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Monday, April 6, 2020 - 17:14

As zombietom and others said,

it's less about whether anyone will actually get into trouble,
and more about whether this is ACTUALLY ok.

In this case it doesn't matter, even if 99% of developers used PS icons in their games.

It's about making sure to avoid legal trouble for anyone. (After all, this is the very reason why we have OGA, no? We want to make sure everything is ok with the assets we use and with the way we use them in).
And to re-emphazise, this is not just about whether it's ok to use these items in the context of describing button mappings,
it's about giving people a false sense of legal safety by providing them a license which grants them the right to do anything with the graphics. One that might lead them into (at worst) thinking, they can use them to create their own controller with said button graphics.

To me it's like saying:"Oh, because you gave someone a weapon and said:"You can do anything you want with it, it's yours", they will try to kill someone with it!".

It doesn't make sense imo, because you don't know what that person's intention really is. But in a certain way that person is right, if you gave everyone a gun in this fashion, surely there will be someone who tries to kill someone with it and then tries to blame it on you.

As zombietom rightfully pointed out, the IRCF started sending "nice" letters (which is also what one of my first comments was based on), that developers should refrain from using the red cross in their video games. (Happened for example in Prison Architect). This is also the reason why in the re-release of DOOM this cross is now green. (But the red cross is not a trademark, though. So I wouldn't really want to compare this.)

Funny enough the reason WHY I associate the red cross with health at all, is because of their use in old videogames,
not because of the few cars driving around.

In a game like DOOM you're really depending on the help from the "red crosses" (Health Packs).

In the same way, if people start removing PS icons from their PC games, because Sony can't give an all-clear,
maybe they realize it will hurt them more on the long term to be silent and will finally give an all-clear.

I would stop speculating about why others did it this or that way.I don't think Sony trademarked THIS special look of the icons, in these colors each seperately with these shapes (outline only),
but don't take this as legal advice, please. (This is the reason why I disagree with zombietom regarding his statement:
"The icons are trademarked". 
regarding the relevance of the icons being used together.)

Either way, for most people legal trouble (even if they're technically in the right to do whatever they want to do),
is undesirable.

Thus making sure no one will have any reason to complain, is what is trying to be achieved here.
This is why for this question, it's irrelevant, whether they've trademarked these exact symbols seperately or not.

Friday, April 3, 2020 - 10:36


The idea here is that people should be made aware of any implications that the use of these symbols have.
OGA's idea is that you can take these assets look at the license and have nothing else to worry about.

For example, someone could take the PlayStation symbols and use them in a completely different way, other than to describe the buttons present on a PlayStation controller.

(For example, someone decides to use these graphics to create a controller on his own)

As it seems, it's being wished here that people are being made aware, that there might be further implicit limitations, that are not present in the CC0 license.

Friday, April 3, 2020 - 10:20

You're really expecting a diffrent reply other than?:

"We can't tell you. Generally you're not allowed to use our trademarks. The seperate icons, are not really what seems trademarked, but idk."

It never hurts to ask, though.

Either way, why are you taking a look at their homepage?

Their homepage isn't what legally requires you not to use their trademarks.

If you really want to know whether the other symbols are trademarked, ask a lawyer
or ask the bureaus in charge for the region you want to make sure no trademark issues will be present.

(WIPO is a pretty good site, where you can also see that at least in Malaysia, the pink triangle on it's own is trademarked)

Depending on the law, already the presence of all of these shapes at once in a picture, even if they are placed far apart for another,
could be interpreted as a trademark violation. (Using a trademark that is too similar)

What is and is not, decides the judge in your country and state.
This being said, please specify for which country you want to make entirely sure that there won't be any trademark issues.

Laws differ across countries. For example:

[Removed OT]

Friday, April 3, 2020 - 10:19


Back to the topic of trademarks:

To my knowledge, a license for a graphic of a trademark, does not grant you the right to use that trademark only to use the graphic.
At which point a license for a trademark has to be obtained, differs.
In many cases, as "withthelove" pointed out,
trademarks can be used freely under "fair use" (as apparently it's called in the U.S.).

I have to agree with withthelove here on most points, except for the "We're not allowed to provide it, because the graphics license contradicts the trademark license". (I hate to repeat myself, but I really think the license for a graphic, that OGA is providing, and the license for a trademark are two entirely different concepts and have nothing to do with each other). (Just in the same way that someone can sell you a patented item, that you then have no right to use, as the patent license, does not give you the right to use it.
(for example SD cards))

And exactly this is, what I would ask either a lawyer about, or take a deeper look into the corresponding law texts.


EDIT: Typos, rephrased.

Thursday, April 2, 2020 - 02:33

I agree, if this is a self-imposed mission, which I do respect,
I'd at least warn the user about it.

(Maybe put it into a seperate download with a special warning?)

I think Sony might be able to enforce it if they really wanted to.
(After all shape is nearly identical and color and use as well).

Tuesday, March 31, 2020 - 15:57

CC0 is something to help you deal with copyright, not with trademark issues.

You're allowed to copy and use that graphic, even for promotional purposes.
(Which makes sense in case you own a trademark license, or use that graphic in a modified form where no trademark license is required)

It does not give you the right to use any trademark depicted in that graphic.

Plus I don't see "triangle square cross circle"-combination in the pack, that the trademark notice is about. Only as seperate icons.

A trademark consists of multiple shapes. And a similarity of trademarks can also be a violation.
Thus you should not even care about trademarks, imo, until really necessary.

You can always be sued over anything. Whether that person has the right to do so, decides the judge, not you, not that person.

EDIT: Removed unecessary phrases.

If you've set yourself as a standard at OGA not to allow trademarked icons, I think it wouldn't hurt to add a notice, regarding the use of these symbols in that order.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020 - 14:30

First off, I'm not a lawyer.

From what I know, in most parts of the world,
trademarks are there to stop people from creating counterfeit products.

This is why you can't use trademarks to advertise something.

I doubt that using one of the icons to informs players about the button mapping,
can be considered a trademark violation,
as soon as it's not part of your marketing. (e.g not using it inside promotion material).

For example, you can't create a PlayStation-compatible controller and slap the PlayStation icons on there, without Sony's permission. (That's the whole purpose of it).

Copyright is not the matter here. (Actual graphics from Sony's Developer Kit, might be eligible for copyright).

If you really want to know the state of trademarks in your country, just look at the corrseponding law text.
This will give you more certainty than anything anyone here can write.

Either way, believe me, after Valve uses these icons in their Big Picture mode, and serveral other studios in their PC games,
an Indie game will be the least of their concern. You will probably get a "friendly" letter/mail to remove it, before they take any legal action.

Also you missed, that the trademarked item in that notice is solely "triangle cricle x square" in that order.
EDIT: A person actually noticed that while I was writing this.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018 - 12:59

Hey there, I'd need the buttons for the GameCube (Controller) as well.

Is there a way to commision those?

I've already done X and Y (although I'm not really proud of them), used A and B from XBOX360 from here and the rest are currently the Wii icons.

If anyone else needs them, they're also CC0