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    #16
    Originally posted by ambershee View Post
    This makes more sense, they have exclusive contract agreements regarding the use of various objects, and they're going to enforce it even if they have no actual commercial interest in video games.

    What you're seeing is a common business '**** move', whereby something like a patent is filed with the sole interest of preventing anyone else from doing anything without their permission - in this case securing intellectual property rights from arms manufacturers for use in their business, but also in other business sectors where they have no interest, and likely never will.

    It's a way of making a tidy profit without ever having to actually do anything; they're going to try and extract royalties from you.

    There's probably not much point getting a lawyer involved at present - they've got you.
    Pretty much what i'd suspected in all honesty, and not something i'm happy with at all, primarily due to the loss of overall income, as I sure as hell don't have the funds on hand to pay out for the rights to use the weapons at present, and would only be able to afford to do so post production.

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      #17
      I'm calling a few of them and asking for you. Most of those documents you posted all have holes in them that I found though.

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        #18
        Wow amazing! I didnt realize there could be such a downside to using real weapons, then again EA need to have deals to use cars in NFS, or say real players in sports games so it follows that this would extend to weapons. Im just surprised we havent heard of this sooner, there are many mods/games which use a range of real life weapons and this is the first time Ive ever heard of anyone trying to enforce this. Maybe this is why we see a common set of weapons with feature weapons showing up every now and then across a majority of realistic games. As ambershee said just another person lookin for a piece of the pie.

        As mentioned changing the name helps, I'll point to the GTA series which has been using cars derived from the real life counterparts, they have however modified them and dont contain badges unlike NFS. Nothing anyone here didnt say.

        Now onto the main bit I wanted to say, these companies must be pulling a pretty penny. To think they approached you, a UDK developer about this by that reasoning Id say that all major companies using realstic weapons under similar conditions as your predicament would be paying royalties. Thats alot of money, imagine ownin the rights to produce all ww2 weapon relipicas, just from game royalties thats a mint and a half. To be honest, look into it if you are serious about doing a historically correct remake it just sounds alittle suss to me. They could be bluffing, its still a '**** move' either way, they could just be throwing weight around and venting hot air hehe My suggestion is to approach someone who works on games using replica weapons and ask them if they know of any issues, they might be able to put you onto someone who knows exactly whats needed in these circumstances. I just cant help but think of counterstrike, they musta stood on someones toes at some point hey

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          #19
          Originally posted by UnspoiledWalnut View Post
          I'm calling a few of them and asking for you. Most of those documents you posted all have holes in them that I found though.
          Much appreciated - I'd be interested to know what response they give.

          Also, what holes are there in the documents? To me they seemed vauge enough to the point of being able to encompass a whole range of items.

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            #20
            Originally posted by MonsOlympus View Post
            Wow amazing! I didnt realize there could be such a downside to using real weapons, then again EA need to have deals to use cars in NFS, or say real players in sports games so it follows that this would extend to weapons. Im just surprised we havent heard of this sooner, there are many mods/games which use a range of real life weapons and this is the first time Ive ever heard of anyone trying to enforce this. Maybe this is why we see a common set of weapons with feature weapons showing up every now and then across a majority of realistic games. As ambershee said just another person lookin for a piece of the pie.
            I've always known about it, and it's the reason so many games use false or generic names for their weapons. I've never heard of there being issues using the appearance of them however, not have I ever heard of an indie / mod team being approached about it either.

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              #21
              Can I have the whole email and list of companies that they say they have contracts with? I got hold of customer service reps for a few companies, not sure if they're in any contracts with them though, and they told me that they would look into them and call me back. One guy said to change the name to not infringe of trademarks, but replicating the look of the gun doesn't infringe on anything really because even if they went to court, if you didn't have a completely exact replication then you can just say it's different and point out where it changes from the actual weapon (like, the fact that there is no internal mechanisms, and say some other obscure thing) then technically it's not the same. Otherwise every handgun company would be suing each other, because they do all look about the same. Trying to get hold of ArmaLite, I think I'll just send them an email though.

              There are a bunch of lawyers I know coming up pretty soon for some last second stuff before the primary elections and I'm going to ask some of them to look at the contracts to be sure I'm not talking out of my *** about it (I've been known to **** up understanding contracts before).

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                #22
                Whats your e-mail adress, i'll forward it onto you.

                And i'm with you on that one 'Shee - i've never heard of an Indie/mod team getting this, which is part of the reason why I'm so shocked.

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                  #23
                  marcusistall@hotmail.com

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                    #24
                    Okay, its been forwarded, you should have received it.

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                      #25
                      I got it. Thanks, I've sent out a few emails asking about it, might take a while for any of them to get back.

                      Oh I'm saying that I work with you too, just to make it easier than saying someone got an email that doesn't really affect me.

                      The way that email is phrased is sounds like they're trying to claim that they own rights to pictures of weapons in general, which cannot be in any way true or else they would be able to sue someone who just happened to take a photograph of one and put it on the Internet. Plus with the amount of spelling errors, it kinda looks like one of those scams where they try and get you to send them money.

                      One of the contracts I looked at in the attachments says that they don't own anything other than replicas, you're not modelling them after replicas which is completely different. Franchi A.S.P owns rights for everything, it says "... figures and representations of replica firearms." Which in itself implies that if you were to model it after a replica then they could, but that's a really confusing thing. Not sure if it means what I think it does.

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                        #26
                        Sometimes I hate capitalism

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                          #27
                          Better than the government saying that they own it and we're going to prison now.

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                            #28
                            I took a quick glance at the license, and if you read it like a lawyer (check the definition of Property), as far as I can see they only own the trademark and trade dress (think of the Tiffany's box, it's distinctive color and packaging itself is a "brand"). That is not at all the same thing as owning the rights to the actual underlying gun.

                            Without getting into it, assume they do truly own the trademark and associated rights. You can't put the gun's actual name anywhere on the gun model/texture. So just don't use the trademarked name, give it an original name that isn't suggestive of the name they own. Remove any images that may have the original name on your website, and any link to you using the name for profit purposes should disappear.

                            It's what I'd do, and if they wanted to push I'd tell 'em to sue me But that's because I can just defend myself and bill them for my time. My final observation is this, trademark disputes such as this would go to federal court, they'd spend more money trying to prosecute you than they'd ever get from you, so I strongly smell troll. For legal reasons though, you should probably consult a lawyer, I'm not giving you legal advice or creating an attorney client relationship, bla bla bla, you know the drill.

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                              #29
                              I probably would too, only because I take stupid chances like that though and know some people that would take my defense for me. I'll tell you what I get, never heard of this before. They never actually said they had rights to the copyright though, which would be the design, I think they can just use the name that people would know as opposed to having to change it.

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                                #30
                                Yeah, thats absolutely fine saying that you work with me, it makes it a bit easier to get a good response.

                                In all honesty, it does seem rather like a poorly planned attempt to get money out of me and the team - my next course of action would have been contacting individual companies to see what they said, and i have asked for a companies legal department to have a look at the e-mail to see what they think of whats being said.

                                I strongly suspect that they have the rights to the trademark, and dress - as you've said Danimal - but not to the actual appearance of it. To an extent, if it gets to the stage where its blatantly obvious that its not quite how they're attempting to show it, i'll call their bluff. Especcially considering they'll have to come through the UK courts to get me, that should prove somewhat interesting. :P

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