Legal details and theft? :( (help, please)

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SelLi
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Legal details and theft? :( (help, please)

#1 Post by SelLi » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:37 pm

Hello all. :)
Um, I have a question... and I don't really know how to ask it, but... I figure here is the right place to ask as we all make VNs.
I'm working on my VN The Silent Column and I'm having fun. It's nowhere near done yet, but it's okay. I'm doing it all myself (aside from music and sounds) so I don't expect to get it done fast.
But once I do get it done, what do I do? I have no idea what kind of red tape little legal details I need to go through before my game should be released...
And as well, I have a work in progress thread (in my signature) and I'd love to be able to post some more of the art work that I'm making for my game there, but couldn't it be stolen?
I really want to make a great game but when it comes to being official and knowing all the fine print, I don't know what to do. :( Can anyone help me? What did you do?

I'm planning on selling copies of my VN for money so it's a commercial project. For sounds and music I'm going to use SoundJay and JewelBeat which are all commercial free so at least I'm avoiding the whole copyright mess...

I hope you get what I'm asking... I know I didn't say it too well...

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Re: Legal details and theft? :( (help, please)

#2 Post by papillon » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:49 pm

Anything can be stolen. Being overly paranoid about it is generally more detrimental to your project than revealing things.

For one, if everyone here knows what art you're using, they're more likely to recognise it if someone tries to steal it.

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Re: Legal details and theft? :( (help, please)

#3 Post by Midi » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:56 pm

Nice fancy watermarks?

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Re: Legal details and theft? :( (help, please)

#4 Post by PyTom » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:10 pm

papillon wrote:Anything can be stolen. Being overly paranoid about it is generally more detrimental to your project than revealing things.
To put it another way:

The forum is nearly ten years old. I've been a member for the vast majority of that time, and I can't recall any case where art from a game was "stolen" by someone independent of the game. (I can think of one or two times where the members of a project disagreed on how the art should be used, but that's a totally different thing.)
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Re: Legal details and theft? :( (help, please)

#5 Post by SelLi » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:19 pm

hm, yeah, watermarks work :) That way I can still show my art without any doubt or fear about it.
I know that these thoughts might be paranoid, especially since this is a quiet forum and my game probably won't be "uber famusss" or anything, but I think it's fair to be concerned about this stuff especially since I'm wanting to make money off of the game.

To those of you who have released commercial games, are there any specific things that you had to make sure of?

Also, I ate now. Brain's working better :)

-Edit-
Alright, thanks everyone. I won't stress out anymore, I'll just put on some water marks on the images. Thanks :)

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Re: Legal details and theft? :( (help, please)

#6 Post by Ziassan » Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:51 am

Hmm well, you can't totally protect a creation anyway, but you can secure it in some ways like, yeah, watermark, or archiving your data before building the release (though it's a bit sad everyone seems to do that now, in some ways..).

While you can almost protect art before the release, it's harder for things like "ideas" or story.
I'm a musician, if I create a music and post it somewhere, if it's not in a famous enough place, anyone could just take it and say it's his creation, and even sell it, impossible to do anything about that (and yeah even for your game you'd hardly be able to sue anyone by the internet for a theft related to it).
Since you want to make your game commercial I can understand you concern though (even if selling a game with free music that people could hear in others place is mean for the readers ahah..).

The point is to make beforehand your project know enough : make a website (nowadays you don't need skills for that), make some advertising so nobody would be able to steal anything without being caught red-handed.
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Re: Legal details and theft? :( (help, please)

#7 Post by Destiny » Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:27 am

It COULD be stolen, but that happens even on the internet not too often.
Up till now I only witnessed two real thefts.
One was were someone stole a comic from DeviantArt's humon changing the joke totally and saying it's him.
And one person once stole my board avatar and used it himself in the very same board. My luck that I'm a user there for about 5 years and never changed my avatar, so everyone recognized him as the thief when he tried to accuse me.

But it happens not often.
The only thing that happens often is that people maybe take your stuff and copy it. They use the composition, change the characters or background, something like that.
You suddenly see images that look ALMOST like yours.

If you are afraid of someone stealing your stuff then use a watermark.
A big watermark.
So you can upload stuff and no one can say it is his, because your name is on it.
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Re: Legal details and theft? :( (help, please)

#8 Post by Sharm » Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:33 am

I show stuff off at a lower resolution than what is usable in a game so that I can show off without a watermark. Watermarks are annoying to see around for people who are just looking.
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Re: Legal details and theft? :( (help, please)

#9 Post by rioka » Sat Aug 25, 2012 2:28 pm

Watermarks don't do anything because the person can still clean it up (i.e. paint over it) and still try to claim it as their own. A person can also basically re-draw (or in the case of games, re-make) your work and claim it as their own. With that said, as papillon said earlier, you're better off just doing your work. You'll just drive yourself crazy trying to protect your stuff.

@ Sharm
Agreed, watermarks are annoying but for low res images - it depends. If you're trying to sell something or show of your work, sometimes low res images doesn't really convey your game or art to it's best light. (i.e. it's harder to see; can't see details as well, etc).

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Re: Legal details and theft? :( (help, please)

#10 Post by SelLi » Sat Aug 25, 2012 2:54 pm

Thanks for all your input, everyone.
Regarding what Ziassan was saying about making a web site, I know how to code a basic HTML web site and even use a bit of JavaScript but I don't know how to actually put it on the web.
Then again a quick google search would fix that.

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Re: Legal details and theft? :( (help, please)

#11 Post by Ziassan » Sat Aug 25, 2012 3:20 pm

Well it'll be a bit off-topic but wathever.
Nowadays you don't need to know how to code to make a decent simple website, you can use a CMS for that like Joomla or Wordpress (which is more know for the blog thing, but still is a good a simple - and popular - website-making tool).
Some studios like Sakevisual use (I beleive) the Wordpress CMS.

Example with Wordpress :
Step 1 : Find a Web host (they are plenty of them)
If you don't want to spend money on a domain actually and don't want ads on your website, you can ask a free yoursite.vnovel.com here : http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 13&t=14350 (you'll be able to move it afterward if you decide to have your own domain)
Step 2 : Download&Install Wordpress package (there is a guide to help you)
Step 3 : Get used to it by this Getting Started for beginners


Making yourself and your project well-know before releasing your game is not only good for you but also protect your creation - indeed, even big studio show assets beforehand, but nobody is fool enough to pretend steal their creations and claim being the producer.
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