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Daniel Gary Rosenthal
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Daniel Rosenthal’s Answers

853 total


  • How does a third-party create a variation of an established trading card game (Yu-Gi-Oh!) without getting in trouble?

    I would like to create a deck maker for the trading card game Yu-Gi-Oh! The deck maker will user algorithms and mathematical probability to numerically find card combinations that the average player cannot see because, well, their mind is not a co...

    Daniel’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    It's possible to do the deck maker, but let's slow down for a second because you're throwing a ton of things out here and getting way ahead of yourself before you have a necessarily viable product.
    Generally you need a license to do anything with someone else's IP such as Yu-Gi-Oh! There are ways around this, and often you can get away with certain things with a little assumption of risk that you might get sued, but that also tends to fly out the window once you start talking about commercializing and patenting the end product. Once you throw in things like trading and selling cards, now you're looking beyond software development into a completely different type of business. Have you analyzed yet whether this could even be profitable? Yu-Gi-Oh! is frankly really old hat these days, and doesn't have nearly the audience it did in the 2000's. Now, as far as the deck maker is concerned, a key factor here is that you aren't looking to make a Yu-Gi-Oh game; you're looking to make a program that can analyze a given set of cards for specific combinations of features (ability, cost, etc.) that satisfy a given outcome. Without going into too much detail here, there are design measures you can use to minimize your liability here -- IF you approach development from the right mindset.

    Other things, such as your intention regarding Konami and whether you intend to defame/hurt them is irrelevant. Your intent here is only minimally important to the eventual infringement claim. I'd recommend consulting with an intellectual property/gaming law attorney familiar with the games industry who can help you through this process. It will be expensive. If you're serious about this as a plan, pay a few thousand now to get on adequate legal footing, and save yourself from potentially orders of magnitude greater in damages down the road.

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  • Can I bring action against a video game company for the recovery of in-app purchases if a bug prevents me from playing the game?

    I have spent about $60 on in-app purchases in the game "Hay Day" by Supercell. A recent error occurred that now prevents me from buying of selling items. This is a critical part of the game and is virtually unplayable without this feature. I ha...

    Daniel’s Answer

    No, a class-action is almost never "appropriate" in these situations. First, you likely don't have any legal recourse. Pretty much every game out there with in-app purchases has a terms of service or end user license agreement that dictates how you can resolve disputes like this with the company. Consider also that you do not necessarily have any legally recognized ownership right in any of your in-app purchases. Your expectation for continued access to IAP items is also misplaced. What happens when the game is no longer supported -- are you expecting them to refund everyone's money? Should they have to support the game forever, even after people no longer play it? Of course not, that'd be ridiculous. Furthermore, you're only talking about $60 here. If you're talking about filing a class-action suit over $60, I highly doubt you have any idea how expensive it is to prosecute a lawsuit of any kind, let alone a class-action. Your $60 would buy you approximately 12 minutes of my time at a standard, non-litigation billing rate; and that's an average, industry-standard rate for games industry attorneys. For example, I'd not even consider pursuing a claim against a studio with less than a $10,000 retainer paid up front. Is your $60 IAP worth that much to you?

    In other words, beg on the forums, wait for a patch, or otherwise accept that when you make IAP or other microtransaction purchases in a game, that you are buying only temporary enjoyment.

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  • Protecting an educational game using standard deck of playing cards

    Hi, My son has invented an educational game using deck of playing cards. whats the best way to protect his idea and game instructaions? Thanks Lakshmi

    Daniel’s Answer

    It's incredibly unlikely that your son invented anything patentable using a deck of playing cards, especially in such a way that it would be commercially viable (and thus, not a massive waste of money applying for the patent). Since patents require novelty and nonobviousness, and playing cards have existed for centuries, it's highly unlikely that he has discovered something that is of patentable subject matter.

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  • I am making a game and it has a celebrity face head cut out in the game. Should i be worried for a law-suit?

    I am making a game and it has a celebrity face head cut out in the game on mobile device. Should i be worried for a law-suit?L beacuse his face is in the game, with glasses so it doesnt really show his face, but he is main character. Thank you

    Daniel’s Answer

    It'll of course depend on how you present the celebrity face in the game. There are other risk-assessment factors involved, such as who the celebrity is and how litigious they are, how successful (and visible) you expect the game to be, whether the game contains elements of parody, how recognizable the character is, how exactly you're using the character's image, etc. You'll need to speak with a game industry attorney for more details on this.

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  • We developed a small casual game for a well known Brand name Company. How do we partner or get permission to release it?

    We developed a small casual game for a well known Brand name Company. We'd like to release it ourselves through our Advertisement pipelines (e.t.c) "which is limited". Or partner with the company, utilizing there unique and well established market...

    Daniel’s Answer

    Look, you've got a number of problems here. First, why are you producing a game for a "well known brand name company," without having any partnership in order? This implies either that your game is of questionable quality, or that you guys have no idea legally what you are doing. Do you have a software development agreement? Are you being paid for this? Are you using their trademarks? Are you looking to release on platforms like iOS, or on Steam, or Desura, etc? Do you even know if you have a potentially profitable casual game? What's your expected ARPU? ARPDAU? These are all things you should have thought about well before trying to make a casual game. There are a ton of questions raised here. You really need to speak with not just an attorney, but someone who can help you with your publishing-side needs in the gaming industry. My firm provides both of these services; you can contact us for questions through the "Contact this lawyer" feature on Avvo.

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  • Minor Sexting question.

    Is a picture of a minor on a close up of her in her bra considered child porn. It shows no face just a close up of her bra area. You see no nipple just cleavage. I researched on here for similar questions and a minor said she took a picture of her...

    Daniel’s Answer

    This depends on state laws.

    In any event it's gross, and you should run away as fast as you can from any situation in which a minor is sending you topless photos.

    Don't be a pedophile. Don't be a sex offender. Don't mess with children.

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  • Is an internet contract legally binding?

    I am working with a friend to develop a website. We have already agreed upon the terms verbally, I just want to get his signature on something before we start (today). All of our correspondence has been over Facebook messaging - would this be usab...

    Daniel’s Answer

    1) Facebook messaging is written, not verbal. You could well have a written contract arising from your facebook messaging, if all the necessary terms are in place and there is valid offer, acceptance, and consideration.
    2) The internet does not invalidate contracts.
    3) You're smart to seek something in writing. It always ends badly when working for friends.
    4) "Steals my idea" is a dangerous concept -- generally in intellectual property ideas are not protectable, especially website ideas. Nobody ever got a job in tech by being "the ideas guy".
    5) Many lawyers, such as myself, handle this kind of contract regularly. There are minor formatting and procedural things you have to deal with regarding the actual execution (i.e. signing/counter-signing) of the contract. This can range from simply print/sign/scan/email it back; to using an e-signature process in a .pdf or something.

    Don't choose an online website for this sort of thing. They are terrible values, and will not give you a good quality product. In many cases, they are not even run by attorneys or law firms -- by way of analogy, would you trust some random schlub with barely a high school diploma to give you medical advice, or would you rather see a doctor?

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  • How do I get out of a telephone/internet business contract?

    We are an LLC operating a restaurant and have run out of money so we have had to shut our doors. We have a contract with Comcast for telephone and internet. I called them to cancel and they told me there would be a $3,000 early termination fee. ...

    Daniel’s Answer

    You're a judgment proof defendant. Comcast has no play here, they are just trying to threaten you.

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  • Can I put the picture of worms in pork ribs on facebook or in the media or news paper.

    I am the person who found long white worms in the pork ribs at Miss. casino. I also took pictures of the ribs with worms hanging out. Yuk!!!

    Daniel’s Answer

    Facebook sure; the others are not really in your control. Keep in mind that if this raises a stink for the casino, they can come after you for defamation. Be prepared to defend allegations that you faked the photos.

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