9
\$\begingroup\$

I want to allow people to go to real places (Seattle Washington, Portland, Maine, etc.) in my game. Will I need licensing to make those places and use their names?

\$\endgroup\$
14
\$\begingroup\$

Public things like: country names, state names, county names, city names, street names, etc., are not trademarked or copyright protected. There are no licensing agreements required to use them.

See Public Domain

\$\endgroup\$
  • 9
    \$\begingroup\$ Just be careful that all you're using is the name, and not any specific representations of the name. While the name is public domain, some specific logo using the name could be copyrighted. \$\endgroup\$ – jhocking Aug 20 '13 at 17:59
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Same goes for buildings and 'public' art and the like. You might not legally be allowed to reconstruct parts of the city accurately, especially when art is involved (since copyright of art also forbids photographs and the like of it outside of fair use, which making a game is usually not) and buildings made post ~1990 can also have copyright though there's usually an exception for photographs (whether that applies to 3D models or pixelated recreations or not, I don't know). In general, until you have firm legal proof otherwise, always assume "no" as the answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Sean Middleditch Aug 20 '13 at 18:09
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Related: The Lights of the Eiffel Tower at Night is an artistic representation: travel.stackexchange.com/a/16072/1132 \$\endgroup\$ – Jesse Dorsey Aug 20 '13 at 18:18

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.