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Old 09-10-2014, 08:03 AM   #1   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Is using cut concepts legal for your copyrighted piece of work?

This is something I've been thinking for some time. I'll be using Half-Life 2 as an example. Let's say you're a successful game developer and you find HL2's original story interesting and you want to "remake" it, as in using the planned story, concepts and designs based straight off Valve's unused original ones, but with some name or other small changes here and there because you either need to fill in some holes or make sure it won't be a rip-off at first glance. However when the product comes out, people still find it strikingly similar to HL2's original story, but yet could be interpreted as "coincidentally similar thought process" or "both based off 1984".


But if for some whatever reason Valve decides to sue you for what they suspect (and is actually right) about you ripping off their unused and thrown away ideas (which may or may not be copyrighted or trademarked or whatever legal terms), would they win the lawsuit?
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Old 09-10-2014, 10:43 AM   #2   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Is using cut concepts legal for your copyrighted piece of work?

As far as I know, you can't copyright an idea (ok, patents, but I don't think you can patent a videogame idea or story). So this would be legal, if you don't use the original script or artwork for your actual content.

I think that's how it works. What the community thinks of you selling an idea that someone else made up, that's a different story

Whether they would win a lawsuit, I don't know. Anyone know more?
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Old 09-10-2014, 11:07 AM   #3   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Is using cut concepts legal for your copyrighted piece of work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scratch View Post
As far as I know, you can't copyright an idea (ok, patents, but I don't think you can patent a videogame idea or story). So this would be legal, if you don't use the original script or artwork for your actual content.

I think that's how it works. What the community thinks of you selling an idea that someone else made up, that's a different story

Whether they would win a lawsuit, I don't know. Anyone know more?
Well, by copyright I mean pieces of work that is already proven to be written or drawn by Valve employees.

I think I may have misunderstood your second sentence, but just to make it clear what I mean is that your game features all the things that was supposed to be in HL2 at some point in time like the exact same story (evil space empire captured Earth and polluted the air and drained the seas and humans are now slaves) and layout (city>desert>arctic>city for example) with remade set pieces found in the leak beta (but remade with probably slightly different design other than tweaks for gameplay purposes) or same concepts (XM29 OICW as main assault rifle, gas mask citizens using the exact same design and color other than some graphical changes or updates, synthetic robot things, etc).

Or if you don't know what Half-Life things I'm talking about, you can think of it as if you are making a game that features headless men with their head glued to their hands while the main character has to go to ancient Egypt, then some elemental planets, then a futuristic city planet to kill a crazy space god except it's not called Serious Sam, would a lawsuit against you by Croteam win in CT's favor?


Just curious, has there actually been games that were considered blatant rip-offs of other games?

Last edited by PikaCommando; 09-11-2014 at 03:51 AM.
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Old 09-10-2014, 02:16 PM   #4   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Is using cut concepts legal for your copyrighted piece of work?

Lots. World of Warcraft has been cloned countless times, for example.
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Old 09-10-2014, 05:49 PM   #5   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Is using cut concepts legal for your copyrighted piece of work?

innumerable clones of popcap games, many of which are pay-to-win
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