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plazma

Help - Copyright & Trademark Issues

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plazma    122
Greetings all I am hoping to begin development of a small non-commercial games project, the copyright, trademarks and intellectual property rights are owned by nintendo. As far as I understand it, if I am not commercially selling and distributing the project I am not violating copyright as such, but by using the character/s I am violating trademark. My query is....if there was a disclaimer in the product stating that the characters depicted in the project are property of nintendo, would I still be violating trademark law? I am not exactly a law student so I am not too sure on the details of al these darn laws! lol thx in advance

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Oluseyi    2109
It doesn''t matter what you state. Unless you obtain permission from Nintendo, you''ll still be in violation of something!

Besides, don''t you think there are enough Zelda clones out there already? (and none of them as good as The Legend of Zelda )



I wanna work for Microsoft!

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plazma    122
lol, you don''t know the ideas that are going through my head right now lol (the game!!) lol anyways, I''ve written to nintendo so we''ll see what happens

-PLaZmA-

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Dactylos    122
quote:
Original post by plazma
As far as I understand it, if I am not commercially selling and distributing the project I am not violating copyright as such, but by using the character/s I am violating trademark.


If you steal graphics/sound/code/whatever from the original Nintendo game, then you are violating copyright laws. If you create all the code and content yourself then you won''t be violating copyright laws (assuming you can prove that you did it yourself if the stuff is very similar). Wether your game is free or not doesn''t matter.

As Oluseyi said, you will be violating trademarks if you don''t have permission from Nintendo. Same thing here: it doesn''t matter whether your game is free or not.

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Oluseyi    2109
quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
www.zeldaclassic.com

From the bottom of that page (and add "http://" to your links or the browser will think it''s relative to the current location, ie http://www.gamede.net/community/forums/threadid.../www.zeldaclassic.com)
quote:
Site Design by Armageddon Games Network © 2001. Legend Of Zelda Trademark owned by Nintendo of America.


''Nuff said.



I wanna work for Microsoft!

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
I just put that link there so he could play with that game (or use their resources if he doesn''t already have Link graphics). While it is not a waste of time to program a game that somebody else has already done (if you are doing it for the learning experience, or to see if you can do it), I though maybe he would want to play with that one.
Sorry about the link format thing. Now I know.

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Obscure    175
quote:
Original post by plazma
As far as I understand it, if I am not commercially selling and distributing the project I am not violating copyright as such, but by using the character/s I am violating trademark.



Incorrect. The characters and their visual representations are copyright of Nintendo. As Mario is often used in marketing/PR material they may also have registered the image as a trademark but even if they have not, any use (commercial or non-commercial) of the characters is a breach of copyright.

As you have asked Nintendo you may get lucky and they may allow you to use it but don''t hold your breath. Don''t forget that they are selling Mario products. You may think that you are not costing them anything if your game is non-commercial but that isn''t always the way big companies see it. If you do a great Mario game and it is free then why would people pay for their Mario game - you devalue their product. On the flip side of the coin, if your game is rubbish then their character gets devalued because he is in a crap game.

Anyway good luck.


Dan Marchant
Obscure Productions

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