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kiki443

Copyright

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HI

 

I have recently come to an idea that I make movie based on video game (Sci-fi movie).

the problem is that i don't know much about copyright laws and I don't know if I make movie based on that game I may come into trouble.

the game was relased in 2008.

 

so I just want to be sure that there is no concequences for doing this and I want to know if I will come into trouble with copyright laws.

 

thanks!

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Yes, that's bad. If your movie is based on their game (same setting, characters, plot, visual designs, etc) then your movie is a "derivative work" and you need permission.

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Well I wont use characters from the game and timeline (starting year) in movie is different than in game. I only want to use some race names and story is simmilar not the same as in the game.

What exactly is meant under copyright?
And if I disobey the copyright what kind of punishment should I expect?

Btw how to ask permission and from who?

Thanks

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Either make sure your own creation differs enough from your "inspiration" so that there is no IP Infringement, or come up with your own ideas in the first place.

 

Example:

 

Having Aliens with weird stuff in their faces, colored in a brownish skintone.....  no problem.

Calling them Klingons... not cool.

 

Using general design characteristics from Star Trek ships when coming up with your design... sure, star trek "stole" plenty ideas themselves from other fiction that came before.

Using the exact same design as the Enterprise and even be as bold as call it the "enterprise"... not cool.

 

Calling your super-lightspeed "Warp speed", or your weapons Phasers most probably is not so much of a problem. Though don't take my word for it, and if you want to be sure, come up with your own names.

 

 

Just to make it clear: when I say "not cool" I mean "Sure, you can do this. But you are potentially infringing on someone elses IP and if that someone is finding out about it and sueing you, he has a case. And it can cost you a lot!"...

Best case you can hope for if somebody is finding out about you infringing and goes after you (and they will, if they can afford it (defending an IP costs money in all cases)... an undefended IP soon becomes void) is that you get a "cease and desist" letter telling you to take down all links to your movie and take it offline.

 

Worst case is this goes before court. Given this is the US we are talking about, you have already lost in this case... as you most probably cannot defend yourself (you DID break the law), and this case might get extremly expensive even if you had a slim chance of winning. If you loose, charges can be quite high.

 

 

What movie are we talking about? I guess there is a Publisher for the Game (Ubisoft, EA, Epic or so)... best would be to talk to them, as these are usually the guys that own the IP, not the producer, designer or any other guy otherwise involved.

Your chances to get a license for using the IP depends both on your name (you still will need to pitch your idea), and the amount of money you can pay for the license.

 

 

 

TL;DR: If you want to save a lot of time and money, with a high chance of getting nothing out of it: don't bother. Come up with your own ideas, and make an awesome movie with that.

Edited by Gian-Reto

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Ok I have read that however I am still unsure about sometning.
In the movie one of allien races will be called Orcs.
Is that right because as far as I know there is dozens of movies and games that use orcs as their race name and they are all almost the same.
So can I use them or not?

About a lawyer- I am not from US but the game is made in US.
I am not sure if I can get anything by asking lawyer in my country because the copyright laws are different in one country than in other as far as I know.

About a game company- there are three of them:
THQ
Relic
Games workshop
And THQ ownes the EULA
Games workshop has made the game.

You may gues what game I am talking about.
So what company should I ask for permission?

This will be the movie saga (8 movies) and the story in 2,3,4 movie will be similar not the same as in game and there wont be any characters from the game neither races and race names in those movies.

Also planet names will be different and there wont be any designes taken from the game.

So in later movies there will be simmilar story but not the same as in the game.
And I am asking can I continue with my work or do I need to change my story?

Thanks for helping me understand those copyright laws!

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We aren't talking about copyright, Kiki. We're talking about trademark.
As for orcs, look up the term in a dictionary - it's a generic term, not a trademarked term.

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To make this movie in the setting you are talking about you'd need to secure the rights from Games Workshop. Unless you have several million dollars and relevant movie-making contacts then this is basically not going to happen, sorry.

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This means that I should have no problems with copyright law if I proceed or do I need to contact games workshop for permission?

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