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abeylin

Is it legal to take a picture of a toy to use in game?

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Lets say I need a truck for a game. Is it legal for me to buy a toy truck, take a picture of it, possibly manipulate it to fit game, and use that image in game?

 

Same question for toy soldiers.

 

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Depends.

I wouldn't do it. Not so much because of the legality issue, but because I wouldn't want to worry about the potential of a C&D order or the potential of a lawsuit.

Even if it is legal they can still send cease and desist orders, and they can still sue. Be creative and make your own thing. It is much better than spending your days worrying about a potential lawsuit, or facing the financial strain of one.

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If the army characters are from a single manufacturer, contact the manufacturer. They might be interested in getting free publicity for their toy soldiers - especially if you offer to show their logo and website URL on the start-up screen. Maybe they might even sponsor you with funding. Ask them, it won't hurt - the worst they can do is say 'no', and then you'd be no worse off than you are now. Ask the toy truck company too.

 

Your startup screen can then say:

Thanks to [blahA], [blahB], and [blahC] for letting me use their products in my indie game.


                       [blahA logo]                [blahB logo]


                                     [blahC logo]

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Thank you for your input, I'm figuring out which idea to use for a next game, and I just don't feel I can seriously go up and talk to an actual company without a successful track record (or even a single successful game actually).

 

So I'll stay away from this idea for now.

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