Monday, January 16, 2006

Sticky IP wickets

That'd be a clever title if this was about cricket video games and IP, but it's not, it's about Poker IP, so it's not so clever. Read on anyhow.

Wil Wheaton (yeah, the star trek dude) has an interesting article on 'Card Squad' about the trouble brewing over Poker-related IP with the World Poker Tour (WPT).

Seems those that play in the WSP must sign releases that give away all their rights to use their likenesses (in games, books, TV, etc). Not an issue for no-names signing up, but in a market where brand names are developed overnight (e.g. no-name dude plays online, makes enough to qualify for the big tourney, takes home a million), and where those brand names are *very* marketable (books, games, videos, not to mention the money involved in advertising for offshore gambling sites and their on-shore "schools"), it certainly matters.

It'll be interesting to see how this plays out (there, that was a bit more clever) and which side will blink first (oh, again!). There are probably some lessons to be learned from it that will apply to the ever-looming user-created-content-future of gaming that we keep hearing about.

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