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Copyright or not?

GuaveMediaGuaveMedia Posts: 1,262Member, PRO
edited December 2011 in Working with GS (Mac)
HEy,

when I use a character of the simpsons or some tv series, and I edit the images so that they look different,
is it still copyright or can I use it then?

thx

www.guavegames.wordpress.com
www.tranrock.wordpress.com

Comments

  • Braydon_SFXBraydon_SFX Posts: 8,960Member, Sous Chef, PRO, Bowlboy Sidekick GameSalad Employee
    I would be safe and not use them.
  • GuaveMediaGuaveMedia Posts: 1,262Member, PRO
    I just used the form of a character! I didn't copy them completely!

    www.guavegames.wordpress.com
    www.tranrock.wordpress.com

  • GuaveMediaGuaveMedia Posts: 1,262Member, PRO
    Ok no problem then, I will use an other character....

    www.guavegames.wordpress.com
    www.tranrock.wordpress.com

  • The_Gamesalad_GuruThe_Gamesalad_Guru Posts: 9,913Member
    The companies who own those kind of characters have full time lawyers who's job it is to police that kind of stuff and they will send you a letter but after that they will sue you.
  • mynameisacemynameisace Hull, UKPosts: 2,484Member
    edited December 2011
    I always tell people my little rule of thumb that 99% of the time is correct...

    If you have to ask whether or not something is breaking copyright laws, it probably is.

    Ace
  • Braydon_SFXBraydon_SFX Posts: 8,960Member, Sous Chef, PRO, Bowlboy Sidekick GameSalad Employee
    @Ace - What a smart rule. :)
  • scitunesscitunes Posts: 4,047Member, Sous Chef
    edited December 2011
    If you just need a character your best bet is to hire an artist. There are a number on this forum that will give you an entire animation sequence for a very reasonable price. Or if you are on a really tight budget you can find all kinds of stuff on stock image sites. I often use dreamstime.com
  • GuaveMediaGuaveMedia Posts: 1,262Member, PRO
    But is it allowed to use a name? Like Homer or something like that? Yes, or?

    www.guavegames.wordpress.com
    www.tranrock.wordpress.com

  • mynameisacemynameisace Hull, UKPosts: 2,484Member
    I refer you back:

    If you have to ask wether or not something is breaking copyright laws, it probably is.

    :P

    Ace
  • GuaveMediaGuaveMedia Posts: 1,262Member, PRO
    But how can a name have copyright?^^

    In case my parents named me Homer, I can name my game for example Homers Adventure??!!

    www.guavegames.wordpress.com
    www.tranrock.wordpress.com

  • JohnPapiomitisJohnPapiomitis Posts: 6,256Member
    the problem is you first ask if you can use a image of the simpsons and edit then, then you ask if you can use the name homer. So its clear your trying to copy stuff off the simpsons. Just come up with your own original stuff.
  • GuaveMediaGuaveMedia Posts: 1,262Member, PRO
    It is just an example John!

    My game is not about the simpsons! I was just asking if it would be a problem when FOR EXAMPLE use a name like this!

    www.guavegames.wordpress.com
    www.tranrock.wordpress.com

  • SlickZeroSlickZero Houston, TexasPosts: 2,870Member, Sous Chef
    The name Homer Simpson is not a copyright, because that's true, names, titles, and short phrases cannot be granted a copyright, but the character Homer Simpson is. If you make a character that looks like Homer, and you name him Homer, then you will most certainly receive a cease and desist letter. And like John says, just come up with something original, and you won't have anything to worry about.

    I have no friends. I'm a loser that makes video games all day. Will you be my friend?

  • MotherHooseMotherHoose Posts: 2,456Member
    the names of famous characters are not copyrighted … but, most often/always they hold a ™ or ® with many variants in font, color, size, etc.
    so if you use a name in a computer game that evokes similarity of content with the content the character appears in … they will probably come after you.
    at the very least they will notify Apple and as Apple does not get involved with copyright/trademark infringements … you will probably be asked to remove your app.
    or it will be removed for you … too, many complaints and you may lose your developer's account.

    lots of free clips on the web to use as a base for your designs … √ out a list of names for a unique/unusual one.

    MH
  • JohnPapiomitisJohnPapiomitis Posts: 6,256Member
    edited December 2011
    Well you said you just used the form of the character, didnt copy it completly which is suggesting you did it already and are not just using that as an example.

    But as MH said you cant use Homer Simpson in a game, but you can use Homer, as long as he doesnt look like Homer Simpson
  • MoonMouseMoonMouse Posts: 75Member
    edited December 2011
    Just on the topic of copyright, I've always wondered how people can make money on things like "the Austin Powers" or "Duke Nukem" soundboard when the images and sounds they are using are obviously from copyrighted franchises. Is there some loophole in copyright law? Or do the big studios just not care?
  • JohnPapiomitisJohnPapiomitis Posts: 6,256Member
    edited December 2011
    @ MoonMouse

    The companies contact apple then apple sends them a notice to remove them from the store. And if they have multiple soundboards that violate copyright's there dev account will be terminated. Any that are in the store have either not been caught yet by them, or they have permission.
  • MoonMouseMoonMouse Posts: 75Member
    edited December 2011
    Thanks John and RKS :)

    Alex0407, I guess its safe to assume that naming your character "Homer", for instance, won't do any harm, so long as the content of the game is not similar enough to be associated or confused with the Simpsons. On the whole though, I'd play it safe. There is no point in risking headaches or potential lawsuits (if your game becomes popular enough for the studios to recognize it) over this. It's better to be safe than sorry :)
  • ozboybrianozboybrian Posts: 2,102PRO
    Copyright is something I know well about as i've looked into it A LOT. I've been in contact with the American copyright commission more then once.
    Basically it isn't copyright so long as you don't copy EVERYTHING...

    Say the Simpsons, well obviously you can't have a fat guy and call him "Homer Simpsons" But you could have a Fat guy and call him Homer.
    But you'd wanna give him hair, don't make him yellow. Because you'll get sued. They might not win, but you'll have to pay legal fees.
    And counter sue them to get your money back which may cost more money.

    But ides can't be copyrighted so to speak.

    I would copy and paste my emails with them to prove it, but I don't want people getting all my ideas lol :P
  • johnydeejohnydee Posts: 196Member, PRO
    I had submitted an app and was approved.So when i went to upload a free version of it it was rejected because they believed it "violated" copy right laws.So i was like "ok" how come they approved the other app? So if apple approves an app are you really the one that gets in trouble along the way if it really does violate the copy right laws? If so why did they approve it in the first place?
  • JohnPapiomitisJohnPapiomitis Posts: 6,256Member
    edited January 2012
    Yes your the one who gets in trouble, It states your the one who will be held responsible, not them in the dev contract you agreed to. Obviously the will reject you for copyright violations they know about, recognize, and see right away, but its not there responsibily to go threw every app and make sure every single thing, artwork,sound,music, and asset isnt violating copyright and owned and/or licensced to you. There review process is to make sure its not offensive, doesnt crash or any big game breaking bugs, and that it complies with all there app guidlines on how it should run on the device.
  • johnydeejohnydee Posts: 196Member, PRO
    thanks for the response.But yeah they do actually check for copy right violations.Thats the first thing they look for before wasting time reviewing an app.But i deleted the one that was approved just in case anything happens.It had something to do with disney so its clearly obvious for them.But i was under the impression that if its not 100% copied that its not violating copy right laws.
  • johnydeejohnydee Posts: 196Member, PRO
    Thats why i dont understand how they let that app go by.Disney name for apple is an automatic copyright unless you have some rights.
  • mynameisacemynameisace Hull, UKPosts: 2,484Member
    I haven't read all the posts in this thread BUT when did we get to a point where even wanting to use 'Homer' or copy something became acceptable to openly discuss?

    I understand that every idea influences another idea, etc. especially because I am a musician; but ETHICALLY copying something is wrong. Wether or not the law says it is. Good sportsmanship has gone out of the window and although it's almost impossible to come up with a truly original idea nowadays, openly trying to copy a character, pass somebody else's work off as your own, etc. is surely just wrong?

    A few people have had games ripped from the App Store and re-released or tried to sell as templates recently. People who trade templates and steal games are killing the industry and putting the people who help off.

    Building on somebody else's idea is okay, trying to pass something off as your own work isn't.

    Ace
  • johnydeejohnydee Posts: 196Member, PRO
    Yeah i didnt copy any characters it was a utility type app.Just used some images/words.
  • mynameisacemynameisace Hull, UKPosts: 2,484Member
    I wasn't aiming that post at you, I'd not read enough threads to get down to where you started posting :)

    Ace
  • The_Gamesalad_GuruThe_Gamesalad_Guru Posts: 9,913Member
    edited January 2012
    A true artist has their own ideas and has developed their own unique style. A real artist covets having their own style that identifies them. A true artist wants to push the boundaries and be on the cutting edge of new ideas. If all you do is directly copy people you're not an artist or creative, you're what we term in the media business as a hack. What people want is the next great idea not a bad copy of great work!
  • johnydeejohnydee Posts: 196Member, PRO
    Bro take it easy..I don't spend my time trying to make the next angry birds or make another doodle jump.sometimes you make stuff that people would like to see because they want it not because you don't have ideas.what would you do if you know that tons of people want a "Mario bros" type game and would buy it all day long? You make a similar one for those just like them right? You make what people are telling you they want to buy if it was on the app store.now i have lots of game ideas but they will take a while to achieve as I make most of my games in Xcode but lots of guys out there don't have very imaginive brains or aren't very good artist.so they rely on what's out today to help them.you can't insult people for not having their "own ideas" because for alot of these guys they don't have any. Now i agree that we should come up with new stuff because i hate seeing hundreds of doodle jumps on the market.if you make one think about how you can differ from all the ones out there.But i never sit down and think "who will i copy today" i sit down and ask people "what type of game would you buy if it was on the market" or "what interest you in a app"..those are the things that will make you sell.PEOPLES INTERESTS. Not new creations.most of the time they go unnoticed anyways.the greatest creations were born from accidents.....
This discussion has been closed.