I didnt see anything about this in the FAQ or guidelines and just general questions through out the forums, but it would be nice to know Epics official policy for putting things up on the store the are named after or look like real life objects and vehicles.
A number of the guns added to the marketplace use their real model numbers/names, a lot in-progress and requested cars are by actual brand and name, but i cant imagine we can actually sell them marked as such, right? Do we just need to change the logo/name on them? Do they need a certain % of visual difference?
Not a lawyer, but I’ve seen articles that show game companies no longer doing licensing deals with various brands like gun companies because they claim that a video game is covered under artistic expression. http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2013/05/08/electronics-arts-license-gun-designs-future/
Not sure if that would also apply to someone selling a specific brand asset for the use in video games.
Generally we try to avoid brand-name content. It’s a little tricky coming up with a specific rule for it since every manufacturer and trademark owner is different, but maybe these guidelines can help. A good example I’ll point out for vehicles is this pack: https://www.unrealengine.com/content/206f8725f0c64e699f3f6852da8ff9d9
They’re all based loosely on real-world vehicles and you can kind of tell what they are, but they’re changed ‘enough’ not to be an issue.
Before coming to Epic, I worked on a game with 100+ vehicles that were loosely based on real-world vehicles, and I spent a great deal of time working with our legal department and automobile manufacturers to avoid copyright and trademark infringement. Here are some rough guidelines that I used that helped keep us in the clear when designing game content based on real-world products:
- No logos. H&K, Colt, Chevrolet, Mustang, etc.
- No brand names. Same as above. Don’t include it in the written text.
- If there’s a trademark \ iconic feature, change it or don’t include it. Specific colors, angles, and silhouette shapes seem to draw the most attention.
- Don’t copy everything 100%. Modify the design to be unique in some way. Silhouettes, interior shapes, and changing material types (wood to metal, metal to plastic, plastic to carbon fiber, etc) are all good places to start modifying.
- The newer the thing you’re copying is, the more likely it is they’ll be looking for people infringing upon its likeness.
Per the terms of the Marketplace Distribution Agreement, it’s ultimately the seller’s legal responsibility to avoid issues like this, and to address them when they happen. We do what we can to work with people to submit content, but if someone submits a 1:1 replica of this year’s new hot sports car complete with all its logos, it would be pretty irresponsible for us to accept that, and there’s not really any amount of modification that can fix that.
makes sense, thanks for the quick response!