A case for aligning copyright and the videogame industry


Gaetano Dimita, Yin Harn Lee, Michaela Macdonald

A case for aligning copyright and the videogame industry

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The first global study into copyright infringement and enforcement in the videogame industry reveals the key threats and makes recommendations, explain the report’s authors Gaetano Dimita, Yin Harn Lee and Michaela Macdonald.

Videogames have certain unique characteristics that set them apart from other types of creative works. They are born digital and their inherently interactive nature fosters user engagement and participation to a degree unprecedented in any other type of creative work. 

This, in turn, creates challenges for the videogame industry that are not present (or at least, far less salient) in the other creative industries. In particular, videogames are susceptible to different forms of potential copyright infringement by a range of parties at all the stages of their lifecycle, from the initial creation of a videogame through to its distribution and the granting of access to players and finally to different forms of player interaction. 

In addition, the videogame industry is global in nature, whereas copyright laws and enforcement are territorial. This requires the industry to navigate the copyright laws of multiple jurisdictions and to develop enforcement strategies that are effective across the board.

WIPO, videogames, copyright, cloning, modding, creation, emulators, ROMs, in-game user creations, Global