I'm a long time lurker of these fantastic forums and I can say that I really love this community, and that brought me to find this the best place to ask you a question related to copyright.
The background is that in my free time I'm developing a videogame. This would be a military wargame that involve military aircraft and, being basically an indie developer, I decided to go for the safest route in terms of licensing, so I'm creating a modern "alternate" universe where I can sports aircrafts similar to real one but with different names and manufacturers.
I'm puzzled to understand how other companies manage to get through this... I suppose many opt for "I'll use F-15 Eagle as name and I will resemble the shape, if Boeing sues me let's see" since basically everything is covered by trademark.
But I get to the point, I decided to create fictional airplanes based on actual shapes of existing ones, like the tail from an F-18, the wings from F-15, the cockpit from an A-6 (a monster in this example) and so on. Not being an artist, I relied on images published here on SB, and with photoshop, basically redraw them "melting" airplanes together, trying to do them as close as possible to SB author submissions.
The below case is an example where I created a fictional aircraft from Darth Panda and Erin&LittleBird:
My question is, given that:
- My airplane is fictional per se, so no sues from airplane companies
- The colors and shapes are basically my terrible tentative to mimick DP and E&LB great work
- If you check, the tail and the wings are shaped like the M 346, the cockpit and exhaust like AMX, the nosecone by the P96F
Can I use the image I created in my commercial game?
It's paramount to me to have your opinion on that because the last thing that I want is to damage this incredible and awesome place, also I'm not even sure that I could give credits to the author (I really would like but being commercial I don't think it's feasible, if I'm wrong I will be the first to credit).
Thank you very much!