February 14th, 2012, 11:02 AM
Wow, there's quite a bit of misinformation here. Let's clear this up:
- United states copyright doesn't expire for 95 years.
- Freeware is still protected by copyright unless it is expressly placed in the public domain.
- You can be sued even if you are not making money. (In particular there can be significant damages if the company has plans to license the game and your free version depresses the market).
- Just because other people do it doesn't make it legal.
The only thing you can really do to avoid infringement is get permission in writing from the copyright owner. For most companies the easiest way to do that is by inquiring if there is a licensing arm of the company and get in contact with them. (This would be the same route you'd take to make merchandise such as Ms. Pac Man lunch boxes)
“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” - Dr. Seuss
Last edited by medialint : February 15th, 2012 at 10:50 AM.