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neotokeo2001

Hozer Videogames Stealing Again / PLEASE READ

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I think a hack could be considered a "derivative" of the original work and if the original copyright holders aren't protecting their property when their copyrights expire then the copyright transfers to the person who was last given permission to create a derivative work. Of course, most hack aren't derivatives created with permission so I have no idea where they'd stand legally. Not entirely relevant, of course, we are decades away from the expiration of copywritten material created in the 70s. There was a case fairly recently, however, of a Coca-Cola trademark's copyright expiring and an freelance artist who had recently been comissioned to create a derivative work of the trademark suddenly found himself a) in legal ownership of a formerly owned by Coca-Cola trademark property and b) under heinous attack (both legally and personally as they attempted to defame his reputation in the process) by Coke's corporate lawyers to get the property back. Hmm, I guess I'll have to find a link on that somewhere.

 

Anyway, my point is, if the material is not being protected by the original creators and someone creates a derivative work (even without permission) then my understanding of it is that the derivative work is in fact the intellectual property of the person who made the hack.

 

Now, with regards to that label, that looks a lot like a legitimate Wolfenstein property to which I doubt very much the artist who made the label had permission to create a derivative work of the Wolfenstein IP. The creators are probably still protecting their rights to it, it's a pretty recent thing isn't it? As I understand the copyright thing (which is admittedly a minimal understanding), the owners of the Wolfenstein trademark have more grounds to sue the label artist than the label artist has grounds to sue the unauthorized seller of his unauthorized derivative work.

 

Perhaps someone with actual legal training could tell us more about this as I've probably gotten more than a few concepts wrong.

 

Regardless of his rights or lack of right to sell it, I'm glad he pulled it and apologized. This is a community and people shouldn't be sponging off the creative efforts of others.

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First of all, I don't agree with either the hacking of copyrighted material, or the distribution of programs without permission.

 

But what I can't understand is how neotokeo2001 could complain that Randy stole his label art, when his label art was taken directly from Return to Castle Wolfenstein.

 

I wonder what the people at id software would think about this thread.

That's a good point, but it doesn't matter what id software thinks until they come here to post. Whether neo owns the game he hacked or the artwork he used is not the issue. Even if we are to assume that neo created this game illegally, does that somehow make it right for Hozer to bootleg it?

 

Look at the overall situation this way...

 

Suppose I'm in a band. We're playing a show and perform a far-out cover version of a song we did not write. You're in the audience listening and you like what you've been hearing. You have a tape recorder and decide to record our performance. You then later use this tape to make a bootleg CD and begin selling it without the band's permission. Now, legally do we have a right to stop you from selling a recording of a live public performance of a song that we did not write? Probably not. But whether we can legally stop you or not, do we however have a reason to be pissed at you for profiting from our work? Absolutely. As has been repeated ad infinitum, this is a moral issue not a legal one.

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Just to prove that he is also using my old label art as well.

 

WolfCart50.gif Wolfenstein.JPG

 

I post small versions of all of my labels and from the quality it looks like he just blew up the small image and added that Hozer face to it. I know for a fact that it is my label. If you look closely under the Wolfenstein logo you will see some areas of black that are a different shade. You will see some squiggles and splotches. My old monitor had trouble displaying different shades of black so I wasn't aware that those areas were visible. Of course the label on EBAY has the same marks.

 

First of all, I don't agree with either the hacking of copyrighted material, or the distribution of programs without permission.

 

But what I can't understand is how neotokeo2001 could complain that Randy stole his label art, when his label art was taken directly from Return to Castle Wolfenstein.

 

I wonder what the people at id software would think about this thread.

 

 

I posted the label example because Randy (Hozer) has stated in the past that if BIN files to any game can be found all over the internet then he should be free to use it. That label can only be found on my website and in the original AtariAge post. I actually contacted Id Software several years ago when I first started working on Wolfenstein VCS and received a reply that was somewhat confused as to why anyone would care about the Atari 2600. That is one of the reasons original label art was created for the game and the Wolfenstein logo was not used.

 

As I stated before, I know that the majority of my games are hacks and that I have no legal recourse in protecting those hacks. But that doesn't mean that I can't do other things to discourage someone else trying to profit off of what I view as a fun hobby. I don't do this to make money and I will do what I can to keep other people from abusing this community.

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Suppose I'm in a band. We're playing a show and perform a far-out cover version of a song we did not write. You're in the audience listening and you like what you've been hearing. You have a tape recorder and decide to record our performance. You then later use this tape to make a bootleg CD and begin selling it without the band's permission. Now, legally do we have a right to stop you from selling a recording of a live public performance of a song that we did not write? Probably not. But whether we can legally stop you or not, do we however have a reason to be pissed at you for profiting from our work? Absolutely. As has been repeated ad infinitum, this is a moral issue not a legal one.

Suppose I'm the writer of that song and I wrote the song 25 years ago and forgot about it. Now this band is using my song and not paying me any royalties for its use. I may not be aware of it but that doesn't make it morally right either.

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Think about this for a second. I consider Video Games to a Visual Artform. In a technical sense you could say that the Andy Warhol prints of the Campbell's tomato soup can is in deed a hack of original art. So does that mean that a person would have the legal right to reprint Andy Warhol's work that were hacks of other things?

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Suppose I'm the writer of that song and I wrote the song 25 years ago and forgot about it. Now this band is using my song and not paying me any royalties for its use. I may not be aware of it but that doesn't make it morally right either.

But that's your fault as the artist if you don't make any effort to protect your copyrights...if you don't, you're giving implied consent to other artists to use your work. Furthermore, what is the (hypothetical) situation? Is the band simply playing your song or are they trying to sell it and profit from it?

 

The bottom line is that neo makes no profit on these hacks and simply insists that other people do not try to do so. As such, I really don't know where you're going with these arguments.

 

Think about this for a second. I consider Video Games to a Visual Artform. In a technical sense you could say that the Andy Warhol prints of the Campbell's tomato soup can is in deed a hack of original art. So does that mean that a person would have the legal right to reprint Andy Warhol's work that were hacks of other things?

Nope. Just as a bootlegger would have no right to profit off of a song I played that was a 'hack' (cover version) of someone else's original work.

Edited by PingvinBlueJeans

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Not every hack is as simple as you are making them out to be.

 

Yes, the amount of work put into hacks varies greatly. The most advanced hack (well, group of hacks) I've ever played is Haunted Adventure Trilogy.

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Suppose I'm the writer of that song and I wrote the song 25 years ago and forgot about it. Now this band is using my song and not paying me any royalties for its use. I may not be aware of it but that doesn't make it morally right either.

 

Good example of this is The Verve using the old Andrew Loog Oldman samples for Bittersweet Symphony.

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But that's your fault as the artist if you don't make any effort to protect your copyrights...if you don't, you're giving implied consent to other artists to use your work. Furthermore, what is the (hypothetical) situation? Is the band simply playing your song or are they trying to sell it and profit from it?

 

That's how Youtube got big, placing the burden on copyright owners to play an expensive game of whack-a-mole.

 

I think the situation with classic games (other than the Vectrex) is that the copyright holders are 'withholding prosecution' for ROM distribution and hacking. They reserve the right to issue cease and desists at any time, as Activision did with AA a while back when Anthology came out. The games are not in the public domain.

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They reserve the right to issue cease and desists at any time, as Activision did with AA a while back when Anthology came out. The games are not in the public domain.

There was no Cease and Desist from Activision with regards to the ROMs on AtariAge. At the time we were working together with Activision on an interesting web project and they knew we had their ROMs here. They unofficially asked me to take the ROMs offline and I did. I don't think they ever would have issued a C&D over it, though.

 

..Al

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It's funny how some people jump to conclusions.

 

#1 - All hacks suck

 

#2 - Everyone who releases a hack on cartridge is just like Atari Charles. $$$$

 

I remember how cool it was when I learned how to actually change the graphics in Atari games. The game was Demon Attack and it has always been my favorite Atari 2600 game ever since I brought that shiny silver flying dinosaur box home. I went and changed all of the enemy graphics as well as the players ship. Original game is on the left.

 

DemonAttackTitle.jpg z26p0001resize.jpg

 

DemonAttack.jpg z26p0003resize.jpg

 

Not much different is it? Those simple changes almost made it seem like a whole new game to me. I spent hours playing my new version and tweaking the graphics. It was possibly one of the greatest Atari moments I have ever had. That is until I found out that I could actually have a cartridge made and play it on a REAL Atari 2600. I had made a label for Demon Attack in the Fancy Label Club, A club where the members made new labels for their favorite Atari 2600 games and then shared them with other members. That is where the name Extinction for my hack came from. Playing my version of my favorite game on my Atari 2600 was one of the coolest things ever.

 

a2demon.jpg

 

I discovered AtariAge and found out that there was actually a forum where other people were posting hacks that they made. I thought it was strange that after posting some of my hacks that I started receiving messages from people asking if I was going to make the hack available on cartridge for other people. I started having small runs of my hacks made on cartridge for the other members who were interested in getting a copy. Usually 20 copies and it took several weeks for those to sell. I never even thought of getting rich offering the carts. I was just happy that other people liked them and charged as close to cost as I was able to. And I guess you can say it has grown from there. I still make small runs of my hacks available on cartridge and still try to sell them at close to cost. It is never enough and some people are unhappy about the small numbers that are made. This is a fun hobby and not a business and I plan on keeping it that way.

 

I know that I have posted my views several times before, Especially concerning Atari Charles hacks but I thought it was necessary after reading a few of the post. I have respected Leonard for a long time and it just doesn't sit well with me that he seems to think of me as a profit hungry pirate protecting my stolen treasure. I promise Leonard, I am actually not that bad.

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it just doesn't sit well with me that he seems to think of me as a profit hungry pirate protecting my stolen treasure. I promise Leonard, I am actually not that bad.

 

Where in any of my postings have I ever said that?

 

Look, if you want to hack an existing program as a learning tool to programming the VCS, I have no problem with that. i'm just saying that the minute you start distributing it, even if the final product contains a fraction of the original program, that fraction is still code that has been written by someone else and is copyrightable material (even if it hadn't been registered with the copyright office). And if the original coder doesn't know about it, to me it doesn't make it any righter.

 

That's just my 2 cents. Believe me, I'm not judging you or anything.

 

And PingvinBlueJeans, in an earlier post you replied to me by asking: "Even if we are to assume that neo created this game illegally, does that somehow make it right for Hozer to bootleg it?". In my original post I wrote: "First of all, I don't agree with either the hacking of copyrighted material, or the distribution of programs without permission." In the second part about distribution I was referring to Hozer, but I can see how it might have been taken out of context.

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At the time we were working together with Activision on an interesting web project

 

..Al

 

that was a sweet looking project, what happened with it? :sad:

 

Rick

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At the time we were working together with Activision on an interesting web project

 

..Al

 

that was a sweet looking project, what happened with it? :sad:

 

Rick

I'll have to dig it up and put it online, I have it backed up somewhere. Assuming you and I are talking about the same thing. :)

 

..Al

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At the time we were working together with Activision on an interesting web project

 

..Al

 

that was a sweet looking project, what happened with it? :sad:

 

Rick

Assuming you and I are talking about the same thing. :)

 

..Al

yes we are! :lust:

 

Rick

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And PingvinBlueJeans, in an earlier post you replied to me by asking: "Even if we are to assume that neo created this game illegally, does that somehow make it right for Hozer to bootleg it?". In my original post I wrote: "First of all, I don't agree with either the hacking of copyrighted material, or the distribution of programs without permission." In the second part about distribution I was referring to Hozer, but I can see how it might have been taken out of context.

Don't worry Len...just to be safe, I'm reporting everyone in this thread for breaking the law.

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And PingvinBlueJeans, in an earlier post you replied to me by asking: "Even if we are to assume that neo created this game illegally, does that somehow make it right for Hozer to bootleg it?". In my original post I wrote: "First of all, I don't agree with either the hacking of copyrighted material, or the distribution of programs without permission." In the second part about distribution I was referring to Hozer, but I can see how it might have been taken out of context.

Don't worry Len...just to be safe, I'm reporting everyone in this thread for breaking the law.

 

 

AHHHHHH!!!! MY EYES!!! MY EYES!!! MOMMY MAKE IT GO AWAY!

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Wow, what a fiery thread! Seems like some unfair things are being said about those siding with copyright laws like Rolenta and Crazy Climber.

 

First the obvious:

 

I think we all agree that hacking of a still copyrighted material is wrong regardless of how it is done. Also I think we also agree that the label is also in the wrong because it is a copy of still copyrighted material as well but slightly altered.

 

Since the publisher is not aware of these violations, it is safe to say that the creator of the hack will probably be safe until either he is found out by the publisher or starts making money from the hack (which is unlikely at this point).

 

The debate:

 

Is it wrong for someone else to sell a hack of a hack? I'm with Rolenta on this one. While disrespectful no doubt, I cannot see why would anyone be upset over it since it is a hack of an original work anyway. This is like Robin Hood complaining about another thief who is stealing to give to the poor!

 

In the end, I am happy to see the creator of the hack was able to resolve this peacefully.

 

This is a small community and I suppose we all should be happy when people try their best to create a new game for everyone to enjoy however we still have to respect those that own the original title (this is not referring to homebrews). Last time I checked, the Wolfenstein series is still a highly regarded property of I.D. Software!

 

What would be nice to see if there were programmers who were willing to take Atari 2600 programming into an artform by using all the programming techniques & tools available today to make an original re-work of an old classic without hacking the original code. We seen people do it with games like Pac-Man at various trade shows for demonstration purposes and it was done with some amazing results. How great would an original re-write of Wolfenstein be with today's programming tools?

 

Imagine if someone could create a great version of Donkey Kong for download. As long as it is being done for the art and no money is being made, I cannot find any fault with this type of artistic view. If someone is trying to hack and add a bunch of new code to an old program, why not just try and create a new code altogether?

 

However, when it comes to straight out hacking, I am very much against it in any form but I do understand what was done is done and as long as no money was made on it; in the end it is harmless fun and it looks like Neotokeo2001 had a lot of fun doing it.

 

But wow, what a can of worms this opens up! Speaking of which, let's talk about Pong...just kidding! Whole different matter! LOL

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Is it wrong for someone else to sell a hack of a

hack?

It is not wrong as long as the author of game and hack do not care that you build a hack of the hack. But if they directly tell you that they do not want it, and you still do it, then this is wrong. But obviously the seller was not 100% aware of what he was doing and it is good that he changed his mind.

 

I cannot see why would anyone be upset over it since it is a hack of an original work anyway.

My point is that you should not take something if you are directly told not to take it. And I still think that nobody is allowed to take the hackers work against his will. Tell me why the hack thief is not just using the original ? Nobody would complain if the work of the hacker is not stolen. Thats what it is all about. The work of the hacker is stolen. Most hackers would NEVER release anything against the explicit will of the original author. Certain other people do and that is wrong.

 

This is like Robin Hood complaining about another thief who is stealing to give to the poor!

Nobody is stealing Robins work. Robin is stealing from people who care and that is also wrong. I don't see how this fits to what we are discussing here.

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This is like Robin Hood complaining about another thief who is stealing to give to the poor!

Nobody is stealing Robins work. Robin is stealing from people who care and that is also wrong. I don't see how this fits to what we are discussing here.

 

Actually, it's an almost perfect analogy.

 

 

neotokeo2001 was Robin Hood who 'stole' from the rich (Exidy? Coleco? Atari? and id Software) to give to the poor (new hacked games that people wanted to play). But Hozer was the thief who stole from neotokeo2001. Whether Hozer 'stole' from neotokeo2001 for altruistic reasons, or he simply wanted to make money, isn't relevant for this analogy.

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neotokeo2001 was Robin Hood who 'stole' from the rich (Exidy? Coleco? Atari? and id Software) to give to the poor (new hacked games that people wanted to play). But Hozer was the thief who stole from neotokeo2001. Whether Hozer 'stole' from neotokeo2001 for altruistic reasons, or he simply wanted to make money, isn't relevant for this analogy.

I agree with Kroko, this analogy is completely wrong.

 

IMO the key differences are:

1. The "rich" don't care. neo "stole" something from their wastebasket. He is no Robin Hood.

2. In our case, Robin and the thief are supposed to be members of the same community, they are supposed to be friends. What you are describing is like Friar Tuck stealing from Robin Hood. Bad, very bad IMO.

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Just to muddy the waters a bit... Also, let me qualify that I'm not defending people, it just looks inconsistent from this angle.

 

Could someone explain to me why it is ok to do the Pac man collection hack where I'm reasonably sure Namco hasn't given out permission on their Pac-Man property and the various reproductions that pop up here and there throughout the community. I'm not complaining that these exist, because Cola Invaders was an affordable solution to the monstrously expensive Pepsi Invaders, or the ones CPU periodically does. I've picked up a number of repros and hacks off of him. I like repros, because it makes the financially inaccessible accessible. Or even PAL to NTSC conversions, these are really awesome for the gamer who doesn't have the resources to track down a multi-region TV. As long as these games are not pawned off as an original copy, I'm happy.

 

How are these different from what Hozer is doing? The 7800 hacks of Pac-man most likely didn't get permission from Namco. The repros I suspect don't typically involve getting permission from the original creators either. Although that may be due to either inablity to contact the original programmer or even figure out who they were.

 

At the same time, I agree that if an active homebrewer is getting his work swiped without so much as a credit-line, that's not cool. At that point yes, I agree the reproduction is out of line and should not occur. Especially if it's still being readily sold at the 'list price'. For out of print homebrews I do think that the original creator deserves proper credit, but wouldn't feel bad buying an out of print repro because of the accessibility issue. It may be their property, but if the demand exists, why not make more unless the goal is to drive up the price? It then becomes a mess with forces like greed, limited resources, and some morality thrown in for good measure.

 

Oh man, am I gonna get flamed for this one... :|

 

Hex.

[ Mr Pot, meet Mr.Kettle... ]

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Oh man, am I gonna get flamed for this one... :|

 

The original complaint in this topic was that Hozer was selling copies of Wolfenstein, a game hacked from Venture, using intellectual properties of id software, without neotokeo2001's permission.

 

First, I didn't think that the Pacman collection was hacked. However, it is using intellectual properties owned by Namco without Namco's permission.

 

Second, I believe Albert has permission from the person who wrote the 7800 collection, to sell it.

 

The bottom line, the 7800 collection is probably just as illegal as the 2600 Wolfenstein.

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... just for the record, I tried contacting Namco NUMEROUS times to ask for permission to do PMC, and in different ways: (E-mail, through contacts, even leaving a message on their own message board). All requests fell on deaf ears. Made me think that they must not care what happens on a 25+ year old console... I can understand that - trying to determine if it's worth their time to either draw up some sort of agreement, or ignore the few copies that may be sold for a 25+ year old system. Which is the lesser amount of money spent?

 

And Al absolutely has the right to sell it, with regard to my end of the IP. In fact, I contacted *him* about it. Whatever I can add to keep this site alive. I don't know what his part is of the money received for each cart sold, but I only hope in some small way it helps keep this site active.

 

I would be *very* pissed if I found out that Hozer was selling this cart. Thank God he doesn't have 7800 boards.

 

... oh and BTW, I started with the kernel of 7800 Ms. Pac-Man and just about changed everything else.

Edited by PacManPlus

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Or even PAL to NTSC conversions, these are really awesome for the gamer who doesn't have the resources to track down a multi-region TV. As long as these games are not pawned off as an original copy, I'm happy.

So, if I do all the work and convert those games to NTSC and then someone comes and sells them even though I clearly do NOT want him to do so, that's OK for you?

 

For out of print homebrews I do think that the original creator deserves proper credit, but wouldn't feel bad buying an out of print repro because of the accessibility issue. It may be their property, but if the demand exists, why not make more unless the goal is to drive up the price? It then becomes a mess with forces like greed, limited resources, and some morality thrown in for good measure.

So, if a homebrewer decides to not to release or remove his game from the market (for whatever reasons), do you think it is ok to act against his intentions?

 

IMO it doesn't matter why the homebrewer does it, it IS and REMAINS his interlectual property. And I would expect the Atari community to respect his wishes. Even though you may not like them.

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