One of my most frequently encountered – and important – jobs as a digital entertainment lawyer is to advise on intellectual property ownership: who owns which bits of this great game/software/artwork/video/audio etc? This comes up so often, and from time to time can cause such controversy in the press, that I thought I might write some quick pointers… Continue reading A practical legal guide to owning your own IP
I just saw an interesting story on Eurogamer: the developer of Darkest Dungeon, a popular new indie game, has hit out at a clearly fake version of its game on the Windows Games Store. The developer is said to have reached out to Microsoft for help. I’m sure they will oblige in due course. I… Continue reading Why DMCA and trademark protection is a no-brainer: the Darkest Dungeon scam
Hotline Miami 2, the forthcoming sequel to the excellent indie game Hotline Miami (note: I wrote that in bold, underline and italics to show how much I mean it), has been denied classification in Australia (another victim of the relatively restrictive local age rating system there). So its developer instead just told Australian fans to pirate the… Continue reading Can you pirate your own video game?
We now have some authoritative clarification about the legal status of modchips in the EU for the first time. As longstanding readers of this blog will know, I’ve been writing about modchips for some time. Here’s a quick recap of the latest position. What are modchips? Essentially, a modchip is a technology which permits you to circumvent restrictions… Continue reading Modchips now legal in the EU (as long as they’re not naughty)
Let’s Play videos, and gaming videos more generally, are awesome. I started playing Minecraft thanks to Seananners’ very early videos about his love of what was then a quirky indie half-finished game just beginning to gather fans; I’ve played many games (and laughed a lot) thanks to the Let’s Play videos of my friends (and clients) at Yogscast;… Continue reading A legal guide to Let’s Play and gaming videos
Are modchips ‘legal’ in the EU? If so, what exactly is their legal status? One would have thought that this question would have been answered long ago but, as I’ve written about previously (see here, here and here for example) there have been setbacks and uncertainties along the way as console manufacturers take action against… Continue reading More on modchips: are they legal in the EU?
Spry Fox and 6Waves have settled their legal dispute over allegations that 6Waves had cloned Spry Fox’s game Triple Town. News of the lawsuit received great attention and no small amount of oppobrium directed at 6Waves. News of the settlement has received similar fanfare. But does this really matter to the wider games or software… Continue reading Spry Fox settles with 6Waves – does it matter?
A long awaited development in UK civil procedure is due to make low value IP infringement claims quicker and cheaper. It is called the small claims track, it will be open for IP infringement cases worth less than £5,000 and it will be heard by the specialist Patents County Court. My friend Rosie Burbidge, a… Continue reading Small UK IP lawsuits get quicker and cheaper (in theory)
The Tetris Company has won a court case against the developer of an iOS Tetris clone – this is a really significant legal development in fighting clones, so I’m quite excited about it. The case is here and is reported on extensively by the 1709 copyright law blog (via Rosie Burbidge – thanks!), which I recommend you read,… Continue reading Tetris wins the first legal victory against clones
My employer, Osborne Clarke, held its biannual Interactive Entertainment Legal Forum (a networking event and training session for inhouse games lawyers from UK and Europe) last month. I spoke about the difficult topic of game cloning, non-literal copying and recent legal developments regarding it. What actually is the law about game cloning in the UK… Continue reading Game cloning: recent legal developments