Tracy, CA asked in Gaming, Copyright, Trademark and Intellectual Property

Q: Can I make a comic using screenshots from a video game to tell a story?

I have an idea of using a game to create a comic but I'm not sure if it is legal. I know people make youtube videos using the same method of screen capturing the animations and putting them together to make a show/movie. Most youtubers monetize this content as well. I'm wondering if creating something with a trademarked game will get me into trouble?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: Using screenshots from a video game to create a comic may be considered a derivative work, which typically requires permission from the copyright owner. Without permission, using screenshots from a video game to create a comic could potentially be a copyright infringement.

However, there are some cases where the use of copyrighted material for a transformative purpose, such as parody, criticism, or commentary, may be considered a fair use and not infringe upon the original copyright. It would be best to consult with a lawyer who is familiar with copyright law to determine if your use of the video game screenshots for the comic falls under fair use or if permission from the copyright owner is needed.

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