The Game Lawyer Blog

Indie dev publishing agreements – what to watch out for

Are you an indie dev who is thinking about signing an agreement with a publisher? I teamed up with Black Shell Media’s Raghav Mathur recently to discuss some important things to watch out for in these publishing agreements. There are a lot of big pitfalls that could seriously impact your ability to make money from the deal or your control over the IP. The five issues we discuss are: Unreasonable…

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A legal look at Monopoly and “The Monopolists” – a guest post by Jeremy Robins

I consulted on The Monopolists, a book by New York Times journalist Mary Pilon, a couple years ago. The book traces the legal history of the Monopoly board game throughout the last century. Recently, a colleague named Jeremy Robins approached me about the opportunity to write about his legal insights into the book’s subject. I’m excited to post his article here on the Game Lawyer Blog! Here’s Jeremy: The book chronicles the…

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Can you use another game’s card names in your game?

When developing a game, there are a number of small details that you put into it, including the names of cards, powers, weapons, and other items within the game world. Whether it is a video game, mobile app, or tabletop game, there is a fear that using names that exist in other games could lead to legal liability. I was recently asked this question by a reader, and I thought…

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The Game Lawyer at Gen Con 2016 – I’ve been featured as an “Industry Insider”!

Hello readers! I have exciting news – I’ve been accepted into the Gen Con “Industry Insider” program, which makes me a “featured presenter” in a handful of awesome panels. Those particular panels haven’t been revealed yet, but I’ll let you know right here as soon as they are. I’m also appearing on five other non-featured panels, two of which specifically deal with legal issues in the tabletop industry: Publishing Your…

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Court rules in favor of cloned tabletop game – No protection under US copyright law

A final decision has been handed down in the 2-year copyright infringement case involving the card game Bang! and its clone, Legends of the Three Kingdoms. The backstory Back in 2014, the creators of the card game Bang! filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Chinese company Yoka Games and their US distributor, ZiKo Games, LLC. At issue was Yoka’s game Legends of the Three Kingdoms, which Bang! publisher DaVinci Editrice…

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