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Op Ed

guardian.co.uk - Clone Wars- is plagiarism killing creativity in the games industry? Thanks Ant via Boing Boing.
While finding out that a rival company has plagiarised your hard work may sting, there is little legal recourse for developers who believe their game idea has been appropriated. The issue is that video games are creative in both visual and aural terms, but also in purely functional terms, and the laws that govern these elements are fundamentally different.

Alex Chapman, a lawyer at Sheridan's specialising in games, says: "Generally speaking there is no copyright in a game mechanic or the functionality of a game (or indeed any other type of software). Copyright will protect the visual appearance of the game to the extent that it is original such as by protecting the graphics, screen layouts and art assets. It will also protect the underlying software code. However, it will not protect the functionality.

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14. Re: Op Ed Dec 27, 2011, 23:43 Sepharo
 
You can patent game mechanics and I don't mean code. The actual rules of games are patentable, such as chess variants.  
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