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Screenshots/Pics from other games or general sources

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SiddGames
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Joined: 08/02/2008

This is related to the big "What if I invent variation on owned game?" thread, but I thought I'd start a new thread as I have a specific question.

Some friends and I have been playing WoW TCG recently and we've been talking about making our own raid decks. Well, that part is really not relevant to the general question, which is this: who owns the copyright to a screenshot taken from inside a video game? Obviously, the publisher owns the actual art assets, which 100% comprise the subject of the screenshot, but the player actually "composed" and created the screenshot.

Generalizing more, can you use photos that you have personally taken of different subjects? Of public buildings? Of private buildings? I know you need a model release if you have people in a photo, but what about taking a picture of, say, a mansion that looks neat and is privately owned? What about a parking lot of cars owned by many different people?

I'm not worried about personal use, of course, but since I want to make a solitaire raid-like deck for WoW, the thought occurred to me of publishing it via someone like GOB POD, Superior POD, TGC, etc. for (a small) profit. I saw in the other thread some references to phrases like, "Compatible with " -- I thought people have been independently publishing stuff like that for various RPGs for years!

Just trying to get a view here without consulting a lawyer. Thanks!

simpson
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Joined: 10/22/2008
Quote:can you use photos that

Quote:
can you use photos that you have personally taken of different subjects? Of public buildings? Of private buildings?

For what I have heard from photographers I've worked with before is that private or privatized buildings need expressed permission if the photo is taken WITHIN private property. Also, if you intend to shoot commercially in a public area, you will most likely need a government issued permit.

Quote:
who owns the copyright to a screenshot taken from inside a video game? Obviously, the publisher owns the actual art assets, which 100% comprise the subject of the screenshot, but the player actually "composed" and created the screenshot.

The publisher owns everything as its still "content". The publisher can actually own the copyright to a player-made character depending on the EUA. In the end, a player is just paying to play the content similar to any other form of entertainment.

simpson

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