I want to port a pc game from the 80s to an iOS game (app). From wikipedia i find that the original creator is deceased and his company does not exist any more. What do i do to find out about copyright, etc. ?
1 Answer from Attorneys
When despite a diligent search for the rightholders having been carried out none of the rightholders in that work is identified or, even if one or more of them is identified, none is located, we speak of an orphan work.
This is a problem. Despite the fact that you are not able to contact the author in order to negotiate a licence, this does not allow you to infringe on copyrights. If you would do this, you would run the risk to be sued for infringement of copyright by the rightful holder, whoever that may be. Perhaps you can settle the case on favourable conditions and perhaps you will end up paying much more than you would have been willing to offer volunarily.