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tboxx

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Everything posted by tboxx

  1. I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions for software that would allow for group designing.  I know some people use wiki's I was thinking something like Google docs with links to pages inside the overall document or to have links to other Google doc pages.  This is for a sandbox multiplayer mmo kit so it would be more technical and less about following story arcs etc.  
  2. tboxx

    Using Sonic pictures

      You absolutely can't distribute a work that is using established IP like Sonic the Hedgehog regardless of who drew the artwork.   As to whether or not you would be sued, to be honest, you probably wouldn't be because Sega probably wouldn't notice, but you certainly could be sued, and probably would be if you were in anyway successful. Actually unless you were doing something really malicious, they'd probably send you a cease and desist letter first and then sue you if you didn't comply. Doesn't have to be malicious.  If there's a trigger-happy lawyer, he could find a legal letter in his mailbox telling him to stop or show up in court.   I am taking offense to the trigger-happy comment!  You would be surprised at the amount of people who avoid us "trigger-happy lawyers" until the sheriff shows up at their door serving them  a complaint. 
  3. tboxx

    Creating website, question

      Paying the correct taxes is definitely very important.    I would suggest you fill out  a doing business as certificate with the city/town, county or state government (depends on the state as to which level of government handles doing business as certificates.   It costs money to incorporate which means creating/registering a type of business association, (LLC,  C-Corp, S-Corp, LP,LLP etc.)   I know in Massachusetts the fee to register/incorporate a corporation is $320.00 a year and a LLC is about $520.00 a year.  
  4. tboxx

    Using Sonic pictures

      Sonic the Hedgehog  is Saga's Intellectual Property.   I don't believe the fact an independent artist drew the picture changes anything. Nor would a disclaimer of any sort.  You could get sued. Will you get sued?  That is harder to predict.  
  5.   That is commonly referred to as a ""Work-for-Hire" clause/contract.
  6. tboxx

    Art rights

      Do you remember what their terms were  from these old vendors?     If the terms are " If you buy the royalty free rights to use/edit a 3d model and textures in "any commercial software or application you develop", so long as the buyer doesn't have access to the model(must release as exe, apk, etc), and you can't resell the models on a competing website." ....    "Technically it's a standalone application and the users don't have access to the models without breaking the law. It's not in direct competition because the modeler doesn't sell 2d art in any way."  Sounds like you answered the question already.  They don't have access to the model or the texture right?. Unless you can extract a texture from a 2d snapshot.  (I am not an artist so I have no idea ).  The super safe way would be to ask specifically the vendors and explain the circumstances and not use the artwork from the vendors you can't get in touch with.   
  7.    Part of being good is creating stuff that others can work with. Agreed.  
  8.   Sorry, going to disagree employability is an extremely important factor times have changed drastically especially for college graduates. 
  9. Hiring people could include freelancers or straight employees. Keep in mind employees don't just cost their salary. Rule if thumb in my state is about 20% of their salary for employment related expenses (benefits, worker's comp etc.)
  10. Koobazaur,     Give two attorneys a task  to draft and contract/agreement and they don't look a like.   A lot of the common causes in a contract can be written in a summarized general format or could be very specific.  A confidentiality clause/NDA could be very basic or very expansive in terms of what it lays out.  It all really depends on comfort level between the parties and what issues maybe particularly concerning for each party. If you think improper disclosure is a big concern than a more through NDA would be a good idea.       1) If you want to use the 2nd NDA you need to edit it further.  Its original purpose was as an NDA inconnection with something like  a situation in which a developer needs to tell a publisher about the project in order to see whether they  are interested in funding said project but don't want the publisher to tell anyone about the project.     2) First agreement refers to the game.  Better off calling it a project or something else. I am not sure what the industry term for this would be.      3)  Company  should not be just defined as a company, I would consider another name one that  includes a company or an individual.  
  11.   Copyright infringement is a federal criminal offense in certain circumstances. 
  12. I was just checking out steam and came across a project that is being green lit on steam.  Its called Murder Miners.  The game, originally for Xbox and now coming to PC, is an FPS that has Minecraft like graphics and allows for destructible objects.  What caught my attention is they have very blatant and intentional remakes/copies of Halo and Counter-strike maps, the comparisons are in the promotional trailer.  I wondering if they: 1) got permission beforehand to copy the maps, 2) copied the maps and got permission afterwards, 3) just did without permission 4) its different enough not to violate any intellectual property laws 5) something else...     They got green-lit on steam which I assume owns the rights to counter-strike and its published on Microsoft's Xbox marketplace (Microsoft I believe owns the rights to Halo). 
  13. There's only so many good, competitive, multiplayer map designs anyways. The basic spacial structures show up all the time with different window dressing to make them appear to be different.   That might be true but the level of window dressing here is extremely minimal. 
  14. tboxx

    Selling games on Steam

       I bet Valve also considers taking a lower % to attract big studios to signup with them.
  15. tboxx

    Selling the rights to my game/company?

    Do you need the Iphone developer program to work on the game?
  16.     I like your article.  Its an interesting paradox though.  A game without a good idea is worthless and a good idea by itself is worthless.
  17. Will never happen except in the most basic of contractual situations. The reason being is that "honouring the intent" of a contract is extraordinarily open to interpretation on both sides. The legalese is a stylised form of language that has arisen to given specific and unique meanings to terminologies used and how they are used so as to rigidly define the limitations/restraints upon which a contract is formed. Many lawyers do not know themselves how to craft airtight contract which is why there is often so much dispute in the court systems. Your only hope in creating a very simple plain language is that the courts themselves will enable its intent to be honoured over a legal "loophole" dugout by a professional lawyer engaged against you. There are precedents for this which is why plain language is the only recommendation that counts outside of a lawyer....and it still comes down to the reality of the fact that you should be seeing a lawyer. edit: I forgot to mention the other aspect of why sorry. Normal everyday language in any language spoken tends to have a multiple set of interpretations which can depend a number of different factors and is very open to misinterpretation between two or more parties without anyone having realised that they all have a different understanding of what had been said. Legalese can be explained in plain language to an extent. Contracts disputes end up in court for many number of reasons some of which have zero to do with how the agreement was drafted. People use legal forms every day in a ton of industries. You can get model agreements for a will, forming a company, a healthcare proxy etc. The reality of the fact is not everyone can afford to pay an attorney for legal work and want some type of guidence when they decide to do it themselves is it better to have an attorney draft your agreements? Yes, no doubt.
  18.   Not any agreement in writing. The simple rule of thumb is get an appropriately qualified lawyer to do your agreements up. The second simple rule of thumb is if you cannot for some unknowable reason get a lawyer to do this for you. Then get an written agreement between you and the other party.   However just as I would not let a person trained in first aid perform an appendectomy on me, nor would I want someone not trained in the use of legalese to cobble together an agreement in legalese.     If for whatever reason you are going to write up an agreement without utilising a lawyer - then piss off the legalese and write it in the simplest, plainest language you can so that if and when you go to court over a dispute it is less open to issues of interpretation (hopefully) and you are less likely to have somehow sold your body for live experimentation use.   Good point.  I think a few different collaboration agreement templates in plain language that covers all the legal jargon would be a wonderful resource. I am willing to help out with it but it is going to require a group of folks comprised of lawyers and  non lawyers.    
  19. Limited in what way? That the person suing can only recover up to ~$50k (or whatever the limit) owed? Which party is limited?   The first example that comes up in Google:     This act shall be known and may be cited as the Plain Language Consumer Contract Act. ... (b) Exclusions.--This act does not apply to the following:   (1) Real estate conveyance documents and contracts, deeds and mortgages, real estate certificates of title and title insurance contracts.   (2) Consumer contracts involving amounts of more than $50,000.   (3) Marital agreements.   (4) Contracts to buy securities.   (5) Documents used by financial institutions, which financial institutions are subject to examination or other supervision by Federal or State regulatory authorities, or documents used by affiliates, subsidiaries or service corporations of such financial institutions.   (6) Contracts for insurance or insurance policies.   (7) Contracts subject to examination or other supervision by the Pennsylvania  Public Utility Commission or by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.   (8) Commercial leases.        In other words, for this state, plain language contracts are allowed for almost anything you could use a contract for.  You can use plain language agreements for everything except those few items.  If your usage is excluded, a formal legal agreement is required.   You are confusing the point of the statute in PA and what a plain language contract means. That Act, which is states this outside of your quote, requires consumer agreements to be written in plain language unless it falls under one of the exceptions you quoted. The difference is contracts are not required to be written in legal jargon to be effective/enforceable Generally. So this law you cited does not create the ability to have an enforceable plain language agreement because that is the general rule but rather is designed to require companies contracting with consumers to write the agreements so that the consumer can easily understand it. So an agreement in PA for over $50k to a consumer could be written in plain language could be enforceable. $50,000 is not a cap on the enforceability of a consumer contract, it means a company/person contracting with the consumer is no longer required towrite the agreement in plain language and can write the agreement in legal jargon.    
  20.   1) Correct.  An oral agreement is legally binding but weak.  A written agreement is also legally binding and much stronger.  Assuming the group actually succeeds at creating something of value, there is a very high likelyhood that somebody will feel slighted by the money they get.  If it succeeds in any significant way and there is no written agreement, there is a good chance it will go to court.  Even if the money involved is a few hundred dollars, the $20 or whatever your local small claims court requires is such a small barrier that it is easy to sue.  Without a written agreement, a judge will listen to the oral arguments of 'he said - she said', and then likely split the money right down the middle.   2) If you are unable or unwilling to get a proper collaboration agreement written, the next best thing (very distant 'next') is to get a plain-language agreement written.  In plain language describe what you are doing, who will be in charge of the assets when someone leaves, the distribution of funds if it becomes successful, and so on.     3) Yes, you can write your own document.  Even when written in plain language it is legally binding.  The problem with a legal template like the one in the original post can cause problems.  This leads directly to the other reply:     No, it is not better than nothing.  It can actually be WORSE than nothing.   When a document is written in "plain language", basically a combination of emails and other informal writings, that is still legally binding.  The final interpretation is up to a judge.  Because it is written in plain language the judge can consider the intent of the statement.  If it is clear that you intended one thing but actually wrote something slightly different, the judge can interpret it according to intent.   When a document is written in legal jargon, it is also legally binding.  However, the judge is NOT free to interpret it based on plain language intent.  If the document only assigns three rights and does not specifically assign a fourth right, then that fourth right is withheld.  The judge cannot assume it was an oversight, and must proceeded exactly as written.   Many locations will limit the value of plain language agreements to something like $50,000, assuming that if something is of that much value you would have been competent enough to get a lawyer to draft it for you.     If you are not a lawyer and you want to make a written agreement, use plain language to clearly state the intents of the agreement.       When I say something is better than nothing I am implying that a plain lanague agreement would included.  I disagree about stringing together something from emails.
  21.   Out of curiosity and an interest in something I will likely be exploring in the near future, I'm curious about a seeming contradiction on this topic in the forums here.  Specifically, it seems to be the opinion of those in the know that any collaboration at all should have some sort of agreement in writing.  I would even say the impression I get is that any agreement in writing is better than no agreement at all.  Is that fair to say?   In this post, I understand your critique of the document presented just fine.  I am just struggling with how one should proceed if they intend to go forward with some kind of informal, non-commital partnership with someone else.  Sure, I could afford to hire a lawyer for a $150 fee to write something up for me, but at the same time, if I was going to start putting money into my project out of my pocket, I can't say hiring a lawyer to write a collaboration agreement would be near the top of my priorities list.   To summarize, I understand that the legal system is tricky, and protecting one's self, one's project, and one's potential investment in said project are all important.  I just feel like there should be some middle-ground type of agreement between having no arrangement at all, and having a legal professional endorsed document, whereby I could collaborate with someone else without having to seek legal help.  Is this just plain not feasible?   It's feasible, what there seems not to be is  common used standard collaborative forms in this situation.  If there was an indie developer association, they would be a great place to head something up like this.  Just like how real estate forms that are used for purchase and sale agreements for residential property are standardized and  maintained by the real estate association of a given state.  
  22.   Better to have something in writing signed by each party  than nothing or a he said she said situation.  So if it comes down to going with a self drafted Agreement or none due financial constraints, draft an agreement yourself. There are a lot of laws to fill in gaps in an agreement they don't always work but something is better than nothing.
  23. Its pretty crazy that there is not a draft Generic Collaboration Agreement floating out there.  I don't practice IP Law or Entertainment Law but  I could create something pretty generic which would be helpful.   I just need to look into all of the liability issues when you draft legal forms like that.    I would also suggest trial or free versions of  Echosign or Docusign  for electronic signatures. You can email the agreements to people, they sign then you sign. It's digital which puts a little bit of a cloud over the effectiveness of the signature but if you put in a clause digital signatures are valid means of executing the agreement you should be ok.  A basic tenant of contract law is that the method of accepting a contract can be set out by the parties. Also, I don't think a judge would dismiss a case if the defendant admitted that they signed the agreement but their only defense was the fact it was electronic. 
  24.   I think the most likely issue would be publishing something on steam or Unity Store and making a few thousand bucks and having to provide a  SSN number  and bank account and receiving a 1099 from Unity or Valve.    Unlikely would be something epic like Facebook and the legal battles the creator had with his buddies at Harvard.      That sounds like a great suggestion.  It could just say something like in the event the Project generates revenue...... the Parties will create additional terms conditions. (the last part isnt worded well but you get the idea) 
  25. I wouldn't make it relate to just the original contribution.  Do you live in California?  Unless there is a Californian law you like its best to make the law of the state the company/you live in. 
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