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File formats and name licensing


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Hey ppl, sorry if it's not the right place to post this kind of topic.

I'm about to start a new project with some friends and we are gonna try to do things in "the right way". On our old project we had some licensing problems because we were using an already registered trademark. Despite having good download counts, we decided to close and abandon the game (it was as buggy as hell anyway...)

To avoid that kind of issue, we decided to take the copyrights and licenses stuff seriously. It's a "home" project, so we don't have the budget to buy rights to use some format or resource. So my question is: which file formats I can use without having to pay for the rights or that I'm not getting in trouble using it (basically 3D formats, audio and textures)?

Is there a place where I can check for stuff like these?

I was wondering using the .3ds format for the city model (it's a racing game), .md5 for vehicles and common models (md5 is the format used by iD's Doom 3), .dds for textures and .ogg for audio (as far as I know MP3 is a proprietary format owned by MILES or something like that). How can I check if I can use these formats without any legal problems?

The reason for using these formats is that they are pretty common, so we don't have to write our own format, plugins and converters to use in 3Ds Max, for example.

I'm going to use this same topic to another question, which is also related to the trademark stuff, so I don't need to create another one.

We already decided the codename for the project (which could probably become the final name) but after some google search I found a song and some other things (not game related) that already used that name. In this case, can I use the name for my game or I have to choose another one? If so, the world is going to run out of names very soon I guess.

We don't really know yet, but depending on the final result, we have plans of selling the game.

Also, if you have some link or something that deals whith this kind of issue, I would really appreciate (and I don't know if this stuff differs from country to country, as I don't live in US).

Thanks in advance.


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