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This question already has an answer here:

(I'm sorry about my english, I'm from Chile)

Hi! I'm making a game based on Alone In The Dark, and the history would happen before the events on the game of PS1. However, I would like to make a game with the character Aline, but with 10 years old. The game mechanism would be the same, and the name of a lot of characters and places. I don't really want to make any money, I just want to make a good game, I love the AiTD game. Can I do that or I can be on jail because of that? Thanks!

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marked as duplicate by MichaelHouse Apr 29 '14 at 13:27

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    \$\begingroup\$ Contact a lawyer, don't trust some people on the internet with your life. ;) \$\endgroup\$ – János Turánszki Apr 29 '14 at 7:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ As János said, better contact a lawyer. As a rule of a thumb, though, if you have to ponder whether you're breaking copyright law, you're probably breaking copyright law. \$\endgroup\$ – Jari Komppa Apr 29 '14 at 8:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ The Alone In The Dark IP is probably still owned by Infogrames/Atari, maybe the best is simply to contact them and get a written agreement. \$\endgroup\$ – Laurent Couvidou Apr 29 '14 at 9:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Although, unless you offer money upfront, they will probably not even bother answering.. \$\endgroup\$ – Jari Komppa Apr 29 '14 at 12:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ If the audience is going to be limited, the game is free, so i guess just send a kind email to the licence owner and they will bless you... \$\endgroup\$ – GameAlchemist Apr 29 '14 at 20:04
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Well, I would not do/start this project before contacting the original copyright owner and ask them for permission. Often big studios/publisher hold the copyrights for whole franchines, sell them or keep them in "stock" to respin a series a bunch of years later.

Don't understand me wrong, I am no lawyer, but in my country this would not be allowed. I don't know if there are any laws in your country (perhaps non-profit laws, educational purpose laws) which give you the freedom to do that. Maybe if you declare it as a "parody", you may have luck to do this legally.

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There are a lot of examples of games where famous characters are used. You can see many adult oriented games with characters like Princess Peach from SMB for instance. While in theory there should be no risk involved, things will probably get out hand if you try to sell this game or advertise it well enough that some companies would feel obliged to protect their copy rights. The general rule is that if you are "small" and "unprofitable" then companies leave you alone. I can only prove this by example and this is not legal advice. If you don't wish to sell this game for profit I doubt that I would worry. You can always rename the characters and say "the game is inspired by" xyz.

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