Similar to other areas of multimedia, video game law has a significant focus on copyright and licensing. It's essential that developers understand the importance of having clear and complete paperwork in an effort to prevent legal issues in the future. Consider the following questions:

  • Where did the concept for a game originate? If you took the idea from your favorite comic book or film, you should seek permission before moving forward.
  • Did the person who did voice over work sign a contract making clear that he or she has no ownership interest in the final product? You could get a slew of calls from individuals looking for additional money based on the success of a game or app to which they contributed.
  • Does the person or company providing start-up money to develop your game own a stake in your development company, or are they simply giving you a loan that must be repaid when your profits start rolling in? If you incorrectly assume that you received a loan, you could end up with some unwanted business partners who will not go away easily.
  • Imagine you are at E3, GDC, PAX, or Inidecade, and are presented with a publishing deal. Do you have someone who can help you understand what's in the deal, what revisions you should request, or whether you should sign it?

Don't get stopped in your tracks. Jovan Johnson provides common sense counsel so that you can get it right from the beginning.

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