As a business, game development is fraught with legal concerns and issues, especially on copyright, terms of service, and licensing fronts.

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1answer
151 views

Why are payments for a game sometimes called “donations”?

Why are money payments (by SMS, or VISA) sometimes called "donations", and not "payments" or "purchases"? Is it a legal part of monetization (some details will be appreciated in this case), or just a ...
2
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1answer
317 views

Version Not Final, Does Not Represent Actual Game Footage?

Just curious about this. Frequently, a lot of gameplay videos from big studios have small subtitled text at the lower part of the screen, reading something like: Pre-Alpha Gameplay -- Footage not ...
1
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1answer
527 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?
0
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1answer
252 views

Using real football player photo in a trivia quiz game, is it legal? [duplicate]

I don't know whether this question was already been asked before, but my team is currently developing a trivia quiz game about football (soccer not NFL). And we want to put player's images or club ...
1
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2answers
228 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 ...
25
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6answers
33k 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 ...
7
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0answers
403 views

How do you fully publish a game under your name, under 18? [closed]

This has been a week of stress in trying to get things done correctly. It's all tied with keeping things legal and making sure I don't lose out on benefits of any kid. I have just recently finished up ...
0
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1answer
135 views

What is the proper, legal way to make a derivative video game?

I want to make a game derived from an existing game. That game is owned by a live company. How do I go about contacting the rights owners correctly and negotiating for the rights to the content?
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2answers
297 views

FOSS games using original assets, is it legal?

Can I make a game that uses the assets of another game on the users' computer, without legal issues? For example, I make a game that requires the user have game X installed, and I use the assets of ...
0
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1answer
216 views

Is it legal to use the Source Engine out of Steam?

I would like to create a game that uses the Source Engine on Desura, the problem is that I am afraid that it is illegal to use the Source Engine in other platforms are not managed by Valve
3
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1answer
277 views

Is it legal to record music with a synthesizer and use it in my game? [closed]

I want to make music for game on my own because I don't have professional composer hired. I have found some softwares for making music, but most of them cost some money. I have an idea to record ...
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1answer
471 views

Is it legal to make a game out of a book? [closed]

I want to learn what legal constraints are on the copyrighted material. If I want to make a Quidditch (the fictional game in Harry Potter series) game, should I pay some kind of copyright to the ...
2
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2answers
151 views

Game Trailer Reference other Games

I am currently developing a game that pulls in the basic ideas and concepts from 3 other games. I want to make a trailer, and can I put in the trailer something like this: Pulling Game Concepts ...
10
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1answer
2k views

Can I use Playstation controller button icons in my game?

I'm currently working on a game that will be released on PC with controller support, and I'm trying to find a way on how to best represent controller icons within the game. I'm assuming I can't ...
7
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1answer
995 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?
6
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1answer
448 views

Showing “Please buy” screen to pirates [closed]

I recently saw this and this, and that got me thinking When publishing a commercial game without DRM, would it be a good idea to upload a slightly modified copy of the game that shows a screen like ...
2
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2answers
252 views

How not to break licence laws? [closed]

I have an idea for a game. Also I have almost everything worked out considering coding. What interests me the most is how can I know if that game can be published. As it would be for iOS and ...
2
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1answer
305 views

Using real football (soccer) names from the past?

Is it legal to use really old names in a manager style game? It there an expiration on name license rights?
1
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1answer
255 views

Using name of real products in games

My friend and I are creating a Computer Tycoon game. We're using graphics cards and other real CPUs in the game. So can we use names like GeForce_210 in the game without issues? Also, if the above ...
1
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2answers
329 views

How to create a legally valid timestamp of unpublished game artwork

Before publishing promotional material of my first indie game I wanted to mark all my artwork with a legally valid timestamp. There are two ways I know to do this: 1 go to a sollecitor/lawyer and ...
7
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2answers
455 views

What constitutes satire? [closed]

For business reasons, I would like to know what constitutes satire in a game. Also, is there a better place to ask questions like this on the business side of game development?
4
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3answers
1k views

Is it legal to add a cameo appearance of a known video game character in my game?

If I am not going to name the character and I use my own original art that very closely resembles a well-known video game character that appears in my game for a very brief moment, is it legal to add ...
0
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3answers
745 views

Is it legal to reuse a 3D model as long as it has a new texture?

If I create a 3D model and texture for a client, say a house. Can I reuse that same 3D model, but apply a new texture and then legally use that in my own game? Is that enough of a difference? ...
3
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3answers
1k 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
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2answers
4k views

Pac-Man - Public Domain? [closed]

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 ...
3
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4answers
406 views

What can I do to get audio into my game legally? [closed]

If making a game of my own, what should or what can I do to get audio in game? I understand that just going on the internet, and finding random tracks and putting in my game may raise a whole load of ...
6
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2answers
623 views

Legal issues concerning using superheroes in games

Before proceeding on with the idea of developing a mobile game that involves superhero characters from both Marvel/DC Comics, I am taking a serious dip into looking into things from a legal point of ...
4
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3answers
598 views

Is Free2Play w/ cash shop “non-commercial”?

I'm new to game development and considered using the Unreal Development Kid for a test game. The website states it is free for non-commercial use. I know that games that can be obtained free of charge ...
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1answer
299 views

Can I use Nyancat for my game? [closed]

I tried to find the information regarding the copyright/ownership of the Nyancat but couldn't find anything concrete. Can I use Nyan as part of the name of my game? Can I use the Nyancat graphics ...
4
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1answer
2k views

Google Play 3rd Party Payment Allowed?

Does Google allow 3rd party payment solutions to be enabled in developers' apps (i.e., Paypal, carrier/SMS payment), especially in countries where Google Checkout isn't present? Or does this violate ...
13
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3answers
1k 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 ...
9
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1answer
585 views

What should I do about legal considerations for an indie game?

Apologies if there's a bit too much background information here, not sure what's relevant but figured I needed to outline the financial situation to differentiate this from other questions whose ...
3
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1answer
407 views

License for a casino game with virtual money (chips)

Do I need a specific license for operating a casino game (lets say poker Hold'em or video slots) that players are supposed to play with virtual money (chips) only? I am speaking about games like Zynga ...
7
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3answers
884 views

Can you use well known buildings in your game?

Is it legal to reference a real city in your game and use the same architecture of well known shops and buildings? For example, I'm sure you can't create an exact 3D model of McDonalds, put it in ...
0
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1answer
299 views

Game loosely based on a copyrighted story [duplicate]

I want to make a game based on a copyrighted book. It's not about recreating it strictly with all details, but rather about building something new around the general idea (possibly incorporating some ...
0
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1answer
254 views

Having Your Own Copyrighted App Automatically After Publishing

I have a question regarding for the game app and in business. You see, I decided to publish an app to Google Play. When I published it, does this app automatically declared that this app is ...
16
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4answers
7k views

Set up indie game studio (UK) - how?

I am UK based and am looking to set up my own game studio - essentially, just myself working from home, looking to build casual game apps. I want to ask you guys what steps or process i need to go ...
3
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4answers
702 views

Is “forcing the user” to accept the terms an acceptable design in a smartphone/iPhone game?

I am about to release my first iPhone game, has been a long project and I involved several people. My lawyer strongly recommended me to add a "terms and conditions" page at the beginning of the app ...
2
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2answers
2k views

Is it acceptable to say “Inspired from … game”

For a game I'm developing, I would like to use "inspired from ... game" to acknowledge and praise that game. But I'm not sure if this is a good idea from a legal point of view. They might think my ...
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2answers
609 views

Can I legally make a free clone of a game and use the same name? [closed]

I gather from Is it legally possible to make a clone of the game? and How closely can a game resemble another game without legal problems that I should not try to profit from a clone if it is using ...
5
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3answers
279 views

Which Open Source Licenses can address concerns for an Open Source Game Engine?

I am on a team that is looking to open source an engine we are building. It's intended as an engine for Online RPG style games. We're writing it to work on both desktops and android platforms. I've ...
17
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1answer
671 views

Process of getting DEJUS rating (Brazil)?

I would like to get DEJUS rating for my HTML5 game on the Firefox Marketplace, so that I can tell Mozilla to make the game available to users in Brazil. I want the game to be rated as: Livre (general) ...
2
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1answer
115 views

Cloning a Game - Dev diary while using original assets

I'm currently cloning a game and still using the sound and graphic assets of the original. I know that I may not distribute those assets but what about publishing a video of my progress as part of a ...
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2answers
384 views

How do I protect my game's IP?

I have developed a game and I'm not sure what the best way to protect it is. Any information would be appreciated. The game works a lot like darts same strategy but with a different board and ...
10
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4answers
620 views

Legal considerations when starting a game development team

I am about to start a project with two other developers and an artist, who I still haven't found. I'm not sure how exactly should we handle that from a legal perspective, though. Are we supposed to ...
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1answer
116 views

Farseer Physics Engine and the Ms-PL License [closed]

Am I able to produce code for a game which uses the Farseer engine and release my code under an open source license other than the Ms-PL? My concern is with the following section from the license: ...
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2answers
1k views

Is there a way to legally create a game mod? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How closely can a game resemble another game without legal problems Some questions about it: If I create a funny version of a copyrighted game and sell it (crediting ...
1
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1answer
2k 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
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1answer
91 views

Legal concerns with orchestrating a music submission contest

My team and I are getting pretty far along in the development of our latest game and have been thinking about audio. We decided to host an audio submission contest where we will offer a little cash ...
3
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2answers
864 views

How is an HTML5 game sold?

(I know this site doesn't give legal advice, but what I'm dealing here with isn't anything serious at all. Also, I apologize to JP for being annoying over this.) Someone found a game I made on the ...