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The Evener

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    Arcade, console, and hand-held video game collecting; learning about other VG communities (eg Smash)

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  1. Thanks again for sharing this - it's much appreciated! I'll watch things through between handing out Hallowe'en candy. If you have access to other CGEUK 2005 footage and if you're able to share, that would be great. Also, I was curious if anyone has a copy of the "Billy Mitchell Live at the CGE UK" poster? One copy is handed off to Chris in the video, who I think is one of the organizers of CGEUK 2005? I can see a picture of the Perfect Pac-Man; I'm curious how Mitchell presented himself in reference to Donkey Kong at that time, especially since this visit occurred roughly 16 months before the debut of the King of Kong. There's a lot of text there!
  2. That's great! I don't have a specific preference beyond what's convenient for you. Some recently shared a large file with me via https://onedrive.live.com/ but maybe Google or another file sharing platform is preferred. Love the DVD menu. And yes, hard to believe but a 2005 event is nearly retro in its own right!
  3. Interesting discussion on law.stackexchange.com. I appreciate this is not paid expert analysis or legal advice, so the usual caveats apply. https://law.stackexchange.com/questions/5913/what-happens-to-ip-owned-by-a-defunct-company The rules governing ownership of intellectual property are essentially the same as the rules governing ownership any other property. Somebody retains ownership when a company goes defunct. It may not be as easy to determine who that owner is, because with real property "possession is nine-tenths of the law." But a good starting point would be a presumption that, absent a contract indicating transfer to another entity, the original author of the IP still owns it. I.e., if someone can establish authorship, the burden would fall to the entity claiming legitimate license to that author's IP to prove by a preponderance of evidence that rights passed from the author to it. Authorship meaning whomever actually wrote the code in question; as in one of the developers employed by the company? – aroth Dec 19 '15 at 7:00 @aroth - Yes. Now, typically somebody will hold up an employment contract showing that the company paid that author for ownership of IP developed in its employ, and then it's a matter of showing a paper trail from there to the person claiming present rights to the IP. – feetwet♦ Dec 19 '15 at 17:32 If the company has gone away, there may be nobody having a copy of that employment contract, or any paper trail. There may be no records of the software in question to be found. So the developer's correct claim "I wrote this code" might be the strongest claim that is supported by any evidence. – gnasher729 Dec 20 '15 at 15:31 I understand that no one has been able to speak to William Tang up to this point; is there any prospect of tracking him down to learn of his views and awareness of recent claims around the Horace series?
  4. I like how the "1000" survived the name change - had a nice ring to it, I guess! I see now that Tandy licensed the game from the Japanese company Gakken, and they marketed the game as Galaxy Invader 1000, which probably explains why the name changed when Tandy was poised to market the same game.
  5. Time for a necro-bump! I've been corresponding with roberthazelby over the last couple of weeks about grabbing a copy of his CGEUK 2005 DVD. After some searching on his end, he discovered that he doesn't have a copy but has been following up with a friend who created the master to see if there might be a lead there. Following our most recent conversation, I offered to bump this thread to open up another possible avenue for (re)sharing the DVD content. In a related thread, CGEUK 2005 content was also discussed on page 5, with another DVD (maybe produced by CGEUK directly?) The long and the short of it is, if you have a copy of the roberthazelby-DVD, either as a physical copy or in ripped digital format, it would be great if you could upload it to a sharing site to share it all over again, with both old timers and newcomers! Many thanks!
  6. In the context of a legal framework, you're completely right, and that's the way it should work at all times. But as others have pointed out, YouTube doesn't operate on that premise. I've been following a few content creators over the years who had videos taken down for copyright strikes - it was an incredibly drawn-out, tedious, and stressful endeavour. In some cases, the "fair use" defence ultimately allowed some videos to return, but in other similar cases, it didn't. And in the one case I followed last year, the creator had the support/advocacy of their Multi-Channel Network affiliation who took up the legwork of responding and defending the creator to YouTube. I suspect that Octav1us doesn't have MCN representation, so staring down the double whammy of two immediate strikes would be highly stressful to say the least. Three strikes really does mean the end of your channel, and you'll be hunted down booted if you try and wiggle your way in through a new one, which is basically not even an option for anyone that has built up a profile. For someone like me that has maybe four or five videos, go for it YouTube, but obviously the stakes are much higher for someone like Octav1us who spent three years building up a 26k subscriber base. In terms of IP ownership, has this been settled maryliddon, and others? I do think there should be more investigation if it hasn't. In the case of River West Brand, they essentially went behind the backs of ColecoVision homebrew publishers to register via shady means a trade mark for themselves that was already in wide use given that the original Coleco Industries registration lapsed in the late 1980s. Out of interest, I did some trademark searches in Australia for marks claimed by Melbourne House, and I discovered that MH wasn't successful in officially registering any mark with "Horace" or even the distinctive Horace character graphic back in the day, and their applications actually lapsed way back in 1985. Take a look for yourself as I've cut and pasted some search results below. The mark "Horace" https://search.ipaustralia.gov.au/trademarks/search/view/384273?q=horace The image of Horace #1 https://search.ipaustralia.gov.au/trademarks/search/view/384269?q=melbourne+house The image of Horace #2 https://search.ipaustralia.gov.au/trademarks/search/view/384274?q=melbourne+house Here's a link to the general search string for "Melbourne House" https://search.ipaustralia.gov.au/trademarks/search/quick/result?q=melbourne+house#_384269 So far, the Horace saga seems eerily similar to the Coleco fiasco - an entity attempting to pre-empt or assert use over something that's already been in use by community actors, so much so that the community actors may actually have more of a claim if they wished to register. If it's not registered in the UK or Australia, I'm not sure on what basis they're asserting a registered interest. General allusions to owning IP isn't the same as an approved registration. I know that Melbourne House eventually became part of a new software publisher, but there's no evidence that the successors registered anything with Horace, which isn't the least bit surprising given the focus was on new software titles and not IP for a obsolete platform. To repeat, I don't see how any entity can attempt to restrict or enforce Horace-type trademarks on the premise of news releases claiming general IP ownership over software titles. Marks have to be registered and any application would have to be supported by demonstrating an active marketing use. But to return to gone fishin's original point, "fair use" would normally be the grounds for protecting content creators such as Octav1us without worrying about mark registration. In terms of the actual software or code ownership via copyright, that's a slightly different matter, but as alluded to already, this could entail copyright ownership by a publishing house, depending on whether the author was directly employed, or worked as an independent contractor. It looks like it rested with Melbourne House, but at the same time there's still a sense of ambiguity about the larger questions of copyright. Do we really know the deal at this point? Has anyone here tried to reach out to Alfred Milgrom to see if he can recall the arrangement with Melbourne House titles? EDIT: I see now that you did, maryliddon - what did he recall? And anything further with Atari?
  7. Wow, I'm surprised by how fast and furious new models are being released. I guess that's a good sign that there's adequate interest out there to create and market new models. I'm personally intrigued by the cocktail models AKA the Head to Head Black Series, although I haven't seen any out in the wild to sit down and try as of yet. https://arcade1up.com/ Check out the split screen SFII competition, I guess it's flattened out way of having two back-to-back Candy cabs.
  8. There appears to be an edit Lorfarius but thanks for posting the tweet here as I don't regularly use Twitter.
  9. I'm not sure if it was marketed under a different label in the UK, but in Canada/US it was called the Cosmic 1000 Fire Away from Tandy. I loved this game - great action, and it was a nice backlit game and you could play it long after everyone else went to bed.
  10. I love looking at these game rooms, so much variety and awesomeness combined into a single thread! I started collected consoles in the late 1980s and through the 90s. Around 2010, I was made aware that a person could purchase classic arcade games, so I branched out in that direction as well. The "sanctioned space" for gaming is one of the finished basement rooms that has groovy carpet. Looking back at early photos, I can see now that the room now is a tad on the crammed and cluttered side, but that has also served as a natural brake since I'm physically at the max so if I wanted to add anything else I'd have to sell and move something out. You can't see it in the photo but I also have a Coleco Adam 8-bit computer crammed into a corner so I can call/telnet BBSes.
  11. I fail to understand how an IP holder using a patent troll-type business model and choking off creative community use of a nearly 40 year old character known to a small subcommunity of the retro scene is "all good." The only reason we're at this place is because the YouTuber in question lacks the resources to fight it, which is precisely how this plays out every time creative people have to stare down thinly veiled legal threats from entities looking to monetize the cultural value that these fans sustained and made relevant to a new generation in the first place. This is all shameful so let's not pretend that anything flowing from this event is good in any way for the community and let's not enable this kind of business model by giving it a free pass.
  12. Tipster's overview of the recent actions https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gOTVg9XKJU
  13. The reason I ask is that River West Brands asserted trademark ownership under what some have called dubious circumstances. For those interested, all of the discussion can be found at AtariAge in the ColecoVision/Adam subforurm, but in a nutshell, River West had their trademark application rejected previously for their inability to satisfy one of the criteria - use of trademark in active marketing/sale of relevant goods (in this case, a video game console). In a subsequent application where they were basically running out of extensions to their application in supplying said evidence (I think one can apply for three extensions before the application is declared null and void), they came across a hand-held ColecoVision that was created by Ben Heck. This was purely a personal exercise, using parts from a stock ColecoVision. River West sent Ben a notice basically stating "Oh, you're using our IP; but don't worry, we'll let you license it." They then had Ben sign some paperwork (which he didn't preserve), and as a good neighbour, he handed over his vector files of the ColecoVision logo because none existed at that time. Then magically, a photo of Ben's one-off handheld is forwarded to the trademark office to satisfy the "active use of mark on a marketed product" along with his vector files and voila, River West Brands secures the trademark. The thing is, Ben Heck actually had a more legitimate claim to securing the trademark for himself at that moment in time, but due to some shady representations, he fell under a different impression when he received their message. This is to say nothing about all of the homebrew publishers that used the original mark as a tribute to the original Coleco Industries to "recreate" the nostalgia around the original ColecoVision run. Anyway, down the road AtGames decided they wanted to create a ColecoVision Flashback in the footsteps of the successful Atari models, and fortunately, with a secured mark, River West was able to profit in a licensing deal - all based on the submission of Ben Heck's one-off handheld. And more broadly, River West decided they wanted to try and monetize IP that was widely used for free within the hobbyist community, and naturally the community didn't see a value-added by having to pay money to an entity that was basically nothing more than a trademark squatter, so they subsequently abandoned all use of "Coleco" marks on their products. As an outsider, it appears to me that this community enjoyed a period of time where they could also use and share in an iconic IP from the 1980s, but someone saw "value" in monetizing that IP and is now attempting to curtail community use of that property. My experience with River West has given me pause when I see similar patterns in other facets of the retro community, and I also learned from River West that sometimes people will resort to actions in a bid to convey "ownership" or control over IP as a tactic that may indeed collapse if one could actually review an evidence-based trail of ownership transfer or acquisition. The fact that community members are debating said ownership suggests to me that it's not a settled issue, or at least a number of people are suspicious and aren't willing to go on personal word and reputation alone.
  14. As a new member, would it be possible for you to share more details about how Andrews acquired the IP for Horace? My understanding is that this circa 1980s IP resides with the creator (William Tang, maybe Alfred Milgrom for the Horace design, or Beam Software, I think) for 70 years after death. I noticed that other members are searching the UK IP Office, but I'm not clear if a trademark search would necessarily reflect newly acquired IP ownership. To my untrained ears, this discussion about ownership has echoes of the Coleco trademark dispute involving River West Brands and the latter's assertion of ownership within the Coleco retro community. Interestingly, that whole situation burst into public view with a similar trajectory - copyright strikes against YouTube videos featuring the Coleco name, which River West asserted was necessary because of the portrayal of 8-bit games beside the Coleco name with sexualized content.
  15. Yes they were widely available in Canada, but were generally overshadowed by the NES. I don't have any sense of overall units sold, but even back in the 90s I saw the SMS far less frequently than the NES at flea markets and thrift stores.
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