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dgreb

Some sort of Patent over Document Template and/or Metodology

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Hello, I'm building a set of documents, tools and ideas for a original metodology targeted on independend games development teams. I'm planning on distributing it for free over communities like gamedev. My goal is to distribute the material freely, but in the other hand offer services of PMO/Management for independend groups in exchange for share based contribution. It happens that i'd like to have some legal base to demand developers that wanna use the documents/metodology/tools but don't want my help, to use my logo on the documents, and credit me on their game. Do you think something like i want is possible, or i'll have to rely on good will?

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In practice, you won't be able to stop people using it as they wish, especially internally, but as the creator of those works, the text and images are automatically copyrighted by you. You will have to come up with a license that you will include with your download bundle, which will grant usage/distribution rights (probably non-exclusive, for commercial or maybe only for non-commercial) but require your logo etc to stay. It would be a very good idea to get a lawyer to draft this license for you based on your needs. He or she can also advise you best about what actually is and is not possible as part of the license grant.

Your methodology itself as an idea will not be copyrightable, though, and your chances of getting included in a game's credits based on that alone will likely be very slim, unless they actually reproduce part of your text as part of the game (not likely). Getting mentioned in the "thank you" section could happen, if they are nice, but a clause that says "if you use these materials for project management, you must credit me in your game" sounds pretty far-fetched to me and I have to wonder if such a clause would ever be ruled as valid in court. I'm no expert in this matter, however.

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Yes you could do what you want but it would be pretty dumb and counter-productive. You could distribute your documents under some sort of license that requires that they credit you but that is more likely to stop people reading the documents in the first place.

Lets face it, unless you work on a project you don't deserve credit. Would you expect programmers to credit all their Math, English, Comp Science teachers? After all the teachers taught them the systems they needed to know in order to get the job done. What about all the authors of programming books they read? Of course not. They got paid for teaching the programmer but the programmer was the one who did the work of turning the knowledge they gained into an actual project.

If you want money then sell a book about your system and/or sell your services as a consultant.

If you want credit (but not credits in a game) then give the ideas away freely, without any silly crediting restrictions but make sure you promote your system via an active blog (and through sales of that book I mentioned). A good example of what I am talking about would be David Allen, the person credited with creating the [b]Getting Things Done[b] system Wikipedia - Getting Things Done. He came up with a system, wrote a book, promoted the system and even registered GTD as a trademark. Because the information is unrestricted there are lots of people offering GTD advice and selling GTD software... but everyone knows who gets the credit for coming up with the system and as a result he (and his book) keep getting mentioned when people review a piece of GTD software or talk about GTD.... which in turn results in people seeking him out for paid consultancy or buying his book.

See also The 4-Hour Workweek as another example.

Good luck

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Hey!

So, what Obscure says seems to make sense after all. Thanks for the info and all.

In fact my concern is not about making money, and also not about getting the credit itself, but to prevent others to get my methodology and start offering the services i invented behind my back. I thought that somethig like copyrighting and demanding credit could cover that for me.

A little bit off topic, i see from your signature that you are a Consultant yourself Obscure, do you mind giving me general hints for this services i wrote about? It wold be awesome :D

And thanks lightbringer for your info! I was thinking of going for a lawyer just like you said.

Thanks guys

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Quote:
Original post by dgreb
my concern is ... to prevent others to get my methodology and start offering the services i invented behind my back.

You may not be able to protect that idea. Your methodology and services may not be protectable under IP law. Talk to an attorney.

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Quote:
Original post by dgreb
In fact my concern is not about making money, and also not about getting the credit itself, but to prevent others to get my methodology and start offering the services i invented behind my back.

This would be hard and I believe ultimately damaging for your business. You could get a lawyer to draw up some expensive contract that people have to agree to before they get access to your system (but that goes against your stated intent of distributing the system freely). However I believe this would just discourage people from looking at your system and make it less successful.

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