AuthorTopic: A Question About Fan Projects and Copyright  (Read 1733 times)

Offline Kaldrey

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A Question About Fan Projects and Copyright

on: December 06, 2016, 08:25:32 pm
So, here me out, guys.

Let's say I wanna make a hypothetical game (Involving a certain bounty hunter :lala:) that will be available completely for free but it's copyrighted by Nintendo. But I don't wanna waist the time of the professional artist with pro bono work because money equals time due to hourly rates. If I paid an artist to work on a fan-made project, would that be considered illegal?
« Last Edit: December 06, 2016, 10:36:15 pm by Kaldrey »
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Offline Atnas

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Re: A Question About Fan Projects and Copyright

Reply #1 on: December 07, 2016, 12:07:33 am
I mean... take a look at AM2R and what happened there. You'd be able to get away with the production of the game, and you could hide the fact the artist was paid for the art, I suppose, but you'll probably get a takedown notice upon release so make sure you put it up on P2P etc. No one really pursues fanart itself, but they do pursue direct competition in the same market.

The safest bet is to make a game inspired by metroid, not set in the same universe. I dunno. You'd be able to sell it. As long as its not LITERALLY samus, and LITERALLY metroids, you can parody everything and get away with it. The exception to this is if you were directly competing with Nintendo, but because they are not trying to sell a 2d metroid, you are in the clear there and they can't pursue you as harshly as if it were the 90s.

So make her brunette and call them Asterets and you're good to go.

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Re: A Question About Fan Projects and Copyright

Reply #2 on: December 07, 2016, 02:32:37 am
Yeah, making it a legally-safe knockoff is a better route to take. While I'm firm in my belief non-profit fan games should fall under the same categories as fan art and fan fiction, currently it's a bit of a legal grey area as legislation struggles to catch up (or really even get the PUSH to catch up).
Plus, if you do wind up needing to sell it to cover some of the production costs, you're already set up for that by being a legally distinct entity.
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Offline Atnas

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Re: A Question About Fan Projects and Copyright

Reply #3 on: December 07, 2016, 09:39:43 am
Yeah, making it a legally-safe knockoff is a better route to take. While I'm firm in my belief non-profit fan games should fall under the same categories as fan art and fan fiction..
Technically fan art/fiction is illegal too, which is the problem. It's literally an issue of discretion, there's no protection other than what is not worth pursuing. And a fangame is apparently worth the time to Nintendo's lawyers, as has been proven time and time again. It's a bad idea.

Seriously, just make an original game based on Metroid. People will know the intent, and they won't care it's not Samus.

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Re: A Question About Fan Projects and Copyright

Reply #4 on: December 07, 2016, 11:29:31 am
Huh! And here I was thinking they were mostly covered under fair use and transformative works, reading up on it it's a bit more sketchy than it should be.
Hm, something to campaign about I suppose! The copyright system is in dire need of some retooling regardless after disney's fumbling about over mickey mouse anyhow, so more stuff to throw on the pile.
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Offline Kaldrey

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Re: A Question About Fan Projects and Copyright

Reply #5 on: December 07, 2016, 06:09:53 pm
Thanks, I'll just make something that's more of an homage to Metroid instead.
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