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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3
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2answers
589 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
1k 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?
6
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
0
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3answers
490 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
857 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 ...
1
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2answers
418 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: ...
1
vote
2answers
499 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
votes
3answers
221 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 ...
0
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1answer
795 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, ...
11
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3answers
668 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 ...
27
votes
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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votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
6
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1answer
669 views

If I make a 3d model in a .fbx format, do I owe any royalties/fees to autodesk for using fbx files in Unity?

I'm currently making a game where every format for every asset is either opensource/freeformat, or requires no license fees to use. I've pretty much settled happily on .ogg for audio, vorbis/webm for ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Where can I Find Free TOS or Privacy Policy Templates?

I've come to the point in development where I think I should take care of some of the "cover my butt" things. In particular, I'm looking for free samples or templates for "terms of service/use" and ...
1
vote
2answers
151 views

Implementing an existing (but out of print) game electronically

One of my favorite games is the old Avalon Hill class, PanzerBlitz. I would like to implement it electronically, and have a couple questions related to that: Would I be in legal trouble if I do ...
0
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Legal issues around using real players names and team emblems in an open source game

I'm writing a sports management simulation game. Like most sport management games, it makes heavy use of statistics. I would like to use real players, teams and league names. i) Am I running the risk ...
5
votes
3answers
1k 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. ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

Can I use music I made in GarageBand or FL Studio in a commercial game? [closed]

I'm a beginning developer and I'd like to make music for my game. I've searched this question on the site, and when it comes to music in games, I see many people suggesting programs like FL Studio, ...
7
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2answers
4k views

Are fonts covered by copyright?

I want to use the font Trajan Pro, but I'm not sure that it would be legal. I've read a bit on fonts and copyright, and the only thing I could get was it depends on the license and where it was ...
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 : ...
0
votes
1answer
219 views

Is this feature copyright infringment? [closed]

Say there is a card game and they have a feature that allows setting join requirement when hosting a game. These are: Only people I like, No one I Dislike, Invite Only, Everyone. If I created a card ...
1
vote
4answers
345 views

Will my “Block Buster” game infringe on the Blockbuster (movie rental) trademark?

I'm developing a small puzzle game called "Block Buster" and I was wondering if there will be any collision with already existing "Blockbuster" (movie rental company) registered trademark. Does the ...
0
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5answers
3k views

Could I make my own pokemon game without running into a copyright issue?

I've always wanted to make a video game that criticises pokemon. I want to know if I could use pokemon as the characters in the game without running into copy right laws. The game itself will have ...
0
votes
2answers
678 views

How legal would it be to use some elements of the Half Life universe in my non comercial, indie game?

I'm planning to make a simple, HTML5 game, that would use some elements of the Half Life universe. Basically, it would be a 2D Portal clone, but it would have it's own story, and portals would be ...
5
votes
3answers
653 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?
19
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2answers
4k views

Can I legally sell an XNA game made with Visual C# Express Edition?

I've dowloaded Visual C# Express Edition and when it starts up it says "for evaluation purposes only." What does this mean? Does this mean I have to buy the full version to legally sell my game I ...
1
vote
2answers
413 views

Can I use the Minecraft avatar in my game as long as I texture it differently?

I'm creating a block-based game and am ready to start developing the avatar. I would like to use the Minecraft avatar model but use my own higher resolution texture. Can I do this or will I be ...
18
votes
5answers
7k 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?
2
votes
2answers
459 views

Will there be legal issues in using cracked assets for internal development?

While the artwork for my game is being finished, can I use cracked assets for internal prototyping or testing? I am not going publish anywhere outside my company. Does it attract any legal issues? By ...
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Does it require any license to use soccer players and teams names in a paid or free game?

I would like to know if any license is required to use Fifa registered team names and player names in paid or free games (e.g. Spanish League teams, Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo names etc). I'm currently ...
8
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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 ...
1
vote
0answers
157 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

Am I liable if my game damages someone's computer?

Do i really have to tell somewhere in my game documents that "there is no warranty for this software for any damage" etc? I see it a lot in almost every program, if not all, but is it really ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

Can Google Translate's audio files be used in a game?

For my game, I need text-to-speech. Since it's Android, I decided to settle for MP3s, since the range of words spoken is few. For my prototype, I'm using Google Translate to generate the audio since ...
11
votes
2answers
4k 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
5answers
4k 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
183 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
296 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
627 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
306 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
867 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 ...
-6
votes
3answers
882 views

It is possible to use Pokemon images in a game? [duplicate]

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
162 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?
14
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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 ...
4
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2answers
136 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
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1answer
307 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, ...
21
votes
3answers
6k 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
877 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 ...