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Mere play or authorial creation? Assessing copyright and ownership of in-game player creations (Part 1)

Anthony Michael Catton

Keywords: video games; user-generated content; copyright; originality; player

This article, the first of two parts, assesses the questions of copyright and originality in player made ‘in-game creations’ – player creations which are made incidental to and specifically within the context of playing video games. The article suggests three classifications of in-game creations and respectively discusses the potential protection available under British copyright. It examines whether these creations are capable of satisfying the originality standard required for copyright and it further considers when and why in the case of flexible template games and blank template games in-game creations are capable if not in some cases likely to demonstrate sufficient originality for the purposes of copyright.

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