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darshie76 Jan 5 @ 6:55pm
Generic question: how long the sub last, and can you integrate 3rd party code?
I am curious to know basically which are the limitations here, for GL.

The fee is honest, and even more honest, is that the game stays in your hands, so nobody takes it away with the excuse of the "work for hire" and such (if you ever work for a sw company, you will see what it means to loose any right on whatever you invent, while you work for them).

I am interested in particular about the lenght of the sub: does it expire? Do you have a specific time to put something on your account, or it stays on forever, independently if you are done with your game or not?

Also, is there a restriction about 3rd party code? Like if I use a library or a DLL which is public ?(non free software, since free software has the limitation that anything you make with that code, can only be free software and not paid software). Credits are obviously a must, but I was not able to find an answer looking at the pages here.

Also last thing: does GL protects the IP of the subs? Like, if I present here a game with a rolling ball that has to avoid IRS agents (forgive me for the whimsical example, it is purely to have an example), and someone grab the same idea and release a game which is a clone of mine (but better? LOL), do I have any protection from GL, legally speaking, or it is a free for all thing....like if I would promote my indie game on my personal website?

If I have a producer and publisher, the company cover me legally; is the same once that I get into GL?

Thanks a lot!
Showing 1-12 of 12 comments
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Qon Jan 5 @ 7:05pm 
I don't understand your question or what you mean by sub, fee, "game stays in your hands" and so on...

But you qan't use DLL's at all if it's going up on steam, from what I've read. For sequrity purposes. The source was the GameMaker manual.

I would not expeqt Valve to aid you in any way about legal matters whatsoever until you've been greenlit and released on Steam.
Last edited by Qon; Jan 5 @ 7:05pm
darshie76 Jan 5 @ 7:34pm 
Ok, let me clarify:

1) if I pay the 100 dollars for the Greenlight subscription, does it expire? Do I need to renew everyt X years? Not sure about you, but I am on my own; with occasional contractors that help me out, so I can't finish a project in few months for sure.

2) If I use a specific library or code, that is given away for free on Internet; in my game, do I have any restriction about the use of it, other than mention the author in the credits?

Some companies and publishers do not allow you to use anything that you didn't write, to avoid legal complications (like in the case of the guy that grab source from free software under GNU license, and implement it in his paid application, which is not under GNU license). Does Greenlight allow the use of any code, compatibly with the license that accompany the code?

GameMaker has nothing to do with this; I write c++ code in Visual studio; at most I may use UDK for the 3d rendering and other features; but mostly it is done in the old fashion way of writing code :)

3) Do I get any kind of legal coverage, once that I pay the subscription and start posting my game ideas, concepts and prototypes here on Greenlight? Like I would do when under a publisher/distributor? Or am I on my own, regarding protection of my ideas and prototype?

If I need to get a copyright and a trademark for my software, I need to know it before starting to post things, obviously.

BTW do you have an issue with the keyboard, Qon?? the q->c replacement it is quite strange, if it is not done on purpose.

Hope it is clearer now :)
bvguthrie Jan 5 @ 9:10pm 
1) The $100 fee is not a subscription, just a one-time fee that allows you to post projects on Greenlight.
2-3) You seem to be thinking Greenlight is your publisher. It is not. Valve has no interest in publishing your game; they just want to sell it. You will publish your game, with all the legal requirements that entails, and Valve will list it on the store if it gets enough votes from Steam users.
AusSkiller Jan 5 @ 9:54pm 
At the moment Greenlight submissions do not expire, you submit and the Greenlight page for your game will be on Greenlight forever. However I don't think Greenlight can keep going like that, there are hundreds of games that have no chance of being greenlit even after being on Greenlight for over a year and I'd hope that Valve start removing such games that have been consistently doing poorly over a long period of time, but that's just my opinion, the official stance last time I checked is that they are there forever (though I doubt it's legally binding and they can probably change it if they want).

You should be able to use any libraries and DLLs you need for your game as long as you comply with all the licensing agreements for them, it is a matter you will need to check for each of the various licenses for whatever 3rd party libraries you use and you need to comply with them completely, Greenlight doesn't give you any kind of exemption. Be aware that some licenses will conflict with releasing on Steam, for instance I've heard releasing on Steam requires you to keep your code private for security reasons so any license that requires you to openly release the source code for your game would conflict with that preventing you from legally releasing on Steam. Just make sure you read all the licenses thoroughly and you should really hire a lawyer to double check your requirements, though that probably isn't as necessary until after you get greenlit and know exactly what the agreements with Valve to release on Steam entail.

As far as legal coverage goes hire a lawyer, NEVER rely on anyone else to give you legal advice, and even if they are a lawyer you need to hire them for their advice to really be reliable. That said I can offer some info on roughly what to expect legally, as I understand it most artistic works (which I believe includes games) are automatically covered by copyright, so people can't just steal the work you've done, however that's about as far as protection goes, I don't think Valve offer much extra as there isn't much extra you can protect against. Your ideas can fairly easily be stolen and it can be very difficult if not impossible to prove they were stolen so it's usually just not bothered with unless you have a couple million dollars spare to throw around. Take a look at all the Mario clones out there, Nintendo can't really do anything about them as long as they don't use the copyrighted materials from Mario (art assets, sounds, music and I think even characters) so don't expect to be able to protect your ideas. But ideas are worthless anyway so I wouldn't worry about that, I doubt anyone would be interested in them either since everyone already has at least a few game ideas they'd think are better and would prefer to make, what matters is the actual work you've done and that should be protected by copyright. As far as enforcing copyright I believe that is up to you to do, I don't think Valve help with that directly. In short treat Greenlight as if it were any other public forum where you are advertising your game and it's hard to go wrong.
Gorlom[Swe] Jan 5 @ 11:19pm 
Originally posted by darshie76:
Ok, let me clarify:

1) if I pay the 100 dollars for the Greenlight subscription, does it expire? Do I need to renew everyt X years? Not sure about you, but I am on my own; with occasional contractors that help me out, so I can't finish a project in few months for sure.
No. I think it's required to submit a game in cojunction to those $100 though. But after that you have a greenlight dev account and can submit as many games as you want without paying anything more. (assuming your account doesnt get banned or something)

2) If I use a specific library or code, that is given away for free on Internet; in my game, do I have any restriction about the use of it, other than mention the author in the credits?
All agreements must be honoured. Vavle will not tell you what you may or may not use as long as it is ok with whoever made it. If you are likely to get sued because you are violating a copyright your item will be removed.

Some companies and publishers do not allow you to use anything that you didn't write, to avoid legal complications (like in the case of the guy that grab source from free software under GNU license, and implement it in his paid application, which is not under GNU license). Does Greenlight allow the use of any code, compatibly with the license that accompany the code?
As far as I know yes, but if you use assets that are widley known on the internet to not be yours your game will look cheap and be less likely to pass through greenlight.


3) Do I get any kind of legal coverage, once that I pay the subscription and start posting my game ideas, concepts and prototypes here on Greenlight? Like I would do when under a publisher/distributor? Or am I on my own, regarding protection of my ideas and prototype?
I think you'd have to ask your own lawyer, but I doubt you get any protection. You don't get anything from Valve at least.


If I need to get a copyright and a trademark for my software, I need to know it before starting to post things, obviously.
I was under the impression copyright was fairly automatic. Trademark should probably be aquired if you feel you need it.

BTW do you have an issue with the keyboard, Qon?? the q->c replacement it is quite strange, if it is not done on purpose.

Hope it is clearer now :)
He does not have a problem with his keyboard. he has demonstrated that he can type c's in the middle of words and such. It's just a qharming quirk of his. :D

PS: AusSkillers post is probably more helpful :)
Last edited by Gorlom[Swe]; Jan 5 @ 11:22pm
Qon Jan 6 @ 1:19am 
I didn't assume that you were using GameMaker, but if GameMaker games qan't have DLL's then I'm assuming that it qould be a blanket rule for all games. GameMaker dll's are written in any language qapable of qreating them, like C++, and they run exaqtly like them.



I replace c if it is pronounced as k and not s or similar. Sometimes I use less or more Q to keep the Q ratio high/low enough for the sentence to be readable and have enouqh Q in it to serve my quest for world domination. Yeah sometimes g beqomes q also if needed, beqause of letter similarity.
Anyone who finds awesome qan join me! You don't have to apply anywhere, it's qompletely free in all meanings of the word and you don't have to follow the same replacement rules as I do. Just use the letter more q:

Originally posted by AusSkiller:
Be aware that some licenses will conflict with releasing on Steam, for instance I've heard releasing on Steam requires you to keep your code private for security reasons so any license that requires you to openly release the source code for your game would conflict with that preventing you from legally releasing on Steam.
Any source on this? I find it really strange that Valve would disallow open source games. Qlosed source is not sequrity, it's the opposite...
C0untzer0 Jan 6 @ 3:05am 
If he qontinues, he'll ruin everybody's sqrabble sqores, y'know...
Skoardy Jan 6 @ 5:07am 
Of the typing affectations kids eventually grow out of, I think I prefer the capitalisation thing over the 'q' thing. Starting every word with a capital letter is quite childish but still less annoying.
AusSkiller Jan 6 @ 7:15am 
Originally posted by Qon:
Originally posted by AusSkiller:
Be aware that some licenses will conflict with releasing on Steam, for instance I've heard releasing on Steam requires you to keep your code private for security reasons so any license that requires you to openly release the source code for your game would conflict with that preventing you from legally releasing on Steam.
Any source on this? I find it really strange that Valve would disallow open source games. Qlosed source is not sequrity, it's the opposite...
I read it in an article roughly a year ago, I think it may have been about some linux people complaining about Steam not allowing open source because linux people adore their open source software (and rightly so TBH), but it was a while ago and I'm not sure how accurate it is so don't take it as fact. It would make sense for Valve to not allow it though as reverse engineering their DRM would be made very simple if you could just compile an unprotected executable and compare it to the DRM protected one, but as I said I'm not sure it's accurate, it just served as a good example of the sort of thing to look out for in the license agreements.
Qon Jan 6 @ 8:07am 
(not holding you responsible for the accuracy of the information, just disqussing)
Originally posted by AusSkiller:
Originally posted by Qon:
Any source on this? I find it really strange that Valve would disallow open source games. Qlosed source is not sequrity, it's the opposite...
I read it in an article roughly a year ago, I think it may have been about some linux people complaining about Steam not allowing open source because linux people adore their open source software (and rightly so TBH), but it was a while ago and I'm not sure how accurate it is so don't take it as fact.
Now that Valve soon releases their open source steambox it seems like it is in opposite direqtion of that path. So qould be wrong or outdated.

Originally posted by AusSkiller:
. It would make sense for Valve to not allow it though as reverse engineering their DRM would be made very simple if you could just compile an unprotected executable and compare it to the DRM protected one, but as I said I'm not sure it's accurate, it just served as a good example of the sort of thing to look out for in the license agreements.
Why deqompile if you have the source? Then you qan just qompile it and you have a DRM free version.
Doesn't Steam add Digital Restriqtion Management on top of the exequtable binaries instead of being a part of the Steam API?
I heard, in another disqussion here, that some games on Steam don't have DRM. The files are exequtable without the steam qlient and qan be moved freely.

Originally posted by Skoardy:
Of the typing affectations kids eventually grow out of, I think I prefer the capitalisation thing over the 'q' thing. Starting every word with a capital letter is quite childish but still less annoying.
I get both love and hate for my superior spelling. Some like it and some don't. Just like the message my words qarry. No point in quitting :]
Last edited by Qon; Jan 6 @ 8:11am
Skoardy Jan 6 @ 8:53am 
Don't tend to bother reading most of your replies as the affectation gets tiresome and in the way of anything you're actually trying to say.
Last edited by Skoardy; Jan 6 @ 9:06am
AusSkiller Jan 6 @ 11:22am 
Originally posted by Qon:
Why deqompile if you have the source? Then you qan just qompile it and you have a DRM free version.
Because if you reverse engineer the DRM for one game it makes it a LOT easier to break it for all other games using the same protection reguardless of if you have the source code for those ones or not, and many publishers would be rather unhappy about that.

Originally posted by Qon:
Doesn't Steam add Digital Restriqtion Management on top of the exequtable binaries instead of being a part of the Steam API?
TBH I'm not sure, though any half decent DRM protection will have several layers of protection so it's more than likely both.

Originally posted by Qon:
I heard, in another disqussion here, that some games on Steam don't have DRM. The files are exequtable without the steam qlient and qan be moved freely.
That's true, most of them are flash games which are unable to have the DRM added to the code, and certainly if all open source games were just not allowed to use the DRM (which is probably going to be what the developers of an open source game would want anyway) then the issue would likely be minimal. I'm mostly just guessing though I haven't thoroughly investigated exactly how Steam's DRM works, and most of the information I have read is pretty out of date.
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Date Posted: Jan 5 @ 6:55pm
Posts: 12