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Talking about my situation

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Hey guys, I'm Rodrigo. As you well know, I have been asking a lot about mobile games production process, publishers, technical issues, and so on. The thing is, the information you gived me was realy helpfull. Many things i have realised, and many things changed since we need a more productive, but i still feal insecure about what we are doing here. I'm the team leader of a Developing Team, and we are developing our first mobile game. We have never published one ("mobile or console or what ever" game). So, i have many doubts... In this moment, we think the best thing we can do is to create a demo, and send it to Jamdat (for example), with all the things they ask for. But, then, i have some issues... is the best way (a demo) to do it? or a completed game gives us a better chance to succed? The ironic thing is that, we don't have (yet) the rights of our game, so we don't know if we could send it to Jamdat or whatever company we'll send it to, and they'll say: now its mine (in the case we send the full game). The intelectual property has alwlays been an issue to me, because we are from Chile... and the only thing that smooth us the way is the FCT with US. Any advice? Sorry about my bad english... you know i'm not from USA or UK. XD Rodrigo

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You can take a look at this report:

http://biz.gamedaily.com/features.asp?article_id=11241§ion=feature&email

There is also the September issue of "Game Developer Magazine", which could be purchased online at "www.gdmag.com". The digital edition will cost you a few bucks, but the contents is worth it.

As for your comments about rights, you should get the rights settled first and then have JAMDAT sign a "two-way NDA" (non-disclosure agreement) before showing it to them. Make sure there are clauses in the NDA that protect each company's IP. Talk to a lawyer about making you a template; you'll use it plenty...

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where can i pay or buy the rights for my game in the us? NOTE: i'm not from the us)

Thanks for the magazine tip

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As an unpublished indie, I wish you the best of luck signing a 2-way NDA with a major international publisher. It's probably not going to happen, until they see something they like from you, and draft up a real contract. Publishers generally get so many different submissions that the last thing they want to do is sign a piece of paper that could lead to an indie sueing them for making 'a game just like mine'.

You also seem to be under the misunderstanding that you don't 'own' the rights to your own game anywhere but Chile. This is wrong; your copyright extends beyond your home country, and a professional company wouldn't dream of ripping you off. It's not worth their time.

It's a different matter if there's some irregularities attached to your IP; for example if you're using a license (StarWars, StarTrek, etc) that you don't have the rights to, or if there's something fishy about the contracts you've signed with your day-jobs. In that case, the publisher will most likely walk away.

While the good, american, answer is 'consult a lawyer', I understand that for indies outside of US, finding an IP lawyer with understanding of US IP law is hard (and costs a bomb).

Best of luck,
Allan

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Thanks a lot guys for your opinions. Realy.

Right now i don't have a lot of money, so, i cant invest ineverything that comes in my mind. So, what do you think it's the best thing to invest in this moment:

Sing the agreement as a company?
-Company (logo, name, and so) creation.
-WebSite

Or pay the rights of the game here in chile?
-A lawyer
-The rights

Thanks

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Focus on developing something first; the lawyers will happily tell you that they need the money to feed their starving kids, but reality is that unless you have a product, the legal advice isn't worth the pretty papers you'll hand over to get it. If you can find a friendly lawyer WHEN you have a contract in hand, it might be good, but until then save your money.

Registering copyright is a no-brainer; and in most cases you don't even need to do that (just keep Work in progress, etc, to prove you actually developed the titles). No reputable publisher of mobile games will try to pass your game off as their own, and your copyright remains valid even outside of your native country.

Someone else posted that you'd best make sure the publisher signs a 2-way NDA before you show anything. For most developers that's not an option; publishers don't want to leave themselves open to this sort of nonsense:
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?aid=13397

It'll be interesting to see what will happen to US patent and IP law in the next 10-20 years; the current situation is effectively killing the R&D industry. You gotta love this quote from the CEO of the US Chamber of Commerce:

"U.S. industry spends more on tort litigation than on R&D…just think about what that says about our nation’s priorities and the challenges we could face in the future if we don’t reorder those priorities."

http://www.uschamber.com/press/speeches/2005/051102tjd_latownhall.htm

As such, the advice to consult a lawyer makes a personal kind of sense, but ultimately just feeds the monster hiding beneath the bed.

Allan

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