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#126 Tarzilla OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:32 AM

Time for a documentarian to step up and make a documentary about the death of Coleco, then research the dissolution/passing of assets/IP etc...I'd kickstart that.



#127 enoofu OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 12, 2017 5:08 PM

Classic Gamer: Colecovision Hits Volume One (Windows) by Telegames

 

 

http://www.mobygames...hits-volume-one



#128 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:41 PM

Doesn't mean the copyright is enforceable

 

Supposely 1985 Telegames bought the colecovision IP

 

Supposedly ATgames does have bootleg game in their machines

http://bootleggames....om/wiki/AtGames

Interesting the "bonus games" on the Sega units are all clones of commercial games. That doesn't make them bootleg though unless they copied the IP. If a game has completely different title, graphics, sound, level design, and code from a commercial released game, then it may be a knockoff but that does not make it bootleg or illegal if they did not copy any actual code or assets. Otherwise every run and jump platformer released on NES could be considered a knockoff of Super Mario Bros, and there are a lot. Too bad K.C. Munhkin and Super Giana Sisters got unfairly targeted for IP infringement when later maze games and platformers got away with it.

 

One notable exception to this rule is Tetris clones. The mechanics of the falling block puzzle are unenforceable, however the combination of the seven tetrominoes used together is protected. Lots of "falling block" puzzles with other block combinations exist, but many play poorly compared to Tetris. So you can make a falling block puzzle where clearing lines is the main objective, but cannot exclusively use the seven Tetrominoes together, ie the I, O, T, L, J, S, and Z pieces. The fact that these seven pieces exist together as a superset of all possible combinations of four square tiles, means any Tetris clones not using these pieces will always feel knockoffish and having identical gameplay to the original is impossible. Even the fact that these seven pieces can be defined as a mathematical superset leaves pause as to whether the set of seven pieces is in fact copyrightable, but the fact precedence exists that ruled in Tetris favor, so as a result we cannot legally produce Tetris clones and call them something different. Boo-hoo.

 

Other games like Columbs and Tetris Attack, which later lead to the infinite "match-3" style games currently so popular on mobile devices, don't have such restrictions. you can clone Bejeweled and Candy Crush, and many other puzzle games until the cows come home, but can't clone Tetris because somehow Tetrominoes are copyrightable? :???:



#129 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:21 AM

Doesn't mean the copyright is enforceable
 
Supposely 1985 Telegames bought the colecovision IP
 
Supposedly ATgames does have bootleg game in their machines
http://bootleggames....om/wiki/AtGames

I don't see any evidence there to suggest the AtGames "bonuses" are less than completely legal. Just because something is a Classic clone doesn't make it "bootleg." It's not like someone's code is being ripped off.

#130 enoofu OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:26 AM

I don't see any evidence there to suggest the AtGames "bonuses" are less than completely legal. Just because something is a Classic clone doesn't make it "bootleg." It's not like someone's code is being ripped off.

 Just reporting what some people are claiming as I never owned a AtGames product so I can't determine if they are a fair use clone or something else



#131 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:45 AM

 Just reporting what some people are claiming as I never owned a AtGames product so I can't determine if they are a fair use clone or something else

I've got at least two machines that contain these games, never bothered to play them, but I think they're the same as this:
https://youtu.be/H964ddee5aU

#132 mr_me OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 13, 2017 4:09 AM

The "Air Hockey" game for example is copyright Devworks Game Technology. So if AT Games didn't have their permission then it's a pirated games. A "knock off" of a classic game is also illegal as it violates copyright law. It's just that commercial piracy is considered a crime and can get you arrested. Copyright infringement with original code (eg. "knock off") is not usually a police matter but you can get sued.

The match-3 copyright is no different then tetris copyright. Its legal to copy a game idea. The difference with Tetris is that there is a good chance you'd get sued. So even if you win, you might go bankrupt defending yourself. The one Tetris case that went to court lost not because they copied the game but because they copied the exact colours, the block borders, everything. Visually it looked like the licensed game and the judge ruled with Tetris. KC munchkin lost not because its a dot eating maze game. It lost because the player character looks like pac-man.

But you are always taking chances in court, so you don't mess with Tetris even if you are right.

------------------

Classic Gamer: Colecovision Hits Volume One (Windows) by Telegames

This Telegames list is interesting but it doesn't have much of any old Coleco former properties. A couple of years later Intellivision Productions released a collection of Activision and Imagic games. When Keith R negotiated the licensing with Activision, Activision said they weren't aware of any Intellivision games owned by Activision. So Intellivision Productions had a contract that didnt name many of the games specifically but said something like "and other properties of Activision that are Intellivision games". The Interphase games are interesting because Keith R mentioned trying to contact the owner of Interphase. He got no response so he did not include them on the Intellivision collection.

Edited by mr_me, Tue Jun 13, 2017 4:43 AM.


#133 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:21 PM

The match-3 copyright is no different then tetris copyright. Its legal to copy a game idea. The difference with Tetris is that there is a good chance you'd get sued. So even if you win, you might go bankrupt defending yourself. The one Tetris case that went to court lost not because they copied the game but because they copied the exact colours, the block borders, everything. Visually it looked like the licensed game and the judge ruled with Tetris. KC munchkin lost not because its a dot eating maze game. It lost because the player character looks like pac-man.

But you are always taking chances in court, so you don't mess with Tetris even if you are right.
 

First off, K.C. Munchkin looks and feels nothing like Pacman. K.C Munchkin and Giana Sisters got struck down but other maze craze and run and jump platformers that came after did not. The 80s were still wild, wild west in terms of what devs could get away with because court precedence had not been established.

 

Secondly, Tetris does have a valid claim on the seven tetrominoes as a set when used in falling block puzzles. This has been proven time and again in court. Wanna make a falling block puzzle game, fine, but don't use Tetrominoes or any existing combination of four bricks (there's only seven btw) to create your game. These pieces are integral to the Tetris experience but feel free to create a clone with Pentominoes or some other block archetype. You won't get sued but it won't play like Tetris either.

 

There is no claim for any match 3 mechanic that I'm aware. You don't see bejeweled taking Candy Crush to court or any of the literally 100s of match three clones out there. Tetris Attack / Puzzle De Pon was the first, then "infinite" modes came out with the playfield completely filled up, where you could match horizontally or vertically, and the mechanic has been copied and repeated ad nauseum.



#134 mr_me OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:52 PM

The following is quoted from the Tetris vs Xio law wiki.
----------------
The court further held that even though the game mechanics and the rules are not protected, the expressive elements are copyrightable which includes game labels, design of game boards, playing cards and graphical works. Hence, the court found that although the copyright did not extend to the style and movement of the pieces, the expression associated with the elements was protected. It noted that Mino's style, design, shape and movement were almost identical to that of Tetris' game pieces. Further, the overall look and visual expression of Tetris and Mino were identical.

To establish trade dress infringement the factors to prove include: (1) the trade dress is destructive; (2) the trade dress is not functional; and (3) there is a likelihood that consumers will confuse the Mino product for the Tetris product. The court focused on the last element and found that consumers would easily be confused as to whether Mino was an authorized iteration of Tetris because of the similar packaging and advertising. Thus, the court found that there was an infringement of Tetris' trade dress.
--------------------------
--------------------------
[Based on the above I think its possible to create a Tetris game without infringing.] Geometrically there are only five ways you can arrange four blocks; seven with a couple of flips. There is no creativity or artistry in designing those shapes. There is no creativity or artistry in a 10x20 field. And there is the idea-expression principle where if an idea can only be expressed one way its not copyrightable. Copyright is suppose to protect creativity and ensure ideas are not monopolised. So to me tetris is no more copyrightable than the pythagorean theorem ever could be. But my opinion doesnt matter only the judge's does.

You don't think the player character in kc munchkin looks like pacman? Its blue not yellow and has some antanae. The judge did; doesn't matter what we think. The law requires some case trials before its clearly understood. People learn from them and avoid making the same mistakes.

I agree with kosmic stardust that over time judges have become more protective with what they think is creative and artistic graphics in video games.

Edited by mr_me, Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:31 PM.


#135 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:14 PM

Good writeup Mr Me. The fact that seven Tetromino pieces (3 symmetric plus two chiral pairs) exist as a mathematical superset, along with two possible triominoes (I and L, both symmetric), 18 possible pentominoes (6 symmetrical and 6 chiral pairs), and a bunch of hexominoes (I attempted to catalog all of them once on graph paper; I forget the exact count but I nearly filled the page...) seems to indicate the lack of "artistry" considering all seven possible combinations of tetrominoes are used with a pseudo-random generator.

 

I remember a number of Win9x homebrew shareware apps proporting to be Tetris back in the 90s. Most got shut down except the officially licensed Microsoft port originally distributed on Floppy disks for Win3.1. I distinctly remember a rather fun Qbasic Tetris port called "Didris" which had a number of simple bgm tunes played on the PC speaker. It had bombs that you could drop on the pile as well as paratroopers who fell from the sky, whom you could "smash with the blocks. Occasionally, a heliocopter would come down and rescue the stranded troopers. If the heliocopter succeeded, you lost 50 points. The game also had a "body count" in addition to the main score, and I always attempted to maximize my body count rather than generate a high score. I used a Qbasic compiler to compile the game into a DOS EXE and probably have it somewhere. I really need to install DOSbox and play it again. That and I also had a really neat Mario.exe which was a fairly nice completely free unauthorized port of Super Mario Bros for DOS.

 

Fun times...



#136 newcoleco OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 18, 2017 12:23 PM

Good writeup Mr Me. The fact that seven Tetromino pieces (3 symmetric plus two chiral pairs) exist as a mathematical superset, along with two possible triominoes (I and L, both symmetric), 18 possible pentominoes (6 symmetrical and 6 chiral pairs), and a bunch of hexominoes (I attempted to catalog all of them once on graph paper; I forget the exact count but I nearly filled the page...) seems to indicate the lack of "artistry" considering all seven possible combinations of tetrominoes are used with a pseudo-random generator.

 

I remember a number of Win9x homebrew shareware apps proporting to be Tetris back in the 90s. Most got shut down except the officially licensed Microsoft port originally distributed on Floppy disks for Win3.1. I distinctly remember a rather fun Qbasic Tetris port called "Didris" which had a number of simple bgm tunes played on the PC speaker. It had bombs that you could drop on the pile as well as paratroopers who fell from the sky, whom you could "smash with the blocks. Occasionally, a heliocopter would come down and rescue the stranded troopers. If the heliocopter succeeded, you lost 50 points. The game also had a "body count" in addition to the main score, and I always attempted to maximize my body count rather than generate a high score. I used a Qbasic compiler to compile the game into a DOS EXE and probably have it somewhere. I really need to install DOSbox and play it again. That and I also had a really neat Mario.exe which was a fairly nice completely free unauthorized port of Super Mario Bros for DOS.

 

Fun times...

 

Sorry this may be off topic but just wanted to react...

 

I do remember that time with shareware and such. I think I do have one shareware we can't find on any site today.

 

I used QuickBASIC 4.5 for years. I've coded DOS games and tools including VOIROM (my hex editor) and ICVGM (my graphics editor) both written in QB4.5 







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