There are some further aspects that might be considered.There's a difference when someone uses small thumbnail of a Shutterstock image for comerciual purposes, and when someone uses the actual photo, without getting a license for it.The author in this case put the little thumbnail to the internet without restricitons for viewing, but the actual photo is behind restrictions, so if we shall accept a moral theory that what the author makes public shall stay free-to-use by public, the thumbnail would be public-domain, but the actual photo wouldn't be, unless it would be released by the author without viewing restrictions on another website..Similarly, there's a difference between selling the actual photo yourself, and selling a video-game you made that uses the actual photo as a texture. In the first case, the original product is sold unmodified, while in the second while it's still unmodified, but used as a part of greater whole, so it's targeting a different market. The audience might have bought the original photo in the first case, but wouldn't do so in the second, as they're paying for a game, not a texture, so the computed loss is different.
There are provisions that are made for in the fair use act that do allow some use of material in certain circumstances. However, your definition about using a picture in a video game as a texture is about as legit as using music in it. You still need permission, and you should expect to pay royalties to whomever holds the copyright for it.
I meant i think that the violation of the copyright law by using a picture as a texture in a video-game is less serious than directly selling the picture, and that it shall be the criteria for computing the monetary fee that shall be payed back.Similarly, if someone takes a picture of a video-game, and sells it, it is less serious than selling the actual video-game.I also believe that the seriousness of using music and texture in video-game depends on the usage. If you listen to audio of a video-game, you might be able to reconstruct the music from it, if there aren't any sounds added, and you get the same copy of music as you would if you download it.In the case of having visuals and muting audio, texture isn't projected from the same angle and resolution in the game all the time, thus the reconstruction of the original texture might require focus.Wanting to listen to a song that costs money, but instead listening to it through a game that features is, is a more likely scenario than wanting to buy a photograph, but instead looking at it in a a game, for a consumer.So while both are infringements, each might have different levels of issue attributed to them.
Want to see what happens when you try and use even a small part of something in a like say music compilation you want to post on YouTube? Try and add a bit of Prince's (the artist formerly know as) songs and see what happens... it's actually quite enlightening. You won't get in trouble or anything but your entire video will be muted, and you will be told why.
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