What if someone were to make a new game that can only be installed if you own a copy of "another game". This game itself doesn't modify any files or use any DLL but only textures and models. The game's dll's and its extra resources would sit in a separate folder.

I don't think it can even be considered a mod, but would something like that be legal, considering that this project would aim for profit (whether directly from purchase or indirectly from micro transactions)?

  • "new game" uses textures and models from "other game"?
    – Lag
    Aug 9, 2022 at 13:14
  • 1
    The other game's author holds intellectual copyright of its designs, artwork etc. How is that different from using the resources directly from the other game's online website? And if it requires installation for your game to work, isn't it a derivative? Aug 9, 2022 at 14:04
  • You'd have to purchase 1 game first and then the other which uses those resources. Aug 9, 2022 at 14:51
  • "When is a derivative work a violation of the intellectual property rights in the original work?"
    – Lag
    Aug 9, 2022 at 15:22

1 Answer 1


It’s approximately 0% legal

The textures and models are artistic works with copyright vested in their creator (or whoever the creator assigned the copyright to). You can only use them with permission, which you don’t have, or as fair use/dealing, which this isn’t.

  • 3
    This answer is wrong for US law. Use does not require any permission in the United States (see 17 USC 106 for the list of things that do require permission). An accurate answer to this question would need to address whether a derivative work is created and/or whether the doctrine of exhaustion applies. Aug 10, 2022 at 8:05
  • 2
    Assuming the customer paid good money for game A, and therefore has the right to see the artwork, it would be the same customer playing game B and seeing the same artwork that they are licensed to see. So it’s definitely not obvious that this would be copyright infringement. The producer of game B doesn’t have a license, but the customer has (some license).
    – gnasher729
    Aug 11, 2022 at 21:12

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