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; I enjoy video reviews of games from people like my friend Matt Lees at Videogamer.com; several clients of mine got their big break thanks to Let’s Play videos popularising their games. But to many people the legal status of gaming videos is unclear and getting pretty controversial, too.
Some early gaming videos were taken down; Nintendo said they wouldn’t permit them at all (though they may have changed their mind later); and most recently and infamously, some licensing companies used the YouTube system to issue many IP infringement notices to gaming videos (more on that later). To try to clarify what’s actually happening here, I thought I’d write this legal guide. 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 modchip makers, exacerbated by judicial commentary casting questions on exactly how modchips, and the games they work on, are to be treated legally. Continue reading More on modchips: are they legal in the EU?
Last year I gave a lecture at the Gamer Tech Law conference in Seattle with the rather ambitious title of “Going Global: legal and business issues for international games development and distribution”. As you can imagine, that’s a lot to cover – even in a lecture directed at other lawyers. Anyway, below is the lecture I delivered, in which I talked the audience through international angles on: contracts, IP, distribution structures, consumer protection, advertising, age ratings and privacy. Enjoy! Continue reading An international legal guide to games development and distribution
My colleague Clare Nicholson of Osborne Clarke has put together a great presentation on the UK’s patent box regime – a tax efficient structure for holding patents in the UK. I thought you might find it interesting… Continue reading What you need to know about the UK patent box
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 industry? I don’t think so – not from a purely legal perspective anyway. 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 solicitor at Rouse (as well as a writer of the Art and Artifice art law blog and contributor to the famous IPKat IP law blog) wrote on the Guardian about this development. This is (some of) what she said: Continue reading Small UK IP lawsuits get quicker and cheaper (in theory)
Hi everyone – here we are for another games law update…
Hi everyone – sorry for a delayed May games law update. Blame the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee which gave us a 2 day national holiday here in the UK (maybe it’s disloyal to blame the Queen? Oh well). Here goes: Continue reading Games Law Update: May 2012