Hello, I am in the middle of creating a game that I hope to one day submit via the hosted game label. It is, as per the requirements, in an original universe. I am concerned about my idea being used/appropriated/stolen during the testing process, and am wondering if getting my game copyrighted would be an extreme measure, or a recommended one?
I used to worry about that, but honestly, it’s not that likely to happen. Unlike your idea being stolen and reused by others after publication through piracy, which absolutely will happen on numerous sites. But I still wouldn’t worry about that; it happens, you can’t do much to stop it and there’s not much point stressing about something you cannot change.
Thanks. I guess I’ll save each ‘draft’ onto a USB on the off chance (since those show the last modified dates on files) just on the off chance something happens. Due to the nature of these games, taking up too much space on a usb drive isn’t exactly something to be too concerned about.
It’s not exactly clear what you mean. First, as mentioned, you don’t need to register a copyright; there are certain reasons you might want to, but it won’t hurt you in say a legal case if you don’t. If it’s simple plagiarism, outright lifting of whole blocks of text, that violates copyright with easily verifiable proof.
If you’re worried about someone ripping off your high concept, don’t. There’s no way to prevent or protect against it and no action you can take if it happens, not to mention that you couldn’t prove someone got the idea from you rather than somewhere else or their own ideas anyway. Concepts are not subject to copyright, which is why there’s a million reality TV shows involving singing or other creative contests, with a record deal or contract for the winner. No one cares about unworked ideas; “it’s The Matrix in space with a big fluffy dog” has no value compared to an actual finished project. Anyone who was going to take at least as much time to make anything out of it, and you’ve already got months of head start on it if you’ve started testing. Not to mention how many people there are out there who talk about how awesome what they’re going to do will be, for every one who actually finishes a project.
I should point out this is true in the US, and has been for about a century. But other countries may vary.
Yes, if it’s about proving authorship over time, one thing I do is email files to myself every so often. In my case this is because I often work on my laptop, but those could also be used to establish date and timestamps.
Since there are already a few threads regarding this topic, and they all boil down to what’s been said here (copyright in the US is automatic, and you can’t copyright ideas, concepts, or general plots anyway), I’m going to close this thread.