Copyright Infringement

Discussion in 'App Store Business, Legal and Marketing' started by xArtx, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. xArtx macrumors 6502a

    Mar 30, 2012
    Hi Guys,
    I've observed that whenever there's a clone of a game like "Space Invaders"
    or "Pacman", the author tends to give the clone an unlicensed name such as
    "Invaders" or "Puckman", but it also occurs to me that they almost always go
    ahead and rip off the graphics, and even the sound.

    When have you ever seen a Pacman clone where Pacman isn't a yellow circle
    with the slice removed for the mouth?
    It's also common for a Space Invaders clone to use original sprites and sound.

    How do they get away with this?
    Cheers, Art.
  2. grapes911 Moderator emeritus


    Jul 28, 2003
    Citizens Bank Park
    Puck Man is the original name of the Pac-Man games. But that's probably besides the point.
  3. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    Click the report button in the app store to submit a complaint to Apple or shoot an email to the copyright holders.

    IDK how they get away with it in the first place, but if their rule/law breaking behavior is interfering with your lawful sales, I wouldn't hesitate.
  4. xArtx thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 30, 2012
    It's me that wants to do the infringement :D
    I want to reproduce Space Invaders sprites,
    but only if it's not going to get me into trouble.
    The game is totally different though.
  5. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    Why? It doesn't seem like imagining your own sprites would be that difficult, particularly if you're planning on using more than 2 colors and a higher resolution. If you're going for the retro look, then your options may be a bit more limited... still, you have 2^64 - a few options that can look alien-y without being exact duplicates.
  6. dejo, Jan 5, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013

    dejo Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    The Centennial State
    Don't seek legal advice from an Internet forum. Find a lawyer, preferably one well-versed in copyright law.

    Having said that, if you suspect you're violating someone's copyright, you probably are.
  7. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    Don't forget that most companies will only bother fighting copyright infringement if they feel that they are losing money because of it. Since I am unaware of the original authors of these games (and thus the copyright owners) still selling copies of it then I doubt they mind all that much, or at least if they do they do not have the financial resources to go after all the infringements.

    If you tried to rip off Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto then the story would be a different one as they still make the owners lots of money and you'd be sued into the ground.

    Edit: I'm not a lawyer. This is not legal advice.
  8. 1458279 Suspended


    May 1, 2010
    One approach might be to just go ahead and IF it gains traction, you should have enough money to pay a lawyer to check into things. At that point, you can change things as needed or if needed.

    I was involved in a copyright case before. The judge specifically asked me if I knew of any sales that were made. The fact that no sales were made had a huge impact on the case. It all comes down to money damages in court, actually it's money damages that you can prove.

    The judge also suggested that he wanted to track all future sales.

    So my point is that you shouldn't take what's not yours, however, certain things are NOT copyrightable. Take the world of FPS action games. What's the difference between them? Sometimes it's just the sprites/graphics. Some use the exact same game engine with a little different sounds and graphics. Same gameplay... go out and shoot things to save something/someone...

    Once you make $10K in sales, you might spend $1K to make sure you're ok, esp if you're on a upward trend. If it doesn't grab traction, don't bother, let it go.
  9. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    Finally some sense :D this is exactly right ... don't listen to us!!!
  10. xArtx thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 30, 2012
    I ended up changing the gfx.
    It was more a homage to the original than a rip off.

    Tatio own Space Invaders, and are still making money off it
    with various themed apps as well as the game itself.
  11. Twimfy macrumors 6502a


    Sep 11, 2011
    You're still not necessarily home free. The IP owners of Tetris for example crucify anyone who even tries to replicate the gameplay, even the design and name are lightyears away from the original.

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