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Thread: Is this legal? (No this IS NOT! a crack request)

  1. #1
    Senior Member tongue of colicab's Avatar
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    Question

    hi there.

    Lets say im gonna build this game thats based on e.g. zelda/mario/pokemon/dbz etc. so lets say i want to build a game about one of these characters. that would mean I would use the name, logos and looks of the charachter. now my question is: is it legal to do this, I mean do I need to put some kind of at my game that would say the the character names,logos etc are property of nintendo or whatever? I really hope some1 could tell me this.

    MaZzEl

  2. #2

    ummm

    I think that you need to get in contact with the people in nintendo, like e-mail them or something to get an agreement, though they will probably babble about money and stuff...


    Do this only if you want this game to appear on websites, since I saw here in flashkit many many mario games that haven't needed to contact nintendo at all...

    Your call,

    Shockerz

  3. #3
    Senior Member tongue of colicab's Avatar
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    Question

    well is was planning on making a dbz rpg and submitting it to sites like newgrounds.com so ppl can play it but im not planning on asking/making $$$ on the game I only want do build it for phun and let ppl play it for fun.

    MaZzEl

  4. #4
    Junior Member
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    If you're just doing it for fun and not planning on publicizing it, generally speaking, I don't think you have anything to worry about. Legally speaking though, and I am NOT a lawyer, you don't have the right to use any trademarked property (characters, logos, etc.) without written permission from the owner.

    Most people are just happy that fans love their stuff. However, big corporate lawyers tend to have way too much free time on their hands. Disney, for example, is notorious for threatening to sue people who put up fan websites.

    If I were you, I'd contact someone at Nintendo just to be nice. And definitely add some form of prominent credit at the beginning disclaiming all ownership of trademarks to Nintendo so they can't claim willful infringement.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Ray Beez's Avatar
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    I am not a lawyer either, but I CAN tell you THIS much:

    FACT: Nintendo sues people who even so much as register a domain name that contains the word "Pokemon".

    UNVERIFIED: Nintendo threatens to sue people who run Pokemon fan-sites that contain their copyrighted images, and trademarks. (In other words, those people receive Cease and Desist letters from Nintendo lawyers asking them to remove all copyrighted images and trademarks).

    Nintendo is pretty active in searching for, finding, and taking action against people who blatantly use their trademarks (a trademark can be a logo, a name, or an image, such as Super Mario's face).


    Yes, lots of people are grabbing sprites, and other images and building litle flash games and nonsense with them, but that doesn't make it legal. It just means that either the copyright owners don't know about them, or they're considered too insignificant to bother with.

    There is also some small grey area if you create something that is obviously a parody. Like instead of a serious DragonBallZ game, you made a "Dragon Ballz" game that is a spoof on Dragon Ball Z. You still might get in trouble if you made money from that game.


    The bottom line:
    Posting the copyright doesn't absolve you from requiring permission and possibly paying for a license to use the characters and name.

    If you're gonna make a little "nonsense" game for Newgrounds, then do it anonymously, and don't make money off it.

    ~Ray B



  6. #6
    Senior Member Ray Beez's Avatar
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    PS

    PS: Why don't you just taking your game idea and show some imagination. Make your own characters and story.

    I don't understand this desire by so many people to use existing crap when they have the freedom to use anything their imagination can conjure up!

  7. #7
    Flash Developer on a break
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    It's illegal.

    However, if you don't ask money for it, most of the time those large companies don't pay attention to your small game.

    -Jer'ul

  8. #8
    Senior Member tongue of colicab's Avatar
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    Question

    thnx guys. well, its not my intention to use sprites from other games. im gonna draw everything myself, I only use the names and looks of the charachter. altough I think Ray Beez is probertly right about that i could better use my own story only its really hard to come up with something thats original these days

    MzZl

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