Habeas Ludus

Last week we were given a contract by Griffith to sign. Here is my related FAQ:

What’s the problem with this contract?

Firstly, it wasn’t written with game development in mind and is instead targeted to the film students. Secondly, it allows Griffith to modify and distribute our games at will. It also requires us to provide written notfication everytime we want to distribute or publish our work.

This means Griffith could potentially give our game to other students to tinker without our permission, offer our game for free download while we’re trying to sell it on the app store, etc. It also means you will have to notify Griffith for every separate place you want to publish your own work – whether it’s the app store, kongregate or even your own webpage (!).

What’s the easiest way to protect my work?

Don’t sign the contract. Griffith has no right to your work without it.

Why should I sign?

If you sign it, Griffith *may* use your game for publicity, thus giving you a higher profile. They may also enter your work into festivals or competitions, giving you a chance to win stuff without doing anything.

Why should I bother modifying the contract?

It’s a middle-of-the-road solution: it allows Griffith to use screenshots and videos of your game for promotion and allows them to enter the game into competitions, but doesn’t let them do anything else with it. It also negates the need to notify them everytime you want to publish your work.

How do I modify the contract?

1. Print out the following and attatch firmly to the original contract:

1. I grant Griffith the use of screenshots or videos of my work ONLY for teaching/research/academic purposes and/or the promotion of Griffith and Griffith’s promotional material. Griffith may alter or modify the screenshots/videos for the above purposes.
2. Griffith may distribute the game ONLY to festivals or competitions. Griffith may not distribute or publish the game for any other purpose or via any other avenue.
3. I retain the right and freedom to distribute or publish my work without giving notice to Griffith.

In the event of any inconsistency between these and previous clauses the above three clauses will prevail.

2. Sign the contract.

3. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT: Underneath your signature print “Subject to the attatched page and clauses.”

Will Griffith accept the modified contracts?

No idea. But I feel it’s worth trying.

Remember, whether you decide to sign, modify or not sign, you must decide as a team.

Also, I can walk you through modifying the contract or answer questions on Wednesday. Just let me know!