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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

11
votes
2answers
3k views

Am I allowed to make my Minecraft clone open source?

I'm developing in my spare time a game like Minecraft. In fact, it isn't "like Minecraft", because I'm trying to make it a close as possible copy of it (meant as exercise for myself at the age of 16 ...
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
171 views

Can I make a Flash version of an actual game? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Legal issues for a “fangame” of a commercial franchise? For example, some of you may have seen Portal: The Flash Version. I was wondering what the legal ...
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 ...
10
votes
2answers
518 views

Does using Creative Common data in a GPL game mean the code must be CC-BY-SA?

Let's assume we have a game where the code is GPL-licensed, and all the resources (like music, textures, etc.) are licensed under the CC-BY-SA license. Now, the first issue would be that the GPL is ...
12
votes
1answer
275 views

Conundrum with quality and virus reports: is our game releasable?

I've just got done talking to the CEO of our independent game studio about one of our projects nearing completion. We're considering canning the whole project for a number of reasons: There are ...
6
votes
5answers
779 views

Cloning a game and releasing the source

I'm not really aware of the legal issues surrounding game clones. I'm around halfway done of making a clone, but it's not just the same gaming concepts, I'm literally using the original game's files ...
-5
votes
3answers
545 views

It is possible to use Pokemon images in a game?

Is it possible to use Pokemon images, names, elements in a game I would like to make? Are they still copyrighted, patented, would I get sued? (Maybe their rights have expired by now, is what I am ...
1
vote
0answers
161 views

Where can I find True Type fonts that are free for commercial use? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where can I find fonts for my game? Does anyone know of fonts that are true type and unicode that can be used in a commercial game for free?
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
130 views

legal disclaimers and lisence type for a free multiplayer browser game

I have created a multiplayer browser game. The game is completely free (donations are welcome) but I would like: (a) to protect my concept in some way. (b) to provide legal notes that the user ...
1
vote
1answer
298 views

Does this constitute as copyright infringement?

Say there is a card game, and it has cards that arc out, and has certain types of memberships with certain features such as premium members being allowed to chat, or use private game rooms etc. If I, ...
19
votes
3answers
2k views

Is Tetris public domain? [closed]

is the concept for Tetris in the public domain or is there someone who is still collecting royalties on the concept? I mean, if I were to write a variant of Tetris would I owe somebody some money? ...
18
votes
1answer
821 views

How do we keep ourselves from being sued for unknown patent infringements?

There's breaking news about Zynga being sued over some very obvious implementations. This is making me think that the game industry is full of landmines to be stepped on at every turn. What input does ...
4
votes
1answer
392 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
2answers
446 views

Soccer national teams uniforms and copyright when developing a soccer game

I have a project to be accomplished in a distant future about a soccer game. I´ve read that you can´t feature the actual national teams uniforms without getting permission from FIFA. Is this only for ...
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
864 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.
-6
votes
3answers
374 views

How to make name of your trademark-game-clone findable

I know you can't copyright gameplay, so I can clone a succesful game. I'm not completely sure if you can completely take over all the rules (when rephrasing them to go around copyrights on text). But ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it legal to use car manufacturers' names in a game?

Is it legal to use car manufacturers' names in a game? For example: to describe Audi's quattro drive system? to display a rendering of an Audi? to include a photo (to which I have rights) of an ...
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 ...
3
votes
4answers
630 views

What revenue models can I use for a non-commercial game [closed]

I don't have any budget to buy commercial licenses but the libraries I use offer non-commercial free licenses. How far can I go in regard to monetizing my game without it being considered commercial ...
3
votes
2answers
365 views

Question about Monster Rancher/My Brute generators

I want to build a system based on the idea of Monster Rancher's monster generation system. First, is it legal per se? Obviously, I don't know how they built theirs and I will be generating my own ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

List of all games names? [closed]

Is there any list of game names anywhere, so i can choose a name for my game and avoid (legal) conflicts with other games as much as possible?
6
votes
3answers
303 views

Exclusive ownership of game artwork

I'd like to pay an artist to create art assets for my game. Is it common for the client (myself in this case) to exclusively own all the artwork that I pay the artist to create and deliver? How can ...
3
votes
5answers
238 views

Copyright notices on a web game portal

I notice that for several games on Kongregate, the copyright notice either uses the author's handle name (login name), the name of the group that produce it or a domain name. Are all those valid ...
8
votes
1answer
600 views

Marching Cubes - Legalities?

I know this isn't a "Is this legal" website, but because Marching Cubes is definitely a large subject in game development, and isn't really about a specific graphic/item, it would pass... To the ...
21
votes
6answers
5k views

Is it legally possible to make a clone of the game?

With board games like "Monopoly", "Domino", "Checkers", or "Chess", can game developers make clones and sell them? Also, can I make a clone of ZX Spectrum games? Are there many parts of the game with ...
1
vote
2answers
156 views

Story for an iPhone Game from a book?

I'm making a story-intensive game (RPG) for the iPhone and want to distribute it over the AppStore. But AppStore Apps have the potential to be distributed internationally, so I need kind of legal ...
-2
votes
5answers
4k views

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

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 ...
20
votes
3answers
5k views

Am I allowed to sell an XNA game by myself?

I just started the developpement of an XNA game and I'm asking myself if it wouldn't be better to use an open-source alternative since I absolutely want to keep the complete control over my game. I ...
6
votes
3answers
656 views

Are there legality issues using a company's name in a game?

I'm working on an RPG of sorts where the character has a "day job" that determines how much money they make each time the day cycles and other things like that. Are there any legality issues with ...
4
votes
1answer
168 views

Legal and IP considerations with publishers and playable prototypes

I'm almost ready to send a playable prototype of a game to a publisher. I've never worked with publishers. What legal or intellectual property issues should I consider at this stage (if any)? In ...
0
votes
0answers
147 views

Copyright of some arcade classics [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How closely can a game resemble another game without legal problems So suppose I'm currently developing a variant of a snakes game for the iPhone, and you decided to ...
0
votes
1answer
480 views

Who owns the intellectual property to Fragile Allegiance? [closed]

Fragile Allegiance was developed by Gremlin Interactive, which was later acquired by Infogrames (Atari). I couldn't find any details of the acquisition though. The only interesting thing I have found ...
0
votes
1answer
132 views

Licensing Theme Music from other games

As part of my game, I thought it would be fun to make a hidden level that pays tribute to Mario Bros (one of the earliest games I ever played). It would be themed in that way with 8-bit graphics and ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

Can and should a game design be patented? [closed]

I have an idea for a game that I want to develop and I feel is unique, and I'm wondering if I should patent it. I read on the web that games can be patented, but just because it can be done doesn't ...
-2
votes
1answer
511 views

Can I Base My Game on Another Game and Earn Money? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How closely can a game resemble another game without legal problems I want make a game similar to Pocket Tanks but for Android and then sell it. Since I am not directly ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

How to protect a developed game?

I have developed some small games which are my own creation and each is having different gameplay. Now i want to showcase it using the internet. But I'am a bit worried about the concept getting ...
18
votes
5answers
444 views

What are the implications of not owning the IP of a character graphic in my game?

I'm currently talking with a design studio for the artworks of my game. They are saying they want to still own the IP of their chracter graphic in my game as they want to sell merchandise with my ...
10
votes
2answers
763 views

Legality of using names in a game?

If I am creating a board-game type game, does anyone know if it is legal to use others' names in the game? ie. A playing card with "George Bush" or "Michael Jackson" on it. Also, is it the same for ...
10
votes
4answers
519 views

Does using an licensed game engine prevent you from open sourcing a defunct work?

I'm curious as my previous company is asking us (people who developed the game) on what to do to the game since it's no longer financially viable. My suggestion was to open source it so people can ...
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, ...
4
votes
3answers
221 views

Collaborations with colleges? How do you make them work?

I am a graphic artist and not a modeler or a programmer. For the last few months I have been developing the concept for a game, but could not find a proper team of collaborators to make a demo. Then, ...
5
votes
1answer
229 views

Help with legalese for an HTML5 contest

This contest looks pretty interesting but I'm having some concerns about the wording in the rules: Once submitted, a prize winning Submission becomes the exclusive property of Sponsor and will not be ...
3
votes
5answers
253 views

What are the legal considerations about making a game with a dynamic age restricted content?

What I mean by this is - is it legal to make a game which asks (or proves) your age during install or on initial load, and then dynamically sets the content to the players age. For example if the ...
4
votes
4answers
280 views

Who has ownership of publicly developed projects?

After seeing the comments on selling an idea to developer for a game, the general concencus is that without a game, or atleast a demo, it’s not going to happen. So…someone (yes, Noctrine, I am looking ...
1
vote
6answers
2k views

Using a particular font in a commercial game

I'm working on a game I intend to sell, and I want to use this font. The license says: "You may NOT copy or distribute the font outside of the licensed household, company, school or institution. ...
9
votes
3answers
661 views

Splitting profit - Equal share vs equity investment (work & money spent = share)

Coming up with an appropriate one-liner question was so hard I wrote the body before the header... So we're a team of 4 developers; two designers, two coders to put it simply (naturally we don't tie ...
3
votes
5answers
1k views

Is there any level design copyright?

I am planing to develop a game, in fact a puzzle game, I have changed the graphics but the level design is all the same. For example, the original puzzle game have five aliens as the obstacle in the ...