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Coleco strong-arming homebrew publishers and fan sites

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Don't mind me I'm just posting here so I can follow the thread easier. Fascinating to say the least. I can't believe Mike Kennedy cloned himself.

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While I agree, there isn't a lot of money to be made from the homebrewers, but if you work on getting them out of the picture, and getting a fan site out of the picture that has almost five times the amount of followers that your corporate page has, then you win back a bit more "control" AND you can focus on where the spending from retro gaming fans goes. Or at least maybe this is the thought process by Coleco Holdings LLC?

 

Coleco Holdings LLC have made it pretty clear they are releasing some new products this year. New mini-arcades, new ColecoVision games, possibly even a new system, right?

 

And here we are a fan site, and we are featuring Opcode's games, CollectorVision's games, AtariAge's games and more to our 25,000+ people who have chosen to like our page. But what if we weren't around anymore? When you search "Coleco" or "ColecoVision" on Facebook, our page is the first result to appear. The official Coleco site is 2nd. Maybe the end goal for them is to push the fan sites and the homebrewers a little more out of the way by making it difficult for them to produce their games, so that more focus, and thus more money would be spent going directly to Coleco Holdings LLC.?

 

 

Your theory makes more sense now that you've gone into more detail. This does assume that Coleco has a poor understanding of the retro computing scene, which is possible.

 

Historically, a commercial platform holder's ability to control brand perception flows from their power to block distribution of games.

Colecovision was the last major game platform to implement no hardware controls to lock out unauthorized games, and this is cited as one of the reasons it eventually failed.

 

The pico8 homebrew platform holder manages to block distribution of lewd / infringing games without hardware controls,

but he does this by maintaining the free BBS and free game download system that are convenient for people to use.

 

If Coleco is a homebrew platform (it is right now) it would probably have to work more like the pico8 model, since there's no money involved.

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This does assume that Coleco has a poor understanding of the retro computing scene, which is possible.

 

There ya go! ;)

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There have been quite a few posts like this on the Coleco Holdings LLC Page:

 

I really don't think this is very complicated. From what I gather, the ColecoVision Fan facebook owner was accused of being a "developer" of soft porn games with the Coleco trademark and to cease and desist advertising of such. Coleco Holdings seems to refuse it wrongly targeted the ColecoVision Fan facebook site owner (who was just reporting what's available on the web).


The rest of the community is up in arms over Coleco Holdings of exercising their trademark rights (if it exists?).

My personal opinion? I think it would be prudent if the independent developers work with Coleco Holdings and give them respect enough to ask for rights to print their name on the box. It's only right. Whatever the cost, then pass that on to the consumer. I'd pay an extra dollar per game.

To the soft porn game producer... If Coleco doesn't want your game associated with their name, then quit printing their name on the box.

To Coleco Holdings.... Say you're sorry to the owner of ColecoVision Fan for falsely accusing them of producing the soft porn games. Seems simple to me.

 

We agree with everything stated in what is quoted above. None of it is unreasonable. It's all completely fair. Why is it that Coleco Holdings LLC cannot understand this? What is their REAL agenda here?

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Are there any active patents on the Colecovision hardware or copyrights on the BIOS? It seems to me that proving a violation of either of those would be the only legal way to prevent homebrew development. Even "adult" games would have to be allowed (Atari couldn't do anything about the Mystique games).

 

Repeating a point others and I have made, I think this is all just scare tactics. Coleco-In-Name-Only is simply trying to trick developers into thinking they need permission or some kind of license to produce games for the Colecovision. As long as no one violates the trademarks they do own, which seem to be nothing more than the name and logo at most, there's nothing they can do to stop it. Personally, I prefer when homebrew games have a unique look rather than just aping 35-year-old packaging.

 

My best guess is that the end goal of River West or Coleco Holdings or whatever the actual name of the "company" is is to stamp the Coleco logo on cheap products tangentially related to classic gaming, all produced by other companies that actually, you know, make stuff, grab a few bucks from the retro market and move on to stamping other logos on other products made by other companies in a year or so.

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There have been quite a few posts like this on the Coleco Holdings LLC Page:

 

 

 

We agree with everything stated in what is quoted above. None of it is unreasonable. It's all completely fair. Why is it that Coleco Holdings LLC cannot understand this? What is their REAL agenda here?

I believe the following is what you are looking for:

"He thinks he has a licensing model in place where we should pay royalties and get our content approved."

From this thread

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/265725-the-ugly-face-of-colecovision-behind-the-scenes-and-trademark/page-1?do=findComment&comment=3764787

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So this would kinda be like me taking a picture of my truck and posting it on Facebook. Ford could claim copyright infringement if the logo was visible? LOL

 

Technically and by the book yes. That's why some movies or TV shows have the marque either removed or modified. Same goes for DSLR cameras. They black out the "Canon" or "Nikon" names - its easy enough to do with a strip of black tape.

 

Some other reasons being that filmmakers don't want to perform free "product placement" advertising for a multi-billion dollar company. Or they don't want to be open to lawsuit for misrepresentation of a product. No high-performance car chases, no using of the camera to spy on people.. that sort of thing.

 

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Technically and by the book yes. That's why some movies or TV shows have the marque either removed or modified. Same goes for DSLR cameras. They black out the "Canon" or "Nikon" names - its easy enough to do with a strip of black tape.

 

Some other reasons being that filmmakers don't want to perform free "product placement" advertising for a multi-billion dollar company. Or they don't want to be open to lawsuit for misrepresentation of a product. No high-performance car chases, no using of the camera to spy on people.. that sort of thing.

 

 

As someone who actually used to deal in product placement in video games, and worked with the same legal teams who did it for motion pictures, I can tell you that's not the case. There is a HUGE DIFFERENCE between why a "product" is blurred out in a commercial movie or TV show and simply posting a picture on a non-revenue internet page. I would get into it more, but that's not really the focus on this thread. It would make an amazing sub-thread in a different discussion board, though!

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Repeating a point others and I have made, I think this is all just scare tactics. Coleco-In-Name-Only is simply trying to trick developers into thinking they need permission or some kind of license to produce games for the Colecovision. As long as no one violates the trademarks they do own, which seem to be nothing more than the name and logo at most, there's nothing they can do to stop it. Personally, I prefer when homebrew games have a unique look rather than just aping 35-year-old packaging.

 

When I see a Colecovision homebrew box, and it is done up in the old original style, I always have to take a second look and reference a vintage catalog to determine if it is an entirely new game, a reproduction, or new-old stock of a vintage game. So yes. There has to be appropriate differentiators on the box.

 

I have to do that because I only had a small collection of Coleco games back in the day.

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Fascinating to say the least. I can't believe Mike Kennedy cloned himself.

 

If Cardillo is a clone of Kennedy, there have been some serious mutations in his DNA.

 

Kennedy, a dreamer, had some old Jaguar plastic molds and a scam focused on bringing back 1992 through the power of wishing and talking a lot.

 

Cardillo, a troll, has an old COLECOtm copyright and a desire to be the only one with the rights to use that particular name on anything, while riding historical and pirate coattails.

 

Maybe they're made for each other, but they have very different ways of going about their particular hustles.

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I was on a TV show and I've seen it on others...they are very careful to hide anything that might be perceived as a logo, trademark or something copyrighted. In my case, I had a t-shirt on with an American Legion Baseball logo on it and they put a piece of tape over it.

 

 

Technically and by the book yes. That's why some movies or TV shows have the marque either removed or modified. Same goes for DSLR cameras. They black out the "Canon" or "Nikon" names - its easy enough to do with a strip of black tape.

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Are there any active patents on the Colecovision hardware or copyrights on the BIOS?

No idea.

 

Reminds me an old email I had from Telegames who replied "no" to my question if they knew who owns the rights on the BIOS.

 

It seems to me that proving a violation of either of those would be the only legal way to prevent homebrew development. Even "adult" games would have to be allowed (Atari couldn't do anything about the Mystique games).

Only my opinion (and I may be rambling at this point)...

I don't see why taking down a fan site was necessary in the first place even after reading private messages leaked here; but I do see why "not desired to see these games promoted" was brought up. It's a kind of dangerous slope that may lead to absurd things such as deny a "wack-a-mole" game because it promotes "animal cruelty" and it's bad for the brand.

Because they are games for adults that I've coded, I do feel bad that even the mention of these games for adults caused such drama and trouble. And I hope everyone gets their sites back and the issues resolved.

 

Repeating a point others and I have made, I think this is all just scare tactics. Coleco-In-Name-Only is simply trying to trick developers into thinking they need permission or some kind of license to produce games for the Colecovision. As long as no one violates the trademarks they do own, which seem to be nothing more than the name and logo at most, there's nothing they can do to stop it. Personally, I prefer when homebrew games have a unique look rather than just aping 35-year-old packaging.

I just came back in the active homebrew scene (as explained in another post) and still want to release something this year to say "I'm still around folks!"

I have so many projects on hold, and some files are lost forever, so I try to enjoy what I can do when it's still possible.

And I'm coding games for fun; it's my hobby, my passion. But if it's no more possible, then the fun is gone.

 

My best guess is that the end goal of River West or Coleco Holdings or whatever the actual name of the "company" is is to stamp the Coleco logo on cheap products tangentially related to classic gaming, all produced by other companies that actually, you know, make stuff, grab a few bucks from the retro market and move on to stamping other logos on other products made by other companies in a year or so.

I won't claim to know what could be the end goals, but I do see why some talks occurred.

 

I'm glad to have been noticed about this situation; thanks again for the message(s) on Twitter.

 

If need to be, I might recycle myself as a MSX developer, or go back toying with the devkit for DS and PSP games, or even Android.

... will not have the same deep connection as with my first videogame system (special place in my heart), but I think I will survive.

 

 

Daniel B.

Edited by newcoleco
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Because they are games for adults that I've coded, I do feel bad that even the mention of these games for adults caused such drama and trouble. And I hope everyone gets their sites back and the issues resolved.

 

You shouldn't be made to feel bad because you didn't do anything wrong by making those games. Just like we didn't do anything wrong by posting about them. Those games were clearly labeled who their audience is for. If Coleco Holdings LLC wants their name removed from the box, that's fine. I have never disagreed with that. It's their right and it's a fair request. But make that request to the appropriate parties. Don't come after a fan page trying to place blame, and if you're going to make the request, go to either Daniel or CollectorVision. I don't think either of you guys would try to fight it.

 

Daniel, you made those games, did Coleco Holdings LLC ever try to contact you? And if they did, wouldn't you have agreed to remove any Coleco logos or request CollectorVision to remove them on the next round of being published?

 

And I'm coding games for fun; it's my hobby, my passion. But if it's no more possible, then the fun is gone.

If need to be, I might recycle myself as a MSX developer, or go back toying with the devkit for DS and PSP games, or even Android.

... will not have the same deep connection as with my first videogame system (special place in my heart), but I think will survive.

 

And here is what truly upsets me about this whole thing. Coleco Holdings LLC's actions are absolutely affecting the homebrew developers and the community. And if that wasn't part of their agenda, why didn't they just come out and and explain that, say "Sorry guys, our bad, let's retract those claims and work with the homebrewers!" But that's not what they did. They defended their stance, attempted character assassination on both myself and Eduardo, and the fact that those trademark claims still stand on 63 different homebrew games tell me this is more than just being about "adult" games on their platform.

 

I'll post this again so there's no excuse that it's not being seen by Coleco Holdings LLC:

 

Dear Coleco Holdings LLC - We are still waiting on the retraction email for the claims you made. Actually, here, I’ll tell you what, if your issue is really ONLY about the “adult” games and the Nintendo games, retract all the other claims you made besides those two. This is a compromise I can live with, how about you?

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We need a game with Cardio Cris as a villain.

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Doubling down on claims, even in the face of indisputable evidence that those claims are wrong, isn't new. It fits perfectly with what I presume Chris Cardillo's personality is. I haven't dealt with him personally, so it's just conjecture on my part. Don't hold your breath waiting for that retraction. I've given up on arguments in situations where I was demonstrably right simply because I was tired of wasting time and energy on someone who was more interested in winning the argument than being right. And I have no doubt that in their minds, they won the argument, even if they were the only ones to think so.

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I guess I didn't read into it closely enough I guess the complaints were of games being made that had the logo on the box and that was what was pictured I thought it was because of just having pictures of ColecoVision games not new ones being made with the logo. So instead if making homebrews they would rather the box have a notice like this box has in lower right hand side?

 

 

80413_front.jpg

 

However all those Tengen games used the Nintendo Logo and name on the side of the box.

Edited by SignGuy81
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Doubling down on claims, even in the face of indisputable evidence that those claims are wrong, isn't new. It fits perfectly with what I presume Chris Cardillo's personality is. I haven't dealt with him personally, so it's just conjecture on my part. Don't hold your breath waiting for that retraction. I've given up on arguments in situations where I was demonstrably right simply because I was tired of wasting time and energy on someone who was more interested in winning the argument than being right. And I have no doubt that in their minds, they won the argument, even if they were the only ones to think so.

 

Sadly I feel you are correct in this statement. And the only reason why I'm continuing an effort to get those claims retracted is because without the retraction, regardless of what Coleco Holdings LLC may say about embracing the homebrew community, those trademark claims prove otherwise and all homebrewers, fan sites, podcast owners, YouTube channels, etc, SHOULD be at least a bit worried that at any given moment, the same could happen to them. And that is why it is important to me to keep fighting this. I'm not just doing it to win an argument, I'm doing it to set a precedent for the homebrew community.

 

If Coleco Holdings LLC is true in their claim that they are only really concerned about the "adult" games and the Nintendo licensed game, then retract all the other trademark claims. It's that simple. But by NOT retracting those claims, that action proves their comments about embracing the community are false.

 

It was absolutely disheartening waking up the other morning to multiple messages from Facebook that said this:

 

fb remove 0.png

fb remove 1.png

fb remove 2.png

 

Especially when we knew we didn't do anything wrong. And I don't want this same thing to happen to anyone else who is making games for the system out of passion for the community. That is why I will continue to fight this and hope we can get enough support to show Coleco Holdings LLC that the community also thinks it is unfair.

 

I will stand up for what I believe and go to bat for the community!

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You know what's lewd, guys?

 

When you're playing Smurf Rescue and you deliberately retreat from the final screen, knowing that it will cause Smurfette's dress to disappear for a few video frames.

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You know what's lewd, guys?

 

When you're playing Smurf Rescue and you deliberately retreat from the final screen, knowing that it will cause Smurfette's dress to disappear for a few video frames.

 

Well I'm sure Coleco Holdings will issue a recall notice to everyone that owns Smurf Rescue to rectify that situation and save family values throughout the civilised world.

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Recap on what Coleco Holdings fails to realize or refuses to acknowledge that they've done:

  • They've attacked fan pages that had nothing to do with their complaints
  • They repeatedly attacked fan pages that had nothing to do with their complaints
  • They've spread LIES about the fan pages that had nothing to do with their complaints
  • They've LIED about their complaints (just "one" request... yet they reported dozens of games and images)
  • They've used language that tried to insinuate that you have to make games FOR them, regardless of content, thus becoming lowly-paid or unpaid employees (more lies)
  • THE END RESULT OF THIS IS THEY'VE ALIENATED NOT ONLY THE COMMUNITY, BUT THEIR ENTIRE POTENTIAL MARKET. CONGRATULATIONS, YOU STUPID ASSHOLES!

I'm ashamed to admit I thought they had more intelligence than that. Anybody with half a brain can see that Coleco has done nothing but throw more and more gasoline onto the fire that THEY started. One minute you say you had "just one request" and then the next minute you're reporting over 30 games and images and then complaining about the use of the logo (which was not the complaint in your "one" request)... you're just a fucking liar, then. On top of that, you had the audacity to accuse the community of not being "true fans"... WOW. And you dumb asses wonder why the community's upset with you? SHEESH!

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Are there any active patents on the Colecovision hardware or copyrights on the BIOS?

 

US Patent duration maxes out at 20 years, so even if there was, and even if they owned the patents, they would have expired. Copyrights are of course still in effect, technically, but that would only apply to reproduction and/or distribution of the BIOS, not game software that uses it. The necessary steps to start software on the ColecoVision are so basic and so well known at this point that it would be difficult to try and re-protect them.

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Well I'm sure Coleco Holdings will issue a recall notice to everyone that owns Smurf Rescue to rectify that situation and save family values throughout the civilised world.

If you look at Chris Cardillo prior work, he would probably end up removing most of Smurfette's clothing, puff out the bra, and give all the Smurf's guns with tons of swearing and racial stereotypes

 

Click the below click to see a example of his movie work

 

http://www.imdb.com/video/user/vi123710489?ref_=nmvi_vi_imdb_2

Edited by enoofu
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If you look at Chris Cardillo prior work, he would probably end up removing most of Smurfette's clothing, puff out the bra, and give all the Smurf's guns with tons of swearing and racial stereotypes

 

Click the below click to see a example of his movie work

 

http://www.imdb.com/video/user/vi123710489?ref_=nmvi_vi_imdb_2

 

Someone should start a new Facebook fan page for Chris "Mr. Coleco" Cardillo, highlighting his excellent body of work, and please make sure to link to his Coleco page...

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Again guys. I ask that you keep the character assassination out of this thread. By making posts like this, you are being no better than when Cardillo himself attempted to do this to Eduardo and myself. While I can appreciate what you're doing, let's try to keep things professional, deal?

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