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My gaming studio has all the employees (by employees I mean the ones that join after we show the product and they decide to join) it needs to increase development on this game. My partner got a NDA off the net. I have a couple questions; it says world wide, but will it actually work for other countries? If so what laws is it that enforces it? If not what law prevents it and how do we stop it? How do we make sure its legal in all fifty states? We want to make sure that we get this right so no one spills the beens. My partner and I have been working on the core engine with the Agea physics (we trying to get the ability to use the card) for about 6 months, we need animators, artists, networkers, and more programmers for the project and decided to expand the company. I can only do so much in a day by myself, even a PHD in computer science won't make me a god. If ya'll can please help I would greatly appreciate it. I know I have to contact a laywer and make sure the contract is legal and binding but before I do I wanted to get some feedback. I thought ya'll would have some suggestion and/or ideas that would help in keeping this game a secret.

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post the NDA? From what i understand they are quite standard (over here at least) and are generally just templates with blanks for you to fill in (since all that changes from title to title is the title, the time period and the person(s) being silenced with occasional updates for new legislation).

when it says 'worldwide' it probibally just means that the person can't fly over to the UK and then start talking, that the NDA applies to the person regardless of where they go or who they talk to?

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I have signed a few NDAs out there and what it comes down to is you could make it as simple as you want or as complicated as you want. In a contract, it is more important to state what you can not do rather what you can. e.g. If you did not specify that I can not discuss this with my friends, then I assume I can.

The major issue with any breach of contract is enforcement. If you do not have the funds and the time to persue legal action against someone you believe is in breach of that contract, then it is not worth the paper it is printed on.

Ebay copied an idea from an individual that they had meetings with. That individual has patented the idea beforehand and they still copied it. Now, after about 7 or 8 years, he won his lawsuit but his settlement was nowhere near what he would have earned if he was a partner with eBay.

Be careful to whom you disclose your ideas. Ideas are easy to steal and very hard to prove in court. Specific algorithm or program flow is much easier prove. But, if you are doing this in a distributed manner (developers across the world), then I would not even bother. Yeah, I'd have them sign it as a good faith, but I will always assume they disclosed the information to everyone including their mother. You will not have a successful time suing someone in Ukraine or Taiwan.

PS. I worked for a company that was developing a game based on a movie that was top secret. For QA portion, they had every tester sign a waiver. The testing was done in a closed room that had their windows frosted. The monitors were turned away from the doors so people don't accidentally see it when doors are open. The computers were disconected from the company network so people won't be able to send screenshots or even IMs. And this was for testing!

PSS. If it is "top" secret piece that you are working on, then I would suggest breaking up everything into pieces. No one other than you and your best friend should know even the title of the game. You put all the pieces together. But someone outside of you should only know 10% of the total code, purpose of the code, etc.

My 2 cents.

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hehe, it sounds paranoid but i've heard more than a few people mention the need for discretion and secrecy, lest IP's be frivilously lost.

one of my lecturers even suggested maintaining a code while in public, often quoting stories of secrets almost slipped in front of rivals.

at points it seems kinda nuts, but our group had a great laugh using codes.



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Code words? Hmm, sounds very CIA-ish. :) Then do as CIA/FBI does: no single person knows everything. Information is distributed among different key people and you need all of them put together to get the full understanding of the project. If your physics code leaks, it doesn't jeapordize your entire project, plus, easier to find who leaked it!

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I see how that would work. The NDA is some standard form with blanks. I was more worried about over seas because we have a couple recruits outside the United States. Of course this is riskier because it would be harder to pursue them. What we were going to show is the login screen, char creation, and the first newbie area which is the only town. They would be able tosee a few weapons, armor, monsters, npcs, and of course there the rest of the team/employees.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Whenever you get into an NDA thingy with anybody, you need to ask yourself 1) if you have the financial capability to go to court should there be a material breach by the other party, and 2) how do you prove and assess damage (in $ terms) should you find the other party in a material breach situation. It's one thing to have a legally binding NDA; it's another thing to have it enforced. It's yet another thing to gain financial remedy on a material breach which is large enough to cover your legal costs. Just a few points to keep in mind...

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The only person qualified to answer this for you is a lawyer. Go pay one to work on the NDA and explain it to you. Trying to do "law stuff" without a lawyer and by trusting the opinions of non-lawyers on the interdoom is just going to end up with someone extremely unhappy or surprised later on down the road. The law is archaic and confusing and you can't really figure out all the ramifications of a legal document without a lawyer.

-me

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