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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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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2answers
29 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
124 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? ...
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9answers
3k 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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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. ...
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2answers
579 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
12k 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
108 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
76 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
55 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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4answers
28k 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
109 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 ...
0
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1answer
57 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 ...
14
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1answer
300 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
75 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 ...
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1answer
47 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
49 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
102 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
605 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
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?
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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
383 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
851 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 ...
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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
5k 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
95 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
152 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 ...
9
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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
109 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
78 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
908 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 ...
1
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1answer
135 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
33 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 ...
1
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1answer
127 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
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 ...
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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
158 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 ...
0
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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
45 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
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 ...
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1answer
1k 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
6k 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 ...
0
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2answers
159 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 ...