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Industry Lawyers Establish Video Game Bar Association
Industry Lawyers Establish Video Game Bar Association
February 11, 2011 | By Tom Curtis

February 11, 2011 | By Tom Curtis

A number of attorneys have founded the Video Game Bar Association, which aims to serve as a networking organization for lawyers whose primary practice focuses on the video game industry.

The worldwide organization, which has sent invites to over 100 attorneys in North America and Europe, is the first association of its kind related to the games business.

In order to become a member of the association, individuals must be admitted to practice law, have two years of experience as an attorney for the games industry, and receive recommendations from two existing members of the organization.

The association says members will receive benefits including the opportunities to attend in-person networking sessions and to receive continuing legal education.

"As more and more attorneys look at this growing industry as a significant part of their practices, it's only natural for an organization like this to arise," said Patrick Sweeney, head of Reed Smith's Video Game Practice and a member of the association's board.

Other members of the board include Activision Blizzard's George Rose, THQ's David Anderson, and key members of the Law Offices of David Rosenbaum and Germany-based law firm Osborne Clarke.

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David Valepato
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Finally the only people really making pure profit on the games industry have banded together to expand their ability to further capitalize on the misfortunes of others. I always get so warm and fuzzy when I see a train of the only people who wear suits in this industry coming through the front (or back) door :)

Anton Maslennikov
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The people you criticize also protect our industry from the likes of the recent California legal proceedings. That's a disappointingly narrow way to look at this.

Martain Chandler
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Open dialog between lawyers about best practices in video game law reduces courtroom time. Also, it puts 'em all in one place where gamers that are interested in video game law can keep an eye on 'em.

Cody Scott
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I agree with Anton not only do these people protect the industry it protects the right of a companies IP. I'd much rather see a bar association for game industry lawyers that way I will know if im hiring a guy who knows what they are talking about.

Jason Chen
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I think the questions that we should ask is, "How professional are these attorneys when it comes to the Games"?

Based on what can we trust them to establish Regulations when it comes to "Games design" and their regulation will not kill the creativity of game developers in the future?

Steven Chung
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Lawyers represent a variety of interests: game designers, game players, religious and social organizations, etc. and each will have their opinion on how game design should be regulated. Particularly when it comes to sex and violence.

Bryan Wagstaff
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Most game industry lawyers are great people who try to help the common people navigate the minefields of IP law. In addition to IP law, they help small studios with day-to-day business needs, standard business contracts, and legal agreements, and do their best to minimize risk in this incredibly risky field.

This organization seems to be a good thing. There are several video game lawyers that I'm familiar with who contribute to the community; beyond the traditional business lawyer work they offer free information on forums and web sites and even free private consultations to homebrew people with serious legal concerns. Additional coordination between the groups can help small studios and indie groups to know what is normal for contracts and also what to avoid. Working together they can help provide even more free information to aspiring developers releasing their games online.

Derek Chaiken
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And there are even more of us who use Gamasutra for industry news...