Questions tagged [legal]

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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Licensing for assets in a game but it is free for commercial use

In my game, there is this music that I use and of course before releasing anything for commercial use, I have to have a license for what I dont create for my game for example ( game engine, music, ...
2 votes
1 answer
112 views

What is the legality regarding allowing players to mod a game with real-life players in a sports game?

Let's say I'm doing an Indie sports game, and ship it with fictional players, but make the game capable of reading a config file, so that players are able to edit in real names to suit themselves. The ...
1 vote
2 answers
81 views

How much of a game can be protected by law? [duplicate]

I want to remake an old multiplayer game in commercial way and I wonder how different my game has to be not to violate some IP rights. I know so far that name and logo are registered trademarks of the ...
0 votes
1 answer
498 views

Is it legal to develop a game using other games skill names/flavor/mechanic? [duplicate]

I am starting to develop a new game and i'm thinking about using some names for some features coming from other games (such as WoW and D&D). I have already read this Is it legal to develop a game ...
8 votes
3 answers
587 views

Intellectual rights to game concepts [duplicate]

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 : http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/355972089/...
0 votes
1 answer
73 views

Copyright/trademark protections of character classes

I want to create a game that uses character classes from World of Warcraft. Are the classes protected by copyright/trademark law? For instance WoW has a Warlock class that is essentially a spell-...
2 votes
2 answers
166 views

What is the legality of in-game composed music?

Assume there is an MMO with a feature similar to Mario Paint Composer, where you can create music with original instrument samples. Would the players be able to share and play (in-game) the music they ...
2 votes
1 answer
3k views

How do I publish to Google Play if I'm under 18?

I've finished my first Unity and want to release it on the Google Play store but can't because I am under 18. The main issue is that Google Wallet requires you to be over 18. How could I work around ...
1 vote
2 answers
97 views

Is it okay to describe what software was used to develop the game in the credits screen?

I'm making a racing game, I've made my own game engine from scratch, but not the tools for building the game assets such as textures, 3D models, etc. And I was thinking, I have this credits scene at ...
8 votes
3 answers
4k views

In what ways do lawyers and others involved in the legal field impact game development?

Most people have a general idea about what programmers, artists, designers and musicians do in the industry, but I’ve seldom heard about how the law and lawyers impact game development. I’m especially ...
0 votes
0 answers
32 views

What happens if i create google play console if i am under 18? [duplicate]

I want to publish my game on google play, but i am under 18. However i asked my parents if they would pay for google play console with their credit card and they agreed. My question is will google ...
0 votes
0 answers
52 views

How to get "popular" licensed music?

I know what to do to license music; in my case I fill out a form with GEMA and send them a pile of money and I am golden from the legal position. Every advice stops here and kind of assumes you ...
1 vote
1 answer
30 views

Looking to build a game that uses names of Premier League teams - what are the steps required to stay compliant

I am looking to build a game that users would play weekly. In order for the game to make sense, I would have to display the names of the 20 Premier League teams playing on a weekly basis. I will not ...
2 votes
2 answers
435 views

Is attribution sufficient for a CC BY-SA 3.0-licenced font in a video game?

I'm creating a video game I intend to sell on computers, and I want to use a font that is under the license "Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)". Do I have to sell my game ...
2 votes
1 answer
262 views

Is it a legal concern if a procedural name generator might generate the names of real people?

(This question is similar in spirit to this question, but I think this case is sufficiently different and specific enough to warrant a new question.) Background In one of my current side projects, I ...
-1 votes
1 answer
145 views

Farseer Physics Engine and the Ms-PL License [closed]

Am I able to produce code for a game which uses the VelcroPhysics engine and release my code under an open source license other than the Ms-PL? My concern is with the following section from the ...
4 votes
1 answer
168 views

Now that Articles 17 & 11 have passed, what should indie developers do?

Since on the 26th of March 2019 the EU has voted in favor of Articles 17 (previously known as Article 13) and 11, what should an indie developer who is based in the EU do to setup a game and a website ...
0 votes
0 answers
22 views

Can i remove the default splash screen of someone else project by publishing it using my unity plus? [duplicate]

If i use my unity plus to remove the default splash screen from someone else project (that person are using free version of unity) , then export the project also using my unity plus , what are the ...
0 votes
1 answer
81 views

Would making a satirical version of someone else's character get me sued? [closed]

Licensing the rights to a popular character is definitely a hard process. Rather than licensing the rights to (insert hero here), what if I were to make a satirical version of the IP owner's character(...
2 votes
1 answer
85 views

Is a game based on a specific cellular automation a copyright infringement?

If one creates a game which is based on some cellular automation algorithm like Conway's Game of Life or Langton's Ants would that be a copyright infringement? Are such famous algorithms protected by ...
0 votes
1 answer
57 views

If I use someone else's idea (not work, an *idea*), do I have to give them credit?

Ideas are everywhere for games, products, algorithms, etc. In hypothetical terms, let's say user number x posts on (insert social media site here) that they would like to see a game about (insert game ...
0 votes
1 answer
39 views

Using name and 3d models of real product

I'm making tycoon game where you manage your shop. I'm not 3d modeler and purchase most of assets. I managed to find all 3d assets required for making game. All are having license to allow use for ...
5 votes
1 answer
115 views

Workflow for accountable file transfers between freelancer and developer

I'm an indie game developer and I often hire freelancers for artwork. We sign an agreement to basically state that I'd get ownership of the resources they produce. I'm a fairly picky person when it ...
61 votes
11 answers
23k views

Why is account sharing so bad?

In games where you have to use an account to sign in or otherwise authenticate yourself (e.g MMO games), it is often prohibited to share your account with other people. For example in the World of ...
-1 votes
1 answer
79 views

can I legally make a "RTX game"

I'm making a game called "karlson RTX", a remake of the game "karlson" by danidev, but it has "RTX" in the name and the game starts with a the way it's meant to be played ...
13 votes
3 answers
5k 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 votes
4 answers
4k 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, it'...
4 votes
3 answers
4k views

Is it legal to use Creative Commons art in a commercial game?

I would like to know if the following situation would be legal. Let's say I take some pictures on wikipedia, that are licensed under CC-BY-SA license. Then I would like to photoshop them, and use it ...
1 vote
1 answer
593 views

Is attribution sufficient for CC BY-SA 3.0-licenced music in a commercial mobile game?

I am in the process of developing a mobile game that I intend to sell on Google Play. I want to include a music licensed as: Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0) If I attribute the ...
-1 votes
1 answer
107 views

Legal to make and sell a game engine made with Unity3D?

does anyone know if it's legally sound to create a game engine within unity, build it as a standalone and sell it as a product? The engine would allow users to compile their own games through it. It ...
4 votes
1 answer
7k views

Google Play 3rd Party Payment Allowed?

Does Google allow 3rd party payment solutions to be enabled in developers' apps (i.e., Paypal, carrier/SMS payment), especially in countries where Google Checkout isn't present? Or does this violate ...
6 votes
4 answers
4k 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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
164 views

Should I get an official content rating, like from the ESRB, or just rate my game myself?

I'm developing a game out of my garage basically with the intention of selling it on my own website and hopefully on Steam, and I've been wondering if I should try to get it rated by an official ...
1 vote
1 answer
69 views

Questions regarding using (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0) and (CC BY-NC 4.0) music for a completely free game (not Freemium)

I am in the process of developing a small video game for a game-jam on itch.io. The game-jam requires the developer to first make a github repository, upload all the source code and material (...
0 votes
0 answers
347 views

Want to create pokemon fan-game, need advice on copyright [duplicate]

I want to create a pokemon text game. Obviously I will use various stuff that belongs to Nintendo, like pokemon, professor, region names and sprites from the games. Can Nintendo sue me or take down my ...
10 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
92 views

Can I publish a non-commercial game that uses assets from a 30 years old Konami game on Steam, Google Play and App Store?

Do major platforms like Google Play, App Store, and Steam allow apps to use assets without owner permission in case of 100% non-commercial releases? Do companies like Konami care?
-3 votes
1 answer
61 views

Can I bring features of an Android game into another Android game?

Platform : Android Overview : Fifa 14 by EA sports has a manager mode, kick off and tournament mode in it, which was the last game of its series on android to have these features. Fifa 16 has great ...
1 vote
1 answer
146 views

Game Similarity Legal Consequences [duplicate]

I'm already half a year into planning a Turn Based Strategy (4X) game for mobile phones. Recently I tried to play Civilization 6 and while playing, totally horrified, I realized that my idea and Civ 6 ...
4 votes
1 answer
101 views

In my browser game's website description, can I use a title of another game?

For instance, if I think my game is a cross between Age of Empires and Minesweeper, can I have written on the description of my website "A browser-based hybrid of Age of Empires and Minesweeper&...
1 vote
1 answer
109 views

Can I mention other games' titles, characters, maps, weapons etc. in my game?

Let's say I was about to make a quiz game where the questions are like this: When was Fallout 4 released? What is your first pickaxe in Minecraft? Who do you have to kill as the last boss in Skyrim? ...
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

License for a casino game with virtual money (chips)

Do I need a specific license for operating a casino game (lets say poker Hold'em or video slots) that players are supposed to play with virtual money (chips) only? I am speaking about games like Zynga ...
0 votes
1 answer
253 views

what is the legality behind "openMW" ( an open source implementation of morrowind)

knowing bethesda those people probably sue hard....yet there is an open source implementation of morrowind which is actually quite good. but that question remains, what is the legality behind all of ...
0 votes
1 answer
82 views

I am creating a Tetris clone on Khanacademy, will I get into trouble? [duplicate]

For those don't know, Khanacademy is an education site that also has lessons on simple computer programming and allows you to publish your own games that are made on the website.
0 votes
2 answers
235 views

Can i use the same name for a spell in my game that already exists in another game

what does trademarks and copyrights contain. how similar can a name be to a name that already exists.
24 votes
1 answer
6k views

How can I create an exclusive asset for multiple clients who all want basically the same thing?

This is more of a legal question than for example a coding question, but I hope that it's allowed as well. I recently started working as a freelance VFX Artist and do a lot of work with shaders and ...
1 vote
1 answer
339 views

When does a Reference become Copyright Infringement?

I've seen quite a few posts on here similar to my question, but I am still having doubts about my implementation of an Easter Egg. In the background of my game, There is a bookshelf, purely for ...
8 votes
2 answers
24k views

Do I need to obtain a license to use real car brands in a game? [duplicate]

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 ...
17 votes
4 answers
12k 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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
35 views

Is It Okay To Use Real Designs In My 2D Game? [Cars and Weapons] [duplicate]

I am making a 2D mobile game that includes cars and weapons (like GTA let's say). I am using real car and weapons designs to make 2D images, however, I use made-up names for the both cars and the ...

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