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Forestknight25

Possible to copywrite game concepts before making game?

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Just curious if it is possible to copywrite the fictional universe (characters, technology, background info, etc.) you have developed for your game, before actually creating the game. I say this because I have a lot to learn programming-wise, but I have so many ideas for my games.

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Quote:
Original post by Omid Ghavami
I'm no lawyer, but I'm guessing you need to officially publish something to prove it's your IP. Write a book =]


So write like a novel with my game plot? Great idea! Ya know, my official website (that has all my projects, art, etc.) will be up soon once me and my friend finish coding it, so I could submit all my drawings and stuff there, copywrite them, then write and publish the storyline in novel format. Is that what you had in mind?

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Spend your time creating your universe. Don't bother trying to defend it from the evil IP Thieves until later.

You should also review the differences between different forms of IP, such as the differences between copyrights and trademarks. The former prevents literal copies and a specific range of derivative works, which probably isn't what you are looking for; the latter prevents use of the distinctive elements of your universe, which is probably what you are hoping to achieve.

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To be frank there's little you can do to protect your ideas until they're in a fixed, tangible form. Trademarks identify brands in commerce-- they designate the origins of a product. Copyrights don't protect ideas, only original works of authorship that are in fixed, tangible form. Furthermore, copyright infringement is in itself both costly and difficult to prove.

Trademarks are not typically used to protect specific elements of a product unless that product is already in commerce. Furthermore, trademarks protect *brands*, i.e., how a product is identified in the stream of commerce. Obtaining trademark registration for individual elements of a work is INCREDIBLY costly (almost $500 per registration). It really isn't advisable and typically only employed to designate a trade name or brand name.

I'd think that your best method of protecting yourself right now is to keep your idea to yourself. Only disclose the concept to people you trust, preferably subject to a Non-disclosure agreement. People working on the project should absolutely sign a NDA that clearly identifies the product in question.

Best of luck!

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Best copyright protection ever!: come up with an original idea. It's almost impossible for someone else to make a game like yours if you think up a game no one else can. Just don't go around telling everyone about your games who's not a friend.

Although, I'll admit I was quite aghast when I heard of Guilty Gear 2 (I even had a game design document all laid out! [sad]) and when I found out that the title "Orbital" was already used for a game, but they were such unlikely occurrences, I don't doubt the safety of ANY of my other games. I mean, how unlikely would it be for someone to make shmup pinball?

Although, I do think if there's a name you want for your game, and you really think it's so worth it and no other name will do, and you really do think it could be used for another game, maybe it would be good to register. I don't know, I'm no lawyer.

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I love how much very bad advice the OP is getting in this thread! I'm not talking about Mona or Ra or F. Rob, either.

Omid and Splin, you guys should simply not reply to legal questions. That would be much better than giving the very bad advice you've given the OP here.

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Quote:
Original post by Tom Sloper
I love how much very bad advice the OP is getting in this thread! I'm not talking about Mona or Ra or F. Rob, either.

Omid and Splin, you guys should simply not reply to legal questions. That would be much better than giving the very bad advice you've given the OP here.
Come on Tom, you're too professional to post just to criticise. If you're going to deride the advice on offer, say what's wrong with it or simply counter with something better.

I have a question. Do you have to copyright your universe to protect it? Or do you have intrinsic legal rights to it as long as you can prove it was your original invention?

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doo wrote:
>Do you have to copyright your universe to protect it? Or do you have intrinsic legal rights to it as long as you can prove it was your original invention?

The latter. But registering a copyright is better, if it ever comes down to legal action.

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