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Same title and subject

Posted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:36 am
by chamberzezz

I'm new to this if I'm honest I have no idea what I'm doing but I'll just go for it.

Basically need advise on a small subject. A group of friends and I are currently in the process of making an independent computer game. We've been slugging it out for over a year now. During that time was also gave the game a title.

But, only yesterday it was brought to our attention that an author will be releasing a book with the same name and much to our dismay, the same genre. Zombies.

As far as I know, the setting is different, characters and plot.... To be honest if there was any similarities then that would be spooky.

So, my question is this. Will we need to change the name? It's kind of stuck with us so it will be a pain to change it (our little baby) ... But if we have to, then we'll have no choice.

Many thanks

Posted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:53 am
by AndyJ
Hi chamberzezz,
Based on your account there should be no problem here. First of all you created your game and choose its title completely independently of the book and that is a complete defence under copyright law (known as independent creation). The author of the book would have to prove you had had prior access to his manuscript in order for you to copy any aspect of it.
Secondly, titles of books are generally regarded as too short to attract copyright.
And whether or not your game includes any features found in the book, the author would have to show that a substantial part of his work had been copied, which, given the generic nature of zombie fiction, would only relate to something utterly novel which he had included in the book that could not to be found elsewhere within the genre. Given the plethora of books, TV programs, films, graphic novels etc featuring zombies, I don't think you need have any worries.

Posted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:00 am
by chamberzezz
Thank you for your reply Andyj. Really appreciate it. It's put my mind at rest.

I guess the only thing now is if we want our game to have the same name. But we do like it :)

Thanks again.