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Atari : A Visual History Book is now LIVE on Kickstarter

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I think that if software - even if supposed 'abandonware' - were hacked and re-branded by an individual and sold as original work, there would be Hell on, and rightly so. The issue - as I see it - is not that the cover art is intended to parody or pay homage to the earlier work (which I don't think anyone would have a problem with, providing permission had been sought, etc), but that none of this was mentioned up-front. The original book is just obscure enough that it took this long for someone to recognise it, and I assume this means that none of the 'promotional material' happened to make mention of it. If I were to write a book and the cover was a deliberate parody of - say - 'Mapping the Atari', it would be recognised immediately. Of course it would still be a good idea to mention the fact the cover is a parody of 'Mapping the Atari' in the blurb, and if that were the case - and if permission had been sought - I doubt there would be an issue. I don't even think any deliberate deception went on here, although it's notable that the author explicitly acknowledges plagiarism:

 

I have already begun preparing something of a new cover that removes all traces of the previous design with it being 90% changed and no Plagiarism to be seen...

If the proper steps were indeed taken to obtain the blessing of the prior work's author and all is above board, why then the hasty redesign of the cover at this point?

 

If the cover is seen as plagiarism then I put my hand up to that at no point did/do I attempt to hide any form of deception and have answered everyone here honestly, I did myself attempt to contact the author of the "Atari Color Graphics" by Joseph W. Collins myself having no joy here and even spoke to somebody that was friends with him in the hope of reaching out, but the design of the logo was recreated in photoshop and not a simple copy and paste. With wanting to make this the best possible presentation for Atari fans, If people are uncomfortable with the front book cover of the book, I am open to suggestions in this regard.

It may be that no attempt was made to hide any form of deception (yes: that's what it says), but 'not hiding' something is not exactly the same as disclosing it.

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@Ultrasteve:Your in danger of coming across as having a personal beef with Greyfox and if this is the case. ..it should be taken to P.M.

 

I assume your of a similar line of work, yet so far you have yet to showcase any of your own work to the best of my knowledge.

 

By all means by critical and raise concerns, but keep them within context please.

 

I don't have a personal beef with Darren. I am a creative, yes, but I don't have to showcase my work, I'm not the one asking people to invest almost £30,000 in me. And let's be clear here, many people still don't realise how Kickstarter works. Backing something isn't buying something. The money is being invested in the creator, not the product (which may or may not arrive, and if it doesn't, Kickstarter won't help you get your money back). So when someone asks for that much money they need to be robust in their processes.

 

My criticism and concerns are all within the context of what I have already seen of this project, and the responses in this thread. I think the A8 community deserves to be treated with a little more respect. I'm just trying to look out for people who are considering giving this project their hard-earned money, as someone with experience of design, print, and Kickstarter campaigns. If you see that as a personal attack on Darren, that's down to you.

 

Sorry you feel that way UltraSteve, Again I'm willing to set the wrongs to rights here and from the overly hostile-vibe you've sent out from the outset, I really don't know what your issue is with me and my work here

 

@Greyfox: I think you know what 'my issue with you and your work is' but for the sake of clarity – you passed off someone else's artwork as your own, standing to make a profit from that, and as a designer (your word for you, not mine) you know how very, very wrong that is. Saying sorry once you were found out in this thread and changing it is a quick mop-up, but if it had not been spotted, and the project funded, you were the one who had full knowledge of that. When you're playing with £30,000 of other people's money you need to be fully accountable. You can't expect to run a public campaign and not have people question you and your intentions, and AA is not an echo chamber, so you won't only have people saying how brilliant you and your product are. If you didn't want this level of scrutiny you should have risked your own money and self-financed the project, or tried to sell it to a publisher.

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I'm not aware of what was left in / taken out by the time Darren's book got to final draft.

However, I remember seeing screenshots of "proposed" content, which included:

 

Lucasfilms : Ballblazer - although the software house may no longer exist (as was), would their original intellectual property now be owned by Disney?

there were many other games shown in those initial "previews". How many of those 1980s software houses' content is now controlled by ownership succession, by currently active movie/media or even software companies?

 

now I'm not suggesting (for a minute) that Greyfox has done anything untoward - but, it's simply not safe to assume any content you intend using is "abandonware".

Before inclusion in any paid-for piece of work, the writer has a responsibility to check and seek permission before using content for continued ownership.

 

As for the book cover, it's not okay to photoshop the original cover a little and say "job done". Where does that end? Re-arrangement of written content too?

If that were the case, what's to stop a partial re-write of Game of Thrones - with just changing a few place/character names here and there.

Wonder how long before Dennis the Lizard King or Joan Sleet wins Easteros ?

 

Okay, so I make light of it, but the point is important. If you're intending to charge for something, be prepared for any court costs arising from not tying up all of the legalities.

Edited by brenski
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Are the screenshots altered in order to appear original works?

To assume that the alteration is to cover up the copy, is unfair und prejudicial, because

a.) Greyfox already stated that he wanted to hommage the original cover, hence it can't be a cover up;

b.) To say it is covered up through alteration is like saying the captains are not named Kirk in Galaxy Quest and The Orville is a cover up for their copying Star Trek;

c.) If we hold up everybody to that standard (which is clearly not the case for UltraSteve et. al.), then preservation is not possible as well satire, hommage, irony etc. are going under the bus;

d.) Also Greyfox already stated, that he will change the cover. I see no reflexion of this fact in the criticism.

 

I say, the alteration is more fair use that the plain preservation of screen shots.

 

unfortunately, your comparison doesn't bear scrutiny. Ultrasteve's criticism is based on examination of a paid-for piece if work.

is anybody posting screenshots on this (or any other forum) making money out of those screenshots? thought not.

 

if you're not comparing like-for-like, then there's no duplicity.

Fortunately, it does:

Copyright is violation is not dependend on taking money or not. So your argument holds no water. And just preservation certainly doesn‘t fall under the fair use exceptation, because fair use allows you to use a work in your own protected work. This book is more fair use than posting pictures on a forum, which is not a protected work.

 

Also, before anyone plays the freedom of speech card: It's a two edged sword, it always cuts both ways. If you criticise someone, you have to take the criticism of your criticism.

 

Edited by JoSch
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I'm not aware of what was left in / taken out by the time Darren's book got to final draft.

However, I remember seeing screenshots of "proposed" content, which included:

 

Lucasfilms : Ballblazer - although the software house may no longer exist (as was), would their original intellectual property now be owned by Disney?

there were many other games shown in those initial "previews". How many of those 1980s software houses' content is now controlled by ownership succession, by currently active movie/media or even software companies?

 

now I'm not suggesting (for a minute) that Greyfox has done anything untoward - but, it's simply not safe to assume any content you intend using is "abandonware".

Before inclusion in any paid-for piece of work, the writer has a responsibility to check and seek permission before using content for continued ownership.

 

As for the book cover, it's not okay to photoshop the original cover a little and say "job done". Where does that end? Re-arrangement of written content too?

If that were the case, what's to stop a partial re-write of Game of Thrones - with just changing a few place/character names here and there.

Wonder how long before Dennis the Lizard King or Joan Sleet wins Easteros ?

 

Okay, so I make light of it, but the point is important. If you're intending to charge for something, be prepared for any court costs arising from not tying up all of the legalities.

With this narrow view, nobody is going to do any history books. That's the consequence.

I have the feeling. the people criticising Greyfox only apply this narrow view to Greyfox. Anybody else gets a free pass.

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I think that if software - even if supposed 'abandonware' - were hacked and re-branded by an individual and sold as original work, there would be Hell on, and rightly so. The issue - as I see it - is not that the cover art is intended to parody or pay homage to the earlier work (which I don't think anyone would have a problem with, providing permission had been sought, etc), but that none of this was mentioned up-front. The original book is just obscure enough that it took this long for someone to recognise it, and I assume this means that none of the 'promotional material' happened to make mention of it. If I were to write a book and the cover was a deliberate parody of - say - 'Mapping the Atari', it would be recognised immediately. Of course it would still be a good idea to mention the fact the cover is a parody of 'Mapping the Atari' in the blurb, and if that were the case - and if permission had been sought - I doubt there would be an issue. I don't even think any deliberate deception went on here, although it's notable that the author explicitly acknowledges plagiarism:

 

 

If the proper steps were indeed taken to obtain the blessing of the prior work's author and all is above board, why then the hasty redesign of the cover at this point?

 

 

It may be that no attempt was made to hide any form of deception (yes: that's what it says), but 'not hiding' something is not exactly the same as disclosing it.

Were you never so preoccupied with a project, that you totally forgot the pretty obvious thing to do. Did you never made that damn mistake, that never should have to made in the first place?

I did plenty.

Edited by JoSch

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Screenshots may be used for journalistic purposes. There is nothing wrong in using them. Stealing the front cover of another Atari book is wrong....

 

This is nothing personal. I think it is weird that when people share their (negative) comments, some people say that it must be personal then..... :?

Edited by Fred_M
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Fortunately, it does:

Copyright is violation is not dependend on taking money or not. So your argument holds no water. And just preservation certainly doesn‘t fall under the fair use exceptation, because fair use allows you to use a work in your own protected work. This book is more fair use than posting pictures on a forum, which is not a protected work.

Also, before anyone plays the freedom of speech card: It's a two edged sword, it always cuts both ways. If you criticise someone, you have to take the criticism of your criticism.

 

you're missing the point. and criticising someone else's accurate and fairly made criticism is nothing but smoke and mirrors. Yes we get it - you love the book! but surely not to the point of defending some - at best - grey(fox) areas of writer judgement.

it's not duplicitous to question the legality of something that the seller is charging money for. it's simply not acceptable to say "i contacted the owner, they didn't reply" - if they didn't reply then:

■ writer didn't try hard enough to contact

■ a failure to reply is NOT an approval/permission to use said content.

You can't just drive a car someone else's car without their permission and then plead as defence "well i tried to ask them, but they were unreachable...so i used their car in any case...I'm sure they won't mind"

 

With this narrow view, nobody is going to do any history books. That's the consequence.

I have the feeling. the people criticising Greyfox only apply this narrow view to Greyfox. Anybody else gets a free pass.

I've read this thread since the beginning. I'm not now joining some perceived witch-hunt. and it's wrong of you to imply that's what's going on here. People are intelligent enough to make their own assessments.

my view is objective - and this doesn't just apply to Darren's book. It's not about my view of the book content - ie whether i like it or not. This is about the legality of the content.

 

what have "history books" got to do with anything? nonsense. there is nothing wrong at all with writing a history book - but, if you do then you write it factually and you credit any sources correctly - requesting and obtaining permission prior to using any material that isn't your own original work. you'll find every single "history" (reference book/work) of any description does so - it's called a bibliography.

Writers would do well to adopt this time-honoured/approved approach when producing a reference book.

 

Your views disagree with myself and many others on this forum. I would respectfully suggest that you may be backing the wrong horse here. Not, I might add because of some "mob rule", but instead because rhyme and reason appear (for once on an internet forum) to have prevailed over some desperate hunger for new devs - regardless of quality/originality or indeed legality.

Edited by brenski
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Leaving the issue of software copyright aside as that's not something i myself have had any personal involvement either, where as Greyfoxes book i have...

 

 

I will reply to Ultrasteve first:

 

Whilst indeed your not the individual asking for investment on this project (and just to make very clear, i did not ask Greyfox for any payment of any form for the time i invested in working on exclusive content for his book), the language used by yourself as others on here have noticed, always strayed beyond what i would class as constructive criticism.

 

It is indeed as you say down to myself and others who have expressed similar feelings (i believe the term giving Greyfox a kicking was used by a fellow poster? ) how we take your comments, but they were quite personal at times as you accused Greyfox of being Lazy with his approach and having invested the hours into the damn thing i have, lazy is not an approach taken here, far from it.

 

 

 

I (as i always do) p#ssed and moaned about not being a fan of the front cover (it just looked dull to myself) and questioned why on earth he would ruin fantastic cover art by putting blocky sprites over the edges of them in places and i openly questioned giving coverage to some really dire titles and saying nostalgia did not cut it for myself.

 

So i haven't backed the book, even as a contributor to it's content.

 

Greyfox and myself have very different and strong opinions about a lot of things, people do and that can put a strain on any friendship, but i came to this thread as a consumer and if you look at my Amazon book reviews, very few books i have purchased gave been satisfactory. .

 

Case in point 1 recent Retro book purchase set out the criteria games had to be Computer Only..before proceeding to cover titles on the Game Boy, Playstation and Master System...and was just the first WTF? complaint with it i had.

 

You've talked of accepted asthetic rules for crowdfunded or self published titles like what Greyfox has attempted here and as i stated earlier in the thread, i am sorry, but that's utter nonsense.

 

Unseen64/Britsoft/Ashens books which were made a reality and can be purchased at the click of a button here and now follow no such 'rules' yet haven't been given the critical response Greyfoxes project has..(it's like the Wild West , design wise with these publications that are cropping up) and even after he's stated he's willing to make changes, your back in here attacking him over the cover now, again with strong language.

 

It could of been either toned down or taken to P.M.

 

 

I think this has been a very steep learning curve for Greyfox, having moved from disposable PDF magazines in the past..cheap, cheerful, passionate but not intended to compete with professional magazines...into the very different world of crowd funding a high end product.

 

 

And as someone involved in the early days of the books conception, i told him i felt he was the biggest bloody fool going for even attempting such an ambitious project as it would cost him dear in terms of time, reputation and put a huge strain on his family and friends and i very much doubted there was a viable commercial market for such a project.

 

 

For the simple reason the Atari 8 bit was too niche a format, has at last been covered to death by likes of RetroGamer magazine, it's titles also now covered by countless books already in print and we would struggle to get enough exclusive content..interviews alone were an utter Ball Buster...people didn't reply. .Q's went unanswered and whilst very proud of what between he and myself we did achieve, i am now of the mindset i wish i either had not wasted a single minute on it..or simply did a few more raw interviews as i have in the past and given them for free to likes of Scott Stilphen's site or Pro-Atari magazine so the community could of read them there.

 

 

I'm sorry for anyone from the industry reading who's valuable time i wasted by asking you to answer Q's or write a book forward, my intention was genuine, at that stage i believed in this project.

 

 

But looking at it now?

 

If Greyfox has an ounce of sense he will simply kill the project stone dead, pass on the exclusive content to the greater Atari community and get back to his professional and family life.

 

Maybe he should of been more transparent about the book cover from the start. .that's something he will have to decide to answer, but i have to say after everything that's happened after the Kickstarter went live, i do wonder why on earth he'd want to put himself through all this again for a second attempt.

 

If your reading Greyfox, just kick the project into the long grass, it's not going to get funded, even if it does, your looking at even more hours to alter images to avoid claims of plagiarism etc.

 

 

Your just creating the proverbial rod for your own back mate...you really are.

Edited by Lost Dragon
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Oh and as for the Lucasfilm/Ballblazer concerns...

 

 

As the person who reached out and got exclusive content for the book from 2 seperate Ex-Lucasfilm sources, yes we did everything possible to involve those behind the games features.

 

 

I just want to wash my hands of the entire book now..it's time i am never getting back and content it's unlikely the community will now ever see.

 

 

What a complete and utter shambles .

 

If anyone else plans a book covering Atari..read through this thread and decide if it's really worth it...

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Oh and as for the Lucasfilm/Ballblazer concerns...

 

As the person who reached out and got exclusive content for the book from 2 seperate Ex-Lucasfilm sources, yes we did everything possible to involve those behind the games features.

 

hi Lost Dragon

the lucasfilm/ballblazer example was merely that. i didn't single that one out - it was just the first mentioned in the initial preview, and, as a simple google indicates that Lucasfilm intellectual property is now owned by Disney - it seemed pertinent to refer to it.

I'm sure you did. but my point isn't about whether "everything possible" was done - it clearly was. My point was much simpler - no permission for inclusion appears to have been obtained. Therefore, the content should not have been used.

I'm sure there are potentially dozens of similar instances in the book.

 

You may well be correct in assuming Darren may well abandon the book - which is a shame, because many people like the look/feel and whole concept. For the sake of "dealing with the fine print" the book may have seen the light of day. I fear that the baby is now getting thrown out with the bath water, so to speak.

 

At no point have I commented on whether I like the book itself, it's never been relevant to the argument (for me). If you don't like the look of something don't buy it. Had the subject matter been something that appealed to me and I did buy it, then I'd have no qualms about leaving good/bad reviews accordingly - once I'd read it.

 

I don't want to targeted by any "counter-witch-hunt", so I'll leave it there.

Edited by brenski

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To assume that the alteration is to cover up the copy, is unfair und prejudicial, because

a.) Greyfox already stated that he wanted to hommage the original cover, hence it can't be a cover up;

b.) To say it is covered up through alteration is like saying the captains are not named Kirk in Galaxy Quest and The Orville is a cover up for their copying Star Trek;

c.) If we hold up everybody to that standard (which is clearly not the case for UltraSteve et. al.), then preservation is not possible as well satire, hommage, irony etc. are going under the bus;

d.) Also Greyfox already stated, that he will change the cover. I see no reflexion of this fact in the criticism.

 

I say, the alteration is more fair use that the plain preservation of screen shots.

Let me say that when it comes to 'fair use' and satire, I'm certainly no fan of EU Articles 11 and 13, and I already stated that I don't think there was any malicious intent here. But the author was (as far as I can gather) not up-front about the source material until pressed, and is now keen to change the cover 'to remove plagiarism'. Surely the pragmatic response would be: 'No - it's not plagiarism, it's a homage/parody. I sought permission and I'm not changing anything!'. In contrast, the stance taken is rather confusing and doesn't look particularly good. Changing the cover is an implicit acknowledgement that something is 'off'. I suppose the counter-argument is that the author simply felt brow-beaten into making changes where no changes are actually required. In which case, fair enough. :)

 

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I don't think anyone has anything against people doing great Atari books, I think we would be insane to be against them but what this thread shows is that its how you go about it.

 

So as Josch said it is about Darren as well as the book and that has to land at Darren's feet. BUT the book I had no issue with on its outset, my views were about the book which I wished success but things began to crop up that made me feel awkward but I never brought my personal deal in to it until it was outed by Darren and was addressed and rightly so.

 

I suggest Darren has a rethink about the book, take heed of the critiques here and relaunch it, if its good I'll buy it.....The current one has issues that need addressed....I don't care who its written by as long as its accurate and a good read.....

 

As for the plagiarism...Hmmm its tough, paying homage is good but a direct reference to the original should be made and in cases a allowance from the original author goes a long way. Screen shots are easier as I believe as long as you show who the games are copyright to then its ok under the accepted freedom of use rules. The only downer would be to use another persons screens without permission which wasn't the case here. In the case of the book cover, a definite no no there, no matter what is said its a near clone of the book with no initial mention of where it came from which again is in the way you go about doing things that some objected to. You can't say its an all new book with original material and then use another book cover with minor alteration with no mention.

 

Am I anti Darren, no, he's another bloke in business trying to make a living but its how you go about it especially when a subject dear to people. I genuinely hope an adjusted book comes out and if its good I'll happily buy it and I hope it makes Darren a ton of cash but look where you tread Darren, annoying folk you wanted help with isn't a good start. Stop that and I wish you well and I appreciate the apology...That is all done..

 

As for the group, please don't hate on people for having an alternative view to yours, sometimes there may be very good reasons for what we say and in general in a public forum its fair to get critiqued where its appropriate, in this case it was...No one hates on Darren or the book, we want good books too!

 

Chilling out..

 

Paul..

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@brenski:

 

As i am sure you can understand, having seen all the recent attention drawn towards this project, all i am doing at this stage is making my OWN involvement crystal clear..

 

Sorry if this sounds selfish Greyfox, but i am not getting drawn into any claims material of any manner was submitted to the book by myself as a mere contributer, that was used with out anyone's permission.

 

The 2 Lucasfilm sources along with various others i personally contacted were either interviewed by myself, questions were my own, along with those Greyfox wanted to ask.

 

The book foreward was kindly written and submitted by our source purely for the book.

 

Repeated efforts were made to get the Q's submitted to Frank Cohen answered, but this was not possible, so a planned feature was changed.

 

There was a conflict of interests between 2 parties involved in the book, which i found myself in the middle of and was not impressed to be in said position as Greyfox is all to well aware and again this saw another planned feature changed. .

 

After that..episode shall we say, i wanted no more involvement in the books creation as it was costing myself valuable time.

 

This is why i object strongly to claims a lazy approach has been taken by Greyfox, for all our differences, i know exactly just how much time and effort he has poured into this project.

 

I find myself in all honesty unable to back the book as due to the issues that arose whilst trying to get exclusive content for it, i find i have already exhausted my desire to uncover anything more about the Atari 8 bit system.

 

As much as i love the Art Of Atari book, it's not something that's out on a coffee table and i dip into regularly, it's in a cupboard somewhere and my love of VCS era art is far greater than the A8/C64 era art.

 

And having sprites overlaid onto said art just seemed a huge mistake but one Greyfox has acknowledged it seems.

 

 

 

The subject of permission is one i want to stay well clear of..we recently saw Jon Ritman join here to question Piko Interactive aquisition of ST Head Over Heels..a game coded by Colin Porch, someone kind enough to be interviewed for ST Gamer magazine, an earlier Greyfox production. .It seems a total minefield...

 

If possible i would very much like to see the content i helped create reach the community, but have no idea how it might now do that.

 

I have strong doubts this project will see a round II..

 

I signed no contracts with Greyfox..his questions are in amongst my own...

 

So who owns the rights to it?

 

Is it mine as long as i delete the Q+A he submitted?

 

Does it belong to those from the industry who took time to answer?

 

 

Do C64.Audio.Com own the material they passed on?

 

I have no idea, thought never even entered my mind all those months ago.

 

Greyfox wanted some exclusive content..i attempted to provide what i could.

 

If i had known then what sort of accusations would start flying around regarding the book, i would never of wasted any time.

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Let me say that when it comes to 'fair use' and satire, I'm certainly no fan of EU Articles 11 and 13, and I already stated that I don't think there was any malicious intent here. But the author was (as far as I can gather) not up-front about the source material until pressed, and is now keen to change the cover 'to remove plagiarism'. Surely the pragmatic response would be: 'No - it's not plagiarism, it's a homage/parody. I sought permission and I'm not changing anything!'. In contrast, the stance taken is rather confusing and doesn't look particularly good. Changing the cover is an implicit acknowledgement that something is 'off'. I suppose the counter-argument is that the author simply felt brow-beaten into making changes where no changes are actually required. In which case, fair enough. :)

 

Again, its not black and white. People tend to think things through only when pressed. When I got drafted, we had a guy in the company that only when he was required to shoot the first time with blank for calibration, didnt want to. You also could say, he should have know better. He only arrived at not wanting to shoot, when he was ACTUALLY required to. Edited by JoSch
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unfortunately, your comparison doesn't bear scrutiny. Ultrasteve's criticism is based on examination of a paid-for piece if work.

is anybody posting screenshots on this (or any other forum) making money out of those screenshots? thought not.

 

if you're not comparing like-for-like, then there's no duplicity.

 

As i said earlier, last 2 books i purchased and reviewed for Amazon were Ashens Terrible Old Games You Probably Never heard of..and Attack Of The Flickering Skeletons. ..

 

Both choc full of box art images. .screenshots..both paid for products.

 

I doubt any image was altered to appear original...

 

There is a dubious claim of US Gold handing over brown envelopes full of cash in a car park in return for good review scores in 1 entry, supposed to be a funny comment, but it falls very flat. ..reality is US Gold merely put lot of adverts for said game in UK Press...

 

Yet nowhere online or on Amazon itself who sell the bloody books have i seen comments along lines of what's on here.

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The claims about the car park and US Gold have been a myth BUT the notion that software companies are favourable to some people re reviews isn't a myth, there's a huge range of little treats been proffered in the past and I dare say still. I know it happened but can't say names as I don't need the hassle but it was a well known practice. If you were open to a treat as some were then nice things happened..

 

I was never high enough in the line to be offered bar an offer of a large bottle of Champers AFTER a set of reviews were seen after publication by a well known company...I thanked them but said no as I didn't drink way back then..

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Again, its not black and white. People tend to think things through only when pressed. When I got drafted, we had a guy in the company that only when he was required to shoot the first time with blank for calibration, didnt want to. You also could say, he should have know better. He only arrived at not wanting to shoot, when he was ACTUALLY required to.

succinctly put. and spot on. there is however, a difference between realising something is wrong - and not proceeding, and (slightly) changing an original image for financial gain.

 

As i said earlier, last 2 books i purchased and reviewed for Amazon were Ashens Terrible Old Games You Probably Never heard of..and Attack Of The Flickering Skeletons. ..

 

Both choc full of box art images. .screenshots..both paid for products.

 

I doubt any image was altered to appear original...

 

absolutely. and nowhere have I said to the writer: "someone will report your use of copyrighted material" - because what Darren does, and what risks he takes are his choice alone. My comments are just observations as to the legal grey areas the project has found itself in. Personally, if i had this many people on one forum flagging up several issues, I'd be re-writing if I wanted to proceed.

 

One important parallel can be drawn here: YOUTUBE.

just look at how much copyrighted material is on YT - and somehow evades their copyright detection system or just doesn't get reported. ask yourself this: why does some manage to escape and others don't? and, more importantly...why run the risk - if monetizing?

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I want to wrap this up before i start my week of night shifts..

 

I can fully appreciate the strong language used when money is taken and a book does not appear and it's creator seemingly up and dissappear, which i believe is what happened with the Mastertronic Archives book..?.

 

It was successfully funded, so money taken, yet nothing heard of since..no book, no explanation, months have passed.

 

Damn straight people should take to the Internet and demand explanations and tempers run wild.

 

But with this one..money wouldn't be taken out until book funded. .at this stage your merely pledging funds?.

 

 

I also strongly appreciate critiscm of any product set within the range this book is, for myself there's nothing worse than a promising book that having purchased is riddled with lazy approaches, personal accounts that do not accurately reflect the very era i lived through and so on and so on...

 

As many authors are now discovering on Amazon. CO. UK ☺.

 

This thread should really be a thread for people to openly express feelings about what they think Greyfox got right and what he got wrong, with the project, so he can make last minute changes, hell even delay launch and get a better understanding of what's putting people off backing it.

 

We all care about Atari. .

 

We all care about Quality..

 

We all care about the community getting the best quality Atari products.

 

We all wear different hats:

 

Coders

Artists

Writers

Graphic Designers

Researchers

Whatever..

 

But we are also all Consumers at the end of the day .

 

There's a wealth of talent, experience and feedback from this forum for any aspiring project maker to call apon

.

 

The thread works better focusing on what the book can offer..what improvements can be made and why...

 

Rather than going headlong into accusations of copyright, plagiarism, fair usage etc.

 

Issuing concerns is great and exactly what a creator needs to be aware of..legal challenges in the Retro community are a regular occurance, but as it stands i see this heading into the latest Atari related project annouced, then killed off.

 

We've seen it with so many other projects.

 

I hope i am wrong and are probably as guilty as sin myself for wanting to distance myself from it now, but that's the impression i am getting.

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succinctly put. and spot on. there is however, a difference between realising something is wrong - and not proceeding, and (slightly) changing an original image for financial gain.

 

absolutely. and nowhere have I said to the writer: "someone will report your use of copyrighted material" - because what Darren does, and what risks he takes are his choice alone. My comments are just observations as to the legal grey areas the project has found itself in. Personally, if i had this many people on one forum flagging up several issues, I'd be re-writing if I wanted to proceed.

 

One important parallel can be drawn here: YOUTUBE.

just look at how much copyrighted material is on YT - and somehow evades their copyright detection system or just doesn't get reported. ask yourself this: why does some manage to escape and others don't? and, more importantly...why run the risk - if monetizing?

What's is it with you and commercial gain. An changed picture, which is not fair use, is a violating the copyright of the rights holder. It does not matter. whether you do it, I do it or Mister Commercial does it.

The grey area is whether it's fair use or not. Again, this does not depend on commercial or private use. But that seems to be your only argument.

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It seems Darren either got a bit carried away, ran out of steam or didn't realize the monumental task it is to put such material together. With all the money involved and the book being presented as "high end", I think it's pretty natural that we should expect something really polished. I guess it's also a normal thing to see authors and critics disagree on what obvious flaws might be. Still...

 

I won't comment on some of the artistic choices or the cover but I do have reservations when one of your selling points is supposed to be the faithful reproduction of game covers. As Farb noted, your option of using European covers of games from the US is a bit strange. It actually gets quite problematic when you get a mix of an original Synapse Software box and US Gold / SynSoft art. Horrible but also inaccurate. I also have to question myself when I see the Zaxxon page. Why did you take the cover of the Commodore 64 version? For your information, there is no such thing as a SynSoft release of the game for the Atari so I'm not sure what you tried to do.

 

However, the real deal-breaker for me is the general writing style, together with the numerous inconsistencies, typos, grammar and spelling mistakes. Ultrasteve already addressed this and it's quite disappointing you gave no response. I mean, it starts with details with which we can deal but still give the feeling of a rushed or unprofessional product right away. Maybe I'm in the minority but incoherent capitalization, not knowing whether you should write "8bit" or "8-bit" strike me as odd and leave more than a mixed impression.

 

Where it gets really nasty is when you read more carefully. Look, I don't think I'm a grammar nazi, English isn't even my mother tongue but I find the spelling / grammar unacceptable in such a book. I don't know whether it is to be published "as is" but, in my opinion, this would make for terrible publicity for the Atari community and tarnish your reputation in the process. No matter how long it took to produce the book, lack of spellchecking screams amateurish (sorry Darren). Monstrosities such as "would of" instead "would have", "it's" and not "its", "your" in place of "you're", not counting "been" for "being" - in a headline, no less! - in a commercial publication make me want to scream.

 

All this being said, I absolutely still would love to see this book come out… with all the errors and such weeded out. I hope you see what you perceive as negative reactions as an opportunity to take more time and make something better. I think the foundations are there.

 

--

Atari Frog

http://www.atarimania.com

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I don't think I'm a grammar nazi, English isn't even my mother tongue but I find the spelling / grammar unacceptable in such a book.

The publicity material headed 'LETS MAKE SOME MAGIC!' said it all.

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What's is it with you and commercial gain. An changed picture, which is not fair use, is a violating the copyright of the rights holder. It does not matter. whether you do it, I do it or Mister Commercial does it.

The grey area is whether it's fair use or not. Again, this does not depend on commercial or private use. But that seems to be your only argument.

Adding to the complexity here is enforcement. Taking something “old”, tweaking it, and using it is a violation if :

 

1) Someone begins asserting their rights of ownership.

 

And...

 

2) Receives a judicial ruling from a court of law confirming ownership.

 

Number 2 above is critical. How many assertions do we see go nowhere? Lots.

 

If nobody is around to claim something “old” (aka, “abandon-ware”) then does that mean you can claim it? I don’t know. High priced legal proceedings will sort it out.

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For me the front cover would lose a plagiarism case if taken to court...Big IF....Unlike software where you can't copyright a game genre but you can copyright the graphics, music and fonts etc which is the norm but if your code is (I forget the percentage) different and clearly not stolen you can have whatever game you like, this is not the case with the book cover. Its design is clearly derived from the other book, the only elements you can change on that are the look of it and the look has hardly been altered, its not a homage because its got elements that are NOT redrawn and used in style and effect as from the other book.

 

That all said, I like the idea of the cover but it was wrong to use it with zero allowance...

 

The basis for the above is IF a legal challenge was made, morally its kind of not cool to use someones work with out permission....As said by myself and Atarimania (and anyone else), using incorrect screens is just wrong, not illegal (unless they are copyrighted elsewhere in a publication) but it shows poor judgement of the people you are appealing to. Obviously Darren can use what he likes and its purely his choice but screens from wrong versions are just bad. And yes, use the original source covers etc, a US GOLD cheapy is appealing as the clap and in may cases the original box etc is so much better in lots of ways. I have just behind me a Defender of the Crown on the Amiga from the US release, its a work of art and so much better than the UK plain box one, even worse the budget release in a plastic cd type box...Youck..

 

Just to show:

 

01110.jpg

 

01210.jpg

 

01410.jpg

 

vs

 

Defender%20of%20the%20Crown_Front.jpg

 

Just a sleeve and the box..Nothing fancy..

Edited by Mclaneinc

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Darren has a promotional video on his webpage. I thought the intro looked really cool! Why not continue that concept for the cover? Have the grid pattern of machines and then have a multi-colored logo morph/zoom onto the screen? Make that final image the cover with some "Atari" font text for the title.

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