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To copy or not copy

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This is just my opinion and not based upon any legal knowledge. I suppose I should post it to the end of one of the other threads, but I hate threads that run for 30 pages. I''m just starting out and I would be so lucky to have a large number of people copy any game I do create because it is so well known and liked in its time. Perhaps if such was the case I might feel differantly. My view is that if I create a game that I could care less if someone creates a game similar to it. It would in many ways be flattering to think my game good enough to inspire another. What I would mind is someone copying my game. It is one thing to learn from or be inspired by someone else''s work, but another thing entirely to copy it. There is to me a big differance. If a game I create inspires another then I haven''t saved them any work. If they learned something from my game then you could argue I saved them work, but really it has just made it possible for them to work. They still have to have the talent and skill to use what they learned. They can copy and modify the source with very little skill and work though. Very little work for them, but perhaps a great deal for me. Conversely it could be a small amount of work for me, but completely beyond any ability they will ever take the time and effort to develop. I feel this issue is about whether they designed a game or copied a game design. If they copied a game design then they saved themselves the cost of paying a skilled game designer. That is to me the fundamental issue. Did they design a game that is similar to Asteroids or did they simply copy the design of Asteroids? If they are in the right it should not be difficult to prove. They should be able to show the evolution of the game. If the size of the asteroids and ship is the same relative to the resolution, the number of asteroids, the number of fragments, the flight paths, speed, scoring, earning shields and ships and on and on match I would have a hard time buying that they didn''t copy the game design. I don''t know what the copyright laws protect me from, but I do know what I think it should protect me from. Should I ever have a successful game I hope it protects my labor as well as those that work on it with me including the game designers.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
You are wrong about one thing for sure, and that is - it is NOT easy to proove you are right (assuming indeed you are in the right) in a case of copyright infringment.

If you have done nothing wrong, and a big bully competitor is suing you to clear the stores of your product, it will cost you about $300K + to proove you are right!

How fair is that?

In this case, it is clear to me, and I assume anyone who bothers to look at the games, that the games in this case fall into 2 different categories:

1. those games that are almost exact clones
2. those which are very different, with new designs and only the general ''idea'' of the game type influenced by the original

I don''t think many people are arguing that those games in category #1 don''t deserve to be sued. If you read early posts in this forum, that was established a long time ago.

These posts have seem to regressed into discussions that were resolved a LONG TIME AGO.

The problem is, what about using ''ideas'' for gameplay, without copying the game?

For example, shooting things in space. How many ways are there to do this? There''s not gravity in space and things float. When you shoot at them, they break apart. There''s mostly rocks in space. That''s the way it is! That''s outter space. Lots of nothing, little gravity, and rocks. Man made spaceships (so far) have rocket boosters. Can Hasbro own these concepts?

Another example, collecting things in a maze. Let''s go further and talk about collecting DOTS in a maze. Was Pacman the first game to do that? The answer is no. Many early arcade games had the primary goal of collecting small dots in a maze (Crash, Head On). The mazes and dots were about the same size as Pacman.

Now the question about whether Hasbro was right or wrong isn''t so clear, is it?

If Pacman copied off of previous games, than how can Pacman sue newer games that are more different than Pacman was to these early games?

I challenge people to load up MAME and see the natural evolution of video games for themselves.

You will find that Asteroids, Pacman, and other games involved in the lawsuit are not quite so original as you are led to believe by well funded propaganda machines.

Do some homework and find out the truth.

Or listen to what billion dollar corporations are trying to brain wash you into believing they own everything.

It''s really easy to condem the developers here. But at least some of them created some really awesome and ORIGINAL games, and don''t desrve this treatment.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Yeah i too have thought its rather unfortunate that Hasbro is attacking both clones and non-clones together in the same lawsuit..... they are trying to make anything remotely similar to one of their games be perceived as a ''clone''.And it looks like their little strategy of confusing people is working.

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It''s been pretty obvious from the start that most
people can not tell the difference between
inspirations and clones. I do not understand why.
Nice to see some of us are looking at the games.

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You''re being naive if you think this lawsuit has anything to do with "protecting copyrights". This lawsuit is an attempt by Hasbro to create a monopoly by forcing smaller, independent developers out of the market. And if the game developers and the entire community doesn''t wake up and realize just how important this case is and how it will affect them personally, Hasbro just might win. We need to show our support for the defendants involved, before they are drowned in legal fees. We all need to grab a bucket and start stowing water, or the whole ship sinks. And then you can kiss any chance of marketing your independently developed games goodbye.

-Chao Yun

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How about contacting major industry publishers and get them involved. Im sure if Hasbro win they will be effected too, as they will not be able to publish games that are similar to that of another publishers without aquiring a license.

By the way am i right in thinking that microsoft have an Arcade Games pack on the market. Check if they have a license to publish these games, and if not see if we can drag them into the battle. Hasbro will have to sue them as well as the small publishers, and im sure MS will put up a good fight.

G Coates
-------------------------------------------
Software is like sex: better when its free!

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I don''t think big companies will cooperate in this lawsuit. Big companies never come to the aid of the little guy against another big company. The big guys hold onto their big guy status by screwing the little guys, not helping them! (hence WHY there are big companies controlling everything).

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Guest Anonymous Poster
MS got a license of atari. So there are no big guys in this case.

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