64

You escape the GPL by paying the developers for a commercial license.


53

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. If you want to make a living as a game developer, you must get as much exposure as you can. Your revenue is proportional to the number of people who know your ...


51

Update: In June 2016, Unity revised their business model. They no longer offer permanent licenses, only subscriptions. However, they now offer a cheaper plus-version without the unprofessionally-looking Unity splash screen but with a revenue limit of $200,000. They also made some changes to the license agreement which required an update to this answer. The ...


35

Yes. Their names, logos, and body designs are all trademarked and cannot be used in any capacity outside those explicitly allowed by trademark law, which almost certainly excluded use in your game. And expect to be completely incapable of acquiring those licenses for reasonable terms, as the licenses are generally very expensive and come with a mile long ...


34

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.


30

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 little bearing on civil penalties which is your main concern. Use of a trade mark or IP opens you up to financial damages. And companies have to actively defend ...


28

If you hold copyright on source code, you can release that code however you like. Releasing it under GPL does not preclude a release under another non or even more restrictive license. I am not sure of the particulars of Source/id Tech but would suppose that Valve negotiated their own license. If you use GPL code in your project, you are required to provide ...


23

You cannot brand your game as D&D, period. You used to be able to brand your game as being D20 System compatible provided you followed a number of stipulations, not the least of which is that you couldn't reproduce or include rules for character advancement (XP, gaining levels, etc.) which basically means a player of your game would need a copy of the D&...


20

Okay, so here is my understanding of this - coming from developing games and a constant attempt to obtain more knowledge on licensing, copyright, open-source projects, etc. You are allowed to make a Minecraft clone and open-source it with no repercussions as long as you don't use the title Minecraft, don't use any of Minecraft's source code, and don't use ...


19

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 story, not every specific creative work based on that story. So, like, you could have a book titled Alice in Wonderland, but its cover can't be Disney's Alice in ...


18

First, a disclaimer: I'm a lawyer who practices in California, but this post is not intended as legal advice. "Is it legal" questions are inherently not a good idea for the stack exchange format. Different jurisdictions have different laws, and in many jurisdictions, offering legal advice absent a license constitutes unauthorized practice of law (i.e., it'...


15

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 here http://newmediarights.org/guide/legal/Video_Games_law_Copyright_Trademark_Intellectual_Property). Recent debate about it has been growing recently, though. ...


14

Jonathan Blow licensed all of the music used on Braid from Magnatune.com (here's a post on his blog where he talks about it). So I was thinking that perhaps you could get an estimate of a reasonable price from their website. Here's their licensing information page and here's a sample page they provide that lets you estimate the price for licensing one song ...


14

Public things like: country names, state names, county names, city names, street names, etc., are not trademarked or copyright protected. There are no licensing agreements required to use them. See Public Domain


13

First off, this isn't legal advice and I'm not a lawyer. There are tons of opensource licenses: http://www.opensource.org/licenses/alphabetical, and you have many different licensing options. Here's a super brief run down of popular license options... I may have gotten some details wrong. GPL doesn't allow your code to be used in a project that is closed ...


12

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, Nintendo would certainly have no trouble shutting you down if they wanted to. It sounds like your game is online, a la Pokemon Revolution Online or something (...


12

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. Link to Angry Joe being angry about unusually strict Nintendo IP policy. Chances are, once they become aware of you, they will go after the money you already ...


11

Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer. I'm answering this on best knowledge, might be wrong, though. Yes, it's your work, you're allowed to do that. You can do with the stuff you write in your spare time whatever you want. What you're not allowed is: Use original source-code (decompiled) from Minecraft and put that under another license Use original artwork from ...


11

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 the game. Though the Berne Convention sets a minimum copyright term of 50 years after the death of the author, countries are free to set a longer copyright term. ...


10

You're basically asking "How do I steal someone else's code?" If you want to use someone's copyrighted code, you have to get a license from them. If the only license you have from them to use their code is the GPL then you must abide by it or you are violating their copyright. If you can get them to give you a different license for their code then that is ...


10

You should talk to a lawyer. Check out the comparison of open source licenses available to you (Or this one). Ultimately it's up to you and your lawyer to decide which one suits you best. EDIT To address your additional requirements. If you don't have the money to hire a lawyer to review the available licenses and match them with your requirements, you're ...


10

Licensing You can try to monetize your game engine & framework from licensing. This most probably means that you will make your software proprietary and closed source to fight piracy (obfuscated AS3 code in your case, maybe you have some external tools that can be protected a bit more), but not necessarily. There are mostly two types of license that ...


10

Insert I-am-not-a-lawyer disclaimer here The notes of a song are already eligible for copyright. Taking the notes of a song and interpreting them differently creates a derivate work. This work must not be published when the copyright holder of the original song didn't give their permission. When the composition of the song is not under a free license, the ...


8

I am not a Lawyer, but with respect to CC-BY-SA content virally affecting the code: The CC-BY-SA legal code specifically says This Section 4(a) applies to the Work as incorporated in a Collection, but this does not require the Collection apart from the Work itself to be made subject to the terms of this License. And from their definition of ...


8

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=d20/oglfaq/20040123i This from the Wizards of the Coast website regarding OGL and software. Q: So I could make a game? A: Sure. Remember though, you cannot use any Product Identity with the OGL or claim compatibility with anything. So you can't say your game is a d20 System game or uses D&D rules or call ...


8

Do you actually need to escape the GPL? All the GPL requires you to do is release your own source code under the GPL. It does not apply to game levels, art assets etc. You can still sell your game and make the code available via the GPL to people who buy it if they want it, or make it available online to everyone. The only issue is if you want to use third-...


8

While the letter X is not copy protected, the specific cross used on the controller, along with the other shapes: , are trademarked. Using your own art to represent the buttons (as in your example image), should be OK under fair use, specifically nominative fair use. Where the qualifications for nominative fair use are one of the following situations: ...


8

According to the Unity store page, the $75/month subscription is locked in for 12 months, so it would cost $900 for one year. (click the $75/month price link for subscription details) If you wanted to update your game after one year, you would need another subscription after that, so maybe $1,800 all up if you plan on updating your game after a year. Or, ...


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