If you are just reading this thread for the first time, here's some of the key posts to check out, however we do recommend reading the entire tread! It's VERY entertaining!
May 20th: Coleco Holdings LLC still continuing to lie on their Facebook page! Read: http://atariage.com/...ites/?p=3765560
May 20th: Response to Coleco's Statement: http://atariage.com/...92#entry3765792
May 21st: Classic Gaming Blog Kiblitzing picks up the story: http://kiblitzing.bl...-so-freely.html
May 23rd: Coleco Holdings LLC may be working with a known software pirate who has been banned from AtariAge: http://atariage.com/...64#entry3767764
May 23rd: Another response to a different Coleco Holdings LLC Statement: http://atariage.com/...90#entry3768190
May 25th: Hackaday posts an article on this story: http://atariage.com/...73#entry3769273
May 30th: PattheNESPunk covers this story and adds his insight: http://atariage.com/...54#entry3772854
May 31st: Chris Cardillo of Coleco is selling unlicensed homebrew action figures??? http://atariage.com/...82#entry3773482
June 3rd: Chris Cardillo says a whole lot of nothing: http://atariage.com/...54#entry3775654
(Read pages 35-37)
June 4th: I'm pretty much fed up with this crap: http://atariage.com/...09#entry3776309
June 5th: Chris Cardillo of Coleco calls out AtariAge about this thread: http://atariage.com/...ge-42?p=3777151
June 6th: AtariAge makes a statement in response to Chris: http://atariage.com/...ites/?p=3777374
June 8th: Another amazing video from PatTheNESPunk on the state of Coleco: http://atariage.com/...38#entry3779038
June 9th: Response to yet another ridiculous Chris Cardillo/Coleco statement: http://atariage.com/...09#entry3779509
For those of you who prefer visuals over reading, these three videos from PatTheNESPunk summarize pretty much everything in this thread:
tl:dr: Coleco is strong-arming homebrew publishers and those trying to promote homebrew products.
Please take a moment to read this entire post.
Im not going to remind everyone the past history with Coleco and the Chameleon project. We all know what happened there, and if youre not familiar with what transpired, Google it, theres plenty of documented information about what took place. I would also suggest Opcode's Recent Post on similar Trademark issue subject matter for additional reading.
This post is about the current shady practices that Coleco is apparently using to place focus on their rumored upcoming projects at the cost of potentially damaging the homebrew and retrogaming community that have supported them through the years.
Hi. My name is Robb and I run the ColecoVision Fan Facebook page. We are a page of over 25,000 ColecoVision fans helping promote and support the homebrew community and even Coleco themselves. Recently I received a number of Trademark Infringement DMCA take-down notifications from Facebook by Coleco over several photos & videos of ColecoVision homebrew games that we published on our page. We were not using the ColecoVision logos in any way other than showcase photos or videos of homebrew published games and fan-made ColecoVision projects on our page.
I choose to run the ColecoVision Fan page for my own personal enjoyment and because I love the homebrew community. There is no revenue generated from the page, no ulterior motive of any kind, and in fact I volunteer to spend my own money to help the community because I *enjoy* doing so. My only agenda is to help gain exposure for the homebrewers who have spent a lot of their own personal time creating games for the fans. Due to these trademark claims, I have had to disable our page in fear of Coleco unfairly flagging more of our images at the risk of having our Facebook account permanently disabled. Coleco should not be allowed to strong-arm their fans and the homebrew community like this.
I have posted the photos below so everyone can see the images that were reported. As you can see, these are mostly images that were taken by myself or by other fans of homebrew developed games by publishers such as CollectorVision, Team Pixelboy, Opcode Games, and AtariAge.
None of the products showcased in the photos were created by ColecoVision Fan and we were simply posting these photos to help spread the word to the community about these homebrew projects. Coleco claiming trademark infringement on these photos would be akin to Nintendo or Sega coming along and flagging photos found on the many fan pages, Facebook pages, websites, videos, or podcasts of their games. Think about how this would impact the fan community if you were no longer able to post a picture or video of anything that said Nintendo, Sega, Atari, etc, on it. Also keep in mind, I own the respective rights of the photos and videos that were removed or have the permission from the rights holder of those photos to post them. Coleco owns no copyright on the images or videos themselves, they only appear to be claiming trademark infringement because their logo was on an item featured in a photo or video.
So why is this shady?
When we emailed Coleco about the images being marked as trademark infringement, this is how they responded:
I am sorry that you are having concerns with your site. It is exciting that you are working on developing new video games. Please let me know if you would like to submit products to have them officially licensed by Coleco and ColecoVision. I am sure that we can work something out that is fair. We are mostly concerned with the image of certain games being appropriate for the children who will be playing them. Secondly, it is important that all IPs (if any) have been properly cleared by the rights holder.
It would be nice to look at what you have developed.
What does this even mean? ColecoVision Fan is not developing any games for the ColecoVision system. Nor are we interested in licensing anything from Coleco. If there are any IP rights issues that should be taken up with the publishers themselves, not a fan site. And if third-party IP is involved, that is beyond Colecos purview. Coleco has no rights to dictate what hardware and software can be released for the defunct ColecoVision console. Nor should they have any expectation regarding editorial control, such as what they feel is suitable for children.
Coleco wants to make money by licensing the Coleco name and ColecoVision brand name. I dont blame them. But the practice of flagging and removing mentions of homebrew products is reprehensible and not a practice that is conducive to having a robust community of first party and homebrew products alike. Should all homebrewers and fansites (podcasts, Facebook pages, websites, etc) now be in fear that they will be the next target of a DMCA takedown from Coleco? Coleco has told us that we are not their only target and they will be claiming trademark violations on others as well. This is NOT the way to be welcoming to your potential customers or to thank pretty much the ONLY people who have brought exposure to your brand for the past 30 years.
The ColecoVision is a system that ended its retail life around 1985. There was a Flashback console produced a few years ago, but aside from that, the ColecoVision has been mostly a dormant product in the retail eyes. Fans and homebrewers have kept the ColecoVision brand alive over the past 32 years since its departure at retail. Now, it appears that Coleco (not the same company from the 80s, but a holding company who has purchased the name) is looking to get back into the gaming business again.
Last year, the failed Coleco Chameleon product did significant damage to the Coleco brand and eroded trust that fans may have held in the company. In fact, every move that was made was questionable and the practices could only be described as shady. It appears that Coleco is starting down another road of missteps that will only further push its fanbase away.
It is rumored that another Coleco system may be announced this year as they made mention of having plans to develop new products using the Coleco brand name.
Let me remind everyone that without the homebrew community, without fan sites like ours or the many YouTube channels, podcasts, websites, Facebook groups, etc, there would be very little interest in the ColecoVision and the system would be lost in the past, nostalgia that is mostly forgotten about. Our page has raised a great amount of awareness for the system since we created it a little over a year ago. Homebrew developers have created a wide assortment of high-quality games for the ColecoVIsion, keeping its fans engaged and coming back for more. Coleco should be working WITH groups like ours to help develop their brands, but instead they are flagging images of homebrew products, potentially damaging relationships with developers and turning away fans and possible future customers.
Why is Coleco trying to control what a homebrewer produces on a system that hasnt seen a retail shelf in 30+ years? Why would they be pushing away the people and communities who are responsible for having enough exposure to be able to launch new products? This is not the right way to show that you respect the homebrewers or the community. We have seen their shady practices with the Chameleon, and we are starting to see them again now.
It is even questionable if Coleco actually owns the ColecoVision logo because all the trademark sites show that specific logo as abandoned. Take a look here: http://www.trademark...n-78314246.html and you can also search the US trademark office site: http://tmsearch.uspt...4810:1geop1.1.1
So in summary, I ask of you - Support the homebrewers, the fans, and the community that are responsible for promoting the ColecoVision.
What are some courses of action you can take to help show your support?
If you like the official Coleco page on Facebook or other social media, unlike their page. Do not support their products like their announced Rainbow Brite game or the Expo. Instead, follow and support homebrewers such as: Opcode Games, CollectorVision, AtariAge, those are the organizations who have kept ColecoVision alive all these years. Join and support fansites like ColecoVision Podcast, ColecoVision North, etc. Join Facebook groups like ColecoVision Lunatics and be active in discussions.
Please stand with us and let Coleco know that you will not tolerate their shady practices and strong-arming the members of the community who have helped build it. Thank you for your time.
Images that were flagged for Trademark Infringement:
(Note the above image was from a video of the 35 available SGM Games)
and now that you have read this post, I also suggest for your continued reading to check out another recent trademark post HERE so you can see that it is not just me who is having issues. Who will be the next person that Coleco sends a DMCA take-down to? Again, please support the homebrewers and fansites! Let Coleco know you will not tolerate this sort of activity!