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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71
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7answers
8k 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 ...
25
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5answers
2k 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 ...
25
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6answers
8k views

Is it legally possible to make a clone of the game?

With board games like "Monopoly", "Domino", "Checkers", or "Chess", can game developers make clones and sell them? Also, can I make a clone of ZX Spectrum games? Are there many parts of the game with ...
7
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2answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
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, ...
14
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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 ...
14
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4answers
3k views

What resources can I use to determine if the name of my game violates any copyrights or trademarks?

I'm a indie/hobbyist game developer. How do I check that I'm not infringing any copyrights or trademarks when I release my game? I'm not making megabucks so it's not financially feasible to get ...
4
votes
2answers
708 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 ...
12
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1answer
248 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?
6
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2answers
4k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
855 views

Legality of using names in a game?

If I am creating a board-game type game, does anyone know if it is legal to use others' names in the game? ie. A playing card with "George Bush" or "Michael Jackson" on it. Also, is it the same for ...
8
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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 ...
11
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1answer
646 views

What to consider legally when cloning an old game? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How closely can a game resemble another game without legal problems I'm going to make a game in the form of a 100% free Android phone app that will be basically a clone ...
8
votes
3answers
460 views

Intellectual rights to game concepts

For a client I might be making a small puzzle game about getting a item out of a puzzle. The concept will strongly resemble this game : ...
4
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

List of all games names? [closed]

Is there any list of game names anywhere, so i can choose a name for my game and avoid (legal) conflicts with other games as much as possible?
2
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2answers
234 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
2answers
536 views

Is there a way to legally create a game mod? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How closely can a game resemble another game without legal problems Some questions about it: If I create a funny version of a copyrighted game and sell it (crediting ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Does it require any license to use soccer players and teams names in a paid or free game?

I would like to know if any license is required to use Fifa registered team names and player names in paid or free games (e.g. Spanish League teams, Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo names etc). I'm currently ...
0
votes
2answers
598 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 ...
17
votes
1answer
552 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) ...
20
votes
3answers
4k views

Is Tetris public domain? [closed]

is the concept for Tetris in the public domain or is there someone who is still collecting royalties on the concept? I mean, if I were to write a variant of Tetris would I owe somebody some money? ...
14
votes
1answer
936 views

Must know legal issues when releasing a game?

Alright, some day in the far future I would love to independently release my own game. My question is, what is the minimum amount of familiarity I need with copyright law, software patents, and other ...
9
votes
1answer
505 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
709 views

Splitting profit - Equal share vs equity investment (work & money spent = share)

Coming up with an appropriate one-liner question was so hard I wrote the body before the header... So we're a team of 4 developers; two designers, two coders to put it simply (naturally we don't tie ...
27
votes
4answers
2k views

Can I run into legal issues with random names?

I'm currently building a game whose NPC's are going to be assigned a random gender and a random name for the right gender. To do this I will be using a "database" of names (actually a text file with ...
7
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0answers
217 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 ...
6
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3answers
2k views

Is it legal to use car manufacturers' names in a game?

Is it legal to use car manufacturers' names in a game? For example: to describe Audi's quattro drive system? to display a rendering of an Audi? to include a photo (to which I have rights) of an ...
8
votes
8answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Are fonts covered by copyright?

I want to use the font Trajan Pro, but I'm not sure that it would be legal. I've read a bit on fonts and copyright, and the only thing I could get was it depends on the license and where it was ...
4
votes
4answers
286 views

Who has ownership of publicly developed projects?

After seeing the comments on selling an idea to developer for a game, the general concencus is that without a game, or atleast a demo, it’s not going to happen. So…someone (yes, Noctrine, I am looking ...
-2
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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 ...
6
votes
3answers
725 views

Are there legality issues using a company's name in a game?

I'm working on an RPG of sorts where the character has a "day job" that determines how much money they make each time the day cycles and other things like that. Are there any legality issues with ...
4
votes
3answers
208 views

Where can I find affordable legal advice for game software related inquiries?

I am working on simulation middleware which is applicable for game engine implementations. What I would like to do is to make it freely available for use for all non-commercial purposes, while at ...
4
votes
1answer
452 views

When do I need to ask for permission to recreate an old game? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: How closely can a game resemble another game without legal problems Legal issues for a "fangame" of a commercial franchise? I want to do a mobile version of ...
3
votes
5answers
274 views

What are the legal considerations about making a game with a dynamic age restricted content?

What I mean by this is - is it legal to make a game which asks (or proves) your age during install or on initial load, and then dynamically sets the content to the players age. For example if the ...
3
votes
5answers
1k views

Is there any level design copyright?

I am planing to develop a game, in fact a puzzle game, I have changed the graphics but the level design is all the same. For example, the original puzzle game have five aliens as the obstacle in the ...
2
votes
1answer
238 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?
2
votes
2answers
436 views

Will there be legal issues in using cracked assets for internal development?

While the artwork for my game is being finished, can I use cracked assets for internal prototyping or testing? I am not going publish anywhere outside my company. Does it attract any legal issues? By ...
2
votes
2answers
968 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.
1
vote
1answer
58 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
234 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
633 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
372 views

Using Copyrighted Images

I was thinking about developing a sidescrolling platformer very similar to an old Mario and Luigi game for NES. To start out I was thinking about taking the images from a site like this: ...
1
vote
6answers
3k views

Using a particular font in a commercial game

I'm working on a game I intend to sell, and I want to use this font. The license says: "You may NOT copy or distribute the font outside of the licensed household, company, school or institution. ...