Avoiding a takedown notice?
A good way to avoid a takedown notice would be to pull the games yourself. Then there's nothing to take down!
The owner of Elite Systems Ltd finally broke his silence on Saturday after a number of British game developers for the 1980s 8-bit ZX Spectrum home computer claimed that Steve Wilcox had failed to pay royalties owed to them. As The Register reported on Friday, Wilcox, 44, raised more than £60,000, via a Kickstarter campaign, …
The Apple resolution procedure usually involves a complainant contacting Apple, then Apple contacting the developer, giving the two a chance to come to an agreement before it takes action.
So if the copyright holders had raised legal issues with Apple, Apple would have forwarded them to Elite and waited for further instructions. At that point Elite could easily "voluntarily" pull the apps.
Which means, if you didn't have a contract (signed, on paper, offline variety) then you can just go piss up a tree.
This is why the whole crowdfunded/Indiagogo/kickstarter routine is such a crap shoot: there's no guarantee that anything will ever come from it, the person with their hand out can just take the money & run, and unless you can find them to serve a Warrant, you can kiss any recourse goodbye.
Caveat Emptor, and you probably don't even have a receipt to use as proof to help talk to a lawyer.
Sure there are good ones that deserve the assistance, but finding them is akin to finding the one gold needle in the ginormous pit filled with brass coloured ones.
I hope this one turns out in a good way for everyone involved, but I won't be surprised if it flushes itself completely down the bog.
Kickstarter is like gambling. It is definitely not like Amazon.
Only play with money you are prepared to lose.
Then, if the project fizzles, you've only lost what you were happy to loose. and if it's successful, then you get a reward that you were not expecting :)
According to the SIG itself, they own the trademark and companies need to be a member to use Bluetooth tech in their products and "leverage the Bluetooth brand in its products and service offerings." Dunno how much legal clout that has and whether it applies to end users of say, a bluetooth chipset.
From the Bluetooth.org website
"1.2 Who should join the Bluetooth SIG?
Any company using Bluetooth wireless technology in their products, rebranding or reselling Bluetooth enabled technology, or advertising qualified Bluetooth products must become a member of the SIG. (Membership in the Bluetooth SIG is for companies, not for individuals.)"
Elite are planning on using Bluetooth technology in the product. - That's enough from what it says above.
Even if they are going to reuse an off the shelf chipset I would expect that as a piece of consumer electronics they will still need to get the correct certifications which would include one for the wireless system. (Qualified product?)
Basic membership is free, but qualification for each product (a required step) is a chunky $8000, although there is a discount for small caps that bring it down to $2000-3000. Add a thousand or so for getting your paperwork together and another couple of thousand for EMI/RFI testing even if it passes first time.
There was a lot of fuss about a computer program called "The Last One". So called because it's developers claimed it would be the last computer program ever written, since it's job was ... to write computer programs.
Anyway, come the PCW show, they had a couple of people at their stand who were very interested, and kept on putting scenarios to it for demonstration. Turned out they were taking the output code, and flogging them at a stand a few doors down.
I've actually seen ads for that program, so that much is real - I was going to say 'legit', but that would be misleading.
I think my favorite "what were they thinking" moment in low-rent '80s computing were the guys who were trying to sell software on vinyl LPs (rather than tapes). Seemed like a good idea at the time... One of their ads consisted of giant text saying, "FIRE SALE! That's right! If we don't sell some of these, we're going to get FIRED!"
Yeah, I remember a neighbour loading it up on his spectrum after recording it to tape.
It was supposed to work on the C64 as well, perhaps a different track on the disc?
I imagine on the Spectrum you could compensate for getting the recording levels wrong by increasing the volume on your playback deck. Not sure if the C64 used any sort of dynamic level control or not?
"I think my favorite "what were they thinking" moment in low-rent '80s computing were the guys who were trying to sell software on vinyl LPs (rather than tapes)."
I'm right there with you. One of the BBC Micro magazines that I picked up randomly came with this square of plastic inside that had grooves baked into it, so it could play on a record player. I remember I laughed and thought "yeah, right". Several years later I found it and it was a rainy weekend so...plug this into that and...
...damn thing worked. Don't remember what the software was, a MODE 7 demo I *think*, but I was more blown away by successfully loading a program from a record player. It just seemed to unbelievably retro, even back then when "retro" was only just last year's tech!
It's a shame for the people that invested in this thing, but even as described it's crap. It is a Bluetooth keyboard resembling a ZX Spectrum that may, or may not, only work with certain emulated games. Whoopee-doo! I have read information suggesting that they do not have a license to make such a device:
As far as I've ever heard, that's basically how all software houses operated in the 80's (and may still do).
Write/buy games, sell them off, spend money on your bonuses, declare yourself bankrupt, flog off the kit, sell off the developers, start a new company, hire the same developers (at less money), but up the kit (and now don't have to pay those royalties to anyone because you're a different company).
Throw in some company director changes and paperwork shenanigans and it was (apparently) above-board. But from what I read in the 80's to how those places got bought up in the modern age, it's always been the same.
There are still companies around from that era. They might have changed their names and their line of business completely but they are still very much around. For example Durrell still exist but now sell business software. Alternative and Codemasters are still around and selling games. System 3 actually have a launch title on the Xbox One! Rare were around until recently and even launched a new version of Jetpac for the Xbox 360 before consumed by Microsoft.
And of course although Frontier Developments dates from the early 90's, they are very in touch with their 8 bit roots with their new Elite game as were the Oliver Twins before Blizzard folded.
In short you'd be surprised how many companies and programmers are still around!
I use all those companies and people as examples of entities that are still around today from the 8 bit era. There is no explicit or implied connection with Elite.
"In short you'd be surprised how many companies and programmers are still around!"
It was fairly comment back then for the developer to retain copyright, especially if they were not an employee. There are probably a lot of grey haired developers who still own their copyright and so could get involved in this.
>> I can't believe bedroom coders from that era would bother trying to get
>> a few quid for 30 year old games
>Why on earth not?
Because they'd have to cough up a fortune in legal fees up front - I don't many no-win-no-free sharks would take it on - and for what , a few hundred quid? Why would anyone bother.
Steve owes me about £6k which he won't pay me (for the porting of my official Irem R-Type on mobile from about 7-8 years back)... though some commenters on here suggested I take him to the small claims court, maybe I'll reexplore that avenue with a legal person after all. Last time I asked for my money and threatened to get a lawyer involved, he said he would "counter sue" me. The guy is just a dick basically. Plus I'm certain he's not going to pay all those speccy developers, that's why he's pulled all the apps, and said all that "chastening experience" crap. He's just out to extract as much money from the retro scene as he can.
Counter-sue is what all dicks do. Happened to me. Judge laughed it out of court.
It is the classic scare and delay tactic. In my case the person who owed me money invented a load of backdated invoices that conveniently added up to the amount owed. Judge threw them out.
The judges see these tricks all the time.
The final irony was after the judgement the idiot who owed me money wrote me a letter saying the judge was biased and he did not agree with his view!
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