Sign in to follow this  
raidzero

Questions regarding copyright and licenses

Recommended Posts

So I've been working on developing a game, though I'm not good at creating graphics so I grab a couple of images of some sites.
Some of the images I have are completely free to use to my knowledge and some are for non-commercial use.

Can I send copies of my game to other people? I am in no way receiving cash or any other sort of..payment?..

I've also gotten some lines of code off the internet. Can I send my game to other people still?
What about for commercial use? Do I need to rewrite the codes I've taken or...

To summarize this I'm unsure of what I can and can't use in my freeware and the final product. Final product as in commercial.

What does happen when you do infringe upon copyright? Do you get sued right away or do you have chance to stop your product?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Key' timestamp='1313379410' post='4849237']
1. I grab a couple of images of some sites. I've also gotten some lines of code off the internet.
2. Can I send copies of my game to other people?
3. I am in no way receiving cash or any other sort of..payment?..
4. What about for commercial use?
5. What does happen when you do infringe upon copyright?
6. Do you get sued right away
7. or do you have chance to stop your product?
[/quote]
1. Bad idea. Read [url="http://www.sloperama.com/advice/faq61.htm"]FAQ 61[/url].
2. Bad idea.
3. Doesn't matter.
4. Absolutely not. You must create your own, or use under license.
5. You can get sued. You'll have to pay court expenses and lawyer expenses, maybe for yourself and the IP owner.
6. No, not until you get caught by the IP owner.
7. You'll probably be ordered to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Check the license. If the license permits the use you're making of the material then you're good to go. Unless it explicitly permits it, I would most certainly err on the side of caution. If there is no license (either at all or easily visible), then you can't just assume that because it's on the internet it's somehow public domain. Doesn't matter if your game is free, Free, non-commercial or whatever - the license will still protect the material you swipe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
When you say "lines of source" from the internet, was it from a tutorial-style source? In this case, the author probably won't pursue you. If they did, it should be easy enough to replace that code with something you will write yourself (tutorial style material is usually basic enough). The risk here is rather low anyway, as the benefit for anyone pursuing you is negligible compared to the time and effort it would take.

If you have taken a large amount of code from a source that didn't provide an explicit, permissive license, the risk is obviously higher. However, you have the option of contacting the author of the source and seeing if they will consent to your use of it.

I am not a lawyer, and if you're serious about making this a commercial game you should talk to one. As Tom's FAQ points out, it is all about understanding the risk and deeming what risk you are willing to accept and what you cannot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There's nothing wrong with using images under licences that allow it, though the tone of the OP implies he's assuming that free to download means free to use for anything, which of course isn't true.

I'd recommend only using media that's released explicitly under clear licences, preferably established free/open licences like the Creative Commons ones - sites like Open Game Art are worth checking out. Or alternatively, try emailing the author to ask for permission - chances are they may not mind, but didn't think to put a licence on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this