If You Duplicate That Virtual Sword In The Real World... Is It Copyright Infringement?

from the question,-questions,-questions... dept

Three years ago, in trying to discuss some of the thorny copyright issues that arise in virtual worlds where any "good" is easily copied, we questioned whether copying a magic sword in a virtual world was copyright infringement. Perhaps we should have taken the question a bit further. Reader Cap'n Jack points us to the news that video game company Square-Enix has sued four retailers for $600,000, not for creating a digital replica of a magic sword, but a real world costume replica of a sword from within the game Final Fantasy. The retailers have agreed to stop selling any Final Fantasy gear, but it does raise some questions about whether creating such material is copyright infringement... and what that means for folks making Halloween costumes every year...

Filed Under: copyright, magic swords, virtual worlds
Companies: square enix


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  1. identicon
    ehrichweiss, 6 Mar 2009 @ 1:26pm

    Re: Re:

    Actually, you're missing something..

    There are tons of knitting books sold and in many of them there is a notice that you are granted the rights to make the patterns for your own personal use but commercial rights to any derivative of their pattern is strictly forbidden.

    This only came up when my wife was knitting a pattern that everyone seemed to like so I discussed selling them to which she said it was forbidden according to that notice. I questioned it and told her to ask if anyone had any experience with it. As luck would have it one of her friend's husband was a copyright attorney and he said that they actually can sue your pants off for making and selling a derivative work. The notice was granting rights to the buyer of the book while reserving rights for the artist. This stuff was decided years ago for these types of books and there apparently were plenty of citations to back it up.

    So yeah, the case is pretty open and shut at this point.

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