# How much changing of names is necessary?

This topic is 2010 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

## Recommended Posts

Hey,

I am working on a game right now (the post is following). My question: How much do I have to change the name of a famous sportsman (like soccer players, race drivers) without getting trouble? Is it enough to change one or two letters or do I have to make the name "unrecognisable"?

Thanks!

##### Share on other sites

Isnt really answered there. I cant find my specific case.

##### Share on other sites

Your question generically is:  "Just how closely CAN I copy something and get away with it?"

Anybody can sue you, anytime, for anything.

Go reread Questions and Answers for 0, 1, 1.5, 2.25, 2.5, 3, 12, 13, 14, 15, and 18.

Similar questions might be "How fast can I drive before getting pulled over?", or "How close can I come to the edge of a cliff without falling off?" It is not a good area for experimentation.

The only good answer is "Don't do it. Go create something new an original. Quit trying ride on other people's value."

Edited by frob

##### Share on other sites

Well but I am not so sure about how far I brake the rules by changing the names. Look at old soccer manager or similar, they all did it and we sat there and went like: "Yeah, different name but who cares, I can still see who is meant to be." Thats the kinda reaction I want to cause. With totally different names (what technically isnt tough at all) that could not be the case and there would be no relation to the real world.

##### Share on other sites

It sounds like you're looking for a specific amount and/or type of changes that are legally safe -- we can't provide one.  A qualified lawyer could give you an educated opinion on whether or not specific changes will be safe, but even they couldn't provide a 100% guarantee that you would be safe.

Even if you are actually in the right you can still potentially be taken to court, and defending the case can cost you money even if you eventually win.

Using names that are similar to famous sportsmen is a legal risk -- a lawyer can help you to assess and properly understand that risk, but ultimately it's your own decision to make -- how much is it worth to you to use names similar to famous ones, and how much risk are you willing to take?

##### Share on other sites

Ok thanks for that reply. I just thought that the laws would be very clear and complex (like always) and so I could just look after them.

##### Share on other sites
No problem, unfortunately in these sort of cases things aren't clearly and precisely defined. :)

##### Share on other sites

Well I remember seeing a "soccer" game you were playing as Backhim or Dwan :) but as stated no one can say what is safe.

• ### Game Developer Survey

We are looking for qualified game developers to participate in a 10-minute online survey. Qualified participants will be offered a \$15 incentive for your time and insights. Click here to start!

• 11
• 15
• 21
• 26
• 11