Legal Intellectual Property(IP) is a term referring to a number of distinct types of creations of themind for which a set of exclusive rights are recognized and thecorresponding fields of law. Intellectual property law grants owners a setof specific rights over their creations be they musical, literary, and artisticworks; discoveries and inventions; and words, phrases, symbols anddesigns for instances if an artist designs a unique character then offers tosell it to a company to use in a new game and the company refuses butproceeds to use the character anyway as long as the artist who originallydesigned the character can prove he was the author he has the right tosue the offending company and claim the rights to the character in court.IP laws are intended to protect both companies and their employees frombeing exploited yet they are also exploited by certain individuals who takeadvantage of those who can’t prove they own the rights to a productbecause they have not registered a dated copy of their design or creationwith the proper authorities.
Copy RightCopy Right is a term referring to the ownership of a piece of literary or artisticexample (for example a book or painting) Copy Right is an automatic rightwhich makes it different from other forms of IP there are no forms to fill orfees to pay but a record of the product to prove the copy right belongs to thecreator. Trade Mark Trademark is a term referring to the ownership a logo, slogan, or phrase representing a brand or product (for example the large yellow M and phrase “im lovin’ it” used by Mc Donalds the main purpose of a Trademark is the distinguish the goods or services between two companies.
PatentA patent is given by the government to the inventor of a new and innovativeproduct. A patent has a limited duration but for the time it is valid thepatent anyone who makes, sells, or uses the invention must have thepermission of the inventor to do so legally. Registered DesignsA Registered Design is the visual appeal of a product and everything from foodpackaging to cars come under the jurisdiction of Registered Design Laws
Ethical ViolenceSince their rise in cultural dominance video games have faced a lot ofcontroversy with adult aspects believed to have negative effects on playersthe most prominent of these is violence with so many games involving violentacts such as killing and fighting many are concerned that games are makinginfluential gamers more violent. A good example is a court case that tookplace several years ago in which teenager stabbed a nurse and whenquestioned afterwards simply stated that he had seen it in a game andwanted to try it. Yet blame cannot solely be placed on the games it is up tothe gamer to understand the difference between a violent act in a game andthe same thing in the real world.
PEGI RatingWith so much controversy in gaming the PEGI (Pan-European Game Information)rating system was developed to give parents an idea of what a game containsand make an informed decision on whether or not to purchase the game fortheir children. EducationGames have long been used to try and educate their users since many of themare of a younger age there is a great possibility of buffing education with brainteasing puzzles and challenges as well as historical games (such as age ofempires) who’s campaigns depict in detail, great historic events.
StereotypingStereotyping occurs often in games often without realisation in military actiongames it takes the form of Asians and Russians being terrorists andwarmongers this may not seem bad when you’re playing but it does give thema very negative cultural image and could possibly induce discrimination andracism game developers often take steps to ensure that no material tosensitive is released and that antagonists in games that may fit a culturalstereotype is emphasised as an individual. Addiction development and addiction has been a factor in games since their early though it is only now being recognised as a real affliction there have long been stories of gamers dying or becoming seriously ill from playing games for extended periods of time.
Contractual Employment contractsAn Employment Contract sets the terms for what the company expects from itsemployees and what the company will do for its employees in return. Contractswill include information such as the employees wage and other benefits,confidentiality about inventions and will often (if not always) include terms wherethe employee agrees not to compete against the company during and for a shortterm after the employment contract has ended.
Development AgreementsWhen Publishers hire Developers to create games they come to aDevelopment Agreement, this will state the terms of the deal such aswhat timeframe the developers have to create the game, how much thepublishers will pay for that game and if the developers will receiveroyalties or not and what the royalty rate it. A good example of a when adevelopment agreement goes sour would be with the company blizzardand the strategy games they originally developed for Warhammer,Blizzard wanted more money for their game than Warhammer would payso Blizzard took their game and changed it so it didn’t break any CopyRight laws and re-released it as Warcraft a strategy game which greatlyovershadowed most Warhammer games in sales and continued to do sofor each sequal, the spinoff “World of Warcraft” is today one of the mostplayed and most profitable games in the world.
License AgreementsWhen movie becomes popular it is not uncommon for gaming companies towant to cash in on the success by making it into a game, in this case thecompany approaches the movie IP owner and make a contract which give thegaming company temporary rights to use assets from the movie in theproduction of a game. The contract will include terms on what is to be licensed(what assets from the movie can and cannot be used or changed) what platformsthe license can be used for (pc, xbox360, ps3, etc.) and how long the contractwill last.
NDA and Confidentiality Agreementan NDA or Confidentiality Agreement (both are very similar so this explanationshould cover both) is an agreement in which one party discloses sensitiveinformation to a second party to ensure security in a business deal in event thateither party breaks the agreement (the first party breaking the business deal orthe second party disclosing the sensitive information to the public) the offendingparty face serious charges in the court of law. Collaboration AgreementsThere are a lot of management problems with indie games with only smallteams and each individual constantly debating their worth with the strongpossibility of the game failing and no money being made at all it becomesnecessary for an agreement to be made deciding who will get what and whathappens if the project falls flat this is where Collaboration Agreements comein they contain information on salary, compensation as well as how the IP forindividual assets is given and what happens if the project is terminated.
Professional Bodies ELSPA the UK’s wider interactive UKIE is the only trade body for (UKIE) entertainment industry the exist to serve the interests of the interactive entertainment industry by providing a positive image of the industry ensure that its members have right economical, political and social backing needed to thrive. They do this by building strong relations with members of parliament and policymakers to ensure the needs of the industry are supported by their local government.
IGDAThe IGDA (International Game Developers Association) is the largestnon profit membership organisationthat works to improve the livesand enhance the careers of game developers. They do this byconnecting developers with their peers and advocating on issuesthat affect the developer community. They promote several corevalues in their organisation such as• Community• Professionalism• Expression• Innovation• Impact• Leadership• Fun
Women In GamesWomen In Games Jobs (WIGJ) is a company that works to recruitmore women into the games industry by promoting role models andgiving encouragement and information to those women seeking towork in the gaming industry . It also works with both new entrantsand women already working in the gaming industry by retrainingthem and providing support making it a more attractive industry inwhich to work.
BAFTA Bafta (The British Academy of Films and Television Arts) is a charity supporting the “art forms of the moving image” (film, television and video games) it does so my promoting them and identifying its most skilled practitioners and rewarding them as well as attempting to inspire and benefit the public. MEFThe Mobile Entertainment Forum is a small project run by a team of 3friends who work to produce reliable and honest information andreviews on mobile gadgets, tools and apps for use by the generalpublic.