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LESSON #39:
LEGAL STUFF


How not to run afoul of others' Copyrights or Trademarks, and how to protect your own creations

Originally written: May, 2004. Latest update: St. Patrick's Day, 2017

NOTE: these lessons are primarily aimed at aspiring game designers, but many of the concepts described herein also apply to those who aspire to other types of jobs in the game industry. This lesson is subject to changes and improvements; reader comments are welcome.
Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. If you need legal advice, see an intellectual property attorney. And you should educate yourself about the law. Nolo Press publishes several excellent books on IP law (see bibliography). This article is intended solely to cover basic principles, for the elucidation of those who are clueless. Ya gotta have clues to play this game!


Introduction

Types of Intellectual Property

Protecting Your Intellectual Property

Respecting the Intellectual Property of Others

What is "Protection," And Why Is It Necessary?

This article was about IP, but another really important aspect of Legal Stuff is ... the contract. Read article 58 to learn about contracts in the game biz.

BIBLIOGRAPHY



Got a question about this lesson? No need to raise your hand -- just click here to go to the bulletin board. You'll get answers (on the bulletin board).

A good article on copyright, trademark, and patent: http://www.intelaw.com/pages/thb/articles/gamearticle2.htm.

Read "Hey, Thatís MY Game! Intellectual Property Protection for Video Games" by Attorneys Ross Dannenberg and Steve Chang at: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/3546/hey_thats_my_game_intellectual_.php.

A good article from 2008: http://www.joystiq.com/2008/05/07/law...copyright-copywrong/.

And a newer one from 2013: Why I Can't Steal Your Game Idea Even If You Want Me To".

And a newer one from Mona Ibrahim, in 2017: Video: A legal expert's guide to IP law for game devs.

This article was about IP, but another really important aspect of Legal Stuff is ... the contract. Read article 58 to learn about contracts in the game biz.

The FAQs for the Business And Law forum, at gamedev.net, are an additional must-read.

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© 2004-2017 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved. May not be re-published without written permission of the author.