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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Is it legal to develop a game using other games skill names/flavor/mechanic? [duplicate]

I am starting to develop a new game and i'm thinking about using some names for some features coming from other games (such as WoW and D&D). I have already read this Is it legal to develop a game ...
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2answers
546 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 ...
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5answers
5k 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?
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9answers
5k views

Can I include a public domain book in my game?

Just for fun, I want to include a bookshelf in my game with a real book (or few) that you can actually read. Would I run into any legal trouble if I included an out of print book in the public ...
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2answers
329 views

Can I put real people in my game?

When and how can I use the likeness of real people in my game? What are the legal restrictions involved? Real people are rarely found in games because it's hard to present them tastefully, but they ...
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7answers
748 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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3answers
969 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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2answers
1k 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.
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1answer
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Is it legal to sell or monetize games created with the Unity 3D free edition?

Is it okay to use Unity 3D programming and gaming software to create mobile game apps for Android and iOS? I am using a free version of Unity 3D and planning it to sell my current game app I've ...
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1answer
63 views

Personal Custom Card Game [duplicate]

I had the idea, to make a custom card game based off an Anime i like. I was wondering if it would be legal to have such printed out (using a custom card/board game service) for personal use. I would ...
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5answers
859 views

Are references to other games considered an infringement of copyright?

My team frequently reminisces about the games we grew up with in the 1990s, and we'd like to include references and Easter eggs that pay homage to this decade and that will invoke nostalgia or even ...
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4answers
22k 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 ...
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1answer
111 views

How do I publish to Google Play if I'm under 18?

I've finished my first Unity and want to release it on the Google Play store but can't because I am under 18. The main issue is that Google Wallet requires you to be over 18. How could I work around ...
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8answers
10k views

How closely can a game legally resemble another?

Most games build on other games' successes and many are downright clones. Where is the limit of imitation before legal issues come into play? Is it down to literary or graphic work like characters and ...
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0answers
27 views

Can names of abilities or spells within a game be trademarked/copyright? [duplicate]

Okay, say I want to create an RPG similar to and takes inspiration from such games as Final Fantasy, The Elder Scrolls, Shin Megami Tensei, Pokemon, etc. and I would like to use familiar names in some ...
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2answers
1k views

What do I need in order to receive payments from Valve?

I'm developer from Russia and I recently passed Steam Greenlight. Now I'm stuck on the Valve program enrollment phase. From what I've seen in the Valve forms, it is not necessary to create a company, ...
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1answer
83 views

How should I license my game so others may not distribute copies?

I've created a game and I'm unsure how to license it or what that means. I've heard of Creative Commons licenses. Should I use that? I want it so that people that download my game cannot remix or ...
2
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1answer
66 views

Legal issues around forming an international game dev team

A friend and I have been wanting to collaborate on a mobile app game. It's a 'start small but dream big' kind of venture, where neither of us has much experience, but we're hoping that if we succeed, ...
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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 ...
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1answer
796 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?
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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 ...
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1answer
90 views

Legal Implications of using Openal in Opentk Commercially

Myself and my friend are currently creating a game, which we plan on selling upon its completion. We are using opentk. I read over this: http://www.opentk.com/node/532 , and it pretty well describes ...
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0answers
32 views

What do I need to release a Dragon ball game? [duplicate]

The idea is to make a dragon ball game for mobile phones, I'm developing a prototype using sprites at spritedatabase.net. However, I don't know which commercial use they have, if I'll have to pay some ...
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5answers
3k views

Legal issues for a “fangame” of a commercial franchise? [duplicate]

I've played around in the past of the 2D Flash fan-made version of the popular Valve game Portal. It has basically the exact same mechanics, but as a 2D side-view flash game. Lately I've toyed ...
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1answer
104 views

Am I allowed to release a fan-made version of a Trading Card Game on a fansite? [duplicate]

Consider a Trading Card Game that is currently available for play in digital format only, the game in question would be HEX: Shards of Fate, but this question is intended as a general question about ...
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5answers
3k 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 ...
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3answers
1k views

How common are game engine bugs, and can I claim damages for them? [closed]

Are game engine bugs (in popular ones like Unreal and Unity, not some unknown ones) common? I know engines like Unreal, Source and Unity3D are well tested and maintained, but, for example, is there ...
2
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1answer
123 views

How or when to add a copyright notice in published games?

I've seen lot of videogame title screens show a copyright notice together with the company name. I'm about to publish my game and I am looking for possibilities or requirements on how or when to add ...
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0answers
24 views

legality of certain game elements [duplicate]

I am considering working on a particular concept, that would involve use of terminology from the particular series and mini-game from which I gained inspiration. I am curious as to the potential legal ...
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0answers
44 views

What parts of gameplay can be copyrighted? [duplicate]

I am thinking of developping a game and my inspiration largely relies on an existing game (with not many similar existing). Which parts am I allowed by law to replicate (in my own way of course) and ...
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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 ...
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1answer
970 views

Am I allowed to name a game after some song?

Just to ask a quick question, which I don't know where to ask: If I were to make a game, would I be allowed to call it "Buffalo Soldier [some more words]"? Since it's a song by Bob Marley I am not ...
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5answers
5k views

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

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 ...
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2answers
156 views

What level of use can I give to these third person IP based art assets?

I'm making my first game (2D), and while details are irrelevant it compromises lots of spaceships in and out of the screen. They are not the main character or controllable by any means (I don't know ...
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2answers
306 views

Is it legal to use Creative Commons art in a commercial game?

I would like to know if the following situation would be legal. Let's say I take some pictures on wikipedia, that are licensed under CC-BY-SA license. Then I would like to photoshop them, and use it ...
6
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4answers
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, ...
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2answers
127 views

Is it OK to use player supplied music in my game?

Is it copyright infringement if I create a game based around music beats but allow the players to use their own mp3 files?
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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. ...
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2answers
101 views

If I released a game engine under GPL v3, can I specify what parts of their code can be released under their own license?

I have a few questions about what users of my engine could copyright in their own project. The way the engine would work would be that it would be a standalone program in Java that would load all of ...
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1answer
3k views

Do I still owe Epic royalties if I am not enrolled in the Unreal Engine subscription?

I have just started using Unreal Engine 4 and I have had a very good experience, though I have left the subscription now. I've made an Android game with it and I am planning to release it, but I have ...
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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 ...
0
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0answers
35 views

Can i make Simtower III whit out being sued by EA? [duplicate]

So i whanted to make a game inspired in the awesome game Simtower only because i love the game and i don't whant to make any money of it so can i make the game or not? Thanks, Laaz.
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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 ...
15
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5answers
2k views

How do I protect my rights to my game on the web?

My small games all have different gameplay. I want to showcase them through the internet. However, I'm worried about them and their concepts getting copied. How can I protect them? Also, if I have ...
4
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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, ...
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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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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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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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1answer
76 views

Can I use icons, which I am not allowed to use in commercial applications, in a free game

I wonder if I can use commercially-not-allowed icons in a mobile game which will be free for download. My game will include ads. Will ads make my game a commercial product?
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3answers
183 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 ...