[casual_games] game copyright
hal at finitearts.com
Thu Nov 10 12:52:37 EST 2005
It really doesn't matter what we speculate patents & copyrights to mean
-- a lot of this law is settled, it's in the hands of the lawyers, and
it functions pretty smoothly. Copyrights cover the "expression" of an
idea, not the idea itself, offering notice is instant protection, etc.
Patents cover ideas, and must be approved by some regulatory body.
Personally, I think software patents are generally a horrible thought.
Hey, should Brezenham be compensated every time someone draws a line on
a screen? Should _Road Rage_ be forbidden from using arrows? Should
_Serenity_ be forbidden from aping _Star Wars_? Others disagree.
The point is: an argument among bystanders means nothing -- we're
talking about a formal kind of war here that expends cash instead of
bodies. If you patent something, and it bothers someone else, you will
be challenged. If you can't put up the dough to hire an army of
attorneys who know how to fight in court, you will lose.
As far as I know, copyrights are pretty bulletproof, but patents are
another story -- from what I read, it seems that around 50% of patents
that are challenged are overthrown. Either way, the combatants are
licking their monetary wounds. This may seem like a cruel imposition on
us poor software developers, but the huge expenses involved serve to
keep the corporate peace, at least most of the time.
As I'm sure others have already advised: offer copyright notice on all
your published materials, put "tm" or other appropriate service marks on
your trade dress items, and perfect it all later -- with the help of an
attorney who knows what he/she is doing.
Alex Soler wrote:
>>btw, do I think it's "wrong" that big corporations
>>with big moolah have all the advantages in this setup?
>> Hell yeah! But the law is and has never ever been
>>about right or wrong. As long as the law says so
>>people will do what they are allowed under the law.
>>Unless one's willing to pick up guns and fight in the
>>streets I think it's pointless to discuss these types
>>of matters in such moralistic views.
> Here in Europe we still have some "room" for the moralistic debate, since
> software patents EU laws have not been aproved yet, mainly because the big
> opossition that the proposed law is getting from all the people and sectors
> that know a little bit about the issue (and are not Microsoft or HP).
> The European Parlament, elected directly by the citycens, is agains, while
> the European Comision and the European Council, (which represent the
> interests of the european gobernments) are pushing on the same side as the
> big companies (sad, isn't it?)
> But the battle is not over and I asume one day the big ones will also win
> here, so I'm also getting interested in pattent law :-(.
> Also because we live in a global world and US regulations also afect us, at
> least if we wanna sell to US, I sopose.
> Alex Soler
> (here is some news taken from cnet):
> Europe rejects patent proposal
> By Ingrid Marson
> Special to CNET News.com
> Published: July 6, 2005, 6:12 AM PDT
> A government representative said that 648 out of 729 members of the European
> Parliament voted Wednesday to reject the proposal, called the Computer
> Implemented Inventions Directive, which would have widened the extent to
> which software could be patented .
> The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure, or FFII, described the
> decision as a "great victory for those who have campaigned to ensure that
> European innovation and competitiveness is protected from monopolization of
> software functionalities and business methods."
> While many software developers have spoken out against the directive from
> the start, large companies have lobbied in its favor, often via campaign
> groups such as the Business Software Alliance, CompTIA and the Campaign for
> These groups and the companies behind them, such as Microsoft and IBM, have
> put significant money and effort into arguing their cause.
> The future of the directive is currently unclear. It is possible that a
> revised version could be debated in the future. But back in March, Charlie
> McCreevy, a member of the European Commission, said the Commission would not
> resubmit a new directive if the Parliament chose to reject the current
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