Copyright & Trademark Questions
The two most common copyright questions here are:
-- Do I need to register a copyright for my game?
-- Can I sue if someone steals my game?
Answers: Registering your copyright is not required, but you must register to file a lawsuit:
1. Copyright is automatically granted when you create your work. Your product IS legally copyrighted, even if it's NOT registered.
And remember this: just because something is free on the net, it may still be copyrighted. Nobody is allowed to use your material, or anyone's material, unless they get the owner's permission.
2. To sue for copyright infringement (in the USA), you must register your copyright first.
2a. If you register AFTER the theft occurs, you can only receive money for actual damages, such as lost sales.
2b. If you registered BEFORE the theft occurred, you may also receive extra money for statutory damages and lawyer's fees.
There's usually no reason to post copyright questions in the forum. For more information, check the links below.
- Facts about registration and lawsuits
- Registration fees (for the US)
- US Copyright Office - Frequently Asked Questions about copyright
- Canadian Copyright Office
- British Copyright Office
- Basic Facts About Trademarks