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Messages - TheGary

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Site Updates / Re: Cease & Desist Letter
« on: May 13, 2009, 10:12:37 am »
I think your example would be Piracy, not Copyright Infringement.

It's neither. It's modifying a game that you own in order to get a better experience from it which is perfectly legal.

Site Updates / Re: C&D: Directors' Response
« on: May 13, 2009, 01:58:18 am »
TL/DR version is that CE may be fair use, but the only way to find out would be to call SE's bluff, get taken to court, and see how they interpret CE in view of copyright law and the DMCA.
Perhaps the complicated  process is much worse than the result it might cause?

Not really as winning the case would set a precedent for hackers/modders for years to come. It would basically cement this hobby as completely legitimate. We need to look at the big picture. It's not all just about CE being released and getting to play it.

Site Updates / Re: C&D: Directors' Response
« on: May 13, 2009, 01:53:32 am »
Basically what some of of were already saying, but more detailed and well put together. I still say you should email your professor as you said. The more opinions that people get and the more that people know about this the better.

Site Updates / Re: C&D: Directors' Response
« on: May 13, 2009, 01:23:05 am »
Agent, do you have like a form letter/post or something that maybe we could copy and post in the different communities that the rest of us are a part of?

Site Updates / Re: C&D: Directors' Response
« on: May 12, 2009, 11:15:31 pm »
...a party who distributes a copyrighted work cannot dictate how that work is to be enjoyed.

And that, in the game modder's mind, is exactly the point.

That's why I don't think you guys should lay down here. Ultimately, it's up to the creators. You could just as easily not release it because you don't feel like finishing it. The authors have no obligation to release this game with or without a C&D. I just want to make sure that they at least know that they are basically within their rights to release this game.

Site Updates / Re: C&D: Directors' Response
« on: May 12, 2009, 11:07:58 pm »
You guys should look up the laws of derivative work.

"In Lewis Galoob Toys, Inc. v. Nintendo of America, Inc.,[9] the appellate court held that it was a fair use for owners of copies of video games, such as Super Mario Bros., to use Galoob's product the Game Genie to customize the difficulty or other characteristics of the game by granting a character more strength, speed, or endurance. Nintendo strongly opposed Galoob's product, allegedly because it interfered with the maintenance of the "Nintendo Culture," which Nintendo claimed was important to its marketing program.[10] The court held, among other things, that the fair use defense shielded Galoob's conduct. The court said that "a party who distributes a copyrighted work cannot dictate how that work is to be enjoyed. Consumers may use ... a Game Genie to enhance a Nintendo Game cartridge’s audiovisual display in such a way as to make the experience more enjoyable."",_Inc._v._Nintendo_of_America,_Inc.

There's a similar situation to what is going on here. The thing about arguing that you shouldn't risk going to court and wasting your time is dumb in my opinion. Just because it's a hassle to stand up for what is right doesn't mean that you shouldn't do it. That's why they send out these letters because they know that they can scare someone with a threat of a large fine or with a long drawn out court case. There aren't too many people left in this world that will stand up for what they believe in no matter the consequences.

Oh, and this just wouldn't be a victory for one little game hack. Standing up here and fighting back against a big company such as SE and winning would be a big victory for all modders and developers out there. I myself am a small time programmer and I just think that laying down here not only hurts the fans on this board, but every other modder/programmer/developer out there.

Site Updates / Re: C&D: Directors' Response
« on: May 12, 2009, 10:46:52 pm »
Most people here probably don't like country music, but this basically says it all:

You've got to stand for something, or you'll fall for anything.

Site Updates / Re: C&D: Directors' Response
« on: May 12, 2009, 02:50:18 pm »
People seem to be scared because SE is such a large company, but the fact is that they would have a hell of a time putting this case together as well and there is no way that it would be worth it to bust 2-3 people for making a mod of a SNES game that was released 15 years ago. All together, if they won the case, they would get their fines for $150,000 plus or whatever which no one here has, so basically they would lose out and all they could possibly do is put a couple people in prison for making a mod for an obsolete game.

There is no way that they will pursue a case here as there is no benefit for them doing so. They wouldn't get a beneficial judgment and they sure as hell wouldn't get good publicity from it.

Site Updates / Re: C&D: Directors' Response
« on: May 12, 2009, 02:41:41 pm »
Yeah, that's why I am saying that there is no way that the patch could be illegal and they have no authority to tell you to C&D. There is no reason to follow their demands and you should at the very least contact them and explain why you have the legal right to release this patch.

This whole situation and the way everyone is acting makes no sense at all. You guys are completely in the right here.

Site Updates / Re: C&D: Directors' Response
« on: May 12, 2009, 02:35:34 pm »
The thing is they can't afford to argue, The team knows they have some laws and precedents on there side. Regaurdless square has unmatch resources that pretty much nulls everything they've got. 

What can't they afford? SE can't afford to take this to court, because they know it is baseless. They are just sending out empty threats in order to scare people and keep them in line. Also, as I said before, do they actually think that it's a stand alone release or do they know it's a patch? If it's a patch, there is nothing they can do about it.

I definitely say that it should be expressed to them what the project actually is and what it is intended for at least. If there is no response, I would say get some free legal advice from a lawyer and they might even tell you that their C&D is baseless.

The point here is that there will be no court date, there will be no fighting it on SE's part. They are just throwing out an empty threat and they have no authority to stop you from releasing a patch to a game.

Seriously, there are countless games out there for the PC and for SNES emulators where patches or modifications similar to these are released all the time and they are perfectly legal. The problem seems to be that SE thinks that these games are being made as stand alone projects and they are in turn passing out illegal copies of a rom in a modified state.

They could state that they have not authorized people who have a copy of the game to have a ROM image of the game as well like I believe a few companies have already done so. In that case, they still can't tell you to not release a patch to that ROM as the patch itself is still not illegal, only the ROM image itself would be.

Site Updates / Re: C&D: Directors' Response
« on: May 12, 2009, 02:10:45 pm »
None of this really makes any sense. There is already the precedent out there that it is okay to release a modded version of a 16-bit era game as long as it's in the form of a patch and that you own the actual game itself.

How can they tell you to remove a program like Temporal Flux from the site? I guess with that logic, Action Replay, Gameshark or any other program that modifies a game is illegal and should be banned.

I think that people are just falling into their trap of being scared by the C&D letter and not standing up for their rights. You guys do have rights here and they are being trampled on.

The question is: Does SE know that you did not plan on distributing this as a stand alone game? How do we know what they know?

Take a look at all of the other games out there. There are games like The Sims where there is a ton of user created content and it's legal for people to make these mods. There is no difference here.

There is no legal precedence for them to arbitrarily tell you to C&D.

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