41 votes
Accepted

How "fake" do invented names of a football game have to be in order to avoid copyright infringement?

I'm not a lawyer, this is not a legal advice site, this opinion is offered as is. You should consult with a lawyer to have a definitive answer. There are no specific rules that govern this. The ...
  • 15.8k
41 votes

What do I need to legally use copyrighted music in my game?

First and foremost, I am not a lawyer. You should always consult a lawyer in regards to legal questions - the legal system is often very fickle, and often changes dramatically from location to ...
  • 5,175
29 votes

Is it ok to use copyrighted assets for educational purposes?

Users of this site are mainly game developers, not lawyers, so we're not able to give you legal advice. However, I have been told that "Fair Use is a defense," not a classification. You don't get to ...
  • 118k
27 votes

When do I copyright a game?

You're confusing patents, copyrights, and trademarks here. Without going too deep into details: Whatever you create, code, assets, or anything else, automatically has you as the copyright owner. No ...
  • 8,292
17 votes

How "fake" do invented names of a football game have to be in order to avoid copyright infringement?

While I am not licensed to provide legal advice, I can point out some important information regarding this topic to help you make an informed decision. First, as to the question of whether there have ...
17 votes

Can I remake a game I don't own any copyright to?

It depends on the game and the nature of the remake. Game mechanics cannot be protected by copyright, trademark, or patent. You can freely copy the mechanics of any game you want, as the basis of a ...
  • 334
16 votes

What do I need to legally use copyrighted music in my game?

The singer is just a small part of a music track. It consists of: The vocals provided by the singer The text of the lyrics The composition of the melody The arrangement of the melody The performance ...
  • 113k
15 votes
Accepted

Are weapon names or pictures copyrighted/licensed?

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 ...
  • 4,885
14 votes

Is it ok to use copyrighted assets for educational purposes?

Considering that there is a tag in this site named "licensing" and another named "copyright", I understand you bringing up such question to here before thinking of hiring a lawyer. But as the other ...
  • 4,885
12 votes

Using non-copyrighted music for a paid game

There is no such thing as "non-copyrighted" music. The moment someone creates a creative work, they have a copyright on it. What you could mean is: Music in the public domain due to age. But that ...
  • 113k
10 votes

When do I copyright a game?

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, in the US you hardly ...
  • 4,885
9 votes
Accepted

Is it okay to copy a game's formula? (damage, etc)

Yes, that is legal. Caveat: You may not steal their code, but you are allowed to reproduce what the code does. The code is allowed to end up looking the same, if you can reasonably claim that is ...
  • 9,937
9 votes
Accepted

Would using Minesweeper as a part of my game be illegal?

The answer depends on what you mean by "using minesweeper" and possibly what legal issue you're concerned about. If you're literally taking the code from Minesweeper and using it in your ...
8 votes

Do I need to copyright my game before releasing it on the Android Play store?

While this depends on the country in which you are publishing, as not all countries will have the same copyright laws/regulations, copyright is implicit. There is nothing to register specifically to ...
8 votes

Is it ok to use copyrighted assets for educational purposes?

It's quite simple: If you do not hold copyright to a work, you are not allowed to reproduce it. Since using it in class would be reproduction, you are not allowed to do it under US copyright law. The ...
  • 1,483
8 votes
Accepted

Can I publish a game with a name similar to a videogame developer?

“Lucid” might or might not be ok for you to use. They may argue it may create confusion in users and send a cease & desist. Note: some companies may even send a cease & desist without a good ...
  • 19k
7 votes

How "fake" do invented names of a football game have to be in order to avoid copyright infringement?

IANAL. Why attribute the creation of names to a human at all? Another option is to have the names be randomly generated from a list of the first and last names. If you get a collision (first name, ...
7 votes

Can I use models of real cars with logos removed to avoid copyright infringement?

I'm not an expert, but I think that it's still copyright infringement on the design of the car. If you make a similar style of car, but not the same model, that's okay. There's tons of creative ...
  • 171
7 votes

What do I need to legally use copyrighted music in my game?

In the 90s I worked for the largest computing magazine in Hungary and we had a cover CD, some 30 000 copies a month. We offered up and coming musicians to put their music there for free. This was ...
  • 171
7 votes

How do I get rights to an game?

You find out who currently owns the IP and you make them an offer. It's that simple, but... First complication is that the owner of an IP is not necessarily the same as the developer, who in turn is ...
7 votes

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

First of all, I am not a lawyer, so I can not provide legal advise. When you are serious about this, do not rely on legal opinions of anonymous strangers on the Internet. Consult a real lawyer. There ...
  • 113k
7 votes

Can I remake a game and freely distribute it? or at least privately keep the remake?

Obviously, if the game, assets, etc. do not belong to you (ie. you did not create them yourself without copying from another source, or pay to obtain a licence to those assets), you do not have ...
  • 118k
6 votes

How closely can a game legally resemble another?

I think this article puts it best, by presenting 5 copyright cases, including the Tetris and Yeti Town cases: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/187385/clone_wars_the_five_most_.php In conclusion, ...
  • 9,937
6 votes

How can I tell if I can use a song from YouTube in my game?

I am not a lawyer. If you want serious legal advise, ask one. Do not trust anonymous strangers on the internet with providing legal advise to you. But my layman interpretation of international ...
  • 113k
6 votes

Using trademark or famous game characters for free (related to collaboration)?

Absolutely not. Do not do this. A general rule of thumb, is that you should not use or reference any property that you do not exclusively own, e.g. you should not even be saying "This game is like a ...
  • 267
6 votes

Using trademark or famous game characters for free (related to collaboration)?

While it is theoretically possible to end up with such an agreement (they sue and you negotiate this as a settlement), you should not bet on it. You obviously violated their copyright and their ...
  • 113k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible