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Weapon Licensing issue?

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  • replied
    Okay, minor update on this one. Contacted all companies whose weapons are in the project - so far, we've received a good response from Webley allowing us to use the weapon, along with the name provided we credit them in documentation and in game, and we're currently waiting for a reply from Remington.

    UnspoiledWalnut - you've got a PM from me mate, i'd appreciate it if you could sort that one for me please, particularly as we're looking at getting ourselves established properly in the next 6 months.

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  • replied
    Originally posted by danimal' View Post
    UK law if they sue you. U.S. courts must have jurisdiction to hear and decide a case, and as a foreign citizen they have no claim over you unless you submit to them voluntarily. As is, they'd have no standing to sue you in the U.S. or anywhere else unless you start doing substantial business in the U.S. or another country with your game (and even then, they'd face years of appeals on whether an internet game sold to someone in America justifies jurisdiction). Just do what I said back on page 3, I made the advice specific to trademark disputes without using legalese. Following that advice should steer you clear of any trademark claim they have.
    Yeah, its pretty much what we're going to do - if we don't recieve a response from the original companies by the end of this week, we'll be doing so, as its sound advice. Unfortunately, its rather costly in my area to find any form of legal advice, particularly for trademark/copyright law, which ain't ideal.

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  • replied
    Originally posted by Squiggers View Post
    Unfortunately, i'm not too sure whether US or UK law applies, as we've got a multi-national team
    UK law if they sue you. U.S. courts must have jurisdiction to hear and decide a case, and as a foreign citizen they have no claim over you unless you submit to them voluntarily. As is, they'd have no standing to sue you in the U.S. or anywhere else unless you start doing substantial business in the U.S. or another country with your game (and even then, they'd face years of appeals on whether an internet game sold to someone in America justifies jurisdiction). Just do what I said back on page 3, I made the advice specific to trademark disputes without using legalese. Following that advice should steer you clear of any trademark claim they have.

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  • replied
    It would be in the UK, but chances are they would be using US law and want to be able to charge you for that, since they're a US company (or at least a US branch). International law is confusing, I wouldn't worry about it though. When the game comes out change the names, from what they're doing right now, it seems like they're claiming they can sue you if you take a picture of a gun and say what it's called somewhere, which I find seriously unlikely.

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  • replied
    Unfortunately, i'm not too sure whether US or UK law applies, as we've got a multi-national team: although, i'm the one whose named, so i'd assume it was me that was targetted for any legal action.

    Not too sure what the difference is with the UK unfortunately.

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  • replied
    ... that's pretty cool buddy.

    I read through some of the contracts they had in that email. The one with Accuracy International specifically says trade dress and I imagine most of the others go along that line, along with the trademarks which we already knew. Which, at least in the US, doesn't protect the design itself of something (i.e. what it looks like), only the arrangement and materials.

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  • replied
    I know one mod that released the game with changed names, and the first thing the community did was make a patch for it to show the proper names ingame.

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  • replied
    We already know that. All of that. You're not helping at all. Why is everyone saying the exact same thing over and over?

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  • replied
    unfortunately in the business world, its a nasty place to be - everyone is trying to get money out of your hard work and efforts.

    if you create models / textures / animations based on a real weapon, you cant use their names or logos.

    for example if you made a character and added a nike tick on a tshirt, nike could sue you because they own the trademark on the tick and the word nike.

    however a tshirt without the tick is just a tshirt.

    the same principle applies to any object.

    you can model a weapon and texture it, but you cant use its trademark logos or words.

    Since a model/game asset is a non tangible asset (it doesnt exist in real life) theres not much any company can do about sueing you for making it. its mostly scaremongering if it goes past the trademark logos/words.

    check with a lawyer though.

    ultimately a small change on a tshirt makes it a long sleved shirt, or a crop top. so if you have to be 100% safe with your model, you need to make changes that identify your model is not the same as theirs.

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  • replied
    Well, I'm yet to hear any follow up from them, so I'll just let them stew. If they want to try and sue me, they're more than welcome to try.

    If you haven't had any response from any of the American/English speaking ones by the weekend, i'll send an e-mail asking as well, and/or ask one of my team mates to pay a visit to the Accuracy International HQ, as he lives nearby apparantly.

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  • replied
    That's what I would go for as a defense in the event I needed it. I'm sure there are various other claims that they could take, but I can't imagine there would be a very strong case in terms of financial reimbursement from what I've read about it. I'm sure there would be pro bono lawyers who would take it, but being in the UK I think they would have a harder time getting to you to begin with. International lawsuits are apparently a mess to deal with, one of the lawyers I asked said that unless it's a massive issue it's kind of rare because of the differences in the law between countries.

    I'm still trying to get hold of a few of them, most of them aren't English speaking companies so it's kind of hard to deal with since I know English, and a little bit of Russian and Arabic (like, I could go to a market and figure out how much I need to pay and that's about it) which are doing me no good.

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  • replied
    Hmm. Looks like I might have to e-mail a few of the companies listed to find out myself then, based off what you're saying?

    In cases like that, at least i'd be able to apply for legal aid, i'm that skint. :P Effectively the line of argument is that it doesn't cost them sales, as its not in their realm of development?

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  • replied
    No one seems keen on calling me back so far. I got hold of a few companies that weren't on the list (I don't know why I called them, but I figured I should see if anyone else actually cared), and most of the guys I talked to said they couldn't care less, technically we're kind of advertising for them and it's not like they care about video games. If you made an actual gun using their tech and stole sales, then they would be ******, but then again how are you going to prove you actually stole technology even there? The concept of a gun is pretty generic, I mean look at handguns. Most of them look the same, and chances are they operate almost if not exactly the same. One of them thought I was joking and laughed at me, and said that if you make a 3D model of it and change the name then you aren't infringing on anything that he's aware of (then again, I don't know how well informed customer service is regarding patents and copyrights and trademarks), since you can't really prove that it's the same gun.
    I called some government people a bit ago, and I was told that they can't just sue you for a ton of money (might be limited to my state though, not sure so don't take my word for it as it'll especially probably change in different countries); they can file for an injunction to have whatever is done taken off the market, and sue for ACTUAL costs, as in they need to prove, first off, that you actual broke copyright which will be hard to do because you can just say "No, that is not a CZ Scorpion SMG, that would be CS Scorpian SMG," or something, and then after that which they might win, I have no idea, they would need to prove that they may have actually lost money from you publishing the game. Which chances are, it's about zero unless the Airsoft company is suddenly in the market for making games or 3D models to license out, since they are two totally different markets: an airsoft player isn't going to stop playing airsoft because of a video game. It would be hard to prove you actually made them lose money, and I don't think that courts look very highly upon people who are vindictive like that.

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  • replied
    I'm not so sure on it being trademarked for designs.

    Indeed, i've passed it onto some lawyers, but i'd be interested to know whether theres been any response from any of the companies mentioned, if Walnut has contacted them/received a response as of yet.

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  • replied
    well.. where is a trademark possibilty for designs.. so you maybe want to ask a lawyer about that.. but beware..they are not that cheap.^^

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