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Author Topic: Legal issues?  (Read 13973 times)
solarnoise
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« on: January 07, 2010, 03:16:00 AM »

in this topic:  sneaky business >.>

I was wondering what you guys thought about the legal issues in doing a fan game... even Brian Moriarty doesn't own the rights to LOOM or anything to do with it, it all belongs to Lucas.

I'm just thinking of when Square shut down the Chrono Trigger 3D remake.... it was a very sad thing to see that beautiful game go.

I've been pondering what to do about my own project... do I change the names of characters?  Make it more of a "spiritual" sequel?  You never know if the wrong person/lawyer out there will come by and rain on your project   :-/
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oferbr
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« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2010, 04:42:00 AM »

Yeah, but we are not the only ones doing a fanmade sequel to Loom.
Besides, the game will be released for free, so it's not like wer'e gaining any profits or something.
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abisso
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« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2010, 05:49:00 AM »

Excuse me... I don't remember any of you two... pleased to meet you, btw!

I don't know which projects are you talking about, guys, but I may speak for the one I work on: I'm worried about the legal issues too, but it all depends if doing our fan-game will be considered as a possible loss of money for Lucasarts. The fact that it's free-ware doesn't necessarily mean it won't damage Lucas. Just think about this possibility: Lucas is planning to do a Loom sequel. You, fan-gamemaker, release a good fan-game in the meantime: some players could choose to play your fan-game instead of BUYING the Lucasarts' one.

If this is not the case, doing a fan-game of a no-more-profitable game is a benefit for the owner of the copyrights, instead. You make free advertising for them, and possibly convince some people to buy the original game too.

I hope the case will be the latter, for what concerns our project.

P.S. Changing names isn't enough. If they want to sue you, or force you to shut down, they can. The only hope is that they don't care.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2010, 08:36:00 AM by abisso » Logged

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solarnoise
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« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2010, 09:28:00 AM »

Thanks abisso.

I think what worries me is that a fan game can be shut down for the sole fact that it uses copyright material/ideas/etc.  So in fact just calling someone "Bobbin" in a game could be grounds for a cease & desist from Lucas....whether it's a completely free, fan made game or not.

I'm going to have Moriarty call his "people" at Lucas and probe a bit about how they feel on the matter.
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Da_Duke2000
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« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2010, 12:53:00 PM »

I have made many posts directly on the LucasFilm forums indicating that this project is in existence and have not once had anyone contact me threatening me to close down the project. As far as contacting the Lucas "people", my advice would be to simply let sleeping dogs lie.

Beyond this, Abisso is correct, that it does not matter if you game is freeware or not, the fact that the game could reflect negatively on the franchise is enough warrant legal action.

Personally, I think we're in the clear. I would think that Brian Moriarty wouldn't have even this far in offering to assist your project if he shared the same concerns you do. But, if contact is made to the Lucas World, I hope you'll share the response!
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abisso
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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2010, 01:29:00 AM »

Contacting Lucas directly is like going to the police saying: "I'm planning this theft at the Central Bank of Switzerland... is this fine with you guys?". Well, not exactly like this, but you could give them an easy way of discouraging you, by simply answering your email.

Obviously, you're free to do whatever you want, and you have the support of Moriarty, but bear in mind that the only thing to hope for is their carelessness.
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ylvaon
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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2010, 04:49:00 AM »

Lucas is pretty bitchy about fan-made sequels. Most of them are not of quality they would consider threatening, but I do know of some cases where they shut down projects. They're not a bunch to be messed with.

I can't imagine Moriarty stopping them. Imagine yourself doing a remake of Monkey I 2 years ago... How would it impact Monkey I SE that came out last year...
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ylvaon
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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2010, 04:50:00 AM »

I guess the best idea is to lay low, finish the game, and then let it run on the web. They cannot do anything then.
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Da_Duke2000
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« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2010, 12:40:00 PM »

Agreed! Let the internet distribute until no one can stop us! Muahaha. But I do agree with the 'let sleeping dogs lie' scenario.
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ylvaon
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« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2010, 07:51:00 AM »

Point is: don't flap your Loom sequel right into Lucas' face. That has proven to be annoying for the bunch. Some amount of advertising is ok, it would seem, though...
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Da_Duke2000
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« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2010, 06:49:00 AM »

I also don't feel Brian has any problem with Loom sequels and would have warned us off a long time ago. the email I received from him in 2005 was a "Thank you, and good luck" type of email. And with his work with solarnoise, it makes sense. Long as we're not profiting.
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ylvaon
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« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2010, 07:17:00 AM »

Brian couldn't do anything even if he had anything against fan made Loom games, since he owns nothing regarding Loom, save the honor of being known as the creator of the game. Lucas is the bloodhound in this affair.
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selmiak
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« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2010, 09:45:00 AM »

did you notice that about 2 years ago a zak mc kracken sequel was released and no legal action wasmade about that. So I think the Lucas Arts people will enjoy playing a fangame once in a while  Wink
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solarnoise
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« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2010, 06:24:00 AM »

Hi all, wanted to give a slight update on this

First of all, Brian definitely is NOT against Loom projects being taken on by fans... if anything he finds it flattering, from what I've gathered.

Second of all, about the legal inquiry.  You have to understand that we absolutely have to probe the issue because my college claims rights to all projects.  Even though we're being advised by Brian, the previous poster was right in that he has zero say in any legal matter.

Luckily our school has lawyers at disposal for just this exact thing... not the scary court-room type lawyers, the ones that just want to make sure the student projects can go smoothly.

I can assure you that our inquiry is very specific and is only regarding our particular case.  If we get word back that they are NOT cool with us using the Loom IP in our game, it will become more of a spiritual sequel.

Either way, whatever happens to our project has no bearing on yours or any other "underground" projects... just make them, don't ask for money, release it on the internet, and you should be fine.

Ours was just a little trickier since  there is press involved and the school claims ownership.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2010, 06:24:00 AM by solarnoise » Logged
Da_Duke2000
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« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2010, 12:21:00 PM »

Yuck! The idea of giving up my hard work and creativity to a legal entity sounds vile. But! You get the support of a college, which is wonderful.

Thats one reason why I like not having anyone to answer to, if Luca$Arts chooses to contact us, and be all cranky, I wont have to change my storyline, only our real names  Wink.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2010, 12:21:00 PM by Da_Duke2000 » Logged
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