Is This Illigal?

okay. say someone where to make a game about a specific person. lets say robin hood (if he was still alive). if i put out the game would he be able to sew me? i dont even know if i spelled “sew” right but w/e. anyways. so would he be able to do it or could i just say “maybe its another guy named Robin Hood who stole from the poor and gave to the rich.”… or would i even have to do that?

If the game was about a friend of yours, probably not. Ben Affleck - maybe. Bill Gates - expect to be dead within a week. Although a few of those are around… :slight_smile:

Well usually you want to have the persons consent before doing something about them, and if its a copyrighted thing yes you can be sued. Like if you were to make a game about Master Chief killing … armed pillows in an asteroid field you could be sued.

Famous guys, maybe, so long as they arn’t scientologists.

Copywrited original characters, no… although some don’t mind.

Lucas for example won’t care if you make a star wars fan flick… provided you don’t profit from it.

If the story is old, check to see if it is in public domain. If it is, you should be able to do what you want with the character.

Technically, its not illegal.

You can name your character Brad Pitt and make it relatively similar. Real life names are NOT copyrighted nor trademarked. However, if you do a model of said person and do use their image, then you could get sued, not for their name, but for their image.

Usually, it’s better to get consent of said person before doing so, but if the model is different for the most part (Brad Pitt is not a long haired, 70’s rock band singer looking guy who uses BFGs to kill everything) it’d be safe.

Satire names are better. Brat Pete, for instance.

okay, we all know whats going on here, and the answer is yes. yes you can make a game about me, but i must say your not the first to try and capture my sexiness in man made art.

its like this,
people look at me and instantly believe in God because they realize only a God could make something so sexy. :stuck_out_tongue:

here is some concept art if your making a third person shooter

see? i even have my own gun.

The answer depends a lot on whether the specific person is real or fictional, and, if real, whether the person is a celebrity or just an ordinary joe. If you are dealing with a fictional character, say, Odysseus, then you’re probably home free. Odysseus’ story has been around for over 3,000 years. It’s pretty solidly in public domain.

If you’re talking Sherlock Holmes, you’d have to check the publication dates, most have fallen into public domain, but someone got caught republishing a Sherlock Holmes story that was first published posthumuosly, and Conan Doyle’s estate sued and won royalties.

If you are thinking about making a game based on a real person, you get into the area not only of copyright (pertaining to the persons image, photograph, video recording,etc.) but also the person’s right to privacy or personality right. In this area, celebrities generally have less strong rights than the ordinary joe, and there is a conflicting artistic freedom of expression right that may kick in to cloud the issue, especially if you are doing a parody of a celebrity.

Ordinary non-celebrities have fairly strong rights to privacy, which translates to either the right to control what the public learns about them (right to publicity) or the right to be left alone and not be exploited by third parties. If some ordinary person wound up as a recognizable game character they could sue for royalties and damages and probably win. The best course of action when dealing with a non-celebrity is to ask permission (Although sometimes people are so desperate for attention they give you permission before you even ask).

A lot depends on your jurisdiction, in the US, this is mainly controlled by state law, and most state laws vary, as does case law, which of course is particular to the individual state. If you’re serious about persuing it, you either hope you fly under the radar (which is an odd choice, since, in effect, you’re hoping your game is not successful) or you consult a lawyer about how to go about getting litigation proof permission in your state or country. Many lawyer’s associations do things like this pro-bono, since artists are notoriously underpaid, and if they help you out when you’re just starting, you’ll probably call on them when your game goes gold and you’re rich and famous.

erm. what about chuck norris… can i do him without getting sued? if i can… well… does anyone know chuck norris’s e-mail? :slight_smile:

Oh and ROTC- we must be twins cuz we look exactly the same.

a pic of me- ![file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Andrew/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot-1.jpg](file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Andrew/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot-1.jpg)![file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Andrew/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot-2.jpg](file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Andrew/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot-2.jpg)

Slander is a only risk.

if its a positive game i see no harm. if it is mocking the person then there is risk associated with it.

It may just turn against you if its cruel though. if its fun, i don’t think its a problem (as in fun for the person its about).

oh yeah i think chuck would enjoy the game… :). it makes him look like a god man

I mean, just look at what South Park does all the time.

Holy crap. I was just thinking “He’s probably planning on making a Chuck Norris game” when I read this post. Seriously.

But yeah, people make fun of Chuck Norris all the time, and it’s perfectly legal. You can make fun of pretty much any celebrity in the public eye and get away with it (like Dan said, how do you think South Park survives?)

so, what you are saying is robin hood is dead?



In your game, everything here must be fact!

thanks guys and yes, im making a chuck norris video game… :). its ganna be made wit torque game engine and use blender for models.

Anything based on a real life person can put you into legal issues for any one of an array of causes.

Classic examples are:-

Celebrities - using their name (and thus fame) as a advertising / marketing attempt to target their fan base and gain higher interest to the general public and / or to endorse a product (like a lot of fragrances are doing at the moment).

Non-important people (such as your friend) -Funnily enough they can still ‘sue’ you, especially if it’s a hate game cause’ they’ll sue you for personal damages. Even in the most friendly of friendly games… So great that everyone loved it and thus loved your friend, he still may not want to become a global success, especially if you are not paying him any royalties when your making big bucks, he’ll sue your ass for good.

Fictional characters - Same as celebrities really. Your taking advantage of someone else’s products /success as a means to make a product with a higher success rate. They’ll sue you for violating /hijacking their trademark, passing off etc… etc… The person that wrote robin hood has the right to make and profit from a robin hood game.

Rule of thumb, always seek permission from the respective owners and get it in writing :slight_smile:

No one’s gonna sue a 15 year old making a hobby game based on star wars, beowolf, brat pit, robin hood and so on. Maybe if you became a millionaire from it,… but unlikely, and at any rate, they’ll just ask for some some royialties first.

I’d be careful if I were you… Chuck Norris might come for revenge…

haha that pic used to be my background wallpaper.

thanks lukus. but if i werent selling it but just using it as more of a test game. could i put it online and still get away with it?

Pays to carefull these days . . . heed all advice!

If your not profiting from it, these days you’ll simply be asked to remove it via a cease and desist letter (which, if you don’t already know; is a letter simply saying remove it and never put it back up or face legal action)

Generally speaking, you should be fine if its just a ‘test’ game. by all accounts, no one will really care.