Culpeper, VA asked in Copyright, Gaming and Intellectual Property for New York

Q: So If a company doesn't renew a license deal for a game is it still illegal to pirate the game?

In 2017 Activision didn't renew a licensing deal they had with Marvel so they had to take down all of their Marvel games they had published. So I wanted to know if it would still be illegal to download any of those games through a website even though there is no possible way to get those games anymore.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›

A: Whether a company has renewed a licensing deal or not, it is still illegal to pirate a game. The expiration of a licensing deal, such as the one between Activision and Marvel, affects the company's ability to sell or distribute the game, but it does not affect the copyright status of the game. Copyright law protects the rights of the copyright holder, and unauthorized downloading or distribution of copyrighted material is a violation of these laws.

Just because a game is no longer available for sale does not mean that the copyright has expired or that the game has become public domain. The act of downloading a game from a website without the permission of the copyright holder is considered piracy and is illegal.

If you're interested in a game that's no longer available for sale, it's important to look for legal alternatives. Sometimes games are re-released, or they may be available through legal second-hand channels. Remember, respecting copyright law is important to support the creators and the legal rights of those who produce and distribute digital content.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.