Dr Monika A. Górska: articles by this author

Protection of video games: Industrial design, patent, or trade secret?

When the concept for a video game takes shape, and an unprotected idea becomes a protected form of expression, the developer can consider how best to protect the game or elements of the game against copying by competitors. When thinking about legal protection of a video game, it is natural to refer to copyright law. But that is not the only potential source of protection. It is worth examining whether and to what extent elements of the game can be protected through industrial designs, patents, or perhaps trade secrets.

I have an idea for a video game. How can I protect it?

This is one of the most often asked questions. The answer is difficult and equivocal. On one hand, a good idea is half the way to success. On the other hand, ideas are regarded as free and should not be monopolised, but a specific manner or form of expression of an idea can be the subject of copyright protection. However, drawing the line between an unprotected idea and a protected manner of expression is a difficult challenge that depends on the specific factual circumstances. First it must be determined what can be protected in a computer game, and then how these elements can best be protected.

Copyright and game jams, hackathons and competitions

Game jamy, hackathony, konkursy to niektóre z metod na zaktywizowanie i zaangażowanie społeczności gamedevowej (o czym świadczy choćby popularność onlinowego ogólnopolskiego game jamu #zostanwdomurobgry, zorganizowanego przez Fundację Indie Games Polska między 30 marca a 6 kwietnia 2020 r. pod patronatem Ministerstwa Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego oraz Ministerstwa Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego https://www.zostanwdomurobgry.pl/). Organizacja konkursu, jego rozpropagowanie jest relatywnie nieskomplikowane. Korzyści zaś wydają się być obopólne – uczestnicy mają możliwość zaprezentowania swojej twórczości, zaś organizator konkursu ma dostęp do różnorodnych kreatywnych propozycji. Poniżej krótko wskażemy, jakie wzywania prawnoautorskie stawiają takie konkursy.

End of the road for the secondary market in e-books and video games?

In recent months, perhaps more than ever, life has moved online. Some people spend their time reading e-books or playing video games. Can they later resell or exchange such “used” works? A recent ruling by the Court of Justice throws into doubt the secondary trading in digital goods.

Legal aspects of the video game industry

The video game development sector has grown rapidly in recent years. With the spread of smartphones, new business models, and distribution platforms, the market for video games has taken off, becoming a key sector of the creative industry. Its growth stirs the imagination and appetite not only of game producers and publishers, but also of the biggest companies in sectors like IT and film, who are increasingly oriented toward the game market. It is also a promising field for investors, particularly from Asia. The industry’s growth has not even been slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic. To the contrary, the industry has taken advantage of this time to reinforce its position and achieve new growth.

Must car-rental companies pay royalties to collective management organisations?

If a rental car is equipped with a radio, should the rental company pay royalties to a collective rights management organisation? The Court of Justice recently addressed this issue.