Using Copyright Materials

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Cybeat
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Using Copyright Materials

#1 Post by Cybeat » Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:36 pm

If my visual novel is free, am I allowed to use copyrighted materials like music from other games and stuff like that in my visual novel, or do I still need permission from them?
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Re: Using Copyright Materials

#2 Post by Hime » Wed Jan 02, 2008 6:28 pm

Well of course you can, but it's illegal. ^^; You always need the original artist's permission.
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Re: Using Copyright Materials

#3 Post by Cybeat » Thu Jan 03, 2008 12:49 am

Even if our visual novel is free, hmm. Ah well.
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Re: Using Copyright Materials

#4 Post by Hime » Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:25 am

Cybeat wrote:Even if our visual novel is free, hmm. Ah well.
Yeah - after all, it's something someone most likely paid money to get and is trying to get some money with, so offering the same stuff for free isn't really good for who ever is the original copyright owner.

However, there's a lot of free music with a good-quality nowadays. If you're searching for music for your VN, you can try getting a musician from these forums as well. Especially recently, I feel like there has been quite many musicians floating around. :)
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Re: Using Copyright Materials

#5 Post by Jake » Thu Jan 03, 2008 7:51 am

Cybeat wrote:Even if our visual novel is free, hmm. Ah well.
Well, think of it this way: it's illegal to share copyrighted music files (without explicit permission) over a P2P program or on your website, even for free, even if you're not making any profit - so why should it suddenly become legal just because you package them with a free game you made? The same goes for images, bits of code... anything that could be considered a creative work.

Copyright law grants the holder of a copyright literally "the right to copy" - or particularly, to control who makes copies, how many, when and how. Cost, profit and so on are irrelevant - that's all up to the copyright holder to negotiate with people he licenses the work to. In general terms, without permission from the copyright holder, you're not allowed to distribute copies of a work at all.
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Re: Using Copyright Materials

#6 Post by Twar3Draconis » Thu Jan 03, 2008 8:27 pm

Why not use Creative Commons material instead?
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Re: Using Copyright Materials

#7 Post by Cybeat » Fri Jan 04, 2008 11:46 am

Jake wrote:
Cybeat wrote:Even if our visual novel is free, hmm. Ah well.
Well, think of it this way: it's illegal to share copyrighted music files (without explicit permission) over a P2P program or on your website, even for free, even if you're not making any profit - so why should it suddenly become legal just because you package them with a free game you made? The same goes for images, bits of code... anything that could be considered a creative work.

Copyright law grants the holder of a copyright literally "the right to copy" - or particularly, to control who makes copies, how many, when and how. Cost, profit and so on are irrelevant - that's all up to the copyright holder to negotiate with people he licenses the work to. In general terms, without permission from the copyright holder, you're not allowed to distribute copies of a work at all.
Okay, I understand. Thanks. (People in youtube use copyright everything)
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Re: Using Copyright Materials

#8 Post by Hentai Senshi » Fri Jan 04, 2008 11:47 am

Twar3Draconis wrote:Why not use Creative Commons material instead?
And remember that there can be licensing issues with CC stuff as well - but Creative Commons licenses are definitely a good start for hunting for Free Stuff that may be usable.
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Re: Using Copyright Materials

#9 Post by Jake » Fri Jan 04, 2008 11:52 am

Cybeat wrote:(People in youtube use copyright everything)
Yeah - and people drive above the speed limit and give alcohol to minors all the time. And, usually, get away with it. And sometimes it doesn't matter, and it's perfectly acceptable. There's a difference between "illegal" and "immoral", and there's a difference between "illegal", "immoral" and "likely to get caught".

(There's also a load of increasingly-complex conditions on copyright law depending on circumstance - for example, I believe it's typically OK to violate someone's copyright to a degree without permission for the purposes of parodying that thing.)

You asked what was allowed, so you got the legal/illegal definition; the answer to what's morally acceptable is very much up to the individual.
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Re: Using Copyright Materials

#10 Post by Hentai Senshi » Fri Jan 04, 2008 12:03 pm

Jake wrote:
Cybeat wrote:(People in youtube use copyright everything)
Yeah - and people drive above the speed limit and give alcohol to minors all the time. And, usually, get away with it. And sometimes it doesn't matter, and it's perfectly acceptable. There's a difference between "illegal" and "immoral", and there's a difference between "illegal", "immoral" and "likely to get caught".

(There's also a load of increasingly-complex conditions on copyright law depending on circumstance - for example, I believe it's typically OK to violate someone's copyright to a degree without permission for the purposes of parodying that thing.)

You asked what was allowed, so you got the legal/illegal definition; the answer to what's morally acceptable is very much up to the individual.
Youtube fragments are also often small enough that they often fit the legal definition of 'quotation for review purposes', and much of the copyrighted material there gets left up because the owner figures it makes decent free advertising.
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Re: Using Copyright Materials

#11 Post by Jake » Fri Jan 04, 2008 12:43 pm

Hentai Senshi wrote:and much of the copyrighted material there gets left up because the owner figures it makes decent free advertising.
...and a lot gets left up there simply because the copyright owner doesn't know it's there. I've made some videos before - I don't spend my spare time searching YouTube and other Internet sites for them just in case someone's distributing them without my permission!

Equally sometimes copyright infringement doesn't get addressed 'cause the copyright owner doesn't think it's worth it. I've produced a large number of images over the years, and I'd rather they didn't get posted to 4chan because I hate the community for its homogenisation of culture and childishness. But I know sometimes stuff of mine gets posted there, 'cause I've been shown it; if I tried to get them to take it down, while legally perfectly within my rights to make such demands, I'd probably end up more harrassed by the filth that occupy the site than I am currently annoyed that my images are getting posted up there in the first place.

(And yeah, I know that not the entire population of that site are as bad as the worst, and some perfectly decent people read 4chan. But the bad behaviour of the few is more or less condoned if not explicitly endorsed by everyone who hangs around there.)
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Re: Using Copyright Materials

#12 Post by Samu-kun » Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:10 pm

As an added note, there's also a grey area around the subject of using things strictly from Japan - for example music, games, anime, and manga that are liscensed only in Japan. Technically speaking it's illegal, but if we fans don't distribute them in the United States, most people here won't get to see them period. And the companies in Japan don't lose any money because they never planned to release their products in the United States in the first place. But you never really know. Some times they decide to publish their works in the United States at a later date. Although for the majority of J-pop music and J-games, this rarely is the case.

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Re: Using Copyright Materials

#13 Post by Mikan » Fri Jan 04, 2008 10:47 pm

I do believe the Berne Convention protects Japanese work from being indiscriminately distributed outside of Japan as Japan participates in the Berne Convention along with at least a hundred and fifty other countries.

And as an odd suggestion, you may want to look into stuff that is so old that it has become public domain, like old old songs from the early 1900s. Some of them are actually a little catchy.

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Re: Using Copyright Materials

#14 Post by Jake » Fri Jan 04, 2008 11:37 pm

Mikan wrote:along with at least a hundred and fifty other countries
In fact, it's arguably simpler to list the countries which don't adhere to the Berne convention, these days.

But really, it is a grey area - it's just a moral grey area rather than a legal grey area. Copyrights are [supposedly] intended to encourage the creation of art by creating a mechanism by which artists (or the patrons of artists) can profit from their work. So it's potentially arguable morally speaking that if there's no opportunity for the artist to profit, then the copyright is meaningless. If the artist has no interest in selling their work in English-speaking territories, then illegally copying that work in those territories isn't depriving the artist of the main tangible benefit he sees from copyright.

Of course, it's not nearly so clear-cut for things like anime or manga, since increasingly large proportions of them are licensed by western companies in the long run, not to mention that there are other benefits that copyright confers, such as the ability to veto particular forms of distribution (in some jurisdictions copyright confers not only explicit legal provisions but also 'moral rights', for example).
(But personally, while I'm careful to buy software and try to respect the spirit of things like CC licenses, I don't feel too bad about watching fansubs, so long as I go out and buy the DVDs if I ever want to watch that thing again.)
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Re: Using Copyright Materials

#15 Post by Lee_Hitsugaya » Mon Jan 07, 2008 1:16 pm

Ahh, my one nemisis. The 'copyright' law. -_-' I remember on youtube I had an account called aang11. I made about 37 AMVs, 7 of which were flagged, and after that I was banned from youtube. It locked my e-mail out too so I couldn't re-create it. SO I GOT A NEW E-MAIL! 8) hehe. Yeah man, IMO, makinng it with copyrighted music/pics is doable, but highly illigal. However im not sure how the "fair-use policy" will see it. So it's a bit of a "beware" sign for people. But thats just my opinion.
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