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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How to create a legally valid timestamp of unpublished game artwork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
447 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?
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3answers
968 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 ...
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3answers
698 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? ...
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3answers
789 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 ...
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2answers
2k 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 ...
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4answers
385 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 ...
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2answers
599 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 ...
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3answers
588 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
260 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
548 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 ...
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1answer
301 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
743 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 ...
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1answer
246 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 ...
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1answer
196 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 ...
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4answers
6k 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 ...
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4answers
565 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 ...
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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
548 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 ...
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3answers
262 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 ...
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0answers
167 views

Basing a game on WW2 unit, am I allowed to use the Unit name? [closed]

I'm looking into making a Twin Stick Shooter based on a Unit from WW2, would I be allowed to use the Unit name, without getting into any legal issues?
17
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1answer
586 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) ...
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1answer
114 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
356 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 ...
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4answers
596 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
103 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
712 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 ...
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1answer
1k 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 ...
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1answer
90 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
821 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 ...
3
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2answers
293 views

Can I name a team with the name of their city to avoid trademark issues?

I was wondering, if you want to make a NBA game on smartphones, without the license held by EA, the first solution seems to name your teams with a different name, such as "Chicragro Brulls" (this is ...
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2answers
2k views

Legality of AngelCode's BMFont

Is it legal to use a bitmapped version of a proprietary font (such as Arial) in a commercial app? I'm using AngelCode's BMFont to generate a bitmapped version of a few various system installed fonts ...
3
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5answers
270 views

Free texture sites – is it safe to use their content

There are multiple free texture sites, like: texturemate.com or plaintextures.com. I am wondering how safe it is to use their content? I imagine that the texture could be withdrawed from the site, ...
2
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1answer
3k views

Am I allowed to release an app I developed with Xcode on windows?

I want to develop an app for the iOS app store, but don't want to invest in a mac since they start very expensive. So I considered running Xcode via VMware using OSX Lion on my windows 7 computer. ...
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3answers
226 views

Are there any good ways to know if a resource is patented trademark or illegal to use?

This is something that I worried about for a long time. While making games, it is hard to tell for sure if any of the resources are copyrighted unless a person is clearly aware that they are to a like ...
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4answers
298 views

To what extent it is legal to declare support of third party commercial products' assets?

Is it legal to say that MyGame supports other (specific) games' textures, sounds and models? I'd like to get involved into an open source game project and implement support for Quake's weapon models ...
3
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2answers
540 views

Should I develop the game first or get NDA?

So I have been working on my game for a while now. And I now I have other people contributing to the project. I fear that someone will tell their friends and/or family then my 'great' idea is lost. ...
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5answers
995 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?
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2answers
5k views

Do I need to obtain a license to use real car brands in a game?

We are small team which working on car racing game but we don't know about licensing process for branded cars like Nissan, Lamborghini, Chevrolet and etc. Do we need to buy any licence for using ...
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3answers
468 views

Is it legal to use the name of an existing game?

I'm planning on creating an iPhone game titled "Guess Who!". I know there is already a board game with the same title (linked here) so I'm wondering it is legal for me to use this title for my game. ...
3
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7answers
746 views

Alternatives to the GPL

I made a game, and I am currently making a game engine. I want them both to be completely free and open source. What license should I choose? I was reading a bit on GPL, but that seems to be more ...
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2answers
385 views

Using Copyrighted Images

I was thinking about developing a sidescrolling platformer very similar to an old Mario and Luigi game for NES. To start out I was thinking about taking the images from a site like this: ...
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2answers
494 views

Do I need to use the Kinect SDK to develop for Xbox?

I was wondering if I need to use the Kinect SDK from Microsoft to develop games for the Xbox 360. I know there are other libraries such as OpenNI and OpenGL, but can I develop games using Kinect for ...
4
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3answers
218 views

Where can I find affordable legal advice for game software related inquiries?

I am working on simulation middleware which is applicable for game engine implementations. What I would like to do is to make it freely available for use for all non-commercial purposes, while at ...
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1answer
788 views

Making a clone of Starcraft legal?

My question is similar to a previous question. Consider the following clone of Starcraft: Change the artwork, sound, music, change the names of units. However, leave the unit hit points unchanged, ...
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3answers
645 views

What legal matters do I need to consider when releasing an MMO?

Let's say I've finished programming an indie MMO game similiar to Tibia. I've got: a stable server application ready to launch; a tested, bug-free, working client application ready to play; the ...
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4answers
2k views

Can I run into legal issues with random names?

I'm currently building a game whose NPC's are going to be assigned a random gender and a random name for the right gender. To do this I will be using a "database" of names (actually a text file with ...
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3answers
3k views

Is using the student version of 3DS Max and Unity3d legal?

I am developing an indie game together with my friend using Unity3D engine. I bought "Silo 3D" for modeling two month ago and for texturing I use 3D coat. We plan to sell our game in the future. For ...