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Coleco strong-arming homebrew publishers and fan sites


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#76 GoldLeader ONLINE  

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Posted Fri May 19, 2017 9:21 PM

This happens,...And to think we cut RWB so much slack during the Coleco Chameleon fiasco!

 

I remember thinking this was a guy duped by MK...I remember thinking how measured a response the guy had when he wanted to see "the prototype" etc., and how happy we were to hear he was interested in possibly bringing back the Coleco minicades (Is that what they were called?)...Hell I even gave him my 2 cents worth when he asked for people's advice...

 

But now...

 

You want to tell me my morality?  Save it for your next book burning!   And don't try and hide behind that "It's for the children" lie!   We are now largely in our 40's (as someone else pointed out), and we are the ones with nostalgia for ColecoVision (AKA your now alienated fan base).  Furthermore when we were kids we would have loved any game with blood and guts or any "adult content".   I don't need you telling me what to play on my ColecoVision!



#77 Jess Ragan ONLINE  

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Posted Fri May 19, 2017 9:28 PM

160 users are browsing this forum! Damn, this turned up some interest.

 

Anyway. The ColecoVision isn't really my favorite early '80s game console (don't tell Opcode), but this is nevertheless an unsettling development. How much exactly does this trademark squatter expect to receive from sales of homebrew games? Considering the high cost of production and limited return, he might as well ask for a tray of Rice Krispy squares for a royalty.

 

So I guess we'll be calling the system the No-Speak-O Vision from now on, in light of recent events.



#78 kneehighspy OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 19, 2017 9:36 PM

personally I find it utterly rediculous that some 'percieved copyright / trademark' holder comes into a scene that has kept alive a product that hasn't been produced or sold for over 30yrs. kept alive by folks such as opcode and other game / content creators, not out of the want to make a fortune, but by the products they create out of love for the colecovision and all they ask for is a small cost to recoupe for their time and their out of pocket expenses.

in comes this supposed owner / holder smelling perhaps a way to line their pockets with cash from the time and hard work of the actual creators who do what they do out of love, and this 'owner' can just waltz in and make profits without even doing one ounce of development or anything at all. just trying to cash in by taking ownership of a defunct / dead brand name and claiming rights of the hard work of others.

i have been a fan of the colecovision since i purchased my first one back when it first launched in the early 80s and thanks to the hard work of opcode and the other developers, I can still purchase new hardware and software.

but now all of a sudden, the 'real' coleco waltzes in and starts slapping their cuck into the faces of the true developers, supporters and fans demanding takedowns and their fair share of the monies being made and all they have done is claim the name of a dead product from 30yrs ago?

the classic gaming and vintage computer scene was such a great scene, but the last few years things have changed dramatically and the scene that was once great enjoyment has been replaced by money hungry vultures who want to screw anyone they can out of the most money they can get by the least amount of work as possible.

damn shame that our hobby gets invaded by lowlifes wanting to screw anyone they can out of their sheer greed and laziness.

//kneehighspy

#79 PikoInteractive OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 19, 2017 9:47 PM

You just described Capitalism.

#80 GoldLeader ONLINE  

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Posted Fri May 19, 2017 10:19 PM

You just described Capitalism.

 

Just for a counterpoint,  from my days in college, I remember a different description of "Capitalism"....Though I really don't remember who said it, and it was just one man's philosophy...Someone described it as "Trying to get to the top while taking as many others with you as possible"...I always liked that.

 

It's a shame very few people think like that now.



#81 GoldLeader ONLINE  

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Posted Fri May 19, 2017 10:22 PM

160 users are browsing this forum! Damn, this turned up some interest.

 

Anyway. The ColecoVision isn't really my favorite early '80s game console (don't tell Opcode), but this is nevertheless an unsettling development. How much exactly does this trademark squatter expect to receive from sales of homebrew games? Considering the high cost of production and limited return, he might as well ask for a tray of Rice Krispy squares for a royalty.

 

So I guess we'll be calling the system the No-Speak-O Vision from now on, in light of recent events.

 

Maybe a tray of rice crispy squares (magic ones ;) would mellow him out.



#82 bmcnett OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 19, 2017 10:51 PM

Hello all,

 

Ok so here's my view from 30,000 feet. In 2016, Nintendo's "NES Classic Edition" console was a smashing success and sold out everywhere. One of its pack-in titles is "Donkey Kong."

 

http://www.nintendo.com/nes-classic/

 

This fact can't be lost on the person who currently owns the rights to Colecovision - the favored game console immediately before the original NES, which had the *exact same* "Donkey Kong" pack-in title.

 

If I were them, I'd be thinking about attracting investors to a "Colecovision Classic Edition" product, but first I'd want to ensure that when people search for "Colecovision" on Facebook and Google, nothing sketchy appears.

 

The crucial flaw with any such plan is that the vast majority of nostalgia-inducing Colecovision titles have always belonged to third parties, and never to the owner of the Coleco brand.

 

Sega and Nintendo own the rights to most of those games, and would likely not participate in anything Coleco-related ever again.

 

Anyway, this is what I think is going on here. I don't get the impression that the "homebrew community" is of any concern to the rights-holder particularly, other than it should not get in the way of business.

 

Who am I? My dad was an Art Director at Coleco during the Colecovision and ADAM years, and I am a game industry veteran with dozens of credits on AAA titles.

 

Bryan



#83 TPR OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 19, 2017 11:00 PM

This fact can't be lost on the person who currently owns the rights to Colecovision - the favored game console immediately before the original NES, which had the *exact same* "Donkey Kong" pack-in title.

 

If I were them, I'd be thinking about attracting investors to a "Colecovision Classic Edition" product,

 

It already exists.  

91dYzwUQuPL._AC_SL1500_.jpg

And the reviews were not exactly "glowing" either....

 

"I must say, I was a bit disappointed by this console"

 

"I was disappointed some of my favorite games weren't included. Another complain is the controllers are kind of crappy "

 

"This is over priced not made well and the game response doesn't compare to original."

 

"This is worse than the original... Sad. Could have been fun."

 

So yeah.... It didn't have Donkey Kong.

 

but first I'd want to ensure that when people search for "Colecovision" on Facebook and Google, nothing sketchy appears.

 

Whoops.

 

I don't get the impression that the "homebrew community" is of any concern to the rights-holder particularly, other than it should not get in the way of business.

 

Agree 100% 

 

I am a game industry veteran with dozens of credits on AAA titles.

 

Same.



#84 Bmack36 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 19, 2017 11:03 PM

Hi Bryan,

 

Thanks for your input, it is always nice to hear from people who worked at Coleco or in the industry. The one thing I will add is that the Colecovision classic edition was already released, it is the Colecovision flashback. I don't think you will get any argument that trademark owners should protect their IP. I think the big issue is the way they went about it and who they went after.

 

It should also be noted that it allegedly appears that the trademark  could have been obtained fraudulently by claiming a trademark specimen that was not a real product and was not even theirs (http://www.benheck.c...ision-portable/)



#85 moycon OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 19, 2017 11:07 PM

Haha I got slapped for watching benny hill.

Kind of off topic, but since it was brought up, has anyone considered making a Colecovision Benny Hill Game homebrew? 

Like maybe you run around trying to slap the feeble old man on top of the head, while avoiding topless ladies running after you to that crazy Benny Hill tune?? 

 

:ponder:

 

I know cardo1 would have issue because of all the hardcore pornography, but damn, seriously I would buy this.

 



#86 _The Doctor__ ONLINE  

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Posted Fri May 19, 2017 11:17 PM

the steps were posted to help others with the process piko so they can protect themselves from thieves, not capitalists... maybe you know some of it but clearly many here don't.... so they need to get information others know so they don't get the shaft....  but maybe only certain people should have that knowledge?.... I hope it bothers someone enough to comment about it.  Why did you paste that blah blah.... omg direct links so they can protect  or register the mark for themselves terrible! It doesn't cost much to protect your work or homebrew.. or to properly file a mark, if someone fails and you do it correctly you win. We live in a republic with mixed capitalism, rules regulations and protections.

 

I hope many people show their works and the marks they have re established and file them.. It could help a number of people and lead to money down the road... Not just for all the Pie Hole Interaction Acquisition guys out there...


Edited by _The Doctor__, Fri May 19, 2017 11:24 PM.


#87 PikoInteractive OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 19, 2017 11:27 PM

Sorry the doctor, thought you were replying directly to me! Apologies.

One note though; people can still legally claim rights by filing for trademark and getting it awarded.

However it has to be special case, like actual asset abandonment on a closed chaoter 7 case or something.

Now they do hold the trademark, only company that can come out of the woodwork and do some damage is Hasbro, but they can argue that they have had the trademark longer than 3 years, which would give them a strong case with a judge. And having an actual product released and sold under them, gives them a stronger case. Even if they didnt buy it from Hasbro, pretty much it belongs to them now to do as they please.

#88 bmcnett OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 19, 2017 11:40 PM

 

It already exists.  

attachicon.gif91dYzwUQuPL._AC_SL1500_.jpg

And the reviews were not exactly "glowing" either....

 

 

While technically, yes, Colecovision Flashback already is the Coleco equivalent of NES Classic Edition, it went on sale in 2014 when there hadn't yet been a runaway success in the retro console market.

 

A business-minded person could argue that NES Classic Edition sold well partially because the platform is so beloved, and partially because a higher degree of polish went into the product itself.

 

Personally I am not the market for any of these products, but I can't think of any other reason why the owner of Coleco would suddenly see fan-pages as a threat, where no threat had been perceived before.



#89 TPR OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 19, 2017 11:46 PM

I can't think of any other reason why the owner of Coleco would suddenly see fan-pages as a threat, where no threat had been perceived before.

Ahh, I see what the problem is here...

You're using logic & reason to come to your conclusions. What we have learned from River West Brands both from their display last year with the Chameleon and again with their wonderfully crafted response in this thread is that they don't subscribe to that method of thinking.

But don't worry, the rest of us here understand where you're coming from! ;)

#90 2600 Forever OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 19, 2017 11:53 PM

Kind of off topic, but since it was brought up, has anyone considered making a Colecovision Benny Hill Game homebrew?

 

This will have to do for now...

 

http://bennyhillthis.../?v=Kz7SgnQexJI



#91 bmcnett OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 20, 2017 12:13 AM

People who seem irrational often simply have poor information about the decisions they are making.

The chameleon affair tells me that there is a lack of tech and product design savvy in play.

People have succeeded without them before, but unfortunately the videogame market is already fairly mature for that sort of thing to fly.

#92 frankodragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 20, 2017 1:58 AM

Benny Hill_Coleco.jpg



#93 GoldLeader ONLINE  

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Posted Sat May 20, 2017 2:47 AM

^Frankodragon,  It's posts like this that make me glad I get out of bed in the  morning!



#94 Clay Cowgill OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 20, 2017 3:12 AM

IANAL-- so anything I write is worth exactly $0.00-- but you might want to read up on 'trade dress' (part of 'trademark' law in the form of the Lanham Act). It doesn't need to be registered to be enforced and covers a lot of packaging issues like size, shape, design elements, colors, etc. The tests applied can come down to "distinctive" (say, the yellow starburst on a CV cartridge box) and "likelihood of confusion".  (e.g. If their lawyers took photos of original ColecoVision cartridge boxes and mixed in some modern homebrews and reproductions, would a layperson looking at them have a hard time distinguishing if they were made by Coleco or not? I suspect some people would likely be confused and that's all they need to show...)



#95 Schizophretard OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 20, 2017 6:14 AM

YOU CAN DECIDE FOR YOURSELVES.


I have made my decision. I have decided that I like your old slogan better:

Your Vision Is Our Vision. ColecoVision.

#96 Reaperman ONLINE  

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Posted Sat May 20, 2017 7:06 AM

if the NT Mini 'jailbreak' was the best thing to come out of the last coleco drama, the flood of benny hill or generally adult-themed homebrews will be the best thing about this one.

 

May I humbly suggest 'Custer's Revenge Jr: Tentacle Squaw'


Edited by Reaperman, Sat May 20, 2017 7:08 AM.


#97 Flack OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 20, 2017 7:39 AM

 

This individual had been warred on a number of occasions that these actions were improper.

 

He has been warred.

 

We have all been warred.



#98 Papa OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 20, 2017 8:05 AM

Ahh, I see what the problem is here...

You're using logic & reason to come to your conclusions. What we have learned from River West Brands both from their display last year with the Chameleon and again with their wonderfully crafted response in this thread is that they don't subscribe to that method of thinking.

But don't worry, the rest of us here understand where you're coming from! ;)

 

I wonder if fan pages are the new free anti-advertisement or derailment method.  FORUM was the ancient way and judgement was quick (unless there happens to be a festival around)!  Like the Dwayne Johnson ads about his imprisonment over importing a muscle building formula that...

 

...YOU CAN BUY RIGHT NOW, RIGHT HERE!!

 

 

 

 

 

(I came up with the Benny Hill thing, too, but nobody likes me.)    *arms crossed



#99 bmcnett OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 20, 2017 8:08 AM

Hi Bryan,

 

I don't think you will get any argument that trademark owners should protect their IP. I think the big issue is the way they went about it and who they went after.

 

*Should* the Coleco owner have gone after this fan page, in this way? Well no, probably not, because of the Streisand effect: those who attempt to forcefully cover things up on the Internet tend to achieve the opposite result.

 

If a person under the age of 30 who knows how the Internet works had been consulted before action was taken, things could have gone a lot more smoothly, probably...

 

My imagination can still imagine that somewhere, a businessperson is considering releasing a say, Raspberry Pi powered microconsole for $40, that comes preloaded with official Coleco, but which could also run NES favorites, etc.

 

If the price were lower than NES Classic Edition and if it did multiple consoles more smoothly, I know people who would buy such a product.



#100 opcode OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 20, 2017 8:33 AM

IANAL-- so anything I write is worth exactly $0.00-- but you might want to read up on 'trade dress' (part of 'trademark' law in the form of the Lanham Act). It doesn't need to be registered to be enforced and covers a lot of packaging issues like size, shape, design elements, colors, etc. The tests applied can come down to "distinctive" (say, the yellow starburst on a CV cartridge box) and "likelihood of confusion".  (e.g. If their lawyers took photos of original ColecoVision cartridge boxes and mixed in some modern homebrews and reproductions, would a layperson looking at them have a hard time distinguishing if they were made by Coleco or not? I suspect some people would likely be confused and that's all they need to show...)

 

You are assuming here that the new Coleco is the same as the old Coleco, or that the new bought all the old assets, which they never did AFAIK. In fact I would claim the same, since I have been using the logo before RWB did, and can provide specimen to prove.

 

As for their trademark, please refer to Bmack36 post. That is what we have people investigating right now.






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