Category: creative industry

“Dark patterns” targeted by EU institutions

“Dark patterns” used by online platform providers have been controversial for some time, but recently there has been a growing buzz about them, in particular due to actions undertaken by EU and national data protection and consumer protection authorities. (For an overview of cases and decisions by EU and national authorities, see the European Commission’s “Behavioural study on unfair commercial practices in the digital environment: Dark patterns and manipulative personalisation, Final Report,” pp. 61–70.) Primarily, these measures are intended to combat deceptive practices in the digital environment, but also to educate consumers and draw their attention to the most common types of practices.

The harmfulness and prevalence of dark patterns has also been noticed by EU lawmakers, who expressly banned such practices by online platform providers in Art. 25(1) of the Digital Services Act (Regulation (EU) 2022/2065 on a Single Market for Digital Services—DSA). The DSA entered into force on 16 November 2022, but most of the obligations in the regulation will apply from 17 February 2024. Therefore, the application of dark patterns may violate not only data protection laws (especially the General Data Protection Regulation) and consumer protection laws, but also (from February 2024) the Digital Services Act.

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Quest: Listing on the Warsaw Stock Exchange

The game development market in Poland and worldwide is steadily growing, and ambitious companies from the game sector are looking for ways to increase brand recognition and raise funds for new productions. This leads them to consider listing their shares on the stock exchange. So the question is, who can go public, what is to be gained from doing so, and how to go about it?

An IPO—is it right for us?

The basic question is whether a stock market listing is the best option. The answer depends on many factors and can vary depending on the candidate. But it is worth considering what benefits a company can gain by deciding to conduct an initial public offering.

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How to recognise expenditures on production of a computer game in income taxes?

For the costs of developing a computer game to be tax-deductible, they must meet certain criteria. Tax-deductible costs are costs incurred for the purpose of earning revenue from a source of revenue or retaining or securing a source of revenue, except for costs expressly excluded from tax-deductible costs. The method of accounting for these costs depends on whether work on the creation of a new game can be regarded as development work.

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Image crises and the influence of culture and history on video games

There is no single recipe for success in the video game market, but some causes of problems at the distribution stage are clear. In this article, we take a cultural and historical look at the content of games. These aspects may force the producer to introduce changes in such areas as quests or a character’s appearance or “skin.” It is not always enough to meticulously analyse the game content for intellectual property issues. Sometimes it will be better to abandon some content ideas or even create several versions of a game, adapting the content to the market where the game is to be distributed.

Protected symbolism

Some international or national symbols are subject to special protection.

The sign of the Red Cross, familiar to all, is a symbol of humanitarian aid, protected by international law and the national law of many countries. Contrary to general belief, it is not part of the public domain; it cannot be used by anyone in any way. The rules for use of the Red Cross symbol are strictly defined in the Geneva Conventions, and improper use not only violates the law but, above all, distorts the meaning of the sign, deepening the perception that it can be used freely, which detracts from its value.

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Likeness in a computer game: Real deceased people

We have already written about the conditions under which the likeness of real-life people can be used in a game. But what if a game developer wants to use the likeness of a deceased person, or make an avatar look like a deceased person, e.g. a dead celebrity (aka “deleb”) or historical figure? After all, obtaining the person’s consent is impossible. So can the likeness of a dead person be used freely? In this article, we point out what rules a game developer should follow to ensure they are legally on safe ground.

The likeness of natural persons is protected on various grounds. In the Polish legal system, it is protected first of all under the Copyright Act, but also under the Civil Code as a personal rights. What does this mean for video game developers?

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Video games in education

Today, the benefits of using video games in education and training are no longer disputed. Simulation, sports, role-playing and strategy games help to improve eye–hand coordination, concentration and spatial orientation, exercise memory, develop perceptiveness, provoke logical thinking, and train users in making choices and decisions and foreseeing the consequences of their actions. Does this mean that teachers can use them in class without hesitation?

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