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Subject: How Did This Get Made? (IP Question) rss

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Michael Miller
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First, I will start by saying that I am extremely interested in this game! I didn't get a chance to back it on KS, but am anxiously awaiting the retail version.

That said, how did this game get made in regards to the artwork style, theme, etc.? Since the Alien franchise has officially licensed games, it's hard to imagine that Nemesis can borrow so much from the franchise without any issues/problems.

I know there are ways around IP issues by citing "parody" for example, however, what is the workaround in this case?
 
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Domenic
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How about https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sc%C3%A8nes_%C3%A0_faire?

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Greg
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It's up to the copyright holder to enforce their copyright. Presumably with Nemesis, the copyright holder (of Alien) either was unaware of the game, or was aware of it and didn't care.

It could also be argued that the "alien" style character has become generic and well-known enough that it's almost like "public domain" (similar to other characters like orcs, elves, vampires etc - no one really owns these). Of course, that's for the courts to decide, and I'm not a lawyer.
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Aaron Bredon
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although Nemesis uses Giger-esque designs, that doesn't necessarily mean the designs infringe on Giger's or the movies' rights.

Giger drew chimeras (combinations of things that exist in the natural world but not in the combinations that he used).
This means that there is less copyrightable than pure original art, as other artists could also use the same or similar source material and come up with similar art.
Since you can't have copyright or trademark protection on something that occurs in nature, there is limited protection for art based on natural forms.
 
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Michael Miller
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Thank you!
 
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Cameron McKenzie
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“Style” and “theme” are not copyrightable, assuming theme means mood, tone, narrative devices, etc and not characters and settings. The characters and settings are completely original.
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Neil Moore
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MasterDinadan wrote:
“Style” and “theme” are not copyrightable, assuming theme means mood, tone, narrative devices, etc and not characters and settings. The characters and settings are completely original.
I'd go even further saying even ideas aren't copyrightable. Obviously it's a bit more complicated than that and one must always be careful borrowing too heavily from any given franchise, particularly if that happens to be one owned by a player with deep pockets like 20th Century Fox. But in all honesty, as someone who had to work with these sort of considerations in the film and tv industry once upon a time, I've never considered AR went anywhere close to breaching copyright.

If you consider how the "look" of sci-fi was developing years ago, on the back of 2001 and Star Wars, space was a decidedly clean and sanitised place before the Nostromo sailed into view. Suddenly the aesthetic got grimy with a real grungy cyber industrial look to it, that if you discard all the naff computer screen graphics in the original 1979 movie, still holds up today. That subsequently a host of movie and computer games then took this look of sci-fi, bears testament to what a seminal movie Alien was. But paying serious homage to something doesn't constitute copyright breach, in fact if it did Hollywood would be at each others throats in a constant battle over copyright infringement. Witness the number of film releases that follow eerily similar plot lines as studios seek to counter the release of a rival film with a similar one of their own.

I remember well the day in film school when a bloke with a legal background gave us a talk on how we should protect our work or more importantly our ideas. His advice was to send ourselves a copy of any work we'd undertaken in a date stamped registered post parcel that could one day be be opened in front of a judge, for them to determine how much of the content inside was originally ours and how much may have been poached by someone else. Bearing in mind that you can't copyright ideas, what the judge would then be looking at would be how similar the story played out, how similar were the characters, their names etc. IIRC his advice was along the lines of "good luck proving any of this", but the key point was, only a collection of thing's might add up to a gross breach of copyright. The more blatantly this was done, the easier would be any third party finding as much. But when, as in this instance, a game has been made that's clearly paying strong homage to the Alien franchise, that's a very long way from copyright infringement and is in fact simply the latest product in a long line of others to have done so.

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David Griffin
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Space Hulk came out the same year as the Aliens game by Leading Edge Games (which had the IP legally). Space Hulk was in it's Warhammer 40K universe and the marines were Imperial Marines in power armor BUT the Genestealers certainly looked a lot like Aliens.

I never heard of a lawsuit vs. Games Workshop by Leading Edge or the Aliens franchise. But then lawsuits don't have to be reasonable (look at the lawsuit that won against Faucet Comics about Captain Marvel -- the second time). So my guess is they could have sued and maybe won or maybe not.

But none of the characters appeared in any game but the official one and the ACTUAL geiger Aliens didn't appear in any but licensed games. So it's really just the idea of aliens vs. marines (or ship crews). I would guess there is a certain element of risk here and there IS a licensed game currently being sold -- AVP. Totally different kind of game, but the differences might be lost on a judge.

??
 
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Fuzzy Llama Reviews
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I did notice some flavor text on some of the cards of lines taken directly from the movie Aliens. I mean it’s very obvious this game is based on that material incredibly heavily. Perhaps it’s the recent fox Disney deal that has kept them from suing?
 
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Kevin De Schutter
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since the Alien franchise died in my opinion after Aliens in 1986, I’m glad This game achieves in recreating that good survival vibe, but Nemesis is more than just an Alien wannabe, and especialy when the other races, which have nothing in common with the Alien franchise at all, appear.
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Mark Hengst II
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I got this OP's feeling with the KS campaign for Lifeform. That not only looks similar to the movie, but shares the name and much of the plot, but the designer said there was no relation. I guess some of this sci-fi stuff is pretty widespread these days.
 
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