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niteenhatle

Should I copyright my game?

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Hi, I am a hobbyist game developer, and have developed a board game in Java. I want to give it away for free (not the source code) as an online download. Should I still copyright the game? How much would it cost to copyright the game? What is the procedure? Thanks. Niteen Hatle

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FYI, in the US and most other countries, everything has a copyright unless it is specifically put into the public domain.

You might want to look into a license of some sort, though. Creative Commons can help you make a good license for your game. Or you could use an existing license (GPL, MIT, ZLIB, there are lots of them out there).

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Yes in the US, not only your source code, but also the game in general is automatically copyright as soon as you write it. You can have the simplest proof possible by printing out the source code and notes on the game, and mailing it to yourself, gettign an official date stamp by the US post office.

You can also copyright the name of the game as tied to that particular game if you wish, so no one else can create a board game with the same name even though it may be a completely different board game. I believe this is not automatic, but you actually have to register a name like this with the government.

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Quote:
Original post by rpreller
Yes in the US, not only your source code, but also the game in general is automatically copyright as soon as you write it. You can have the simplest proof possible by printing out the source code and notes on the game, and mailing it to yourself, gettign an official date stamp by the US post office.


And err, don't open the package when you get it back!! :)

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Hi,

Thanks all of you.

But rpeller is that simple, is it enough. Just to mail it to myself will do? I mean if it is then I would be more than happy to do it (I was afraid I would have to give several visits to some gov offices and lawyers to copyright my software).

Is it safe to mail it and release the game? What other precautions should I take?
If any.

Thanks again.

Niteen Hatle.

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You automatically own the copyright on anything you create. It's as simple as that.

Mailing yourself a copy is not going to help anything - what's to stop you sending yourself an empty envelope and putting something in it later?

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Mailing yourself stuff is not a legal proof of copyright.

Go to: http://www.copyright.gov/

Read. Then decide if you feel your game is worth the $40-ish to protect. This is assuming you're in the US. I don't know the procedure or offices for other countries.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
You can have the simplest proof possible by printing out the source code and notes on the game, and mailing it to yourself, gettign an official date stamp by the US post office.

That's an Urban Legend(tm). Even if you use registered mail and official sealed envelopes, courrier companies (US Post Office, FedEX, UPS, etc) cannot and will not provide testimony in court for your copyright infringment case.

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Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Quote:
You can have the simplest proof possible by printing out the source code and notes on the game, and mailing it to yourself, gettign an official date stamp by the US post office.

That's an Urban Legend(tm). Even if you use registered mail and official sealed envelopes, courrier companies (US Post Office, FedEX, UPS, etc) cannot and will not provide testimony in court for your copyright infringment case.

In legal terms this concept of "mail yourself copyright" is known as "a load of old bollocks".

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