Retro Video Gamer

Retro Console Gaming => Homebrew Chat => Topic started by: retromod on April 15, 2014, 14:40:37 PM

Title: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: retromod on April 15, 2014, 14:40:37 PM
is this an official game covering trademark of "smurf"?
I'm asking because on every location there is only a link to the coleco 1982 copyright and this game ads together with the upcoming smurf movie.
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: TrekMD on April 15, 2014, 15:01:43 PM
Quote from: "retromod"
is this an official game covering trademark of "smurf"?
I'm asking because on every location there is only a link to the coleco 1982 copyright and this game ads together with the upcoming smurf movie.

I've seen no mention of copyright info.
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: retromod on April 15, 2014, 15:32:29 PM
that's why I asked. "SMURF" is registered and a trademark within any country. Selling things with trademark you have not licensed is quite dangerous.....

Writing games with "SMURF" brand is quite attractive, that's why Ubisoft payed a lot of money to do so, specially for the upcoming movie.

The original ad page also contains no copyright nor trademark info. Coleco payed for the trademark in the 80's but this is license is gone a long time ago....
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: TrekMD on April 15, 2014, 20:51:56 PM
A new company is making this game.  I don't know who they are or what they've done to secure rights.  For all we know, they've gotten the rights to do this.  Let's stop speculating about it until more is known. 
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: retromod on April 16, 2014, 08:39:45 AM
Quote from: "TrekMD"
A new company is making this game.  I don't know who they are or what they've done to secure rights.  For all we know, they've gotten the rights to do this.  Let's stop speculating about it until more is known.

do we really know that? I found no indication for it. And as usual homebrews are made without any big investigations in copyright or trademark. See AtariAge list and you'll know what I mean: Star Wars titles, repro of games from one system to another. There was an interesting show on TV explaining todays pitfalls regarding game development. Even simple game concepts are protected. So a "Flappy Bird" for example is protected if you re-program the concept. Same for all our known arcade titles. A simple Defender clone can't be made without permission from originator of the game. that's why Nintendo is so pissed if it found some illegal use of it's characters or gameplay.
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: TrekMD on April 16, 2014, 11:43:46 AM
Quote from: "retromod"
Quote from: "TrekMD"
A new company is making this game.  I don't know who they are or what they've done to secure rights.  For all we know, they've gotten the rights to do this.  Let's stop speculating about it until more is known.

do we really know that? I found no indication for it. And as usual homebrews are made without any big investigations in copyright or trademark. See AtariAge list and you'll know what I mean: Star Wars titles, repro of games from one system to another. There was an interesting show on TV explaining todays pitfalls regarding game development. Even simple game concepts are protected. So a "Flappy Bird" for example is protected if you re-program the concept. Same for all our known arcade titles. A simple Defender clone can't be made without permission from originator of the game. that's why Nintendo is so pissed if it found some illegal use of it's characters or gameplay.

Do we know what?  That it is being made by a new company?  It is stated that it will be published under a new label, Childhood Buddies.  We don't know who they are and we don't know what they've done.  Don't assume that they don't have the rights.  Wait until more information is made available. 
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: zapiy on April 16, 2014, 14:14:23 PM
Would it stop anyone buying it eitherway? 
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: TrekMD on April 16, 2014, 14:33:29 PM
Quote from: "zapiy"
Would it stop anyone buying it eitherway?

Doubtful.  It will stop sales if the brand owner finds out and no licensing was done.  Like what happened with Princess Rescue for the 2600. 
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: retromod on April 16, 2014, 15:11:17 PM
clever how they deal with it. If you license a product then you normally write "licensed 2014". What they do is they use the official old Coleco covers containing the license from 1982 which of course may not valid anymore (else you would write 2014). The license was given to Coleco as company not any programmer or other company according to the text on the cover. A license for a trademark is normally limited to not block other business opportunities. So I doubt the license granted 1982 is still valid specially as it was given to "Coleco" as company at a specific time.

So most likely they hope nobody notice the NEW game is usage of current trademark names under the hood of the old game and permissions. Why should there be any reason printing 1982 to the covers if it is required to trademark laws to name company and exact date?

May be that's also the reason it is not released under AA name instead to a "unknown" company....

If they name it "little blue creature tries to find their way home from a wizzard" would not sell as it would do by using known characters and link to existing game  :21:.
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: Greyfox on April 16, 2014, 16:16:08 PM
are you a copyright lawyer now? Retro :78: , regardless of what's what, these games are been reproduced and being ported to different platforms and I reckon purely for the reason of them not existing on them before, I doubt that it's all about money, rather than appreciation of the product is why they would be asking for it maybe?..but I think you've made your point now very clear on copyright issues, so what are your thoughts on the port itself? good or could of it been better?
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: retromod on April 17, 2014, 01:39:43 AM
Quote from: "Greyfox"
are you a copyright lawyer now? Retro :78: , regardless of what's what, these games are been reproduced and being ported to different platforms and I reckon purely for the reason of them not existing on them before, I doubt that it's all about money, rather than appreciation of the product is why they would be asking for it maybe?..but I think you've made your point now very clear on copyright issues, so what are your thoughts on the port itself? good or could of it been better?

As i soon enter the game development market again (after 20 years) i am very interested on copyright and licensing of course. Professional development is a minefield if you do not work with experienced teams. In the past all this was handled by my producers like bomico etc, i only coded and have done artworks, creating some concepts.

If i'll write a known brand on my box then sure i sell more. It seems specially AtariAge is completely out of sync with law. You will notice if you read and ask question any commercial vendor is faced with: regulations, taxes, copyright, trademarks. Sometimes you ll get really good product offers like a star wars game... But sadly it is not licensed so finally illegal. Illegal means that if disney decide to forbid it then it will trashed it does not care if offered in ebay, any website, imported to countries etc. On the other side you harm all the people who tries to follow these rules. I ve sold software nearly 30 years and the number of illegal copies is so high that this prevented any further development or project. I have some "proto" in my desk. Completed and ready to ship but never released (also for trademark or gameplay copy reason).

So if someone has a valid trademark license he must write it on the cover. As i know ubisoft holds current permission for any smurf game. They payed a lot of money for that permission.
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: TrekMD on April 17, 2014, 02:06:37 AM
I split this out of the original topic.  If you want to discuss the legality of homebrews, keep it here and do so based on facts, not assumptions.
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: retromod on April 17, 2014, 08:06:13 AM
thanks. There are no assumption, if you check the topics here for homebrews I read "star wars", "bruce lee" etc. all famous trademarks and brands you can't simple use without permission.

And sure I'm interested to get similar "trademark" deals as a famous character or brand improve selling. That's how business works finally. I told my lawyer to request at Pego if I'm able to get similar conditions or if not what their conditions are. I have some idea for similar gameplays and this would be low hanging fruit in that case.

There are a lot of homebrew titles without breaking copyright or trademarks and these are really valuable to support because it is quite harder to develop something from scratch including characters and brands than simple using existing one. I've done that nearly 30 years ago.
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: retromod on April 17, 2014, 08:21:35 AM
Quote from: "Greyfox"
are you a copyright lawyer now? Retro :16:

You can't tell you do it for free and then offering pre-order pages and name a price tag. If it is really for fun why not simple ask the trademark holder to get a free license (add them according to trademark requirements to your cover) and then offer the game for a price to get your hardware invests back? If the trademark holder is unwilling, well then try to find your own brand or characters for the project.

Try to compare with a business company, what would they do to get such product out of the door?

1. get license and trademark agreements prior to write any line of code
2. release some ads (similar to AtariAge promotion) after first prototype is working (youtube, gaming magazines, webpages etc)
3. print packages and covers
4. build hardware compliant for different markets like the european one (so all the CE/WEEE and ROHS stuff)
5. for german market you'll need an age classification else it is not allowed to do advertising for it or offer them to people you are unable to control age. After classification you are able to sell the title without restrictions at any time on any store (that's the reason ebay and other big companies are unable to offer what they want within europe/germany so altering their webpages).

and then you'll have a product you are able to offer worldwide on a legal way for a "certain" price which includes all these nice things like environmental care, quarantee, service etc.

And you also have the opportunity to offer it as download for emulators or flash cards -if you really not interested to make money with it....  :19:
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: Elektronite on April 19, 2014, 17:25:30 PM
Someone made a direct question regarding the 'Intellivision Smurf Rescue' game, whether they had the rights or not, and the question was ignored. I would be SHOCKED if they actually secured the Smurf rights.

'Homebrewers' and 'reproduction' makers have a long history of Intellectual Property infringement. I think it is safe to assume they DON'T have the rights until it is stated otherwise.

Collectorvision plans to do a box for their upcoming Space Raid game that has the definite 'look' of a Mattel release. They may have gotten away with it on the Coleco titles, but they are going to get the attention of Intellivision Productions with that box. That may be the straw that breaks the camel's back, and gets them involving lawyers. Who knows?

Some people have criticized me for publishing D2K Arcade. For some reason, they think 'Space Patrol' is OK, but D2K is not. Go figure. Regardless, I don't want to get involved in any grey area in the future, and will be discontinuing D2K when I get a couple of more titles out.

I publish new original and licensed games. If anyone is interested in having their games published through my company, please contact me at gamesforyourintellivision@hotmail.com

We currently have licensed versions of Boulder Dash (R) and a Kroz game from Apogee on the verge of being published.
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: retromod on April 20, 2014, 00:24:29 AM
Quote from: "Elektronite"
Someone made a direct question regarding the 'Intellivision Smurf Rescue' game, whether they had the rights or not, and the question was ignored. I would be SHOCKED if they actually secured the Smurf rights.

'Homebrewers' and 'reproduction' makers have a long history of Intellectual Property infringement. I think it is safe to assume they DON'T have the rights until it is stated otherwise.

Collectorvision plans to do a box for their upcoming Space Raid game that has the definite 'look' of a Mattel release. They may have gotten away with it on the Coleco titles, but they are going to get the attention of Intellivision Productions with that box. That may be the straw that breaks the camel's back, and gets them involving lawyers. Who knows?

Some people have criticized me for publishing D2K Arcade. For some reason, they think 'Space Patrol' is OK, but D2K is not. Go figure. Regardless, I don't want to get involved in any grey area in the future, and will be discontinuing D2K when I get a couple of more titles out.

I publish new original and licensed games. If anyone is interested in having their games published through my company, please contact me at gamesforyourintellivision@hotmail.com

We currently have licensed versions of Boulder Dash (R) and a Kroz game from Apogee on the verge of being published.

I ve verified the brand and all characters of smurf are listed for pego as trademark owner. I know ubisoft paid a high amount of money to get smurf games out of the door. Specially as a new movies is currently running/started with smurf the prices may increase rapidly for smurf related products.

My lawyer sent a request to pego to verify if we are able to also the possibilities to jump on this brand train for a good price of course.
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: TrekMD on April 20, 2014, 02:53:05 AM
Quote from: "Elektronite"
Someone made a direct question regarding the 'Intellivision Smurf Rescue' game, whether they had the rights or not, and the question was ignored. I would be SHOCKED if they actually secured the Smurf rights.

Yep, nothing has been said either way.  It'll be interesting to see what the final art for the box shows in terms of copyright.
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: Elektronite on April 20, 2014, 14:39:01 PM
There is no doubt in my mind what the box copyrights will say.....Coleco 1982.

Obviously BS.
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: guest5112 on April 23, 2014, 12:55:21 PM
@elektronite: What does "BS" stands for?
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: zapiy on April 23, 2014, 13:24:35 PM
Bull shit.
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: guest5112 on April 23, 2014, 13:26:14 PM
I thought so, but i wasn't shure - Thank you :-)
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: retromod on April 23, 2014, 13:50:15 PM
Quote from: "Elektronite"
There is no doubt in my mind what the box copyrights will say.....Coleco 1982.

Obviously BS.

Got an answer yesterday from the trademark owner of "Smurf" and they are really interested selling licenses so I will try to get one for upcoming projects. The laywer is quite friendly and know that homebrew projects have limited forecasts. They never ever heard about the mentioned "Smurf" game btw. as I asked for similar conditions in term of license fees as I have no clue what would be ok or not. that's something I must work out in project meeting.
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: retromod on January 24, 2015, 22:54:05 PM
it seems someone competely ignored the trademark for "Smurf" on Amiga side.
not sure what reason (beside using a famous trademark for free) was to create those game.

attached the letter from the trademark owner. hopefully there is a learning out of them which improves the situation for all programmers using their own characters and names. "homebrew" according to ebay is a word which automatially led to removement of any auction. The gray market attitude seems like a stamp these days specially as specific websites allow those illegal actions.
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: OboShape on January 24, 2015, 23:14:29 PM
sorry if i sound like a right choob, but, is copyright/intellectual rights something that expires and has to be reapplied like a patent?

I dont really understand how to go about say, remaking old games (+25 years) for 0 financial gain but for the pleasure of bringing it to todays masses.

oh hell, ive totally hiijacked this thread :(
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: TrekMD on January 25, 2015, 01:37:06 AM
Well, that certainly is a slap on the face.  Quite the fine to pay.  Was the game being sold or made freely available?
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: retromod on January 26, 2015, 00:55:03 AM
Quote from: "OboShape"
sorry if i sound like a right choob, but, is copyright/intellectual rights something that expires and has to be reapplied like a patent?

I dont really understand how to go about say, remaking old games (+25 years) for 0 financial gain but for the pleasure of bringing it to todays masses.

oh hell, ive totally hiijacked this thread :(

With the new trade agreement between usa and europe it will expire after 100 years i've heard. But today it is for 40 years and trademarks are until you do not pay anymore for registration. For example i pay for 10 years and must extend it for next 10 years by paying again for registration.

Even game concepts are protected. I remember a famous homebrew developer who sues book authors if they do not ask for permission of screenshots. on the other side he sell printed articles with retro graphics he do not "own". Funny isn't it?

There is no highjacking of a thread. A thread is for discussion not to provide a podium with listeners only.
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: Greyfox on January 26, 2015, 13:09:13 PM
Quote from: "TrekMD"
Well, that certainly is a slap on the face.  Quite the fine to pay.  Was the game being sold or made freely available?

No, and as far as I'm aware it was a complete new take on a Smurf game I don't think it had anything to do with the original versions, but i could be wrong , I never got around to having a go yet, they literally went after him from character infringements, and read that they gave him 3 days to remove before the cease and disorder fine, but this to me is real money grabbing bias attempt to get royalties of the brand, everybody is suggesting to not to pay anything as because its free and hasn't made any money in any compacity, they would be laughed out of court. a disgrace. 
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: nosweargamer on January 26, 2015, 15:12:06 PM
I think the whole copyright issue has been the elephant in the room that in general the gaming community has chosen to ignore.  It's a shame really, because I think most of us view gaming as an art and appreciate some of the artists who make the games, but at the same time we do not fully respect their rights to their creations.

I'm no expert, but here is what I understand about copyright & gaming.

1) The vast majority of games, even the earliest ones, are still covered by copyright, even most so called abandonware.
2) Laws can vary depending on where you live, but most developed countries mirror each other for the most part.
3) Many companies don't enforce it due to ignorance (don't realize their copyright is being infringed), legal costs, time & effort, the ability of the defendant to pay and the bad publicity that may come along with (i.e. Greedy Nintendo)

Without permission, it is illegal to (I'm not saying you will be sued, but theoretically could be):

Use a copyrighted character or direct game concept/desing, even if you give the game away for free
Alter a copyrighted game rom and release it, even for free
Download a copyrighted game from an unauthorized source (sorry, it's true, just not often enforced)

Without permission, it is Legal to

Use portion of a game for review or educational purposes (falls under Fair Use) The size of the portion varies and would be used on a case by case basis. Educational purposes DOES NOT give permission to hand out full games.
Use copyrighted work for parody, but this again would be on a case by case basis. Most likely  if you made an epic rap video as Sonic or Mario you would be fine, but if you included the characters in your game or even made a straight up fan Movie, it most likely would not be.

Grey Areas
Long Play Videos (since it shows a large portion of the game, often without a true critical review)
Making copies of a game you already own for strictly your own purposes (I would guess most likely this would be legally ok, but it would have to be based on the same game and you would need to destroy any copies you have if you no longer have the original. So if you own the 2600 version of Pac-Man, it wouldn't allow you to download the arcade version without permission)
Make a game that is similar in style to the another, but changes enough of the details (main characters, sprites, story,music ect.)

Sorry! I'm not trying to be a downer and I have no desire to report any copyright infringement that doesn't directly affect me. I'm just trying to clarify copyright and games. I also want to say I appreciate when homebrewers, like what Elktronite is doing for Boulderdash, take the time to respect the owners and get proper permission.

In the end, probably a lot of Homebrews (not all) are illegal, but most likely will not get sued. 
Or if a developer stops after a ceases and decease letter, usually no other actions is taken.
I believe this happened with Stella-Sketch on the 2600.

I also found a lawyer who blogs about this kind of stuff:
http://www.hanleybradylaw.com/category/fair-use/ (http://www.hanleybradylaw.com/category/fair-use/)

Finally I want to give props to Weird Al! I'm a fan of his and from what I understand, even though he doesn't have to for parody purposes, he still try to get permission before her parodies someones song. What a class act!
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: retromod on January 26, 2015, 20:13:01 PM
[member=5327]nosweargamer[/member]:
it seems you covered it correctly and yes the whole scene or better homebrew developers do not care. It is not about "do not know" because even words like "tropper", "vader" etc. have some kind of protection.

Creating t-shirts or any other merchandising article with famous actors, even using pictures of them like william shatner for a forum icon is illegal. If Shatner even know he will sue you on court, trust me.

It is not about making money out of it - no it is simple you manage something you have no permission/rights on. So if your game is ugly it will decrease the value of the trademark, too. Why does a famous gaming company pay millions to create a game with "smurf" title if a nameless developer is able to use it for free?

Look at "Sonic the Hedgedog" or "Mario Brother" for Atari 2600. As Sega is one customer of us I showed them those titles and immediately their faces got "frozed". Expect some reactions soon.
 
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: OboShape on January 26, 2015, 21:41:10 PM
Good reading guys, cheers for the info :)

definitely food for thought, especially when anything you make, is invariably a type of copy of things done already for the most part anyhoo.
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: TrekMD on January 27, 2015, 01:54:43 AM
Elektronite is really a business and not a homebrewer, which is why they do what they do.  Elektronite and even Keith, from Intellivision Productions, would love to see original homebrews for the Intellivision but it seems the main interest is in ports of existing games and this is where the whole copyright issues comes up.
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: nosweargamer on January 27, 2015, 02:14:28 AM
Quote from: "TrekMD"
Elektronite is really a business and not a homebrewer, which is why they do what they do.  Elektronite and even Keith, from Intellivision Productions, would love to see original homebrews for the Intellivision but it seems the main interest is in ports of existing games and this is where the whole copyright issues comes up.

It would be awesome to see some of these extremely talented homebrewers come up with more original games! Who knows where the next Mario or Sonic would be found!
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: retromod on January 27, 2015, 09:38:57 AM
well it only a matter of time... and yes AA of course  :31:. I remember Atari (Hasbro) told them a while ago to stop hacking carts and offer such title with Atari copyright. They removed some but now there are back and tolerate these insults again. Unbelievable because this is bad for all retro fans and demonstrates why ebay blocks any article containing the word "homebrew" in description or title.
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: retromod on January 27, 2015, 09:43:22 AM
Quote from: "Shadowrunner"
Cool, I'd love to play Defender on the 7800! He'll probably change the name slightly to avoid the copyright. Yes it's still illegal, but there are lots of games on the AA store like this and nobody seems to complain.

btw. the gameplay is also protected by laws. that's the bad side. I read an article some time ago in a germany IT magazine and I was surprised that a simple remake of Pac Man is not possible as the gameplay is protected by laws. So the copyright holder has at any time the full control over it... not sure if it is really worth - specially if you are good programmer with lot of own idea - to clone a game? There are impressive homebrews out there (specially for WII with complete new characters and gameplay) demonstrating that it is not really required to do that.
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: retromod on January 27, 2015, 09:48:01 AM
the way nintendo allow homebrew title on WII lead to real good game concepts and new game characters. Why is that not possible on other consoles? Specially in retro area is there is plenty of room for own game designs.

Why must be the name "Star Wars - battle of hoth" or "Sonic"? there is no need. For sonic the problem is you can't copy the gameplay either as it is protected as well. It is amazing how "protected" each single piece is. Similar to applications on PC side where clever companies protected single "clever" items. Amazon for example do not allow other shops with white background - they registered "white" color for online shops and depending on the country you are using it you might fear that Amazon send their lawyers if you are too sucessfull with it.
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: PacManPlus on January 27, 2015, 15:09:49 PM
Hey Guys:

Just my input here:

When I was working on Pac-Man Collection, I tried *every which way* to contact Namco for some sort of permission.  E-Mails to various people, even directly to their website, and I even posted on their Message board asking the question.  I got zero responses.  I *wanted* to do this the right way.  I heard from a few people that it isn't worth their time (read: lawyers fees) to go after something that might sell 100-200 copies ona 20 year old system (that doesn't explain Princess Rescue though)...  :-  So I just went ahead.  It would have been great for the game if I was to give them a fee based on carts sold, or given me a cap on the number of carts I was allowed to sell, etc.

While I was working on other games, I actually got some of the author's help with them.  I.E. I got Owen Rubin's help with Space Duel (and I sent him a cart when I was done).  I also got Alan McNeil's help with Frenzy / Berzerk (and I sent him a boxed cart as well).  For Defender, I did send Eugene Jarvis an e-mail explaining what I wanted to do and why, but I never heard back from him... although that might be a moot point now anyway.

I don't understand why the copyright owners wouldn't just work with us on these things.  It's more exposure for their IP, would gain them a little more money in licensing fees, and it allowes the 'legacy' to continue.  There is no down side, unless there is something I am greatly missing...

Bob
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: TrekMD on January 27, 2015, 15:59:24 PM
Hey Bob, thanks for your input. You have to wonder what the mindset is at these companies sometimes. 
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: retromod on January 27, 2015, 16:41:54 PM
Well i asked my bank via email if it allowed to take money without permission and nobody answered. Is it allowed because they habe not answered? No of xourse.

Sometimes (like one famous homebrew developer do on aa) it is the intension to wait and see then earning money with it. So you complete your work creating some facts which then be possible to honor by law. If you only tell nobody have something in hand. The guy at aa suits you for example regarding screenshots of his games (if you use it for books, inventories etc). A friend got nice mail from him as he used it without asking first (its a simple list of homebrews with screenshot)

Or you aimple talk to people who are simple not responsible. Maybe they sold permission to another game company. And the defender concept might be protected wven without name as learned in various documentations.
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: WiggyDiggyPoo on January 27, 2015, 16:54:24 PM
Can your bank take without your permission?

Answer - it's complicated!

Generally speaking (for debt repayment) they may move money from one account against a debt you owe (to them).

Externally though I don't think they can be forced to pay, even with a court order - examples include failed businesses owing cash to customers, divorce and other similar examples.

Where it can get tricky is when it comes to legally payable amounts e.g. court of fines for speeding I think your benefits or earnings can be deducted.

To keep it in perspective though when it comes to money earned from a homebrew its a court order.

Of course in my opinion any sensible person producing homebrew to sell will of course do so through their own limited company (its easier and cheaper than you think to set one up) that way its the business that is liable not you.

This is of course all from a UK slant.
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: PacManPlus on January 27, 2015, 17:02:54 PM
Quote from: "retromod"
Well i asked my bank via email if it allowed to take money without permission and nobody answered. Is it allowed because they habe not answered? No of xourse.

Sometimes (like one famous homebrew developer do on aa) it is the intension to wait and see then earning money with it. So you complete your work creating some facts which then be possible to honor by law. If you only tell nobody have something in hand. The guy at aa suits you for example regarding screenshots of his games (if you use it for books, inventories etc). A friend got nice mail from him as he used it without asking first (its a simple list of homebrews with screenshot)

Or you aimple talk to people who are simple not responsible. Maybe they sold permission to another game company. And the defender concept might be protected wven without name as learned in various documentations.

Your example fails on may levels:
1 - I didn't just 'send an email'.  I sent a) a few e-mails to different addresses that I thought had to do with licensing, b) posted on *their own site* a few times asking permission or who to contact about permission, and c) Pinged two people who used to post on AA that worked for Namco and Activision (the Activision guy just for advice on how to do this).  Frankly if I thought they would take my call I would have called them.
2 - You are elevating an argument to extreme levels to make an (invalid) point.  This is not 'stealing money from a bank' (and I am offended by your comparison)...  this is making a port of a GAME to a classic system (and wanting to give the copyright holders a cut - as they should get!)  I know if the situation were reversed, I would be HONORED that someone would want to take something I had done and port it to another platform.  As I said in my earlier post, it would keep the game / legacy alive.
3 - (and this may be the reason I have been left alone up until this point) - I ALWAYS put the copyright holder's  info on my splash screens.  There is no question on who holds the copyright.  I never claim to own anything (exept on my own games).

'The guy at AA' doesn't 'suit' me because I never made any such claim about screenshots.  I let anyone use anything of mine (including my own original games) because it benefits the community.  I've even posted my source code over on AA.

Please, make claims when you know what you are talking about.
Bob
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: WiggyDiggyPoo on January 27, 2015, 17:11:07 PM
I think I have grasped the wrong end of the stick firmly with both hands here lol
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: zapiy on January 27, 2015, 18:13:25 PM
I think retromods English allows for some people to take some of the things he says out of context, but I want to comment because it's much like the copyrighted artwork we use for our theme designs, we are hardly making money from what we do here on the back of copyrighted material. I know Bob is a genuine guy as is retromod sadly someone always gets burned in these subjects, for me, I see nothing wrong with Bobs game, why the copyright owner needed to get involved is beyond me as I can't see how the game would have been a negative towards their ip and so on. But some people do see a problem and guess what, that's fine, i am not here to preach to anyone..
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: zapiy on January 27, 2015, 18:17:57 PM
Really, they can protect a game about collecting dots on a board?
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: retromod on January 27, 2015, 22:24:14 PM
as amazon is able to fill a lawsuit if your shop background has a white color then a gameplay is rocket science.  :70:

here are all details: http://newmediarights.org/guide/legal/Video_Games_law_Copyright_Trademark_Intellectual_Property (http://http)

Finally you are not really clever if you copy an existing game... outlined in the above link as sample is pac man given.
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: retromod on January 27, 2015, 22:33:06 PM
Quote from: "zapiy"
I think retromods English allows for some people to take some of the things he says out of context, but I want to comment because it's much like the copyrighted artwork we use for our theme designs, we are hardly making money from what we do here on the back of copyrighted material. I know Bob is a genuine guy as is retromod sadly someone always gets burned in these subjects, for me, I see nothing wrong with Bobs game, why the copyright owner needed to get involved is beyond me as I can't see how the game would have been a negative towards their ip and so on. But some people do see a problem and guess what, that's fine, i am not here to preach to anyone..

http://newmediarights.org/guide/legal/Video_Games_law_Copyright_Trademark_Intellectual_Property (http://http)

here are the facts. it is not allowed to copy a gameplay, to use the name, to use characters and thanks to the not really clever patent system of the USA you might be fined for all kind of "protected" algorithms.

So finally it is his decision to went the illegal way but if the "right" person gets attention of it be aware to be sued for it. For example Sega was not aware of an Atari 2600 version of Sonic Hedgehogs. On our last meeting with this customers I showed them the game on AA website all the ads of it and immediately the good vibration were gone. They told it "fake" but I'll guess they will do something here to protect their IP. They can't tolerate it without demolish the brand/trademark.

As a game/application developer for nearly 30 years it is essential you know the different about "allowence" and "tolerance" of the involved people. In many projects the "crew" starting from the guy working on artwork, compose music or simple the originator of the game standby for consultant during porting efforts - all played cracked games during pause. They reviewed algorithm of other games and demonstrated their new cracks and stolen software for demo purpose. But finally if it came to a higher management level this "freedom" was over and all were quite confidence to ensure there is no copyright issue. All games were reviewed about possible law issues, too. Because it is rather expensive to be sued after release because then you are guilty. Prior to release there is no real "business impact" for the copyright holder so his lawyer has nearly zero interest as he is paid from the fee finally.
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: zapiy on January 27, 2015, 22:37:11 PM
Lol they can file a lawsuit if they want, that's one case I would win lol. Whit is technically not a colour lol.


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Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: zapiy on January 27, 2015, 22:41:11 PM
Expression of an idea, indeed but one can easily express a similar idea and get away with it, I guess all this is subjective. Much like a ref in a footy match., he has laws of the game to follow.. One ref in one game may give a penalty another ref would not. Law in gaming is the same me thinks.


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Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: retromod on January 27, 2015, 22:56:10 PM
Quote from: "zapiy"
Lol they can file a lawsuit if they want, that's one case I would win lol. Whit is technically not a colour lol.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/06/how-amazon-got-a-patent-on-white-background-photography/ (http://http)

and

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140507/04102327144/us-patent-office-grants-photography-against-white-background-patent-to-amazon.shtml (http://https)

I was shocked after reading. How can it be a company has a valid protetion for a color? It's like the german telekom which protected the magenta color for business logo's. And they protected it heavily.... but my feeling is with the US trade contract things went down the toilete anyway. All this trivial patents are the dead for any small company. Bigger one are able to protect by defend with their own properties the other company may strive or they give them a deal to use specific one to sue others. That's why companies invent one patent after the other to build some kind of patent shield.
 
it is not the problem to slept to court it is finally all the time above you... at any time - specially if you are too sucessful with your own business - amazon may kicks in and interrupts your business.
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: retromod on January 27, 2015, 23:12:42 PM
interesting article including some tips how to avoid to be slept to court. wrong way: identical arcade clone, big big mistake: same name and graphics, music. this make the max profit out of it for any lawyer....

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/187385/clone_wars_the_five_most_.php (http://http)
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: Greyfox on January 28, 2015, 08:01:41 AM
Some great info there RetroMod , a very interesting read.
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: retromod on January 28, 2015, 09:44:23 AM
and don't forget to shot the messenger which is common practise since 300 a.d.  and easier to deal with unpopular information :17:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_the_messenger
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: Greyfox on January 28, 2015, 10:15:30 AM
Lol, consider yourself pardoned  :113:
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: retromod on January 28, 2015, 11:13:21 AM
Quote from: "Greyfox"
Lol, consider yourself pardoned  :113:
if you'll got threat of violence, insults etc on regular base than you'll know nothing changed since 300 a.D. as people believe the message would alter by using those methods on the messenger.
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: zapiy on January 28, 2015, 15:42:08 PM
Lol, I guess people see what you say as personal insults. Really they should take it as advice and if they want to carry on then that's up to them also.


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Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: WiggyDiggyPoo on January 28, 2015, 19:21:53 PM
Quote from: "retromod"
Quote from: "Greyfox"
Lol, consider yourself pardoned  :21:  :113:
Title: Re: Homebrews & Copyright
Post by: Shadowrunner on January 28, 2015, 19:37:55 PM
Quote from: "WiggyDiggyPoo"
Quote from: "retromod"
Quote from: "Greyfox"
Lol, consider yourself pardoned  :21:  :21: You always get me laughing Wiggy :113: