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34

Getting legal advice on GameDev.StackExchange is not a great idea. Having said that, if a work is truly in the public domain, you can do whatever you want with it.


29

In my experience, the reason you don't see this very often (at least in the US) is "it's very complicated, we as game developers lack the expertise, and there isn't much profit in it." Online gambling laws are really complicated. I'm not even going to pretend my limited comprehension of legalese is up to the task of parsing them. It's not necessarily very ...


21

Yes and no. "Public domain" does mean that, by definition, you can do whatever you like with that creative property. However there's an important caveat here. What's public domain is the underlying story, not every specific creative work based on that story. So, like, you could have a book titled Alice in Wonderland, but its cover can't be Disney's Alice in ...


11

Watch for different copyright terms in different countries. Just because a book's copyright has expired in your country does not mean it has expired in all countries in which you plan to distribute the game. Though the Berne Convention sets a minimum copyright term of 50 years after the death of the author, countries are free to set a longer copyright term. ...


11

The word "jutsu" is simply a Japanese word for "technique." The idea of ninja jutsus is very common in anime and manga, and definitely predates Naruto. As long as you aren't using a jutsu name copied directly from Naruto, you should be fine (and even some of the names are likely to be public domain, as they are mentioned in Japanese ninja folklore). For ...


9

My question is why are there not more games which take this approach of a game economy tied directly to real money? I think the answer lies in what a game is. To most people, a game is something where you relax and can have carefree fun. Some people will have more fun if game money is real money, but others will have less fun. So inherently it seems ...


7

When you allow players to not just pay you money but also get out money, your game can easily fulfill the definitions of both banking and gambling which are both heavily regulated in many jurisdictions. While some game companies might feel comfortable with managing a gambling business, very few possess the know-how which is necessary for operating a bank in ...


7

Just negotiate with them. If they're willing to take a royalty, they will. If not, you'll have to get other assets.


7

Public domain content is by definition not copyrighted (anymore), so it is perfectly acceptable to use that. However, there are some things to keep in mind: Copyright terms are not universal. What is public domain in one country might not be public domain in another. You should confirm the copyright durations / public domain status of the material in your ...


5

"Would I run into any legal trouble if I included an out of print book in the public domain, such as Pride and Prejudice or Alice in Wonderland?" Careful there, out of print has nothing to do with public domain. A book can be public domain and still be in print, or it can be out of print without being public domain. Also, a book can be public domain in one ...


4

The internet is full of copyright violations. Just because you see people posting 3rd party art assets doesn't mean that they are allowed to. You might wonder "but they didn't get sued, why should I"? Maybe SNK hasn't found out about the copyright violation yet. Maybe they can not locate the violator. Maybe it's not worth their time because the violators ...


4

I am not a lawyer, for actual legal advise consult an actual lawyer. No, you can not have licensed cars without a license, and you probably won't be able to get one regardless. Car licenses are expensive, hard to come by and fraught with extra requirements (ever wonder why you generally won't get a Ferrari in a game with destructible cars?). Releasing a ...


4

Usual disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and in this site questions about these issues have to be always taken as ideas, thoughts or experiences, never as technical advice. That said, yes, if you or somebody from the developer team wants to use the names of the cars, the names of the car companies or the models of the cars, a license will be needed. Otherwise, ...


4

First of all, I am not a lawyer and in this site questions about these issues have to be always taken as ideas, thoughts or experiences, never as technical advice. Second, I see you are not from US and I have to tell you that what I am about to say is fairly based on the US laws. So, that said, you don't need, but you can and you likely should copyright ...


4

It's not just the arrangement and interpretation of a song which falls under copyright but also the composition itself. So you will violate the copyright of the original composer. That means you will either have to compose your own song, use a song which was released by the author under free terms or on which the copyright has expired. When you are looking ...


4

I am not a lawyer, so do not take this as legal advise. When you want to undertake this project, consult a lawyer who knows about your local copyright laws. But according to my layman's knowledge of copyright, that would most definitely be a copyright violation. When the piece of media is long enough to recognize it, it is long enough to sue about it. The ...


3

This is explained on Microsoft's FAQ about font redistribution and licensing. tl;dr: If you would like to distribute the font files with your game, you need a license from the copyright holder, and in many cases this isn't Microsoft because they licensed many fonts from other companies. Most (but not all) fonts allow embedding under different conditions ...


3

Yes, you can face legal issues. You should talk to a lawyer to review the specific details of your specific scenario, but the assets in The Sims 2 are protected by copyright, and some (such as those relating to product or brand identification) may further be covered by trademark as well. Copyright, in particular, is the right of an author of a work to ...


2

A printer service probably don't want to print such cards. I am not a lawyer, but the way it has been explained to me is that from a legal perspective, they print the cards and sell them to you. If you have them print cards of your design you basically license them to print that design on a set of cards. The printer could be in legal trouble if they print ...


2

In short, "Register with the US Copyright Office, but otherwise don't worry." (Or whatever your national copyright organization happens to be.) I expect others have more nuanced, more informed opinions on this, but here's my thoughts anyways. And of course: None of this should be taken as legal advice - if you're truly concerned, seek the advice of a game-...


2

I wish I could add a comment, but I can't since I have under 50 Rep, so I guess I'll put it here. A question very similar to this was asked and answered on the RPG Stack Exchange and I think you'd benefit a lot from reading it. First and foremost, I AM NOT A LAWYER, so nothing I say, should be taken as solid legal advice. IN GENERAL: That linked answer ...


2

Related: http://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/203189/will-the-app-store-reviewers-allow-scripts-downloaded-as-text-if-it-is-parsed-v In short; Downloading Lua should be fine. It's important to note the difference between executed code and an interpreted language; Lua is an interpreted language and is not itself an executed binary code and as such ...


2

The names of cars and car manufacturers are trademarked. Using a trademark without permission opens you up to lawsuits. If you want to use trademarks of car manufacturers, you should contact their marketing departments to negotiate a deal. When you release the base game with no trademarked content and leave it to the modding community to do so, you shift ...


2

Usual disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and in this site questions about these issues have to be always taken as ideas, thoughts or experiences, never as technical advice. That said, first of all, certainly words in themselves are not trademarked per se. I very much doubt that the word "superhero" or its variants could even be trademarked. And even if they were,...


2

It depends on what your long-term career strategy is. Is your game the first step to establish your own game development company? Or is it a part of your personal portfolio to land a job with an existing company? When it is the first, you would of course attribute it to the company to build up the brand. When it is the latter, you would attribute it to ...


2

You put who owns the copyright. That is not determined by the copyright notice, it merely describes the state. If you are being paid by a studio to develop it, they almost certainly own it. If you additionally own it to a degree, or possibly but unlikely wholly own it and license it to them, is going to depend on your contract/working agreement. If you own ...


2

Usually "decently known" musicians sell all their copyrights to the record label. So these are the people you need to contract when you want a license. Such record deals are usually exclusive, so the artist themselves could not sell you the rights even if they want to. Unless it's a lesser known artist, expect to pay a very large amount of cash for the ...


2

Just because a font came with your OS and you paid for the OS you can not use it for anything if it is not free. You could set yourself up for a lawsuit. Those fonts come under a Liberal license and if your game is targeted at Windows only then yes you can use the fonts. If you package your game for the 3ds or Vita and include windows fonts MS can sue you ...


2

You should look up "work for hire." It's a common contractual term that describes the agreement you're looking for. I also recommend talking to a lawyer to draw up the contract for you. Any lawyer should understand what "work for hire" means.


2

Usually you are permitted to do this, provided you comply with the guidelines set forth by the owner of the relevant trademark or copyright. But you'll generally need to look up the specifics for each logo or name you want to use. While there are commonalities in how most companies will permit you to use their logos ("don't change it, just use it to link to ...



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