Copyright is the legal right of the creator of a work to define how that work may be used and distributed.

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86
votes
11answers
13k views

How closely can a game legally resemble another?

Most games build on other games' successes and many are downright clones. Where is the limit of imitation before legal issues come into play? Is it down to literary or graphic work like characters and ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Using modified copyrighted music in non-commercial games

Background: I'm making a retro style game for both fun, and an unofficial contest. I have bought a song, song X. However, I then found notation for song X, and all the instruments. So basically, ...
14
votes
4answers
4k views

What resources can I use to determine if the name of my game violates any copyrights or trademarks?

I'm a indie/hobbyist game developer. How do I check that I'm not infringing any copyrights or trademarks when I release my game? I'm not making megabucks so it's not financially feasible to get ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Making a mobile app from a board game. Copyright infringement?

Me and a friend got hooked on a board game and soon realized that we didn't need the board game to play, instead we could play it with pen and paper with extreme ease and satisfaction. The next step ...
8
votes
7answers
2k views

Can I use copyrighted sprites for a demo?

I just had a quick question and wanted everyone's opinions. I'm making a 2D demo game for a resume which I want to post online. I'm applying as a programmer position so I don't really have my own ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

When does a game idea cross the line between homage/parody to ripoff?

I'm not sure where this question belongs, but as it pertains to the development of a game idea, I figured I'd try to post it here. Recently I've been inspired to create a game based on another game ...
2
votes
3answers
154 views

Can I use a no longer protected by copyrights game's sprites?

I've been looking around but couldn't really find anything conclusive. First of all, as the title says, in case a game's copyrights expire can I use its sprites for my own game and claim copyrights? ...
4
votes
2answers
109 views

Can I use New York City in my game?

I want to make game more realistic, for that I need a city. So, I decided to take New York City, as it can be seen through Google Maps with Street View, 3d view and much more and will help me a lot to ...
11
votes
1answer
726 views

What to consider legally when cloning an old game? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How closely can a game resemble another game without legal problems I'm going to make a game in the form of a 100% free Android phone app that will be basically a clone ...
8
votes
3answers
478 views

Intellectual rights to game concepts

For a client I might be making a small puzzle game about getting a item out of a puzzle. The concept will strongly resemble this game : ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

Must know legal issues when releasing a game?

Alright, some day in the far future I would love to independently release my own game. My question is, what is the minimum amount of familiarity I need with copyright law, software patents, and other ...
22
votes
4answers
28k views

Can I legally remove the default Unity splash screen by removing it from the APK?

While using Unity I export an Android game as an APK. When the APK is run, the first thing that is displayed is the Unity splash screen. I worked out that I could replaced that image by opening the ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Does it require any license to use a real city landscape in a car racing game?

I'm now planning a casual car racing game that want to model some real cities sight into it. I doubt if there is copyright of the landscape or city planning of those real cities in the world. Can I ...
14
votes
4answers
4k views

Is it ok to use copyrighted assets for educational purposes?

A friend and I were wanting to create a Pokemon battle simulator in our mobile development class as our final project but are worried whether or not it would be permissible under "Fair Use" for ...
12
votes
9answers
3k views

Is it illegal to use a commercial song in your game (that you intend to sell)

If I were to buy, say this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fumBcKC6RE, strip/find/get the instrumental, and use that instrumental in a game I'm making, as a theme, say for a recurring boss ...
5
votes
2answers
235 views

Guitar hero clone and music

I am an indie game developer and I am doing a game similar to guitar hero. I am using tracks composed by musicians and I contacted them to sing a licensing contract. As is my first indie project I ...
3
votes
3answers
972 views

What do I need to do legally to protect my game with copyright?

I am in the process of writing a game and I'm wondering what the copyright laws about publishing this game are. I do not (for now) intend to make money from this. The beginning of my code contains a ...
2
votes
2answers
112 views

Questions on the legal protection of games and their parts (assets, sounds, title)

we started new pirate game, and I just want to ask some questions about rights. So I am new in game dev, I guess there are a lot of answers, but I guess professionals can advise something for first ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Can I reuse the name of an old arcade game?

I've done an indie remake of an old arcade game from 1980. Can I use its name? I thought copyright expired after 25 years but I could be wrong, hence this question.
-1
votes
5answers
6k views

Can I get around a Pokemon copyright with new art and minor changes? [duplicate]

If I develop a game that is essentially pretty much Pokemon (you're a trainer, you catch "monsters" and put them to fight and level up etc), and I do the next things: I'm a trainer with a ...
9
votes
2answers
275 views

Demo (and real game) Protection

In a few months I plan to start showing off the (hopefully commercial) game I'm working on to the public (internet). The thing is, besides screenshots and a trailer (of say feature functionality), how ...
4
votes
1answer
529 views

When do I need to ask for permission to recreate an old game? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: How closely can a game resemble another game without legal problems Legal issues for a "fangame" of a commercial franchise? I want to do a mobile version of ...
2
votes
1answer
255 views

What is a legal way to use music from registered authors in a game?

I have recently asked a question about music in games like Guitar Hero. I have found that that in Europe (at least) if I do want to use a track composed by a musician member of a royalty collecting ...
1
vote
1answer
482 views

Can I use the names or logos of real football teams in my game? [duplicate]

I am developing a football game and I want to know if it is legal to name teams after real football teams. What about their logos?
1
vote
2answers
218 views

Copyright and patents on game design and names?

We all know that each game has elements from another game but when does one cross the line of copyright? I have a view particular questions about this since this "line" is very vague. While looking ...