While doing research I also had to research patent copyright etc. Which all come under intellectual property laws along with other legal subjects. Intellectual property law is a law which gives people protection and prevent their work from being stolen and if stolen it works in a way that the person who stole it is not legally allowed to make profit from it. This is includes copyright, patent and trademarks.
What is a copyright? A copyright gives the creator of an original work exclusive rights to the piece of work but this is usually only for a limited amount of time. This may apply to a wide range of different creative, intellectual artistic forms or “works” but Copyright does not cover the ideas and information themselves but only the form or manner in which they were expressed.
According to the UK copyright service(UKCS) in the UK to copyright your work you can follow 4 steps.
- The first is Ensuring your work is properly marked.
- The second is making sure you Register your work. ( If your work is infringed and your claim to copyright is disputed I.e. in a plagiarism case – where the other party claims the work is theirs, you may need evidence to help prove your claim).
- The third is to Keep or register supporting evidence. (Supporting evidence falls into two categories: Evolution of ideas, This is evidence of the progression of the work. Early drafts, synopsis, rough recordings, sketches, etc. are all evidence that the work progressed over time, rather than being copied from elsewhere. Although it is possible to fake such evidence, it is often time consuming to do so, so it can be fairly good evidence to demonstrate that you created the work from scratch over a period of time. Footprints or watermarking This is normally evidence inserted into finished documents that will identify the author in some way, such as deliberate mistakes, or hidden data that can be read using special applications).
- The last step is Agreement between co-authors this means If your work is a joint venture, be sure you know exactly where you stand, who will own what rights, and what happens when someone leaves.
This information can be found on https://www.copyrightservice.co.uk/protect/
Registered trademarks will usually be shown with the logo TM or ® but If the trademark is not registered in another state for example it would be considered illegal for the property to have it on there.
In context of the racing game a copyright and trademark would cover the story, character, design, franchise name, the coding and logo. this means If I wanted to use another games direct design or story I would need the legal rights and permission to do so. When creating my game I would need to consider how to protect my work from being plagiarised or claimed as someone else’s which could be done simply by making my work is properly marked and has some sort of evidence or proof that I created it on a certain date so that later on I can register it. As copyright and trademark in gaming does not protect the idea of certain games i.e. shooter or in this case racing game anyone can still decide and make another racing game without worrying about copyright.
A patent is different it is a form of rights granted by the government themselves to an inventor, giving him/her the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, offering to sell, and importing an invention for a limited period of time, in exchange for the public disclosure of the invention. A patent will usual protects the owner for 20 year after that it is available for commercial and public distribution unless it is bought again and extended. While a trademark is a recognisable sign, design or expression which differentiates products or services of a particular trader from the similar products or services of other traders.