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I've googled this and haven't come up with anything. Can I create a Pac-Man game and not get in trouble with?

Like can I sell it, and be able to make money without having to pay someone else royalties?

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closed as off topic by Byte56, bummzack, Nate, Anko, ClassicThunder May 2 '13 at 1:35

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NO. SO says –  Dialock May 1 '13 at 18:31
    
1. Maybe you should post this on a Stack Exchange site that has to do with law; it's more related to law than it is game development. 2. How does this have anything to do with c++? –  Doorknob May 1 '13 at 18:32
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I just needed to know. I was going to create it in C++ ;) –  Jordan May 1 '13 at 18:53
    
If a specific game is public domain or not is too localized in my opinion. Voting to close as too localized, and -1 for lack of basic research. –  Byte56 May 1 '13 at 23:30
    
In the related questions we have the very popular gamedev.stackexchange.com/q/16455/982 Should that be closed for being too localized too? –  Jeff May 2 '13 at 1:30

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pac-Man

In 2011, Namco sent a DMCA notice to the team that made the programming language Scratch saying that a programmer had infringed copyright by making a Pac-Man game using the language and uploading it to Scratch's official website.[94]

Considering they sent a DMCA to someone who wasn't making money off of it I'm going with no.

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Okay thanks. I guess I'll look into something else. Thanks again ;) –  Jordan May 1 '13 at 18:36

Pac-Man is still covered by copyright, and has not reverted to the public domain.

Exhaustively sourced proof:

  1. Copyright for works created during or after 1978 lasts a bare minimum of 70 years. (section 302.a) (In the case of Pac-Man, 120 years is probably a more likely duration, as it presumably would have been a work for hire performed for Namco by its employees. But we'll assume the minimum of 70 years for the rest of this proof)
  2. Pac-Man was created in 1980.
  3. At the time of writing, the year is 2013
  4. 2013 - 1978 = 35
  5. 35 < 70

Therefore, Pac-Man is still covered by Copyright.

Quod erat demonstrandum

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Not to be too picky, but you might want to check your maths again. –  DaleyPaley May 2 '13 at 4:24
    
It was, alas, a natural confusion, as I wrote this response whilst sitting comfortably within the decadent confines of my time machine, ten years hence. ;) –  Trevor Powell May 2 '13 at 5:12
    
Hehe, I thought it was something like that ;) –  DaleyPaley May 2 '13 at 5:19

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