Author Topic: Homebrews & Copyright  (Read 6675 times)

Offline TrekMD

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Re: Homebrews & Copyright
« Reply #30 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.
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Offline nosweargamer

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Re: Homebrews & Copyright
« Reply #31 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!

Offline retromod

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Re: Homebrews & Copyright
« Reply #32 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.
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Offline retromod

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Re: Homebrews & Copyright
« Reply #33 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.
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Offline retromod

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Re: Homebrews & Copyright
« Reply #34 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.
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Offline PacManPlus

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Re: Homebrews & Copyright
« Reply #35 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

Offline TrekMD

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Re: Homebrews & Copyright
« Reply #36 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. 
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Offline retromod

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Re: Homebrews & Copyright
« Reply #37 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.
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Offline WiggyDiggyPoo

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Re: Homebrews & Copyright
« Reply #38 on: January 27, 2015, 16:54:24 PM »

Offline PacManPlus

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Re: Homebrews & Copyright
« Reply #39 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

Offline WiggyDiggyPoo

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Re: Homebrews & Copyright
« Reply #40 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

Offline zapiy

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Re: Homebrews & Copyright
« Reply #41 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..
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Offline zapiy

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Re: Homebrews & Copyright
« Reply #42 on: January 27, 2015, 18:17:57 PM »
Really, they can protect a game about collecting dots on a board?
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Offline retromod

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Re: Homebrews & Copyright
« Reply #43 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

Finally you are not really clever if you copy an existing game... outlined in the above link as sample is pac man given.
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Offline retromod

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Re: Homebrews & Copyright
« Reply #44 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

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.
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