This would normally fly on account of the usual defense to come from cloned game creators--"that it copied only non-expressive, functional elements of the original game," according to Sunstein Law member Jack C. Schecter. But not this time. The New Jersey court respected that, while the actual functions and rules of Tetris are not protected by copyright, the way in which the game expresses those ideas is, in fact, protected. However, the "underlying idea of Tetris should be distinguished from the game's protectable expression."
This court ruling could, and probably will, inform future decisions made by judges presiding over copyright infringement suits in the games industry. The countless cases reported earlier this year of copycatting could very well be revisited, which means big time developers--ahem, Zynga--better have stellar legal teams.
Are you excited about this news? What do you think this could mean for big time social and casual game makers? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.