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Who has the rights to Vectrex now?

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Does anyone know who ownes the rights to vectrex now for the copyright info. I am wanting a contact name of a company or person. Thanks for any help.

Jason

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The stuff is technically not public domain. My understanding is that Jay Smith still retains the relevant intellectual property rights but has consented to the use of the IP for non-commercial use only. If it were public domain, like, say, "It's a Wonderful Life", whose owners neglected to renew the copyright, then anyone could sell Vectrex games, hardware, t-shirts, etc., without fear of liability. To the extent that any of this activity occurs, however, it is at Jay Smith's pleasure. Mr. Smith could put a stop to all of this tomorrow, if he wanted to. I know that some people who want to use images, etc., for various projects always seek Jay Smith's blessing ahead of time, which I think is the only way to go, given his generosity and contributions to gaming.

 

As for contacting Jay Smith, I think some of the members of rec.games.vectrex correspond with him from time to time. You might try asking over there.

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I've always questioned the official line.

Surely the licenses for several games have expired.

 

Berzerk, Star Trek, Pole Position, and the Cinematronics games required licenses from other companies. Star Trek's less problematic since there's already a non-Trek version(European release was Star Ship). I seriously doubt they were perpetual licenses.

 

The specific Vectrex versions are owned by Smith, sure. But without rights to the names, they aren't distributable(unless you start distributing hacked ROM images, overlay scans, and manual scans that replace the names).

 

 

 

With the Cinematronics games making up most of the system's library, that doesn't leave a whole lot of Vectrex stuff that's actually legally distributable.

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yes, it is a public domain

 

Absolutely NOT .. NO it is not public domain! Mr. Jay Smith still retains rights to the Vectrex and original Vectrex games. But as previously stated he has given permission to the Vectrex community to reproduce and distribute the original game materials without profit.

 

So for example you can burn the original game binaries and materials on a CD and sell for $1.

 

Rob Mitchell, Atlanta, GA

Edited by Rob Mitchell
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