I've been asked to create several images to look like ships from various science fiction series. I've read a bit about copyright laws, and I know there's a thing called substantial similarity, but I'm unclear as to how this works. I'm not actually copying the source work, but I'll be using it as a reference. I've been given free license for style, so if I do them in, say, pixel art, would that constitute enough of a change?

To cite an example: "Game Dev Tycoon" uses obvious representations of the Xbox, Wii, etc., but somehow has gotten away with it.

Any help or resources anyone could point out would be appreciated.

  • Cross-posting detected: gamedev.stackexchange.com/questions/90021/… Commented Dec 21, 2014 at 1:42
  • Yes, as I said in that other post, I was unsure on which site to post this question, so I asked on both. There's no "Legal Advice" SE site.
    – Jack
    Commented Dec 21, 2014 at 1:43
  • There wont be a legal advise SE site because that is opening a can of worms and could make SE liable plus you should consult a copyright attorney in your area. In regards to the other post please do not cross post on SE but request the mod of the site to transfer it in a comment or ask in meta if the question is in scope.
    – user9447
    Commented Dec 21, 2014 at 2:37
  • This is an unanswerable question as it stands now as it relates to matters of law, we have no idea of your jurisdiction, and most importantly we are not your lawyer.
    – bemdesign
    Commented Dec 21, 2014 at 3:56
  • 1
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about legal issues and better asked of an attorney.
    – Scott
    Commented Dec 21, 2014 at 6:06


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