Hot answers tagged

60

You escape the GPL by paying the developers for a commercial license.


39

The Unity software EULA is pretty clear: When your company makes a gross revenue (not profit!) of more than $100,000 per year, you need to buy the pro version. The upgrade becomes required the moment you pass the $100,000 revenue threshold. As long as you don't buy licenses for all your Unity users, you are obligated to stop using Unity and stop selling ...


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

I am not a lawyer, and you should seek out an actual lawyer for a proper legal consultation. That said, the terms of the license seem pretty clear. You may cancel your subscription, at which point you are not entitled to future updates of the engine, but you can still use the version you have: After cancellation of your Subscription by either you or ...


26

Yes. Their names, logos, and body designs are all trademarked and cannot be used in any capacity outside those explicitly allowed by trademark law, which almost certainly excluded use in your game. And expect to be completely incapable of acquiring those licenses for reasonable terms, as the licenses are generally very expensive and come with a mile long ...


22

(I am not a lawyer, but..) If you hold copyright on source code, you can release that code however you like. Releasing it under GPL does not preclude a release under another non or even more restrictive license. I am not sure of the particulars of Source/id Tech but would suppose that Valve licensed it before it was released under GPL. If you use GPL code ...


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 ...


19

Okay, so here is my understanding of this - coming from developing games and a constant attempt to obtain more knowledge on licensing, copyright, open-source projects, etc. You are allowed to make a Minecraft clone and open-source it with no repercussions as long as you don't use the title Minecraft, don't use any of Minecraft's source code, and don't use ...


17

First, a disclaimer: I'm a lawyer who practices in California, but this post is not intended as legal advice. "Is it legal" questions are inherently not a good idea for the stack exchange format. Different jurisdictions have different laws, and in many jurisdictions, offering legal advice absent a license constitutes unauthorized practice of law (i.e., ...


16

You cannot brand your game as D&D, period. You can brand your game as being D20 System compatible provided you follow a number of stipulations, not the least of which is that you can't reproduce or include rules for character advancement (XP, gaining levels, etc.) which basically means a player of your game would need a copy of the D&D Player's ...


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

When a company goes bust all assets are sold off to help pay some of their debts. This would include any intellectual property like a game. So no, it's not open season, it's still owned by someone.


13

First off, this isn't legal advice and I'm not a lawyer. There are tons of opensource licenses: http://www.opensource.org/licenses/alphabetical, and you have many different licensing options. Here's a super brief run down of popular license options... I may have gotten some details wrong. GPL doesn't allow your code to be used in a project that is closed ...


12

I am not a lawyer and you should consult one for real, accurate legal advice. The name and design are likely trademarked (you can see here for example that there have been trademark issues with the M4 in the past; other guns will likely have similar issues). EDIT: It is possible that as far as a trademark is concerned I may have been misinterpreting ...


12

Jonathan Blow licensed all of the music used on Braid from Magnatune.com (here's a post on his blog where he talks about it). So I was thinking that perhaps you could get an estimate of a reasonable price from their website. Here's their licensing information page and here's a sample page they provide that lets you estimate the price for licensing one song ...


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

Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer. I'm answering this on best knowledge, might be wrong, though. Yes, it's your work, you're allowed to do that. You can do with the stuff you write in your spare time whatever you want. What you're not allowed is: Use original source-code (decompiled) from Minecraft and put that under another license Use original artwork ...


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. ...


10

Licensing You can try to monetize your game engine & framework from licensing. This most probably means that you will make your software proprietary and closed source to fight piracy (obfuscated AS3 code in your case, maybe you have some external tools that can be protected a bit more), but not necessarily. There are mostly two types of license that ...


10

Most likely not - I doubt Torque would want their engine to be open-sourced. For a real answer, read the license you signed when you bought the engine. For an even better answer, read the license, then hire a lawyer to read the license. What you may be able to do is distribute the Torque modifications as a patch. Anyone who has the engine source will be ...


10

You're basically asking "How do I steal someone else's code?" If you want to use someone's copyrighted code, you have to get a license from them. If the only license you have from them to use their code is the GPL then you must abide by it or you are violating their copyright. If you can get them to give you a different license for their code then that is ...


10

You should talk to a lawyer. Check out the comparison of open source licenses available to you (Or this one). Ultimately it's up to you and your lawyer to decide which one suits you best. EDIT To address your additional requirements. If you don't have the money to hire a lawyer to review the available licenses and match them with your requirements, you're ...


10

Insert I-am-not-a-lawyer disclaimer here The notes of a song are already eligible for copyright. Taking the notes of a song and interpreting them differently creates a derivate work. This work must not be published when the copyright holder of the original song didn't give their permission. When the composition of the song is not under a free license, the ...


8

The basic answer is that in 90% of the cases, it is essentially impossible to figure out who owns the license, due to it possibly being sold to a string of liquidators. This is where the concept of Abandonware originally came from, and there are tons of early PC games with completely unclear ownership. To make any sort official sequel you will have to track ...


8

Do you actually need to escape the GPL? All the GPL requires you to do is release your own source code under the GPL. It does not apply to game levels, art assets etc. You can still sell your game and make the code available via the GPL to people who buy it if they want it, or make it available online to everyone. The only issue is if you want to use ...


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: ...


7

I am not a Lawyer, but with respect to CC-BY-SA content virally affecting the code: The CC-BY-SA legal code specifically says This Section 4(a) applies to the Work as incorporated in a Collection, but this does not require the Collection apart from the Work itself to be made subject to the terms of this License. And from their definition of ...


7

As far as I know: as long as you pay for the software (not pirate it by, for example, downloading it via bit torrents) you can use it. However, for example, if in GarageBand you use existing audio loops/samples, you may have to check for clearance with the creator or owner of the rights to the samples.


7

The guys at Unity are spending a lot of money doing R&D, as well as licensing 3rd party tech to include in their software. The only reason it's free in the first place is that they want to get as many people using it as possible, so when the big boys (read: people who are actually making money doing this and can afford to actually buy software) are ...



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