LAWS OF VIDEO GAMES & ONLINE VIRTUAL WORLDS
(LAWF-4031) - 2 UNITS
Video Game Law will begin by looking at the video game industry's history, main participants and how they make money. The balance of the course will be divided into two parts. Following this introductory class, the class will spend about half the remaining time looking at the agreements that are most commonly used to define the rights and obligations of the industry participants to one another: publishing agreements, developer agreements and ancillary agreements. The other half of the time it will consider the main legal risks that the industry faces, including liability for infringement, defamation, invasion of privacy rights and similar matters, along with potential defenses to these types of claims. During the course of the class, students will spend time doing real contract drafting and negotiating, as well as some research and memorandum writing. The exam will consist of a combination of a mock contract negotiation and drafting exercise, and substantive legal writing exercise. A background in intellectual property law--particularly copyright law--will be extremely helpful but not essential for those students who are willing to bone up on the area outside of class time.