Last year, consumers spent more than $21 billion on the video game industry. The Entertainment Software Association reports that almost 60 percent of Americans – roughly 200 million people – play video games. To put that into perspective, this rivals the number of Americans that saw movies in theaters, and it’s almost double the number that subscribed to cable TV and is about six times the number that subscribed to Netflix in 2013.
Players often create unique content – including characters, items, maps, and movies – based on their favorite games, often integrating that content back into the game itself. Is this player-generated content copyrightable, and if so, who owns it?