It would be a breach of copyright/trademark. Of course if it was never distributed outside your circle of friends then the copyright owners would never know (unless one of your friends decided to start giving it away).

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And, in case you get caught, having your concern on a public forum is an absolute no-no. That would prove that it was a conscious act on your part, etc, etc. :)

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Quote:
Original post by neonoblivion
Parody is protected :)

Correction - parody can be legally defended - big difference.
1. It actually has to be a parody. You can't make a game using other people's IP and just claim it is a parody.
2. Makers of parody often get hauled into court and made to defend/prove that it is a parody - this is very expensive.

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This topic is 4483 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

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