Analysis of Judicial Determination Difficulties and Protection Path of Electronic Game Works: A Perspective of Judicial Cases Related to Game Works

[Abstract] The Copyright Law of the People's Republic of China (hereinafter referred to as the "Copyright Law") does not have a legal type of game works, and game works are actually a collection of various kinds of works. Game works are not suitable to be protected as a whole, but should be protected separately for works therein. A game includes game engine and game resources. Game engine is mostly protected by computer software works, while game resources involve works in a scattered and numerous manner, which can be divided into single resources and collection resources. Single resources can constitute art, literary, music works, etc., and collection resources are expressed as animation or dynamic continuous images. For the identification of dynamic images, it depends on the different originality of various game types, such as competitive games and role-playing episodic games. Characteristics of works with continuous dynamic images are similar to those works with a film nature, which means fixability and filming methods are not necessary, and newly revised Copyright Law can protect those works as audiovisual works. When the content of certain game does not constitute a work, anti-unfair competition law can also be applied under some circumstances.

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