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Coleco strong-arming homebrew publishers and fan sites

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The attached images show the use of both the coleco and colecovision logos on a box of Daniel's game with a box designed by Coleco_Master from 1997 which predates RWB completely. This is much more of a specimen then Ben's portable since this was an actual sold product. There are also several other uses before 2003, so that shouldn't be an issue.

 

As far as the Collectorvision Game system, the BIOS shouldn't be an issue ;).

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Here you go, page 59. I want to make it clear that I have no business relationship with anybody on these forums or with Pat or any part of his podcast; however, I wouldn't mind if Pat would hand me a huge sack of money for posting these videos on every page. :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two pages without the obligatory Pat videos... Have you been sleeping? :sleep:

 

In Before Dugger. Goodnight world. Sun is coming up...

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Good point but the drawing specimen submitted with the application is basically in the style that I first saw on Bens unit and appears to be the basis for the ColecoVision Flashback mark - except the color scheme in the submission in the one that is found with the Flashback. Im just curious if Coleco used the version that Ben used on his handheld. I think I have only ever seen the rainbow horizontal mark where the C and the V are capitalized like so --

 

attachicon.gifadam-tractor.jpg

 

 

I see what you mean. The only difference between Ben's and the Flashback I believe is the color patterns don't match up.

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I checked their new application this morning and let's just say I am kind of happy with what I saw. Someone is sweating

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....

And here are my thoughts from Eduardo's excellent post...

 

There is so much truth to this statement right here. You can try to argue what is "right or wrong" until you have breathed all the oxygen out of the air and suffocated the entire community, but the only party that can pass a true judgement is the holders of the intellectual property. I can tell you there were many, MANY instances from what I worked in the video games business where we saw similar things happen, and the company chose not to pursue it because it wasn't detrimental to their bottom line. When a company chooses to ignore something like this, that is the same as getting an unwritten, unofficial "approval" because they simply do not care. And that is the reality of the situation.

...

I wouldn't go as far as saying unofficial approval, unless there was a telephone conversation that indicated something to that effect. But you do make a good point, privately the rights owner could be thinking positively. Perhaps they are pleased the forgotten property is brought to life, and want to see what the public's response is. Of course they wouldn't say something like that to reserve their rights. Or maybe they are annoyed but tolerate it for various reasons. Or maybe they "simply do not care". Either way, the risk seems low; likely no more than a cease and desist letter if there were any action.

 

It has already been stated by ALL of the homebrew publishers that they will NOT use any of Coleco Holdings trademarks on what they produce in the future. Having taken this action,Coleco Holdings have no other rights to dictate ANYTHING to the homebrewers.

 

You seem to be missing the point. Even if TPR had been a producer or not, the appropriate course of action by Coleco Holdings would have been to send cease and desist notices to the relevant homebrew publishers. Instead they targeted someone they claim to have understood to be a producer, but not by sending TPR a cease and desist notice, but by infringing on his legal fair use of images of items containing the trademark.

For whatever reason they wanted those facebook posts removed; agreements with the actual producers won't achieve that. They got what they wanted, whether they actually believe TPR to be a producer doesn't matter; it serves their purpose. Don't expect too much from Facebook. We all have the right to free speech but that does not mean we have the right to free speech on Facebook. They have been accused of censorship and distorting newsfeeds before.

 

In other words, when Coleco clicked "I think this infringes on my trademark," and Facebook basically said, "Are you sure? This could go badly for you, you might want to use a lawyer instead ..." they went ahead with it anyway. It would be ...interesting... to see if they had any other tricks in their bag. If I were gambling with other people's money, I'd guess this is all they've got.

 

I also see that Facebook offers the "defendant" the right to appeal:

If I were Robb, I would take them up on it. It's obvious he can make the case. A defeat here would make it more difficult for Coleco to pull this kind of move again, at least on Facebook. Just in case the social media backlash hasn't been enough of a clue to Coleco.

You can't depend on Facebook to do the right thing. Interestingly, had this been a DMCA takedown, then a DMCA counter-notice can be filed. The counter-notice would require some action from the rights holder like a court injunction or file a law suit. If no action is taken within a few days, the web-site contents goes back up and Facebook is legally required to follow the DMCA rules. Unfortunately, in this case there is no outside regulation forcing Facebook to do anything. You can certainly try; collect all the supporting evidence and make a strong case to Facebook.

 

Who owns the copyright to the CV BIOS?

Is it necessary for back compat or games work without it?

 

Important for the 2 CV backcompat consoles announced recently unless they expect legal owners of the original CV to "help themselves" with a BIOS on the SD card.

The coleco vision flashback would have to have a copy of the bios for the games to work. Maybe the bios can be reverse-engineered and it's functions duplicated in new code that can be distributed. That would be legal. However, if that is not possible then you would have to license the bios from whoever holds the copyright. Whoever makes a modern coleco vision, like a software emulator or an fpga based system, normally requires the end-user to provide the bios. And the end user might already own a copy if they have an actual coleco vision. The Coleco Vision Flashbacks would have to have a copy of the bios. How RWB did that, I don't know. They would also have to have permission from the copyright owners of all the games on the flashback, some of which could be the same owner as the bios. There is no indication on the packaging that I have seen of copyright credits other than the homebrews.

 

There has been talk about RWB claiming the coleco vision as their "platform". It is meaningless. A developer who programs CV games can say the CV is their platform. A gamer who likes to play CV games can say the CV is their platform. Are they wrong? The only case it has meaning would be with whoever owns the rights to the CV bios. They are the only ones who can make "complete" CV systems. Anyone is free to make a colecovision system minus the bios.

 

Does anyone know who owns the Coleco Vision bios and game software? Some say Hasbro, some say Atari/Infogrames; I've even heard Mattel.

 

-------------------------------------------

 

WIth regards to the Colecovision trademark. It would be great if RWB claims on it are challenged and cancelled. But, if they still have "Coleco" as a registered trademark for video games than anyone else trying to use "Colecovision" might have difficulty.

Edited by mr_me

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The fact he keeps referring to the ColecoVision as their platform implies they have a sort or control or saying on what is published. So yeah, at least initially they tried to establish terms to publish to the old CV. In fact in their last statement two days ago, they were still referring to the CV as their platform.

 

I am still behind on posts, but I see they made their web site even more nauseating. I see they have some links to some of the sites TPR posted. Now if I had my own site, I'm not to sure I would want them linking theirs to mine.

 

edit: Looks like I quoted the wrong post... oh well

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There has been talk about RWB claiming the coleco vision as their "platform". It is meaningless. A developer who programs CV games can say the CV is their platform. A gamer who likes to play CV games can say the CV is their platform. Are they wrong? The only case it has meaning would be with whoever owns the rights to the CV bios. They are the only ones who can make "complete" CV systems. Anyone is free to make a colecovision system minus the bios.

 

 

Yes, they are wrong. Technically you can't claim a platform unless you have patents to control that. They want to establish a link between them and the old Coleco beyond the name. They are deceiving consumers.

 

As for the BIOS, it is small and easy to be reverse engineered, just like I did years ago.

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Well Atari had a platform that they couldn't control. Coleco made compatible 2600s. Atari designed it; it was their platform. Opcode is right nobody should say it's their platform (except maybe the people that created it). But can you stop people from saying it? Saying things like "from 1982", " the company that brought you cabbage patch dolls", "rich with history" are obviously not true and can be challenged. Maybe saying "our platform" is similarly wrong.

Edited by mr_me

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I checked their new application this morning and let's just say I am kind of happy with what I saw. Someone is sweating

I'm not seeing what you're seeing. Can you help me out?

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I'm not seeing what you're seeing. Can you help me out?

I don't think it is a good idea to post anything that may help them. This whole new registration is a reaction to what have been happening in the last few weeks. They feel unsafe with the existing trademark

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I don't think it is a good idea to post anything that may help them. This whole new registration is a reaction to what have been happening in the last few weeks. They feel unsafe with the existing trademark

 

Exactly. I would suggest grabbing some screenshots, if you haven't already. All of this new trademark commotion is an attempt to cover up past sins. Thing is, it's all publicly available info and the trademark's history is known and documented. Can't erase past fraudulent activity. What's done is done.

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As for the BIOS, it is small and easy to be reverse engineered, just like I did years ago.

Just make sure you did it clean room design. Also if there are patents active on it it won't matter

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clean_room_design

 

If you read/disassembled the code and recreated the features your reverse engineering is tainted and likely won't hold against the copyright holder (if he/she exists that is or cares to file a DMCA complaint at all).

 

How did the CV Flashback do it? I bet AtGames thought that RWB claims were enough.

 

EDIT: even more how do they plan to have their new console work if they don't own the IP to the BIOS?

 

LAST: If the CV implemented anything similar to TMSS

http://segaretro.org/TradeMark_Security_System

then owning the TM equates to controlling the platform, I do not think it does but just thought of mentioning as I always thought Sega little trick was somewhat ingenious

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Two pages without the obligatory Pat videos... Have you been sleeping? :sleep:

 

In Before Dugger. Goodnight world. Sun is coming up...

You have no idea how difficult it was, doing the things I do at night. My wake-up call obviously didn't do his job. Alfred is so fired...

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Also if there are patents active on it it won't matter

Patents in the US only last a maximum of 20 years. It's safe to say there are no ColecoVision patents left active.

 

LAST: If the CV implemented anything similar to TMSS

There's no security in the hardware, anything will run with a simple two byte pattern (commonly used on multiple systems to indicate a valid ROM is present) and a vector table (also a very standard system concept.) You can optionally also have text for the ColecoVision delay screen - that might have been protected at one time but it's been more than 20 years.

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Heading home from a trip. I'll post the original AI logo files I provided RWB when I land, so you super sleuths have can at it!

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LAST: If the CV implemented anything similar to TMSS

http://segaretro.org/TradeMark_Security_System

then owning the TM equates to controlling the platform, I do not think it does but just thought of mentioning as I always thought Sega little trick was somewhat ingenious

 

Sega thought that, Accolade thought otherwise. Who prevailed in court? Anyone? Anyone?

Edited by Great Hierophant

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RWB/Coleco may not care much about a few tens or hundreds of AtariAge followers. But they do care about the significant untapped audience. The newcomers. The ones seeing the Coleco name for the first time ever. Or for the first time in many years.

 

So.. I believe it important that our efforts be focused on illustrating the differences between the old and the new. Getting the word out. Every fan page should be linking back to here along with its own synopsis of the situation.

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What would be really fun is a contest. If all the graphic guru types here designed some artwork for a Coleech-O game that does not exist.

Parody can be quite useful in spreading the word. Heck, maybe even a YouTube video in the style of the old commercials... but injecting a little truth of the current situation into the video. If a video was good enough to go viral, more people, even newbies would be clued into the situation.

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Sega thought that, Accolade thought otherwise. Who prevailed in court? Anyone? Anyone?

Sega won the initial case, but Accolade won on appeal, with the court ruling that the percentage of copyright code used was insignificant (20-25 bytes of copyrighted code used in a work consisting of as much as 1,500,000 bytes) and thus Accolade's works were overwhelmingly original content, and that disassembly of a functional copyrighted work for the purpose of gaining access to it in order to develop software for it was fair use.

 

https://www.copyright.gov/fair-use/summaries/segaenters-accolade-9thcir1992.pdf

 

Bear in mind however that all of this was before the DMCA.

Edited by Mindfield
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Here's the video of him shoveling counterfeit, if you can stomach even 2 seconds. But yeah, I think $$$ is only on his mind. And make sure you smack that thumbs down button on the video. It's atrocious.

 

If you watch it with the volume off, you can make up your own lyrics/dialog. Inadvertent entertainment!

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This case reminds me more to the NOA VS Tengen...Unethical methods to acquire something of value.

 

 

Nothing to do with what I quoted of yours but maybe when Coleco goes under they can sell the brand on the website you've been promoting. :)

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Here you go, page 59. I want to make it clear that I have no business relationship with anybody on these forums or with Pat or any part of his podcast; however, I wouldn't mind if Pat would hand me a huge sack of money for posting these videos on every page. :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slackers - you need to keep on top of this. We're two posts into page 63 already and I'm having to do your job for you :twisted:

Edited by Ikrananka
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