Beata will first give a very brief introduction to copyright – which is the key right most developers would rely on to protect their game.
Then, will look at three areas developers should keep in mind to ensure they retain ownership in, and protect, their game:
(1) Games created in the course of employment
Cautioning developers with regards to working on their game during office hours / using employer’s equipment and resources, as there is a risk that the employer will be, legally, considered the owner of the new game.
(2) Games created with friends / commissioning parts of the game
When developers ask or commission a friend or another person/company to create parts of the game for them, the friend/person/company will be regarded as the legal owner of the part or joint owner of the game. For this reason, it is important to always specify, in writing, who the owner should be and, where a friend or person commission later leaves/cannot be found, the developer can show to future buyers/publishers that it owns all the rights in the game.
(3) Protecting game against third parties – in particular game cloning
Finally, Beata will consider how developers can protect their game against those wishing to copy it. What parts of the game can and what cannot be protected by copyright, as well as what other IP rights (trademark, trade secrets, patents) can be used to protect the game.