Would You Rather Fight Battles Onscreen Than in Court?
Georgia Geek Lawyers Knowledgeable About Laws That Affect Gamers
The battles that gamers fight onscreen depend on numerous entertainment law frameworks and regulations to protect the work of developers, publishers, and related businesses that makes up the gaming industry.
What is Entertainment Law?
Entertainment law covers a wide range of legal areas, including:
- Intellectual property. Video games are basically collections of intellectual property containing millions of lines of computer code, complicated characters and stories, the likenesses of real-life people, exclusive branding, and trademarks that must be protected.
- Copyright and trademark law. Protecting the investment in the creation of a video game often includes both copyright and trademark law. Copyright law protects video games and their characters, storylines, images, original music, and other creative content in fixed form, while trademark law safeguards the video game title, logo, and its slogan or catchphrase.
- Licensing. Licensing agreements are extremely common in the world of gaming. When a licensee pays a fee to the licensor (the creator), they acquire the right to use a creator’s intellectual property (a character or logo) for a specific purpose for an agreed-upon period. Licensing is used to protect the games as well as the sale of game-related merchandise.
- Advertising. Substantial resources may be dedicated to the promotion of new video games or major updates, and significant amounts of money might be spent on advertising, social media marketing, influencer endorsements, and more. As with other industries, advertising for video games is subject to regulation and other legal requirements, including truth in advertising laws that require advertising claims be accurate and not misleading.
- In-game advertising. Mobile video games designed to be played on a phone or tablet make use of in-game advertising (IGA) to generate revenue. This strategy is common among freemium and free-to-play video games, particularly in those that do not allow in-app purchasing. While IGA can be an effective way to monetize video games, some IGA advertisements may be considered permanent features of the game that may be bound by privacy laws.
- Virtual currencies. Many video games allow the use of virtual “in-game” currencies: those restricted to the game itself and those that may be converted into real currencies. Virtual currencies that have financial impacts outside the game are regulated by law, and it is essential that developers and publishers are aware of the real and potential implications on their business and players. to avoid this designation, game developers should structure their in-game currencies so that they do not have true monetary value.
- Privacy law. Privacy issues are increasing getting the attention of federal and state regulators as well as from the public. Video game developers and publishers can collect a variety of data from their users and players to improve gameplay or for marketing purposes. Not all player information is subject to privacy laws, but it is important to understand which is and what privacy issues can potentially arise. Privacy laws typically cover children’s privacy, biometric data privacy, health information, location data, the right to be forgotten, and the right to know what information is collected and what is being done with that information.
- Data security. All U.S. states have breach notification laws that requires notice if certain types of consumer data are compromised, including social security numbers or other sensitive personal information. Consequently, gaming companies that gather personal information from players must implement measures to protect this data and respond appropriately in the event of a breach.
Contact a Georgia Attorney Who Gets Entertainment Law
If you’re a gamer who needs guidance on entertainment law topics, contact the Geek Lawyer at our Griffin offices at 404-253-5639 or CLICK HERE to send us a message.