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Albert

Princess Rescue Now Available!

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Just to squash any speculation, yes, there was a Cease and Desist from Nintendo's intellectual property law firm regarding Princess Rescue and the Return to Mario Bros. hack. There was no gag order. I didn't want to say anything until I knew the situation was resolved, which it now is.

 

The Cease and Desist paints pretty broad strokes in terms of the infringement. The case is clear with the "Return of Mario Bros." hack since obviously "Mario Bros." is a trademark owned by Nintendo. Princess Rescue is less clear, although the music was specifically cited. I'm confident some of their claims could be argued, I'm not in a position to tackle a giant like Nintendo. I'm sure the game could be changed enough to avoid future attention, but then, that kind of defeats the whole point of the game, which was to see if SMB could be done on the 2600.

 

I do feel it would be worthwhile to take the same game engine and create a game with unique levels, graphics, audio and music, but that's entirely up to Sprybug. Right now he is busy with another project.

 

..Al

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Has everyone written to Nintendo to let them know how dissapointed you are in this? I have. I know nothing will come of it but they should be informed about how we feel.

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Their idea of a "soft touch" was allowing the ROM to be distributed. I guess the amount of disapproval people have depends on if you think P.R. was a tribute or a rip off.

 

Needless to say I strongly disapprove! As a homebrew developer this sets a precedent. There is no way I would even consider a tribute game anymore.

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All the hard work that went into this project is greatly appreciated by the community and regardless of how Nintendo sees it they can't take away the immense pride you should all feel for doing such amazing work!

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If I were Sprybug I'd print up the C&D and frame it as a badge of honor. He managed to threaten a large multinational corporation with his art on a retro console.

 

The "Nintendough Lawyer Man" parody version of the game could include a signed copy of the C&D in the box.

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Much as this saddening, it is important to also understand Nintendo's side. If a company let's their properties be willingly (or even just the perception) plagiarized, then it potentially becomes harder to defend any future claims in courts. Like it or not, this is called legal precedent and affects many cases. Nintendo has deep pockets and does come across as overly heavy handed in cases like this, but they risk Super Mario Bros falling into public domain otherwise. I'm not an attorney, but have studied some business law.

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from what al said it's mostly the music, why not take the music or do whole new music (changing the colors of the game characters can't hurt either)

Do some Tetris theme music, since it's all borrowed from public domain Russian composers, anyway.

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Wow! I come back after a week and I learn this... So sad!

Well now, I can only thanks Sprybug and Albert to have made this game available, in a ROM version and in a neat, physical version. I got lucky enough to get one copy and a box, but I feel sad about the other people that planned to get their cart and can't have it anymore.

Keep up the good work guys, and don't let fear of big companies put down other games projects.

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Their idea of a "soft touch" was allowing the ROM to be distributed. I guess the amount of disapproval people have depends on if you think P.R. was a tribute or a rip off.

 

Needless to say I strongly disapprove! As a homebrew developer this sets a precedent. There is no way I would even consider a tribute game anymore.

Loon, I kind of understand your feelings. But let's face it, this does not set a new precedent, for homebrewers the legal standing of such projects has always been clear. We always like to tell ourselves such games are tributes, they are just for a very small community, and we don't wapnt to earn money with them. It is a bit like self-suggestion, while being aware intellectually that this doesn't change a thing about the games being copyright infringements.

 

It just does not work this way; just because the assets are not pixel by pixel copy-pasted and the music had to be recreated for fewer channels doesn't change that it is Nintendo's IP. You can't type in a story on your PC, copying all the content from a real novel lying next to you and claim it's yours because of the typos that were not in the original.

 

Copyrights and trademarks exist to protect creativity, and we should be happy for that. Of course there are always exceptions where you and I both know it makes no sense, like this game here, because it does not hurt Nintendo in any way. We do have rules like fair use and protection of parody to make at least some usage of IP from people beside the copyright holder possible, but every such law has to have limits; and it can never do justice to all individual cases, it can only help create a compromise.

 

Everytime a company chooses to ignore such a project they take a risk. Things like Wolfenstein VCS or the Pac-Man games in the AA store are lucky not to be pulled from shelves, and the respective IP owners take a risk not interfering.

 

With Princess Rescue, several things factored in. It is pretty much a conversion of the NES game, trying to emulate it as close as possible. It is the IP of one of the biggest game company's with huge western branches as well. It was put on sale in a relatively big online shop (Atari Age), which was definitely challenging Albert's luck. And it got media coverage from at least one major website, namely IGN with their video promoting the sale of the game. Even if they wanted, it was hard to claim they did not know at Nintendo. They had to interfere.

 

Creatives want to have some legal protection from having their work stolen, but to do that justice we have to accept that some restrictions will also hurt people with good intentions of paying homage.

 

I would love to do a Shinobi game, Landstalker, a 2D Metal Gear... games that I value high. But clearly, I can not do that and expect the IP holders not to interfere.

 

This does however not mean you cannot do a tribute game thouh! Such games have always been made, and many of them are still made, completely legal. Tributes don't need to feature the same graphics and sound. Have you played Gunlord on Dreamcast or NeoGeo? It is a great tribute to Turrican if there ever was one. The internet is full of tribute games that just take care to not infringe any copyrights or trademarks. I know that there is a special something to having the iconic music tracks and the character look, but hey... just because we can't get it all like we want doesn't mean we can't do a great tribute in gameplay and overall style still. :)

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I'm more sad that I'll probably never see a cartridge of D.K. VCS now, though the D2K guys don't seem to be having any issues.

 

Ah, well, at least there's the Harmony.

 

Everytime a company chooses to ignore such a project they take a risk. ... Even if they wanted, it was hard to claim they did not know at Nintendo. They had to interfere.

 

You're conflating copyright with trademark, which is a common Internet mistake. Copyright protection is not "use it or lose it". Trademark is, but since PR wasn't using the Mario name or logo and you can't trademark music, trademark wasn't involved in this case. It was just a legal department being a legal department, and distribution for money always attracts more attention than free distribution (though that hasn't helped a lot of the fan-made Zelda tributes). Nintendo is a very litigious company, as witnessed by their Youtube takedowns of reviews by people and sites who are too small to have legal teams. That we as a culture haven't already kicked Nintendo to the curb is a statement about the quality of their work.

 

That said, it's been my experience that making homebrew to correct missing and poorly-ported games on our favorite systems is always a risk, in that you might attract the attention of not only the companies who hold the copyrights and trademarks in question, but also parasites who pretend to and who have a bigger legal budget than you.

 

You suggest making a "tribute" that doesn't involve the name or characters. The only such example I can think of that I consider any good was "3D Dot Game Heroes", and even that's mainly decent because of its parody elements and design conceit. And I'm an outlier for even liking that game; most people passed it up.

 

Okay, and also Zork.

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I know what you talking about on youtube, Sony went after everybody that put I dream of Jeannie shows on(hulu is the only the only place you can find them now and its not even all seasons just season2)

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Screw YouBoob, I Dream Of Jeanie is coming to MeTV this fall! :lol:

sorry it just left Metv for Tribune owned Antenna TV

(if your in IL and in the area of chicago metoo had IDOJ until tonight )

An-tv won't let go the monkees I would like that return to metv (antv has most of the broadcast rights to

any sony program)

Edited by Dan Iacovelli

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I didn't mean to offend anyone. I was referencing the cold war era in the United States where the public was literally afraid of communists, it even went so far as "witch hunt" style accusations where uttering the word in reference to a particular individual would ruin their career. In principal, communism does have some good ideas, but due to the laziness and selfishness of individuals, the system usually falls apart. Bees and Ants are mother nature's perfect model for communists. Every member works so hard to place the survival of the queen and hive above itself. In humanity, that level of loyalty is rare. Pure capitalism isn't exactly a perfect solution either as certain government regulation is necessary to limit corruption, maintain a healthy middle class, care for the sick and poor, etc.

I get you and I'm sorry for bringing it up man. I see you were just kidding around. Screw politics lets play Atari!!!

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Let me ask an ethical question here. I'm thinking of selling my copy of Princess Rescue.

 

Long version, I bought a second copy just before the C&D took place intending to give it as a gift. I found out later through keen observation that while my family loves Atari arcade style games they weren't too keen on PR due to bad taste. We'll actually they prefer it on the Nintendo so perhaps it's just a different opinion. Anyway that leaves me with an extra cart and manual. If I sell it I would ask 40 shipped to cover my original cost plus shipping.

 

Any thoughts, should I hold on to it?

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Let me ask an ethical question here. I'm thinking of selling my copy of Princess Rescue.

 

Long version, I bought a second copy just before the C&D took place intending to give it as a gift. I found out later through keen observation that while my family loves Atari arcade style games they weren't too keen on PR due to bad taste. We'll actually they prefer it on the Nintendo so perhaps it's just a different opinion. Anyway that leaves me with an extra cart and manual. If I sell it I would ask 40 shipped to cover my original cost plus shipping.

 

Any thoughts, should I hold on to it?

 

Eh, sell it if you want. I don't think anybody is going to fault you for it regardless of your reasons.

 

And hey, with CPUWIZ's link you could even pocket an extra buck or two!

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Ok, so maybe I should sell it for more then? I don't like people who buy games as investments but I could use the cash. I didn't think the game would be valuable since people can get the rom and get a cart made. Atari Age might not do it but I imagine Hozer and lot of other people will.

 

I'll decide what to do tomorrow.

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I would appreciate if people did not buy pirate copies of homebrew games from Hozer. Much less suggesting it right here on AtariAge. :(

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