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Subject: Using screenshots from an app game for artwork? rss

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Johan Dahlberg
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I was inspired by a mobile game and have created a card game based on it. The card game is different enough not to clash with the mobile game, and I could just change the artwork and title and they would have nothing to do with one another. However, I LOVE the artwork in the mobile game, and for my own prototype I used screenshots from the game as artwork on the cards.

I'm curious if anyone else has done this. Obviously, I can't publish the game commercially using someone else's art, but can I use this prototype for myself, or am I crossing a line? What if I bring it to a play group? What if a photo of it is published on my friends Instagram account (as an example?

Bottom line: Where does the line go?

I'm using The Game Crafter to print my games, but of course I don't need to ever hit the "publish" button if all I want is a single copy for myself
 
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alex bermudez
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Pretty sure that if you don't try to make any money off of it, any artwork you can find is fine. If you start selling it with "stolen"/unlicensed artwork, then you'll be looking for trouble.

So do what you want, but if you ever want to sell it, you'll have to change any artwork you didn't pay for.
 
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Rob Harper
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smackwell wrote:
Pretty sure that if you don't try to make any money off ofdistribute it, any artwork you can find is fine. If you start sellingdistributing it with "stolen"/unlicensed artwork, then you'll be looking for trouble.

So do what you want, but if you ever want to selldistribute it, you'll have to change any artwork you didn't pay for.


FTFY

If you have serious concerns you should consult with an IP lawyer in your jurisdiction.

This varies around the world, but in general, if you are using something for your own personal use, you are almost certainly fine, and nobody will ever find out and hassle you for it anyway -- though it's not always strictly legal. As soon as you distribute something you don't have rights to, you start needing to pay attention. Not making money may not prevent you getting a nastygram from an IP holder once you come to their attention.

In practice, many game designers do use "borrowed" artwork and some do use that when playtesting, showing publishers, etc. I'm not advising this is a good thing to do, but if you do, it is a good idea to be clear that you do not own the rights to this artwork.
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Johan Dahlberg
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smackwell wrote:
Pretty sure that if you don't try to make any money off of it, any artwork you can find is fine. If you start selling it with "stolen"/unlicensed artwork, then you'll be looking for trouble.

So do what you want, but if you ever want to sell it, you'll have to change any artwork you didn't pay for.


I would never try to sell unlicensed artwork, but I also wouldn't want to get caught up in something for using it personally/for a prototype In this case, I will keep it to my self and enjoy the game with the beautiful artwork, and if I want to publish I'll create something new with a different look.
 
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B C Z
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Why not contact the mobile app developers?
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Michael Aldridge
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Jozii wrote:
Bottom line: Where does the line go?


The line goes wherever the owner of the artwork wants it to go. It's their artwork. If you keep it under the radar (such as creating a copy for yourself), it is unlikely that the IP owner is going to know. If they find out, many won't care. A few will, and in those cases, typically they will politely ask you to stop using it (in the form of a cease and desist letter).

Note that IANAL, but I do have quite a bit of experience with creating and licensing IP.
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Jeremy Lennert
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BosonMichael wrote:
The line goes wherever the owner of the artwork wants it to go. It's their artwork.

This is not entirely true; for instance, the US has fair use, which lets you do certain things with copyrighted work even if the artist doesn't want you to.

The artist can choose to let you do more than would be allowed by default, but they can't choose to allow less.
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Michael Aldridge
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Antistone wrote:
BosonMichael wrote:
The line goes wherever the owner of the artwork wants it to go. It's their artwork.

This is not entirely true; for instance, the US has fair use, which lets you do certain things with copyrighted work even if the artist doesn't want you to.

The artist can choose to let you do more than would be allowed by default, but they can't choose to allow less.


That's great... but this isn't something that falls under fair use. I could go into great detail about all manner of other things that don't apply but didn't bother for obvious reasons.
 
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Jeremy Lennert
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Fair use is a balancing test, so it's pretty hard to say what it covers without more detail, but I would say at least some of what the OP proposed is very likely to be fair use.

e.g. taking screenshots of your video game and using them strictly for your personal enjoyment is almost certainly fair use; the fact that your enjoyment involves putting them on your prototype game is probably not even relevant until you show it to someone else.
 
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Johan Dahlberg
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I had never heard of fair use, but a quick google search indicates that it can be used for criticism and parodies, to protect an open society in the same way as free speech. As far as I can make out this is more for use of copyrighted artwork publicly. Using it personally, behind closed doors without the artists knowledge, might not be "fair use" in that sense but totally OK anyway because it's not on display anywhere
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Brendan Riley
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We see these threads so often. Don't use copyrighted work in your work. Fair Use is a narrow window (in US copyright law) and the test involves lawyers and lawsuits.

Just use creative commons or public domain art for your prototype. Then you don't have to worry about this stuff. There's a lot of freely available art if you just look around a little bit, and if you're trying to sell to publishers, you don't need final art anyway -- just flavor stuff.
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