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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Adding actors/musicians/famous people in a videogame [duplicate]

Let's say I want to make a videogame with several famous characters in it, you can't copyright a name and a face, right (I'm talking about names and surnames, not branded ones)? How does it work? Are ...
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19 views

Will I be copyrighting If I create a sprite sheet from scratch based on an existing character? [FanArt] [on hold]

Can I be sued if lets say I make a 8-bit character based on an existing character if I create the sprite from scratch in a game I intend to sell? So for example, this is not my art (I am using this ...
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1answer
93 views

intellectual property and non disclosure agreements on artwork

I am developing a game and would like to work with an artist. I am interested to know what other developers have done with regards to creating characters. How does one draft up agreements that might ...
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2answers
146 views

Can I use fonts under C:\Windows\Fonts for text in my game?

I'm using Unreal Engine and their UMG system which comes with only one font by default ("Roboto"). The engine allows importing new fonts so I'm wondering whether I can use the fonts already available ...
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2answers
104 views

Can I use my self made piano version of a popular copyrighted song as my game background music?

I am making a game, the theme of the game is kind of romantic, and I, myself, have made a piano version of a modern pop song that would fit with that theme. The song in question is still under ...
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2answers
52 views

Who should be contacted to request permission, for commercial songs (and cost ballpark)

While playing to Fifa, it occurred to me that there is probably a license that EA pay to musicians to play their songs in their game. Does anyone know if there is a standard license for indie games, ...
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10answers
4k 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 ...
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0answers
29 views

Legal issues with nba player names, profiles, logos ? [duplicate]

I am searching for this topic and I found a similar question asked check here: Legal issues around using real players names and team emblems in an open source game however I have specific questions ...
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2answers
147 views

Whose name should I put next to my copyright notice? [closed]

I've seen other developers put their own names next to their copyright notice while others choose to put their studio name instead. I read that having a studio name could potentially protect me ...
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2answers
7k 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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0answers
16 views

Launching free patch with real soccer players after releasing a game with fake soccer players [duplicate]

We are working on a soccer management game and currently I am using fake teams and fake players. As I understand, using real players and teams in a game costs is done legaly only by paying for it. ...
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2answers
740 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 ...
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6answers
32k 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 ...
6
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3answers
4k 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 ...
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1answer
49 views

Can copying assets be legal if I'm not intending to make money? [duplicate]

I very recently started going through game development tutorials and I was thinking of trying to mimic a game I know as closely as possibly just to see if I can do it as a first project. I wouldn't ...
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2answers
71 views

Will using similar/exact name to a current Marvel superhero name for your game be a problem?

I have heard that the word 'superhero' is trademarked by marvel and DC and thus we can't use superhero as part of the name of a game we develop. But I wonder do they also have exclusibe rights to all ...
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4answers
2k 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
32 views

How does copyright on sources work [closed]

If I want to create a game in which I use sources from another game that has copyright is illegal. But what if I use screenshots from a 3D game to make another 2D game (something like a ...
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4answers
151 views

I want to make a racing game.Can I have licensed cars without paying for licenses? [duplicate]

My idea was something similar to rFactor, but very easy to mod. There will be a step by step tutorial. If I or somebody from the developers make the mods and publish them, do I still need licensing? ...
2
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3answers
4k 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. ...
6
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2answers
587 views

Can I legally call ninja techniques “jutsus” in a game?

I'm making a game inspired by the anime Naruto and I want to use the word jutsu, used in the anime to mean ninja techniques. Can I do that? Does the answer change if I change the techniques' ...
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11answers
14k 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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2answers
119 views

Questions on the legal protection of games and their parts (assets, sounds, title)

we started new pirate game, and I just want to ask some questions about rights. So I am new in game dev, I guess there are a lot of answers, but I guess professionals can advise something for first ...
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2answers
88 views

Legal restrictions if using Google Analytics on PC game?

I'm thinking of using Google Analytics to collect various user information (including hardware information) in my PC desktop game I'm making with Unity.I figured I can do this by setting up a new ...
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7answers
6k views

What makes MMOs with real-money economies legal?

I beieve most MMOs with an in-game currency tied to a real-world currency (e.g. Guild Wars 2's gems or Eve's PLEX) do not allow in-game items to be traded back into real cash for a bunch of ...
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2answers
134 views

Apple iOS review and interpreted code download/execution

I'm looking for some information regarding two specifics rules of the App Store Review guidelines. More specifically rules 2.7 and 2.8 : 2.7 Apps that download code in any way or form will be ...
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1answer
146 views

Are metal slug art assets free use?

I'm making a mobile game and I've gotten by with completely free art assets so far, but I have an explosion from metal slug. I love it and it's perfect, but I don't want to get sued. I've seen metal ...
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1answer
58 views

Deferring royalties for assets until revenue is earned

I am developing a game and I want to use some assets that are available online for a fixed price, I want to sell my game and actually make money off of it. I have contacted the owners and they will ...
15
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1answer
309 views

Where can I find legal or business resources for a game production company?

Where can I find information on the legal or business aspects of running a game production company?
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2answers
80 views

When are games legal to mod? [closed]

I'm just curious when and what games are legal to mod and what are the processes I must follow to keep the mod project from becoming illegal. To be specific i'm trying to do a side project while in ...
0
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1answer
60 views

Can I use someone else's music/midi? [duplicate]

The music in question is not exactly owned by the other individual either, as it's simply an arrangement of a game's soundtrack as a midi or music sheet. Am I allowed to use these in my videogame? ...
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1answer
56 views

How much a game can borrows from a franchise before becoming a fangame/infringing the copyright [duplicate]

Let's say you like the theme/world of a franchise, for example SpongeBob SquarePants, and you want to make it into maybe a business game where you hold an underwater restaurant. Make burgers, invent ...
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1answer
123 views

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
644 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 ...
18
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5answers
8k 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 ...
2
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2answers
404 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 ...
3
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7answers
917 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
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 ...
2
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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
6k views

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
106 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
1k 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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1answer
183 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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0answers
31 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
111 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
85 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 ...
7
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1answer
974 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?