Hey guys,
I’ve just contacted Apple Support about Copyright and what I can and can’t do because I enjoyed playing this game on the internet and wanted to make an application based around it. I wanted to know if I was allowed to do this, the women stated she didn’t know anything about Application creation and Copyright and that I should contact my lawyer.
Me being 16, certainly does not have a lawyer and decided that some of you guys that have already published applications into the store would have some knowledge.

Am I allowed to copy/use the same objective/goal/idea and make it my application. I will not be using the same same name or pixels as them, but like I said the same idea.

I contacted them regardless asking if I could make an application off the idea, but I don’t think I need the permission.

As long as you don’t try to submit it to the Apple store, ie keep it private, I’m sure it’s ok to make a copy. But if you submit it, the game makers may choose to sue you if they decide to create their own iOS version. This has happened with a number of flash games already.

The question you have to consider is whether you want the risk of potential worries and legal expenses down the track - or, since you are 16, I guess this is a question for your parents. And I know what their answer would be.

So if you are just practising, no problem ,but it you want to submit a game to the store, I suggest you make it original, at least until you are old enough to take on your own legal battles.

As long as you don’t use any content of the game in your application(i.e graphics,sounds etc)
or the exact same storyline,I think you’re good to go.Add your own polish to your application to make it seems more original.

Copying the general idea of a game is fine and is very unlikely it will get you sued.Many game developers copy the idea of other games,but they add their own creativity to keep it safe

Yeah like there are so many copies of MINECRAFT in the App Store
I don’t think this would be an issue, I won’t use their stuff. Just the general idea.

Ideas aren’t copyrightable. Implementations are. So, you can make all the space shooters you want, but if you make it look and behave too much like Space Invaders (or another existing title) you’re in trouble.

Does that make sense?

I’d say so.
I just don’t want to say the idea beause someone will beat me to it considering this is my first time coding and will need to learn/figure out A L O T

@Speakmore sounds like someone has already beaten you to it (the game you mention in the first post) so wouldn’t worry about anyone stealing it here :slight_smile:

One example of what you are asking is a game called Caveman HD - this started off as a clone of a game called Lemmings (an old 16 bit game not available on the ipad) but the authors ran into copyright issues. They changed the graphics, sounds and levels but kept the underlying game mechanics.

Well the game is on the internet.
I want to make it for the Application Store, which currently isn’t created.

And here is a better example that is basically like my game but different game.

Say they have an online version where you play against real people.
I want to now make Monopoly Online for the App Store, that is allowed right?
I mean it’s general.
I wouldn’t be using their pieces, boards, etc.

On the topic of copyrights, when you want to add an app in iTunes Connect it ask you for copyright information, what do you put? I think it’s your name, but do you have to do anything to get the copyright for it?

I have no idea what you’re talking about ^

I just started coding applications, rather getting into it as I’m not experienced at all.

So I’m unsure of what you’re talking about.

All I really wanted to know is if hey someone else made Monopoly, can I go make Monopoly as well.

Of course my game isn’t monopoly, but it’s a relative example.

@Speakmore I realize that you are new to this like me, and was actually hoping that one of the more experienced members could help answer my question. Since it was same topic I figured I’d just post here rather than start a new post.

Oh I thought you were talking to me
My bad.

You will find that copyright is a lot like DRM. You can get away with a lot as long as the original creator doesn’t notice or doesn’t care. Big companies tend to care more than small companies, and they will tend to send threatening letters and make threats in the hope of scaring you off, because court action is expensive and a nuisance.

So you do take the risk of wasting your time creating a clone, but its impossible to say how big the risk is. However, you can be fairly sure that the more successful your clone is, the more likely they will come after you.

Techdirt has hundreds of articles on copyright, if you want to learn more about it. I think AppAdvice has some posts on game clones and copyright, too.

Regardless of copyright, my advice would be that if you have few skills, you will probably make a crap game, and if I were you, I wouldn’t waste my best game idea while I was learning. I would practice on something else, until I had the skills to make a really good game.

@jakAttack If you’ve formed a company, you can copyright the work in the name of a corporate entity, but the simplest thing to do is to simply copyright it in your own name.

In general folks, don’t sweat a lot over copyright. You won’t lose it by not filling out a form, and all the folklore about sending yourself copies of things, or locking code away in a box is just that: folklore. You have copyright over a creative work the moment you create it, and you won’t lose it unless you explicitly give it away.

When worrying about someone else’s work, the rule is simple enough: just don’t copy. Be original. Change enough of the graphics, sound, and game mechanics that it expresses a fresh idea. Don’t steal characters. Do your own thing.

And as for Monopoly, yeah, you could probably make a Monopoly online, but you better redesign the board, change the name of every property, change the name of the game, and change the design of all the pieces – because those things are all trademarked, and that’s a different story.