Posted on Categories creative industry

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?

Continue reading “Likeness in a computer game: Real deceased people”
Posted on Categories creative industry

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?

Continue reading “Video games in education”
Posted on Categories creative industry

Clauses restricting competitive activity in agreements with game developers

A game is only as good as its creators. Therefore, it is in the interest of game development companies to keep their staff happy, so they don’t even think about switching to the competition. In addition, however, it is worth taking preventive measures, e.g. including clauses in contracts preventing the poaching of valuable employees and independent contractors.

Sometimes, regardless of the industry, companies include clauses in contracts preventing actions unfavourable to them. The most common of such clauses ban:

Continue reading “Clauses restricting competitive activity in agreements with game developers”
Posted on Categories creative industry

Game chat crimes: Does the developer have a duty to report them?

Multiplayer gamesare an increasingly important market segment. All kinds of features allowing players to communicate during gameplay, such as voice communication and text chats, largely account for their popularity. While player interaction is desired by players themselves and game developers, it can involve inappropriate and even unlawful player behaviour. What is the provider of an online game to do in such a situation?

A chat in a multiplayergame can even be used to commit a crime. Therefore, providers of online games (in particular developers, but also publishers and distributors) need to be aware of the obligations this may entail. This is important given that a large number of gamers are younger people who may be exposed to criminal activity by other game users.

Continue reading “Game chat crimes: Does the developer have a duty to report them?”
Posted on Categories creative industry

Crunch before the release of a game. What does employment law say?

Nerves, feverish analysis, and refinement of details are typical crunch elements before a video game is released on the market. Crunch, a period of intense work, usually shortly before the launch of a game, involves long working days, nights and weekends in front of a computer, sometimes on tasks the worker has never performed before. Can the employer order the employee to work under such conditions, and must the employee comply?

Continue reading “Crunch before the release of a game. What does employment law say?”