Intellectual Property Thoughts for Geeks, Nerds, Techies, Designers, and Gamers

Just a few thoughts (there are hundreds)…

Do you have contracts with all of the people you are working with? Have you reviewed them for specifics? Contract review seems like a no brainer. Skim, skim, skim, and sign. Making sure you not only have contracts with all involved, but what’s in them is extremely important.

Can source code be protected?... Generally, software patents cover the novel ideas of the software program. Copyrights can protect the source and object codes. Additionally, software art can be copyrighted.

Have you thought about giving out your own non-disclosure agreement? And/or asked the other party to make it mutual? Know what a non-disclosure agreement is, why the other party is having you sign it, and talk about it with the other party.

Do you have an intellectual property contract (that you or the other party made) in addition to your main contract or an intellectual property clause in an existing contract?

Whether you are an employee or independent contractor you want to make sure that you know who will own what you make. Many make things while working for another and end up not owning the rights to it at all. Know that intellectual property contracts and clauses are negotiable. Do not sign anything until you have an attorney review your contract. In many cases there is room for negotiation and contract changes that will benefit you in the long run.

Copyrighting in Digital Media is Rapidly Involving!

The Digital Media Copyright Act (DMCA)’s goal is to minimize/stop online piracy. It sets forth the groundwork for copyright law on the interwebs. It means you will have an easier time taking down any content or links that infringe on your content. While some say it goes too far, most digital media creators (even ones who like to share files) are happy with the law.

What does the World Intellectual Property Organization have to say about video games?

“Due to their complex and cross-cutting nature, video games present a number of questions and challenges in terms of copyright. The current landscape of the legal protection of video games appears extremely complex indeed.  Although Article 2 of the Berne Convention provides a solid basis for eligibility for protection of video games by copyright, they are in fact complex works of authorship, potentially composed of multiple copyrighted works.

Modern video games contain at least two main parts:

  • audiovisual elements (including pictures, video recordings and sounds); and

  • software, which technically manages the audiovisual elements and permits users to interact with the different elements of the game.”

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