Since a Supreme Court battle in 2011, games are protected under the 1st Amendment. Politics and video all media is under scrutiny. In a presentation at Casual Connect USA, Brandon Huffman described the journey video games have taken through expression, legally protected speech and where video games are headed. Be sure to check out the full presentation below.
Virtual reality has brought about a plethora of opportunities for hardware manufacturers, advertisers, content providers and many other types of business in the games industry. With these opportunities come legal risks too which is where firms like Harbottle & Lewis can provide specialist advice. Daniel Tozer, a Partner at Harbottle & Lewis, spoke at Casual Connect Europe 2017 on the key questions facing developer’s real-world responsibilities in relation to VR.
Gary D. Nissenbaum is the managing attorney and founding principal of the Nissenbaum Law Group, a commercial law firm with offices in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas. Gary has over thirty years worth of experience in business litigation and transactions. Along with overseeing the firm’s commercial litigation in the State and Federal Courts, Gary also represents clients in substantive areas like Internet law, entertainment law and domestic and international commercial transactions.
“When the internet began to impact our clients in a meaningful way in the mid-to-late 1990s, we saw an opportunity to develop the ability to provide legal advice in this area. We have continued to try to keep up with our clients’ technology law needs, most recently making a full-court press to expand our practice into the area of gaming and apps,” Gary detailed. “There is a tight-knit circle of professionals who work in this area, and hopefully we have joined those ranks. We want to be a firm that clients in the entertainment and gaming industries seek out when they are serious about running their businesses.”
Five Legal Specialties for Game Makers
The Nissenbaum Law Group currently deals with a large amount of work in the area of video games and app development. Gary says this breaks down into five distinct categories.
Chin Hooi Yen, who has been named a leading lawyer in the Asia Pacific Legal 500 and several other publications, is the founder of the Singapore law firm Polaris Law Corporation. Hooi Yen is passionate about working with investors and startups, guiding them through the unfamiliar legal and commercial challenges.
Hooi Yen’s session at Casual Connect Asia offered help in understanding the alien legal territory that startups face, including the legal nature of preference shares, the common terms used in relation to preference shares, as well as their impact on a funding round. Investors will commonly ask for preference share rights. “The rights of the shares are determined and always in control by the company. Be careful and read properly!”, stated Hooi Yen. To arm yourself with more of the knowledge you need to negotiate this area, be sure to watch the full video of this session.
To read more about Chin Hooi Yen see this exclusive article and lecture from Casual Connect Asia 2015.
The landscape of the gaming industry is about to change. Acquirers all across the globe are preparing to participate in this change by scooping up a selection from small studios through leading publishers; two multibillion dollar pieces have already been taken off the board and moves toward the acquisition of a third are now in progress.
What will the new landscape look like? What are the drivers for this change? And how can you position yourself for advantage? These are the questions Paul Gardner explored at Casual Connect Europe 2016. Paul is a partner in the London office of Osborne Clark, Europe’s leading law firm for the entertainment industry and brings twenty years of experience specializing in commercial transactions and regulatory issues related to content licensing and distribution through new media platforms and applications. Paul also advises on regulatory issues surrounding the creation and exploitation of digital entertainment products and services.
Paul believes that the cycle of mergers and acquisitions will reach a crest in 2016-7. As this historic peak approaches, “It is important to step back from the business and think ‘what are we trying to achieve?’” Paul emphasizes. “Often it is valuable to make a conscious decision to go in a particular direction – take hold of your own destiny, right or wrong.” To learn more about this coming shift in the gaming ecosystem, watch Paul’s full session below.
For more about Paul Gardner, see this exclusive article on gamesauce.
With changes in regulation on internet content, personal data protection and online gambling restrictions — and perhaps more importantly, changes in how those regulations are enforced in international cases — it’s more and more complicated to reach Russian audiences with games and other digital media. Dentons Of Counsel Vladislav Arkhipov walked game makers through some practical ways to mitigate risk during his Casual Connect Tel Aviv 2015 lecture. “Russian courts will not easily give up their jurisdiction,” Vladislav said, “and this makes Russian law all of a sudden relevant for anyone who is particularly interested to engage in the Russian market.” See Vladislav’s full session below for ways to steer clear of regulatory trouble in Russian markets.
Polaris Law Corp. Director Chin Hooi Yen dove into the complexities of venture capital and funding a startup during her lecture at Casual Connect Asia 2015. Learn more about cap tables (which list a company’s shareholders, their percentage of ownership and what types of shares they own), securities laws and other fundraising complexities and walk through some numbers based on a “typical” startup in the video below.
Rob Smith examined the intersection of video games and gambling as part of a panel during Casual Connect Europe 2015. “I think there is that one (real-money) game that’s out there that’s very innovative and is just going to blow everything else away, so I’m excited about that coming through,” he says. For more, see a video of the full panel below.
“Free is an incredibly powerful marketing label, as we all know. Long before casual games came along, in fact long before the internet came along, marketers were using this word free and regulators were looking at how they did so”, stated Paul Gardner during his session at the Casual Connect Europe 2015.