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Member Since 22 Mar 2008
Offline Last Active Feb 24 2014 10:39 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Legal risk in editors, and giving players freedom to edit

24 February 2014 - 12:52 PM

On a related note, Copyleft and Open Source would have a hard time existing if the law did penalize original authors for how their works are used or implemented. I can't disregard meritless claims, but as for valid claims I think you're reasonably safe. 


And yes, folks, I'm back. 

In Topic: Can you give away free remakes of old games?

05 May 2012 - 12:34 AM

I'm wondering if it's legal to give away remakes of old games?

To answer this overly broad question simply, "No." Any work produced during or after the 1930s is more or less still protected under the copyright act, which includes every single video game produced in this century. The only way to legally remake a game from an existing franchise is through a valid license.

In Topic: Starting a company

05 May 2012 - 12:26 AM

Once you have a product to pitch and a team to make that project a reality, if you're short on funds you have more options available than the "traditional" models (e.g., (friends and family, small business loans, etc.). Look into crowd-funding possibilities like kickstarter-- the JOBS Act has made this a more viable option, but make sure you've properly formed your business entity in accordance with state, SEC, and the crowdsourcing site's guidelines, and make sure your collection strategy similarly complies.

Best of luck!

In Topic: how do i keep someone from stealing my whole project, if they help work on it...

22 April 2012 - 04:07 PM

An additional note-- once you have something fixed in a tangible form, whether it be a script or prototype, you will be running the risk of being joint authors/owners of the work. If that happens there's little you can do to prevent them from exploiting the work, since joint ownership in IP is tantamount to being tenants-in-common. In other words, you'll each own an undivided interest in the work. At that point either party can, with the exception of assignment or exclusive licensing of the entire work, do whatever they want with it. This includes selling off their interest in the work.

To avoid this you'll want to ensure that any agreement you enter into has an IP control provision. This could be a work for hire, assignment, or rights management provision that limits how the other party can exploit the work both prior to or after the release.

You'll need to be careful with non-compete provisions, as excessively broad non-competes are invalid in most jurisdictions. In fact non-competes in general are invalid in many states, so it's important that your contract is governed under a jurisdiction that recognizes this constraint.

Finally, it's important to specify in detail what constitutes confidential information. The most problematic aspect of upholding an NDA is the fact that the other party may be unaware of what is confidential versus what isn't, so you need to make it clear in the agreement itself that correspondences relating to ideas concerning the game's production, both oral and written, are confidential and the disclosure of those ideas will lead to economic harm.

In Topic: Galaxian, Joust, Breakout as inspirations ; legal?

12 January 2012 - 04:51 PM

Because I've gone into this topic ad nauseum in the past I'm just going to let what I've written earlier stand.