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How far is going too far on Copyright property or intellectual property? Check inside

08-10-2015, 03:56 PM
#1
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 62
How far is going too far on Copyright property or intellectual property? Check inside

How far is going too far on things that may or may not be copyright? I see so many games on the app store that do things similar to the following scenarios, I often wonder if they are actually illegal or not! Anyone with experience please post "Legal" or "Illegal" next to the following list:

1. Having a "Batman/Superman" skin for the main character of your game.
1a. Having the same skin from 1., but not actually calling it a Batman/Superman skin.

2. Recreating various maps from Super Mario, Call of Duty, or Counterstrike games using different styled graphics? I've seen some first person shooter games on the app store that use EXACT models of maps from much bigger games from much bigger companies. How do they get away with it? Are the maps and structures that go along with it considered intellectual property owned by the bigger companies?

3. Recreating a boss just like the boss of another game, we can use "Bowser" from Super Mario and call him "Bowzer".

Let me know your thoughts
08-10-2015, 09:27 PM
#2
All examples you posted are pretty much infringing activities. The super hero skins you mentioned could maybe get by if they looked generic enough, but generally if it's recognizable then it infringes copyright an/or trade-dress. Creating your own derivatives of recognizable characters is not legal.

This discussion of legality and my opinion on it is based on North American laws and most developed countries have adopted the same or similar laws and are under treaties to enforce them the same way. However, there are some countries who aren't signatories to these same laws, so the question then is does it depend on where the developer and the app customer are located?

08-10-2015, 11:10 PM
#3
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 62
So how do I see so many games with very similar characters, maps, items, etc that all belong to other games?

Even Flappy Bird which used Super Mario tunnels was a huge hit with no legal action I believe.
08-11-2015, 05:23 AM
#4
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 1,065
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tosty View Post
So how do I see so many games with very similar characters, maps, items, etc that all belong to other games?

Even Flappy Bird which used Super Mario tunnels was a huge hit with no legal action I believe.
Why are you even thinking about doing this?

Please follow me on twitter @JamesDestined I post lots of development from both my game creation and professional development.
Time to measure - Brain challenge https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/time...820864672?mt=8
The light box, can you solve it (free) (on google play too)
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-...6300?ls=1&mt=8
08-11-2015, 08:51 AM
#5
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Destined View Post
Why are you even thinking about doing this?
Whoever said I was thinking of doing it? I only made the post because I was curious about how so many games get away with doing it.
08-11-2015, 05:04 PM
#6
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 1,065
Games get away it because people choose/not aware of game to sue. Basically if a game becomes popular and it infringes it will get shut down pretty quick.

There are also some people doing it in countries were those intellectual property laws don't exist. In the long run you won't make money infringing on IP but you are exposing yourself to losing a lot of money!

Please follow me on twitter @JamesDestined I post lots of development from both my game creation and professional development.
Time to measure - Brain challenge https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/time...820864672?mt=8
The light box, can you solve it (free) (on google play too)
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-...6300?ls=1&mt=8
08-12-2015, 01:18 AM
#7
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 62
That's what I figured, good answer. Thanks!
08-12-2015, 10:58 AM
#8
i guess it depends on luck.. flappy bird had luck, but i think disney/marvel is not that easy on people using anything remotely resembling one of their ips.