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25

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 ...


13

If it's a good idea or not is up to you. And the success of the strategy depends on what your actual goal is. No Time to Explain did this way back in 2011. They uploaded a special version of the game to Pirate Bay that had all the characters wearing pirate hats. “We thought it’d be funny to leak a pirate version ourselves which is literally all about ...


8

This should be legal, but be careful where your music is coming from. If you're using sound samples provided by software you need to ensure it's OK to use those sound samples. There's something in music composition called Sampling. This is taking small bits of other music and re-using it in your own. The legal issues surrounding sampling are a grey area, ...


8

While the letter X is not copy protected, the specific cross used on the controller, along with the other shapes: , are trademarked. Using your own art to represent the buttons (as in your example image), should be OK under fair use, specifically nominative fair use. Where the qualifications for nominative fair use are one of the following situations: ...


8

No. From the faq link I put on @eBusiness's answer, in reference to what money requires the 25% royalty while using a comercial license: ...includes, but is not limited to, revenue earned from: sales, advertisements, sponsorships, endorsements, subscription fees, microtransactions, in-game item or service sales, rentals, pay-to-play, services you ...


7

This is all going to depend on how capable you are as an audio machine and what your budget is. If you do it yourself, you can either find some tools that let you generate sound effects or you can record your own from coconuts or something. If you try recording your own I would highly recommend you try renting or borrowing some nice audio equipment, since ...


7

IANAL, and it would potentially be different in different countries, but some guidelines: Anything that references trademarked and/or copyrighted content (and everything is copyrighted at the moment of creation by its creator) should not be used without explicit permission from the trademark/copyright owner. When in doubt about trademark or copyright ...


7

There are three areas that you must take care of: Copyright Patents Trademarks Even if you break something, you might get away with it. The company legal department can contact you and ask you nicely to remove the infringement. Or they can directly sue you, especially when the company is making profit by holding and licensing patents. Copyright Every ...


7

(Stock caveat: I Am Not A Lawyer and this should not be construed as specific legal advice.) If all you're concerned about is that your work is copyrighted to you, then you're in luck - that happens automatically upon creation of the work, and no explicit copyright mark is needed. On the other hand, if you're concerned about the prospect of people ...


6

Pac-Man is still covered by copyright, and has not reverted to the public domain. Exhaustively sourced proof: Copyright for works created during or after 1978 lasts a bare minimum of 70 years. (section 302.a) (In the case of Pac-Man, 120 years is probably a more likely duration, as it presumably would have been a work for hire performed for Namco by ...


6

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pac-Man In 2011, Namco sent a DMCA notice to the team that made the programming language Scratch saying that a programmer had infringed copyright by making a Pac-Man game using the language and uploading it to Scratch's official website.[94] Considering they sent a DMCA to someone who wasn't making money off of it I'm ...


5

First of all, read the terms of free use for the desired product, they will usually contain a much more specific phrasing. It is hard to define a strict definition for what is commercial and what is non-commercial, a prominent borderline case is a good given out for free to promote a commercial product. It is still commercial, but what if the good doesn't ...


5

Non-commercial: ...refers to an activity or entity that does not in some sense involve commerce. An in-game shop involves commerce. If you make money directly from the game, it's a commercial game.


5

Legal issues It depends, there are elements that are copyrighted and there are elements that are not. In case they are - it's illegal. Well, not illegal, but you may run into legal issues. Then, there is this parody law. I'm not a US resident, nor I know about it here - hence no link. For one of my projects, I had a discussion with related people, and ...


4

Yes, you can as long as you license the engine, with terms permitting it. The version of Source that comes with the games that you purchase is for modding those existing games, and you won't be able to produce executables with it (and if you do manage to, you're going to run into some other more costly problems). Interested in licensing Source, refer to ...


4

Are there any legal ways to acquire the rights to make a derivative video game? Yes, it's frequently done. The game is owned by a live company, so how would I contact them correctly and negotiate for the rights to the content? Find their contact information on the web. Typically with a "Contact Us" page. You're likely not going to find a "Use ...


4

Copyright is about copying, not only distribution. Courts have ruled that even loading a program into memory is copying and subject to limitations on copyright. IANAL but I think you would probably be OK, although it is a murky situation. By requiring the other game to be present you are in essence creating a derivative work containing your code and the ...


3

Nothing is required to enact copyright over a work. That includes placing "Copyright" on the work in question. However, the more steps you take to formalize your copyright, the easier it will be to defend. In order of easier to harder (and more expensive) Identify the copyright owner on the works Register the copyright, as Steven suggested. ...


3

IANAL, this is not legal advice, gamedev.SE is not a good site for legal Q&A. You may have noticed that most promotional material either avoids mentioning competitors, or avoids mentioning them by name. Example (Colgate): "Tastes better than the leading competitor" I believe this issue is covered on the Wikipedia article Comparative Advertising. ...


3

License rights are not public rights. Licensing rights are contracts given to a single company or individual. The terms of which are decided upon a case by case basis. The license is for the use of various things, including Brands, Trademarks and Logos. In the case of people's names, it's the trademark that's being licensed. Trademarks never expire as long ...


3

@jwenting Has a very valid point on restrictions of use. But you also asked about licensing and creation. Any copyrighted work or trademark can be licensed, if the copyright owner agrees to. (He may have his own plan for a game or may think you will not build a quality game and devalue his brand.) As a default and especially in your case you need to go to ...


2

In addition to making it yourself or hiring someone, you can go through a music licensing site: http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2009/04/top-7-music-licensing-sites-.html Another good place (we used this for The Greatest Heist) is www.shockwave-sound.com. You pay a small amount for royalty-free use of music there.


2

Foreword: Anything related to laws will always be in a gray area, because the case outcome ultimately comes from a handful of people. Others have accurately pointed out that game code and assets fall under copyright law and that product, company, etc. names fall under trademark law. However, although others have pointed out that you cannot copyright game ...


2

I would comment, but there is a 50 rep requirement for some reason. Anywho, this is the same as asking "Can I reprint an author's book as long as it has a different cover?". If you make it to sell to a client, then I would say the answer is one big no. It is that client's property, not yours.


2

If you change the name, it isn't violating trademark. The creators of the Simpsons twisted the Apple into a Mapple. Everyone knew it was the parody of Apple. No copyright infridgements. Rockstar used car models, that were taken from the real world, only to change to logo and the company name. There are cars nearly identical to the ones in real life. ...


2

Regarding using names When one releases a game commercially, they usually register a trademark for that name and product category. When one registers a trademark, nobody else may use that name for their product, when that product falls into the same product category. You can use the patent trademark database of the US patent and trademark office to check if ...


2

Concepts are not copyright, assets are. Names are also not copyright, but they can be trademarked. Logos are copyright. In the U.S., you don't have to apply for copyright, it is implicit when you create content. You can make whatever you want as long as you are not copying assets or infringing upon trademarks. You can rip as many ideas as you like. Ideas ...


2

You can't copyright ideas or game mechanics. That much should be obvious from the number of "clone" games around. So you can make a game that exactly followed Quidditch rules without much worry. Use of copyrighted material (whole chunks of Harry Potter's text explaining the rules of Quidditch, for example) is generally not possible without the copyright ...


1

Copyright is only about distribution, not about use. When you obtained copyrighted content, you are free to do whatever you want with it, as long as you don't give it away to others. Also, when you obtain copyrighted content from somewhere, you aren't violating the copyright. The violation is committed by the person who distributes the content without ...


1

When your intention is to secure copyright by proving that you published your work first, and you don't want to pay for a certification by a 3rd party, just put your work on the web. The internet wayback machine is often used as evidence how a website looked at a past date and what content it had.



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