It is exactly these proto scenarios that annoy me the most.
When your dealing with an uncooperative individual, it can be frustrating & it requires more time & work, but rest assured, it is at least a tangible situation. Eventually, money talks and bullshit walks. But when your dealing with a conglomerate, or a bureaucratic fool, your hands are tied. There is almost no chance of ever obtaining the data cooperatively.
Personally, I don't see how the present day incarnation of Namco, much less the distant bastard child of what once was related to Atari, has absolutely anything in common with their 1983/84 counterparts. IMHO they have as much claim to that data as Tod Frye does. Not to mention the fact that regardless of that, the data has zero value to either company anyhow. They couldn't do anything with it; marketing wise. 0.0000001% of the population on planet earth gives a crap about the data on that cartridge, and 99.9% of that population is right here in this site. It's all such stupidity. On the part of both the person who donated the item because they donated it to the wrong place, but more so on the part of the entity who received the item for following the proper procedures & treating 8kb of obsolete 1984 data from a long since out of business company (Atari) the same way as some brand new 8GB game from a multi billion dollar company (Microsoft)
The funniest part about the whole thing is that we already have the data, and had it before they did for that matter! And eventually, it will become shareware one way or the other, and so they really have no control or power over it whatsoever! It's just the principle of the whole thing, that's all. Absolute stupidity.
Let's remember that the game was donated anonymously. There's possibly a legal concern, otherwise the donor probably would've allowed their name to have been released.
I'm not going to name names, but I've spoken to one ex-Atari Inc programmer earlier this year [no, not Tod Frye or HSW] and he was really concerned about the whole legal uproar over the current "Atari" vs Jeff Minter enchilada. The ex-Atari Inc programmer community isn't large and word travels around quickly in the Bay Area so if he has concerns about prototypes, finishing up unfinished prototypes, writing new pro-homebrews for Atari consoles or modifying/improving upon existing releases, then you can theorize he's not alone with those exact sentiments.
The Jeff Minter situation is just the newest addition to a list of existing concerns from ex-Atari Inc and Corp employees. Let us not forget that the 5200 Warlords programmer won't release the ROM or source code because he believes his contract with extinct Atari Inc is still valid. If I'm not mistaken, Curt in the past has alluded to several ex-Atari Inc people who took stuff [prototypes, software, etc] during the Atari Consumer sale to TTL still holding onto stuff secretly and anonymously due to fears of civil legal liabilities even to this day. The former employees of the company that bought the rights to the Atari AMY audio chip still won't discuss the legal proceedings against them by Atari Corp and likewise, ex-Atari Corp and ex-Commodore staff still won't divulge the details of the Amiga lawsuit settlement.
In light of all of that, perhaps we are being too critical of the anonymous donor for having donated it to the Museum instead of AtariAge. It's a shame in some aspects but it's probably totally due to the current legal climate and corresponding uncertainty.
Edited by Lynxpro, Sun Jul 19, 2015 10:32 AM.