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91 votes
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Making an indie with friends: Legal considerations

Verbal agreements are usually considered valid contracts. But there is an old saying among lawyers: A verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. The problem with verbal contracts is ...
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52 votes

Licensing (or similar) for my fan-game?

I don't want to draw too much attention. I don't want to lift my head over the parapet only to have it blasted off, you know? Either you raise your head and get out, or you starve behind the parapet....
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49 votes
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How can I create an exclusive asset for multiple clients who all want basically the same thing?

When a client tells you they don't want you to resell the asset you made for them, then what they really want is to not see a game which obviously uses the exact same asset. So if you get a very ...
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34 votes
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Can I include a public domain book in my game?

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.
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31 votes

Why is account sharing so bad?

From both a legal & security standpoint, the single biggest factor I'm aware of is accountability. If you cannot determine who is responsible for the account, you cannot reasonably hold anyone ...
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  • 8,780
30 votes

Licensing (or similar) for my fan-game?

So, yea "IANAL, get one". However, it seems obvious from your question that your goal is to profit from this game. And the phrase "not interested in treating people like myself as criminals", has ...
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29 votes
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Can I sell a game made with OpenGL?

Yes, you can sell OpenGL-rendered games. The specifics depend on the library you're using. I'll get back to that. First: OpenGL is an open standard and related API-set that establishes the protocol ...
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27 votes

Why is account sharing so bad?

In addition to all the other answers: Prohibiting this has also the benefit of balancing the game from the point of view of players that won't be sharing their account. Assuming that account sharing ...
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23 votes
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Is it legal to sell or monetize games created with the Unity 3D free edition?

From the Unity FAQ: Can we sell games and make money with the free version of Unity? Yes you can create and sell a game with the free version of Unity, without paying royalties or any ...
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20 votes

Can I include a public domain book in my game?

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 ...
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19 votes
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How common are game engine bugs, and can I claim damages for them?

It can be assumed that all non-trivial software contains bugs. Unreal Engine 4 has a bugtracker here. Unity has a bugtracker here. If you browse these sites you can see the many known issues with ...
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  • 3,792
19 votes

Why is account sharing so bad?

Besides the legalese mentioned in other answers, there are also simple business reasons. Some games like World of Warcraft charge people by account. If you let two people share an account, you lose ...
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19 votes
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In what ways do lawyers and others involved in the legal field impact game development?

Lawyers rarely have creative influence on the game itself. But they still fulfill two important jobs in the game industry. The first is intellectual property (IP) law. Games and all their individual ...
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16 votes

Making an indie with friends: Legal considerations

This response only addresses the revenue share aspect of the question. I have found Back of a Napkin useful in the past. The (free) website is sponsored by a New Zealand law firm and steps you ...
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  • 161
13 votes

Can I take a finished game based on a licence to the holding company?

People I have worked with have done this before. First time: programmer who worked for me made a PC version of a board game (I made some art for it just because it was a fun little project). This was ...
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  • 256
13 votes

Can free Unity Store assets be used in non-Unity games?

The information you seek is readily available through the Asset Store ToS and EULA. To me, it infers that you are free to do so. The only catch appears to be that you must download the assets through ...
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  • 5,176
13 votes

Licensing (or similar) for my fan-game?

By the time you can make a living from your fan project, it isn't a fan project anymore. Nintendo is not one of the (extremely few) Megacorporations that lets the community use their IP to make money....
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  • 9,937
12 votes

Can I legally call ninja techniques "jutsus" in a game?

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 ...
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  • 243
12 votes

Licensing (or similar) for my fan-game?

IANAL, get one Specifically, you probably need an IP/Copyright lawyer. From my fairly uninformed point of view (CS background, took some law courses in uni), I'd say that in your current state, ...
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  • 231
12 votes
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Is it legal to develop a game using software which is unavailable in my region due to legal reasons?

Unity is not being made available to you due to trade restrictions: Unity Technologies is listed and incorporated as a business in the U.S. This means that as a company, we must abide by the ...
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  • 8,780
11 votes

Can I include a public domain book in my game?

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 ...
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11 votes

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

I worked with the legal team at a Chinese game developer/publisher and one important role they played was to help with cease-and-desist and litigation, as IP theft is a pretty big problem there. One ...
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10 votes
Accepted

Can I use "Finding Dori" as my ios game title?

"Finding Dory" is a registered trademark by Disney Enterprises, Inc. You can look that up on the US Patent and Trademark Office. A trademark is also violated when you use a name which is so similar ...
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  • 112k
10 votes

Must I buy licenses if my rhythm game lets users load music from their own library to be played in-game?

Most users on this site, including myself, are not lawyers, so we are not able to give you legal advice. The best way to be sure is to consult a lawyer. From the system you describe, it sounds like ...
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  • 115k
10 votes

Why is account sharing so bad?

It is absolutely standard that if you have an account for a service, then you are responsible for what is done with that account. In game terms, some of the things which can be done with an account ...
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9 votes
Accepted

Am I allowed to name a game after some song?

Short answer, yes. Of course, only your lawyer can advise you of your legal risk in civil matters like this. However, a reasonable person should not be at risk of brand confusion - which is the ...
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