Let's say I take World of Warcraft and I mod it to make it look like a Dragon Ball game and I obtain profit from it, would it be legal?
Simply put, no. Not only are you using the copyrighted engine of World of Warcraft, you're also introducing another franchise's assets (this could mean anything—concepts, characters, etc.) and passing them off as your own.
According to Wikipedia's article on the Copyright law of the United States, the following six rights are the basic rights that the copyright law protects:
- To reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords;
- To prepare derivative works based upon the work;
- To distribute copies or phonorecords of the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;
- To publicly perform the work, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works;
- To publicly display the work, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work.
- To digitally transmit sound recordings by means of digital audio transmission.
A company controls whether or not you can do any of these six things, and will generally, in their copyright info, will say what you can or cannot do.
A violation of any of these rights results in a copyright infringement suit, and as you may know in Flappy Bird's case (where the programmer used assets directly from Nintendo's Super Mario Bros. series), is a messy case and never works out in the accused's favor.
Now, let's check the copyright information on Dragon Ball's webpage, which states:
Materials on FUNimation.com and related sites are solely for your personal, non-commercial use. Without the express written consent of FUNimation or other rights holder(s) listed below, these materials may not be copied, reproduced, republished, uploaded, posted, transmitted, or distributed in any way, including by e-mail or other electronic means. Without the prior written consent of the owner, modification of the materials, use of the materials on any other web site or networked computer environment, or use of the materials for any purpose other than personal, non-commercial use is a violation of the copyrights, trademarks, and other proprietary rights, and is prohibited.
As they say in the final sentence, "use of the materials for any purpose other than personal, non-commercial use" violates their rights, and is therefore prohibited. so, if you create a derivative work (something based off of and/or using the franchise's assets) and use it for commercial purposes (using it for any other reason than for personal or non-commercial use), you're in direct violation of their rights, and it is illegal.