Legal Screen for a Non-Commercial Title

Hello Everyone.

I have a project that is nearing completion and was thinking about legal screens.
You know the screens that pop up before a main menu stating exactly who owns what and what the developers used?

I was just wondering the best way to do this and what if I were to have no main menu?

See my game is non-commercial, and more importantly it’s part of a 48 self-evaluation-development challenge I put myself through (don’t ask), so a main menu wasn’t on my list of priorities.
Is it possibly to just show a legal screen in game?
Either way, what exactly should I say, or is there a template of sorts all the developers use?
Is a legal screen even needed for a non-commercial title? If not then how would you express ownership (can you just put the symbol?)?

Thanks in advance I know this is quite a handful of question. I appreciate any help.

~ Jason

You don’t have to show those, the only reason you would need to is if you’ve got a requirement from some software licensing or if you want to show your company logo.

That’s cool! Thanks.

Just for the sake of knowledge, is there anything specific that needs to be included in the credits or can I just be simple about it (Unreal Engine 4 by Epic Games…just more dressed up)?

~ Jason

There was for UDK, but I couldn’t find anything about having to do that for UE4

Alright, thanks; neither could I, but I remember hearing about it before (UDK-wise) and assumed UE4 had one too.

Easy credits all the way!

I appreciate the help.

~ Jason

Actually there is. See part 12 of the License.

Where this info can be found? Could you provide a link?

There is LICENSE.pdf in the folder that contains source code from the Epic’s repository on GitHub. If you use a binary distribution then I guess this info can be found in the License Agreement you agreed with when you subscribed and installed the engine. Unless source and binary distributions have different licenses.

Here is what the PDF says:

Does it specify where the credits must be placed?

Credits could be anywhere… just wondering if it needs to be a splash screen per se.

No it doesn’t. Personally, I’d put it on the title screen or create a separate “Credits” item in the main menu with all the credits and legal notices. If your game shows credits at the end then you could put it there I guess. I suggest you to contact Epic if you still have any questions.

Cool. I was mainly wondering as I am mostly putting out VR demos right now, which would mean making a separate loading phase (to show a blank area with a floating screen with the splash) if it needed to be a splash screen affair.


Thanks for the responses everyone.

However, this just led me to ask, is it in any way possible to merge a legal/credit screen.
For instance, say my credits weren’t at the end of my game, instead they were in the beginning… would in be possible to have them both on one page/section?

~ Jason

I’m pretty sure it is possible. As I said, the License doesn’t specify where the notices must be placed which means you are free to choose where to put them.

Alright, just two final things:

  1. If you include section 12 of the EULA in your credits, is it necessary to put anything you used from UE4 into your credits, say a mesh from a Epic Game’s project (nothing in the EULA specifically states this).

  2. A bit more off topic, but: is there any official way to state that you as a developer has both a copyright and trademark on your work (other then adding the trademark symbol of course).
    Would adding “[Product Name] is a trademark ™ of [developer name and/or company]” along with “Copyright ([symbol]) 2014”

Thanks guys, and sorry for dragging this on, I just don’t want to mess anything up here.

~ Jason

@Jason Forrester

  1. If the License doesn’t say anything about it then it’s not necessary. If you just want to thank Epic for the assets add an informal line into your credits, even though it is not a requirement.

  2. As far as I know, adding a standard copyright line is enough to claim your authorship. TM is used for things like names and logos. By adding a copyright line you say that you are the author of the work. By adding a TM sign you say that this name or logo is yours and must remain unique, so no one else could use it. TM has no legal significance though, it’s just a warning.

Please keep in mind that I’m just a programmer, not a lawyer, and I may be mistaken in some things. So if this is really important to you I strongly suggest you to ask someone more qualified!