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?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Legality is a tricky concept. Let's just say you can be sued if you do this (this=using trademarks you have no rights to), and you have no chance of winning. Unfortunately I cannot parse your second sentence, so I cannot give a full answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter - Unban Robert Harvey Aug 26 '17 at 11:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you have to ask, probably not. \$\endgroup\$ – Ian Young Aug 26 '17 at 11:58

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.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Let's say I host the server in a country where there's no copyright laws. Would I still have problems since I'm not doing anything illegal there nor in my country even if police knows its me? \$\endgroup\$ – Wrong Aug 26 '17 at 20:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Still illegal, and how would you find a country without copyright laws? I’m pretty sure every country capable of hosting an MMORPG server has vast copyright laws very similar to that of the US. Because this is a US license, it is subject to US copyright laws. \$\endgroup\$ – ND523 Aug 26 '17 at 22:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Wrong ^^ Sorry, didn't tag you in my response. \$\endgroup\$ – ND523 Aug 27 '17 at 7:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ Put your server in antartica. There is no good copyright system. But of course this only works as long as you only sell to inhabitants of antartica :smirk:. \$\endgroup\$ – BlueWizard Aug 27 '17 at 20:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ND523 well, but in Sweden they offer a total privacy even if authorities ask them for my information for hosting. They don't even ask you for your name to rent a server, I'm talking about "prq" provider. So I guess no copyright there? Or why are there bussiness like mega and others which have thousand of copyrighted stuff or pages like vg-resources? \$\endgroup\$ – Wrong Aug 27 '17 at 23:30

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