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Johnny Doe

Legal Where is the bar set? (fan games legality)

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Can somebody explain why some fan-made games (Pokemon, Yugioh,Dragon Ball) get taken down while others don't? I just don't get the logic of it? Does favoritism play a role in the decision of ip owner taking legal action? Is there a bar fan-made games must not pass? I would like to know because I am contemplating on making a fan-made card game based on an anime. I've already read the legal portion of sloperama document and am aware of the legal actions that can be taken and why i original is the best way. I just want to know why some popular fan-made games make it and other don't? I've have seen many Pokemon fan-made games using copyrighted material and never get shutdown. And they have been up for 5-10 years. 

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If no one knows your fan game exists, then no one can shut it down.

 

That's the truth of it.

 

If you are making something for you and your friends, something that won't see the light of day, something that won't be picked up by search engines, something that won't be seen by people on the Internet....   That's just fine.

 

The fine print of actual copyright law is that it is about distribution. Distributing copies, sale, rental, lease, lending, public performance, public display, and so on.

 

If you keep it to yourself and the distribution count remains at zero, (including not placing it on the Internet for public distribution, performance, or display), you can do basically whatever you want.

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Can somebody explain why some fan-made games (Pokemon, Yugioh,Dragon Ball) get taken down while others don't?

Copyright protection, in the US companies must defend their copyrights for IP or risk in the future the courts will see any non fighting to protect as abandonment, or something to allow others to interfere with their ownership of the IP. This is very simple version of it.

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We can't tell you the specific reasons why certain projects have not been taken down while others have, but some common reasons include:

  • The IP owner isn't aware of the project.  In the majority of cases, this is probably the reason; even if you project seems popular in a particular community, it may not be all that well known outside of that community or to the general public.
  • The project actually has the permission of the IP owner.  This one is pretty rare, but sometimes projects may actually have permission and may not necessarily advertise (or may even not be allowed to advertise) that fact.
  • The IP owner may be aware of the project but have decided that pursuing it isn't worth their time and effort.
  • The IP owner may actually be a fan of the project but not be able to publicly acknowledge it for business or legal reasons and therefore pretend not to be aware of it.

 

Unless you can get permission in advance, you really should just create your own IP though to be safer. :)

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Can somebody explain why some fan-made games (Pokemon, Yugioh,Dragon Ball) get taken down while others don't?

Copyright protection


Trademark is a much bigger concern than copyright.

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Trademark is a much bigger concern than copyright.


To clarify: copyright violation is akin to plagiarism, but trademark violation dilutes the IP owner's valuable property and can confuse the public.

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