Legalities of modifying someone else's work for use in a demo

So I'm a sound designer and I want to make a demo to show off what I can do.

As something a little different, I had the idea of capturing gameplay footage from a well-known game and completely replacing the audio track with my one of my own creation (sfx & music both).

Aside from whether it will really matter and whether it's a good idea or not (yes, I'm aware that this isn't how sound works in real-time interactive media), is it actually legal?


Bittman's picture

I'm no legal guru, but simply putting music to gameplay is not dissimilar to making a music video, which crazy fans do for animes all the time.

Using someone elses music is more contentious because the musical industry is sue-happy. This is probably where any of your worries may have stemmed from.

And you're not really modifying to profit, but promote. All seems fine to me.

Anonymous's picture

It's completely fine - be sure to acknowledge the original developers and clearly point out that you didn't work on the original game, and that you've purely used their footage as a means of demonstrating your own sound design ability. Keep it for private use (send it to developers as part of a resume, but I wouldn't host it on a public website) and you're all good.

1 - Acknowledge the developers
2 - Clearly point out that you had no associating with the game
3 - Keep it private

souri's picture

You know, I've never heard of a case where a developer had an issue with the use of modified gameplay footage (fan-made or otherwise). For the most part, they're pretty happy that their game is getting extra exposure.

The only times I've seen developers get a miffed is when people upload entire walkthroughs of games right after release date (Konami got a guy suspended on youTube after he put up the entire Metal Gear Solid 4 walkthrough for example), or any footage when a street date is broken (Grand Theft Auto 4).

You should be alright, as long as you credit yourself for the sound + music only, and, heaven forbid, don't start charging cash for it.