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Noob question about new coleco games


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#1 LutzfromOz OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:16 PM

Hey all, just really curious about the release of new coleco cartridges from publishers like, team pixel boy, colectorvision, etc. if sg-1000 or arcade ports are being released does the publisher have to acquire permision from the ip holder like sega or namco? if so they would get a royalty? and how much does it cost for a team to convert lets say a sg-1000 or msx title, or is it just passionate working homebrewers? 


Edited by LutzfromOz, Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:17 PM.


#2 phoenixdownita OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 25, 2017 6:36 PM

..... ohhhhh, you didn't !?!?!?!?!?!?!
 
My take .... they convert, talk to no-one, hope to stay under the radar, and that's the end of it.
Not even sure how much of that SW is still covered by copyrights.
 
I may be wrong though, at least the first run of SGM was "blessed" by Coleco (well the owner of that brand really but it's equivalent in this context)  if memory serves, the other runs not so much (in fact the Coleco brand was dropped from it). So maybe some of the publishers do have an agreement in place .... but as I don't see it advertised anywhere on their site (maybe I missed it) I am not too sure.
 
For example when CJ ported Xenon II to the Jag and it got for sale it was mentioned many times that the Bitmap Brothers allowed it (under an undisclosed max copy count clause among other thing).
Another example is Piko Interactive, he does have the rights for what he publishes and it can be seen they tend to be from minor companies from bitd, so the other publishers you mentioned don't seem any bigger than Piko ..... again just "my speculation" here.



#3 phoenixdownita OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:36 AM

Wow, the silence on the subject is deafening.

Guess there's not much to say .... only original work from those publishers is then likely all-right (they do have some "new" games), ports and such I am afraid is all in a grey area!



#4 digress OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 26, 2017 12:04 PM

i can only comment on my own. war & tank mission are both original. 

 

Mr. turtle is not but no one was ever going to make it for coleco so i made my version. i have no rights to the mr turtle logo or original concept images. 

 

it's basically a forgotten system & product line. 

 

no one is going to make new games for this system at this point and expect to make money so i don't see it as hurting anyone.

 

there is a small profit if you sell enough but i believe(espicially in my case) it just got reinvested in other homebrews or sgm tech etc. i've spent more than i ever recieved.



#5 phoenixdownita OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 26, 2017 12:27 PM

i can only comment on my own. war & tank mission are both original. 

 

Mr. turtle is not but no one was ever going to make it for coleco so i made my version. i have no rights to the mr turtle logo or original concept images. 

 

it's basically a forgotten system & product line

 

no one is going to make new games for this system at this point and expect to make money so i don't see it as hurting anyone.

 

there is a small profit if you sell enough but i believe(espicially in my case) it just got reinvested in other homebrews or sgm tech etc. i've spent more than i ever recieved.

I am not chastising you but those 2 facts do not matter the least in a copyright infringement case.

The only thing is that to even get sued someone needs to care enough and at this point I doubt anyone cares enough to start a lawsuit (aside Nintendo in some instances) so we let it slide but if the copyright is still in effect then technically you maybe breaking the law (conditional as I do not know if the copyrights to Mr Turtle are still in effect, maybe it's been donated to the public, or if there are invalidating conditions at play [a copyright may be invalidated if it turns out the work was based on prior art anyway, then there's "adverse possession" but I don't know how it applies to IP if at all, etc...etc...]).

 

On a sidenote it's funny that when we copy someone else's material "it's not hurting anyone" but if someone copies ours without our blessing/permission then it's bad.

 

Again I am not lecturing you, just this is from MAME (and to be clear now MESS merged with MAME so all consoles/old-computers are covered):

 

 

BIOS Dumps and Software

Most of the systems emulated by MAME requires a dump of the internal chips of the original system. These can be obtained by extracting the data from an original unit, or finding them (at your own risk) in the WorldWideWeb. Being copyrighted material, MAME does not come with any of these.

Also, you may want to find some software to be run on the emulated machine. Again, Google and other search engines are your best friends. MAME does not provide any software to be run on the emulated machines because it is very often (almost always, in the case of console software) copyrighted material."

 

 

How do I legally obtain ROMs or disk images to run on MAME?

You have several options:

  • You can obtain a license to them by purchasing one via a distributor or vendor who has proper authority to do so.
  • You can download one of the ROM sets that have been released for free to the public for non-commerical use.
  • You can purchase an actual arcade PCB, read the ROMs or disks yourself, and let MAME use that data.

Beyond these options, you are on your own.

 

 

Can’t game ROMs be considered abandonware?

No. Even the companies that went under had their assets purchased by somebody, and that person is the copyright owner.

 

What about those guys who burn DVDs of ROMs for the price of the media?

What they are doing is just as illegal as selling the ROMs outright. As long as somebody owns the copyright, making illegal copies is illegal, period. If someone went on the internet and started a business of selling cheap copies of the latest U2 album for the price of media, do you think they would get away with it?

Even worse, a lot of these folks like to claim that they are helping the project. In fact, they only create more problems for the MAME team. We are not associated with these people in any way regardless of how “official” they may attempt to appear. You are only helping criminals make a profit through selling software they have no right to sell. Anybody using the MAME name and/or logo to sell such products is also in violation of the MAME trademark.

 

Here is the link

http://docs.mamedev....mmonissues.html

 

 

To add a positive example, I believe the original Vectrex roms have been released to the public but I am not sure if all rights have been released (including the right of porting them to other systems, the right of usage of the characters in other productions etc...) or just the rights to play them.



#6 digress OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 26, 2017 12:57 PM

so mr. Turtle is a dead brand. Either someone has the logo or not doesn't matter as this was a 100% original other than the name and the one mock up screen image.

mr. Or turtle cannot be copywrite anyways. So generic and part of common English. You could not copywrite mr. Cat or mr. Dog either . The specific logo font style of mr. Turtle perhaps though

the company that created mr. Turtle brand is long gone.



#7 phoenixdownita OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 26, 2017 1:01 PM

so mr. Turtle is a dead brand. Either someone has the logo or not doesn't matter as this was a 100% original other than the name and the one mock up screen image.

mr. Or turtle cannot be copywrite anyways. So generic and part of common English. You could not copywrite mr. Cat or mr. Dog either . The specific logo font style of mr. Turtle perhaps though

the company that created mr. Turtle brand is long gone.

I don't want to make it specific to your case, and I do not know if the name "Mr. Turtle" is copyrighted/trademarked or not when it comes to videogames (please remember that back in the day Microsoft was able to trademark the sentence "where do you want to go today?"

https://en.wikipedia...nt_to_go_today?

so you couldn't reuse it, I know trademarks are not the same as copyrights just stating a fact here)

in any case the MAME guys stated it well already:

 

Can’t game ROMs be considered abandonware?

No. Even the companies that went under had their assets purchased by somebody, and that person is the copyright owner.

 

In your case if it's an original game that happens to have the same name I don't see a problem, but we are getting off topic.

You stated yourself you have no rights to the name, logo or imagery so if you don't use them you're fine.

BTW copyrights cover also "close enough" work, it's supposed to cover blatant copies with minor modification as well as disguised clones when possible.

 

Here the OP asked if ports to CV (SG1000 or MSX or wherever generated as they may be) have been done obtaining permissions as needed or validating that the rights have been released to the public for the purpose, port in this case.



#8 digress OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 26, 2017 1:30 PM

well he said new or ports.

I'm just arguing that there is no money in it for any official ports or business. If homebrewers don't don't make the games no one will. There profits are non existent. The only value is added to the IP but there would be no money to be had if someone came looking.

so basically we are adding value to the coleco brand name but by stopping this homebrewing you would gain nothing.

 

to be clear I would be willing to get rights if I wanted to make a game about a specific character that was active but it would have to be based on sales by item of say 50. Who would bother



#9 phoenixdownita OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 26, 2017 1:54 PM

well he said new or ports.

I'm just arguing that there is no money in it for any official ports or business. If homebrewers don't don't make the games no one will. There profits are non existent. The only value is added to the IP but there would be no money to be had if someone came looking.

so basically we are adding value to the coleco brand name but by stopping this homebrewing you would gain nothing.

 

to be clear I would be willing to get rights if I wanted to make a game about a specific character that was active but it would have to be based on sales by item of say 50. Who would bother

This is the part that doesn't matter according to the copyright law.

The only difference between making money and not making money is that in the second case (not making money) the copyright holder (if it exists) likely will not sue (but check Nintendo and the fan made games), it does not make it right/lawful per se.

 

This sentence

"we are adding value to the coleco brand name"

is also controversial .... the only one that can decide if it sees an added value is the brand owner ..... no one else, and he can only speak about Coleco built or licensed products (if Coleco was the publisher albeit I venture that licensing deals are long expired) not regarding any third party games.

 

 

Make no mistake I understand that with the work of porting done it makes those old consoles more enticing and fun to play, no argument from me there.

 

The question is simply IF, AS IT IS THE LAW RIGHT NOW, CAN IT BE DONE LEGALLY WITHOUT PERMISSION?.

The answer changes depending on which country you live in. If memory serves in South Korea there used to be no copyrights law applicable to Japanese products (not sure it is still the case) so over there it could be a different situation.

 

In US and big chunks of EU the law is much clearer about that, I personally do not remember how long those copyrights are, neither I agree they should last longer than say 5Y, but my opinion is just that, an opinion.

 

In the end I am not dissuading you from doing whatever you are doing, just stating that porting games without permissions/using artwork without licensing violates the copyrights laws (when said copyrights are in place), there's no "opinion" about it or "common good" etc.. that matters.



#10 digress OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 26, 2017 2:33 PM

not at all. look at the recent colecovision flashback including 5 homebrew games right from people in this forum. that directly added to their sales totals and the brand.

 

This sentence "we are adding value to the coleco brand name" is also controversial ....

 

as for artworks again i mention only my own as there is not a drawing or a pixel not drawn by myself

 

Depends on the game too. Popeye for instance the creator died really young about 80 years ago. Because it was syndicated the syndicate apparently had the copywrite and it's still active in some counties til about 2025. but in others it's public domain

 

I don't think there is any grey area when it comes to sg-1000 ports etc. But no one is going to do it for profit as there is none to be made. So it's just for fun or hobby.

 

Then why charge. Basically your paying for the cost of the printing, conversion, labels, boxes, electronics and potential returns. Having gone through all steps twice I can attest there is no money in it.

 

I can already play most of these roms on their original systems through emulation. The best reason I can see to convert the game to colecovision is because you can to see if it would work.

 

Anyways I tend to just make games from scratch and that way it's not somthing i have to worry about. Thanks for discussing it. I think it's better to talk about it than to pretend.

 

i forgot to mention about this line"On a sidenote it's funny that when we copy someone else's material "it's not hurting anyone" but if someone copies ours without our blessing/permission then it's bad.

 

Mr. turtle has already been dumped distributed without anyone asking me. For their own use I'm fine but not sharing the rom as that should be up to me when I'm ready.. So the point is I have had the experience. I found the rom out there on the net within the past few days.



#11 LutzfromOz OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 26, 2017 4:49 PM

not at all. look at the recent colecovision flashback including 5 homebrew games right from people in this forum. that directly added to their sales totals and the brand.

 

This sentence "we are adding value to the coleco brand name" is also controversial ....

 

as for artworks again i mention only my own as there is not a drawing or a pixel not drawn by myself

 

Depends on the game too. Popeye for instance the creator died really young about 80 years ago. Because it was syndicated the syndicate apparently had the copywrite and it's still active in some counties til about 2025. but in others it's public domain

 

I don't think there is any grey area when it comes to sg-1000 ports etc. But no one is going to do it for profit as there is none to be made. So it's just for fun or hobby.

 

Then why charge. Basically your paying for the cost of the printing, conversion, labels, boxes, electronics and potential returns. Having gone through all steps twice I can attest there is no money in it.

 

I can already play most of these roms on their original systems through emulation. The best reason I can see to convert the game to colecovision is because you can to see if it would work.

 

Anyways I tend to just make games from scratch and that way it's not somthing i have to worry about. Thanks for discussing it. I think it's better to talk about it than to pretend.

 

i forgot to mention about this line"On a sidenote it's funny that when we copy someone else's material "it's not hurting anyone" but if someone copies ours without our blessing/permission then it's bad.

 

Mr. turtle has already been dumped distributed without anyone asking me. For their own use I'm fine but not sharing the rom as that should be up to me when I'm ready.. So the point is I have had the experience. I found the rom out there on the net within the past few days.

 

why isn't it possible for me to buy a digital rom of battle of hoth, all the god damn cartridges are sold out...



#12 youki OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 26, 2017 5:02 PM

 

why isn't it possible for me to buy a digital rom of battle of hoth, all the god damn cartridges are sold out...

 

Because i don't wish that my games be sold on digital format for now.   It is my personnal choice.



#13 LutzfromOz OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 26, 2017 5:08 PM

that's understandable youki, but any of your mates have a copy the want to sell, or know if a phase 2 of production is taking place to buy one, id love to know about it :) 



#14 youki OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 26, 2017 5:15 PM

As far i know there is not project about that.  I guess if pixelboy has enough request for the game , he will contact me to ask me if i agree for a new run.

But i don't think the demand for that game is enough high.  Already a lot has been sold for this kind of game.

 

But time to time there is some copy to sold on the market place here. 



#15 youki OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 26, 2017 5:18 PM

that's understandable youki, but any of your mates have a copy the want to sell, or know if a phase 2 of production is taking place to buy one, id love to know about it :)

 

I found one , i think it seems to be still available

 

http://atariage.com/...te-and-mint-75/



#16 phoenixdownita OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 26, 2017 5:24 PM

...

i forgot to mention about this line"On a sidenote it's funny that when we copy someone else's material "it's not hurting anyone" but if someone copies ours without our blessing/permission then it's bad.

...

Not directed at you one single bit.

 

And the part about "added value" was wrt to unauthorized ports and not original homebrews or authorized ports obviously.

This was in line with what the MAME devs have to say of the rom distributors that only charge for the media (surely they do not turn a profit):

 

What about those guys who burn DVDs of ROMs for the price of the media?

What they are doing is just as illegal as selling the ROMs outright. As long as somebody owns the copyright, making illegal copies is illegal, period. If someone went on the internet and started a business of selling cheap copies of the latest U2 album for the price of media, do you think they would get away with it?

Even worse, a lot of these folks like to claim that they are helping the project. In fact, they only create more problems for the MAME team. We are not associated with these people in any way regardless of how “official” they may attempt to appear. You are only helping criminals make a profit through selling software they have no right to sell. Anybody using the MAME name and/or logo to sell such products is also in violation of the MAME trademark.



#17 digress OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 26, 2017 5:49 PM

The dvd thing, at least in canada, actually is a grey area. Stupidly the ip holders sued or somehow starting taking a cut of all blank cd/dvd media for this very reason. It totally back fired though. AS now the argument was made successfully that any video etc copied onto said media was already paid for because they took a cut of all blank media sales no matter what it was used for. So this is what made movie/game copying a grey area in canada.

#18 phoenixdownita OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 26, 2017 5:56 PM

I don't know if that was the intent of that Canadian law/tax. Without knowing too much of the letter of the law I wouldn't be surprised if it was written as an intent for compensation for the then existing losses, as such though it is hard to argue that then it is OK to pirate as the loss has been "prepaid for", the intent was likely to compensate for widespread infringing not to foster it even further .... but we enter into more nuanced vagaries of the law here.

 

[sometimes it's a problem of perverted incentives .... rumor has it that long time ago in a city in India they wanted to get rid of snakes as it was really a problem out of control but instead of stating that that was the goal (rid the town of existing snakes) a local law was passed rewarding with money any snake brought in .... fast forward a few months and et-voila' snake farms popping up all over the place. So the town hall decided to strike down the law to remove the abuse and pronto all the snake farms disappeared not before having released their snakes making the problem now much worse]

 

I'm sad to hear that your work was pirated and distributed without your consent, but that is what the intent of the copyrights laws is all about, grant the owner the unilateral right to decide when and what of his work can and cannot be reproduced, copied, distributed (aside the fair use clause which is sometime controversial in and on itself). Those laws are far reaching to be sure and they don't stop at the original content/project/item either but cover all derivative works as well (can't use a piece of graphic/music/code/mythology/storyline without permission), they usually don't stop with death either as they are transferred as part of the estate to the heirs.

 

My gripe is mainly wrt the time they cover. But then again some kind of business have slow sales to begin with and putting a too restrictive time limit would equate to killing that business model altogether.



#19 LutzfromOz OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:24 PM

 

I found one , i think it seems to be still available

 

http://atariage.com/...te-and-mint-75/

 

thanks for that youki, should receive it in the mail early to mid march, just in time for my birthday and the dvd release of rogue one



#20 lawdawg710 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 8, 2017 8:17 AM

I'm pretty sure the SGM is still officially endorsed by the Coleco brand name, Eduardo went through great strides to get that and doesn't appear to have been removed from the Coleco blessings!!




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