• Announcements

    • khawk

      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
gamer4127

safe to use copyrighted sprites for my game project?

9 posts in this topic

Hi, I searched for this topic in these forums but I don't know if they apply to my case, so I have started a new thread. For anyone who have some expertise in this area can you please answer my questions.

I am making a multiplayer game where characters from the classic rpgs such as zelda and chronotrigger battle it out in a 1 on 1 death match where the first player to take the other characters health bar to zero wins . I intend on using sprites from these classic rpgs that I have downloaded from the internet. These sprites are exactly as they appear in the original Zelda, Chronotrigger, etc. Also, I intend on keeping the animations of the characters exactly as they are in the original games. I will state in the game somewhere or in a document that these sprites do not belong to me.

Is using these sprites safe to do? Will I get into trouble with the big companies such as Nintendo and SquareEnix. [b]I won't be making a profit from this game at all.[/b] But I do intend to create a website for it where people can download it, and I will also put it youtube (what if i dont distribute it, and only put a video of it on youtube. Is it ok then?). Basically I am just making this game for experience and to have something on my computer programming resume. Edited by gamer4127
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Definitely not safe or legal.

Whether or not you're making any money off the game is irrelevant to whether or not you're violating somebody's copyright by using their material.
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
To expand on the above, the owners of those characters/sprites can and may send you demands to stop using their IP along with a threat to sue you if you don't comply.

Whether or not you're making money is irrelevant (one of the top 10 myths about copyright).

[edit] Ninja'd by rscomposer![img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/ph34r.png[/img] Edited by Hodgman
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ok it seems the answer to my question is NO and thats the end of it, I shouldn't make this game [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/sad.png[/img]

But how do you guys explain some of these Metroid remakes made by fans that are distributed for free over the internet for people to download: [url="http://metroidcoven.com/"]http://metroidcoven.com/[/url] and [url="http://metroid2remake.blogspot.com/"]http://metroid2remake.blogspot.com/[/url] (the metroidcoven project has been going on for over 2 years). Maybe it is ok until a cease and desist warning is given to them? And as long as they take the warning, nothing will happen? Well, if this is the case then I think its pretty safe for me to make my game and post it online for people to download. I just need to take any warnings given to me. Or am i all wrong here? Edited by gamer4127
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You are wrong. I'm going to say this as clearly as I can (though it's hard to get clearer than the 3 previous posters): It's never okay.

Copyright infringement is copyright infringement, regardless of whether or not you get caught, or if the person asks you to stop or not, or if you're making a profit from it or not.

You can, of course, go ahead and do whatever you want, and cross your fingers you don't get a cease and desist or a lawsuit thrown at you. Those are the risks you take if you infringe on copyright. Whether or not those risks are worth it to you or not is up to you (and your lawyer). Some people decide to ignore these risks and make fan games anyway. It's still not safe or okay, though. They still have the very real risk of being shut down or sued. The fact that they still exist and haven't been shut down yet just means their ticking time bomb hasn't exploded---yet.

If you decide to take the risks (I'd consult a lawyer if you do) and infringe on the copyright, note that GameDev.net has a fairly strict policy about not condoning copyright infringement, so you probably won't be able to get much help or publicity here.

If you get permission to use their IP, then that's a completely different case, of course.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes you [i]can[/i] infringe copyright if you want to, you can also run red lights if you want to, and hope no-one reports you.
You've just got to be aware that you are infringing copyright and the owner does have the right to sue you for it.
Usually they won't sue you off the bat -- they'll ask you nicely to stop, and if you don't then they'll sue you.

If you're lucky, they won't even do that, they might just ignore you, or not even know about you, but they [i]can[/i] threaten you at any time.

I obviously don't encourage this -- but if you're game you can always make such an infringing game anonymously and distribute it using torrents so that you can't be stopped... but be aware that you are violating copyright.

It is very sad to see fan games get shut down -- For example a Kings Quest fangame worked for years after getting official permission to make it, but then [url="http://www.joystiq.com/2010/02/28/activision-shuts-down-fan-made-kings-quest-sequel/"]was shut down[/url] when the parent company changed hands... Eventually, with enough fan support, [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Silver_Lining_(game)#Delays_and_legal_issues"]they re-gained permission[/url] to continue work, but it shows that playing in this legal grey area is dangerous.
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Hodgman' timestamp='1348033904' post='4981560']
Yes you [i]can[/i] infringe copyright if you want to, you can also run red lights if you want to, and hope no-one reports you.
You've just got to be aware that you are infringing copyright and the owner does have the right to sue you for it.
Usually they won't sue you off the bat -- they'll ask you nicely to stop, and if you don't then they'll sue you.

If you're lucky, they won't even do that, they might just ignore you, or not even know about you, but they [i]can[/i] threaten you at any time.

I obviously don't encourage this -- but if you're game you can always make such an infringing game anonymously and distribute it using torrents so that you can't be stopped... but be aware that you are violating copyright.

It is very sad to see fan games get shut down -- For example a Kings Quest fangame worked for years after getting official permission to make it, but then [url="http://www.joystiq.com/2010/02/28/activision-shuts-down-fan-made-kings-quest-sequel/"]was shut down[/url] when the parent company changed hands... Eventually, with enough fan support, [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Silver_Lining_(game)#Delays_and_legal_issues"]they re-gained permission[/url] to continue work, but it shows that playing in this legal grey area is dangerous.
[/quote]

I'm ok with getting a cease and desist warning, but what I'm wondering is are we garunteed to get that warning before they sue us? Has there ever been a case where someone who is making a game for the same purposes as I am was never even given that warning but was sued right away?
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='gamer4127' timestamp='1348034930' post='4981563']
I'm ok with getting a cease and desist warning, but what I'm wondering is are we garunteed to get that warning before they sue us?
[/quote]
No, you are not guaranteed to get a warning before being taken to court. I'm afraid I don't have any specific examples of it happening, but it's absolutely possible that you could be sued without first receiving a cease and desist. In the overwhelming majority of cases you would be warned first, but it is not guaranteed.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pessimist mode:
You can be sued for anything at any time.
You might decide that this is too much of a risk, so instead of using Zelda's Link, you'll make your own character in pink overalls, and then one day out of the blue, you get a court summons in the mail from John Smith claiming that he invented PinkOverallMan back in 1982 and he's launched a lawsuit against you!
All you can do is reduce your risk.

Cynicism mode:
It's expensive to sue people. It's cheaper to threaten to sue them first and see if that works.
0

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  
Followers 0