DMCA Safe Harbor

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. Just keep in mind that I am not a lawyer, and am only trying to educate myself, and in the meantime maybe share my journey with you.

We are getting *very* close to release (Feb. 8 2018), and as with any new venture – we are learning a ton. The interesting thing about The Painter’s Playground is that it isn’t just a ‘game’ as far as legality goes. It turns out that we the devs are legally considered ‘service providers’. What ‘the service’ in this instance is, in my mind, is the sandbox that is The Painter’s Port. Real life gamers go in and create wonderful and brilliant things to share with everyone else. It’s super cool if you ask me. But… Okay, so what?

Well, one surprising thing I have learned very recently is that all ‘fan art’ is not necessarily legal. In fact, if the art being copied is copyrighted, then unless the individual doing the fan art has proper license(s), it is in-fact illegal. Makes sense in hindsight, but I guess I just didn’t grasp that right off the bat.

Anyways, things get more complicated when there is user-generated content (UGC) involved. The issue of unlicensed copyright infringement is a very serious subject and needs to be addressed. Thankfully this was all brought to my attention before release.

TL;DR Next Zen Mechanics Limited (the devs) take no ownership for any UGC with The Painter’s Playground. We are merely service-providing ‘middle-men’. We take no part in policing the UGC of The Painter’s Playground unless we are served with what is called a DMCA Take-Down notice. Paintings that are removed/deleted via too many red flags are done so automatically by computer algorithm, and not by us.

If we are served with a take down notice, we will immediately address the issue. See our legal statement in the link below, or on the Steam store page.

DMCA stands for ‘Digital Millennium Copyright Act’. If you are interested in more details, here is some primer reading:

Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act

The Next Zen Mechanics Limited DMCA Legal Statement

At this point we’ve taken all necessary steps to be covered in DMCA Safe Harbor status.

It’s funny. I never thought fan art could be illegal. The things you learn, am-I-right?

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