-1

I know that starting up a private server of an online game is illegal. However, what if I have access to the source files of a specific game, and change/implement the code so that it's a completely new thing? (Like improving graphic quality, fixing bugs, updating game engine, adding new quests/items, etc.) Although it would look very similar in terms of items, terrains, HUDs, the source would be a completely new thing. If that's the case, would it be still illegal (in terms of copyrights/intellectual theft) to publish this game?

I mean the firm that has the copyrights of the game I'm talking about are basically ruining the game because they're careless and negligent of its users. And because of that, many people are playing on private servers instead.

  • you have access to the specific game's source code, do you rights to re-use it ? is the source code is under GPL license ? – Nestsouls Oct 27 '17 at 18:49
  • Uhmm.. One of the coders of the developer company allegedly shared the source code online. However, the publisher company still has copyrights of the game. Here you can access the court case : iptrademarkattorney.com/2012/03/… – K.Aydido Oct 27 '17 at 18:57
1

Although it would look very similar in terms of items, terrains, HUDs, the source would be a completely new thing.

Developers can copyright the graphics, title, story, and characters; this is what you are copying. This is illegal and it's possible you will be found in copyright violation and face possible civil action if you copy the look and feel of the game and duplicate it with your own code.

From a copyright standpoint, it's more difficult to protect software design and game mechanics and the code itself; this is not what you are copying.

I mean the firm that has the copyrights of the game I'm talking about are basically ruining the game because they're careless and negligent of its users.

This doesn't mean anything; they are free to do what they wish with their products and marketing. They can close their business, destroy their products, make bad products, etc.; it's their choice, not anyone else's.

And because of that, many people are playing on private servers instead.

That is another choice that is made and is a completely different point that you making a copy of the game. The owners of those other servers may be in violation of the TOS of the game by copying and running the game on their own server, or running an unauthorized copy of the original software.

  • It's just that this game used to be phenomenal worldwide. And now, most players stopped playing all together because of the publisher company. Although it's quite possible to come up with a new game that looks like Knight Online,(new engine/story/items/characters), most players wouldn't bother playing it.(Since gameplay is more important than graphics for most players of this game) What if I improved the graphics, change the storyline/name of the classes-characters) – K.Aydido Oct 27 '17 at 19:13
  • Your use of the storyline, graphics and characters would have to be limited enough to be deemed Fair Use: fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/fair-use/four-factors – BlueDogRanch Oct 27 '17 at 19:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.