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If my movie has a Princess Zelda init would Nintendo sue me?

If my movie has a Princess Zelda in it could/would Nintendo sue me?

YES79%[ 15 ]
NO21%[ 4 ]

Total Votes : 19

Posted: Sat, 31st Jul 2010, 3:40am

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JUIDAR

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Not that I believe my movie is going to be a major blockbuster smash hit but it would be playing on TV in my area of the world and would be selling a dvd online as well.

I don't see how they could but you never know these days and the fact that she's a princess but she's not an elve princess there are elves in the movie though so anyway was just curious what the lot of you thought.

smile
Posted: Sat, 31st Jul 2010, 7:35am

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Axeman

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Why not just change the name and avoid the entire issue?
Posted: Sat, 31st Jul 2010, 9:19am

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Sollthar

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it would be playing on TV in my area of the world and would be selling a dvd
In which case your project immediately goes as "public" and "commercial" and, if Zelda is a trademarked / copyrighted name, you could be sued.

But yes, why even bother and not just change the name...?
Posted: Sat, 31st Jul 2010, 10:10pm

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pdrg

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Yes they could. Would they? Unlikely, unless there's money at stake, otherwise they're more likely to order a takedown and just scare you up a bit.

Princess Xelldar though is another matter... wink
Posted: Sun, 1st Aug 2010, 12:27am

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Aculag

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Princess Czselde.
Posted: Sun, 1st Aug 2010, 3:02am

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JUIDAR

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I have seen other films very few with the name Zelda and met one before in my life is it really entirely impossible to name a character in a movie under that name as if they themselves created it?
Posted: Sun, 1st Aug 2010, 4:36am

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Axeman

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No, its not impossible. But unless the name Zelda is critical to the entire plot, which would be weird, changing the name is a ridiculously simple way to circumvent the issue completely.
Posted: Sun, 1st Aug 2010, 6:22am

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Serpent

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Yeah, but Axeman, clearly he is drawn to the Zelda series and wants to do a legal nod to it. Surely as a filmmaker you've wanted to do something in your film where you could just drop it to "circumvent the 'issue,'" but really rather wouldn't.

I'm no lawyer, but I think you should find an answer if this is something you want to do. Unless it's worth sacrificing it and going with "Czselde." smile
Posted: Sun, 1st Aug 2010, 7:01am

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Sollthar

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I have seen other films very few with the name Zelda and met one before in my life is it really entirely impossible to name a character in a movie under that name as if they themselves created it?
Are you going to ask the same question until you get an answer you like? smile

Your question has already been answered several times. It's not impossible, but it might be a legal issue that could be entirely avoided by just renaming the character. You can risk it if you feel it' worth it, but it will be exactly that: a risk.
Posted: Sun, 1st Aug 2010, 8:41am

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pdrg

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Ok, if you have a character Princess Zelda you may find it depends on context a bit, if PZ is the name of a helicopter in a film about the marines, you're probably fine. If she is a princess whose character and world is clearly inspired by/based upon Nintendo's PZ, you're maybe not. What would a reasonable person say? Does the character have more in common than just the name?

And regardless of where you're drawing a line through the grey area, do you really want to have to defend it in court? Or just be forced to take down the vids if you can't afford to defend yourself? It doesn't matter what a judge would say if you can't afford to go to court and find out. You can easily be right, but have to change the film or start a legal battle you can't afford, happens every day, big companies know threats will intimidate people and frankly people cave every day with far less grey cases than your own.

If you want an easy life, change the script (we do that every day, a script is useless if you can't shoot it), if you want to take a chance because it's that core to the story, fine, do so. You asked whether you could get trouble, yes you could. Will you? Unlikely, but maybe. Who knows? I can't predict the future or I'd be bloody rich right now wink
Posted: Sun, 1st Aug 2010, 3:23pm

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JUIDAR

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lol

Thanks guys okay so I decided to change the name really I just thought it was a really pretty name.

The story is about a human princess(zelda) who was having an affair with a elve which is forbidden and the fact that she's a princess is even worse.

But anyway doesn't sound like worth all the possible trouble so yeah I'll just change the name. smile
Posted: Sun, 1st Aug 2010, 4:30pm

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Atom

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Okay, well forget about changing the name for a minute- why the hell would you name your (seemingly) main character, a princess, Zelda to begin with? That just seems plain idiotic, I can't believe people have danced around it.

That'd be like me writing my own crime caper script and naming my billionaire playboy crimefighter Batman. Who cares if the plot is different, the iconography of the name and description-likeness alone immediately eclipse whatever I'm writing about. Why on earth would I even start on that ground? It's just idiotic.

I'd be nicer, but this just seems so silly and obvious; you should know better. Especially if you went into this from the scripting stage thinking/wanting TV and DVD exposure. First to write about a character name that is clearly in the public sphere; then to ask if you'll be in trouble for it. Change the name, think more next time.

If for whatever reason you'll die not having the name (although I couldn't see why you would) then get creative and off-put the spelling/pronunciation to something like 'Cselde'. But even then, come on.

Be a little bit more original. wink
Posted: Sun, 1st Aug 2010, 4:51pm

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JUIDAR

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Wow ATOM I think you just sunk my battleship. lol

Dude serieously that was harsh I am a very original thinker and the fact that I would take up the challenge to take an associated name and make a movie out of that character in a different manner I think would be an even greater test to break that association and create an entirley new one.

You would be suprised actually at how many people do not reconize the name Zelda and the many that do think it's the name of a big golden triangle.

Regardless of what name I pick really most names have been used in some other film on some other character I will admit that making a princess with that name is pushing the envelope and I have decided not to use it but I'm also that kind of person that likes to try new things and to be honest no one has yet.

I know where your coming from ATOM but again I chose the name at first because I liked it not for what in peoples eyes it stood for. If I made a movie about a carpentar named Mario would Nintendo sue me I mean Mario was a carpenter originally.

It's not that I'm disagreeing with you so much it's that you don't have to call me an idiot either.
Posted: Sun, 1st Aug 2010, 5:07pm

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Sollthar

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Heh, he's right though.

Also, seeing that you appear to expect an actual audience besides friends and family to watch your film... Are you sure you CAN tell a story set in a fantasy universe so that it will even appeal to an audience that isn't related to you?

If you're doing it just for the fun of it and for friends and family and nerds on the internet, ignore my entire statement and do whatever you feel is going to be fun. But if you have even the slightest desire for proper exposure of your film, which I somehow feel you might, better rethink the entire concept, not just the name.
Posted: Sun, 1st Aug 2010, 5:10pm

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Atom

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Just trying to knock some hard sense into ya. biggrin

You're better than even pondering about something like that- if you're creating your own unique universe, script, characters, and world- you'd have to be out of your mind to undo your own originality with the use of a copyrighted, clearly iconic, world-established name. Come on, now. Regardless of legal consequences, you knew that. wink

Comparing a name like 'John' or even 'Mario' as being used in different settings and films is entirely irrelevant, because those are and will likely always be real names. Zelda is a made-up name exclusive to a videogame. And it's extremely well-known and popular because of this. Don't be silly, now.

Also, Sollthar has the king of all points on creating a fantasy production/story for non-friends/non-nerds. It reminds me of the cautionary feeling I got on your last project, with the tagline 'in a world where mana and ki exist'- which I admittedly couldn't help but snicker at. Not saying it's bad- or that you shouldn't try making a fantasy- but understand that it'll probably- despite the best of efforts or execution- come off less cool or normal than you want; and more esoteric and (likely) inevitably nerdy. Just something to think about, take it to heart.
Posted: Sun, 1st Aug 2010, 6:15pm

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Serpent

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Actually Zelda is a very real and established nickname. I'm surprised you've never heard of it. Zelda Fitzgerald? Long before Nintendo released Zelda 1 in the 80's.

Last edited Sun, 1st Aug 2010, 6:21pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Sun, 1st Aug 2010, 6:19pm

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Sollthar

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Oder Zelda Rubinstein. That's entirely besides the point though and you know it. wink

There's also someone called Adolf Hitler still alive today, that doesn't mean it's a perfectly adequate name for a child to have.
Posted: Sun, 1st Aug 2010, 6:24pm

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Serpent

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Oh of course I know it. smile It had to be said though.

Moonunit Zappa. Loads of weird names out there. If it's a main character named princess Zelda set in a fantasy world with people with elf ears, you'd be stepping into murky legal waters. Anyways, I think he gets the point. If you can't afford a lawyer who can confidently protect you (he'd basically have to be sure that it's really not much of an issue), there's probably no reason to take the risk, especially after hearing the reason for using it. razz
Posted: Sun, 1st Aug 2010, 8:32pm

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Pooky

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O'Sullivan is a weird name if you think about it. It's got a random O' at the beginning razz
Posted: Sun, 1st Aug 2010, 9:00pm

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Serpent

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Yeah, I love explaining to the folks at Blockbuster that they need to include "the little comma thingy" between the "O" and the "S." I'm definitely changing my name before I marry.
Posted: Sun, 1st Aug 2010, 9:10pm

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Pooky

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Von Moos is badass, though. I love Mooses.
Posted: Sun, 1st Aug 2010, 9:12pm

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Sollthar

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Rating: +1

I love my name!



My Dad there...
Posted: Sun, 1st Aug 2010, 11:41pm

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Pooky

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Must've had a pretty strong upbringing! I hear those antlers can mess you up.
Posted: Sun, 1st Aug 2010, 11:48pm

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Serpent

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Rating: +3

Posted: Mon, 2nd Aug 2010, 3:27am

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Pooky

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What in god's name is that??
Posted: Mon, 2nd Aug 2010, 3:45am

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Serpent

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Marco von Moose.
Posted: Mon, 2nd Aug 2010, 3:53am

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Pooky

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You got the nose wrong, it needs to be bigger!
Posted: Mon, 2nd Aug 2010, 4:41pm

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pdrg

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Excellent, Serpent smile
Posted: Mon, 2nd Aug 2010, 5:15pm

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Axeman

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No wonder he doesn't like fun.
Posted: Mon, 9th Aug 2010, 7:16pm

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Vdeogamer

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I think even if you change the name it's still illegal. It's like creating a character that was originally going to be Mario, and looks like Mario, but is now called Marty and you're trying to pass it off as your own. I read about video game copyright and such and it won't work.

On the other hand, if you're not going to profit off of the video with your zelda person in it, then Nintendo has no problem with it, as it simply promotes their franchise. Otherwise, your making money off of their creation.
Posted: Mon, 9th Aug 2010, 9:20pm

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B3N

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Well that's a shame, I thought we were on about Marco Von Mousse unsure

Posted: Mon, 9th Aug 2010, 9:25pm

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Axeman

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Vdeogamer wrote:

On the other hand, if you're not going to profit off of the video with your zelda person in it, then Nintendo has no problem with it, as it simply promotes their franchise.
Did Nintendo actually tell you this? Because whether you are profiting from it or not has no impact on whether it is copyright violation. Copyright is the right to make a copy, not the right to profit from a copy. Odds of getting in trouble are less if you aren't profiting from it, but it doesn't make it any more legal.

I don't know whether using the name Princess Zelda is copyright infringement or not, seeing as Zelda is a real name given to real people, I don't see how they could copyright the name itself. Though if there were also similarities in the character or concept, it would be more of an issue. However, whether you are profiting from it or not has no impact one way or the other, from a legal sense.
Posted: Fri, 13th Aug 2010, 12:13am

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JUIDAR

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Vdeogamer wrote:

I think even if you change the name it's still illegal. It's like creating a character that was originally going to be Mario, and looks like Mario, but is now called Marty and you're trying to pass it off as your own. I read about video game copyright and such and it won't work.
The only similarity is that it's a princess. She's not an elf and doesn't do magic and I'm pretty sure Zelda didn't sleep around but who knows...

lol