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How To Judge Legal Risk When Making a Game Clone? 270 270

An anonymous reader writes "I'm an indie game developer making a clone of a rather obscure old game. Gameplay in my clone is very similar to the old game, and my clone even has a very similar name because I want to attract fans of the original. The original game has no trademark or software patent associated with it, and my clone isn't infringing on the original's copyright in any way (all the programming and artwork is original), but nevertheless I'm still worried about the possibility of running afoul of a look and feel lawsuit or something similar. How do I make sure I'm legally in the clear without hiring an expensive lawyer that my indie developer budget can't afford?"

+ - ECMA script version 5 approved->

systembug writes: After 10 years of waiting and some infighting, ECMA Script version 5 is finally out, approved by 19 of the 21 members of the ECMA Technical Committee 39. JSON is in, Intel and IBM dissented. IBM is obviously in disagreement with the decision against IEEE 754r, a floating point format for correct, but slow representation of decimal numbers, despite pleas by Yahoo's Douglas Crockford.
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+ - Top Ten Science Tricks at Parties->

grrlscientist writes: This video is a fascinating collection of the top ten science tricks that you can do at that upcoming corporate Christmas party you are dreading — and by performing these tricks, you can entertain others whilst enjoying yourself, and make this party into a fun event for all!
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+ - Fighting fraud online: taking "Google Money" scamm->

karthikmns writes: "Use Google to Make 1000s of Dollars!" or "Easy Cash with Google: You Could be Making up to $978 a Day Working from Home!" You may have seen offers like these using Google's name or logo that sounded too good to be true. Unfortunately, nearly all of them are, and, despite hundreds of consumer complaints and our own efforts to keep these sites from tricking people, some scams continue. To fight back, we're working to stop various fraudulent "Google Money" schemes, and this week filed suit against Pacific WebWorks and several other unnamed defendants
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+ - Google now has real-time search results->

ZuchinniOne writes: The search giant said it will draw real-time data from over a billion pages on the web. The new feature will also include updates from Twitter and the social networks of MySpace and Facebook. At an event staged at the Computer History Museum in California, the company said this was the first time that any search engine has integrated the real-time web into its results page.
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+ - The First iPhone App Development Reality Show->

ElliotLee writes: "The guys at Command Guru have assembled an international team of 10 programmers, from all around the world. They're developing an iPhone app from scratch in only 7 days, and streaming the whole thing live. They literally work as you watch. It's the world's first iPhone reality show. Video is streamed live until December 12. There has to be drama, right?"
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Comment: Re:Unix, a blackhole of incompetence and conservat (Score 1) 254 254

Okay, I should not do this...

  UNIX is like the Church which dragged society out of the enlightenment of Rome and into the dark ages, filling peoples' heads with superstition and making progress a dark taboo.

So what enlightend pre 70's operating systems are you referring to?
Some hints are apreciated.

And what is this stuff about Rome?
The good lawyers, bad mathematicians part?
The "nail every escaped and caught again slave to the cross" one?
The guys who institutetd christianity as state religion to save their sorry state from falling apart just to see it happen anyway?

Once again, some hints are apreciated.

Most public domain software is free, at least at first glance.