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How can I avoide product Copyright laws?

I have been asked to make a product based off of a game to market, I want to do this but I am unsure how close I can make this product to the game without encountering copyright, Any suggestion or ideas where I could look?

Many thanks

orksecurity2 years ago
There are potential issues with both copyright and trademark.

Copyright: You can't copy artwork directly. There are limits on how much text you can copy how directly. You probably can't copy audio/music without paying licensing fees, even if you re-perform it. You probably can't do anything which might give the impression that this is in any way an "official" tie-in to the game.

Trademark: Depends on exactly what has been trademarked, but in general: You can't copy logos directly. You can't copy characters directly even if you redraw them.

There are special-case exceptions for these -- fair use, parody, educational -- but those are very limited, and you definitely want a lawyer's opinion before attempting to assert those.

There's a lot of good information about both copyright and trademark on the web. The Library of Congress website has an excellent discussion of copyright for written works and art. Music gets a lot more complicated; the ASCAP/BMI websites have some information, as does the Harry Fox Agency (which handles "mechanical license").

In the end, remember that this is civil law. You can _always_ be sued; the only question is whether you're likely to win or lose such a suit.... and, unfortunately, whether you're able to afford to say "sure, I'll see you in court." If you aren't sure, get expert advice; if you can't afford expert advice, you may not want to take chances.

Without knowing what the product is and how it references the game, that's about the best advice I can give you.
lemonie2 years ago

Be wary of "passing off"

L
Kiteman2 years ago
Simple: don't copy it.

You can be similar, but not identical, especially regarding distinctive marks and playing pieces.

Have a look at Monopoly versus Make-your-own-Opoly.

The latter is very similar to the former, but made by a different company.

How similar though is where the lawyers come in......
Some of the answer depends on jurisdiction you are in.

Steve
thund3rcock (author)  steveastrouk2 years ago
Hmm dam, Any recommendations on how I can find out?
I can't advise you, since I don't know which jurisdiction you are in.....
FoolishSage2 years ago
I would suggest a Copyright lawyer but if you have a friend/relative/friend of a relative who is a lawyer they might be able to point you in the right direction for cheap.
Pro

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