What is copyright?
To be brief: Copyright is the protection for creativity.
Which is extremely important because I’m a creative practitioner, learning to be a games developer in the creative industry! Which means that almost everything I do will be affected in one way or another by……. ‘guess the word’. Dinosaurs? It’d be cool if everything I did was protected by Dinosaurs, but sadly no. The word is Copyright.
Do I know anything specific about copyright? Negative, apart from the fact that I know copyright stops being able to blatantly copy/steal something someone has created. Copyright is so broad and that’s one of the reasons it’s so hard to understand. With my lack of knowledge I’ve decided to delve a little deeper.
I specifically wanted to know about some things that I had made in unity. Such as my previously mentioned 3D Explosive Pinball game or my Infinity’s Edge Tower Defense game (which isn’t on the internet available to download), I wanted to know IF I was to make money from it, regardless how much, what would happen? I didn’t make anything in either of those games from scratch (apart from writing the C# code). All I did was combine all of the elements already available to me in a way that resulted in these completed projects or games.
If I was to make money off either of these, surely the people who’s things I’ve used would want to make money too right? Do I need to give money or a mention to Unity (the program I made it in)? Itchio (the site it’s posted on)? Any of the people that’s asset’s I had used?
It turns out,
Unity/Peoples Assets: This one is a bit more complicated because this is specifically referring to someone else’s created content.
Unity’s Assets: No.
Assets created by other people: Generally no. Unless otherwise stated.
Such as in this example that I found on this Unity forum post.
Notice the important part about this asset?
This little bad boy right here:
This states that you are not allowed to use it in a commercial app/game, except your app/game is a “doujinshi” (fan-made) about the character Unity-Chan.
Almost all assets are allowed for commercial purpose (in case that the seller does not mention it), but if the seller mentions the license and its conditions, you must comply to it. So now knowing this greatly helps me to avoid in the misuse of other peoples creations if I were to use them in a commercial or non commercial games. The same rule would apply if I were to create something and put it on the asset store. Depending on what asset, I would also have a license and conditions on how I wish for it to be used and would hope that they would respect my license and conditions. Although a license and conditions is something I would have to research further before putting into practice, but cross that bridge when I get to it.
Until next time –
Giphy,. Copyright gif. Retrieved from http://giphy.com/gifs/animography-animated-typography-font-LdfbGz2YlwjZu
Giphy,. Copyright gif black to grey. Retrieved from http://giphy.com/gifs/tumblr-featured-copyright-YFC60Qewa7TtS
Revenue restrictions snippet. Retrieved from http://unity3d.com/legal/eula
How much does itch.io cost snippet. Retrieved from https://itch.io/docs/creators/faq#how_much_does_itchio_cost
Unity,. Unity Assets Snippet. Retrieved from https://unity3d.com/unity/faq
Unity,. (2014). Unity-Chan! Snippet. Retrieved from https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/#!/content/18705