[Coco] HWGA (was) Coco games copyright
jcewy at swbell.net
Wed Feb 11 16:01:58 EST 2009
James Hrubik wrote:
> Why am I waiting with bated breath, holding my finger over the DELETE
> Maybe each newbie should get an email from Dennis with something to
> the effect that discussions of religion, politics, and copyrights
> should be avoided because they are equally likely to start flame wars.
> (Sorry, Joel. I know you just wanted to help the guy, but I can't
> help thinking you were just trolled.)
Maybe so. But I've now said all I have to say on the matter, and I
won't respond to insults or taunts. Nothing anybody can say to me on
this list can be worse than things I've been told in person.
> On Feb 11, 2009, at Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - 1:51 PM, Joel Ewy
>> Ben Jimenez wrote:
>>> I was thinking of converting some Coco games over to a new platform,
>>> but was wondering what the copyright was on them now?
>>> Coco mailing list
>>> Coco at maltedmedia.com
>> Copyright is forever. Well, not quite forever. It's the life of the
>> author plus 70 years plus the amount of time since Walt Disney died, or
>> something like that.
>> Seriously, it isn't like patents, which expire in 17 years.
>> There are a number of authors of CoCo games who have given permission
>> for their programs to be distributed for free, often with certain
>> restrictions, such as "you may not charge for a copy", etc. This does
>> not mean that they have renounced their copyright and put the programs
>> in the public domain, only that they are using their copyright to
>> specify the terms under which their works can be copied.
>> L. Curtis Boyle has received permission to make some of these games
>> available for download from his web site, and has documented the
>> permissions he has. Since these authors have given some enhanced
>> permissions for their works, they might be amenable to discussing a
>> port. You'd just have to get in touch with them and see.
>> Of course, if you're just talking about writing your own clone of their
>> original game, you don't need to get any permission or worry about
>> copyright, unless you directly copy stuff from the game, or use
>> trademarked names and so on.
>> Now since these things are pretty old, and many of the old authors
>> aren't involved with the CoCo anymore, you might get away with just
>> appropriating it, but of course you'd be doing so at the risk that they
>> would take notice and threaten a lawsuit. How likely that would be
>> would probably depend on how you use it. If you are trying to sell
>> copies of a game that blatantly steals their copyrighted materials, they
>> would probably be more likely to take offense, or take action. If you
>> do it for fun and give it away for free, and position it as a fan paying
>> tribute to a great game of the past, they may not care, and might even
>> feel honored that their old work has been remembered. On the other
>> hand, they might still be perfectly within their rights to sue you. Do
>> so at your own risk.
>> One other factor is that for most of these programs there's no economic
>> benefit to be gained from suing you. It's not as if you're depriving
>> them of any significant potential income from these 20+ years old
>> programs. But for some people it may be a matter of principle.
>> Now, there may be some CoCo games out there that are really Open Source,
>> or something approximating that. Those you should be able to port more
>> freely. But for those that aren't you are either going to have to
>> disassemble them or contact the original author and see if the source
>> code is still around.
>> Coco mailing list
>> Coco at maltedmedia.com
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> Coco at maltedmedia.com
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