90 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 119k
51 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....
Philipp's user avatar
  • 119k
49 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 119k
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 ...
Pikalek's user avatar
  • 12.4k
29 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 ...
CLo's user avatar
  • 1,330
29 votes
Accepted

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 ...
doppelgreener's user avatar
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 ...
Pedro A's user avatar
  • 371
22 votes
Accepted

What is the legality of publishing a free game on itch.io under the age of 18?

Yes. At the time of writing itch.io allows individuals under 18 years to publish games if they have parental or guardian consent. I quote from itch.io Terms of Service: If you register an account to ...
Theraot's user avatar
  • 26.6k
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 ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 119k
19 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 119k
15 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 ...
Chris M's user avatar
  • 151
14 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 ...
Gnemlock's user avatar
  • 5,263
13 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Pikalek's user avatar
  • 12.4k
12 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....
Peter's user avatar
  • 9,925
11 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, ...
rococo's user avatar
  • 221
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 ...
user157764's user avatar
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 ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 119k
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 ...
DMGregory's user avatar
  • 134k
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 ...
Maximus Minimus's user avatar
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 ...
Henry V's user avatar
  • 171
7 votes

Making an indie with friends: Legal considerations

I think you should take a look at vesting. It protects the other founders in case one (or more) of the founders isn't working as hard to achieve their goals on the project. It does that by not giving ...
Heloá's user avatar
  • 71
7 votes
Accepted

If a game is made for Windows or MacOS, and sold for profit, is Microsoft or Apple entitled to royalties, even if it's sold on a different website?

No, Microsoft of Apple generally do not take royalties from software just because it runs on their desktop operating systems. They only take royalties if they are distributed through their own ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 119k
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 ...
Maximus Minimus's user avatar
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 ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 119k
7 votes

Workflow for accountable file transfers between freelancer and developer

Version control software designed for large binary files would solve this problem. For example, git lfs provides efficient versioned storage for any type of file with infinite history (provided ...
Vorac's user avatar
  • 171
7 votes

For Google Play, what kinds documentation can I provide to prove I have permission to use a third party's music in my game?

Ideally you should have some manner of legally binding contract between you and your artist & I would expect that would satisfy their documentation requirements. As a somewhat related topic, you ...
Pikalek's user avatar
  • 12.4k
6 votes

Should I patent game before putting it on Apple App Store?

You can't patent a game. You might pattern a particular algorithm but it's unlikely to be of benefit to you to do so because of a couple reasons. Patents are highly specific. I was worried I was ...
Yudrist's user avatar
  • 963
6 votes
Accepted

Tetris Copyright Issues?

"Tetris" is a trademark of The Tetris Company, LLC. Game mechanics are not patentable or covered by copyright, but the name trademarks "Tetris" and "tetrimino" (note the spelling) are theirs. However,...
Anko's user avatar
  • 13.4k
6 votes

Unity remove logo in splash screen

The option to remove the Unity logo from the splash screen is one of the perks of the paid tiers (Plus and Pro). So the simple answer is: pay for Unity, and you can use the built-in features to turn ...
DMGregory's user avatar
  • 134k

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