A Problem Old as Pong: Video Game Cloning and the Proper Bounds of Video Game Copyrights
29 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2020
Date Written: September 8, 2013
From the earliest days of video games, unscrupulous copycats ripped off the games of others, and the courts struggled to define the boundaries of copyright law as pertains to video games. As technology advances, small independent games are on the rise again, but so are copycats. Courts have had about 30 years to apply the body of copyright law to the medium of video games. However, recent litigation, especially Tetris Holding, LLC v. Xio Interactive, Inc., has sought to jettison some important aspects of copyright law as applied to game-play mechanics. This article analyzes the history of the idea/expression dichotomy as applied to video games and suggests ways that future courts can better draw the boundaries of copyright protection.
Keywords: intellectual property, copyright, video games, idea/expression dichotomy, Tetris
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