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Copyright and the Games Industry 94

Posted by Soulskill
from the your-super-mario-toilet-paper-is-probably-illegal dept.
A recent post at the Press Start To Drink blog examined the relationship the games industry has with copyright laws. More so than in some other creative industries, the reactions of game companies to derivative works are widely varied and often unpredictable, ranging anywhere from active support to situations like the Chrono Trigger: Crimson Echoes debacle. Quoting: "... even within the gaming industry, there is a tension between IP holders and fan producers/poachers. Some companies, such as Epic and Square Enix, remain incredibly protective of their Intellectual Property, threatening those that use their creations, even for non-profit, cultural reasons, with legal suits. Other companies, like Valve, seem to, if not embrace, at least tolerate, and perhaps even tacitly encourage this kind of fan engagement with their work. Lessig suggests, 'The opportunity to create and transform becomes weakened in a world in which creation requires permission and creativity must check with a lawyer.' Indeed, the more developers and publishers that take up Valve's position, the more creativity and innovation will emerge out of video game fan communities, already known for their intense fandom and desire to add to, alter, and re-imagine their favorite gaming universes."
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Copyright and the Games Industry

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 04, 2009 @04:48AM (#30321902)

    IP is not a failed idea.

    Yes, it is a failed idea. You childish identification with the ego is unreal. Get the fuck over it.

    The only way to have anything is to share it. What you try to keep to yourself is lost.

  • Epic is not evil (Score:5, Informative)

    by MachDelta (704883) on Friday December 04, 2009 @04:50AM (#30321920)

    The author really should have done more research for this article. Epic games is, typically, not one of the overly protective companies desperately trying to nail down every fan with an idea in the name of Intellectual Property enforcement. The event cited (C&D over a gift doll) was actually done in error and was not sent by Epic themselves but rather their trigger-happy crack legal team. Mark Rein (PR dude) later explained the incident [epicgames.com] as an accident and publicly apologized for it.

    Typically, Epic has been more in stride with Valve in that they actively encourage people to mess with their games in not-for profit ways. They have also released free SDK's and source code for their engines. They've held contests [makesomethingunreal.com] (with cash prizes, noless) in order to cultivate talent and often recruit employees from the community. They've even taken a mod to retail status (Tactical Ops) just like Valve did with Counter Strike. They've also helped to pioneer the feature of community made mods and maps being offered on consoles.

    On the whole, Epic is one of the least "evil" gaming companies on the planet right now. And while they're not immune to making mistakes, I personally don't believe they deserve to be unfairly placed on the wrong side of this particular fence.

  • Re:Epic is not evil (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheThiefMaster (992038) on Friday December 04, 2009 @05:01AM (#30321960)

    One word (well, acronym): UDK [nvidia.com]

    It's essentially Epic releasing all their hard work for FREE for non-commercial use. That at least puts them on par with Valve and their free "Source SDK".

2.4 statute miles of surgical tubing at Yale U. = 1 I.V.League

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