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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Are the names of guns protected under copyright law in the US? [migrated]

So I am trying to create a military shooter and therefore must have guns. I would like to include some weapons from real life (Ak-47, M16, Glock, etc.) and I would like to know what legal issues I ...
1
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1answer
104 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 ...
73
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8answers
9k 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
26 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, ...
2
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1answer
77 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
65 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
760 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
84 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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4answers
791 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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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 ...
25
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5answers
2k 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
74 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 ...
4
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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 ...
3
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3answers
990 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
120 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 ...
0
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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 ...
7
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1answer
932 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 ...
5
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1answer
3k 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 ...
0
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2answers
154 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
286 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
124 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
20k 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 ...
5
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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. ...
0
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2answers
92 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 ...
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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.
11
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3answers
642 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
2k 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, ...
16
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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 ...
9
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1answer
538 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 ...
6
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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
71 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
182 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 ...
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0answers
198 views

Making game textures from sample images - legal/copyright question [closed]

TL;DR version: Can I use samples from images online in a commercial game project? Hello, I have been learning to use blender and have gotten quite decent at making models and applying textures, but ...
7
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4answers
973 views

Can I take a finished game based on a licence to the holding company?

Ok so I went through 11 pages on here and have done a decent amount of Google searching, but found nothing specific to my question. I'm working on a game based on a movie. For the purpose of this I'm ...
0
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2answers
297 views

Issues using real names in a soccer player game [duplicate]

Is illegal to use the real player and team names in a game? When I say game could be and desktop, mobile or fantasy game. If is illegal, is ok to change a little bit names? Instead of using Messi ...
0
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2answers
148 views

Is naming an app similar to another app legal? [closed]

I just finished my first ever app after 1 month of programming it and I'm ready to put it on the app store/google play. I searched the stores to see if the name i wanted to name my app was still ...
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1answer
253 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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3answers
338 views

Is a warning about IAP in freemium games on iOS required?

When I launch the successful iOS game "Clash of Clans", right in the beginning I get the following message in an iOS info pop-up: "Clash of Clans is free to play, but you can speed up your progress ...
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1answer
140 views

Why are payments for a game sometimes called “donations”?

Why are money payments (by SMS, or VISA) sometimes called "donations", and not "payments" or "purchases"? Is it a legal part of monetization (some details will be appreciated in this case), or just a ...
2
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1answer
237 views

Version Not Final, Does Not Represent Actual Game Footage?

Just curious about this. Frequently, a lot of gameplay videos from big studios have small subtitled text at the lower part of the screen, reading something like: Pre-Alpha Gameplay -- Footage not ...