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  • 8.3 Games as Computer Programs
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Lies and Seductions , a single player game about seduction, lies, and betrayal.
Designed under the creative lead of Petri Lankoski at the Aalto University school of Art and Design
Image: Lies and Seduction team .

Video and computer games consist of computer programs, databases and different audiovisual works. The moving image and sound in the games are controlled by computer programs and databases. The different parts of a game, i.e. computer programs, databases and audiovisual works, may be protected by copyright separately [1]. This means that the copyright of a singular part of a game may be infringed upon independent of the other parts. Thus, infringement upon the copyright of a computer program included in a game does not necessarily entail infringement upon any audiovisual work included in the game.

According to the Copyright Act, computer programs are protected by copyright as literary works [2]. In other words, copyright protects primarily the written code of a computer program. Protecting games as computer programs would create a problem for their authors since a protected code can always be rewritten in a different way without infringement of copyright. Thus, another important aspect is to what extent the audiovisual components of a game are protected by copyright and other immaterial rights. The copyright of computer program is discussed in more detail above.

Notes and References

[1] Lai, Stanley (2000): The Copyright Protection of Computer Software in th United Kingdom, Oxford.

[2] Copyright Act