"FAN GAMES CAN STILL RUIN YOUR LIFE. PLEASE STOP BELIEVING OTHERWISE."

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kentona
One of RMN's Top 10 Admins of all-time
20511
author=slimeborgi
It's a risk but on the same level of downloading movies/music illegally IMO. I could be wrong, but when's the last time you heard anyone you personally know get in trouble for that?

I got an email from Marvel's lawyers over a game here on RMN called 'Marvel Brothel'. We took the game down.
@Kentona
That's pretty unfortunate.
That was likely on Disney's part, assuming they had already bought out Marvel at the time you got that email. Especially with all the MU movies and merchandise and being a huge huge money pot for them. They are notorious for being ASC on a whole other level. (All Seeing Company)

I know there's exceptions, but I think many companies don't care or just don't have the time for it.
Sailerius
did someone say angels
3304
@slimeborgi: You should actually read the AMA, because he explicitly shoots down most of those urban legends. He says that you never hear about it happening because the lawsuits usually force NDAs upon the defendants, so they can never talk about it, presumably to protect the company from bad press.
pianotm
The TM is for Turtle Motivator
21412
EARLY DISCLAIMER: I am not recommending you make fan games. In fact, I would recommend you follow the basic jist of this lawyer's advice.

Sorry, he's basically saying that copyright laws are clear and specific. Anyone who says does not understand copyright law. They're not clear and specific by any stretch, but there are some basic facts about them that are standard.

Let's clarify some things. Copyright does not apply to names, whether it's the name of your project, or the names of the characters or places. These things cannot be copyrighted. Only content can be copyrighted. Names must be trademarked, . Once you get into content, you get into situational settings, the plot, the story elements. This is hard to determine, but if you see a similar enough story that is clearly a rip-off, even if it's not straight plagiarism, then there's copyright infringement. If a story is written that is similar to existing properties and uses known, trademarked entities, then there's copyright infringement.

In fact, if you make a completely new story, with existing characters from IPs, you can actually legally copyright your story. People do it and they don't get sued. I wonder if Jungle Kitty's still around? She is! She even has her own wiki page! Star Trek fanfic writer, all of her stories legally copyrighted, by her. Don't believe me? Check her out.

Yes, she writes Star Trek FAN FICTION, and copyrights it. Couldn't do that if copyright had anything at all to do with names.

What does industry want? They want the copyright infringement claim. Why don't they want the trademark claim? Because it's tough as dog shit to argue. Why don't they go after Jungle Kitty? Because they don't have a copyright claim, and she has the resources to fight back.
It just sounds like scare tactics. It's like saying don't ever download music illegally! You could end up in jail!!!!! (I'm not condoning such behavior)

It really depends on the company involved at the end of the day. I guess it's best to go in knowing that companies track record before trying your luck.

Disney
Nintendo

Are two I'd not try to get in the way of. Unless you can get it out with relative hush hush.(I'm not condoning such behavior)

Always have plan b.
-You can make a platforming game that's not mario and uses power ups and such.
There's tons out there even now.
-RPG games are numerous, just learn to make your own graphics/music at that point.
In terms of story how can they claim its plagiarized? Oh this story has a dragon and a princess... Oh look monsters from medieval and Scandinavian folklore. A hero goes to kill them? Oh wait it's based off Beowulf not DragonQuest/FinalFantasy/Etcetc.
author=Sailerius
@slimeborgi: You should actually read the AMA, because he explicitly shoots down most of those urban legends. He says that you never hear about it happening because the lawsuits usually force NDAs upon the defendants, so they can never talk about it, presumably to protect the company from bad press.
ON THE OTHER HAND any fanproject that is... "big" enough to not get a C&D but some kind of lawsuit on their ass will have enough fans that notice that it suddenly went missing without a word from the devs. And there will be plenty speculation about it. Maybe even some press. Nothing substantial will show up.

But the number of projects that this has happened to that I know about can be counted on one hand. So yes. The lawyer is saying that worst case scenario bad things can happen. It has happened to at most ten projects as far as I know (and no, NDAs are not enough for people never to hear about the projects. Because in order to get a lawsuit a project would have to have been big enough to get the lawsuit in the first place)

I'm saying the same thing over and over again. But what I'm meaning is that the worst case scenario has happened to maybe a couple of dozen people in the history of fangames. Most that get noticed just get that good old C&D (like Marvel Brothel did).

NDAs or no NDAs the chances of a fanproject getting your life ruined is lower than getting hit by a bus on the way to work.

EDIT: Of course it goes without saying that jumping in front of the bus (like, for example, not giving in to a C&D) will make you more likely to get hit.

author=pianotm
In fact, if you make a completely new story, with existing characters from IPs, you can actually legally copyright your story. People do it and they don't get sued. I wonder if Jungle Kitty's still around? She is! She even has her own wiki page! Star Trek fanfic writer, all of her stories legally copyrighted, by her. Don't believe me? Check her out.
This is one of those... other misconceptions people have. I think it was in another topic about legality of fanworks. All work one makes is copyrighted. Even infringing works get their own copyright. One does not exclude the other. You can make an illegal copyright infringing original work and it will be "yours" while still being completely illegal and infringing.

(found the link I posted in that other topic:
http://inyourwritemind.setonhill.edu/yes-fanworks-are-illegal-harsh-truths-about-copyright-fair-use/
the relevant quote:
The specific erroneous statement that pushed me to write this post was a pro blogger’s claim that fanfiction is “a transformative work protected under copyright law.”

Well…there are two ways to interpret that statement:

1. Transformation of an original work doesn’t violate copyright.
2. The transformation itself (the new work) is protected under copyright law.

#1 is incorrect.
#2 is correct.
kentona
One of RMN's Top 10 Admins of all-time
20511
Fan games ruined my life.

It led me to become the owner of an rpg maker website.
Sooz
I'm allergic to ghosts
4225
author=kentona
Fan games ruined my life.

It led me to become the owner of an rpg maker website.


It's too bad we're not doing negative nelly quotes anymore.
I would hope that the lawyers have enough heart at least to not bring the full wrath of life-destroying lawsuits on unsuspecting 11-year-olds for their random Sonic fangames.

The whole "you don't hear about it b/c NDA" sounds reasonably true, but you'd think they'd actually want to be fairly public about these things to leave no question about their legality. Eh, I guess their image actually is more important to them, then.
InfectionFiles
the world ends in whatever my makerscore currently is
4338
author=Sooz
author=kentona
Fan games ruined my life.

It led me to become the owner of an rpg maker website.
It's too bad we're not doing negative nelly quotes anymore.
I'd argue that's it's not all negative. He owns a site, right? Right?


Guys?...
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7475
For context, Morrison's AMA was in response to this video here:


While it's clearly not meant to be taken totally seriously (he even says that it's better to create your own original work than to develop a fan game), the overall message was a dangerous one: If you're going to continue developing your fan game, don't hype it up. Finish it, release it, and then there's nothing the companies can do to hurt you.

This is completely, totally, 100% bad advice and you should not follow it. However, there are people interpreting this video as fact and an endorsement to continue on with their fan games. Morrison is responding to that mentality.


author=slimeborgi
-You can make a platforming game that's not mario and uses power ups and such.
There's tons out there even now.

This is true.

Video Game Attorney
Game mechanics are usually not protectable.

The moment Nintendo tries to send a C&D for a person creating a game where you jump on things to kill them is the moment they have taken the train to Instanityville. If you add Mario's Fire Flower powerup without any alterations of your own aside from the visuals, that might raise some eyebrows, but probably not enough to take you to court.

If you can run your fangame alongside the original game with literally zero differences outside of aesthetics, then it's gonna be hard to convince anyone you didn't blatantly rip them off.

author=slimeborgi
-RPG games are numerous, just learn to make your own graphics/music at that point.

Either that or hire an artist/composer to make your original work, but the general idea is a good one.

author=slimeborgi
In terms of story how can they claim its plagiarized? Oh this story has a dragon and a princess... Oh look monsters from medieval and Scandinavian folklore. A hero goes to kill them? Oh wait it's based off Beowulf not DragonQuest/FinalFantasy/Etcetc.

Anyone claiming ownership over something so broad as dragons, princess, or Scandinavian folklore is either delusional, a time traveler, or a King employee. You're going to be fine if your game has a story where the hero goes off to rescue the princess from an evil dragon. However, If your hero runs into Samus Aran (the ACTUAL Samus Aran, not just some random NPC that happens to have the same name) on said quest to rescue the princess, then you start running into problems.
Sooz
I'm allergic to ghosts
4225
author=turkeyDawg
I would hope that the lawyers have enough heart


See, there's your mistake. :V
UPRC
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
5332
This has always been in the back of my mind since the dawn of time (aka when I started using RPG Maker 95 in 1999). Given the fact that it's 2017 and I've been mucking about with fan games for the better part of 16 years (holy shit), I don't really feel terribly worried. I mean, I don't really recall Square-Enix ever squishing any Final Fantasy fan games that were very notable. I think they might have killed a 2D FF7 remake a few years ago, but that's the only example I can think of. It's always looked like they seem largely unconcerned about Final Fantasy fan games unless they legitimately pose a threat to the company's business practices and/or image. Chrono Trigger is definitely treated differently by them for whatever reason (a reason I can't comprehend since it's basically a dead IP).

Oh well, it won't be in my mind after June/July when I finish my game since I desperately want to move onto an original game anyway. I just want to push mine out into the open and then let it go and have a life of its own while I toil away on something else.
don't worry UPRC, SE's corporate ninjas will be sure to give you a quick, painless death when you least suspect it ;p

author=Sooz
author=turkeyDawg
I would hope that the lawyers have enough heart
See, there's your mistake. :V
yeah :(

author=Red_Nova
Video Game Attorney
Game mechanics are usually not protectable.
Well, there was Namco's patent on mini-games during loading screens:
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/12/loading-screen-game-patent-finally-expires
e: lol someone brought this one up immediately under where this appears in the AMA
I think there was another patent regarding button configuration that affected fighting games. Can't remember exactly what, I think it was something about configuration during loading screens or on the character select screen, or smth, I can't find it atm. Ultra David (fighting game commentator) used to like to bring it up during button checks.

Anyways, trying to actually read this AMA is a PITA. So many threads that may or may not be relevant to anything...
Sooz
I'm allergic to ghosts
4225
author=turkeyDawg
Anyways, trying to actually read this AMA is a PITA. So many threads that may or may not be relevant to anything...


In terms of useful readability, Reddit is slightly above Twitter for having any kind of conversation.
Also, depends on country. In my country for example it's allowed to copy pretty much anything for "educational purposes". Also many of the copyright laws are so vague, it's really hard to give concrete answers. Like what the hell means "the original was modified so much that it can no longer be recognized"?

But in any case, I'd prefer if people made games with original ideas over fangames anyway. There are tons of game designers with great ideas and nobody who actually makes games out of them, so lack of ideas shouldn't be the issue.
kentona
One of RMN's Top 10 Admins of all-time
20511
Well, obviously I can see the appeal of making fangames, just like I can of fanfics or fanart or cosplay. The passion behind it all.

I have a passion for Megaman, and I like making videogames, and maybe not have that same driving motivational passion for making a videogame but a Megaman videogame.

And I think all of us here probably started with that kind of passion - to emulate the arts that we love, and then later on grew to love the craft itself moreso.

And I think a lot of corporations understand that and will differentiate between a game that is the equivalent of a doodle on the back of a notebook and one that is a fleshed out production.

The likelihood of your doodles ruining your life is right up there with cosplaying at a convention. Both are strictly against the rules to do, but in the larger scheme of things both are inconsequential. But taking your passion for an IP too far is a bad idea - by the point where you CAN take it too far, you are likely skilled/passionate enough to do your own thing.
author=turkeyDawg
I think there was another patent regarding button configuration that affected fighting games. Can't remember exactly what, I think it was something about configuration during loading screens or on the character select screen, or smth, I can't find it atm. Ultra David (fighting game commentator) used to like to bring it up during button checks.


That sounds like a pretty basic thing to patent. Anyone know more about this?
I've tried looking it up several times by now and I still can't find anything, so I might jut be buggin on that.
kory_toombs
I won the RMN 2019 Stanley Cup Playoff Pool. Now I will never stop bragging about it.
12624

The country I live in is more complicated because many countries don't recognize it as a country. It does not hold Berne membership, for example.

"Taiwan grants national treatment under several bilateral agreements, thus allowing copyright upon creation to US, UK, Spanish and Hong Kong nationals. Works by nationals of other countries are not protected in Taiwan. However, such works may be protected if assigned to a US national within one year of creation of the work."

But even though these laws might exist in Taiwan, being prosecuted for this sort of thing is actually quite difficult.
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