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motorsep

new IP copyrighting

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What should I do (step by step) to copyright new intelectual property? Can I do it myself or special lawer have to deal with it? Is it enough to send book/illustrations to Library of Congress, fill up certain forms, pay $30 and get it copyrighted? Or how does it work? Interested in any useful information about protecting IP. How it works, do I have to make paper work, where can I get forms, etc.? Thanks!

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Right. But I have to have legal proof showing that book/illustrations (characters/locations/weapon/etc.) is mine and was created xx/xx/xxxx.
In this case if somebody else will use it in their own purposes I will be able to sue them!

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Anything you do is copywrited as C-Junkie said. But if you really want to be certain of dates etc if your worried about someone stealing your idea then you can go down to your local police dep and have print-outs certified. I think you have to sign a statutory declaration (spelling?) or something along those lines and then you'll have proof about when the documents were created. Although if someone really wants to steal your idea they'll change it just enough to get passed any copyright laws anyway and there isn't alot you can do about it. If your going into talks with developers/publishers you can look into non-disclosure agreements which makes sure you can sue (and win) if they they steal your idea.

Also you could just not show it to anyone.

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I know if you will make at leats 3 changes to logotype you can claim it as yours. But it is going to be something new.
But if it sounds that easy, why I hear and read alot about protecting IPs and how it's important for game developer?? Why there is IP lawers who specialize only in IP law?

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You've probably read alot about pattents! If someone pattents a particular algorithm then they have the right to sue anyone who uses it. They may let you buy the rights so you can use it but it'll probably cost you heaps and there is probably an alternative out there thats free. To get a pattent you have to pay some cash, get it examined and its quite a big process. Copywrite is different - its automatically applied to anything you write (or code). The two are quite different and seperate. Pattents used to deal only with physical objects (ie. car, washinmachine), but now the US allows software pattents as well which everyone seems to hate. So if you've designed a game and are worrying about it being stolen don't - its not worth the effort. Its very rare that someone has an idea that gets stolen, and you've got automatic protection from copywrite if that does happen to you.

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Quote:
Original post by motorsep
I know if you will make at leats 3 changes to logotype you can claim it as yours. But it is going to be something new.
But if it sounds that easy, why I hear and read alot about protecting IPs and how it's important for game developer?? Why there is IP lawers who specialize only in IP law?

You have heard a lot about it because IP is important. Most of the actual value in a publisher or developer is the value of the IP they own. The key issue (and the reason why there are lots of IP lawyers) is not protecting your IP but rather in ensuring you own it in the first place (you have the necessary assigment of rights agreements in place) and that you you don't give it away to a publisher.

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Just understand that you're copyrighting specific images, or writing, and trademarking specific names in reference to that work (all separately). You're not copyrighting the concept, the idea, itself.

Copyright is automatic, but what you're asking about is registering a copyright - which will offer you more protection, should you discover that someone infringed on your product. It's always a good idea, if you have the funds, to register your works; registration allows someone else to search the public record and see if a certain design has already been done before, eliminating the "how was I supposed to know" argument and putting more of the liability on the (alleged) infringer.

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I believe the laws about software patents are different in europe. Although there is a battle going on to make software patents legal in europe, Im not sure whether it will get passed or not, Personally I hope not.

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2 EricTrickster: I understand there is no way to protect idea, concept. And I don't really want it and need it. It's like FPS. iD came out with Hovertank, got to Quake and then Valve came up with HL. The same idea (FPS), but different approach. it's always a challenge - to come up with idea and bring it to unreachable altitude. Or use old concept, adopt an idea and transform it to new, better incarnation.
2 others: Thank you very much!

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