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Subject: Using well known names rss

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Brian Wells
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Hi,

I was wondering what is the situation if you want to make a game based on a TV show, movie or book. Do you need permission from the owners to use the TV show/movie/books name or is it OK?

Regards
Brian
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James Rountrey
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Complexity is the only thing that keeps us from predicting every second of our future. hmmm!
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“ I am a determinist. As such, I do not believe in free will. " -Albert Einstein
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yes you must buy the rights to anything popular these days.
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K S
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I advise you not to rely on legal guidance provided by unknown strangers on the internet.
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Paul DeStefano
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You absolutely need permission, and often need to pay rights, even if you don't make money on it.

I've worked on licensed games in the Star Trek and Lord Of The Rings properties with Wizkids. There are hoops to jump through.
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James Rountrey
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Complexity is the only thing that keeps us from predicting every second of our future. hmmm!
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wamsp wrote:
I advise you not to rely on legal guidance provided by internet randos.


I would avoid using that word in a friendly environment. It has a derogatory connotation. I assume you weren't trying to be rude.
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Jeff Saxton
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After all, gas can is my middle name. Eh, not really.
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Heck, nowadays you even need to have licensing to use many dead celebrities in name or likeness.
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D. Shannon Berry
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scorchers1003 wrote:
Hi,

I was wondering what is the situation if you want to make a game based on a TV show, movie or book. Do you need permission from the owners to use the TV show/movie/books name or is it OK?

Regards
Brian


Michael Aldridge
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could probably give you a good idea of what a massive headache this is.

Also, not sure why anyone is acting like this is new, unusual, or specific to 'popular' titles. Yes, you must (and have always had to) get permission to use someone else's likeness, trademark, or intellectual property in a for-profit venture.
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Trent Boardgamer
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wamsp wrote:
I advise you not to rely on legal guidance provided by internet randos.


Rely on no, but to get pointed in the correct direction to investigate in the first place doesn't hurt.
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K S
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JRountrey wrote:
I would avoid using that word in a friendly environment. It has a derogatory connotation. I assume you weren't trying to be rude.

You are correct that I intended no offense. I meant to suggest against acting on the legal advice of any commenters, including myself. However, I now realize that at the time I left the message, you were the only other commenter to respond may have interpreted the remark to be aimed at you specifically; this was not intended. I have edited my first post accordingly.
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Juan Valdez
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Bearhug78 wrote:
wamsp wrote:
I advise you not to rely on legal guidance provided by internet randos.


Rely on no, but to get pointed in the correct direction to investigate in the first place doesn't hurt.


The correct direction is to talk to a lawyer who specializes in IP licensing.
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J Holmes
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scorchers1003 wrote:
Hi,

I was wondering what is the situation if you want to make a game based on a TV show, movie or book. Do you need permission from the owners to use the TV show/movie/books name or is it OK?

Regards
Brian

*cough* Scary Terry *cough*
 
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Trent Boardgamer
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mtngrown wrote:
Bearhug78 wrote:
wamsp wrote:
I advise you not to rely on legal guidance provided by internet randos.


Rely on no, but to get pointed in the correct direction to investigate in the first place doesn't hurt.


The correct direction is to talk to a lawyer who specializes in IP licensing.


...and that would be getting pointed in the correct direction. Given the fact he was asking the question it would safe to assume the OP wouldn't have known to do that in the first place.
 
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Crazed Survivor
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To quote Mr. SOS in the Cunninlynguist's Seasons song,

Mr. SOS wrote:
You even need clearance to sample Jingle Bells
What the hell!


Not to mention Happy Birthday.

So just imagine using names from popular characters!
 
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Trevor Taylor
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If you want to make a serious venture of this, you'll be far better off consulting a lawyer. Any advice you get here isn't going to protet you from any actions you take based on what anyone says. Also, it varies a lot based on where you are based, what the IP is and who owns it and what you plan to do with the IP.

It also really does depend what you mean by based on. You can make a game that is clearly inspired by some intellectually property that is completely legal if you are careful enough. Look at things like VENOM Assault, Smash Up: Cease and Desist or Glenn Drover's Empires: Galactic Rebellion. You can't just use the word Light Sabre, for example. But laser sword is probably fine.

If your efforts are for personal use and never to by published, you can probably do whatever you like without issue. If you want to publish a free game/expansion to something, you might be able to if you approach the property rights owner and ask permission first.

If you want to make a game to sell, it's VERY unlikely you will get to for free, but again you'd need to discuss with the IP owner.

If something is free published and you don't ask permission, you're quite likely to get a cease and desist filed against it, worse you might get sued for loss of earnings and damage to the image of the IP. If you try and make a profit on it, you'll almost definitely get sued for this, but if super-popular they might just sue for % of earnings on it.

In all cases, it's definitely better to ask permission rather than forgiveness (the opposite of the saying, I know!).
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James Clarke
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scorchers1003 wrote:
Hi,

I was wondering what is the situation if you want to make a game based on a TV show, movie or book. Do you need permission from the owners to use the TV show/movie/books name or is it OK?

Regards
Brian


It's a perfectly straightforward proposal to make your own game. I'd say choose any name or theme you want, and don't worry about consents or licences. It sounds like a fun thing to do.

Be careful though if you decide to sell or publish your game. Then you'd be stepping into a legal minefield.

 
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Nate
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Razoupaf wrote:

Not to mention Happy Birthday.

So just imagine using names from popular characters!


Good news! The Happy Birthday Song is now public domain (as of June 28, 2016)!

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Birthday_to_You#2013_law...
 
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Derry Salewski
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JRountrey wrote:
wamsp wrote:
I advise you not to rely on legal guidance provided by internet randos.


I would avoid using that word in a friendly environment. It has a derogatory connotation. I assume you weren't trying to be rude.


legal?
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