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Consider a scenario where I'm thinking of building an automated driving system for my own learning, I use driving simulation video games to aid a specific computer vision module as a test bench since I don't have the financials to actually hire a fleet of vehicles and land.

Is this considered fair use? If later on I'm successful in building the system and I want to commercialize it what legal issues can arise?

What if I decide later on to use portions of the software for another commercial product?

  • @K-C no its simply a testing ground. I could build my own driving simulator but that simply adds more complexity development time. – Omnic Dec 11 '16 at 7:00
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It's not fair use. Fair use is when you do something that normally only the copyright holder can do. Playing a video game is the ordinary, intended use of the work. In the United States, ordinary use is not protected by copyright.

17 USC 106 sets out the rights protected by copyright. The include copying the work, producing derivative works, distributing the work, and so on. None of these are ordinary use.

Someone could perhaps argue that you are creating a derivative work. I doubt that argument would work because you are not taking any protectable elements from the work. But if anyone did argue that, it would make sense to also argue that if that's so, your use would still be covered under fair use because it's transformative, does not substitute for the original work in any way, and takes very little of the work.

  • Thanks for the insight, I would imagine many other industries have created products in a similar fashion. Has there been any cases of litigation of this nature? If they do pursue would they be considered copyright trolling? – Omnic Dec 11 '16 at 7:29

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