‘Legal traps’ in dev-pub agreements from Developer’s perspective.
Michał Pękała, LL.M., Senior Associate, Head of the Video Games Law Practice at Linklaters Warsaw. Michał is a Polish qualified attorney-at-law, holding an LL.M. (Master of Laws) degree in intellectual property law from the Chicago-Kent College in Law, advising clients with respect to intellectual property, copyright, design rights, trademarks, know-how, license agreements, software rights and issues related to data protection. In particular, Michał specialises in legal advisory for domestic and international clients from interactive entertainment sector, focusing mainly on video game developers and publishers, filmmakers, screenwriters, youtubers, let’s players, etc. He has an extensive experience in legal matters involving negotiation of video game publishing agreements, dev-pub agreements, third party license agreements, licensing ‘big’ IP’s for production of video games, agreements for the use of music in video games, B2B contractor agreements with programmers, graphic designers.
Have you ever heard an expression – “This is a standard clause, no need to dive into this wording.”, “Let’s just sign this contract and move on to interesting stuff!”, “This is our standard agreement, every developer signs it without any questions.” – and wondered whether this is normal practice? If you did, this speech is for you.
We will discuss what clauses and mechanisms used in dev-pub agreements are of great importance from perspective of a developer. We will focus on aspects like ‘Who will own the game after publishing?’, ‘Who (and how) will make the ports of the game?’, ‘What is the revenue share between developer and publisher and how is it calculated?’, ‘How to structure milestones in development agreement?’, and many more.The dev-pub agreement is the single most important document concluded by any developer with a potential publisher. During our meeting, we will also pinpoint what aspects of any dev-pub agreement should be brought to your particular attention, which may create risks for your company, and which should (or should not) be negotiable.