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      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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Crusable77

Copyrighting your code

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Hello, I have never copyrighted any of my code and I am unsure of how to do it. Do I need a registered company? Can I just use my name? Is there a standard message you need to put in with your code? Thanks for any help. Also, I am not sure if this belongs in this forum or not.

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If you used someone else's work and modified it to make your work, then you only have a copyright on the changes made, but they still own the original work, and your work is a 'derivative work' of their work - and unless you have permission to use their original work, then you can't use your derived work

So I have a follow-up question..  How does this statement apply to program code ?    Since, programming structure must be written following pre-written format to invoke to certain functions such as graphics.  Or when a person is studying game design from a book ?  Do you have permission to use the code that shows a routine in Artificial Intellegence (AI) that shows an algorithym in chasing and evading, and as long as you modify the code and build on that example, are you able yo copyright that code ?


Copyrights are automatic. Anything you create is automatically yours:


You can register your copyrights with the government as an added precaution, but it's not necessary.

  True that in the U.S. of A., that a copyright statement within your code gives the author a certain amount of protection..  does not, if a person feels the need, having an "Official Copyright Certificate" Give that person a means of proof with a Certified Date when the work was completed ?


Do I need a registered company? Can I just use my name? Is there a standard message you need to put in with your code?

To answer these questions...  When you file for "Official Copyright Protection" , you only need your name.  This helps you if you have to show the code to perspective companies trying to make a sale.  Also in your code the remark of "CopyRight 2013 : (YourName)" must be in your code print out when submitting it to the Government.

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So I have a follow-up question..  How does this statement apply to program code ?    Since, programming structure must be written following pre-written format to invoke to certain functions such as graphics.  Or when a person is studying game design from a book ?  Do you have permission to use the code that shows a routine in Artificial Intellegence (AI) that shows an algorithym in chasing and evading, and as long as you modify the code and build on that example, are you able yo copyright that code ?
If code is so obvious that it can't be proved whether you copied someone, or whether they independently invented it (e.g. a for loop that sums an array can only be written so many ways), then no one in their right mind would try to sue you for copyright infringement. Imagine trying to argue that in court -- because that's how copyright disputes are resolved generally, in a civil court, not by the police knocking on your door, etc...

To any kind of complex code, there's usually obvious creativity involved, so it's easy to spot outright copies. If someone copies your code (whether they change it or not afterwards), that's infringement.

 

In the front cover of text books, there will usually be a statement along the lines of "no reproduction of any part is allowed, except as permitted by law".

That means, they're exercising their copyright, but the Law will allow you to ignore their copyright in cases of "Fair Use". If you're copying examples out a text book in order to perform the exercises and learn from the materials, it's probably "fair use".

 

If you modify something that you've copied from someone, it becomes a "derivative work", and the same rules apply as if it was still the original. If you copy someone and then change it 90%, you own that 90%, but they still own the 10%, so their copyright still applies as well as yours.

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If you modify something that you've copied from someone, it becomes a "derivative work", and the same rules apply as if it was still the original. If you copy someone and then change it 90%, you own that 90%, but they still own the 10%, so their copyright still applies as well as yours.

That one also varies by country.

If you do not have permission to use the work then in some places the entire derivative work is unlawful and courts will typically find that the entire work belongs to the original work's owner.



Back to the OP. Please state what country you are in. It makes a big difference.

Most counties that matter are parties to international copyright treaties. In most (but not all) of those countries anything that it written or recorded is automatically covered by copyright protection. In some countries you must also include a copyright notice, but in most of the world that is an archaic requirement. Also in most countries that matter, if you intend to sue in the courts you must register your work with the copyright office of the government.

It may seem a little weird, you automatically have the protections of copyright, but if you want to sue somebody for infringement you must register in order to enforce those rights in the courts. If you decide you are never going to sue anybody and don't file with the government you still have the protections, can still tell people to stop using your stuff illegally, can still license and sell your work to others, and can basically do everything except sue infringers.


In the United States, the copyright registration process is fairly easy and relatively inexpensive. You visit the copyright.gov web site, fill out form TX, include a representative chunk of code. (They ask for 50 pages, including the first 25 and last 25 pages. You get to interpret what the first and last pages of source files are.) Also include the representative screen shots, per the current guidelines also found on their web site. Submit the forms and upload the bundle along with the $65 payment. A few weeks later you get a letter from the copyright office either giving you your copyright information or if you made a mistake, informing you of a problem with your submission. You need to register the copyright on each version of the program you release if you intend to enforce the copyrights in the courts.
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