Legal Question in Intellectual Property in California

If I created a video game and used a guide (book purchased on to learn how to use the game creation software and then used the story and characters in said guide to create the first 3 levels of the game. Then I added 11 more original levels, more characters and story of my own. Could I legally sell the completed video game? What would I need to do to sell it legally?

Asked on 1/18/17, 1:16 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Bryan Whipple Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law

The first three levels are likely to present a copyright violation. There are two ways around this: (1) change levels 1-3 to use an original story and characters, or (2) contact the copyright holder and see if you can negotiate a license or other form of written permission to use their material and ideas. I can appreciate that using existing story lines and characters could be a good way to entice users into playing your game, but it's very likely to stir up a copyright-infringement action.

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Answered on 1/18/17, 1:40 pm
Keith E. Cooper Keith E. Cooper, Esq.

You would get a precise answer if you took your work to an experienced copyright attorney to review before you contact anyone else. It may or may not be true that you need a license. Unfortunately, if you unnecessarily contact the writer of the book, that may be taken as an admission that you owe them something and could lead to further legal issues.

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Answered on 2/06/17, 1:53 pm

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