Copyright and Trademark

What is a DMCA takedown?

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) protects technology, devices and/or services that are copyrighted. The act was written to protect IP owners, content hosts and internet service providers. A DMCA takedown is specifically when content is removed from a website or a platform at the request of the owner of the copyright holder. It is, …

What is a DMCA takedown? Read More »

Can I Use the Character From Another Game in My Own Game?

All game devs have a favorite character; one they draw inspiration from. What better way to show props to those who have inspired you than by featuring your favorite character in your new game. A little nudge or nod to other creators to show your respect. But where does admiration cross over to copyright infringement? …

Can I Use the Character From Another Game in My Own Game? Read More »

What is a trademark? And what is fair use of a trademark?

We see trademarks every day. Ones that we recognize, like Coca-Cola, Apple, Exxon, Pepsi and Ford, and ones that may go unnoticed, like the color of a Tiffany’s blue box. A trademark is a word, phrase, slogan, symbol, design, or combination that (1) identifies the good or service and (2) distinguishes source. Trademarks can (but …

What is a trademark? And what is fair use of a trademark? Read More »

Terms of Service and Clarity

Update: 1/26/2019: Unity has updated its terms. Over the past week, the video game world has been closely following the tumultuous relations between Improbable, Unity and Epic Games centering on an interpretation of an update (or clarification) of Unity’s Terms of Service. This case has brought into the spotlight an ordinary and extremely common contract: Terms …

Terms of Service and Clarity Read More »

What is the DMCA?

The main goal of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is to protect technology, devices, and/or services that are copyrighted. It also makes it a criminal act to circumvent access to technology, devices, and/or services even if there isn’t actual infringement on copyright – aka, trying to access something online without permission. At its core, …

What is the DMCA? Read More »

EU Approves Copyright Directive

This month, the European Parliament voted in favor of the Copyright Directive, a piece of legislation intending to update online copyright laws. The apparent goal of the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market is to hold platforms with user content, like YouTube and Facebook, liable for copyright infringement. Or in the video game …

EU Approves Copyright Directive Read More »

The First Amendment and Video Games – Part 3: Protected v. Unprotected Speech

What does the First Amendment Protect? In terms of speech only (the First Amendment protects a lot that isn’t speech), the First Amendment protects “expression.” It does not protect anything that is not expressive. Expression does not have to be words. For example, the Supreme Court has ruled that video games (even if they do not …

The First Amendment and Video Games – Part 3: Protected v. Unprotected Speech Read More »

Valve’s content policy and the First Amendment

Back in May, Valve changed its content policy to crack down on visual novels containing adult content. Just a few weeks later, Valve again changed its policy to allow anything that isn’t “illegal” or “straight-up trolling.” This led many developers and consumers down a rabbit hole of questions surrounding what Valve’s role should be in …

Valve’s content policy and the First Amendment Read More »