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      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
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3DModelerMan

How much does it cost to copyright a game?

12 posts in this topic

How much does it cost to copyright a game, and maybe trademark a slogan for the game? I don't know much about copyright stuff, so sorry if this was a bad question.
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Copyright is automatic and free. It costs somewhere around $30 to register a copyright, if you're a US citizen. Go to [url="http://copyright.gov/"]copyright.gov[/url]
Don't know about trademark registration.
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If the Government forums seem a little daunting you can always go through legal zoom. They offer copyrighting, company registration and trademarking.
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Oh good that's alot easier than I thought it would be. At what point should I actually register a company and copyright the game? Before I show it off everywhere? Like for example: to a publisher?
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The game is automatically copyrighted (at no cost to you) the instant you've created it.
You should register your business when you start making money or otherwise have to do anything official (like pay taxes).
I strongly recommend you go visit your local Small Business Administration office. Ask them all sorts of basic questions like these. For no cost. [url="http://www.sba.gov"]http://www.sba.gov[/url]
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[quote name='3DModelerMan' timestamp='1298937723' post='4780336']
At what point should I actually register a company...[/quote]
When someone offers to do business with you.
[quote]and copyright the game?[/quote]
When you have the $100k necessary to take someone to court for copyright infringement.
Copyright doesn't need to be registered. Doing so makes it easier to sue and increases the compensation you would get - but that is no use if you don't have the very large amount of money necessary to take legal action.
For now put a copyright notice on the game "copyright [your name] 2011". If a publisher expresses an interest in the game then you can worry about (and pay for) setting up a company and registering the copyright.

Likewise Trademarks. The game name/logo will gain trademark protection when you start using them to trade. Registering costs several hundred $ for each country you register in which may well be more money than the game actually makes. When someone shows some interest in actually doing business, then consider registering a trademark. Until then just use stick a "TM" by the logo (not an R in a circle symbol, which can only be used with a registered trademark).
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So that's enough to where if I show the game to a publisher, they can't just steal the exact game and use it? I know they could steal the general idea if they wanted. But they couldn't specifically produce my game?
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Anybody can make a game similar to your "idea" anytime. Don't waste time worrying about somebody stealing your "idea" - you can't protect an idea.
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I know, but if I give the publisher my game to test out, can't they just publish it right off the bat with no deal if I don't get the copyright stuff out of the way?
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So you're saying your game is SO GOOD that every publisher would be willing to break the law and give you good reason to scream foul to the world. Or maybe they'd just kill you, then the screaming foul thing goes away...?

First off, they're not that evil.
Secondly, your game is not that good.
Thirdly, they have plenty of money and can afford to buy your game twenty times over -- they don't need to steal it. Cheaper to buy it than deal with the fallout from ripping you off.
Fourthly, if you're that worried about having your creation stolen, then sure, register your copyright before you begin the submission process with a publisher.
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[quote name='3DModelerMan' timestamp='1299018671' post='4780702']
I know, but if I give the publisher my game to test out, can't they just publish it right off the bat with no deal if I don't get the copyright stuff out of the way?
[/quote]
I have known one or two developers over the last ten years who got ripped off by dodgy publishers but they were small crap publishers who were about to go bust and a bit of research would have shown that they weren't people to do business with. Apart from that publishers simply don't steal games - it isn't worth the hassle and the bad rep they would get would stop future devs working with them. Besides which they don't need to rip you off by breaking the law when they can do it legally by getting you to sign a complex contract that ends up giving them all the benefit from the sales of your game.

Publishers stealing your game isn't going to be a problem. Your first problem will be making a great game and then getting them to even look at it.
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[quote name='Obscure' timestamp='1299060415' post='4780914']
[quote name='3DModelerMan' timestamp='1299018671' post='4780702']
I know, but if I give the publisher my game to test out, can't they just publish it right off the bat with no deal if I don't get the copyright stuff out of the way?
[/quote]
I have known one or two developers over the last ten years who got ripped off by dodgy publishers but they were small crap publishers who were about to go bust and a bit of research would have shown that they weren't people to do business with. Apart from that publishers simply don't steal games - it isn't worth the hassle and the bad rep they would get would stop future devs working with them. Besides which they don't need to rip you off by breaking the law when they can do it legally by getting you to sign a complex contract that ends up giving them all the benefit from the sales of your game.

Publishers stealing your game isn't going to be a problem. Your first problem will be making a great game and then getting them to even look at it.
[/quote]




I know my game isn't that good. But I was just confused how everything worked. Because I wanted to be able to show it around, but I didn't know what I had to do to be on the safe side. Thanks for the advice.


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[quote name='3DModelerMan' timestamp='1299074869' post='4780991']
I know my game isn't that good. But I was just confused how everything worked. Because I wanted to be able to show it around, but I didn't know what I had to do to be on the safe side. Thanks for the advice.[/quote]
If it isn't that good no one is going to steal it (or publish it) so you don't need to worry.
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