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June 23, 2017, 09:08:37 am

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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperCreative (Moderator: Capntastic)Red Cross and Medical Symbols
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Seiseki
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« on: January 20, 2017, 03:49:11 am »

The recent article about Prison Architect being forced to remove a tiny red cross from their ambulances in the game came as a real surprise to me. Especially since it's a fictional setting.

What if you make a game about the Red Cross? Maybe it's a game about being a war criminal?
And surely if you're writing a book you're allowed to describe the Red Cross on a white background, but not visualize it.  Wink

As a gamer, the Red Cross means health to me more than being a symbol for the actual Red Cross. And I can see how that's a problem.

So what alternatives are there?
There's the Swiss flag, which obviously the Swiss and people passionate about flags find ridiculous.



One might argue that it's not the Swiss flag if it's in a circle.
(Although it's used by the Swiss Airforce)



There's the Star of Life.



Or the ISO standard First Aid Symbol.




I started this thread to spread awareness and start a discussion.
I've personally used the Red Cross on a white background as well as the Swiss flag for medkits.
Red and white are just so heavily associated with health and anything medical.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2017, 04:54:38 am by Seiseki » Logged

b∀ kkusa
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« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2017, 05:01:01 am »

Interesting information. seems that the symbol is protected by treaty under the Geneva Conventions:

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"In order to ensure universal respect for the emblems, the Geneva Conventions obliged their signatories to forbid any other use of the names and emblems in wartime and peacetime.

Nevertheless, the misuse of the emblem is widespread and it is often used as a general symbol to indicate first aid, medical supplies and civilian medical services especially walk-in clinics. Misuses appear in movies (A notable example is The Living Daylights, wherein narcotics were disguised as Red Cross care packages, as a plot device), on television, and in computer software and games. Service companies, such as those for car repair or lawn maintenance, tout themselves as service "doctors" and incorporate medical symbols to promote themselves.

In 2006, the Canadian Red Cross issued a press release asking video game makers to stop using the red cross in their games; it is an especially common sight to see first aid kits and other items which restore the player character's health marked with a red cross."

http://posterwire.com/dont-cross-the-red-cross/
 
Quote
but in this modern age of intellectual property litigation, companies have been removing the red cross logo to avoid possible infringement:

    A red cross symbol is not a generic symbol for first-aid, emergency, hospitals, healthcare or medical services, products or personnel. The red cross symbol is a trademark owned by the American Red Cross and protected by federal and state trademark law, unfair competition law and anti-dilution law, and it is also protected by federal criminal law (See 18 U.S.C. 706, 917). The American Red Cross vigorously pursues those who infringe American Red Cross trademarks

https://www.scribd.com/document/3761982/Red-Cross-Emblem-Brochure
 

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A “misuse” is another word for “infringement,” andit describes instances in which an unauthorized partyis using the Red Cross emblem without permission fromthe American Red Cross. Often misuses occur when people incorrectly treat the Red Cross emblem as a generic symbol for first aid stations, ambulances,emergency, health care or medical products, services or personnel. A misuse can also occur when an authorizedparty uses the Red Cross emblem incorrectly.A misuse or infringement of the Red Cross emblem isany cross of equal or substantially equal vertical andhorizontal “legs” that are colored red or a shade of red.Misuses include red crosses that are:

Slanted or italicized

Thin or thick

Outlined in a color other than red

On a background other than white

Included with a figure, symbol or wordsuperimposed on it

Included as an element of a logo

Seems like the safest alternative is not to use a cross at all.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2017, 05:28:46 am by b∀ kkusa » Logged
Seiseki
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« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2017, 05:21:29 am »

I found out the Swiss Airforce use red roundels with white crosses..
I still think it's a potential alternative, but not perfect..



My brain wants to call it a Medic Fighter jet Roll Eyes

Also, really good sources and information you posted!  Hand Thumbs Up Right

I'm really curious about what happens if you use a red ring around it?
The Red Cross symbol is supposed to be a red cross on a white square.

Also if you look at the medic in Team Fortress 2.
The Medic arm patch has an orange background rather than white, but on his backpack it is on a white background.



Edit:

As someone on Reddit put it.
The Red Cross has nothing to do with medics or first aid, it symbolizes a zone during wartime that cannot be attacked by combatants and is supposed to grant sanctuary. It probably got associated with medics because the red cross has a lot of field hospitals.
 
Edit:Actually reading summaries of the Geneva convention states that combat medics or medical vehicles and facilities belonging to an army should use the red cross symbol and will have protected status. Shooting medics identified as such is a war crime.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2017, 02:54:20 pm by Seiseki » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2017, 07:52:46 pm »

As noble as their cause it, I really feel like they are closing the gates after the horses have bolted in this case.

I've associated that symbol with generic medical aid since I was about three years old, and today was the first time I heard that it was a geneva convention-protected, copyrighted, trademarked icon. I'm certain it has even been contained in the green-lighted-for-commercial-use sprite packs that came with The Games Factory that I had at 11 years of age.

You'd have to be a terrible person to attempt this, but I'm fairly sure it could be successfully argued in court that their mark has become sufficiently dilluted as to be unenforcable. Them saying that they aggressively enforce their trademark doesn't actually make it true.
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Seiseki
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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2017, 10:08:43 pm »

It's not copyright, it's not trademarked.
It's a symbol protected by international law through the Geneva convention.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2017, 08:52:33 am by Seiseki » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2017, 10:37:36 pm »

It's not copyright, it's not trademarked.
It's a symbol protected by international law through the Geneva convention.

It would seem that at the very least, their lawyers disagree with you:
Quote
The red cross symbol is a trademark owned by the American Red Cross and protected by federal and state trademark law, unfair competition law and anti-dilution law, and it is also protected by federal criminal law (See 18 U.S.C. 706, 917). The American Red Cross vigorously pursues those who infringe American Red Cross trademarks

The geneva convention does not apply to peace time, at least according to the infalliable and expert knowledge I have attained through a cursory glance at wikipedia.
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Seiseki
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« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2017, 09:04:17 am »

It might be copyrighted or trademarked by Red Cross National organisations in their respective countries.

I don't think it matters whether it's peace time, the Red Cross as an organisation is authorized to use the symbol in peace time, but whether it's against international law for others to use it isn't clearly stated.

https://shop.icrc.org/red-cross-and-red-crescent-emblems-2465.html

And it seems it's up to each country to ensure that it's protected.
 
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« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2017, 11:52:35 am »

Them saying that they aggressively enforce their trademark doesn't actually make it true.

Though I know this is not really a trademark issue, defending your mark is one of the things that a Court looks to in Trademark infringement to make sure you are still using it, and not letting it get diluted.
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« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2017, 10:33:16 pm »

Them saying that they aggressively enforce their trademark doesn't actually make it true.

Though I know this is not really a trademark issue, defending your mark is one of the things that a Court looks to in Trademark infringement to make sure you are still using it, and not letting it get diluted.

Yes, I know that, but what I meant is that them saying they've been defending it is meaningless if they haven't actually been defending it.

Considering how dilluted the symbol has already gotten, it seems awful like a claim with no truth behind it.
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« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2017, 09:20:38 pm »

I mean they have been defending it though, Prison Architecth isn't the first one that had to change it. Skullgirls had to change Valentine's charecter design (she's a nurse) to have pink crosses, Halo had to change theirs, Neverwinter nights had to change theres.

It's inconsistent but they have definitely been defending it for a fair while.
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« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2017, 06:36:18 am »

Just use the English flag Tongue



Seriously though, I actually like the green with white cross. That green colour seems very medical to me. Also, it makes intuitive sense that life = green & death = red. Blood is red, and bleeding a lot results in death.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2017, 07:45:19 am by Gonza565 » Logged
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