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Game Licensing

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Okay... I''ll eventually finish my computer game... I''ll want to sell it. What licensing issues need to be handles? How do I know if there is a patent on something which i''m using in my game? Assuming I didnt knowingly use 3rd party sources and created material which was patented, what happens? Are there patents in the computer gaming industry? (Eg: if id Software had a patent on FPS games... would I have to pay them royalties to sell a FPS?) Besides the 3rd party API licensing deals, what else is there? (Assuming know trademark infringements, etc). ??? -Tim

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quote:
Original post by Chabba-Wabba

Okay...

I''ll eventually finish my computer game...

I''ll want to sell it.

What licensing issues need to be handles?

How do I know if there is a patent on something which i''m using in my game? Assuming I didnt knowingly use 3rd party sources and created material which was patented, what happens?


It''s unlikely you have anything patented in your game. However if you are reading in a GIF, you might be treading on thin ice. I believe Unisys owns the patent for the GIF algorithm? Having said that, they''re not likely to notice or care, I think they''re more concerned about image manipulation programs using their algorithm than they are about games reading the files in. If someone finds out you have patented material in your game, which is very unlikely to happen, you''ll probably be asked to stop distributing it by their lawyer. If you comply, you should be fine. But this is very rare.

quote:
Are there patents in the computer gaming industry? (Eg: if id Software had a patent on FPS games... would I have to pay them royalties to sell a FPS?)

Yes, there are. Many of them would not stand up in court, but often the licensing is cheaper than to fight the legal battle anyway. If you have enough time on your hands, you can find out that almost everything from pong to ''multiplayer networked games'' are patented. But the people with these patents don''t tend to pay much attention to smaller developers.

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Christ, if id got royalties for every FPS, they''d have bought Microsoft by now. I''m no expert, but I heard that you can''t "copyright an idea", so I wouldn''t worry if your game plays like someone else''s. Also, I don''t think you have anything to worry about if you wrote all the code yourself.

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