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EdinsonC

Legality question concerning a program and cars

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EdinsonC    269

Is it infringement if i made a program that provided car information on makes, models and years? Would i need permission to make such a program commercial? 

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Tom Sloper    16040

It depends. Very complicated question, requiring much more detail (and a lawyer to give you an answer as to how much risk you'd be facing).

Are you providing information in text only? Would there be pictures? Might a viewer of the information get a negative impression of a car from what information you provide? 

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Ravyne    14300

I'm with Tom 100% on this one. A very subtle question that depends on details of what you're doing. One possible outcome would be that you're effectively a journalist, which gives you a certain degree of leeway, but also doesn't protect you from things like libel if a car manufacturer believes you've misrepresented their product. But much depends on what exactly you're doing.

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EdinsonC    269

Um, no i would not be contributing my own ideas on any of the cars, just simply write in text the specs of the cars. However, perhaps later on i might implement a public reviews or something.I would ike there to be pictures, of the car, and of the makers logo. It would really be an open project for people to look at the stock specs of cars and perhaps give their own thoughts on the cars; nothing that hasn't been done before.

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Orymus3    18821

Definitely lawyer material, but I think the picture gives it away. You'd be leveraging the brand to promote your game if you have pictures of actual cars. Furthermore, pictures are an altogether different issue: You'd also need approval from whoever took the picture.

 

I recently had to resolve an issue where a motorcycle mock-up was deemed too similar to an existing model, however I'm not entirely sure about pictures, so, like previously mentioned, a lawyer sounds necessary.

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Tom Sloper    16040

I would ike there to be pictures, of the car, and of the makers logo.


I didn't see that the first time. Definitely need a lawyer's advice on that. Presumably you will take the photos yourself (you don't want to get in trouble for using someone else's photos without their permission).

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EdinsonC    269

No wonder there aren't very good simulation racing games. So much trouble to get everything together lol. Thanks for the information game dev-ers; i just blindly started the project and didn't give too much thought to what i would need to make the program legal. I think i should work on something out of pure creativity hahah

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frob    44908

No wonder there aren't very good simulation racing games. So much trouble to get everything together lol. Thanks for the information game dev-ers; i just blindly started the project and didn't give too much thought to what i would need to make the program legal. I think i should work on something out of pure creativity hahah

 

 

You can make fun games that way. The problem is that it is hard to make realistic games that way.

 

If you want cars that are just cars, you can do that without problem. Make your cars unrelated to those in the physical world but look cool. You can make up whatever you want that isn't similar to real life. Build up all kinds of fake brands, fake vehicles, fake performance stats. Make a fun game.

 

Most players don't really go for that. It works for cart racing; people get attached to the Flame Runner, Dolphin Dasher, or the Bit Bike. People know those aren't real vehicles, they also know the worlds aren't real and there aren't really any consequences for being wrong.  

 

In these fictional worlds it doesn't matter if the supposedly 150cc carts are flying around tight corners at effectively hundreds of miles per hour, or if they can brake and stop on a dime. Fake worlds, fake cars, fake physics. It is all about fun.

 

 

If you want cars that are accurate to specific specs, like the Ford Fusion stock car, or the Dodge Charger stock car, then the car manufacturers have a strong interest in ensuring that not only do their products appear in a favorable way, but also that their behavior and characteristics are accurately portrayed. Brand teams would hate it if your in-game Camero was able to outclass the in-game Bugatti Veyron, or if your in-game classic 1970 Torino could beat an in-game 2014 Shelby GT500 that has almost double the horsepower.  Ensuring everything is consistent and satisfies all the brands means spending effort and resources validating and verifying the details, it means branding gets involved. It means legal departments get involved. It means product licensing gets involved. 

 

And that means lots of money and lots of real-world accuracy if you want to use any real-world brands.

 

 

For most people, real life racing is boring. There are some exciting crashes and a few intense moments near the end, but for most people watching cars drive in a circle for six, seven, or even ten hours is not particularly entertaining.

Edited by frob

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