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LL_JuneBug

Intellectual Property

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I hope that this isn't a violation of the forum rules. I am not trying to incite a flame war, and or make War Gaming look like a bad guy here. I am not intending to come off like a victim, and or take the victim stance here either. 

My intent is to honestly ask the opinion of other players of this game, and or members of this forum, and or Moderators of this forum their opinion of what should be considered Intellectual Property of War Gaming in the context of a screen shot that I took from the game on my account.

I took a screen shot of a ship in the ocean port on the game, from the account that I pay to play on World of Warships. I ensured that the picture does not contain the World of Warships logo. I used the picture for the cover of a book that I have published on Amazon that deals with the subject of World War 2 Warship designs. I had previously announced that I had published this book, and posted the cover shot of this particular ship picture. 

as of 28 Dec 2018, I was notified by Amazon that they have frozen my Amazon KDP account until such time as that I could prove that I owned the copyright to the picture on the book cover. I informed them that to the best of my knowledge that there is no actual copyright to the picture either by me or by Wargaming as I made it from a screen shot that I set up using the game that Wargaming had developed, and runs, however I used the paid account that I play to derive the image. 

I decided that at the least their claim of intellectual property was perceivably valid, as the picture is of a 3D model that was created by them. The intent of the 3D model is to use in their game for entertainment purposes. So weather I played the game for free, and or payed 3,000.00 dollars over a 4 year period ( which is what I have done ) the point is that I dont have the right to use their game assets to promote my product commercially. 

The thing is though, I dont believe that I did use their game asset to promote my product. I used an image of the model, not the model itself. This is what I am seeking as an opinion on. 

In any case, I am going to use the original cover that I had designed, and or image of one of my 3D models for the cover of the book as I do own the copyright to those images.

Happy New year to all. Live Long and Prosper. Haratio Fales. Author. 3D modeler and game developer. Blue Dragon LLC.

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I think here you will find the deciding factor is the fact you are operating an for profit commercial enterprise. You pay to play the game with enhanced earnings, XP, credits etc. You don't actually own any real property, nor have you purchased any rights to any of the virtual products sold in the game.

Take for example a photographer who sells you a photograph (print). You own that print (that one print), you do not however own the right to reproduce it however you like, unless you have specifically obtained a waiver allowing you to do so. For example, most photographers will for no additional cost allow a user to have an image used in a celebratory ad in a newspaper or magazine, however if you are using it for a commercial purpose such as an ad offering the item in the photograph for sale or for a service depicted in the photograph they will usually need to grant specific permission as to the date of publication, credit to the photographer etc; and they may require compensation for such.

 

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Thank You both. I think these are fair statements.

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Perhaps you should have contacted WG for written permission. They may have let you use it in exchange to giving them credit for the cover image. It might not be too late. 

I'm sure you don't want any negative waves for any of this...  woof woof

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Perhaps you should have Credited Wargaming.Net as the source of the image and thereby given them FREE PUBLICITY!

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Again TY for those suggestions. That is an idea I have thought of, and yes I should have seeded out permission first. I do actually have images that I can use though of 3D model ships that I have made for Wikipedia, and for schematics for the book that I can use and I do have copyrights to them, so I will use those. I was being lazy and should have taken the time to set up a comparable picture using my model with a real ocean pic. 

I do plan on having a chapter about the made up ships that are in the game. I will only use script here, and or will obtain permission if I try to use images from war gaming in the future.

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53 minutes ago, LL_JuneBug said:

The thing is though, I dont believe that I did use their game asset to promote my product. I used an image of the model, not the model itself. This is what I am seeking as an opinion on. 

If I take a photo of your book, to put on postcards, which I sell, would you consider that fairgame?

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As soon as a picture (either painted, drawn, or digitized) is completed it it copyrighted. WG, and other gaming companies, allow fair use of their images in news articles, YouTube videos, etc. because they promote the business. However, using a copyrighted image for the cover of a book that is going to be sold for a profit is a no-no. If you wanted a picture of a ship you either should have hired someone to draw it or used a public domain image. However, even the latter might run you into problems because many public domain images come with the stipulation that they may be used only for non-profit ventures. 

 

Edited by Snargfargle

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1 minute ago, LoveBote said:

If I take a photo of your book, to put on postcards, which I sell, would you consider that fairgame?

I wouldn't have a problem with it, but I do see where some people, or companies might. 

If I took a picture of a Wendy's resteraunt and put it on a post card, they might or might not like it. If I claimed I owned the Wendy's store, and or company, I can see them having a problem with it.

I also think that people and or entities start having problems with the matter of weather you make 100 dollars, and or one million dollars.

What if I took a picture of a Wendy's Hamburger, not in the wrapper, and put it on the book cover? It doesn't say its a Wendy's hamburger, they just know it is because they make them square.

The picture of the ship was derived from the game. I could have actually modeled it, and took a pic of it. I didn't, but I could have. 

I don't want to be a DH over the matter, and I do like WG and respect them as a company. 

I just think its a bit overboard for such an abstract pic.

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2 minutes ago, Snargfargle said:

As soon as a picture (either painted, drawn, or digitized) is completed it it copyrighted. WG, and other gaming companies, allow fair use of their images in news articles, YouTube videos, etc. because they promote the business. However, using a copyrighted image for the cover of a book that is going to be sold for a profit is a no-no. If you wanted a picture of a ship you either should have hired someone to draw it or used a public domain image. However, even the latter might run you into problems because many public domain images come with the stipulation that they may be used only for non-profit ventures. 

 

That is valid, and why I am replacing the image. I think I have just seen to many examples of this type of violation, and took it to lightly. I am only going to use my material from here on out.

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1 hour ago, LL_JuneBug said:

 

In any case, I am going to use the original cover that I had designed, and or image of one of my 3D models for the cover of the book as I do own the copyright to those images.

 

I think you will find they used propriety software to generate the image, and thats where the issue comes from. The actual vessel's image would probably be public domain by now, but the representation you used can not be generated the same way unless you use their software.

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Intellectual property is complicated.  You need to consult with an IP lawyer.  Nothing we say on this forum can substitute for actual legal advice.  

Or go back to your own copyrighted work, which it seems you are going to do.  I think that's a good idea.

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1 minute ago, MG1962 said:

I think you will find they used propriety software to generate the image, and thats where the issue comes from. The actual vessel's image would probably be public domain by now, but the representation you used can not be generated the same way unless you use their software.

I could model the ship that is in the picture. I won't because 1. it is not one of the ships that was actually really considered as a valid design by Germany in the 1930's, and the only discussion of the ship would be in the chapter of the next volume about made up ship designs of WW2. 2. I used this ship as it has a very similar appearance to the M class light cruiser design that Germany did design as part of Plan Z, and did actually start construction of 2 ships, ( Elsatz M) and (Elsatz N). and 3. the image that I would produce wouldn't look exactly like the screenshot from the game, ( you are right about that ). 4. I would not want them to possibly have issues with claiming that I copied their ship design, as I have been one of the few people to recognize and point out that it is a modern design that was made by 3D modelers, and or game designers that work for War Gaming in the last few years, and is not in no way historical other than conjecture on their part, and that I didn't like the way that it was presented in the game as a historical design that Germany produced in the 1924 time era.

So yes, it would be difficult to derive the same exact image on my own. I believe I could if that were my intent, however it is not, and I have better options. I am glad that I apologized to them for using it in the first place and am striving to fix the issue. 

Thank You for the feed back though as I needed it to ease the minor issue conflict In my mind about it.

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2 minutes ago, Pope_Shizzle said:

Intellectual property is complicated.  You need to consult with an IP lawyer.  Nothing we say on this forum can substitute for actual legal advice.  

Or go back to your own copyrighted work, which it seems you are going to do.  I think that's a good idea.

yes, I think thats the simplest solution. I just wanted some advice to clear the tad bit of crud I was stirring around on the subject.

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8 minutes ago, LL_JuneBug said:

yes, I think thats the simplest solution. I just wanted some advice to clear the tad bit of crud I was stirring around on the subject.

Most of what you read here is valid. You can pay an IT lawyer $700 to tell you can't use the artwork without permission or you can simply 1) pay someone to create something or 2) Get written permission from WG. I'm sure custom artwork will cost you less than the lawyer. 

p.s.  I deal with IT lawyers in my business. They will charge you 20 minutes @$700/hr for a one line email response

Edited by STINKWEED_

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Others have gone over it but yeah - they technically own the ship models and all that, that's why in most cases, unless it's public domain or property of said company because of how it works - you usually see "photograph by", Illustration By", etc somewhere around the picture or on the cover, in this case "Model by Wargaming" and other citations/credits given in places and news articles. 

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3 hours ago, STINKWEED_ said:

p.s.  I deal with IT lawyers in my business. They will charge you 20 minutes @$700/hr for a one line email response

Much of what's wrong with Western society today can be attributed to lawyers.

What is the difference between a lawyer and a catfish? One is a scum-sucking bottom dweller and the other is a fish.

 

Edited by Snargfargle
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3 hours ago, Snargfargle said:

Much of what's wrong with Western society today can be attributed to lawyers.

What is the difference between a lawyer and a catfish? One is a scum-sucking bottom dweller and the other is a fish.

 

LOL. I agree but they are part of a needed evil. 

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23 hours ago, Snargfargle said:

Much of what's wrong with Western society today can be attributed to lawyers.

What is the difference between a lawyer and a catfish? One is a scum-sucking bottom dweller and the other is a fish.

Yup. A lawyer's goal is to drag out whatever it is you hired them to resolve for as long as possible so that could bleed you dry. 

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