SCT #11: Legal News Round up with Jas Purewal

This episode of Social Change Technology is a games and tech legal news roundup with solicitor Jas Purewal from law firm Osborne Clark. Jas is better known on the internet as @GamerLaw on twitter and editor of the Gamer Law web site.

In the show we look at three items of recent news: the Infinity Ward case, the state of free to play gaming and the UK courts ordering a number of ISPs to blocking the Pirate Bay website.

The Infinity Ward case involves one of the highest grossing video game franchises of all time, Call of Duty (CoD), currently estimated to have generated revenues in the region of US$3 billion. The case involves an acrimonious split between the developers of CoD, Infinity Ward, and the publishers (in the West), Activation. Allegations also arose in relation to the publisher Electronic Arts and their alleged dealings with Infinity Ward. This, as Jas points out, was a fight between the aristocracy of the video game industry and marks a coming-of-age for the video games industry, as more established industries such as film and television saw similar sorts of dispute as they started to reach maturity.

The question of free-to-play is one that has arisen through a number of news stories relating mainly, but not always, to children spending considerable sums of money on games that are initially free but involve a micropayment-charging mechanism. The question that these news headlines raise, at least with the political classes, is whether this aspect of the industry should come under closer scrutiny and perhaps regulation.

Lastly, Jas talks about the historic court case in the UK where a number of ISPs were obliged to block the Pirate Bay website. While rights holders argue that this is a case of reasonable measure to protect intellectual property, others suggest that it amounts to state censorship of the internet and may open the door to political censorship of online content.

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Jas Purewal
Jas is a commercial and intellectual property lawyer focusing on the interactive entertainment and digital media sectors. He advises clients from large companies to start-ups on a range of matters- in particular contracts negotiation, regulatory compliance and disputes. He also advises on interactive entertainment, social media and general technology matters.

Jas writes regularly regarding developments in interactive entertainment and technology (including on his well respected blog Gamer/Law – and is a regular speaker at interactive entertainment conferences. He is quoted in a range of publications.

Jas qualified as a solicitor at CMS Cameron McKenna in 2005, following which he joined Olswang in 2007 as a disputes and media lawyer. He joined Osborne Clarke in 2011. Source: Osborne Clarke

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The Ethics of ARGs

Podcast music: “For the Horde” kindly provided by 100 Robots.

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