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Copyrights?


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#1 krogoth   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 29 August 2000 - 06:13 AM

Me and some friends have started working on a game. We have a name for a company, but we don''t want to put it on the website before we have a copyright or trademark. Is there really a risk of someone stealing it, or should we just go ahead and tell everyone?

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#2 Delisk   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 29 August 2000 - 06:22 AM

Legaly, copyright and trademarks, need to be registed.

Sadly i don''t know a lot about those laws. But i know you must pay for this.
My name is not registered so anyone could get the right to it, but at the same thime i don''t belive anyone will do it!

If you are an hobyist or an amateur (both go together) you should not need to do so.... but you can do it if you want!

I hope this help you

Delisk

#3 grhodes_at_work   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1361

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Posted 29 August 2000 - 06:43 AM

quote:
Original post by Delisk

Legaly, copyright and trademarks, need to be registed.



Actually, you own the copyright to information the minute you write it down (as long as someone else does not have prior ownership). There is *no* requirement to register it. You can include the Copyright © notice without any payment. It is arguable that by paying to register your copyright, it may be easier to legally enforce it. For example, without registration, how can you prove---without a doubt---that you actually created the information back in 1987 and not two minutes ago?

You are correct that trademarks must be registered and that costs money. It also costs money to research and determine if someone else already holds a trademark to the name or phrase of interest.




Graham Rhodes
Senior Scientist
Applied Research Associates, Inc.
email: grhodes@sed.ara.com

#4 Buster   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 29 August 2000 - 07:04 AM

Getting an official copyright allows you to collect automatic statutory damages if there is an infringement. I think it''s $25,000 per offense, but don''t quote me on that.

If you don''t get a registered copyright, you still own the stuff, but you need to prove damages and you can only collect for actual damages.

Trademarks are harder to get but if you want to protect your logo and/or characters, you should do it. I think they''re around $500 per category.

Of course, you should always seek legal advise from lawyers, not game developers like me.

#5 Diragor   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 29 August 2000 - 11:54 AM

Go to the US Copyright Office web site at http://www.copyright.gov for all the copyright info you could possibly need, and here''s the Trademark page on the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) web site: http://www.uspto.gov/web/menu/tm.html .

Copyright registration is only $30. As mentioned above, registration is not legally required, but it''s certainly worth it if you ask me.

Trademarks are a little trickier and tougher on the wallet. The current fee for a registration application is $325. I''m no expert but I''ve read up on this stuff a bit and here''s my advice. First of all, 1) You gain trademark rights just by using a mark (symbol, phrase, whatever), 2) the PTO won''t ever register your mark until it has been "used in commerce". According to the PTO "commerce means all commerce which may lawfully be regulated by the U.S. Congress, for example, interstate commerce or commerce between the U.S. and another country." You can file an "intent to use" application, but until you use the mark in commerce the registration will not be granted anyway. So I''d just start using the name and if the company takes off you can formalize it with a federal registration later, after you''ve sold a few copies of the game (which you''ll need to do before they''ll register the mark anyway).




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