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Should I copyright before offering non-exclusive deals?

  • I got some questions regarding this and other topics.

    Are you suppose to register your intellectual property before presenting it to your client?

    If not then why not?

  • I don't think there is any way to register, unless you want to register a trademark (R), or a patent. What you should do instead is have the clients sign a Non-Disclosure agreement (NDA), if you're presenting something.

    If you're worried about someone stealing your idea, there's not really much you can do, except trying to prove that it was your idea originally, if it comes to that. One way to secure it is to burn a DVD with the source files, and posting it to yourself and keep it unopened. The Date on the Postage stamp can work as some kind of protection.

    If you're talking about Music or Art, Literature or something like that what you can do is to register the song with ASCAP or something similar.

  • And by the way. Copyright is usually an automatic right, so no need to register. Just make sure you can prove that you made it.

    You're never really selling copyright, you can only sell the rights to use your creations. Exclusively or Non-Exclusively.

    The only time you can't really use copyright is when you're hired to do something for a client. Then they usually own the rights, so you can't take what you did for that client and then sell it another client, unless they state that you're free to do so.

  • If you want to promote lets say "my game" and you need to do whatever changes you need to, same as songs, literature etc etc... if you actually copyright it yourself and say it is yours before somebody else do it, then legally you appear as the owner of the material because it will be stated like that.

    Then if somebody wants to sue you or whatever then its time and money consumed by it.

    Now, I guess my real question is:

    What are the right steps and precautions to follow when

    1. You make a game

    2. Present it for a non-exclusive license deal

    3. When you actually give the material to the client

  • You don't just upload something to the internet.

  • And for the record I have my degree in music business. I just wonder if it works the same for video games.

    I believe its the same precautions but that there might be exceptions.

    If I do not get any clear answer to this I will assume that

    1. Whoever knows the answer has not seen my post.

    or 2. None of you actually knows how to work it on the non-exclusive business or the business at all.

    I don't mean to sound hostile. It's just that there is still unanswered doubts regarding this topic and whoever knows don't like telling how it really is to me and/or any of you.

  • I don't think there is any way to register, unless you want to register a trademark (R), or a patent. What you should do instead is have the clients sign a Non-Disclosure agreement (NDA), if you're presenting something.

    If you're worried about someone stealing your idea, there's not really much you can do, except trying to prove that it was your idea originally, if it comes to that. One way to secure it is to burn a DVD with the source files, and posting it to yourself and keep it unopened. The Date on the Postage stamp can work as some kind of protection.

    If you're talking about Music or Art, Literature or something like that what you can do is to register the song with ASCAP or something similar.

    ASCAP, BMI and SESAC are not for copyright registry. They promote the use of your material and collect your part of the deal you made with them wich is probably a 50/50 deal. (This is another topic)

    You register your ownership at somewhere like copyright dot gov < and then you go to any of the three mentioned above if you want to.

  • Nevermind, I just found the information I needed.

  • It's just that there is still unanswered doubts regarding this topic and whoever knows don't like telling how it really is to me and/or any of you.

    Nevermind, I just found the information I needed.

    So, are you going to share that information for others who might search for it in the future?

  • Of course.

    Video Games and the law: Copyright, Trademark and Intellectual Property by New Media Rights

    http://newmediarights.org/guide/legal/Video_Games_law_Copyright_Trademark_Intellectual_Property

  • You register your ownership at somewhere like copyright dot gov < and then you go to any of the three mentioned above if you want to.

    Probably differers from country to country. But from what I read copyright is an automatic right which you don't need to register. At least in Sweden.

    https://www.prv.se/en/copyright/what-may-be-protected/

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  • Of course.

    Video Games and the law: Copyright, Trademark and Intellectual Property by New Media Rights

    http://newmediarights.org/guide/legal/Video_Games_law_Copyright_Trademark_Intellectual_Property

    Thanks for sharing. It's an interesting read for anyone looking into copyright issues.

  • And for the record I have my degree in music business. I just wonder if it works the same for video games.

    Thanks for providing the link about "Video Games and the law"! I learnt a lot from reading it but always wondered about the following and since you also have a degree in music business, maybe you have the answer, so here goes:

    When a game is made backwards compatible or re-released (e.g Xbox 360 games on Xbox One) for a new console, do the game producers have to pay the licence fees for music and perhaps guest character tie-ins again, or is it already covered the first time around when it was first released? I imagine there might be a clause in the contract that states, if the game were to be re-released, these will be the terms in place. Is it covered the first time around or will they have to be renegotiated?

    I am trying to figure out if making a game backwards compatible is an extra financial cost or just pure benefits for the producer. Why does it take longer for some games to be made available as backwards compatible? Is it cause of licences? It's sad to see games like OutRun (Ferrari) and Mickey Mouse: Castle of Illusion disappearing due to expiring licencing issues.

  • I may have misinderstood your question but here's my answer:

    When you say producer

    Producer could be me with some money to pay for whatever product I need.

    Like in a movie. Executive producer is the one that actually owns the money.

    The producer is the one that got the money from the executive. The producer then is in charge of this money.

    The producer's job is to find the right people for the job and make the money for the executive.

    On the music part:

    When you're a music composer and you meet the "music director" remember that the music director works for the producer who does the work to make the executive happy.

    Contract:

    If you offer the music directly to the "client" the "client" (this could mean the misic director or could be anynody) you either make the clause of use or you are offer a deal. It is up to you.

    This could mean them buying the right of your music. Or just paying to use the music in specific ways for specific amount of time or use. Royalties may or may not be included.

    I hope this helps you understand better.

  • Ah, excellent. This was slightly different than what I meant but actually very educational. Will get back to you with more questions later.

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