Jump to content

Is it legal to make video game remixes/covers without permission?


SweTiger
 Share

Recommended Posts

I mean, is it legal to make remxies/covers on video games without permission from the orginal creator?

It looks like most of you guys do it, and maybe its ok, I dont now.

For example, is it legal for me to make a video game remix and then upload it on my websitet? Is it legal to distribute and sell it? How is the copyrigth law when it comes video games music?

Thanks in advance :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 years later...

Um, aren't we remixers also at risk of infringing said laws, seeing as we are remixing music from big companies like Square-Enix and Nintendo? Even if it's not for profit I think they (the VG companies) can still find ways to sue people who use their intellectual property without consent.

Granted...I'm not too savvy with Law and Business in general, so I might be totally wrong =p

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Um, aren't we remixers also at risk of infringing said laws, seeing as we are remixing music from big companies like Square-Enix and Nintendo? Even if it's not for profit I think they (the VG companies) can still find ways to sue people who use their intellectual property without consent.

Granted...I'm not too savvy with Law and Business in general, so I might be totally wrong =p

It's a gray area. Most VG companies actually like the attention, but in the off chance that they do take offense, not like they can do much. It's rare for any company to file a legal suite against people for piracy, so this is completely fine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's rare for any company to file a legal suite against people for piracy, so this is completely fine.

I've heard most people who are prosecuted for piracy are those who pirate porn movies or something. It's the porn industry going after people.

So as long as we keep it slightly clean with our muzaks, we should be ok.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've heard most people who are prosecuted for piracy are those who pirate porn movies or something. It's the porn industry going after people.

So as long as we keep it slightly clean with our muzaks, we should be ok.

Hm probably.

Movie industry is also real anal. Then again...so is EA, esp. when Mass Effect 3 first came out (on a side note I really friggin hate DRM's like Securom). And...I've yet to hear *much about lawsuits following them flagging the IP's. I wonder if they'd extradite a Canadian for torrenting games or pr0n...lol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Um, aren't we remixers also at risk of infringing said laws, seeing as we are remixing music from big companies like Square-Enix and Nintendo? Even if it's not for profit I think they (the VG companies) can still find ways to sue people who use their intellectual property without consent.

Granted...I'm not too savvy with Law and Business in general, so I might be totally wrong =p

The reason that this is a gray area, and why we're probably not in the wrong (I mean after like 13-ish years of the site being up) is that we provide proper and full credit to composers, publishers, and copyright owners, and since this is a not-for-profit site that doesn't sell any of the music, then the work hosted here (if ever it falls under legal scrutiny) is likely going to be able to fall under the same category as mere fan art, which is also not illegal/criminal. It'd be like suing people for drawing pictures inspired by games on deviantart. The very worst OCR would ever get if it ever came to that would be a C&D I believe. And seeing as we're actually providing free marketing for hundreds of games and developers, I'd say that's pretty unlikely that it'll ever happen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Then there's the fact that the arrangements are ours, even if the originals aren't. As such, we have the same right as the owners of the originals to stop infringers of our tracks. Our tracks themselves may be infringing, but that doesn't mean they're free for others to take. Goes for both attribution and commercial gain.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The reason that this is a gray area, and why we're probably not in the wrong (I mean after like 13-ish years of the site being up) is that we provide proper and full credit to composers, publishers, and copyright owners, and since this is a not-for-profit site that doesn't sell any of the music, then the work hosted here (if ever it falls under legal scrutiny) is likely going to be able to fall under the same category as mere fan art, which is also not illegal/criminal. It'd be like suing people for drawing pictures inspired by games on deviantart. The very worst OCR would ever get if it ever came to that would be a C&D I believe. And seeing as we're actually providing free marketing for hundreds of games and developers, I'd say that's pretty unlikely that it'll ever happen.

Well, that's a relief.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The reason that this is a gray area, and why we're probably not in the wrong (I mean after like 13-ish years of the site being up) is that we provide proper and full credit to composers, publishers, and copyright owners, and since this is a not-for-profit site that doesn't sell any of the music, then the work hosted here (if ever it falls under legal scrutiny) is likely going to be able to fall under the same category as mere fan art, which is also not illegal/criminal. It'd be like suing people for drawing pictures inspired by games on deviantart. The very worst OCR would ever get if it ever came to that would be a C&D I believe. And seeing as we're actually providing free marketing for hundreds of games and developers, I'd say that's pretty unlikely that it'll ever happen.

At this point, most all of the major companies seem to understand what OCR is all about and realize that taking down a harmless community such as this is a complete waste of time and resources. They even have their own remix contests going from time to time and let's not forget the whole Street Fighter II HD Remix thing.

Regardless, every one of those companies holds most, if not all of the rights to the music in their games. If there is any reason why they would want something removed, I'm willing to bet there is no legal reason why they could not have it removed.

I find it's really just record labels that are pricks when it comes to this sort of thing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know if Capcom is the best example, since they really just want to monetize people who remix their music.

I'm pretty sure people didn't buy SSFIITHDR just to hear the remixed tracks that they could get for free. And I'm pretty sure people aren't buying the SF25th Collector's Set just to get their hands on a disc full of remixes also available for free. And I'm pretty sure that a $150 collector's set being given for free to each and every one of the musicians that are on the remix and original discs on that collector's set is a sizable expense for Capcom.

So really, they're losing money if anything. Voluntarily, of course.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Exactly.

What I'm getting at here is that I think it's dangerous for people to assume that companies can't touch non-profit, fan works. They can.

Yeah I'm always a little anxious of that possibility :|

I don't know if Capcom is the best example, since they really just want to monetize people who remix their music.

But most vgm composers do seem to be humbled by remixes rather than insulted.

Capcom is also keen on gouging it's customers in almost every way possible - almost as bad as Nintendo and Acti-Blizzard. Also, what happens if their corporate goons and/or law division have a change in attitude towards these fanbased communities =/? Well, I guess that's sort of a rhetorical question - but it gets one thinking...perhaps a little too much lol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Illegal" and "gray area" are not the best descriptors.

Building off of what ACO said, and in layman terms (read: not a lawyer), owners of copyrighted material retain distribution rights and are allowed to issue C&Ds to any (non- "fair use") distribution of derivative material that isn't explicitly authorized. [Damages can be awarded in cases of for-profit distribution or when the value of copyrighted material is somehow harmed by the distribution.] But, while owners are completely within their right to pursue legal action, but law is irrelevant if things don't progress to that point. That is to say that it comes down to 'fan' intent and to what most benefits the owners first and foremost, which is what several people have been driving at and which is why OCR is fine. So if everybody's cool, there isn't anything illegal going on.

Also, while it hasn't been used here, I've seen fair use as a defense for fan works. I find this puzzling since it doesn't apply in the least.

Please correct me if I got something wrong.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In any case, ocr's a little more high-profile just for being organized, so we run a slightly higher risk of C&D's than any random remixer on youtube or wherever. If they wanna get us for competing for listeners of their soundtracks, that could be solved with a C&D... tho it's pretty bad PR.

On the other hand, C&Ds seem to be aimed at fan-games most of the time (anyone with stats on this can correct me if I'm wrong), because that's what the game companies make, that's the they distribute, that's what they primarily sell. Nobody in their right mind is gonna mistake an ocr album for the game itself, which isn't necessarily true for fangames.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

yeah but you can and literally nothing happens

just being realistic

Nothing happens... until it does.

Everyone who takes advantage of a situation leading up until the critical point at which it actually achieves enough mass to be noticeable/objectionable can be thought of in different lights... opportunists, perhaps, entrepreneurs, perhaps, but *potentially* also sellouts AND/OR those who'd risk ruining things for others to profit themselves AND/OR those who might be better advised making money off their own name & their original work than profiting through name/brand association - however talented they may be.

Not saying any sort of "crackdown" or widespread adversity to fan creations is inevitable due to increased ignorance of licensing and selling for profit, but it's at least POSSIBLE.

Just something to consider.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wrong. Capcom of Japan reportedly sent out several C&Ds to doujin artists for some Rockman arrange albums a few years ago. It is extremely rare for it to happen, but there is a precedence.

Copyright law operates a bit differently in Japan than in the U.S. (i.e. the fair use exception is much stronger in the U.S.).

That said, selling remixes/albums doesn't automatically forfeit a fair use defense, but it sure does weaken it. There are four factors that courts consider when a fair use defense is invoked.

However, it rarely gets as far as the courtroom because companies spam C&D letters like crazy, even if they are baseless. Artists usually don't know any better (because they aren't lawyers and typically don't consult with lawyers about it), and just give in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Copyright law operates a bit differently in Japan than in the U.S. (i.e. the fair use exception is much stronger in the U.S.).

This is true, which makes it really interesting that there are massive conventions in Japan dedicated to the sale of fan creations of copyrighted works and that legal action is still very rare in spite of that. It's been made pretty clear that most companies don't seem to be threatened by it except in a few cases, so it's hard to pinpoint a line in just how far fair use can be taken.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...