It's a vlog eat vlog world: Protecting your IP on YouTube

Tom Lingard, Head of Intellectual Property advise developers on how to best target video-makers in an article published in Develop Online. 

The endorsement of a famous vlogger can be the difference between a game’s success and failure. But should developers look to influence these types of (informal) promotion for fear of losing control of their brand?

Advertising guidelines introduced to promote greater transparency in the vlogging community mean obtaining endorsements is a much more delicate art thank one might think. 

Protecting your intellectual property

Taken as a whole, video games are full of a developer’s intellectual property (IP): from titles and logos (trademarks) to cutscenes and dialogue (copyright). Before a game’s launch, the only access the public has to a game’s IP is through information which the publisher chooses to release. Any pre-launch promotion with websites, vloggers or more traditional media will usually come accompanied with the usual arsenal of non-disclosure agreements and licence agreements, carefully outlining what can be announced and – often more importantly – what can’t. This gives developers a strong degree of control over their IP.

However, post-launch, developers have much less practical control over the use of their IP. Although the end-user licence agreement (EULA) for most games will contain restrictions over the user’s ability to use footage or any other IP for their own purposes, a simple browse through YouTube will quickly demonstrate how little control developers have over their own IP.

To read the article in full, please click here.

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Tom Lingard

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