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Would this be Legal or Illegal?

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Not sure about this, so I wanted to ask about it before I attempt it. I am thinking about putting a practice project together that is about the French Foreign Legion combined with some fantasy elements. I am designing the characters to resemble what the legionnaires looked like back in the day (like Jean-Claude Van Damme looked in the movie Legionnaire), but I am not going to call it the French Foreign Legion. I am just gonna use the term legionnaires. Even thought there will be french words in the title which I havent decided yet, and in many parts of the game. But my question is, basically in a nutshell, Can I do all that without getting into trouble by the real FFL? I really want to attempt this concept, but legal issues are what concerns me. I'm just doing guess work, but isnt legionnaire a general term? I don't want to make it, then find out I can't publish it because it's technically illegal. Thanks for any help though, its much appreciated.

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Wikipedia says the [I]Légion Étrangère[/I] is a unit of the French Army. I wouldn't be so sure that you couldn't just call it the French Foreign Legion. I don't think it's an enforceable trademark. (I could be wrong, of course, so ask an IP lawyer.)

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The french foreign legion didn't come up with the word legionnaire. That goes back to the Romans (at least)

If that's the only word you plan to use, I can't see a problem. If you specifically refer to the French Foreign Legion, it *might* be a problem (and even then, I doubt it)

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If you made a military game, and groups are called 'legionnaires' among other names, and you happen to have groups from a bunch of different countries, then no, it wouldn't be a problem. Just like having an army and a navy and an air force is not an issue.

BUT if you stareted using the insignia, logos, and distinctive marks of any present-day military group, then you are asking for trouble.

Another brilliant game idea: Have the French Legion, Italian Legion, Russian Legion, and Ranch Legion. Call it Salad Warfare where different nationality salad dressings fire bits of tomato at each other. :-)

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Would it be illegal to make/sell a game with the graphics made by a program that I didn' buy in the stores but one of my friends gave it to me. So it's not the original software but a copy. Is it illegal? Or is it possible to tell that the game was made with a copy?

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Quote:
Original post by Taretia
Would it be illegal to make/sell a game with the graphics made by a program that I didn' buy in the stores but one of my friends gave it to me. So it's not the original software but a copy. Is it illegal? Or is it possible to teel that the game was made with a copy?


Is piracy against the license agreement? yes. Can you ship a game that you made with pirated software? Yes, if you like getting sued and paying the creators of said software thousands of dollars.

Also, think about the hypocracy of your actions. You're stealing software. Would you be happy if your game went to the market and one person bought it but millions were playing it because they all pirated it? No, you just lost a few million dollars. I'm surprised your head doesn't explode from the cognitive dissonance.

-me

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It's not legal, but it's usually not possibe to tell. And should you make money from it, not too many companies will get uptight if you retrospectively buy a licence for their software.

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Wait - of course the act of copying software is itself illegal, but if you use that software to create some graphics, I see no reason why it is an additional crime to distribute those graphics.

(If we were talking about using a copied compiler to make the game, it may be a different matter, due to copyrighted code/libraries that might have to be distributed?)

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Quote:
Original post by mdwh
Wait - of course the act of copying software is itself illegal, but if you use that software to create some graphics, I see no reason why it is an additional crime to distribute those graphics.

(If we were talking about using a copied compiler to make the game, it may be a different matter, due to copyrighted code/libraries that might have to be distributed?)

Using a properly obtained tool to create your element is not a violation of the law. The use of an art program does not give your rights to the software creator. The use of a compiler does not give your rights to the compiler creators.

But the content you create must be your own creation.

One of the protected rights is that of creating and distributing derivative works.

Anything based on the somebody else's creation is a derivative work. Basing your game artwork on somebody else's art requires permission. Be creative and don't base your stuff on theirs.

Distinctive gameplay elements, characters, and other elements are protected by trade dress and trademark. Just like copyright protection, these protections are granted automatically when the element is used in trade.

I am reminded of the movie "Coming To America". The restaurant owner erroneously claims that they are immune from these same laws because they are slightly different. "They are McDonalds, we are McDowells. [note: this one is correct, they can use their personal name] They have the Golden Arches, we have the Golden Arcs. They have the Big Mac, we have the Big Mick. They have two all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions on a sesame seed bun. We also have two all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions... but there are no seeds in OUR buns."

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Quote:
Original post by Taretia
Would it be illegal to make/sell a game with the graphics made by a program that I didn' buy in the stores but one of my friends gave it to me. So it's not the original software but a copy. Is it illegal? Or is it possible to tell that the game was made with a copy?


Illegal no, but completely immoral (though few seem to care anymore what they do to others). You're using stolen property to make a profit. You've taken someone elses hard work and deprived them of compenstation for said work. You're no better then a common theif. If you're fine with that have at it.

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Were it the case that there were no suitable tools availiable that were free or reasonably priced, I wouldent have such a problem with piracy. But when you can get Microsofts latest compilers for free, Java for free (with at least 2 popular IDEs) GIMP for free (and a few other really good paint programs for <$20), Various 3d modeling programs for free or really cheap, etc. justifying piracy makes little sense.

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Nothing to add, just backing up what others have said....

Your friend is in breach of copyright law for giving you the copy of the tool (assuming it was a copy and not a present he paid for).
In most locations you receiving it would be a similar crime.
Producing your own original graphics with that tool isn't illegal and neither is distribution of those graphics in your game.... however it would certainly be immoral to sell the game and thus benefit financially.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
If your friend gives you a copy, then he is in breach of copyright law. But, according to what the license says, one of the following might be legal:
1) Using a remote desktop connection to your friends PC and using the program from there.
or
2) Have your friend let you use the program directly on his computer. The difference from 1) is that now there is only one person using this install of the program at any given time.
If both of the above are illegal, according to the license, then you might use:
3) Have your friend uninstall the program from his computer and give you both the license key and the original installation medium, after which you can install it on your computer. This should be legal under almost all circumstances.
And remember, IANAL. Always consult a lawyer before doing stuff, for which big companies can sew you for big sums of money. And do not do immoral stuff, unless you absolutely have to.

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Quote:
Original post by PaulCesar
Were it the case that there were no suitable tools availiable that were free or reasonably priced, I wouldent have such a problem with piracy. But when you can get Microsofts latest compilers for free, Java for free (with at least 2 popular IDEs) GIMP for free (and a few other really good paint programs for <$20), Various 3d modeling programs for free or really cheap, etc. justifying piracy makes little sense.


I'm glad you can justify stealing. How do you justify going into a store and stealing DVD/CDs when you dont need them? This is the same deal. You do not NEED this software, you WANT it. Big difference.

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Quote:
Original post by Mike2343
Quote:
Original post by PaulCesar
Were it the case that there were no suitable tools availiable that were free or reasonably priced, I wouldent have such a problem with piracy. But when you can get Microsofts latest compilers for free, Java for free (with at least 2 popular IDEs) GIMP for free (and a few other really good paint programs for <$20), Various 3d modeling programs for free or really cheap, etc. justifying piracy makes little sense.


I'm glad you can justify stealing. How do you justify going into a store and stealing DVD/CDs when you dont need them? This is the same deal. You do not NEED this software, you WANT it. Big difference.


erm... the person you quoted said that pirating this stuff isn't good.

-me

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