Who Owns the Copyright on Video Game Photography/Art?
Video game photography and art have become increasingly popular over the years, with many gamers and collectors investing heavily in these items. However, there is often confusion about who owns the copyright on these items, and this can lead to disputes and legal issues. In this article, we will explore the ownership of video game photography and art and provide guidance for game art developers.
Ownership of Video Game Photography:
The ownership of video game photography depends on several factors, including the type of photograph, the platform it was taken on, and the game it features. If the photograph is a screenshot of a game, then the copyright typically belongs to the game developer or publisher. However, if the photograph includes elements from a specific game, such as characters or objects, then the ownership may be shared with the game developer and the artist who created those elements.
Ownership of Video Game Art:
Video game art refers to any form of artwork that is specifically created for a video game, including character designs, backgrounds, and concept art. The ownership of video game art typically belongs to the game developer or publisher, as they commissioned the artwork and have the rights to use it in their game. However, if the artwork includes elements from a specific game, then the ownership may be shared with the game developer and the artist who created those elements.
One example of a dispute over video game photography and art ownership is the case of photographer Richard Devine, who took photographs of video game consoles for a book called "The Art of Video Game Consoles." The publisher of the book claimed that they had the right to use the photographs under fair use laws, but the original creators of the consoles, including Nintendo and Sega, sued for copyright infringement. In this case, the ownership of the photographs was ultimately determined by a court, with the publisher losing the case.