View Full Version : Including real life locations in game?
03-30-2006, 08:47 PM
I was thinking of adding to the story/progression mode the ability for players to travel around the world playing the game. I am pretty sure we can't legally use specific places like a named Hotel (i.e. Hilton or something like that) for copy right issues, but names of cities are fair game right?
Places like Tokyo, London, Las Vegas, Atlantic City?
Also how 'close' can we get to naming things on copyrighted places..i.e. Instead of Starbucks you call it GalaxyCoffee or something..Any precedent of anybody getting in trouble with specifically with Casual games? We're too small to have any money too sue right?:p
03-31-2006, 07:19 AM
Man, this world we live in is getting crazy for people to worry about stuff like this.
Avoid references to actual companies, but go where you like. There's no copyright on the idea of being in Tokyo.
03-31-2006, 07:37 AM
Hmmm... the only reference I have is for what we use in The World of Telly, and I'm definitely not a lawyer.
If we film on the street in any town/ city anywhere in the world, we need to get permission from the local council. They own the land. They own the streets, the lamposts and, technically, the 'exteriors' of any buildings. So we need to check it's ok with them before we film.
My advice would to be to fire off an email to the guys behind The Getaway and that London-based Hell/ Demon RPG thing (Hellgate?) and ask them very very nicely whether or not they had any issues clearing digital versions of real-life locations.
03-31-2006, 08:22 AM
We used famous cities in Around the World (http://www.frozax.com/games/around-the-world). We never had any problems with that. However, the game has unfortunately not be seen by a large number of people.
But I really don't think you should worry about that.
03-31-2006, 09:16 AM
Be careful about landmarks that are owned by corporations. For example, here in Seattle, the Space Needle is owned by a company. And they protect their image religiously. This may apply to other landmarks as well so you might want to check before including them in your game.
03-31-2006, 10:19 AM
Also how 'close' can we get to naming things on copyrighted places..i.e. Instead of Starbucks you call it GalaxyCoffee or something.. Sure. Call it GalaxyCoffee. Provided there's no actual GalaxyCoffee, that's a fine alternative. You can allude to any company you want. Burger Queen. Pizza Shack. JMart. Etc.
We're too small to have any money too sue right?:p Actually, probably, yes. Most likely you'll be receiving a cease and decist letter from their lawyers. That's a huge pain, but it's way better than the alternative...
There's no copyright on the idea of being in Tokyo.
You made me spit iced tea out my nose.
03-31-2006, 09:17 PM
Recently I read somewhere that the city of Las Vegas was trying to collect royalties on the name "Las Vegas". I would expect they would only go after really big companies.
03-31-2006, 11:10 PM
You made me spit iced tea out my nose.
Then my work here is done.
04-01-2006, 02:14 AM
Sure. Call it GalaxyCoffee. Provided there's no actual GalaxyCoffee, that's a fine alternative.
so dont do something like this (http://www.arcadetown.com/coffeetycoon/game.asp)?
04-01-2006, 07:34 AM
so dont do something like this (http://www.arcadetown.com/coffeetycoon/game.asp)? I'm not a lawyer (and I assume you're talking about the reference to "Starbucks" on the last screenshot), but it appears to me that isn't illegal. It seems to be the player-named name of the store, and you can name your store anything you want if you're the player and it's not built-in to the game. So, it may be skirting on illegal for Arcadetown to imply Starbucks' endorsement, but the developer has all his ducks in a row. (And I wouldn't expect Starbucks to get pissy over a silly little screenshot, either.)
04-01-2006, 07:50 AM
In related news (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eiffel_Tower#Image_copyright) : a few years ago the lighting display on the Eiffel tower has been put under copyright, so you can't use any night-time pictures of the Eiffel tower!
04-01-2006, 05:32 PM
I'm not a lawyer *gasps*
(and I assume you're talking about the reference to "Starbucks" on the last screenshot)
well yes, that and the description of the game which begins "Start the Starbucks!" ;)
how about on my next games screenshots I put my name as nintendo?
04-02-2006, 09:37 AM
...(And I wouldn't expect Starbucks to get pissy over a silly little screenshot, either.)
Hopefully Starbucks won't get upset :) The Starbuck people seems way too cool for that. However the cheesygraphics confrontation went less smooth. Although that was in an other field (than indiegaming) the case may be of interest.
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