Hi Michael,
Sigh...All I'm saying to you and others is this. If you do it it is
illegal and you could face some problems. Some have done it, and
haven't been caught nor bothered by the copyright holders. That
doesn't mean that what you are doing is strictly legal, nor does it
mean that nothing can happen to you.
What it does mean is one of two things. One, the people violating
copyrights haven't been caught,  and the copyright holder hasn't
noticed them. Two, they know about it but have decided to leave the
offending party alone. Some feel that taking the case to court cost
them more than they are likely to get out of a copyright suit and let
sleeping dogs alone. As I've mentioned before it really depends on how
company x wants to handle it.
So what I'm saying hear is to be very careful. If at possible do what
I did with Tomb hunter and don't make an exact clone or copy of
whatever it is you want to create.  Try and pull the generic elements
out of the game and put it together and market it under a different
name with somewhat different elements when and where possible.  I
don't think it is worth it to use copyrighted meaterial when you could
create something equally good on your own. Just because something is
released as free doesn't mean there is no risk of getting in trouble.
It just makes it slightly less of a concern, but the possability
always exists.


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