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Under Copyright it is the author/creator of the artwork that has the copyright to the work. You cannot obtain a copyright by declaration as your guy attempted. In addition if it is your business then the work performed by "employees" of your business is the property of the business/owner of the business. This includes the IP rights of the work completed in support of that employment.
You should the following circular concerning notice at: http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ03.pdf
its not my guy that im worried about, its his friend whos bored. he supposedly has tons of investors and lots of money. im just worried that he can copyright my game from under me and claim ownership. also i should mention that my "business" is not registered or licensed or anything. im just a guy who spent years making a team and a product. does that matter?
I understand, however, if you can prove you created/authored the work investors would be foolish to risk their money. You will need to respond to the "legal letter" and indicate that you own the copyright to the artwork and other creative material. You should start collecting any and all material to establish your creation of the artwork. This includes early renditions of drawings, failed drawings, letters, memos, notes that will establish you as the author/creator.
As far as the game, you may want to start looking at patent protection. Copyright protects printed works of artistic expression.Games, however, have virtually no coverage under US Copyright Law. Per the copyright office: Copyright does not protect the idea for a game, its name or title, or the method or methods for playing it. Nor does copyright protect any idea, system, method, device, or trademark material involved in developing, merchandising, or playing a game. Once a game has been made public, nothing in the copyright law prevents others from developing another game based on similar principles. Copyright protects only the particular manner of an author's expression in literary, artistic, or musical form.Material prepared in connection with a game may be subject to copyright if it contains a sufﬁcient amount of literary or pictorial expression. For example, the text matter describing the rules of the game or the pictorial matter appearing on the game board or container may be registrable.
You should contact a patent attorney and get a provisional patent filed as soon as possible. Patenting the game concept is much more important than the artwork which can be revamped to fulfill the game objective. While you friend is worrying about a copyright you should start protecting the game itself. You can not only patent the game but patent trademarks around aspects of the game that are unique.
thank you for the help sir. the reason i have not patented anything about my game is i just dont have the money. it cost me nearly every dime i had just to sign up for this site. but i felt it was worth it to get some kind of peace of mind on this situation.. i dont know if he DID try to register it on the government website, i spent the last 6 hours scouring it fo r his name and luckly nothing came up.. but i dont know how long it takes to register or show up on the database.
it was my impression that patenting things was seriously expensive. in the thousands of dollars. that may as well be a billion to me.
my situation is some what unique, as far as money goes, thats why i have to do everything on the cheap. i built my game from the ground up with nothing. i understand that copyright only protects a certain thing. the MAIN thing i want to protect is a system of playing on the cards,
the 3 arrows at the top are basically what define this game. the game uses line of sight mechanics to tell which directions the characters can attack. would this fall under patenting or copyrighting? again thank you so much for taking the time to help me with this. i absolutely appreciate it.
The mechanics of a game fall under patent protection. The artistic components of the game graphics, pictures, text may be copyrightable. So for example the card game magic was patented. The method of play is effectively protected by patent The pictures on the cards may have been copyrighted
thanks again. i left you excellent service.
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