Free Legal advice

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dfbreezy
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Free Legal advice

#1 Post by dfbreezy » Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:20 pm

As a Law student who plans to specialize in Intellectual property, i have studied extensively on the subject on both domestic and international platforms and i'm somewhat well versed on the topic.

As such, i'm willing to give advice of all kinds to studios and individuals about matters relating to copyright. Unfortunately, i cannot give competent advice on trademarks at the moment.

You can give me scenarios (realistic ones you're facing are ideal) and ask questions within reason and i shall answer to the best of my ability.

I'm offering to be the legal department of all EVNs (and EVNS only for now) so do not hesitate to contact me.

You may either pose your question here so i answer to the benefit of the community, or you may PM me if the subject matter contains sensitive information.

Thank you for reading this, and i hope to help the community however i can.

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LateWhiteRabbit
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Re: Free Legal advice

#2 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:27 pm

I imagine intellectual property law varies from nation to nation. Or does it?

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dfbreezy
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Re: Free Legal advice

#3 Post by dfbreezy » Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:44 pm

LateWhiteRabbit wrote:I imagine intellectual property law varies from nation to nation. Or does it?
Naturally. But it's still influenced by international treaties and universal principles applicable to all party states to such treaties.
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Re: Free Legal advice

#4 Post by Albridge » Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:45 pm

LateWhiteRabbit. . .
Fancy seeing you here.

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Re: Free Legal advice

#5 Post by Mello-Knight » Sat Mar 04, 2017 8:30 pm

I did a little bit of research on this, but I just want to be sure...and I'm sorry if this is a stupid question. ^^' But is it okay to reference things such as movies, books, products, and other video games in your VN? For example, someone wearing a Triforce on their shirt or saying "Reading The Hunger Games doesn't make you an expert on survival knowledge." From what I understand, it's okay so long as you're not putting them in a negative light and it is nice to leave some credit, like if Mario should be mentioned, say that he's from Nintendo.

Am I on the right track here? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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Re: Free Legal advice

#6 Post by dfbreezy » Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:49 am

Generally, yes. Once you use their IP, be it a trademark logo like Zelda emblem or anything unique from their work, in the form of a parody, you {i}must{/} credit them by all means. A way around this is to use indirect referencing.

Switch out letter in the names or only use descriptions. The descriptions should be vague enough to be free of directness and concise enough to hint to what your making fun of. That is the nature of parodies.

Speaking badly about the IP of another isn't usually actionable if you followed the due process and didn't make it 100% direct. Hinting and cameos are somewhat negligible, but bringing in Ganondorf and Vaati and Zelda herself is asking for trouble.

Because copyright extends to characters as well, or anything that is unique from their story.

I don't know if the triforce is a registered trademark, but if you use Zelda's logo on the shirt, that is trouble.

So Tl;DR: Be either indirect or be somewhat direct and credit the author in doing so.
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Re: Free Legal advice

#7 Post by bosinpai » Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:29 pm

dfbreezy wrote:So Tl;DR: Be either indirect or be somewhat direct and credit the author in doing so.
Hi! AFAIU as soon as you use a trademark it's not a matter of credit, it's a matter of permission.
For all I know, you can credit Nintendo all you want, if you used the Zelda logo and they don't like it, they can sue you.
Same for non-trademark-but-copyright-covered material (graphics...), unless we fall in special exceptions like parody or quote.

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Re: Free Legal advice

#8 Post by Mello-Knight » Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:55 pm

Thank you!!

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Re: Free Legal advice

#9 Post by WinterMochie » Sat Mar 11, 2017 12:08 pm

I always wondered about this, but if you want to release games on distribution channels, are individuals allowed to release games on there? Or does one have to be registered as a business?

I always wondered because on some channels like PS store it's really official even with third party games available, compared to steam which is always releasing indie games even those made by low key individuals. I guess I'm wondering about this mostly because Steam is a mix of both low key individuals and big companies releasing stuff, so I wondered why it isn't a legal issue.

Thanks!

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Re: Free Legal advice

#10 Post by dfbreezy » Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:11 pm

WinterMochie wrote:I always wondered about this, but if you want to release games on distribution channels, are individuals allowed to release games on there? Or does one have to be registered as a business?

I always wondered because on some channels like PS store it's really official even with third party games available, compared to steam which is always releasing indie games even those made by low key individuals. I guess I'm wondering about this mostly because Steam is a mix of both low key individuals and big companies releasing stuff, so I wondered why it isn't a legal issue.

Thanks!
Mmmm... your question isn't one of Intellectual property, but rather Commercial/Business law. I can't really give you a reliable answer, since i focus mostly on IP law. If you want me to attempt it, i'd have to do some research first since this is international commercial law territory.
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Re: Free Legal advice

#11 Post by twixx » Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:08 am

Wow dfbreezy, I must say it's great to see this thread!

I was just thinking about setting up a meeting with a lawyer 20 minutes ago!

So if I understand correctly, if you, say, want to mention The Witcher series, but say (and pardon my language) B*tcher, and hinting at some white haired guy going on a killing spree is fine?


I need some legal counseling in regards to branding as well BUT, definitely saving this thread, I might need some counsel in this topic later on, thanks for helping the community!

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Re: Free Legal advice

#12 Post by WinterMochie » Sun Mar 19, 2017 12:07 pm

dfbreezy wrote:
WinterMochie wrote:I always wondered about this, but if you want to release games on distribution channels, are individuals allowed to release games on there? Or does one have to be registered as a business?

I always wondered because on some channels like PS store it's really official even with third party games available, compared to steam which is always releasing indie games even those made by low key individuals. I guess I'm wondering about this mostly because Steam is a mix of both low key individuals and big companies releasing stuff, so I wondered why it isn't a legal issue.

Thanks!
Mmmm... your question isn't one of Intellectual property, but rather Commercial/Business law. I can't really give you a reliable answer, since i focus mostly on IP law. If you want me to attempt it, i'd have to do some research first since this is international commercial law territory.

Oh, gotcha! no worries about it, thanks regardless for this thread as a resource ^_^

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Re: Free Legal advice

#13 Post by Moonspeck » Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:49 pm

Hello, and I hope you're still around :)

I have a weird question. Is it possible to use 4 images from different anime in my commercial game when they're "slideshows" shown by a character delivering a lecture to his students? The anime titles aren't said, the images are used to illustrate something else.
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Re: Free Legal advice

#14 Post by Imperf3kt » Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:53 pm

WinterMochie wrote:I always wondered about this, but if you want to release games on distribution channels, are individuals allowed to release games on there? Or does one have to be registered as a business?

I always wondered because on some channels like PS store it's really official even with third party games available, compared to steam which is always releasing indie games even those made by low key individuals. I guess I'm wondering about this mostly because Steam is a mix of both low key individuals and big companies releasing stuff, so I wondered why it isn't a legal issue.

Thanks!
I know this is a bit late, but SONY actually has a webpage detailing this.
You need to be a business, but this is only SONY's personal requirement.
https://www.playstation.com/en-us/develop/

@Moonspeck: no, that is not allowed by law. If you want to do that, you must first receive express, written permission from the parties involved. Usually the company that holds the copyright (which may not be the company that made the anime in question)
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Re: Free Legal advice

#15 Post by Moonspeck » Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:29 am

Imperf3kt wrote: @Moonspeck: no, that is not allowed by law. If you want to do that, you must first receive express, written permission from the parties involved. Usually the company that holds the copyright (which may not be the company that made the anime in question)
Thank you! Good to know.
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