Questions tagged [licensing]

Deals with legal permission to use/represent a specific entity. It can reference the appearance of a brand or software related permissions.

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44 votes
7 answers
9k views

Licensing (or similar) for my fan-game?

For the past 8 years, I've been working on a Pokémon fan-game. It's been awesome, well-received by players, and I'm very proud of the community we've built. But, as with all things "fan-game", there's ...
35 votes
3 answers
60k views

What happens if I make more than $100k with the free Unity license?

If an indie game developer makes more than $100,000 using the free version of Unity, what happens to the money that goes over $100k? How will Unity people come to know how much money they are making? ...
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27 votes
9 answers
6k views

Can I include a public domain book in my game?

Just for fun, I want to include a bookshelf in my game with a real book (or few) that you can actually read. Would I run into any legal trouble if I included an out of print book in the public domain,...
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26 votes
4 answers
35k views

Is it legal to develop a game using D&D rules?

For a while now I've been thinking about trying my hand at creating a game similar in spirit and execution to Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale and offshoots. I'd rather not face the full bulk of work in ...
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26 votes
7 answers
18k views

Do you need a license for weapon models?

When creating your own model for a weapon, say the M4 carbine, and using the model in your game. Do you need a license to use it commercially? I know that racing games like GT5 has a license for each ...
25 votes
10 answers
7k views

How does one escape the GPL?

DISCLAIMER I don't pretend to know anything about licensing. In fact, everything I say below may be completely false! Backstory: Recently, I've been looking for a decent game engine, and I think I've ...
  • 1,083
25 votes
2 answers
38k views

How does one buy the rights for a game?

Let's take some old popular at a time but abandoned game: WorldRacing/HiOctane/Constructor/any other. Say I with a team want to revitalize said game and bring it to year 2011 without major changes and ...
  • 10.1k
16 votes
3 answers
1k views

How to monetize and protect a engine's and its framework's copyrights and patents?

I created a game engine that handles: Rendering levels with 2d textured curved surfaces Collisions with curved surfaces Animationn paths on and navigation in 2d-sapce I have also made a framework ...
  • 10.5k
16 votes
5 answers
5k views

Where can I find fonts which I can distribute with an open source game? [closed]

I want to be able to release my game as open source, and I need to be able to distribute font files with my game. Where can I find fonts which I can use in this way, and what font licenses should I be ...
13 votes
2 answers
13k views

Are weapon names or pictures copyrighted/licensed?

Will I get a copyright strike or something if I use a picture of a weapon and the name of it? (e.g. a shop where you can buy guns, AK-47 with the pic)
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12 votes
2 answers
7k views

Am I allowed to make my Minecraft clone open source?

I'm developing in my spare time a game like Minecraft. In fact, it isn't "like Minecraft", because I'm trying to make it a close as possible copy of it (meant as exercise for myself at the age of 16 ...
11 votes
3 answers
21k views

What is a fair price to pay for music licensing for a commercial game? [closed]

What is a fair price range for already existing (not custom-made) music if it's intended for a commercial game? The music I have in mind is relatively unknown (independent music) and I'm already in ...
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11 votes
4 answers
851 views

Does using an licensed game engine prevent you from open sourcing a defunct work?

I'm curious as my previous company is asking us (people who developed the game) on what to do to the game since it's no longer financially viable. My suggestion was to open source it so people can ...
  • 1,184
11 votes
2 answers
867 views

Does using Creative Common data in a GPL game mean the code must be CC-BY-SA?

Let's assume we have a game where the code is GPL-licensed, and all the resources (like music, textures, etc.) are licensed under the CC-BY-SA license. Now, the first issue would be that the GPL is ...
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11 votes
1 answer
10k views

Can I use Playstation controller button icons in my game?

I'm currently working on a game that will be released on PC with controller support, and I'm trying to find a way on how to best represent controller icons within the game. I'm assuming I can't ...
10 votes
3 answers
4k views

Can open source games be published on Steam?

Many free and open source software licenses have conditions in them that ban bundling it with proprietary modules, although, in case of the GPL at least, there are some exceptions for drivers and ...
10 votes
3 answers
1k views

What's the right way to re-use open source game assets?

This is a hypothetical question, but one I always wanted to know about. Suppose I wanted to create a game in the same fantasy style as Battle for Wesnoth. Having no arts skills myself, I could write ...
9 votes
1 answer
5k views

Do I need licensing to use real city names in my game?

I want to allow people to go to real places (Seattle Washington, Portland, Maine, etc.) in my game. Will I need licensing to make those places and use their names?
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 ...
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7 votes
3 answers
588 views

What happens to a license if both the publisher and the developer are bankrupt?

Is one allowed to make a similar game or even a sequel which would usually require obtaining a license? Who keeps the license in the end, i.e. who is to be asked for permission in such cases?
7 votes
1 answer
3k views

Do I still owe Epic royalties if I am not enrolled in the Unreal Engine subscription?

I have just started using Unreal Engine 4 and I have had a very good experience, though I have left the subscription now. I've made an Android game with it and I am planning to release it, but I have ...
7 votes
3 answers
2k views

Can you use well known buildings in your game?

Is it legal to reference a real city in your game and use the same architecture of well known shops and buildings? For example, I'm sure you can't create an exact 3D model of McDonalds, put it in ...
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7 votes
3 answers
2k views

Cost to licence characters or ships for a game

I am producing a game pitch document for a university game design class, and I am looking for examples of licencing cost for using characters or ships from other IP holders in a game. For example: ...
7 votes
3 answers
666 views

Is it OK to release the source code for your own Xbox Live indie game?

Between not being sure how to phrase my question for Google and not being a lawyer, I thought it might be easier to ask you guys. Specifically, I want to know if it's OK to sell an Xbox Live indie ...
  • 233
7 votes
2 answers
517 views

Can Unity censor my content or invalidate my license for offensive content?

If I make an offensive game can they pull my license and prevent me from selling my game? Like we're talking think of the most offensive thing you can think of: you're in charge of the most efficient ...
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6 votes
3 answers
522 views

Which open source licenses can address these concerns for an open source game engine? [closed]

I am on a team that is looking to open source an engine we are building. It's intended as an engine for Online RPG style games. We're writing it to work on both desktops and android platforms. I've ...
  • 1,330
6 votes
2 answers
3k views

What do I need to get an independent developer license for CryENGINE 3?

I have searched Google and CryEngine forums and I can't seem to get a solid answer to this question. I have seen threads where developers are complaining that they can't sell their game because they ...
5 votes
7 answers
2k views

Alternatives to the GPL

I made a game, and I am currently making a game engine. I want them both to be completely free and open source. What license should I choose? I was reading a bit on GPL, but that seems to be more ...
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5 votes
1 answer
5k views

Can I use a song from a YouTube remix in my game?

If I found a video with a remake/remix/version of a commercial song (for example, the theme of Super Mario Bros) with a CC BY licence, I can take this video for a commercial purpose like the ...
  • 153
5 votes
2 answers
764 views

How does condition 5 of the Open Font License apply to using a font in my game/engine?

For my game-engine I have created an debug-console I use for more complex operations and tests, logging, etc. When looking for a good & clean font I considered using Google Fonts. Many if not all ...
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5 votes
4 answers
331 views

Who owns content which creation was outsourced?

What license or contract type is normally used by independent developers, when outsourcing game resources like graphics or sounds? Is there something like a template floating around? How much ...
5 votes
1 answer
461 views

MPL 2.0 in perspective of game development and selling

I am planning to use a math library named Eigen3 which is under MPL 2.0. However, I am not sure what MPL 2.0 means. As a game developer, who want to sell ...
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5 votes
1 answer
2k views

How to setup a public github unity repo with paid assets?

From what I gathered (like in this thread or here) I am allowed to push my own game code on github and choose a license, as long as I avoid putting assets I do not own. I want to make it public to be ...
  • 153
4 votes
4 answers
424 views

Which software licenses cover my needs? [closed]

I want to license my game, to protect my intellectual property, but I also want to make it open-source, and sell it. I have an engine that I'd like to open-source, but I'd like to be the only one ...
4 votes
4 answers
1k views

What revenue models can I use for a non-commercial game [closed]

I don't have any budget to buy commercial licenses but the libraries I use offer non-commercial free licenses. How far can I go in regard to monetizing my game without it being considered commercial ?...
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4 votes
1 answer
1k views

Do I have to credit the author of a free asset from the asset store?

Am sure that some people have been asked this question, and my researches yields a no, but I want to know from here. Do I have to credit the owner of a free asset that I used for my project from the ...
4 votes
1 answer
4k views

Can I use music I made in GarageBand or FL Studio in a commercial game? [closed]

I'm a beginning developer and I'd like to make music for my game. I've searched this question on the site, and when it comes to music in games, I see many people suggesting programs like FL Studio, ...
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4 votes
3 answers
272 views

Choice of open source license for some components, closed source for others

G'day, I am working on a set of multiplayer games, where different games play against each other (e.g. you play a Tetris clone, I play an Asteroids clone, but we are both competing against each other)...
4 votes
2 answers
5k views

Alternatives to remove Unity splash screen after developing a game with the free version?

I developed a simple game using the free version of Unity. I want to understand how much it would cost me to remove the Unity Splash Screen to know if it's worth it. Right now Unity professional ...
4 votes
2 answers
5k views

Legality of AngelCode's BMFont

Is it legal to use a bitmapped version of a proprietary font (such as Arial) in a commercial app? I'm using AngelCode's BMFont to generate a bitmapped version of a few various system installed fonts ...
  • 215
4 votes
3 answers
277 views

Where can I find affordable legal advice for game software related inquiries? [closed]

I am working on simulation middleware which is applicable for game engine implementations. What I would like to do is to make it freely available for use for all non-commercial purposes, while at ...
  • 740
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

When is it possible to discontinue the Unity 3D paid license?

Lets assume we have created and published in some stores (Steam, Epic, etc) a game made with Unity paid license. Case 1. The game was soo dull and tedious that we sold less than a thousand copies ...
3 votes
2 answers
417 views

What is the best way to handle "Fangame" licensing?

( I understand that this is a subjective question. My goal is obtaining some personal feedback from other game designers ) I wish to develop a digital version of an existing board game. What would be ...
3 votes
2 answers
216 views

Is it possible to copyleft license a game engine and still allow users to sell games made with it?

I have recently been studying and working on implementing my own game engine. I am interested in making my work open source so that others may use and modify it freely. However, I also want to make ...
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3 votes
1 answer
5k views

Is DirectX free for commercial use?

This question isn't gamedev per se but it is definitely relevant. Still, if it's off-topic, please direct me to the proper SE page. This question has probably already come up many times but I'd like ...
  • 2,244
3 votes
2 answers
262 views

'Unblock' / 'Yellow Out' game questions

I would very much like to build a game that is known as 'Unblock' or 'Yellow Out'. It is a puzzle game in which the task is to move a car out of a parking space by moving other cars in certain ...
  • 683
3 votes
2 answers
326 views

How can you tell if what you're buying is legal?

In the past few days I've been browsing 3D asset marketplaces and repositories (I've been doing it for ages, but a lot recently). Many assets are paid for, others are free. In the past few days I've ...
  • 169
3 votes
2 answers
5k views

How do I become a game publisher?

I wonder how I can become a game publisher locally. For example, I know a Japanese game that I want to publish in India, where I live. How do I acquire a license to do this? I tried emailing the ...
3 votes
2 answers
370 views

Can I name a team with the name of their city to avoid trademark issues?

I was wondering, if you want to make a NBA game on smartphones, without the license held by EA, the first solution seems to name your teams with a different name, such as "Chicragro Brulls" (this is ...
  • 679
3 votes
1 answer
169 views

Lighting-Reflectance Models & Licensing Issues

Generally, or specifically, is there any licensing issue with using any of the well known lighting/reflectance models (i.e. the BRDFs or other distribution or approximation functions): Phong, ...
  • 91