I think I can weigh in some helpful information.
I feel like I am particularly familiar to this kind of topics for the nature of my role as a retro game publisher, and retro game community member.
Is this Corporate Greed or Fan/community entitlement? Well a little bit of both.
Unfortunately/fortunately We (or at least most of us) live in a country with a capitalist economy. Which basically favors whomever has bigger bucks and whomever thinks to protect/copyright/trademark/commercialize something first.
In this case River West Brands (at least it is my understanding) has gone through the legal means to claim and exclusively use the name/logo for Coleco and Colecovision. This is an asset for them (investment) that they want to protect etc.
So I understand if they want to shut down or go after projects that (may) infringes their trademark.
But in this case I do believe that Coleco is going after the wrong individual (if the right complete story is being disclosed) a community fan page has the right to post, review, show, yada yada yada any picture, product, opinion, comment in regards the colecovision. It is fair use, and it is their right to do so. Even if they show nudity, they can do it. Because themselves are not claiming or impersonating Coleco Holdings; They are a Colecovision Fan page/club.
What I do see is that the people that are commercializing these "Homebrew" games are at fault, and coleco should not take it out against the fan club; but against the people commercializing these games. Even though you can claim they are unlicensed or not sold by Coleco. They do show the popular Colecovision logo. That quickly will be identified as an attempt to fool consumers to think the product is being sold officially by Coleco. I am not saying that is what the publishers want to do, but that is the way an IP lawyer/judge is going to see it. So there are ways to promote/design your packaging in a way that you clearly show that the game is for the Colecovision console, but is not using the trademark without permission.
Additionally, about 60% of the games on the picture are pirate/bootlegs in my opinion because they are unofficial ports of games from popular publishers (MAPPY, GALAGA, etc) this is bad because:
1.- It is telling consumers that homebrew games are games that infringe in copyright, which are not (this is a whole other thread though)
2.- If those publishers see the bootleg, they can quickly assume that Coleco Holdings is approving/selling these games, and come after them for commercializing their IP without permission.
So my suggestion to the Fan Page, unfortunately, try to be less defensive and flexible to resolve an issue. I don't think you are at fault and should stand your ground to promote whatever you want to. However, I do suggest to try to promote homebrew publishers that develop and sell original content.
My suggestion to Coleco, if you go after the community, you will have a very bad time. You will exhaust yourself trying to go after every little thing. I would invest my time in educating those publishers in what they can do and what they cannot do. May be do a Style Guide for them, so they know what they can put in commercial packaging.
With Piko Interactive, I am very careful on how I approach copyright infringement. The more we grow and acquire rights of games, the more I have to ask "repro" makers and bootlegers to please stop selling the game, same with websites hosting roms. I try to be friendly and tell them they are not in trouble but they got to understand that we have invested a lot of money and we need to get it back. About 75% of the time they are cool and take it down and we go our ways, the rest of the time they get defensive and want me to provide proof. Which I tell them, I can, but he would have to talk to my lawyer. Usually those that get defensive stand down after that, and they go a head and try to burn me on forums and social media. However I try very much to be reasonable and not piss people off. But you can't make everybody happy.
Coleco is new to both the retro gaming scene and the gaming industry so I'd give them a pass this time and spend all this effort trying to educate the publishers on copyright ethics to avoid problems.
Anyways, this is my two cents
Edited by PikoInteractive, Fri May 19, 2017 3:12 PM.