Hot answers tagged

95

I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. These are things I've heard many times over and have no reason to doubt. Game mechanics cannot be copyrighted or protected in any fashion. I could make a game called "Crystallized" that was Bejeweled, in every imaginable way, and as long as I didn't copy the art from Bejeweled (either directly, or by drawing ...


46

There are several sections of the Unity End-User License Agreement (which is for version 4.x as I write this, although earlier versions are similar) that pertaining to this issue. The most directly relevant is section 3, which reads (in part): You will not delete or in any manner alter any Unity or third-party copyright, trademark or other ...


29

Users of this site are mainly game developers, not lawyers, so we're not able to give you legal advice. However, I have been told that "Fair Use is a defense," not a classification. You don't get to label your creation "fair use" - rather, if an IP holder tries to sue you, you can try to claim fair use as a defense. That still means going to court most ...


27

I am not a lawyer and this is not considered legal advice. Yes it would be illegal. You have to contact the owner of the song, and work out licensing details. It is likely to be very expensive.


27

No. In most cases... also, I am not a lawyer, find one they help. Arrangements of, and recordings of, specific performances of classical music are both copyrighted separately. This means that even if a piece in its original form is in the public domain, the piece itself is still someone's active intellectual property. So, when can you use classical music? ...


24

You're confusing patents, copyrights, and trademarks here. Without going too deep into details: Whatever you create, code, assets, or anything else, automatically has you as the copyright owner. No further actions required. It just has to require significant amount of work (depends on legislation). For example, you can't claim rights on blue rectangles, ...


20

Well, let's talk about intellectual property, since that's really where it seems like your focus is right now. Before I continue, though, I just want to briefly mention that you also want to make sure that you understand where you stand with other aspects of the law as well, things like taxes (Do you have to charge some kind of sales taxes? What sort of ...


19

Other answers have covered trademarks and copyright pretty well, but do not forget patents. Many game mechanics developed in the early days of gaming are patented. The 2 that I know of are minigames while the main game loads (Ridge Racer), and jump-in multiplayer (Gauntlet). That is why you almost never see these features in any games, even though they are ...


17

No. You can't distribute anything you don't have permission for. Crediting or not makes no difference. Unless the song was distributed under a license which explicitly permits redistributing it (such as CC-By) you'll need to get permission from the copyright holder, else it will be copyright infringement and the copyright holder can sue you for it.


15

First, I am not a lawyer, this is not legal advice, if you follow my advice and get sued then it's your fault not mine. That said, you've talked about "copyright issues". I'm going to break this down into two questions: 1) If I get sued for copyright infringement, will I win? Probably! Game mechanics can't be copyrighted, so you're safe there. If "potion" ...


15

I am not a lawyer, the following is not legal advice. If you would like legal advice you should consult a real lawyer. My anecdotes regarding the law are biased entirely towards that of the United States. No, you should not use copyrighted sprites (or any other asset) in your demo. It is a bad idea. Copyright gives the author of a work (in this case, ...


15

You most certainly can get into legal issues in the US. Weapons names are often trademarked and their appearance could be copyrighted (there is a difference between trademarking and copyrighting. See here http://newmediarights.org/guide/legal/Video_Games_law_Copyright_Trademark_Intellectual_Property). Recent debate about it has been growing recently, though. ...


14

You're asking about more than the name, if you re-made the actual game (rhyme unintended). In the US, copyright has been constantly extended, and is now the author's life + 75 years - so no, the game is still copyrighted. And the name is covered by trademark, not copyright (which also would not have expired - I don't think it does expire). If your name is ...


14

You are using a derivative of the song, which falls under copyright. Also it doesn't matter whether you credit the original artist or not make a profit. It is still copyrighted.


14

Do I have to say that I'm not a lawyer? I'm not a lawyer. In some/most countries, you can use a pseudonym of your choosing called a Trade Name. You just can't use "Incorporated", "Limited" or any other legal label in the name though. This type of business is called a Sole Proprietorship, and I would highly recommend it because it's easy to create (you ...


14

There are apps on Google Play Store and Windows Phone Store that also feature these kind of Batman pictures. You probably just had less luck than them, or intended to make profit on your app. By what you stated, you also used "posters" which are pictures that can be easily spotted by a bot. I know that will not be helpful, but if you don't want your ...


14

Considering that there is a tag in this site named "licensing" and another named "copyright", I understand you bringing up such question to here before thinking of hiring a lawyer. But as the other two answers have already stressed, it's important to have it clear that most people here are probably not well equipped to give you the accurate technical answer ...


13

First, I am not a lawyer, this is not legal advice, if you follow my advice and get sued and lose your house then it's your fault not mine. Unfortunately, as simple as that question is, it really needs to be broken down into two questions. 1) If I get sued for copyright infringement, will I win? Maybe! Assuming those pieces are in fact public domain now, ...


13

First - IANAL - Want legal advice call a lawyer. Do you own a trademark on the name eyeRoller? My guess is no. There are two kinds of trademarks. One is a registered trademark. That is shown with an (R). And this means that you filed it with the uspto and obtained a registered mark. Then there is unregistered trademark which is shown with a TM. This ...


12

At the bottom of every app's page in the app store on the phone is a "Report a problem" button you could try, but I suspect the best way is to have your friend's lawyer handle it (and if your friend does not have a lawyer, he or she may want to consider finding and talking with one).


12

This will depend entirely on the license applied to the art assets. The number of open source licenses is always growing, so attempting to provide a list here would be pointless. You will need to research the specific license that's applied to the art. Some of these licenses will allow you to reuse the art. For example, in the link you provide, a majority ...


12

Even though hacking the APK seems easy but it will definitely not run, the other option I believe is to upgrade to the Unity Pro version and I found on some research onto it. See links: Answer from the Unity 3D page Forums Documents about splash screen


11

Why bother? It's pointless to clone a game widespread such as that one: doing so you automatically give away any chance of success for your game! You risk getting sued to build something that will be worthless anyway? Why, lol, that's nonsense! You'd better focus on actually creating something original instead.


11

I'll paraphrase my answer from Audio copyright questions (and I am Not a Lawyer :) Note that this assumes you're in the US (or other Berne signatory countries), and in particular, Canada may be different, as was discussed. It also assumes that when you say, "bought a song", you meant bought a copy from Amazon or somewhere - if you actually bought the ...


11

Game mechanics are not subject to intellectual property controls. Names can be trademarked and any game code or assets are subject to copyright protection. There is some legal precedent for going after games that are "close" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lexulous) but that was in an Indian court so I know much less about their IP laws (see also: the various ...


11

The rule of thumb for cloning games is that they can't copyright game mechanics but they can copyright or trademark the specific names and art. Thus making a game that plays the same but has a different title and different artwork is fine.


11

This is a list of songs in the public domain: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Sound/list


11

Public things like: country names, state names, county names, city names, street names, etc., are not trademarked or copyright protected. There are no licensing agreements required to use them. See Public Domain


11

Have you considered hardcoding something like a time limit into the demo version of the engine? The thing is, no matter how much you protect your demo, the game will be pirated somehow once it comes out. Whether it's by using the demo or just by using the main game, it's going to happen if the game's popular enough. People who don't want to pay for your ...



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