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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6
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2answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
61 views

Copyright and patents on game design and names?

We all know that each game has elements from another game but when does one cross the line of copyright? I have a view particular questions about this since this "line" is very vague. While looking ...
55
votes
6answers
5k views

How closely can a game resemble another game without legal problems?

The majority of games build on successes of other games and many are downright clones. So where is the limit of emulating before legal issues come into play? Is it down to literary or graphic work ...
13
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
59 views

Selling Game Apps Online Condition: Export Law

Is it legal to publish and sell Android game apps powered by Unity 3D, regardless if it is a paid app or free app? I found on this terms and conditions or agreements, no. 11 on export law. Is there ...
7
votes
0answers
127 views

How do you fully publish a game under your name, under 18? [closed]

This has been a week of stress in trying to get things done correctly. It's all tied with keeping things legal and making sure I don't lose out on benefits of any kid. I have just recently finished up ...
1
vote
5answers
799 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?
0
votes
1answer
112 views

What is the proper, legal way to make a derivative video game?

I want to make a game derived from an existing game. That game is owned by a live company. How do I go about contacting the rights owners correctly and negotiating for the rights to the content?
0
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
39 views

can i publish a pokémon game legally? [duplicate]

I want to publish a Pokémon game, I will acknowledge all that is not mine, that is: registered trademarks, artwork... anything, I don't want any credit for anything related to Pokémon, I just want to ...
7
votes
2answers
420 views

What constitutes satire? [closed]

For business reasons, I would like to know what constitutes satire in a game. Also, is there a better place to ask questions like this on the business side of game development?
1
vote
2answers
164 views

FOSS games using original assets, is it legal?

Can I make a game that uses the assets of another game on the users' computer, without legal issues? For example, I make a game that requires the user have game X installed, and I use the assets of ...
0
votes
1answer
162 views

Is it legal to use the Source Engine out of Steam?

I would like to create a game that uses the Source Engine on Desura, the problem is that I am afraid that it is illegal to use the Source Engine in other platforms are not managed by Valve
2
votes
1answer
210 views

Is it legal to record music with a synthesizer and use it in my game?

I want to make music for game on my own because I don't have professional composer hired. I have found some softwares for making music, but most of them cost some money. I have an idea to record ...
-5
votes
3answers
498 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
votes
1answer
220 views

Is it legal to make a game out of a book?

I want to learn what legal constraints are on the copyrighted material. If I want to make a Quidditch (the fictional game in Harry Potter series) game, should I pay some kind of copyright to the ...
5
votes
1answer
368 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?
10
votes
1answer
435 views

Can I use Playstation controller button icons in my game?

I'm currently working on a game that will be released on PC with controller support, and I'm trying to find a way on how to best represent controller icons within the game. I'm assuming I can't ...
2
votes
2answers
124 views

Game Trailer Reference other Games

I am currently developing a game that pulls in the basic ideas and concepts from 3 other games. I want to make a trailer, and can I put in the trailer something like this: Pulling Game Concepts ...
1
vote
2answers
299 views

How to create a legally valid timestamp of unpublished game artwork

Before publishing promotional material of my first indie game I wanted to mark all my artwork with a legally valid timestamp. There are two ways I know to do this: 1 go to a sollecitor/lawyer and ...
0
votes
3answers
581 views

Is it legal to reuse a 3D model as long as it has a new texture?

If I create a 3D model and texture for a client, say a house. Can I reuse that same 3D model, but apply a new texture and then legally use that in my own game? Is that enough of a difference? ...
6
votes
1answer
405 views

Showing “Please buy” screen to pirates [closed]

I recently saw this and this, and that got me thinking When publishing a commercial game without DRM, would it be a good idea to upload a slightly modified copy of the game that shows a screen like ...
16
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
211 views

How not to break licence laws? [closed]

I have an idea for a game. Also I have almost everything worked out considering coding. What interests me the most is how can I know if that game can be published. As it would be for iOS and ...
2
votes
1answer
159 views

Using real football (soccer) names from the past?

Is it legal to use really old names in a manager style game? It there an expiration on name license rights?
1
vote
1answer
165 views

Using name of real products in games

My friend and I are creating a Computer Tycoon game. We're using graphics cards and other real CPUs in the game. So can we use names like GeForce_210 in the game without issues? Also, if the above ...
24
votes
4answers
1k views

Legal issues for a “fangame” of a commercial franchise?

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
391 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
484 views

What do I need to do legally to protect my game with copyright?

I am in the process of writing a game and I'm wondering what the copyright laws about publishing this game are. I do not (for now) intend to make money from this. The beginning of my code contains a ...
1
vote
2answers
404 views

Pac-Man - Public Domain? [closed]

I've googled this and haven't come up with anything. Can I create a Pac-Man game and not get in trouble with? Like can I sell it, and be able to make money without having to pay someone else ...
3
votes
4answers
323 views

What can I do to get audio into my game legally? [closed]

If making a game of my own, what should or what can I do to get audio in game? I understand that just going on the internet, and finding random tracks and putting in my game may raise a whole load of ...
6
votes
2answers
558 views

Legal issues concerning using superheroes in games

Before proceeding on with the idea of developing a mobile game that involves superhero characters from both Marvel/DC Comics, I am taking a serious dip into looking into things from a legal point of ...
3
votes
4answers
597 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
544 views

Is Free2Play w/ cash shop “non-commercial”?

I'm new to game development and considered using the Unreal Development Kid for a test game. The website states it is free for non-commercial use. I know that games that can be obtained free of charge ...
-5
votes
1answer
156 views

Can I use Nyancat for my game? [closed]

I tried to find the information regarding the copyright/ownership of the Nyancat but couldn't find anything concrete. Can I use Nyan as part of the name of my game? Can I use the Nyancat graphics ...
9
votes
1answer
420 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
626 views

Google Play 3rd Party Payment Allowed?

Does Google allow 3rd party payment solutions to be enabled in developers' apps (i.e., Paypal, carrier/SMS payment), especially in countries where Google Checkout isn't present? Or does this violate ...
11
votes
3answers
867 views

Releasing a game without really having an officially registered company

I'm thinking of releasing my iOS game without formally registering a company at all. I'm not sure I even want to create a company. ITunes wants to know the copyright holder of my title. I have 2 ...
3
votes
1answer
206 views

License for a casino game with virtual money (chips)

Do I need a specific license for operating a casino game (lets say poker Hold'em or video slots) that players are supposed to play with virtual money (chips) only? I am speaking about games like Zynga ...
7
votes
3answers
546 views

Can you use well known buildings in your game?

Is it legal to reference a real city in your game and use the same architecture of well known shops and buildings? For example, I'm sure you can't create an exact 3D model of McDonalds, put it in ...
0
votes
1answer
171 views

Game loosely based on a copyrighted story [duplicate]

I want to make a game based on a copyrighted book. It's not about recreating it strictly with all details, but rather about building something new around the general idea (possibly incorporating some ...
0
votes
1answer
143 views

Having Your Own Copyrighted App Automatically After Publishing

I have a question regarding for the game app and in business. You see, I decided to publish an app to Google Play. When I published it, does this app automatically declared that this app is ...
17
votes
1answer
412 views

Process of getting DEJUS rating (Brazil)?

I would like to get DEJUS rating for my HTML5 game on the Firefox Marketplace, so that I can tell Mozilla to make the game available to users in Brazil. I want the game to be rated as: Livre (general) ...
0
votes
0answers
146 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
373 views

Is “forcing the user” to accept the terms an acceptable design in a smartphone/iPhone game?

I am about to release my first iPhone game, has been a long project and I involved several people. My lawyer strongly recommended me to add a "terms and conditions" page at the beginning of the app ...
9
votes
3answers
556 views

From release to business

Let's say that I've finished programming an indie MMO game similiar to Tibia. I've got a stable server application that is ready to launch, i've got a tested bug-free working client application that ...
5
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
535 views

Is it acceptable to say “Inspired from … game”

For a game I'm developing, I would like to use "inspired from ... game" to acknowledge and praise that game. But I'm not sure if this is a good idea from a legal point of view. They might think my ...
-4
votes
2answers
323 views

Can I legally make a free clone of a game and use the same name? [closed]

I gather from Is it legally possible to make a clone of the game? and How closely can a game resemble another game without legal problems that I should not try to profit from a clone if it is using ...