#1
  1. No Profile Picture
    Registered User
    Devshed Newbie (0 - 499 posts)

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    2
    Rep Power
    0

    Legal advice, please! How to clone an old arcade style game without being sued?


    I am wanting to make a phone app for Android inspired by a NES game released in 1985. What legal considerations should I take to avoid any chance of copyright infringement? I have never made a game before so any legal advice would be appreciated. I will release it as 100% freeware.
  2. #2
  3. Contributing User
    Devshed Newbie (0 - 499 posts)

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    63
    Rep Power
    3
    Originally Posted by fleawhale
    I am wanting to make a phone app for Android inspired by a NES game released in 1985. What legal considerations should I take to avoid any chance of copyright infringement? I have never made a game before so any legal advice would be appreciated. I will release it as 100% freeware.
    I don't know, but it doesn't seem to me that they can sue you if you aren't making any money at all off it?

    People make freeware clones of games all the time
  4. #3
  5. No Profile Picture
    Registered User
    Devshed Newbie (0 - 499 posts)

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    2
    Rep Power
    0
    Most of the abandonware are free to use although you have to check if it is on the abandonware list. If it's freeware i don't think you will have a probleb and you can add a thank you on the credits
  6. #4
  7. Type Cast Exception
    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    OAKLAND CA | Adam's Point (Fairyland)
    Posts
    14,954
    Rep Power
    8617
    Wow, there's quite a bit of misinformation here. Let's clear this up:

    • United states copyright doesn't expire for 95 years.
    • Freeware is still protected by copyright unless it is expressly placed in the public domain.
    • You can be sued even if you are not making money. (In particular there can be significant damages if the company has plans to license the game and your free version depresses the market).
    • Just because other people do it doesn't make it legal.


    The only thing you can really do to avoid infringement is get permission in writing from the copyright owner. For most companies the easiest way to do that is by inquiring if there is a licensing arm of the company and get in contact with them. (This would be the same route you'd take to make merchandise such as Ms. Pac Man lunch boxes)
    Last edited by medialint; February 15th, 2012 at 10:50 AM.
    medialint.com

    Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You. - Dr. Seuss

IMN logo majestic logo threadwatch logo seochat tools logo