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Sanguinous Rex

Is making tokens "less then legal?"

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I'm just curious - I've brought up the question about Star Wars tokens before and the only answer I've gotten is "You can make them with RP tools" but this being the world-wide-web I would have thought that there would already be a HUGE repository of tokens already done for Star Wars games, seeing as there has been a Star Wars RPG since the '80's - West End Games, then the D20 system and now Edge of the Empire.  Plus online gaming which requires tokens if you use online maps for your RPGs.

But until now I've got no solid lead or answer.  I don't have the time I used to (working, etc.) to sit around finding art and making tokens so I'm hoping SOMEONE here will know where to look.

 

It's not illegal, is it? lol

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It's not illegal to use for your own personal use. If you took other people's art and sold it, that would be illegal.

I suspect the reason that there is not an abundance of Star Wars tokens readily available is because Wizards of the Coast's Star Wars: Star Edition encouraged use of and supported the plastic miniatures used from the tabletop strategy game. These can be found and bought online, such as at Miniature Market, or TrollandToad.com.

I will say that the Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Beginner Game comes with a lot of quality tokens. There is a limited number of tokens intended for PCs, but a good variety of baddies and ships to get started with.

I'm pretty familiar with TokenTool and don't mind making tokens for you, if you want the help. If you just tell me specifically what you are looking for and how big each token needs to be (send me a private message), I'll be happy to whip some up for you. You'll just have to print it out on thick paper.

Edited by DylanRPG

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Using other peoples' artwork without their permission is not legal, even if it's for personal use.

This is not true at all. Copyright laws are written to protect the creator from redistributing the creation finantually or otherwise. Using them for your own personal use without distribution violates not copyright laws. Furthermore, use of the phrase "illegal" is not correct anyway. It implies you are breaking a law when actually you are infringing on a copyright. The creator would thn have to open a lawsuit against you.

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It's a fair point about "illegal," but the main point stands. Creating tokens for your game does not fall under Fair Use. 

 

Of course, it's a moot point if the creator never sends a cease and desist, but as a rule many artists are not cool with people using their artwork without paying for it.

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It's a fair point about "illegal," but the main point stands. Creating tokens for your game does not fall under Fair Use. 

 

Of course, it's a moot point if the creator never sends a cease and desist, but as a rule many artists are not cool with people using their artwork without paying for it.

I honestly never considered I might be violating some rule or other by simply printing out pictures from the internet.

I understand the point, I really do, but when me and five of my friends are the only people who ever even see the product, I can't say I particularly feel bad about it. I would send a big thank you to the fine artists whose art I use, if given the opportunity ... So, yeah. I dunno.

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It's a fair point about "illegal," but the main point stands. Creating tokens for your game does not fall under Fair Use. 

 

Of course, it's a moot point if the creator never sends a cease and desist, but as a rule many artists are not cool with people using their artwork without paying for it.

I honestly never considered I might be violating some rule or other by simply printing out pictures from the internet.

I understand the point, I really do, but when me and five of my friends are the only people who ever even see the product, I can't say I particularly feel bad about it. I would send a big thank you to the fine artists whose art I use, if given the opportunity ... So, yeah. I dunno.

 

 

Its funny this should come up.  I was just listening to episode 4 of Order 66 when they had Zoe Robinson on (senior art coordinater at FFG) and a major topic was the "innocent art theft" that goes on a lot.  If you find  piece of artwork you really like and want to use it for the game, just shoot the artist an email and ask if its okay.  99.9% of the time, they just want a little acknowledgement.  Maybe tell the guys around your table who made the work. 

 

To you, its just you and your five friends.  To the artist its the six of you...and four others here...and five others there...and so on and so forth.  It really adds up. Incidentally, you have the opportunity to ask for permission - its far more respectful than taking it and saying "thanks!".

Edited by kelann08

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Yeah, again, I get it. Artists want credit for their work. It would be a LOT of legwork to track down all the artists responsible for tokens I might use and wait for responses, and all that jazz, just to play a game they will never know about with people they will never meet. Again, I get that's the point too, we're strangers using their art.

I guess I'm the jerk here ... Or I was unaware of etiquette, however you want to put it. When one is rifling through images on Google, you don't think about figuring out what website it comes from, let alone who illustrated it. Particularly when, again, you are just going to print it out and use it at home. And yes, I realize how bad that sounds (now).

I understand now the right thing to do is track down the artist and ask permission first. On an honest note, I must say however, when playing my private games at home, I don't think I will actually take the time. I suppose you can take that as you will.

Edited by DylanRPG

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Using other peoples' artwork without their permission is not legal, even if it's for personal use.

This is not true at all. Copyright laws are written to protect the creator from redistributing the creation finantually or otherwise. Using them for your own personal use without distribution violates not copyright laws. Furthermore, use of the phrase "illegal" is not correct anyway. It implies you are breaking a law when actually you are infringing on a copyright. The creator would thn have to open a lawsuit against you.

 

That makes the term "Illegal" correct. He didn't specify if it was criminal or civil, but it is illegal (against the law, hence why the Copyright owner can sue you over the act).

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My suggestion is that if you are going to make your own . . .

Get permission from the artists for their work. There are a lot of small time people out there that do star wars art and would just like recognition for it. They also work on commission. Try checking out the star wars artist guild.

Also if you want to make your own go to a craft store. You can get little wooden discs that are same size of the tokens and you can put whatever you like on them. Anywhere from just words to artwork glued down on them. I did this a long time ago while playing pathfinder because we didn't have the money to invest in minis at the time.

Anyways that's my advice.

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This is a ridiculous argument anyway. Making tokens for your private campaigns is basically the same as making a mix-tape from CDs because the rental you got for a roadtrip with your friends only has a cassette player.

Yes, but in this case you're keeping it for personal use. If you were to make copies of that same mix tape and start sharing it around, then you'd be outside the bounds of Fair Use doctrine. Same thing if people were to take someone's artwork, create some derivative work and then release it online (like making pogs).

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This is a ridiculous argument anyway. Making tokens for your private campaigns is basically the same as making a mix-tape from CDs because the rental you got for a roadtrip with your friends only has a cassette player.

 

Yes thank for saying something sane. This discussion is just nonsense.

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This is a ridiculous argument anyway. Making tokens for your private campaigns is basically the same as making a mix-tape from CDs because the rental you got for a roadtrip with your friends only has a cassette player.

 

Except that you or your friend bought the CD so someone got paid for their time and effort, with art pilfered from someone's website you've given them nothing in return for their work. A real flesh and blood person made the art you like enough to take, the least you can do is acknowledge it, better yet offer the person some cash so they can afford to make even more art you like. Most people are happy to buy someone a beer for nothing but their company but can't fathom paying someone for creating something they want to use. Sure you "can" take their work and get away with it because the artist is never going to know you what you did, but that doesn't make it right.

The shame of it is that we live in a society where we're constantly getting screwed by some corporation or another that we feel like it's our right to screw over others in return.

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Yes, but in this case you're keeping it for personal use. If you were to make copies of that same mix tape and start sharing it around, then you'd be outside the bounds of Fair Use doctrine. Same thing if people were to take someone's artwork, create some derivative work and then release it online (like making pogs).

 

Of course, because (as I said above) copyright laws are to protect artist from redistrobution of their work... whether any money crossed hands or not. It is all tied to the redistrobution. That is why torrents users have been targeted, it is the unauthorized redistrobution.

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This is a ridiculous argument anyway. Making tokens for your private campaigns is basically the same as making a mix-tape from CDs because the rental you got for a roadtrip with your friends only has a cassette player.

 

Yes thank for saying something sane. This discussion is just nonsense.

 

 

Did you make an account just to respond to this thread?

 

Are you an artist?  Do you work to make something that other people take and use without asking and get nothing for your effort, even a thank you or someone asking permission?  If not, then you can't understand and the discussion is far from nonense.

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This is a ridiculous argument anyway. Making tokens for your private campaigns is basically the same as making a mix-tape from CDs because the rental you got for a roadtrip with your friends only has a cassette player.

 

Yes thank for saying something sane. This discussion is just nonsense.

 

 

Did you make an account just to respond to this thread?

 

Are you an artist?  Do you work to make something that other people take and use without asking and get nothing for your effort, even a thank you or someone asking permission?  If not, then you can't understand and the discussion is far from nonense.

 

 

No, but that was my first post. I agree artists should be paid, but printing tokens out for your own personal use is not going to affect artists' fortunes one iota. Stop being delusional. If you don't want your artwork borrowed in this most innocuous of ways then don't share it on the web.

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Making a mix tape is actually illegal duplication of music. Making counters for your game from somebody else's art without their permission is illegal duplication of their art.

In the case of Star Wars it is very likely also trademark infringement.

Copyright and fair use have nothing to do with whether or not money changes hands.

It is not a silly discussion. If you think it is silly try asking anyone who makes their living creating and selling art work or writing.

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This is a ridiculous argument anyway. Making tokens for your private campaigns is basically the same as making a mix-tape from CDs because the rental you got for a roadtrip with your friends only has a cassette player.

 

Yes thank for saying something sane. This discussion is just nonsense.

 

 

Did you make an account just to respond to this thread?

 

Are you an artist?  Do you work to make something that other people take and use without asking and get nothing for your effort, even a thank you or someone asking permission?  If not, then you can't understand and the discussion is far from nonense.

 

 

No, but that was my first post. I agree artists should be paid, but printing tokens out for your own personal use is not going to affect artists' fortunes one iota. Stop being delusional. If you don't want your artwork borrowed in this most innocuous of ways then don't share it on the web.

 

 

No one is saying to pay the artist.  A simple  email saying "hey, I love your work.  I play EotE and I'd like to know if I can borrow some of your pieces to make player aids for my private game.  No distribution involved at all, just personal use."  The vast majority of the time the reply will be something to the effect of "hey, thanks!  I don't mind at all if you just let them know its my work.  Enjoy it!"  Maybe you can create a relationship with someone and do some commission work for your games.  At the very least, you can share the artist with your friends and get their name moving forward.

 

Saying not to put it on the internet creates an absurd conundrum in which an artist can't use the most effective way to publicize their work.  Just because its up there doesn't mean anyone is allowed to take it.  If you left your car parked outside a store and someone took it, would you accept that its your fault because you left your car there to be taken?  No.

Edited by kelann08

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This is a ridiculous argument anyway. Making tokens for your private campaigns is basically the same as making a mix-tape from CDs because the rental you got for a roadtrip with your friends only has a cassette player.

 

Yes thank for saying something sane. This discussion is just nonsense.

 

 

Did you make an account just to respond to this thread?

 

Are you an artist?  Do you work to make something that other people take and use without asking and get nothing for your effort, even a thank you or someone asking permission?  If not, then you can't understand and the discussion is far from nonense.

 

 

No, but that was my first post. I agree artists should be paid, but printing tokens out for your own personal use is not going to affect artists' fortunes one iota. Stop being delusional. If you don't want your artwork borrowed in this most innocuous of ways then don't share it on the web.

 

 

No one is saying to pay the artist.  A simple  email saying "hey, I love your work.  I play EotE and I'd like to know if I can borrow some of your pieces to make player aids for my private game.  No distribution involved at all, just personal use."  The vast majority of the time the reply will be something to the effect of "hey, thanks!  I don't mind at all if you just let them know its my work.  Enjoy it!"  Maybe you can create a relationship with someone and do some commission work for your games.  At the very least, you can share the artist with your friends and get their name moving forward.

 

Saying not to put it on the internet creates an absurd conundrum in which an artist can't use the most effective way to publicize their work.  Just because its up there doesn't mean anyone is allowed to take it.  If you left your car parked outside a store and someone took it, would you accept that its your fault because you left your car there to be taken?  No.

 

 

As a courtesy sure, you can ask the artist, but you are under no obligation to. Just going to an artist's website puts their images on your computer, should I send them an email asking them if it's ok to keep my browser cache intact for the next X number of days? What about when people send flyers to my house and I use it to line the bird cage, should I call up XYZ marketing company and ask them permission to let my bird crap on their ad?

 

Oh man I have already spent way to long discussing this idiotic non-issue.

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This is a ridiculous argument anyway. Making tokens for your private campaigns is basically the same as making a mix-tape from CDs because the rental you got for a roadtrip with your friends only has a cassette player.

 

Yes thank for saying something sane. This discussion is just nonsense.

 

 

Did you make an account just to respond to this thread?

 

Are you an artist?  Do you work to make something that other people take and use without asking and get nothing for your effort, even a thank you or someone asking permission?  If not, then you can't understand and the discussion is far from nonense.

 

 

No, but that was my first post. I agree artists should be paid, but printing tokens out for your own personal use is not going to affect artists' fortunes one iota. Stop being delusional. If you don't want your artwork borrowed in this most innocuous of ways then don't share it on the web.

 

 

No one is saying to pay the artist.  A simple  email saying "hey, I love your work.  I play EotE and I'd like to know if I can borrow some of your pieces to make player aids for my private game.  No distribution involved at all, just personal use."  The vast majority of the time the reply will be something to the effect of "hey, thanks!  I don't mind at all if you just let them know its my work.  Enjoy it!"  Maybe you can create a relationship with someone and do some commission work for your games.  At the very least, you can share the artist with your friends and get their name moving forward.

 

Saying not to put it on the internet creates an absurd conundrum in which an artist can't use the most effective way to publicize their work.  Just because its up there doesn't mean anyone is allowed to take it.  If you left your car parked outside a store and someone took it, would you accept that its your fault because you left your car there to be taken?  No.

 

 

As a courtesy sure, you can ask the artist, but you are under no obligation to. Just going to an artist's website puts their images on your computer, should I send them an email asking them if it's ok to keep my browser cache intact for the next X number of days? What about when people send flyers to my house and I use it to line the bird cage, should I call up XYZ marketing company and ask them permission to let my bird crap on their ad?

 

Oh man I have already spent way to long discussing this idiotic non-issue.

 

 

So you aren't an artist then - got it.  Now I know you don't understand their perspective.  The bird cage analogy doens't apply at all.  They sent you the art on a flyer - by doing so they are giving you permission to use it that flyer and the art on it as you wish.  If you plan to duplicate the artwork for other purposes, yes you should ask permission.  Files being saved to your cache aren't being used.  They are merely sitting there.  If you plan to print it or use it from the cache, the same applies. 

 

Just because you come up with inane examples doesn't mean that the situation isn't the same.  Its about having respect for the person who's work you are using.  If you don't, go ahead and use it as much as you want.  You clearly don't have a conscience about it.

Edited by kelann08

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Saying not to put it on the internet creates an absurd conundrum in which an artist can't use the most effective way to publicize their work.  Just because its up there doesn't mean anyone is allowed to take it.  If you left your car parked outside a store and someone took it, would you accept that its your fault because you left your car there to be taken?  No.

 

Except no one is 'taking' anything. If I leave my car outside and someone wants to photgraph it, and I have a problem with it then I shouldn't have left it out there. However, if they didn't do anything to deprive me of my car by actually taking it or damaging it, then it's my problem not theirs.

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