Gaming nights

Tracing copyright owners and asking permission.
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Gaming nights

Post by Colin »

A friend of my is attempting to start a business where he will hold gaming nights in various venues about town every month. It's not likely to yield him thousands upon thousands anytime soon but he is going to charge entry at the door (the initial venue is a local casino.)

What I was concerned about is the use of games and the possible infringement of the publisher's rights.

So, my question is: is it legal to charge entry to a premises like a pub or casino and then provide entertainment of video games without asking permission of the game owners etc? Isn't this just like showing DVD's in your local and charging tickets as if you were a cinema, surely that can't be legal.

To clarify, he currently is making no income and is not an official business, he is just testing the waters. Any advice I can forward on would be greatly appreciated.

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Post by AndyJ »

Hi Colin,

First of all, I have assumed that your friend would only be supplying legitimate purchased games, and not using any copies of games he might have made. If either or both of these are not true then he would almost certainly be infringing the copyright in the games.

But the biggest obstacle he faces is that probably without exception the End User Licensing Agreements (EULAs) which come with all games (except perhaps some freeware which I doubt is relevant here) will forbid this sort of use. Just a very quick look at the EULAs of a few makers reveals the following:
You may not cause or permit the sale or other commercial distribution or commercial exploitation (e.g., by renting, licensing, sublicensing, leasing, disseminating, uploading, downloading, transmitting, whether on a pay-per-play basis or otherwise) of the Product (or any part thereof), without the express prior written consent of an authorised representative of SEGA.
Licensor hereby grants you a nonexclusive, non-transferable, limited, and revocable right and license to use one copy of the Software for your personal, non-commercial use for gameplay on a single Game Platform ..
World of Tanks
5.2 This licence is:

(a) 'non-exclusive' (meaning that we can grant the same and similar licences to other people as well);

(b) 'revocable' (meaning that we can terminate this licence in certain circumstances, which are explained further below);

(c) 'personal' (meaning that you may not use the Game for any commercial purpose);
Bandai Namco
2. LIMITED USE LICENSE. BANDAI NAMCO grants you the non-exclusive, non-transferable, revocable, limited right and license use one copy of the Game solely for your personal use the Hardware. Commercial use of the Game is prohibited.
And finally
NINTENDO hereby grants you a non-exclusive, non-transferable, limited right and license to install and use one (1) copy of the Game Software solely and exclusively for your personal and non-commercial use.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007
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