Legal pitfalls facing reverse-engineering

Our legal expert looks at what you can do with others' code
Publish date:

We've posted up our monthly legal advice column from entertainment law specialist Sheridans - and this month the firm's Tahir Basheer looks at reverse-engineering of code

Says Basheer: "Twenty years ago, a lone programmer could create a video game. Today 50 to 100 people often isn’t enough, with developers contracting skilled outsiders to work on specialist problems such as network support or rigging animation.

"This adds another layer of complexity to the production of modern video games. Create a game in-house, and it should be protected by the IP obligations in your employment contracts. With an external company – typically requiring in-depth access to your game-in-progress – you’ll need new provisions to ensure IP is protected.

"What if you’re the specialist, contracted to enhance a third-party’s content, and you want to develop a similar product in future? Will you face onerous restrictions? While you’ll certainly need to consult your lawyers to ensure your side of the bargain is adequately protected, there are general principles and laws that cover both parties’ interests."

Click here to read his advice on reverse-engineering.



Gentlemen, Start Your Engines

More and more studios are looking towards licensing existing technology to help them produce their game. But how do you choose which engine, and is it really the panacea it may seem?


Get your head in the game

Our special run of articles looking at powering up your games career starts with a guide for beginners. Do you dream of a move into the games industry, but donâ??t know where to start? We take a look at what you can do right now...