January 29th, 2012, 07:58 PM
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.
February 1st, 2012, 05:00 PM
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?
Originally Posted by fleawhale
People make freeware clones of games all the time
February 9th, 2012, 10:00 AM
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
February 14th, 2012, 11:02 AM
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.
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