Hello I was wondering if it would be legal to remake a game that has been inactive and offline for 4 years. All of their websites are no longer active, and no clear way to contact them. If it isn't, what would be the best way to approach this situation/for me to be able to remake the game?
Copyright includes at least the exclusive rights to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies, to prepare derivative works based on the copyrighted work, and to distribute copies of the copyrighted work to the public by at least sale, and it appears you would be doing one or all of these and you may be liable for copyright infringement; however you should discuss with an intellectual property attorney in a private consultation.
Legal Disclaimer- the information provided herein is not legal advice. Transmission of this information is not intended to create, and receipt by you does not constitute, an attorney / client relationship. Although effort has been made to ensure that the answers are correct, Law Office of Walter Tencza Jr. cannot and does not offer any warranty, express or implied that the answers contained are accurate statements of law. This document is provided for informational purposes only. Viewers must not act upon any information without first seeking advice from a qualified attorney outside the context of this document.
As noted, even if they abandoned all trademark rights to the game for non-use over an extended period, they still have copyright interests in their work that lasts the life of the author plus 70 years or 95 years from the date it was first published.
Before you commit to anything, I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.
DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed with the law firm of Natoli-Legal, LLC on the basis of this posting.
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline