Inside of the gaming industry, if you are a game creator or work for one of the big companies, then you’ll probably be familiar with how often copyright and non-disclosure agreements come up. That is – all the time.
If you work for a company, chances are a PR rep will tell you about it and how it works, but if you’re independent, then you can run across some scary issues very quickly if you’re not careful, so follow these four tips to stay on the right side of the law – know how to contact an appropriate lawyer, read about cases in the past that have been resolved, strictly avoid ideas that aren’t your own, and learn how to read and write contracts.
Know How To Contact a Lawyer
If you’re a part of the game creation industry, one of the first things you should do is know how to contact a lawyer. This should be someone who is familiar with copyright law, and may have certain specific expertise in your particular industry. If anything fishy happens in your work timeline, you want this phone number available immediately so you don’t have to figure it out on the fly when time is of the essence.
Read About Cases in the Past
If you read about copyright cases in the past, it will give you a pretty good idea about how they work, how much they cost, and what kind of information is going to put you in the right or in the wrong. Some of the laws don’t even have to make a lot of sense, which is why you should make it a point to understand them before anything goes wrong, as opposed to after, when there’s a good chance you won’t be able to do anything about the outcome.
Avoid Ideas That Aren’t Your Own
If you have an idea completely on your own, run with it. If you see that someone else had a great idea, and that you could use it, but just improve on it a little bit, you should really avoid it. Especially if you’re already working somewhere that people are creating games, and you’ve signed NDC contracts, by making something even vaguely similar, you’re treading on very thin water.
Learn How To Read and Write Contracts
If you learn how to read and write contracts before you sign one, you should be able to steer clear of a lot of the trouble that many people in the gaming industry get into. If it’s a high-profile deal, you may even want a lawyer present. This is when you’re talking about many thousands of dollars on the table one way or another.