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It's hard to tell what I mean in just one sentence. For example: If I would create a mobile JnR-App, with Super Mario Textures, Nintendo can sue me. But now, for another example let's take "Gravity Guy" by Miniclip. There is no mobile app for the current operating systems, last time it has been updated 6 years ago and now you can't play it on newer phones. But you still can play the game at their Website for free.

Now what if I create an Application, that uses a web-browser engine to "stream" the game, so you can play it. The website gets cut off, only the game is visible. Could Miniclip sue me for that?

I don't talk about other things like a name for the app. If I would call it "Gravity Guy", they can sue me, I mean the specific scenario "The app connects to Miniclip and opens the game in fullscreen, so I can play it". While connecting and opening, the user only sees a Loading-screen

EDIT: With streaming, I just mean that a javascript game you normally have in your browser gets displayed in fullscreen on your phone. The game is not by me, but as the app is just a browser for it, it shouldn't be illegal I think

  • Just because they haven't updated the app doesn't mean they don't still own the rights to it. – Chipster Jan 24 at 7:07
  • No, I mean: You can play the game for free in your web browser. But what if that webbrowser is an application that only shows the game frontend? In Backend, the website still gets browsed, the game gets opened and that's what you see then – DudeWhoWantsToLearn Jan 24 at 7:08
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That's an interesting question. You want to set up a business that essentially combines three different concepts:

  • Network streaming from your PC to a different screen across the network using remote screen software; e.g. Parsec, or a Chromecast, e.g. playing a PC-only game on your iPad, which I've done.
  • Basically AWS: Renting a dedicated server, racked in a server room far, far away, and remote-screening off that server. AND, time-sharing the dedicated server; i.e. the server is dedicated to you while you are using it, and an hour later your environment may be boxed, and the actual iron allocated to someone else.

So in principle, you'd have an array of racks and racks of dedicated PCs, all headless or blades. They'd all be preloaded with a standard image, with a virgin (un-customered) Steam, GoG, Battle.net etc. etc. Customer would

  1. Lease a dedicated PC from you, and you'd grab one out of the pool of available PCs.
  2. Remotely controlling it (a-la Parsec): Launch Steam etc., log into their account.
  3. Install a game on it.
  4. Play the game as long as they liked.
  5. Quit playing and log out.
  6. You'd wipe the PC's disk and return it to the pool.

I'm with you so far. (Blizzard isn't).

Where you might get in trouble is you try to also combine this idea with GameFly. Remember when Netflix was DVDs showing up in your mail, and you'd stick them in the pouch, mail it back, and the next one would automatically show up? That's the classic video rental model. The video store pays once for the tape ($89 for a VHS tape back in the day) and doesn't pay per-rental. Parallel to Old Netflix was a service called GameFly, that still exists (as does Old Netflix). So I suppose the next shoe to drop is that if your user wants to play a DVD-based console game, "an elf in your warehouse" will (in a few seconds) grab one of your stock copies and drop it in the DVD slot, right? (except the elf, and the DVD slot, will be virtualized.) Now you better watch out.


The case to pay heed to is Aereo. Aereo was a public-policy advocacy litigation firm; they just didn't know it. They thought they were an Internet streaming company offering streaming and time-shifting of over-the-air TV to people in the NYC service area).

NYC citizens have trouble with TV reception because of all the steel buildings. Aereo already knew it would be illegal to just have one well-placed antenna and stream to everybody. So they had a well-placed warehouse with thousands of antennas, each connected to a PC with a DVR. So each customer would get a dedicated antenna and PC/DVR. And I thought that settled the matter; but they finally got in front of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court said "Nope, the clever technology implementation does NOT negate the obvious intent of Congress, in requiring cable companies to pay TV stations for the right to rebroadcast their stations. It looks, walks and quacks like a cable TV operation, so we're treating it like that for the law." Their house of cards immediately collapsed because they now owed years of back fees to all the TV stations they were streaming, and that broke their back.

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  • Not to mention that if the idea is to stream it from the original source (hence avoiding copyright infringement) then the original source is going to notice and is going to block your access pretty sharp, leaving all your customers up a certain creek without a paddle. – Moo Jan 22 at 22:51
  • @Moo Yeah, that's the crux, and exactly what caught Aereo (except Aereo knew that, and the whole point of their 80,000 antennas was to cheat the TV stations out of their rev stream, and they lost). This would be an opportunity for OP's firm to go to those companies and say "We can prove this isn't exploitation, so you should allow it when it's us". And rev-share could be part of that conversation. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jan 22 at 22:57
  • That's the case if I run the game on my personal server and someone streams it. But for example, when I use Chrome to go to the website and play the game, it's okay, that's why the game is free 2 play there. And now think of an app that does exactly that, except you don't need to browse the website to play it. The app basically just calls miniclip.com, enters the game in fullscreen and then I play it. I don't see the issue here, it's a browser-game, I'm playing on a browser, except that browser is controlled by the app and I only see the game in the end – DudeWhoWantsToLearn Jan 23 at 7:22

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