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  1. #1
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    Default Question: Use of Baman and other DC Characters in non-commercial fan-made products

    Hi guys,
    the title pretty much says it all. What are the rules regarding the use of Batman comic book characters in non-commercial fan products? Who do I have to contact if I want to ask permission to use them?
    I'm thinking specifically of indie video games here.

  2. #2
    Elder Member Jeff Brady's Avatar
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    First, don't bother asking for permission, you will not get it.

    Secondly, do something original. If you can't do that...

    Third, just go for it anyway. But if you make money from it, be prepared for a lawsuit that will bankrupt you.
    Google is your friend. Have a question? Look it up. ∙ BlogSequential Salon

  3. #3

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    Yea Jeff is right. The rule is: you can't do it. And they won't give you permission.

    Not legally anyway. DC tends to turn a blind eye to most of that stuff unless they're forced to pay attention. So long as it's small-scale it'll probably stay off their radar.

  4. #4
    Senior Member manduck37's Avatar
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    If it's for an indie vidoe game, don't do it. Unless you like not so polite letters from lawyers and possible lawsuits. Batman is a very successful and profitable property of WB. So if you want to know if you can use any of the characters for any project for any reason, profit or not, the answer is no. Now, some people will still do it. Some people will do it well. There are some cool fan films out there. They're overlooked as the creators have made no attempt to profit from them and they've said as much. I'm still not entirely sure if they were contacted by WB legal. Though it will be a much harder sell for a video game. What's the point of a a video game, for people to play it. It's a game. Games get distributed, because the whole point to get a lot of people playing them. So there will be more of a question as to whether or not you actually intend to profit from this indie game. Plus they may not want any competition for the already established and popular games like the Arkham series or Injustice. So really, you're just asking for a whole heap of expensive trouble. Just do your own thing with your own characters and save yourself the time in court and lawyer fees.

  5. #5

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    I agree it's probably best to create your own character.

    If you want to try dragging the Batman audience in, you can market your product to perhaps have a similar tone or style to Batman but if you expect to have people viewing it or purchasing it (especially purchasing it) then I reccomend doing your own character. You won't get permission.

    If you're sort of on the piracy side of things and you won't to make an unofficial flash gam then sure go for it, unless it's a big deal it'll probably go under the radar but I don't think it'll really bring in as many fans you imagine. Go for original, steal the inspiration, but make it your own.

  6. #6
    Blue Boba ABH-1979's Avatar
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    You'd be better off parodying the characters.

    Or, look into using some Public Domain characters, instead.
    DC: Action Comics - Detective Comics - Batman and... - Batman - Justice League
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Vidocq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anonymousjim View Post
    Hi guys,
    the title pretty much says it all. What are the rules regarding the use of Batman comic book characters in non-commercial fan products? Who do I have to contact if I want to ask permission to use them?
    I'm thinking specifically of indie video games here.
    You contact a lawyer.

    Though I hear it's fairly simple. Are they parody? Then you could get away with it, are there non profit? Then you are golden.

    Still, I would consult a lawyer first and not random dudes on the internet.
    ...And does Mr. Goddanm Batman says so much as ''Thanks''? OF COURSE not. That'd hardly be GRIM AND GRITTY, would it?

    The jerk...

    -DKU's Jim Gordon.

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