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What's the official Digital Press/CGE stance on this?

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Wow. I'm saddened and disappointed by the rest of the AtariAge members with regards to this situation. Let's flash back a few months:

 

THOMAS: "Please stop selling my hacked games. Though there is a question as to whether I have any legal right to them, you should at least respect my input until this can be ironed out."

HOZER: "Screw you. Unless you can whip out a piece of paper saying otherwise, I'll do what I want."

ATARI AGE MEMBERS: "Rhubarb! Rhubarb! Rhubarb! Outrage! Outrage! Outrage! Boycott! Boycott! Boycott!"

 

And today:

JOHN/SEAN: "PLease stop selling these Commvid carts. Though there is a question as to copyright issues and such, you should at least respect our input until this can be ironed out."

MARK: "Screw you. Unless you can whip out a piece of paper saying otherwise, I'll do what I want."

ATARI AGE MEMBERS: <<<>>>

 

So, how's the rest of the board members feel about this? Or am I the only one fearing the rise of a sweltering case of hypocracy?

 

 

All parties involved are acting like a bunch of babies. You are fighting over stuff that was not originally created by any of you in the first place. As a consumer, I go to where the best product is. I don't care about moral objections to acts that are immoral in the first place. I like the services/games/products that were/are provided by all of the people mentioned above. Most people are probably remaining silent because they don't feel like jumping onto another bullsh*t bandwagon again.

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I don't know anything about copywrite law other than the US Supreme Court just extended copywrite for a total of 95 years which means that we still need to wait for another 20 years for Walt Disney's homebrew film, "Steamboat Willie" starring Mickey Mouse, to become a public domain item.

 

Disney and Activision are still in existence and have lawyers with whom they can continue to enforce their copywrites. Activision notified Atariage and requested that the ROMs be removed. I just checked and Commavid ROMs are still here .. which means that *anyone* can download and execute these on emulation, RAM carts or EPROM. I have the Cuttle Cart and I was playing with Magicard and Video Life some time before Mark started reproducing them. (I did pick up a copy of Video Life from Mark in an eBay auction just for fun and because it was $12.)

 

We really don't know what happened to Randy at Hozer. Thomas' report of his correspondence with Randy is the public report. What did Activision tell Randy? Perhaps enough to decide to shut down? Who knows? I didn't really care as I invested in the Cuttle Cart and I have never purchased from Randy.

 

But who really cares about Magicard and Video Life? Both are 5 minute curiosities .. and require alot of digging to get into .. still just to satisfy a curiosity. I think your average gameplayer or collector is gonna go for the real thing which is gameplay or collectability (reproductions of Magicard and Video Life have neither).

 

I don't think Mark was making a bundle on the original PCB reproductions and now he has whittled the design down to a 2 ROM multicart .. which means he has done alot of the legwork for the legitimate copywrite holders if they do come forward and wish to buy his remaining stock.

 

There are alot of egos in this hobby .. and it is sad to see people throw their weight around because they have a claim to a small part of Atari history.

 

Rob Mitchell, Atlanta, GA

(I was thinking of making a PCB of the Magicard cassette interface circuit to sell .. but the demand is probably nil. Does someone own a copywrite to the cassette circuit?)

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why can't we all just get along? :sad:

 

@Mark, love your multi-cart looks sharp!! i put in my order for one!

8)

 

Take care,

 

Rick

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There are alot of egos in this hobby .. and it is sad to see people throw their weight around because they have a claim to a small part of Atari history.

 

I think you hit the nail on the head.

 

Tempest

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Wow. I'm saddened and disappointed by the rest of the AtariAge members with regards to this situation. Let's flash back a few months:

 

THOMAS: "Please stop selling my hacked games. Though there is a question as to whether I have any legal right to them, you should at least respect my input until this can be ironed out."

HOZER: "Screw you. Unless you can whip out a piece of paper saying otherwise, I'll do what I want."

ATARI AGE MEMBERS: "Rhubarb! Rhubarb! Rhubarb! Outrage! Outrage! Outrage! Boycott! Boycott! Boycott!"

 

And today:

JOHN/SEAN: "PLease stop selling these Commvid carts. Though there is a question as to copyright issues and such, you should at least respect our input until this can be ironed out."

MARK: "Screw you. Unless you can whip out a piece of paper saying otherwise, I'll do what I want."

ATARI AGE MEMBERS: <<<<Not a friggin' peep.>>>>

 

So, how's the rest of the board members feel about this? Or am I the only one fearing the rise of a sweltering case of hypocracy?

 

There was a lot more to the Hozer situation than that, the hacks just brought the situation out in the open. Although not all the facts were ever made public (I see no point in dragging out the negativity), there was no question that Randy did certain things (and I'm not talking about Thomas' hacks). If you go back and read my old post in the big Hozer thread, you will see some hints at what I'm talking about. I really don't mean to open this old wound, but a lot of people seem to think that Thomas hacks were the only problem, and that is not the case.

 

As for the case with Mark, there seem to be a lot of questions. Mark claims to have legal documents stating one thing, Sean and John another.

It certainly appears that Mark began making these carts in good faith, and then Sean and John did not follow through on an agreement they made. I can understand how that would make Mark inclined to say "show me the proof". If they can do that, case closed.

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My favorite quote in this entire thread:

 

Most people are probably remaining silent because they don't feel like jumping onto another bullsh*t bandwagon again.

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My favorite quote in the thread:

 

Check out the continuing adventures of Pitfall Hairy!! Updated 12/25 HAIRY XMAS!!!!!

 

Whoa...that's almost a year away :sad:

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My favorite quote in this whole thread:

Many Shubs and Zuuls could tell you what is was like to be roasted in the depths of the Sloar that day, I could tell you!

 

Whoops. My bad. That's from Ghostbusters. :D

 

Just shooting for a brief respite of levity before we swing into Round Two.

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My favorite quote in this entire thread:

 

Most people are probably remaining silent because they don't feel like jumping onto another bullsh*t bandwagon again.

 

Well, there is that. :) I am definitely growing weary of all the negativitiy in this hobby as well. I don't know if there is more negativity now, or if I'm just more aware of it, but it's definitely not as pleasant as it used to be.

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This whole thing doesn't seem that complicated.

 

1. Mark makes cart he doesn't have the rights to.

2. The guys who claim to have the rights ask him to stop. He asks to see a copy of their rights. This is a reasonable request and they should fufill it.

 

Therefore, if the rights are established as Sean/John's, Mark should not sell his carts. Any arguments about other multicarts are irrelavent to this argument. Another irrelavent point is that Mark still has excess inventory of the cart. That doesn't mean anything legally in the copyright argument. It breaks down to not being Sean/John's problem if Mark invested money in making something he wasn't legally entitled to. The whole part of the post about having his lawer look for the copyright and finding nothing doesn't entitle him to it legally. It means his lawyer stinks.

 

In the end I don't think this is going to make any really serious amounts of money for anybody legally or not. I wouldn't buy it and I would doubt most gamers would, leaving only really hardcore collectors. If one of you or both of you sell it, nobody is going to make much or change the world in any way so I guess I'm saying, "Who cares?"

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So, how's the rest of the board members feel about this? Or am I the only one fearing the rise of a sweltering case of hypocracy?

 

I stayed out of the Hozer fiasco. I just couldn't believe it was happening :sad:

 

This one I think could have stayed between the parties involved. Was there really a need to bring this to the public and add another soar to the hobby? I'm pretty sure a number of us have stories to tell but is it worth it? This is suppose to be for fun, right? There is really no need to bring all the uglyies out for everyone to see.

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I had a feeling there might be a corresponding thread on AA about this topic. Sheesh, so much to answer...

 

Sean and I did not just buy some stuff from a commavid programmer. We spent a lot of time and money meeting with the three (3) owners of commavid and purchasing the companies remaining assets. Assets that include binders of paperwork, source code, corporate seals, eproms, and some products. We purchased all that was left of Commavid from the three owners along with the rights to the CommaVid game catalog (something the 3 of them were certainly able to sell us since they also wrote the games.)

 

Unlike most companies from the old days, Commavid shut down operations and paid off it's creditors. It did not file bankruptcy and even paid off shareholders of their stock. The owners/founders of the company retained full rights/control over the remaining assets.

 

We did not purchase Commavid to throw any weight around as some have suggested. We merely saw an opportunity to preserve what we saw as an important piece of videogame history. Do we hope to someday recoup our costs? Of course we do, but even if we don't that would be o.k. Sure we got some product in the deal and it seems kind of cool to own the rights to those games, but we're certainly not going to get rich from doing it.

 

Mark, Sean has already addressed the multi-cart issue and I believe he corrected the misinformation you were given regarding the CGE releases in his post on DP. I have to take issue with your claims though since you are now outright lying about this!

 

Everyone who knows me knows that I am the worst when it comes to responding to emails, but I *DO* know *WHO* emails me and I can assure you, you were not one of them. The same goes for calling.

 

1) You did not email myself or Sean after CGE.

2) You did not call myself or Sean after CGE.

3) At no time did you ever request a copy of our contract.

4) At no time did you ever mention non-refundable plane tickets (not that it matters now)

 

When Sean first contacted you and informed you that we were in negotiations to purchase the CommaVid rights, you basically told us to sue you if we thought we could. You had invested money in the product and were not going to lose money on the deal. We fully acknowledge that you had already started selling the carts and there was no way you could have known we were trying to buy the rights.

 

I later contacted you and we reached a tentative deal. If you remember, the deal allowed you to sell 10 more of each cart and we would purchase your remaining stock for $1500. The catch was that you were to immediately remove those carts from your web-site and not advertise them, and were to sell the 20 carts on the side (You even stated that this wouldn't be a problem as you would be taking them to Cinciclassic). Well, CGE came and went and you never fulfilled your end of the agreement. The carts were never removed from your site (in fact they're still up there now).

 

At that point there didn't seem to be any point to pushing the issue. We didn't really have the money, and you had kept selling and advertising the carts. Do me a favor though and don't lie about it. To say that you sent us all these emails and phone calls and kept asking for copies of the contract is insulting and downright ridiculous.

 

The other thing is that although you had no idea of our plans when you made your initial run of carts, you certainly knew full well of our plans when you designed your latest multi-cart. That was simply a slap in the face to us, like an attempt to rub our nose in the fact that we don't have the resources to do anything about it.

 

As for this nonsense about no copyright marks, I urge you to look here...

http://www.atariage.com/cart_page.html?Sof...wareLabelID=281

 

and here...

http://www.atariage.com/manual_page.html?S...&currentPage=2&

 

Although I don't have a scan of the board handy, I seem to remember a copyright statement on there as well.

 

The bottom line is that I guess you can do what you want since we don't have the time nor the money to fight you. And keep in mind legal fighting is not why we bought these rights. We certainly could have asked people to remove the roms but that's not what we're all about, regardless of what people like Saunders might tell you (Did you think we missed your cheap shot Glenn?). We want people to enjoy the games but it would be nice if we could attempt to recoup our costs as well.

 

John

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1) You did not email myself or Sean after CGE.

2) You did not call myself or Sean after CGE.

3) At no time did you ever request a copy of our contract.

 

If this is true, it's unfortunate the issue became public first... but that doesn't matter now... he did ask you... publically... so ante up! :-)

 

The bottom line is that I guess you can do what you want since we don't have the time nor the money to fight you. And keep in mind legal fighting is not why we bought these rights. We certainly could have asked people to remove the roms but that's not what we're all about, regardless of what people like Saunders might tell you (Did you think we missed your cheap shot Glenn?). We want people to enjoy the games but it would be nice if we could attempt to recoup our costs as well.

 

Fantastic!!!! Case closed!!! it's unfortunate you and Mark will be "enemies" from now on... but at least it's agreed you both can sell the CommaVid games and move on!

 

Now... who wants pie!!!

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I don't think many people (including me) would begrudge Sean and John from stopping other people from selling these games if they bought the exclusive rights. It takes very little time or money to send Mark a fax of the contract. As far as I understand, that's all it will take for him to stop. Am I missing something?

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John, Not a cheap shot intended like you thought. I know it sounded like you do it for the money only but...I didn't write it to mean that. After rereading I admit It was poorly worded.

 

 

What I meant to say is that you want to make money too like everyone (in a good way) and not do it just for the love of the hobby. Otherwise the conflict would have never occurred and that's why you care about the copyright issue- to make profits nothing wrong with that.

 

That whole thing came out a little too negative- more than I intended. My fault.

 

I don't have a problem anyone with making a profit. You all should be able to profit from this by selling the best product. Just Not by trying to shut someone down.

 

You'll notice that I said in the next paragraph I said you all want to make money rephrased a little better. Bad choice of words for the first paragraph poorly written.

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So basically:

 

Mark should resolve his disagreements with Sean and John via private correspondence.

 

Those who wish to enjoy the Commavid ROMs should do so for their personal use only and not produce them in a commercial venture with the intent of resale until given permission by the copywrite owners (presumably John and Sean).

 

Time to move on ....

 

Video Games are about love.

 

Rob Mitchell, Atlanta, GA

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So, how's the rest of the board members feel about this?

I think that this thread degenerated much more into personal insults than the earlier one. As such, most people probably just want it to go away. At the risk of perpetuating it, I'll just say that once someone posts personal insults (rather than reasoned arguments) I add them to my ignore list. After that point, any discussion becomes a bit tricky.

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Scott, I don't know why you want protect John and Sean's interests so much.

 

Yeah, I don't know either :D

 

I'm not - I'm merely pointing out why Mark is blatantly wrong in regards to the copyright issue (something he seems adverse to admitting).

 

The company Commavid is DEAD. All copyrights do is protect profits.  Clearly they want to profit off of someone else's ideas otherwise they would not care.  Obviously is more than just the love of the hobby.

 

Not dead- under new ownership ;)

Copyrights can also help a product's (or company's) image from being damaged by knock-offs.

 

 

Mark sold his products before any of this came to light with no intent to infringe on anybody and should not be required to shut down.  

Mark, Sean and John all want to make profits.  Let them earn it by producing the best  product.

 

The orginal run of carts maybe, but definitely not the multicarts.

 

 

Sean and John bought some stuff off of someone that was part of a Dead Company.  This is merely a private transaction and doesn't give them any automatic copyright protection- no public record of anything.

 

Wrong. Some off that "stuff" they bought includes the copyrights to all of CommaVid's properties.

 

'nuff said.

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John's post brings up some interesting details.

 

Scott, I don't know enough of the intimate details. I get emotional about things I believe strongly about and I made my opinion clear enough and determined that and everyone else is entitled to their opinion. We may disagree but I do respect yours and everyones opinion. . One detail could sway the argument or one way or another.

 

 

It's really not up to AA and DP members to decide. :wink:

 

The bottom line is that we both don't know everything about what happened behind the curtains.

 

I decided to let them work it out and not add anymore fuel to the fire. I am sure it will be worked out one way or another.

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Ha! This has got to be one of the biggest jokes out there! They're trying to stop people from buying Magicard and Video Life, yet Sean is out there selling MultiCarts.

 

"What about the Activision and Imagic ROMS you guys have on your site?"

 

Grant you, you may not be selling them there.. but I know certain person out there who's selling MultiCarts. I wonder how much Activision makes off the sale of these.

 

Hmmm...

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If John and Sean do indeed own the copyright then yes, they do have the right to prevent these games from being reproduced.

 

But if they want to protect their copyright, they should conduct themselves in a more professional manner, like being able to follow up on communications privately. (They don't seem to have any trouble following up in these flamewars). This was part of the reason for the Nolangate fiasco (look it up in Google if you weren't around).

 

Also, I do think this is one case where an entitity buying out the rights to a catalog may do little for the interests of the classic community unless by some miracle there are a bunch of A-list Commavid protos they acquired in the deal waiting to be released I don't know about.

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I agree with you, Glenn.

 

But... the point is "They're going 'round trying to stop people from making these, yet they have OUR property available for D/L on their site."

 

On-top of that, Mr. Kelly is selling MultiCarts with OUR material on them. "How much of that do you think we actually see?"

 

I wonder how much of that Mr. Kelly see's.

 

Same with his Commercial videos. I wonder What Activision and Imagic commercials are on those.

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Ha! This has got to be one of the biggest jokes out there! They're trying to stop people from buying Magicard and Video Life, yet Sean is out there selling MultiCarts.

 

"What about the Activision and Imagic ROMS you guys have on your site?"

 

Grant you, you may not be selling them there.. but I know certain person out there who's selling MultiCarts. I wonder how much Activision makes off the sale of these.

 

Hmmm...

Looks like another Pandora's Box has been opened now. :sad:

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