DigitalEro Offline

The Legality of Rule-34 - US Copyright Law and Commercialism

Tue, 23 Apr 2013 21:43:42

LordAardvark

Right, so, I discussed this a bit in the shoutbox, and decided this is worth getting a thread of its own. This thread is for the discussion of the legality of rule-34, both in general, and in particular the form that is generated on this forum (3D rule-34 using modifications of original meshes belonging to copyrighted works). In particular, this thread is for discussing copyright, trademark, and intellectual-property laws as they apply to these works, and include both "charity" and "commercial" circumstances (making images and animations for free, as opposed to the transacting of money being involved). This thread also focuses on United States copyright law, though other country's laws can be discussed as well. My only request is the following: If you are asking or responding to a question, please clearly state what country you are currently living in. If you are responding to a question, please clearly state your law status - not a lawyer in any way, studying law, practicing legal defender, copyright lawyer, etc - and the country in which you currently practice (if you do). This thread is for clariying legal issues as best as possible; we don't want to complicate or scare people needlessly without people not well-versed in copyright law spreading their own speculations. With all of that being said, I will start this thread off with my own questions. All of these questions have to do with US Copyright Law. 1.) What is the legal status of created pornographic animations and images using modified content originating from copyrighted sources (models from commercial games headhacked onto nude bodies, for example) without any money being involved? 2.) What is the status of creating the above with a voluntary donations system involved? 3.) What is the status of creating the above with a voluntary "commissions" or "paid requests" system involved? If you have any legal questions yourself, don't be afraid to ask. If you have any answers to these, even if you aren't a law student, then feel free to throw in your thoughts. Just, please, clearly mark what your position is in regards to the law - the words of a certified US Copyright Lawyer hold a lot more weight than a casual university student or a computer science major here.
Wed, 24 Apr 2013 16:13:37

Vitezislav

So far I know you are not allowed to make any profit using IPs of another company. However if you can show that you play break even, you are not making any profit, so it should be allowed.
Wed, 24 Apr 2013 17:27:36

shaotek

Couldn't you claim Parody? Thats how all the big porn studios get away with shit like The Avengers XXX
Wed, 24 Apr 2013 17:40:20

Rastifan

According to standard copyright laws recognized by most countries, we are strictly not allowed to use any game characters in porn or otherwise. But any company not currently sticking their own head up their asses recognize free fan art as free advertising. To put it this way. Capcom are not afraid of having Jill sucking a cock. But they do get testy when people are making money on Jill trying to gag and swallow her way through a porn comic. This is why I decline most commissions on DA. the only models I have made a bit of money on is Nahka's Lilith, Elidin and Elena.
Wed, 24 Apr 2013 19:06:51

Ganonmaster

"Rastifan" said ...
According to standard copyright laws recognized by most countries, we are strictly not allowed to use any game characters in porn or otherwise.
What are you basing this on? I'm not a law student or anything, but parody and satire are forms of free speech whether you profit from it or not. In the US, the First Amendment would protect anyone making such a work, and I think that similar rules apply to most western countries. There are tons of porn movies that parody big Hollywood releases like This Ain't Avatar XXX, This Ain't Star Trek XXX. A voluntary donation system is to my knowledge never an issue. If people choose to donate money to you without expecting any sort of service in return, there is no inherent problem. People can send money to anyone if they want to, and unless you are explicitly providing goods or services in exchange, you are not profiting of off works from third parties like Capcom, Konami or Valve. I could donate to you because I think you're a nice guy. You're getting money from me but not by selling me copyrighted works. I could attach a note to the transaction with a suggestion as to what you might do for your next project, but that doesn't necessarily mean you're actually going to follow up on that. That said, I am no law student, I'm a programmer who keeps up to date on the latest copyright scandals and has some past involvement with the local Pirate Party. Disclaimer: The advice in this post is not necessarily correct. Should you suffer any damages (physical, financial or otherwise) by taking the advice into consideration, the author of this post will not be held responsible for said damages. If you were offended by the content of this post, please go sodomize yourself with retractable batons.
Wed, 24 Apr 2013 19:24:47

Rastifan

"Ganonmaster" said ...
What are you basing this on?
Something Capcom Europa wrote once. Free fan art are not as such considered a violation of the copyright, even if the word of it allows for companies to enforce it. They use their common sense and this goes under the reasonable use policy which is a spoken law and not a established one so far as I could understand it. But I really don't know.