August 18th, 2011, 12:04 AM
Royalties to use Racetrack?
We are creating a 3D game for an auto manufacturer which we plan to contain a real world racetrack. The track is public property but the land and operations have been rented to a private company. There is currently legal action against the private company as to the legitimacy of the terms under which this was done so the story is they might be operating it illegally and be kicked out pending further action (according to my interpretation of news reports run through google translate). In short, it's a grey area who to talk to about this and whether we would get a straight and legitimate answer.
We are wondering if there is any law which would apply internationally which would require us to form a licensing agreement with any entity associated with the track. Our local solicitor says he can't understand how this could fall under copyright, patent or trademark law unless there is some local council regulation, but that we should consult a lawyer in the country in question (250 Euros an hour =( ).
The main questions we have are:
1) What laws if any might prevent us from using a hand modeled 3D representation of the road and its surroundings in our game without obtaining any sort of permission or license to do so?
2) Does anyone have experience in this sort of thing? What were your experiences?
3) What would be the closest representation we can use without breaking any rules? (Slightly altered track geometry, change the name a bit etc.)
This is our last hiccup before starting work! Thanks for any advice.
August 18th, 2011, 03:17 PM
Dude, you should ask a legal forum. Good luck with this in a programming forum.
August 18th, 2011, 05:53 PM
Well some of us might actually know a thing or two about intellectual property, I studied it as entertainment law but this really goes beyond basic copyrights or trademarks and I'd agree with the solicitor's assessment. A map itself would be protected by copyright. The name of the racetrack would be protected by trademark. So far as you actually creating a visual rendering of the track that really is one for a professional lawyer.
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