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Are Fan Games Illegal?:

All my avs are too large
I found this snippet of info on a different site shortly before I joined up: "15. Don't discuss fan-games. Don't discuss or provide links to fan made (pokemon) games. Such games are illegal by default, and as such are not permitted here at all."

I'd like to look past any sort of reason why I might be on a different forum's rule page for almost no reason, because in the interest of whatever fan game I'm making right now (Which is to say none, because I can't write C++ for beans) I'd like to figure out what they're talking about here. Aren't fan games a form of freeware? I read this site's info on copyright to help clarify the situation, but it didn't exactly help. It may be subjective, I don't know.

Please let me know if I posted in the wrong place - I'm familiar with general forum structure, but I'm a little bit confused as to where things go here.

My other car is a horse.
 2 burnpsy, Sat, 14th Jul '12 8:15:53 PM from Ontario, Canada Relationship Status: Abstaining
The Eternal Fool
Without permission, they are illegal.

Note: No self-respecting company will give you permission unless that was the entire point of the IP (i.e. Touhou).

edited 14th Jul '12 8:16:00 PM by burnpsy

Technically they aren't legal. Most companies just don't give a fuck though.
blah blah exploding boats
 4 Enlong, Sat, 14th Jul '12 8:21:41 PM from The Underground Facility Relationship Status: is commanded toŚ WANK!
Court Dragon
Are they illegal if the guys making it make no money off of it? I am reminded of fan webcomics or fanfic.
I have a message from another time...
 5 burnpsy, Sat, 14th Jul '12 8:22:03 PM from Ontario, Canada Relationship Status: Abstaining
The Eternal Fool
At the same time, the remaining companies will give you a cease and desist after they see your progress, so the energy put towards fangames is generally best put towards making a similar game that isn't a fangame.

[up]No, those are illegal too. And someone, at least, is making money from ads in those cases.

edited 14th Jul '12 8:22:54 PM by burnpsy

rrw
depend how you view it.

is Fanart Illegal?
hi
 7 Clarste, Sat, 14th Jul '12 8:26:05 PM Relationship Status: Non-Canon
Three Steps
Fan games aren't inherently illegal. It really depends on the circumstances, but just the basic idea of making a game and distributing without a publisher isn't illegal.

Based on your context, it sounds like you're talking about Pokemon rom hacks though. Those are definitely illegal, because they're essentially using the original code. While they're modifying values and maybe even adding art, basic architecture is usually the official game. So... they're redistributing a modified version of the official game, which is obviously piracy.

A more gray area would be simply taking the IP and making your own completely original work with it. I don't think this is technically illegal unless you're selling it, but the original owners are in danger of losing their trademark unless they ask you to stop. And if they ask then they can sue you for not stopping. This is slightly different from being a "crime" though.

edited 14th Jul '12 8:29:50 PM by Clarste

 8 Ira The Squire, Sun, 15th Jul '12 4:18:50 AM from No idea. Measuring speed
Phyrexian Dalek
[up][up][up] Are Expies illegal?
 9 burnpsy, Sun, 15th Jul '12 4:27:19 AM from Ontario, Canada Relationship Status: Abstaining
The Eternal Fool
[up]I'm fairly sure that the changes made when otherwise copying the character wholsesale saves it there.

Actually, that is what saves it. The few differences are just enough to call it something different.

edited 15th Jul '12 4:28:36 AM by burnpsy

 10 Ira The Squire, Sun, 15th Jul '12 4:43:53 AM from No idea. Measuring speed
Phyrexian Dalek
Awesome.

-sets off to write a cross-over fanfic with just all the names changed-
 11 Recon 5, Sun, 15th Jul '12 2:00:45 PM from Southeast Asia
Avvie-free for life!
[up] The effort of changing all the names and having them all make sense, especially in a crossover, entitles you to call it an original work.

 12 Mukora, Sun, 15th Jul '12 4:19:58 PM from a place Relationship Status: Love is an open door
Uniocular
Fangames are in the same grey area fanfiction and fanart are. Technically they violate most international copyright laws, but if you aren't making money off them, most people won't give two shits.
 13 Ira The Squire, Sun, 15th Jul '12 4:23:16 PM from No idea. Measuring speed
Phyrexian Dalek
[up][up] That makes original work sound a lot easier than it should be.
 14 Tam H 70, Sun, 15th Jul '12 4:30:49 PM from 合計虐殺 Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
War ALWAYS changes. Man does not.
To answer the OP, I bloody hope not, or I will ever get to play Fallout: Equestria for realzies.
 15 Journeyman, Sun, 15th Jul '12 4:33:34 PM from Here and there.
It's the Over Lord!
Many great works of literature were little more than fanfiction that someone worked really hard on. It isn't difficult to do original work as long as you have enough influences to work from.

A crossover fic wouldn't have a copycat plot from either of the original works anyway, you'd have to think of a plausible way for the two to combine. Change the names of the characters, and maybe minor traits like food preferences or the little atmospheric things that make the story fun, and you really aren't writing anything that was more than inspired by the original two works.
When the hammer falls and your world shatters, I'll be there to cut the handle and pick up your pieces.
I certainly hope not, because I may help some fellow fans make a fan game. With no intentions to sell it whatsoever.

 17 burnpsy, Sun, 15th Jul '12 7:27:53 PM from Ontario, Canada Relationship Status: Abstaining
The Eternal Fool
[up]/[up][up][up] Well, if you'd read the thread, they are. They most certainly are.

edited 15th Jul '12 7:28:16 PM by burnpsy

 18 Thunderchin, Sun, 15th Jul '12 7:49:44 PM from Far Away from Ass to Kick and Gum to Chew
Thunderchin
Fan works (fangames, fanart, fanfiction, fan webcomics, fanimation, Let's Plays of video games, the like) aren't illegal so long as you acknowledge the copyright holders, you don't make a profit off the work, and you don't market them as official franchise works. And always, always, ALWAYS obey a cease and desist order IMMEDIATELY.
Anyone got some ass for me to kick and some bubblegum for me to chew?
 19 burnpsy, Sun, 15th Jul '12 8:03:38 PM from Ontario, Canada Relationship Status: Abstaining
The Eternal Fool
[up]I actually laughed when I read that. You contradicted yourself.

If you are in a position where they can justifiably send a cease and desist, you are breaking the law. Fanworks are only legal with the owners' permission, which would mean that they can't send a C&D, since they permitted you to create what you did.

The only reason you don't see cease and desists thrown around more than they already are, to every single fanwork in existence, is the anonymity of the internet and how they want to save their money for important times to send Cease and Desists.

edited 15th Jul '12 8:05:38 PM by burnpsy

 20 Thunderchin, Sun, 15th Jul '12 8:05:55 PM from Far Away from Ass to Kick and Gum to Chew
Thunderchin
[up] Technically, I didn't contradict myself. You could be perfectly law-abiding, but if the owner of the IP doesn't like what you've fan-written for his franchise he can send a C&D.
Anyone got some ass for me to kick and some bubblegum for me to chew?
 21 Napoleon De Cheese, Sun, 15th Jul '12 8:09:06 PM from Valencia, Venezuela
 22 burnpsy, Sun, 15th Jul '12 8:14:44 PM from Ontario, Canada Relationship Status: Abstaining
The Eternal Fool
[up]Fanworks are under the same legal restrictions in Canada and Japan. Care to enlighten us as to anywhere other than China that doesn't afford this level of protection?
 23 Ira The Squire, Sun, 15th Jul '12 8:32:43 PM from No idea. Measuring speed
Phyrexian Dalek
To be fair, I found that restriction to be kind of silly. So I can get away with it by just doing a cross-over with the names changed? How's that any much different from a proper cross-over fanfic (assuming that the name-changes are to the point where the character is still recognizable)?
 24 burnpsy, Sun, 15th Jul '12 8:54:03 PM from Ontario, Canada Relationship Status: Abstaining
The Eternal Fool
Actually, just the names aren't enough if you're using a visual medium, in which case you have the make the character look different enough, too.

The point being that they won't allow you to directly copy anything, but they don't want the laws to be overreaching, either.
 25 Mukora, Sun, 15th Jul '12 9:00:35 PM from a place Relationship Status: Love is an open door
Uniocular
Like I said, it is illegal, but no one gives two shits. Because why should they? Unless the fanwork is being made for profit, it isn't hurting the creators, and taking the time and money to track down people simply for showing their love of your work is a waste of resources.

@Napolean: There are international copyright laws, though, and fanworks break them.

edited 15th Jul '12 9:02:11 PM by Mukora

Total posts: 48
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