Legalities of selling game guides

7 replies
I'm looking to possibly build a strategy guide to sell for a video game and i'd like to know if anyone has any experience in this space?

I see a ton of unofficial guides out there and it seems like nobody ever gets in trouble. Clickbank allows anyone to sell game guides on their network but there seems like there could be major copyright issues. Especially if there are screenshots of the game in the guide.

Does anyone understand the legalities of this situation?

Thanks
#game #guides #legalities #selling
  • Profile picture of the author Linkology
    I have had massive success promoting them but in terms of authoring and the legalities, maybe contact some of the guide providers on Clickbank via their own guide websites and ask a few of them for some insight.
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  • Profile picture of the author Adie
    I think you better ask some gaming forums..
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  • Profile picture of the author ripsnorta2
    If a game publisher took exception to your guide, if it uses screenshots and trademarked terms, they could shut it down pretty quickly.

    In most cases they don't, or at least I havent heard of any.

    Fast leveling, or farming game gold is not in itself against the rules. So the guides are not technically hurting the game. In fact they could be helpful by encouraging players to play longer and maintaining their subscriptions.

    I suspect if your guide encouraged TOS violations such as botting, cheating, or account/gold/item selling the publisher would step in. Those hurt players sometimes causing players to quit.

    Otherwise I suspect they'd see it as a free advert/encouragement to play their game.
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    • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
      Originally Posted by ripsnorta2 View Post

      If a game publisher took exception to your guide, if it uses screenshots and trademarked terms, they could shut it down pretty quickly.
      Trademark protects the identity of a product owner. Unless the guide creates confusion about who is responsible for the guide (eg, claiming it is "official") then that shouldn't be an issue.

      Referring to trademarked terms is not illegal - especially when needed to explain whatever you are explaining. My favorite movies are Star Wars and Iron Man. I did not just infringe upon any trademarks.

      Copyright for screen shots may actually belong to you if you took the screen shots. Copyright law can be surprisingly complex, but often a guide is "transformative" - meaning the original picture from a game is being used for an entirely different purpose (a guide) and thus is not infringing.

      .
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  • We have a side project with a big time MMORPG player. He came to me with a guide he put together. There was one section where he was talking about gaming the system to get free gold (or something like that)
    The company took exception to that big time. I instructed him to take it out and they were just fine afterward.
    Heck free advertising.
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  • Profile picture of the author Beno27
    I've been thinking of doing this recently for a popular sports game, does anyone else have any advice?
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    Actually, copying a picture does NOT convey copyrights, REGARDLESS of reason!!!! There IS the fair use doctrine that says you can copy up to about 10% for teaching or parody, etc... You STILL don't have a picture copyright, but in context, you have a copyright on your work.

    IANAL

    Steve
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