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Subject: Seeking Canadian IP Information rss

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Tom S
Canada
Hamilton
Ontario
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Hello!

First off, I do plan to make an appointment with an IP firm (i.e. Gowlings) if my project is good enough to make a sample prototype and raise funds. I don't expect this advice to substitute for what the IP lawyer says...

But I still find myself wondering as I push forward with my game what can I use. There is wealth of expertise here so it's worth seeing what other's experience's are.

I am working on a 4 player game using the theme of the 1997 Canadian Federal Election. From what I gather the work is transformative to the point that using politician's names and referencing historical events is fine. All of the above should be public domain. At this stage I'm not using any party logos or pictures. I am using the party's colour and abbreviation as the identifiers for each deck and cubes.

I look at a game like Campaign Manager 2008 (American so not really applicable) and I wonder how the designers were able to use what they did?

I would love to use a resized image from the CBC, or Macleans in the manner that Matthews/Leonard did in the CM08 card design. Is it fair use by Canadian Copyright laws? As long as I credit Macleans and CBC in my instruction book of course. The Political Parties might legally have full control over use of their logos...even in my game. I know I can't use any of their images or logos on my box as that would infer an endorsement. Help!

I decided to learn GIMP and brush up on my design skills so I'm saving the costs of hiring a designer for the cards. Using the money that I save there for lawyer consultation. Still, would be great to know if I'm wasting my money if there's an easy answer to what I can use and what is forbidden without permission/money.
 
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Michael Van Biesbrouck
Canada
St Catharines
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I think that you'll find that a collage is transformative but using photos to illustrate your cards is not. (Consider the legality of taking art from random people on DeviantArt to illustrate a game with a different theme. This is no different.)

Each photo may have individual licenses from the photographers, although it seems the legal default was for the publisher to own the copyright until 2012 (actual contracts could vary from this). Cropping the image is part of the moral rights of the photographer, so even if a publisher holds the rights to the image them might not be able to let you use it as you intend.
It might be simpler to pick a political cartoonist whose work you enjoy and license that person's work to use as illustrations.

Information on the current state of the law for photos: https://capic.org/copyright-laws/
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Tom S
Canada
Hamilton
Ontario
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"It might be simpler to pick a political cartoonist whose work you enjoy and license that person's work to use as illustrations."

That's what I'm leaning towards at this point. Again, from what I understand I can use the name "Jean Chretien" in the context of an actual historical event that I've turned into a card. Or the "LIB" abbreviation for the Liberal Party Of Canada and a red backing for their deck.

I've got a bit of leeway in that a politician is a public domain figure from what I gather but they still hold image rights and cannot be used in any way to link to an endorsement. It's not quite like a celebrity- I question whether I'd be able to use "Peter Mansbridge" on a card image or no...illustration or no. As a CBC Reporter and (Canadian) Celebrity I don't even think I have name rights in this context.

In Other words from what I gather I can't put a public domain image of Jean Chretien on the package as it could be seen as constituting an endorsement from the former Prime Minister. Logos same reason. I would be weary of using even illustrations of either as box art for the same reason

What I CAN DO is make my box art An illustration of Parliament Hill with a generic "Canadian Election '97" title. This would work alright as long as I don't use anything that Elections Canada owns.
 
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