Copyright gives the creator of an original work exclusive legal rights to it

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58
votes
7answers
6k views

How closely can a game resemble another game without legal problems?

The majority of games build on successes of other games and many are downright clones. So where is the limit of emulating before legal issues come into play? Is it down to literary or graphic work ...
18
votes
2answers
4k views

How does one buy the rights for a game?

Let's take some old popular at a time but abandoned game: WorldRacing/HiOctane/Constructor/any other. Say I with a team want to revitalize said game and bring it to year 2011 without major changes and ...
16
votes
4answers
3k views

Can I use popular classical music as my game's soundtrack?

Can I use popular classical music in my game as a soundtrack? I'm concerned about copyright protection. I don't plan to make money off of my game. Will I break some law if I do that?
16
votes
3answers
777 views

How to monetize and protect a engine's and its framework's copyrights and patents?

I created a game engine that handles: Rendering levels with 2d textured curved surfaces Collisions with curved surfaces Animationn paths on and navigation in 2d-sapce I have also made a framework ...
14
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
789 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
910 views

Releasing a game without really having an officially registered company

I'm thinking of releasing my iOS game without formally registering a company at all. I'm not sure I even want to create a company. ITunes wants to know the copyright holder of my title. I have 2 ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

Can I use a certain song in my credits as long as I credit the original author?

I am working on a commercial game and I'd like to use a certain song during the credit, because it would be very fitting for my particular game. I know using music that other people made in your game ...
10
votes
1answer
552 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
943 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 ...
8
votes
8answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
7answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
233 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
270 views

When should I talk to a lawyer about intellectual property for an indie team?

Let's say you have a team building a decent game and all is well technically and people-wise. You feel pretty sure you'll get to a product that can be sold. How does an indie studio (with good ...
8
votes
3answers
442 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 : ...
7
votes
3answers
471 views

How do I get Apple to pull an App that violates a copyright?

A friend of mine has had his Flash game stolen and published on the iPhone app store without his consent. What is the best way to get Apple's attention about this?
7
votes
1answer
502 views

Do I need licensing to use real city names in my game?

I want to allow people to go to real places (Seattle Washington, Portland, Maine, etc.) in my game. Will I need licensing to make those places and use their names?
7
votes
1answer
194 views

How does a developer ask for the rights to use a character?

What channels must a developer go through to ask for the rights to a character? I want to make a point and click adventure based on Freddy Krueger, and I know my chances are slim, but how do you even ...
6
votes
1answer
772 views

I found a game with the same name as mine! What should I do?

I published my game Eyeroller on Google Play the other day. I checked there was no game on Google Play with the same name. But today I searched for "eyeroller" on Google (Yes, I should have done it a ...
6
votes
6answers
887 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
1k 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, ...
5
votes
3answers
751 views

Using “screenshots” in a game, is it allowed?

Lets say I have a game that is some kind of a quiz, and its questions are themed around gaming. For it to be interesting, I would need to make references to well-known games and game-related stuff. ...
5
votes
1answer
452 views

Copyright laws on famous buildings and monuments in games?

I am working on a commercial card game based on the middle east. We would like to have famous buildings and monuments in the game, such as the Burj Al-Arab in Dubai. Are there laws that would prevent ...
5
votes
2answers
187 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
493 views

Legal Lego game

As Lego (the old blocks not the 'new' hi-teck stuff) are now in the public domain, can I make a game where the graphics are made out of lego blocks? Well, I can, but is it legal?
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Does a pong clone called “Ping” infringe on any copyrights or trademarks?

Long story short, I made a retro Pong clone and submitted it to the App Store as my first app. It survived for a bit, but I eventually received a message from Atari tell me to remove it. There was ...
4
votes
3answers
541 views

Copyright infringement in game title [duplicate]

I'm a wanna-be indie developer, and I am working on my first flash game. But, before I even start with the code, I want to know this: When determining the title of my game, how can I decide if it is ...
4
votes
1answer
391 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
863 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.
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Can I create a remix of a song & incorporate it into my game music?

DJs frequently remix eachothers work and use as they please. Can I as a programmer do similar - remix a song I like and embed it in a game I create without royalty/copyright issues? Disclaimer: ...
2
votes
4answers
640 views

Is it OK to reuse art from open-source games?

There are a lot of open source games, such as Flare (Diablo clone). Is it OK to re-use the art they put in their open source game and make a profit?
2
votes
2answers
270 views

How can I handle copyrighted music?

I have a curious question regarding on musics used in music rhythm game. In Guitar Hero for example, they used all different music albums in one program. Then, each album requires to ask permission to ...
2
votes
3answers
452 views

Is there a grey-area with Copyright infringement?

Currently a student, I'm trying to put together a game for iOS. From everywhere I've read, it seems any game's sound and art are apart of their IP and covered under their Copyright. That being said, ...
2
votes
2answers
335 views

Rules to start and naming a game studio

I would like to know if there is any copyright related rules to name a game studio specially for android appstore. I searched at the U.S. Copyright Office website and found many matches for same ...
2
votes
1answer
236 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
759 views

Do I have to ask for permission to use real company logos for advertising props in the world in my sports game? [closed]

I'm making a simple turn-based Android ball flicking soccer game and I was thinking of creating a theme in a sports game, like soccer for example, usually had advertisement banner on walls and a bit ...
2
votes
3answers
740 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 ...
1
vote
5answers
847 views

Is a programmer liable for copyright infringement in other people's mods to his games?

If a programmer (P) releases a game, and a modder (M) releases a game modification which includes copyrighted content, can P be held liable for the copyright infringement in the mod?
1
vote
3answers
516 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
80 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
129 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
1answer
85 views

Is it legal to allow users to install replacement game data containing real-world personalities?

I'm thinking of developing a game for iOS which will ship with fake sports personality data. So, for argument sake, let's say fake football player names. On OS X and Windows games like this often ...
1
vote
1answer
220 views

Fanmade game copyright? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Legal issues for a “fangame” of a commercial franchise? What if I decide to make a fanmade game from a popular, recent game release? 100% non-profit. I ...
1
vote
2answers
478 views

Who has the rights to the party game Mafia / Werewolf?

Who has the rights to the party game Mafia / Werewolf? Or is it public domain, meaning anyone can do an implementation of the game and release it as a commercial product? Update 1: According to this ...
1
vote
1answer
783 views

Can I use remade sprites in my game? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How closely can a game resemble another game without legal problems Can I use remade sprites in my game? I am making a game and I used some sprites, but I didn't copy ...
1
vote
0answers
145 views

How would the GPL apply to these generated source files? [closed]

I am currently using Love2D as my game engine of choice and have come across the situation where I have had to retype out similar code over and over. In particular, if I want to add a new color to a ...
0
votes
2answers
890 views

Purchasing a TV show adaptation rights, how does it work? [closed]

Basically, I was thinking about a game based on a TV show, just for fun, and ended up thinking "well, it's not like it can be made anyway". Or can it? In the present situation, developing a game by ...
0
votes
3answers
99 views

Can I use copyrighted images and music in my game? [duplicate]

I am working on my first ever project , and I have used some copyrighted images(images taken from some other well recognized games). Is it even possible that I edit the images a little bit and then ...
0
votes
1answer
91 views

How do I avoid removal from Play Store due to copyright infringement?

I made a simple Batman puzzle game using some Batman posters from the internet. There are apps on Google Play Store and Windows Phone Store that also feature these kind of Batman pictures, but they ...