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Intellectual Property Protection of Game concept

  • Hello,

    I am new here using Construct 2 and I am currently developing several games. However, I wanted to know if anyone has advice on how protect and copyright my game ideas before I release the games to distribution.

    I am hesitant to publish my games, even for beta testing, until I have some kind of protection for the game ideas.

    I imagine it would be the same as with music, or a screenplay idea.

  • In most countries, this happens automatically - nobody can take your assets without asking for permission.

  • Except this is not respected at all in some countries. China is known for its huge market of blatant rip-offs. You can message and threaten all you want, they won't do anything but make money off your intellectual property.

  • Mipey Sure, this may be true, but the OP was asking about legal protection, not actual protection of game assets.

  • Well, at least let's face it: if have made a game that's been ripped off by anyone, your game is probably really good (e.g. Minecraft, Angry Birds).

    In any case, I don't think you can copyright ideas. What squiddster said is right though, all you have to do is include a .txt file with your game saying "COPYRIGHT" or "DISCLAIMER".

    See: copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-protect.html

  • andreyin I don't know if that's true. Where did you see that you need that text file?

  • andreyin I don't know if that's true. Where did you see that you need that text file?

    I didn't see it anywhere, but I think it's pretty common. Even newer games have an EULA file somewhere, saying what people can and cannot do with their games.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/End-user_license_agreement

  • You can't copyright an idea, but you can copyright the content you create.

    Think of it this way, if you could copyright an idea there wouldn't be any games with a first person view other than what Id Software released. They were the first to create the idea of a first person view. If an idea could be copyrighted they would hold ownership.

    Did you know that Angy Birds is actually a clone of another game. They didn't come up with the original idea.

    jeffwofford.com

  • Yes, Thunder is correct, and this is where copyright law becomes really convoluted. When does inspiration become stealing?

  • In my country, you have to register or patent your game to the government dept dealing with this kind of thing. And luckily all you have to pay for it is around $10 <img src="smileys/smiley17.gif" border="0" align="middle" />

    And yes like Thunder said, even angry bird is not entirely "original" in idea. I played many catapult games like it years before it was even released ^^

  • I don't think anyone here is a lawyer, so for the final answer you'd need to ask one. But AFAIK, at least in the UK, copyright is automatic and you don't even need to write anything in the game saying so nor apply to anyone.

  • Update: Ok, I got some legal advice that seems very good.

    For example: Let's take ANGRY BIRDS.

    Anyone can make "ANGRY KITTENS" or any other clone game, but nobody

    can make another ANGRY BIRDS because

    You can TRADEMARK your game logo and name.

    You can script out your game like a screenplay and file for

    copyright protection on that exact game play sequence of events.

    You can trademark your game characters, like MARIO, or SONIC.

    But, in the end, if you have a GREAT game that becomes popular, you will have clones. You really need to make sure your game is the BEST "BEFORE" you release it.

    Also, I was told that filing for a patent only makes your ideas public before you can get them out to market and, there are ALOT of companies that have the resources to beat you to the market with a clone idea and have the money to advertise and, in effect, YOU become the CLONE of your OWN idea...

    So, my advice is to keep it close to the vest until it KICKS BUTT..

    Then trademark you characters, name, and logo, and get it out to market and make as big a splash as you can right away...

    That's my plan..

    By the way, if there is anyone who would like to collaborate on a new game idea, I need somebody with alot of experience in mobile games to help me get to market quickly..

    I have a non-disclosure agreement to sign first, but, I am willing to split the game 50/50...

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    Interesting video, touches on things here.

  • The basic message here is to look up the rules for your country, and then follow them. That is about it. Get advice from legal folks who know the rules for your region.

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