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Thread: Is it possibile to use copyrighted name in the game ?

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    Is it possibile to use copyrighted name in the game ?

    Hello guys I was wandering if it is possible to use the names of cartoon characters in my game , I'd like to put something like a writing on a wall " Finn and Jack were here " ! Is all that nothing more ! Should I have any kind of permission for that ?

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    "Copyrighted" Name, the words are of a copyright or a trademark like Coca Cola, Pepsi, etc.... so automatic trouble
    Regular name like jack or jake cannot be copyrighted. I'm not sure how common is Finn

    If you use other graphics or some direct reference, for example faking a sponsorship of Adventure time, or implying that brand is connected with you:

    you can get away with google play for some tons of thousandssss of downloads, you cant get viral, you cant sell. and if it's worse, CN/IP-owners files a case against you .

    mostly if Apple knows that brand, you cant upload it. it gets rejected immediately.

    Sometimes if you successfully uploaded it on any appstores, it still get reported and gets taken down in couple days.
    any person can report the app anyways, and they do check report especially copyright.

    basically they dont want you to earn (even from ads) from those existing IP games. yes there are those lucky ones which is off the hook. Approvals are stricter now though.
    there are still like fan games or look a like characters that will pass that approval, but exact copy or graphics is not a good idea specially if that is well known.
    I got some apps taken down/hardReject (most are Pokemon Go related, but i reported some ugly rip offs and many gets taken down).

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    For something like "Finn and Jack were here" would be fine to use, it's a couple of generic male names, you can't copyright "Finn" and "Jack". Your argument would be that the reference is coincidental - like how most fictional TV shows end with a disclaimer). However, if characters are depicted visually - then you're gonna need permission. You also wouldn't get away with non generic names like "Mickey Mouse"; but you would get away with "Pluto" - because it's a planet and again your argument would be that the reference is coincidental.

    The answer is "it depends"; and to be safe - you'd have a copyright lawyer sign off on anything before you release with the intention of making money.

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    Is it possibile to use copyrighted name in the game ?

    If you create a 'fangame' about someone elses IP you need to be careful what assets you use and how you distribute your final product. Most IP owners are fine with fangames as long as they're distributed free of charge, same as fanart.

    Little references are never truly a problem though, one company can be more agressive towards it than others.

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    Thank you guys ! It was just some kind of ester egg I would like to put in my game ! It was just to make the player have a little smile !

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    Sounds 99.99% safe to me. Just "Finn and Jack were here" written on a wall somewhere in the game? If it doesn't use a logo or a recognisable font or those characters' pictures or anything like that, it's really just two common men's names. You can't copyright that. And since your game wouldn't actually resemble the IP in question in any way, but would merely make a passing implied mention of it, I just can't imagine this being a problem.

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    @Volnaiskra me too but I just wanted to be sure ! My question can be extended to the quotes like "to be or not to be " that obviously is from Shakespeare but how fair is it to use this in a game .... should people ask for licenses even in these case ?

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    If you are referencing Adventure Time, isn't it "Finn and Jake"?

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    Well, in the case of Shakespeare, the copyright on his works ran out very long ago, if it ever even existed (typically, 50 to 70 years after an author's death, their works become public domain). So you could actually reprint the entire Hamlet play if you liked, without legal worries.

    But even if it was hypothetically copyrighted, a simple quote like "to be or not to be" would surely be fine to use in your game. It's a very short phrase using very common words, and to claim copyright on that would be as absurd as claming copyright on "Should I do it or not?" or "Hi Bob, how are you?". Of course, if you wanted to use "to be or not to be" in the title of your game, you'd need to be a little more careful.

    And of course, if you wanted to use the longer phrase "To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether 'tis Nobler in the mind to suffer. The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune, Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles, And by opposing end them: to die, to sleep." then that would also be a different story, since it it's no longer a simple phrase that belongs to no one, but is unmistakably the work of one particular author. Though even then you could probably use it if you attributed it to Shakespeare, rather than pretending that you wrote it yourself.

    Though I repeat that I'm only talking hypothetically here. In the case of Shakespeare, his works are in the public domain, as is just about everything written before the 20th century, so you can do whatever you want with them.

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