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Is it illegal to make a video game clone
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beachbum111111
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Default Is it illegal to make a video game clone - 05-28-2012, 01:56 PM

Hey I was going to make a game like GTA in unity and sell it on steam but someone told that it is illegal and I would get sued. Is it true? I am not using any of the original games code so would I have to pay rockstar royalties?


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meeatpizza
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Default 05-28-2012, 02:25 PM

No they have plenty of games like GTA


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Mr Kidnapper
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Default 05-28-2012, 02:47 PM

It's not illegal to make a video game clone in the idea that it is just like playing another video game (WoW Clone etc.)
People in Crydev are giving a shot at making a GTA-like game (albeit with better graphics) daily.
What the person that told you it was illegal, meant that you cannot copy their intellectual property, that is the GTA franchise itself. Assuming that they don't exist in real life, you cannot copy people, locations, storyline, or make references to the game directly. By that I mean sticking "GTA" somewhere in there. You could do what the Japanese do when they reference anything and change a few letters, like WAIO or WacDonalds or PizzaFat.
It's also more obviously illegal to use assets from their game. When I say assets, this is a very vague term. Crytek seems to refer to assets as "anything that isn't a part of CryEngine itself."
Either way, besides the game engine, everything should be made by you and your team: models, animations, sounds, etc.
   
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beachbum111111
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Default 05-28-2012, 02:50 PM

This is what I put to him and what he responded:


Me: Hey I decided I am going to make a gta minecraft hybrid. but I will need your help. Try to look up on the unity forums how to make a 3rd person shooter and a random level generator and give me the information so I can make the game. I will give you a free copy of the game if you help me.


They guy who told me its illigal: I will not be a part of your illegal activities sorry. Look up online what copyright infringement is. You are combining 2 copyrighted video games! GTA has a trademark and copyright. Minecraft is also copyright and trademark. If you want to make a copyright infringing video game then go ahead but im not going to be a part of it. Selling the game that you make with 2 copyright video games will also get you thousands if not millions of fines, most likeley jail time and then you will have to pay royaltys to both Rockstar games whatever other company helped them and then to the minecraft company. Sorry but you are going to get in so much trouble doing this. I am not going to be a part of it. Want to make it do it by yourself
Multiple people agree with me on the fact that you WILL GET SUED for making a game like this without permission, breaking copyright laws and so forth. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_infringement http://www.lib.purdue.edu/uco/Copyri...penalties.html


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Last edited by x2495iiii; 05-29-2012 at 12:20 PM.
   
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Mr Kidnapper
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Default 05-28-2012, 03:23 PM

He's full of it. He doesn't understand legal terms.
Royalties are a fee paid in licensing—that is when you've been given permission to use their product or an asset of their product in yours, and you pay a percentage of your sales to them like a tax.
They cannot give you "thousands of fines" or any fines at all. They can sue you, and the government will give you one fine. That fine may be in thousands or millions though. This is assuming that what you were doing is illegal. It isn't.
A registered trademark is the idea that the government will punish people when they try to use your product's name in anything. For example, Harry Potter is a trademark therefore no one but the publishing company that produces Harry Potter can authorize a game called "Harry Potter", or any character within the series of books.
A copyright is a right immediately given to you once your idea has been published. Posting the idea on the internet is also a form of publishing. It is the idea that no one can legally copy and distribute your works without your permission, and you hold it for as long as you live +~70 years. Permission can mean a lot of things. ZUN, for example is extremely relaxed and has given people permission to use everything that he makes so long as you credit him as the original author. It's probably the reason for his success.

Now, I have no idea how a GTA-Minecraft game would work, but it's fine as long as you don't use their names or assets in anything except your own speech, "I thought I'd create a game that was like GTA and Minecraft." If everything in the game can be proven to be made by you and your team, then you're OK as I said in the last post.

Last edited by x2495iiii; 05-29-2012 at 11:58 AM.
   
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beachbum111111
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Default 05-28-2012, 04:00 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Kidnapper View Post
He's full of it. He doesn't understand legal terms.
Royalties are a fee paid in licensing—that is when you've been given permission to use their product or an asset of their product in yours, and you pay a percentage of your sales to them like a tax.
They cannot give you "thousands of fines" or any fines at all. They can sue you, and the government will give you one fine. That fine may be in thousands or millions though. This is assuming that what you were doing is illegal. It isn't.
A registered trademark is the idea that the government will punish people when they try to use your product's name in anything. For example, Harry Potter is a trademark therefore no one but the publishing company that produces Harry Potter can authorize a game called "Harry Potter", or any character within the series of books.
A copyright is a right immediately given to you once your idea has been published. Posting the idea on the internet is also a form of publishing. It is the idea that no one can legally copy and distribute your works without your permission, and you hold it for as long as you live +~70 years. Permission can mean a lot of things. ZUN, for example is extremely relaxed and has given people permission to use everything that he makes so long as you credit him as the original author. It's probably the reason for his success.

Now, I have no idea how a GTA-Minecraft game would work, but it's fine as long as you don't use their names or assets in anything except your own speech, "I thought I'd create a game that was like GTA and Minecraft." If everything in the game can be proven to be made by you and your team, then you're OK as I said in the last post.
That's what I thought. If what he said was true then wouldn't there be no FPS games because they would all be "copying" wolfinstine 3d?


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Last edited by x2495iiii; 05-29-2012 at 12:19 PM.
   
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DensetsuNoKaboom
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Default 05-28-2012, 05:22 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Kidnapper View Post
He's full of s@#$.
I not-so-humbly request that you edit your post right now.


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jediaction
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Default 05-29-2012, 09:33 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Kidnapper View Post
He's full of s**t.

Watch your language.

And to the conversation above....You can make a copy game of GTA or Minecraft or whatever, it's not copyright unless you use material/content created by Mojang or Rockstar. Most people consider those games "rip offs" of the real deal because it's so obvious to see that it wasn't their original idea.


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x2495iiii
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Default 05-29-2012, 12:16 PM

It does depend somewhat on just how similar your game is to the other two games. If, for example, you use a distinct gameplay mechanic unique to (and therefore, owned by) GTA or Minecraft, it's possible they may try to sue anyway, like how Crazy Taxi sued Simpsons Taxi for using an arrow to direct the player (legitimate, since Simpsons Taxi is, effectively, a copy of Crazy Taxi but with Simpsons characters). Personally, I strongly doubt Rockstar or Notch will bother trying to squish the efforts of a lone independent developer.

Bottom line: Go for it.


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David B
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Default 05-29-2012, 04:42 PM

Other than the fact that you want to sell that game that you want to make, whereas we post it for free here, what is the difference between selling a game that you make in Unity on Steam and re-making the game in Alice and posting it on a forum? Sure, you are profiting from it if you go the Unity route, but you are still stealing both, the storyline for the game and the name of the game, when you do an Alice re-make.

Take Jediaction's Halo Games (if you don't like that I am using you as an example jedi, let me know, and I will remove this at once), for example. Sure, he does not make any money at all from them, but still, he has taken the storyline, the name, the characters, etc., etc., etc. Jediaction has taken every aspect of the game, and recreated it in Alice. At the same time, he did not pay any royalties to the original creators of the game or anything. Does this mean that if I own Halo, and jediaction remakes a version of Halo that steals every aspect of the game, although he is not profiting from it, I have the right to sue him? I was just wondering.

DISCLAIMER: I am not just picking on jediaction. This same scenario can be reused over and over again on many different game remakes that people have posted on the forums.
   
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