The law is a complex beast. Lawyers spend years of study in learning their craft, and yet while the skill set required in understanding the law is highly specialised, everyone is bound by it. This basic reality makes it hard for small independent game developers, who time and time again come up against legal issues in the development of their dream games.
This shouldn’t be how things work. Game developers should be able to get on with making games, and the less the law gets in the way, the better. Unfortunately most Australian game developers do not have access to in-house lawyers.
So it’s a genuinely good thing for the industry that The Arts Law Centre Of Australia has released this comprehensive information sheet: http://www.artslaw.com.au/info-sheets/info-sheet/game-design-and-development/
The information in there will be more than enough to give independent game developers an idea of the legal and regulatory environment that they’re working on. It covers a host of topics, including company structure, IP rights (copyrights, trademarks, patents, and so on), employees and hiring, crowdfunding and financing, music and licensing, and then distribution. Within each of those topics the fact sheet goes into a healthy amount of depth regarding your legal rights and responsibilities as a game developer.
As an overview into game development and the law, this fact sheet is an invaluable resource that indie teams should probably print off and keep copies of for easy reference.
– Matt S.
Find me on Twitter: @digitallydownld