The copyright laws protect the creators right to decide
over their work, which they have created. Examples of copyright
protected works are books, music, art and games. The Swedish
copyright is regulated in the copyright laws (1960:729).
The copyright gives the creators the right and possibility to make a living of it's creation, similar to a worker like a carpenter or a secretary gets a salary based on their work. If a game developer can't make an earing based on their investments in time and money which have been made into a game it gets difficult to make a living on the work and almost impossible to develop more games.
By respecting the copyright of games you respect and ensure that new games gets created today and in the future.
Copyright and games
The laws of copyright protect games. The creator has the sole right to create copies and make them available for the public. Making available means sales, rental, borrow, download through the Internet etc.
Either the creator keeps and uses the right or license parts of the right to another person, company or party. Example of a transfer of rights is Sony Computer Entertainment Europe who works with Nordisk Film Distribution as the rights owner of Playstation in Sweden.
Dividing the earnings
A common, but wrong, perception is that every single crown ends up in the pocket of rich managers. To give a more fair view of the reality we have broken down the dividing of the earnings for the sale of a single unit. Note that these figures could differ depending on what type of game, platform and company.
300 SEK - 100% - Cost to consumer
60 SEK - 20% - the state, 25% VAT is added on the sale to consumer
69 SEK - 23% - retailers, to cover marketing, stores, inventory and salaries
54 SEK - 18% - distributors, to cover marketing, transport, logistics, offices, inventory and salaries
117 SEK - 39% - the rights owners (developers and publishers), to cover story creation, design, music, voice actors, programming, Q&A, manual, production, localization, license fee for game engines or other rights, offices, inventory and salaries
To create a game takes the skills from hundreds of people,
such as programmers, producers, directors, musicians, technicians,
marketers, publishers and distributors. Piracy harms everyone in
the games industry and in the end the consumers. If a game is not
sold enough due to piracy then the companies of the industry won't
have resources to create new games and pay salaries to their staff.
That's a development that not even the piracy scene wants since
that would mean no more games to copy…
The piracy of games could be divided into two fields, the physical copy on a disc and piracy on the Internet. During the 1990's the most common piracy were physical copies, but now the most common piracy is on the Internet.
The international trade association Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE) calculated that the games industry lost 2.5 billion Euros during 2003 due to piracy.
Piracy on the Internet
It is forbidden to download and share games on the Internet if you don't have the right from the copyright owner. Today's technology has done progresses but also lead the piracy to increase. The laws still apply even though the piracy has moved to the Internet.
The copyright owner seldom gives the right to the public to freely spread their games. There are exceptions called abandonware were the creator don't see any financial potential in an old game and release the game for free. However even though the copyright owner makes the game free it is still protected by the copyright, which means that the game can't be modified in a way that the creator didn't intend it to be from the beginning. You have to have the permission of the copyright owner; an old game can't be copied just because you thought it were free.
Is it illegal to download games from the Internet
without paying for it?
Yes, it's illegal if the game has been made available on the Internet without the copyright owners permission.
Is it illegal to make a game available on the Internet?
Yes, it's illegal to spread the game without the copyright owners permission.
Can I download a game from the Internet for my private purpose?
No, games cannot be copied, not even for private purpose. It's illegal to download games which have been made available on the Internet without the copyright owners permission.
Is illegal to share a game on the Internet to make it available to a friend?
Yes, it's illegal to share a game without the copyright owners permission.
Can I make a back up copy of my purchased game?
No, you can't make a back up of any software unless it's necessary or if the program gives you the opportunity. So far no court have found a back up of game necessary when playing a game.
Share a game you have made yourself
Download a game, which have been made available freely on the Internet with copyright owners permission
Pay and download a game through a service for digital distribution on the Internet
Download a game, which have been made available without the copyright owners permission.
Share games on the Internet
Make back up copies of a game
Games that a pirated and looks like an authentic game are called counterfeits. It's illegal to import counterfeits and sell in Sweden. Counterfeits have decreased while the piracy on the Internet has increased.
Spread imported counterfeits
Try to or plan to import counterfeits