Author Topic: Extent of Copyright Laws with sprites  (Read 3203 times)

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Offline Hot_Dog

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Extent of Copyright Laws with sprites
« on: December 23, 2012, 01:03:51 pm »
For this topic, I want to know what's LEGAL, not what I can "get away with."

The game I'm creating, "Slova," which is based on Word Rescue, is going to be free, and I plan to credit the author of Word Rescue, 3D Realms.  Whatever the case, some of the sprites I created are based off of Word Rescue sprites, but I didn't rip them, just did some pixel art.  For other sprites I took sprites off a sprite sheet, turned them into black and white and pixel-edited them.  

Legally, am I breaking any copyright laws?
« Last Edit: December 23, 2012, 01:04:10 pm by Hot_Dog »
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Offline tr1p1ea

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Re: Extent of Copyright Laws with sprites
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2012, 01:53:41 pm »
I think you will find that in the calculator world there are a lot of sprites that are *based* off other games. Im not too sure on the legalities however.
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Offline harold

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Re: Extent of Copyright Laws with sprites
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2012, 01:57:35 pm »
It's probably derivative work because it has been significantly transformed.
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Re: Extent of Copyright Laws with sprites
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2012, 02:03:30 pm »
What precisely constitutes a derivative work can be very vague. If you took the sprites and modified them, then they're probably considered a derivative work, unless you made a lot of changes. If you made your own sprites based on the design of the previous ones, then they may not be a derivative work, depending on how similar they are. In any case, the best option is to get the author's permission. Second best is to do nothing and wait for any copyright violations to be defended.
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Offline Hot_Dog

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Re: Extent of Copyright Laws with sprites
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2012, 02:05:36 pm »
What precisely constitutes a derivative work can be very vague. If you took the sprites and modified them, then they're probably considered a derivative work, unless you made a lot of changes. If you made your own sprites based on the design of the previous ones, then they may not be a derivative work, depending on how similar they are. In any case, the best option is to get the author's permission. Second best is to do nothing and wait for any copyright violations to be defended.

Third best thing is to modify the sprites in question--I just seem to have lost confidence that they might be okay.  At least copying the idea of a game is not copyright, so the "settings" of the graphics are at least safe.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2012, 02:05:52 pm by Hot_Dog »
There are people who can speak two languages, and they are called bilingual.  There are people who speak three languages and are therefore trilingual.  Then there are people who speak one language, and these people are called Americans.


Offline tr1p1ea

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Re: Extent of Copyright Laws with sprites
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2012, 02:33:00 pm »
You arent selling this game are you?
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Offline Hot_Dog

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Re: Extent of Copyright Laws with sprites
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2012, 02:33:22 pm »
You arent selling this game are you?

Not at all :D
There are people who can speak two languages, and they are called bilingual.  There are people who speak three languages and are therefore trilingual.  Then there are people who speak one language, and these people are called Americans.


Offline epic7

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Re: Extent of Copyright Laws with sprites
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2012, 04:02:55 pm »
I'm using textures for my game directly copied from the actual one O.O
Might have a problem there :P

Offline TIfanx1999

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Re: Extent of Copyright Laws with sprites
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2012, 12:22:41 am »
If the spites are direct copies (pallete swapped or not) then you are using someone elses intelectual property.
Most companies don't care about fan games that arent making any money. Especially one on a platform with such limited exposure.

Offline Keoni29

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Re: Extent of Copyright Laws with sprites
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2012, 06:56:30 am »
And even if it's illegal: They will NOT sue a calculator programmer. They know you are poor compared to companies. If they sue you I will personally write them a very angry letter.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2012, 06:57:01 am by Keoni29 »
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Re: Extent of Copyright Laws with sprites
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2012, 10:57:21 am »
You can always email the authors of the original game. They've been quite friendly to me, and I don't think many groups would really mind an independent programmer working on a calculator as long as there's credit. If you're still not sure, you could ask them for a little legal agreement.




Offline Hot_Dog

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Re: Extent of Copyright Laws with sprites
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2013, 11:19:57 am »
What precisely constitutes a derivative work can be very vague. If you took the sprites and modified them, then they're probably considered a derivative work, unless you made a lot of changes. If you made your own sprites based on the design of the previous ones, then they may not be a derivative work, depending on how similar they are. In any case, the best option is to get the author's permission. Second best is to do nothing and wait for any copyright violations to be defended.

You can always email the authors of the original game. They've been quite friendly to me, and I don't think many groups would really mind an independent programmer working on a calculator as long as there's credit. If you're still not sure, you could ask them for a little legal agreement.

You were both right!  I got permission because I'm not trying to make a profit.  Although now it's only the gruzzles that I'm copying, I had no problem simply altering the rest of my pixel work to create my own sprites.
There are people who can speak two languages, and they are called bilingual.  There are people who speak three languages and are therefore trilingual.  Then there are people who speak one language, and these people are called Americans.