News of the Week; June 19, 2013

1. Apogee Sues Gearbox Over Duke Nukem Forever Deal

2. Beyonce Settles Lawsuit with Game Developer Gate Five:

3. The Truth About Video Games and Gun Violence:

4. George Lucas & Steven Spielberg on the Future of Entertainment:

5. Is EA Seeing the Light on Used Games? It Sure Sounds Like It

6. Microsoft reverses Xbox One online check and used games policies following backlash:

7. I Can’t Stop Playing Candy Crush But That’s a Ridiculous Reason to IPO:

8. Nolan Bushnell Explains Why Kids Who Video Game Are Smarter Than Those Who Don’t:

9. Pixels Floating on the Art World’s Margins:

10. Secret Court Ruling in 2008 Put Technology Companies in Bind:

11. Google Calls U.S. Data Request Disclosures a Step Backward for Users:

12. Apple Executive Defends Pricing in Case on E-Books:

13. Internet Censorship and Control – A collection of peer reviewed papers on the topic of Internet Censorship and Control:

And in the “Oh no…really?” category:

14. Forbes Told Women What to Wear to E3, Users Tell Forbes Where to Go:


2011 Talk to LSUC Symposium on Convergence 3.0

In April 2011, was very honoured to give the keynote at The Law Society of Upper Canada’s Entertainment & Media Law Symposium – “Convergence 3.0: It’s Here and It’s Happening”. The talk on “The Three Faces of Convergence” was an attempt to reconcile digital media legal issues with observations from my broadcast and sports and operational experiences. Thanks to the Law Society of Upper Canada for generously giving permission for video to become public in this way.

Download the PowerPoint Slides

Download the Paper


News of the Week; June 12, 2013

1. Patrice Désilets Sues Ubisoft For $400,000 And Rights To Purchase 1666:

2. Acknowledging Copyright’s Illegitimate Offspring – User-Generated Content and Canadian Copyright Law by Teresa Scassa:

3. How Games Licensing Works on Xbox One:

4. Xbox One, discs, and downloads: Better than feared, worse than hoped:

5. PS4 $399, no used game restrictions:

6. EFF Weighs in on First Sale Doctrine and Used Games

7. Analyst: Publishers Unlikely to Block Used Games, But Might Seek Retail Fee

8. Mattrick addresses Xbox One online concerns:

9. Privacy concerns won’t hurt Xbox One, says Bushnell:

10. Chinese Game 300 Heroes A Mash-Up of Copyrighted Material

11. Investigation into Trendy Entertainment reports mismanagement, sexism:

12. Rhode Island Republicans Call for Investigation Into 38 Studios Deal, Urge a Default on $100 Million Debt

13. New online game turns mild-mannered Vancouver pedestrians into virtual warriors:

14. Video Gamers Really Do See More: Gamers Capture More Information Faster for Visual Decision-Making:

15. Tech Companies Concede to Surveillance Program:

16. Google, Facebook and Microsoft Ask to Reveal U.S. Data Requests:

17. Privacy czar to probe Canadian impact of U.S. data program:


Games as Art & Expression Examined.

In “Games Are Not Coffee Mugs Ep#1” Prof. William K. Ford of John Marshall Law School and an expert panel delve into the history of games and legal decisions which did not and then did recognize the expressive aspects of the medium. For additional context check out Nostalgia Critic’s analysis “Are Video Games Art?” and Paola Antonelli’s stirring tale of “Why I brought Pac-Man to MoMA”.


News of the Week; June 5, 2013

1. Athletes’ rights of publicity trump First Amendment in video game context:

2. The Future of Video Games – A Box and a Cloud:

3. Canadian Video Game Industry Critical Component of New Digital Economy and Source of National Pride; Contributes $2.3 Billion to GDP:

4. Russian Hacker Pirates The Dishwasher, Calls it ‘Justice’

5. Let’s Play crackdown is an attack on game culture:

6. Pre-owned crackdown is a sad excuse for business innovation:

7. Mamma Mia: Nintendo Flexes Copyright Against YouTube Video Game Reviewers:

8. Research: Video Games Make Teens Better Citizens:

9. Were truckloads of ‘E.T.’ Atari cartridges buried in New Mexico? A film crew is about to find out:

10. I Am A Gamer: One Woman’s Push For Change Through Charity Game Jams:

11. When It May Not Pay to Be Famous:

12. Google must obey FBI’s warrantless requests for user data for now, judge rules:

13. Trial on E-Book Price-Fixing Puts Apple in Spotlight:

14. In China, an Empire Built by Aping Apple:


News of the Week; May 29, 2013

1. Atari Seeks Permission to Hold Asset Auctions in July from Bankruptcy Court

2. German commissioner highlights Xbox One privacy concerns:

3. Can the next generation consoles block used games?:

4. Cheating in Online Video Games:

5. Gaming Tax Credits: A Developer’s Guide to Free Money:

6. ESA Releases 2012 Annual Report:

7. The legal status of virtual goods

8. Demcak v. Vo, 2013 BCSC 899 (unlike Ontario, no common law tort in B.C. for invasion of privacy:

9. User Generated Content Under Canadian Copyright Law:

10. Revoking an “implied” software license:

11. Vermont Enacts The Nation’s First Anti-Patent Trolling Law:

12. Teens, Social Media, and Privacy: New Survey Findings from Pew and the Berkman Center:

13. Facing Pressure, Facebook Will Review Efforts to Bar Hate Speech:

14. If You Thought Copyright Was A Mess On Earth, What Does It Look Like In Space?:


UBC CTLT Institute session on “Open Courses, Open Pedagogies”

Had the privilege today of speaking about Video Game Law as an open course at the UBC Centre for Teaching, Learning & Technology’s annual week-long CTLT Institute program. My talk followed presentations from Christina Hendricks, a Senior Instructor who regularly teaches both in Philosophy and in Arts One at UBC, and from Jon Beasley-Murray who teaches in the Department of French, Hispanic, and Italian Studies and in the Arts One program.

The description of the session was:

“The word “open” is increasingly being mentioned in conjunction with teaching and learning. Open education is an effort to eliminate access barriers, such as time and location, and this session will feature multiple instructors who have embraced an open approach in their teaching and learning projects:

* The Arts One Digital project is an open, online extension to the Arts One program that combines History, English, and Philosophy to introduce students to some of the classic texts of the past two millennia of world civilization. The goal of Arts One Digital project is to enable anyone to join this voyage of discovery and critical analysis.
* VideoGameLaw is the course blog for LAW450:Video Game Law and features open course content as well as students, instructors, and industry experts engaging in dialogue and discussion about the legal aspects of the digital media and video game. The goal of LAW450 is to continue scholarship in these areas.

This session will explore their motivations and definitions for what “open” means. In addition to hearing their stories, we will discuss the impact openness had on their pedagogy, student engagement, and use of technology. We will also look at how to determine if these efforts are meeting the instructors goals and improving the student experience.”

Here are my slides and the video of the whole session:

Download the PowerPoint Slides


News of the Week; May 22, 2013

1. Ryan Hart v. Electronic Arts (USCA 3rd) – “NCAA Football” right of publicity opinion filed May 21, 2013:

2. Nintendo targets user YouTube videos:

3. Nintendo’s YouTube Ad-Grab Is Playing With Fire:

4. Virtual and augmented reality: the next big legal controversy for games?:

5. Shady Shadow of the Eternals T&C’s ‘a mistake’

6. Former GTA Producer: Why I’ll Never Work On Violent Games Again:

7. Researchers: Games With Human Opponents Make Players More Aggressive:

8. Nova Scotia new tort of cyberbullying:

9. Blehm v. Jacobs: Can you Infringe the Copyright of a Stick Figure?:

10. Lawmakers Show Concerns About Google’s New Glasses:

11. Google’s business practices to be investigated by Canadian Competition Bureau:

12. Is the Patent System Working or Broken? A Discussion with Four Distinguished Federal Judges – (Event Audio/Video):

13. The Remixing Dilemma: The Trade-off Between Generativity and Originality – Benjamin Mako Hill & Andrés Monroy-Hernández:

14. Resale of digital music: US v EU approach:

15. Apple Avoided Billions in Taxes, Congressional Panel Says:


News of the Week; May 15, 2013

1. EA will no longer pay gun makers for the right to depict weapons in games:

2. ‘Xbox Killer’ Takes Conviction Fight to Florida Supreme Court

3. Research: Frequent Exposure to Violent Games May Have ‘Desensitizing Effect’:

4. Vice President Sees No Legal Hurdles in Enacting Sin Tax on Violent Media

5. Blizzard Donates Money Made from Diablo III Gold Glitch to Children’s Charity

6. Make Your Own Video Game With No Coding Required:

7. Appeals court ruling could be ‘death’ of software patents:

8. The Intellectual Property Implications of Low-Cost 3D Printing by S. Bradshaw, A. Bowyer & P. Haufe:

9. Google, Twitter, Facebook and the new global battle over the future of free speech:

10. Are end-user agreements for tangible products on the horizon?:

11. The state of Internet privacy in 2013: Research roundup:

12. In the not entirely relevant category:

A Theory of Justice, the Musical Imagines Philosopher John Rawls as a Time-Traveling Adventurer

13. And in the could we possibly be more prejudiced and out of date category:

Nintendo of Japan Patches Out Same-Sex Relationships in Tomodachi Collection: New Life


Rutgers Player-Authors Survey One

Prof. Greg Lastowka of Rutgers Law School is conducting a survey on user-generated content practices in video games.  He would greatly appreciate if you could fill out the survey as well as pass it on to others. You will find the survey here:

Greg will be presenting the results of the survey at DiGRA in August and posting them on the Rutgers Player-Authors website at the same time: