Copyright; legal and ethical rights

Regulations & Compliance

Regulations – The Restriction, licenses, and laws applicable to a product or business, imposed by the government.

Compliance – Regulatory compliance is an organisations adherence to laws, regulations, guidelines and specifications relevant to its business. Violations of regulatory compliance regulations often result in legal punishment, including fines.

Intellectual Property Rights

This includes:

  • Characters
  • Storylines
  • Code
  • Designs

All are considered as a commodity.

IP Rights legally protect inventions, Symbols and creative expression and can be bought, traded, given away and licensed.

Copyright Symbol

Copyrights protect an individual’s or group of individual’s original expression of an idea into a tangible medium. Copyrights do not protect the idea or concept, only the actual expression of the idea. For example you cannot copyright your idea for a game until it is expressed in a tangible form, like computer code. Copyright protection exists the moment an author fixes an expression in a tangible medium. This means the moment you save your source code to disk, or you sketch out the artwork for your game character or level art, you automatically have copyright protection without doing anything further. A publisher will often organise a deal with a developer to obtain the copyrights so that they can create derivative products and reproduce the product free and clear. Better known developers will be in a better position to negotiate this and potentially retain the copyrights.


After registration, you can then switch to ®, or continue using TM, as this does not lose you any rights. . There are some countries – the US is one of them – where failure to use R once a mark is registered will lose the trademark owner some of his rights, but this does not apply to the UK.

Trade Mark

Trademarks are identifying symbols, words or devices used to distinguish the trademarked good from other similar goods. The trademark rights prevent other people from using a similar mark, but the rights do not prevent others from making similar goods and selling them under a different trademark. This logo is a trademark that distinguishes the games that Rockstar publishes from other games. Trademarks must be distinctive so they are easily distinguished. Some are stronger than others and are therefore more enforceable. The strengths of the trademark are judged by a range of terms from weakest to strongest.

  • Generic
  • Descriptive
  • Suggestive
  • Arbitrary
  • Fanciful Interactive Computer Games


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