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Ashaman73

Publishing a demo

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I want to publish a demo of my game (maybe the whole game), which can be downloaded and used for free. On the other side I want to protect it from reselling, abuse, copyright infringement and I want to protect myself against liability claims.

I will need to seek a lawyer for details, but I want to hear some "hints" about what is a good idea and what is a bad idea. I'm living in germany and will publish the game most likely from german servers for german and english speaking audience. As far as I know I got an implicit copyright on my own creation. But I have some other questions:

1. Would it be a good/bad idea to publish the demo/game under the [url="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/"]CC-BY-NC-ND[/url]?
2. Would it be a good/bad/unnecessary idea to create a EULA ? Or is this over the top ?
3. Is it possible to change the license with newer (build)versions ?


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No matter how you release it, there must be some form of agreement that grants permission to use it.

When stuff gets posted online without a Terms of Service or other public license, the legality gets really difficult. By default regular copyright and IP rights apply. You didn't sell them a copy, or grant them a license, so unless you took some specific action to give it out they may not have any legal rights to use the software.

So yes, you should have some kind of license.

Deciding the license to use is a very personal decision.

Most Free and Open Source licenses try to relax the default IP law. They grant permissions to use it, and if the user tries to tighten the restrictions they generally lose permissions to use it. Most commercial EULAs attempt to tighten the default IP law. They grant permissions to use it, but they generally grant a portion of the rights that would have been granted by normal sales. Both types of licenses attempt to limit liability.

It is best to figure out what you want others to do with your product. Then figure out things you do not want others to do with it. Would you let them sell it for any cost, or for no cost, even if it undercuts your margin? Would you let them improve it at sell it for money, even if your version is no cost? Would you let them study how it works? Would you let them reverse engineer it? Would you let them modify it? Would you let them incorporate it to their projects? Would you let them create derivative works even without the original code? If so, under what terms can they release those derivative works?

Once you understand what you want, choose a license that fits your goal. Then talk it over with a lawyer to verify that you didn't leave any loose ends.

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[quote name='frob' timestamp='1297980903' post='4775608']
No matter how you release it, there must be some form of agreement that grants permission to use it.

When stuff gets posted online without a Terms of Service or other public license, the legality gets really difficult. By default regular copyright and IP rights apply. You didn't sell them a copy, or grant them a license, so unless you took some specific action to give it out they may not have any legal rights to use the software.

So yes, you should have some kind of license.

Deciding the license to use is a very personal decision.

Most Free and Open Source licenses try to relax the default IP law. They grant permissions to use it, and if the user tries to tighten the restrictions they generally lose permissions to use it. Most commercial EULAs attempt to tighten the default IP law. They grant permissions to use it, but they generally grant a portion of the rights that would have been granted by normal sales. Both types of licenses attempt to limit liability.

It is best to figure out what you want others to do with your product. Then figure out things you do not want others to do with it. Would you let them sell it for any cost, or for no cost, even if it undercuts your margin? Would you let them improve it at sell it for money, even if your version is no cost? Would you let them study how it works? Would you let them reverse engineer it? Would you let them modify it? Would you let them incorporate it to their projects? Would you let them create derivative works even without the original code? If so, under what terms can they release those derivative works?

Once you understand what you want, choose a license that fits your goal. Then talk it over with a lawyer to verify that you didn't leave any loose ends.
[/quote]
Thanks for the answer. I just want to gain some knowledge and a feeling of what is available and practicable before going to a lawyer who will be paid per hour.

I already know what type of license I want, nothing fancy, the trouble is, that creating a custom EULA by a lawyer is not the cheapest thing (>1000 € ?) for a game I plan to release for free (at least first part). My hope is to use some kind of already available and proofen license like the [url="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/"]creative common BY-NC-ND[/url]. But this license is not exactly a EULA.
My requirements are:
- free use and distribution
- no commercial use of my software/art
- no derivation work of my software/art
This should be covered by CC-BY-NC-ND, but what about other claims, copyright etc. Is there although some kind of available license/EULA , some kind of template for standard solutions ?

Edit: the creative common seems to include much more in the "legal code" as I first thought, maybe it is the best start. Thought in the FAQ they tell you that the CC licenses are not best suited for software. :huh:

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If someone does infringe the license, do you have the money to go after them legally? Piracy is good an bad. If it's just the demo, let it go out into the world, so the word can spread.

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