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Google pulls the curtain on a5teroids
Tobias Dammers
Member #2,604
August 2002
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Your Head A Steroid
All Your Base Are Belong A Steroid
...you get the gist.

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Me make music: Triofobie
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"We need Tobias and his awesome trombone, too." - Johan Halmén

Peter Wang
Member #23
April 2000

Specter Phoenix
Member #1,425
July 2001
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Cosmic Space Patrol..Wonder if that is an example of game being changed after the manuals and such are made. I remember one fighting game had alpha screen shots that showed a character that was later removed from the game. Can't remember what games have had boxes that claimed their were modes that had been removed before release, but the box was never corrected heh.

"Can't a man even talk to himself without being interrupted?" -Krull(1983)
"Through vengence I was born. Through war I was trained. Through love I was found. Through death I was released. Through release I was given a purpose." -- Specter Phoenix
"Programming == AWESOME the rest is just tools to accomplish it."
END OF LINE

Trent Gamblin
Member #261
April 2000
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It could be made a parody... the asteroids start small and get bigger when you shoot them. D:

J-Gamer
Member #12,491
January 2011
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You could make it so that the asteroids destroy each other, while you have to evade them, sometimes shooting them(making them larger) to make sure they hit each other. Just an idea, don't know if this would be any fun.

" There are plenty of wonderful ideas in The Bible, but God isn't one of them." - Derezo
"If your body was a business, thought would be like micro-management and emotions would be like macro-management. If you primarily live your life with emotions, then you are prone to error on the details. If you over-think things all the time you tend to lose scope of priorities." - Mark Oates

Trent Gamblin
Member #261
April 2000
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Might be worth a try. I'll make note of it, don't have time to do it right now. Thanks for the idea. :D

Luiji99
Member #12,254
September 2010

This shit's getting interesting. If I get the time first I might try to make these modifications myself!

Programming should be fun. That's why I hate Java.

Mordredd
Member #5,291
December 2004
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I really don't why you're accussing Google of having no balls. Apple is sueing more then half the industry because they have a design patent on flat devices with rounded corners. A5teroids is a clear entire gameplay copy with a single letter changed into a number in the name.. Of course they put it down immediately. Go drop Atari a letter and don't moan about Google..

Trent Gamblin
Member #261
April 2000
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Glad to have input from the resident Google/Linux fanboy. Did anyone mention anything about Apple? Does a5teroids violate anything LEGAL but the name "Asteroids"? If not, why can't Google just let me change the name. Giving the case over to Atari is completely ridiculous and absurd in every way, if you can't see that you're blinded by your silly new love for Google.

Mordredd
Member #5,291
December 2004
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Glad to have input from the resident Google/Linux fanboy.

Always glad responding to the leading a5 ork.

Quote:

Did anyone mention anything about Apple? Does a5teroids violate anything LEGAL but the name "Asteroids"? If not, why can't Google just let me change the name. Giving the case over to Atari is completely ridiculous and absurd in every way, if you can't see that you're blinded by your silly new love for Google.

Atari is the copyright owner. Since they own the copright, you have to ask them for permission - that easy. What part of that do you not understand?

edit: To be more specific: A copyright is not only held on EXACT names, but also similar names, ie. if the name is intended to make a third party think your game has to do something with the copyrighted name.

Trent Gamblin
Member #261
April 2000
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Atari is the copyright owner. Since they own the copright, you have to ask them for permission - that easy. What part of that do you not understand?

Ok, let me break it down for you since you clearly don't understand the situation...

1) No copyright was violated
2) A TRADEMARK i.e., the name "Asteroids" was violated (CLAIMED to be violated actually, but I won't dispute that)

Do you understand now youngster?

Now let's examine Google giving the case over to Atari. Now let's look at this as if it was a court case. Google, the judge decides that you have violated an Atari trademark. Minor offense. So the judge decides that Atari is now going to judge the case from this point on... wait, what? Ya, that's what's happening here.

Luiji99
Member #12,254
September 2010

  • This is a trademark issue.

  • There are no claims of copyright infringement, but at this point this design has been used so often it's probably wouldn't hold up in court.

  • Apple wasn't mentioned, and you're talking about patents now. We never brought those up.

  • Semi-related tidbit: you cannot copyright game play in Germany.

  • We already understand the system of similar names. Mr. Gamblin just believes that A5teroids is different enough (which I disagree with, but I think we've gotten past this stage).

  • I love Google products, such as Chromium and SparseHash, but I refuse to condone this type of behavior. Trent's court analogy functions the best to explain why.

  • I also love GNU/Linux, but I don't see how that fanaticism is relevant, Mr. Gamblin.

  • A5 ork? What does that mean?

  • At a certain point I question whether you, Mr. Dawid, actually payed much attention to what happened in this topic, or have the necessary amount of knowledge to debate on it ( copyright != trademark ).

And now I smiley to avoid offending anyone because that actually works. :)

Programming should be fun. That's why I hate Java.

Thomas Fjellstrom
Member #476
June 2000
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Now let's examine Google giving the case over to Atari. Now let's look at this as if it was a court case. Google, the judge decides that you have violated an Atari trademark. Minor offense. So the judge decides that Atari is now going to judge the case from this point on... wait, what? Ya, that's what's happening here.

Somewhat OT, but Google's done what with copyrights on Youtube. Even the appeals tend to be handled by the complainer.

--
Thomas Fjellstrom - [website] - [email] - [Allegro Wiki] - [Allegro TODO]
"If you can't think of a better solution, don't try to make a better solution." -- weapon_S
"The less evidence we have for what we believe is certain, the more violently we defend beliefs against those who don't agree" -- https://twitter.com/neiltyson/status/592870205409353730

alehbeer
Member #12,996
July 2011
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I think I read about something similar which went like this make the claiming company, Atari, give a hard-copy list of all its problems, fix them, forward to google, and make Atari review them in 15 days. around a month or less. Requiring a deadline or they forfeit their claims might get their lawyers to write up enough so you can comply with their complaints like that article talked about. If I can remember it I will post it from a year ago - the thread I found it in had something to do with fabrication, game pieces, and I want to say bikes of all things. This is not advice though

Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
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In other words, Trent's position is that Google is impressed with Atari's size relative to himself, and decides that since Atari is so big, they're in the right and Trent is just a little scammer?

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck.”

― Robert A. Heinlein

Trent Gamblin
Member #261
April 2000
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Luiji99 said:

We already understand the system of similar names. Mr. Gamblin just believes that A5teroids is different enough

On the contrary, I have no doubt that the name is too similar. It just never appeared to be a problem early on when this was just a PC demo for A5, until Atari got involved. I would have no problem changing the name.

EDIT:

alehbeer said:

make the claiming company, Atari, give a hard-copy list of all its problems, fix them, forward to google, and make Atari review them in 15 days. around a month or less. Requiring a deadline or they forfeit their claims might get their lawyers to write up enough so you can comply with their complaints like that article talked about.

That sounds like a reasonable thing to do.

Mordredd
Member #5,291
December 2004
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Luiji99 said:

A5 ork? What does that mean?

Refers to a person that's always nice to you. Just like an ork. ;)

Quote:

At a certain point I question whether you, Mr. Dawid, actually payed much attention to what happened in this topic, or have the necessary amount of knowledge to debate on it ( copyright != trademark ).

Well, I experienced a similar case when our band covered a Bon Jovi (classic) song and posted it on youtube. Regarding german law, you are basically allowed to do this, but that law does not apply here. So the producer contacted me and they took the video down. We left with an agreement that if I put a link into the video description that links to the Bon Jovi site and they would release the video. I think there is a similar solution here.

Trent Gamblin
Member #261
April 2000
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I think there is a similar solution here.

There may be. I'm still trying to come up with what to say to ATARI regarding this. Yes, I'm complaining too much but the circumstances are silly.

Tobias Dammers
Member #2,604
August 2002
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The situation is simple.

You have a product which likley violates someone else's trademark. Normally, this would be an issue between you and Atari, the trademark owner, and it could be settled either through an agreement between you and Atari, or, failing that, in court, where a judge (or jury) would decide whether this was an actual infringement or not, and how much you'd have to pay Atari in compensation.

However, Google now comes into play, and they have their own business at stake - they are acting as a trader, basically re-selling your product under the same name. This means that they, too, might be considered trademark infringers if they keep selling your game, at least if they knowingly continue doing so. To protect themselves from such a situation, they are proactively withdrawing your game to cover their own ass; they are not judging anyone, they are simply playing it safe for themselves, and I bet their terms of service explicitly allow them to do this (which is why you can't take them to court over this).

If you were offering the game through your own sales channels, Atari would have to go at you directly, and you would get a chance to defend your case in court (although in this case, this would be a rather theoretical chance, because you'd be destroyed in court).

---
Me make music: Triofobie
---
"We need Tobias and his awesome trombone, too." - Johan Halmén

Trent Gamblin
Member #261
April 2000
avatar

Yeah, I'd get destroyed. Because there aren't a million (literally?!) other free Asteroids clones out there that Atari hasn't gone after. The only reason they go after games on Google Play is because they know Google will pull them no questions asked.

And let's be realistic here. Do you really think ANYONE is going to confuse Atari's product with the Allegro 5 demo game?

Thomas Fjellstrom
Member #476
June 2000
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And let's be realistic here. Do you really think ANYONE is going to confuse Atari's product with the Allegro 5 demo game?

Probably not. But they don't have the luxury of not going after people using their trademark. They have to or they lose the right to protect it.

--
Thomas Fjellstrom - [website] - [email] - [Allegro Wiki] - [Allegro TODO]
"If you can't think of a better solution, don't try to make a better solution." -- weapon_S
"The less evidence we have for what we believe is certain, the more violently we defend beliefs against those who don't agree" -- https://twitter.com/neiltyson/status/592870205409353730

Trent Gamblin
Member #261
April 2000
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I seriously doubt they've gone after many of those 1 million clones out there. They never went after a5teroids until it was on Google Play. They make a show of it, but they only do it when it's convenient.

Tobias Dammers
Member #2,604
August 2002
avatar

That's because they don't have to go to court; they only have to scare Google into thinking they might take them to court. Removing your game from their site doesn't cost Google much: worst case, they lose a few dollars of revenue (let's assume $100). Not removing most likely doesn't cost them anything either, but there is the odd chance (let's assume 10%) that Atari decides to take them to court and wins, and when that happens, they have much more to lose (let's assume $10,000 plus the same in legal fees; I have no idea what these things cost, it's probably much more). So the calculation is something like $100 lost with 100% probability vs. $20,000 lost with 10% probability; -$100 * 100% = -$100, -$20,000 * 10% = -$2,000. You'd be a fool to pick the -$2,000.

On the Atari side, the calculation is practically zero cost (the amount of work it takes them to file a complaint at Google, let's assume 15 minutes worth of a lower-management type employee, say $25) for a likely success (Google removes the thing no questions asked), vs. not doing anything (zero cost, guaranteed failure), vs. taking you to court directly (say 90% chance of success, but possible $10,000 in legal fees). Doing the math:

Option A - likely success, 100% chance of $25 cost = -$25.
Option B - guaranteed failure, 100% chance of $0 cost = $0.
Option C - likely success, 10% chance of $10,000 cost = -$1,000.

So, depending on how much they like their trademark, they can decide to leave it be and risk losing the trademark, or go with the cheap and safe route for enforcing their trademark.

---
Me make music: Triofobie
---
"We need Tobias and his awesome trombone, too." - Johan Halmén

Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
avatar

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck.”

― Robert A. Heinlein

Thomas Fjellstrom
Member #476
June 2000
avatar

I seriously doubt they've gone after many of those 1 million clones out there. They never went after a5teroids until it was on Google Play. They make a show of it, but they only do it when it's convenient.

They don't have to go after all of them. They just have to show they made a reasonable attempt at trying to protect their copyright.

--
Thomas Fjellstrom - [website] - [email] - [Allegro Wiki] - [Allegro TODO]
"If you can't think of a better solution, don't try to make a better solution." -- weapon_S
"The less evidence we have for what we believe is certain, the more violently we defend beliefs against those who don't agree" -- https://twitter.com/neiltyson/status/592870205409353730



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