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I am working on a PC game that I intend of selling at some point in the future. The story of the game is revolving around a tribe that used to live in Europe. The name of the tribe is quite popular today and there is even a region with the same name in Greece today. I would like to know if it is legal to use names like that for my game story, or am I better off with changing the name so I wont get sued...

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While countries can be quite sensitive about names - see the recent fuss about Macedonia - in reasonable law such names are considered facts. Facts are not subject to copyright. That means you can't be successfully sued in most countries.

Obviously it wouldn't be a smart move to sell software which mentions the name Macedonia in Greece. While you could probably win that lawsuit, it might need escalation to European courts, and such a small market really isn't worth the risk.

  • Thanks for the answer. I see... I suppose I will change the name just to be on the safe side. Its going to be tricky to edit it out of few audio files but better that than to deal with potential lawsuits. – Yanko Jun 17 '18 at 21:10
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    ??? I do not remember any issue with Greece because of the use of the name Macedonia in relation to the historical tribe; the issue seems mainly that they do not want some other country using the name out of concern of using that as a basis of a future reclamation of the Greek region of the same name. There are lots of strategy games about Alexander and co., and all of them use the name "Macedonians" (of course, the Greeks might tell you that they are the true descendants of that people). – SJuan76 Jun 17 '18 at 23:13
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    "it wouldn't be a smart move to sell software which mentions the name Macedonia in Greece": this seems completely off base unless the software were explicitly using the name to denote Slavs. Don't forget that there is a province of Greece that bears the name. – phoog Jun 18 '18 at 1:57

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