California  |  Technology Law

Legal Question

Asked on: 9/08/13, 11:48 am

I want to remake an online video game that no longer exists and distribute it for free. What limitations do I have regarding copyright law?

The game server was shut down and is no longer available, and the game is no longer being sold. I want to remake a light version of it for fans that can no longer play. I don't intend to charge anything or make any money, and I will be doing all the code and art from scratch, nothing taken from the original game.

The game took place in the Star Wars universe, so I'm also concerned about using terms and concepts like lightsabers, the force, jedi, etc. I want the game to mirror the original as closely as possible when it comes to the mechanics and the naming of things, but don't want to break any laws.

Thanks in advance for any help.

1 Answer

Answered on: 9/08/13, 1:18 pm by Bryan Whipple

Anything connected with Star Wars and its associated characters and terminology is either certain or very likely to be covered by copyright, and those copyrights can be assumed to be zealously protected by high-powered law firms. There MIGHT be a way to resurrect an abandoned game without provoking anyone into suit against you, but you can't rely on advice obtained from an on-line service (other than, perhaps "just don't do it!). If you want to do this halfway safely, get an experienced I-P attorney to guide your every step.

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Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law P O Box 318 Tomales, CA 94971-0318

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