Tuesday, November 9, 2010

LGJ: Blizzard, Cheating, and Copyright Infringement

This LGJ looks at Blizzard's latest use of copyright infringement to thwart cheaters.

I did want to note, after a few comments about this, that I unfortunately haven't had a chance to play StarCraft II (other than the beta), so I didn't talk specifically about the cheats built into that game. The end is more a big picture analysis of inclusion of cheats, not a condemnation of Blizzard as some have taken it.

Read on!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

LGJ: Are game resales at risk?

This week's LGJ looks at the Vernor v. Autodesk decision and how that may impact not only PC games, but potentially all games on all platforms.

Read on!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

LGJ: Where's my refund?

This week's LGJ talks about DLC, digital distribution, and refunds. It's been a bit of a hot topic with so many downloads impacting the original game or other games.

Read on!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Questions for Me? Come to SGC!

I mentioned a while back that I would be likely back at SGC this July, but I didn't provide many other details. Now that the preliminary schedule is up, I can say with some certainty that I will be back at SGC with a panel on July 3 (Saturday). While this year won't be another epic debate, it should still be a lot of fun. The session will be "The Law and Our Digital Life," and the focus is on you. After all, there are a lot of legal issues facing simple internet dwellers as well as those with aspirations to publish content, whether those be videos or games or other material.

If you're not going to be at SGC this year, don't lose all hope. To make this session as big and diverse as possible, I've also started a thread on the ScrewAttack forums asking for more input on what people want to hear about. My plan is to get through as much of that thread and as many of the audience questions as I can in the time I have. So if you've got a question and can't make it, be sure to head over to the ScrewAttack forums and get the question in the thread.

See you all at SGC!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Speaking at UTD on April 18

This Sunday, April 18, 2010, I will be speaking at the Game Engineering Conference at UT Dallas from 3:30 to about 5 pm. More information can be found here. The topics to be covered will be the iPhone Developer Agreements and a mini-primer on derivative works.

I hope to see some of my readers out at the event.

LGJ: Does PS3 Firmware 3.21 come with a refund?

On this week's LGJ, we talk about the interesting refund issue that has accompanied the PS3's loss of Linux support. Be sure to note, though, this is basically an advertising issue, not a discussion of Sony's EULA.

Read on!

Monday, March 22, 2010

LGJ: Dawn at the Great Pyramid (Scheme)

The latest LGJ looks at how the current referral systems could easily evolve into something that could actually land game companies in hot water: pyramid schemes.

Read on!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Game::Business::Law 2010 Video

I just wanted to take a moment to link to the video of the panel I moderated at Game::Business::Law 2010 back in January.

In unrelated news, GDC10 last week was a great conference, and thanks to anyone who I met there who may be checking out the blog. Some of the discussions I had have given me some great ideas for piecess both on Law of the Game and Joystiq, so look forward to seeing some new articles very soon.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Will Currency Hedges Be Key in the Global Microtransaction Model?

I was chatting with Zack Karlsson and Stephanie O'Malley Deming at Game::Business::Law last evening, and the topic of currency hedging came up. The discussion was certainly interesting, but unfortunately short lived, and I thought it might serve as an interesting point to examine. While hedging has been going on to mitigate risk in the global market for quite some time, the broader question may well be how currency analysis may be the next big step in managing a global micro-transaction model. It may very well already be going on, but among those of us in the discussion, no one was aware of an example of it.

For those not familiar with hedging, there are literally dozens of articles available online to describe the basics, but in short, it's a method to mitigate the risk of a fluctuation of currency values, but can also be a means to make money should good decisions be made on hedges. Similarly, by holding currency and trading it over time without hedging, it may be possible to make more from the transaction than its initial value, which can be compounded if you're accruing interest on the held currency. This is all relatively well known use of currency s an investment.

The reason hedging in particular makes for an interesting proposition for a micro-transaction game is that the lifecycle tends to be longer and that the cash flow can be less predictable than a traditional retail release model. More importantly, these transactions tend to be direct, whereas a game published through Xbox Live Arcade, which may have a long tail through expansions or DLC, may not have the ability or opportunity to hold other currency over time by virtue of the arrangement with Microsoft for global distribution.

The very fact that these discussions are coming up just shows how large and global the industry has become, if there was any remaining doubt. Definitely, there is already complex business modeling and risk structure within the industry, but given the rate of innovation, there may be places where some of these models, as used in other industries, are adopted and applied to these newer business models.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Law of the Game on Twitter

I'm pleased to announce that Law of the Game is now on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LawoftheGame. While I don't expect the feed to be extremely active, it will contain short thoughts from conferences as I attend them and links to the latest Law of the Game and LGJ content, which may be more convenient for some than following via RSS or e-mail subscription.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Speeches Galore in 2010

There are quite a few speaking engagements already lined up throughout 2010. Here's a quick overview if you're hoping to catch up with me at an event this coming year.

Game::Business::Law 2010 - January 27-28, 2010, SMU Law School, Dallas TX
I will be moderating a panel in the afternoon on January 27. More details are available on the conference site as well as on Law of the Game.

Business of Animation Part II: Legal and Financial Advice - January 30, 2010, Collin County Community College, Dallas, TX
I will be on a panel sponsored by A Bunch of Short Guys, a Dallas-based animation guild.

GDC 2010 - March 9-13, 2010, San Francisco, CA
I will be presenting two sessions at the GDC Summits this March, and information on both sessions can be found here.

SGC 2010 - July 2-4, 2010, Dallas, TX
Yes, it sounds like I will be returning to SGC. For those hoping for another big debate, I hope you're not being let down, but this year's session will probably just be me. More details are forthcoming.

International Bar Association Annual Conference - October 3-8, 2010, Vancouver, Canada
I'll be participating on a panel about the nexus between the leisure industry and technology that should be very interesting.

While this year is already looking pretty busy, I'm sure additional events will come up as the year progresses. As I have more information about these and other conferences I'll be speaking at, I'll be sure to post that information on Law of the Game.

LGJ: Nagging Trademark Questions

In the latest LGJ, we look at a few nagging trademark issues in the context of NBA Jam.

Read on!

Monday, January 18, 2010