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Thread: Questions about "new" custom content and copywrite...

  1. #1

    Questions about "new" custom content and copywrite...

    I have two questions about community projects.

    Custom Game Designs using Google Image Search Art

    I think it is time to start looking at making some of my own designed into TTS mods to test them out and stuff. The thing is to speed up development I just google image search for art ot make rough cuts of the components. While often you can get approval form deviant art users .. often you never get any reply at all.

    What is Beserk's view of this.. a "original" game design, but google image art? Will that ever get a community spotlight?

    Copywritten Game Designed but Custom Componants

    Re-theamed game designs. It has gone a little out of favourt in the last 5 years and it still gose one, but there used to be a very active "re-theme" subfourm on BBG.. like making a Warhammer 40K version of Pandemic where you went around ther galaxy stopping chaos incursions (instead of viruses) or the famous Dune re-theme.

    These fall into 2 categories. Community made "reprints" (like the famous Dune or Merchnts of Venus one) where out of print games get a full art rework for print and play (MoV has since had a 2nd edition at FFG btw). The other is somone just hates the art in a game and wants to remake it into something more their taste.

    How dose these ideas fit with Beserk?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2016
    As far as "copywritten game design", this is an interesting read: [url][/url]

    A good example of these concepts is Monopoly. If you made a variant of monopoly with your own art, street names, standins for utilities, etc, that can be fine. But if you call it "Something Monopoly" that is not fine. But calling it Somethingopoly" IS fine, because you haven't used their trademark, and they don't have exclusive rights over the gameplay concepts involved.

    Of course copyright is a whole complex organism and its not so much legal "rights" as civil liabilities.

  3. #3
    Here's another good read on the subject if you interested.


    In short a games Mechanic's have little protection in law, though there are presidents to register and claim certain unique elements under patent law.

    A games protection is general contained to its expression under copyright law and what ever trademarks it has registered or otherwise.
    and copyright currently lasts 70 years after the authorís death (thank the big eared mouse for that one). So even old long out of print games are still covered by copyright even if the original creator is no longer around to take umbrage of your use of it.

    When posting up work that is not 100% your own and you have not sought and received the necessary permissions, You need to assume the copyright holder may take issue with you using it without permission and air on the side of caution.

    It is very unlikely you'd receive a cease and desist order for using some art you pulled of the internet to pretty up you game. though I imagine any one who was surprised enough to receive one also though that to be the case till the day it actually happened. . .

    So its best for you to assume Berserk won't be spotlighting any works that blatantly use another's IP not without some form of proof you have permission to do so (as frankly they don't need the headache things like this can cause) ..

  4. #4
    I was more asking about "re-theme" or "re-skins" of game designs .. not so much using game mechanisms from other games.

    Like say I made a mod with custom art that turned Battlestar Galactica into a fantasy sword and sorcery game. Exact game rules but new components / theme or w/e.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2016
    The only thing you described there that isn't likely copyrighted is the game mechanics. The name of the game, the name of Battlestar Galactica (as well as its characters, ships, etc etc) are all going to be protected works most likely.

  6. #6
    what he said ^^

    Art and text are "Expressions" therefore innately protected by copyright. for the duration I gave in my last post.

    you can use the mechanic's that make any of those games you mentioned without issue...but non of the other stuff.

  7. #7
    Ok.... so for example...

    There is a game called LORDS OF SCOTLAND... this was recently reprinted with nicer art but for the longest time it had really terrible art. So about 4 years ago or so I made Print and Play for my own use that I called Lords of Dimension 64

    Lords of Scotland (Original Art)

    Lords of Dimension 64 (New Custom Art)

    Workshop Link - [url][/url]

    So this can get a community spotlight, as it is only taking the mechanisms?

  8. #8
    you've described that as (custom Art) is it your custom art ? or have you permission from the Artist/Copyright owner ?

    Other wise I'm going to say no.. you will not get a community spotlight.

    It may be you feel you've altered the art sufficiently to have it warrant as a Derivative work, but I'd say that's probably not the case. That's usually quite a high bar to pass.

    Bits and pieces here and there will likely pass under the radar and not get any attention. But if your taking art works wholesale from a range of other sources like it looks like you have, you'll be opening yourself up to one of the copyright owners having the power to make you take it down.

    Let me put it this way... if you were to take this game have it professionally printed and then put up it up for sale. would you still feel comfortable using the art works you have ?

    By seeking to see it Spotlight your seeking for Berserk to help promote it. Which is why they ask for these works to be "original" and that includes the art assets you use. (to a sensible degree).

  9. #9
    narr.... they are just google image searched.

    So to get a spotlight the art needs to be royalty free or have written permission.

    thanks.. just wanted to get this clear as I would like my prototype to be spotlighted so maybe I get some more feedback on the systems....

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Lucky seven View Post
    Here's another good read on the subject if you interested.


    In short a games Mechanic's have little protection in law, though there are presidents to register and claim certain unique elements under patent law.
    I truly wish this were so. Heck, as the copyright office said in that post,
    Copyright does not protect the idea for a game, its name or title, or the method or methods for playing it. Nor does copyright protect any idea, system, method, device, or trademark material involved in developing, merchandising, or playing a game. Once a game has been made public, nothing in the copyright law prevents others from developing another game based on similar principles. Copyright protects only the particular manner of an authorís expression in literary, artistic, or musical form.
    There was even a supreme court ruling that an arcade fighting game was using generic concepts of martial arts masters with powers and abilities from myth and legend, so the only thing that could be copyrighted was the artwork -- so a fighting game that was a virtual duplicate with different art was not an infringement.

    You'd think that would settle it, right? Nope.

    We recently (I think 5 years ago, maybe less) had a trial court judge rule that game X was a copy of game Y. Not because the judge ruled based on getting a copy of the game and testing it (that would have cost 99 cents), not on any evidence shown, but because reviewers described it as a clone of game Y.

    This put the new and upcoming company out of business, as they had to settle out of court to avoid liability to the people, before they had any chance to appeal to higher courts.

    Think about that for a second. Company B makes a game that reviewers said "was a clone of A". Even if it was different from A, even if the reviewers used the term "clone" in a different manner than "legally exact copy", even with different art work, that was all it took for a judge to rule against B regardless of what the copyright office or the supreme court said.

    I wish I was joking.

    We live in a country where the law doesn't matter, the judge does.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    The Internet
    I usually choose games that are pretty much original works, cool scripted stuff or assetbundles. The scripted stuff and assetbundles are the "fun" stuff and original works are ones to help get them some exposure. You can get an idea just based on what I've put up thus far.

    I will say though there was one game that was completely original, but he temporarily used google images as placeholders, but have been updating them overtime as they are created.

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