Court Sides With Nintendo Over RomUniverse In Atttempt To Dismiss The Former's Lawsuit

from the ninten-did dept

As most of you will know, a year or so ago saw Nintendo suddenly flip a litigious switch and begin going after all the ROM sites that had existed for a decade or more. The timing suggests that the company may have made this move out of a misguided attempt to support its release of several retro consoles that contained many of the games that the public could also simply get for free on these ROM sites. I say misguided because it’s not as though Nintendo’s aggression suddenly made free online ROMs unavailable. They are all still very much there through various means, but Nintendo’s retro consoles sold like gangbusters anyway, because half the appeal in the product is the ease of use and the other half is in having the cool looking retro console next to the television.

Most sites simply folded up and caved. RomUniverse, run by Matthew Storman, was one of the few that attempted to fight back. Despite the site making not just Nintendo Roms available, but also all kinds of other copyrighted media, Storman tried to crowdfund his legal defense before pivoting to representing himself in court. We’re still in the early stages of the litigation. Storman sought a dismissal of the case by arguing that First Sale doctrine meant Nintendo had no claim to the Roms being offered on his site coupled with claiming to be a neutral service provider protected by DMCA safe harbors. We said at the time that the move was unlikely to work.

And we were right. The court has now ruled for Nintendo against the motion to dismiss, stating that at best the claims that Storman makes are not properly made at this stage of the litigation, along with some comments that the claims probably aren’t going to get Storman where he wants to go anyway.

After considering the arguments from both sides, US District Court Judge Consuelo B. Marshall has sided with Nintendo. In a ruling released yesterday, she denies the various arguments presented by Storman. RomUniverse’s operator wanted the case dismissed based on failure to state a claim, lack of jurisdiction, improper venue, insufficient service of process, and failure to join a party. None of these arguments convinced the court.

Storman, for example, argued that Nintendo is not the owner of previously purchased games because consumers have the right to sell, destroy, or give them away. The Judge didn’t address this in detail but concluded that Nintendo’s copyright registrations are sufficient at this stage.

On the DMCA safe harbor claims specifically, the court acknowledges that it cannot determine whether RomUniverse meets the criteria for those provisions at this stage of the trial, at which no evidence has been presented. Nintendo’s entire case here is that Storman’s site doesn’t act as a third party service provider. Asking the court to find otherwise when Nintendo hasn’t been allowed to present evidence yet would make no sense. And, as the court goes on to note, Nintendo sued for trademark infringement and unfair competition claims as well, and DMCA safe harbors don’t protect from those claims.

Therefore, the Court would be required to look beyond the pleadings to determine whether Defendant is a service provider who satisfies the statutory requirements for protection pursuant to the DMCA’s safe harbors, which is improper on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss.

As to Storman’s claim that First Sale doctrine means that Nintendo failed to join the actual owners of the games that are the basis of the ROMs on his site, the court points out that’s not how any of this works at this stage. Nintendo has alleged that Storman’s site is liable and arguing that Nintendo also has to sue everyone else isn’t very convincing.

Defendant argues Plaintiff has “failed to join the true and essential owners of copies known only to Plaintiff, or unknown.” As discussed supra, Plaintiff sufficiently alleges ownership and “the owner of copyright …has the exclusive rights to …reproduce the copyrighted work in copies [and] to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work.” 17 U.S.C. § 106(1)-(2). Therefore, Defendant fails to demonstrate there are persons subject to service of process which, in their absence, would prevent the Court from providing complete relief among the existing parties or persons claiming an interest in the subject of this action. See Fed. R. Civ. Proc. 19. Accordingly, the Court denies Defendant’s motion to dismiss based on failure to join an indispensable party pursuant to Rule ~12)~b)~~)•

And so the motion to dismiss is denied. We’ve made the point several times now that Nintendo has better ways to deal with ROM sites than this sort of litigation. That is still true. But none of that changes the fact that Storman and RomUniverse have a mountain to climb if it wants to successfully defend itself from this lawsuit.

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Companies: nintendo, romuniverse

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Comments on “Court Sides With Nintendo Over RomUniverse In Atttempt To Dismiss The Former's Lawsuit”

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141 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Nintendo = Disney of video games

To its credit Nintendo hasn’t met Sony in terms of the scale of its aggressive copyright litigation history, and fuck-ups on how user data was protected. Which only makes the recent turnaround all the more disappointing.

On the other hand, considering how Nintendo has handled fanworks…

JoeCool (profile) says:

Re: Re: Nintendo = Disney of video games

Nintendo also didn’t buy a music label and movie distributor and get infected with IP lawyers as badly as Sony did when it did both. Sony was actually rather good about all this before they bought BMG.

The latest rash of video take-downs and lawsuits seems to indicate that what infection Nintendo did get has spread rapidly in the last several years.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

Insofar as it concerns the morality and ethics: That all depends on how you feel about Storman charging people money for access to unlimited downloads of all kinds of content he didn’t have the right to distribute. Does that overshadow what could (loosely) be considered an effort to preserve Nintendo games? Or does that (possible) preservation cancel out how he unlawfully profited from the works of others?

Insofar as it concerns the law: Storman can only delay the inevitable, because Nintendo will eventually flatten him like Mario flattens Goombas.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Honestly, the problem with the ethics of the situation the that he was offering new games. If he was charging for access to just the back catalogues of older consoles, he would have had a lot more people on his side. Sure, you could theorise that Nintendo were losing some customers for their own emulated games, but that would be outweighed by keeping less profitable NES games alive that would otherwise be lost. Same if the content for newer consoles was just demos and homebrew content.

But, you go to that page and the first thing you see is current retail Switch games and BluRay movie rips? He’s immediately lost any high ground.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

you could theorise that Nintendo were losing some customers for their own emulated games

You could but your theory would be wrong. Nintendo sold out completely of every retro console they released. Within hours. Perhaps if they had made enough consoles to saturate the market we could imagine how many more they might have sold had there been no access to ROMs for home emulators. But they didn’t. And theory that their market was reduced is pure fantasy.

RomUniverse’s major mistake was distributing modern content. That was a terrible idea and it’s fairly strange that they’re the ones fighting Nintendo instead of any of the myriad sites with a higher moral standing.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

"You could but your theory would be wrong"

Yeah, I don’t buy the theory myself, but there are people deluded enough to think that every pirated product is a lost sale at full price.

"Nintendo sold out completely of every retro console they released"

Bad comparison. That was as much to do with the hardware as it was to the games that were included. The better comparison would be home many people buy games through their virtual console services vs. just downloading for free. As with all of these piracy issues, there is almost certainly some type of loss revenue but it’s background noise offset by other products if handled correctly.

"RomUniverse’s major mistake was distributing modern content"

Yep. As I mentioned above, their best avenues of defence go immediately out of the window when you see that their front page is advertising movie rips and Switch games.

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tp (profile) says:

sites like romuniverse should disappear

Good thing happening with these cases is that the sites that blatantly copy other people’s copyrighted works are actually disappearing from the world. Proper rom sites are asking permissions from copyright owners before publishing or archieving the material.

Basically we don’t like competition from sites with the following properties:
1) they have too much content published that they cannot create the material
2) they publish material without necessary permissions
3) they don’t pass along compensation to the authors using valid market rates
4) they try to weasel out of lawsuits using bullshit that doesn’t hold scrutiny
5) they have more criminals as users than real humans
6) their reading of the law is trying to invent new areas in law rather than relying hundreds of years of litigation

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: sites like romuniverse should disappear

"Proper rom sites are asking permissions from copyright owners before publishing or archieving the material."

No they’re not, since a primary purpose is to save things like orphaned works where that is not possible.

Again, I’m sorry that you’re a failure, but inventing your own parallel universe to address when the real world doesn’t work the way you wish is not the solution.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: sites like romuniverse should disappear

since a primary purpose is to save things like orphaned works

Whole nintendo’s game catalog is nowhere near the limit where it is in danger of disappearing completely from the world. Blatant copyright infringement cannot be justified by claiming some ulterior purpose of collecting orphaned works. And if they want to preserve the material, they do not need to publish the material. All these rom sites are publishing only the most popular works, never the stuff that is actually disappearing from the world.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: sites like romuniverse should disappear

"Whole nintendo’s game catalog is nowhere near the limit where it is in danger of disappearing completely from the world"

Really. Even the rare games that are hard to get hold of but Nintendo do not wish to release ina . legal format?

"And if they want to preserve the material, they do not need to publish the material"

So, you can ensure that the work survives so long as nobody is allowed to see it? What happens if that archive is destroyed? I’m glad libraries throughout history have not shared your blinkered view, we would all be poorer for it.

"Piracy" gave us access to some of the greatest works in history that would otherwise have been lost. Your view is why nobody will ever see works such as London After Midnight.

"All these rom sites are publishing only the most popular works, never the stuff that is actually disappearing from the world."

Absolutely bullshit, easily proven by a quick perusal of any site you wish to name. There’s plenty of rare, otherwise unobtainable stuff out there. But as usual you do need to invent things to have an argument.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Let’s not forget, one of Tero Pulkinnen’s main complaint about the public domain is that it allows free stuff to compete with stuff you’d otherwise have to pay for, therefore the whole point of copyright expiring is for things that don’t have copyright to be destroyed.

Mr. Meshpage’s perspective on older things is already known. Why should older stuff (that developers would have to provide on-call services and maintenance for, he argues) be allowed to compete with newer stuff? If he was given a choice between preservation or nuking from orbit, you can bet your back teeth he’d pick the latter option every time.

Ehud Gavron (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Older things being supported and nuking from orbit

You don’t actually have RIGHTS to things you SELL after you SELL them. It’s called the First Sale Doctrine and codified at 17 U.S.C. § 109(a) & (c).

You don’t get to "pick the latter option" of any choice that conflicts with this. That includes "nuking[sic] from orbit" (not a thing).

"Let’s not forget…" is a good way to start an argument where you iterate what people already know, or are a Republican on an impeachment committee. In real life, however, we don’t "not forget" what wasn’t there to "not forget" in the first place, and isn’t true as a matter of law [see above citation].

Thanks for playing, you get no points, we’re all stupider for having heard this, and may God have mercy on your soul [credit A. Sandler]

E

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Older things being supported and nuking from orbit

No idea what your damage is, but tp literally claims below that older stuff should not be allowed to compete with newer stuff. He’s claimed on multiple occasions that older stuff should be phased out and copyright law is (to him) a way to do so, by destroying all copies of older content (even legal ones!) to make way for new content.

So… good job on defending tp, I guess?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: sites like romuniverse should disappear

And if they want to preserve the material, they do not need to publish the material.

And many silent era Hollywood films quietly rotted away to unplayable, and can no longer be recovered because unfortunately they preceded an era where private copies could be made,

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 sites like romuniverse should disappear

"unfortunately they preceded an era where private copies could be made"

Well… yes and no. Copies certainly were made, but the cost and hassle of doing so meant that it was a much less trivial act than it is today. You usually had to have a really good reason to make copies other than casually grabbing a copy.

That’s the reason why so many films were lost to history during the 1967 MGM fire (many of them less famous movies considered program fillers, so people generally didn’t bother copying), while we all have access to good prints of Nosferatu today (collectors made copies when the Bram Stoker estate tried to have all prints destroyed after it was found to be infringing).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 sites like romuniverse should disappear

That’s the reason why so many films were lost to history during the 1967 MGM fire.

When there is only one copy available, it is vulnerable to all sorts of disasters. In an era before the VCR, and films appearing on TV, only insiders could make copies. A super 8 camera, was not something that could be used inside a cinema, especially as the film was not sensitive enough to make a copy at cinema light levels.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 sites like romuniverse should disappear

"When there is only one copy available, it is vulnerable to all sorts of disasters"

My understanding is that with the MGM fire it wasn’t so much that, it was that they were quite aggressive at getting prints returned to them. So, there were multiple copies known, they just all happened to be in the same place at the time of the fire, whereas if they hadn’t been as obsessive they’d ironically continue making money from those films to this day.

"only insiders could make copies"

Depends on what you mean by "insiders". True, an audience member wouldn’t be able to make a copy while watching it in the cinema, but there avenues available to the public who had access to the distribution or exhibition chains.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 sites like romuniverse should disapp

So, there were multiple copies known, they just all happened to be in the same place at the time of the fire

Picky, Picky, as the might as well only be one copy in the event of a major fire. Also, there is strong temptation when doing that to destroy redundant copies to make space for new stuff coming in.

but there avenues available to the public who had access to the distribution or exhibition chains.

In other word cinema insiders, who happened to have a film duplicator handy. Not exactly common everyday equipment.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 sites like romuniverse should di

Yes, both of your first points are true. But, at the time of the fire, film preservation wasn’t something they were thinking about, so sadly we’re left with that situation. Whether it’s the BBC taping over old episodes of Doctor Who or Hollywood having lost some classic films to fire, we unfortunately had to lose quite a bit until they took it seriously to any degree.

"In other word cinema insiders"

Yes, that’s why I said it depends on what you mean by "insiders". If you meant related to the studio then no. If you mean people within the industry as a whole including dedicated hobbyists then yes.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 sites like romuniverse should disapp

there avenues available to the public who had access to the distribution or exhibition chains.

This is where Telecine (TC) rips come from. It requires access to the film (on film) and an expensive machine, but was happening enough that the MPAA had invented "coded anti-piracy" by 1982.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: sites like romuniverse should disappear

"All these rom sites are publishing only the most popular works, never the stuff that is actually disappearing from the world."

This is patently false. There are literally hundreds of examples of games for older consoles where the original developer/publisher now longer exists and no releases of the game exists. Or where the game was only released in Japanese and the only way the game is playable now by Western audiences is thanks to unofficial fan translations.

The ROM and emulation community keep these games preserved and alive by maintaining interest in playing them. And they’re often the ones who are first to support updated rereleases or remakes, which is why Nintendo’s demonizing of emulation in general is such a poor response.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

nintendo’s game catalog is nowhere near the limit where it is in danger of disappearing completely from the world.

Nintendo’s first-party catalog is not in extreme danger of vanishing. The third-party catalog, on the other hand, is at greater risk. Say what you will about the quality of such games, but lots of licensed games from the NES onward will likely never be re-released because of the licensing hell. As I’ve pointed out before in other places on this site, the Capcom-produced arcade beat-’em-up Alien vs. Predator only snagged a home re-release after 25 years; until then, the only legal way to play the game was to find the actual arcade cabinet.

Blatant copyright infringement cannot be justified by claiming some ulterior purpose of collecting orphaned works.

I believe it can, and I’ll get to that in just a sec.

And if they want to preserve the material, they do not need to publish the material.

Except no.

Preservation of material means preserving it for future generations. To do that, preservationists would likely want to make available as many copies as possible. In the event that a “master copy” is destroyed or lost, the copies made from it can still be salvaged. And orphaned works need that kind of public preservation. Without such efforts, those works would likely be lost to time.

Think about all the games released on PCs since…well, shit, since that was a thing that could happen. We’re talking decades of games. How many of the companies what made those games are still around? How many games would now count as “abandonware”? How many such games would be lost if not for preservationists and pirates? You can shrug your shoulders and justify such cultural losses by saying “well only the worst games are really gone”, nobody should have to do that. Even the worst pieces of creative media deserve to be saved and preserved; just ask the guy who restored the workprint of Manos: The Hands of Fate.

All these rom sites are publishing only the most popular works, never the stuff that is actually disappearing from the world.

I can wreck this argument, weak as it already is, with two words: Virtual Boy. Any ROM site that carries games from that system is not distributing “only the most popular works”.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

And orphaned works need that kind of public preservation.

I have written amiga game in years 1992-1994, and it was published by black legend uk ltd. In the years after that, I’ve received exactly two requests to use that work by people who wanted to ask for permission. Here’s the complete list:
1) software preservation society
2) some guy wanted to redo the game logic

i.e. the preservation activity when its working correctly, they can actually find the copyright owners (and I have the publisher address to handle the rest).

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

"it was published by black legend uk ltd"

It was published by a company that was first registered in 2012?

https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/08174528

I may have the wrong info there, but call me sceptical that I can’t see a currently operating company that was around in the early 90s, that’s listed in the place where all UK limited companies are listed.

But, even if you’re correct, you must be lucky enough to, at the very least:

a) Still be alive
b) Have retained the copyright from the publisher, even though many publishing contracts force you to sell that
c) Have a publisher that still exists

If you were dead, and/or sold your copyright to a publisher that is no longer in operation, anyone wishing to use your work would be shit out of luck, and the copyright rules you insist upon would ensure nobody could ever legally obtain a copy of your game ever again. Do you understand the issue?

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

nobody could ever legally obtain a copy of your game ever again.

This is a designed feature in copyright laws. The publishers are also using their exclusive contracts to enfotce that lower quality works will disappear from the world once their purpose has been properly fullfilled. The reason why old works need to disappear is that the new works are constantly taking its place.

While product disappearance is a designed feature, the copyright’s permission system is still working. i.e. people who actually spend the time to find copyright owners to ask for a permission, can sleep well without danger of copyright infringement lawsuits.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

"This is a designed feature in copyright laws"

No, a designed feature of copyright laws in your hellscape of a fantasy world is that nobody can legally obtain something after its author dies and/or publisher goes out of business.

In the real world, works go into the public domain, as per the design of the real laws. The only battle is stopping people like you robbing form the public domain to feed your fantasies.

"The reason why old works need to disappear is that the new works are constantly taking its place."

Only for people whose work is so shockingly bad that nobody who has any choice in what they consume would avoid you like the plague.

To give an example – the novel Little Women was written in 1868, is public domain and can be legally distributed or adapted by anyone. Since its publication, it has been adapted to the cinema 7 times (as well as many other kinds of adaptation). The newest was released nearly a month ago, and has made $132 million internationally so far. The existence of the novel and the other TV and movie adaptations – all freely available, some legally free of charge – has not stopped others from seeing the new version.

If they can compete, why can’t you?

"people who actually spend the time to find copyright owners to ask for a permission"

…and again – what if the copyright owners no longer exist? I’m sorry that your own work is so worthless that nobody would ever wish to access it in the future, but not everybody is as bad at what they do.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

"We’ve gone this before, but you cannot expect young children to create the best work on the planet."

Nobody except you said they could. It’s only you and your fantasy about a magical interface layout that would allow 5 year olds to do the same work as a team of hundreds of Pixar animators that claimed that.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

No, my solution is to understand that animation is an art form, and you can no more expect 5 year olds to turn out the same quality art as Pixar than you can expect them to turn out The Last Supper.

By pretending otherwise, you’re not only utterly delusional, but insulting to the talents of every artist whose ability you claim can be replaced with the right button layout.

I will note, however, that you chose this silly avenue to go down rather than trying to explain how a movie that’s competing with over a century’s worth of other adaptations has topped $100 million at the box office – something that according to your claims is impossible.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:11 Re:

"even though you’ve had several weeks time to setup your computer systems to use windows 10 applications."

Why would I install Windows 10 just to use your crap?

I’m going simply on what you’ve claimed. Which, again, you’re using to avoid having to explain your claim that works cannot compete with older works despite the millions of examples that prove you wrong.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:13 Re:

"can you provide the complete list of million works that can compete against original star wars from 1979?"

No, because Star Wars was released in 1977.

However, I think that "every film made since then" fits the bill, since they all compete with the original Star Wars to some degree.

Although it’s funny how you cite Star Wars, given that it openly borrowed so many things from other movies, something that your version of copyright would have had them shut down immediately.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:15 Re:

"This abstraction is nowhere near requested "complete list"."

Probably because such a request is both idiotic and impossible (modern cinema is thriving so much that such a list would be incomplete seconds after it was compiled).

It’s just amusing that you pick a film that’s acknowledged as being both widely copied from other sources and inspiration for so many new works to prove your silly idea that new works need to disappear in order for new ones to exist.

Again, I’m glad we live in the world we live in, rather than your nightmare world where none of it is possible.

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Ehud Gavron (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:17 No common sense

"He who asserts must prove" but that’s where common sense and common knowledge don’t apply.

You’re the one who claimed millions of works… but then… can’t produce the list…

A list of millions of works wouldn’t buttress the argument. Asking for one demeans the point of … well I’m not sure what it was your point is.

E

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:19 Re:

"Free stuff seems to be more popular than paid stuff."

Yes, and nobody owes you money just because you decides to choose to charge up front for your crap rather than find a business model that works.

But, to reuse my previous example, from a US perspective (because international distribution is extraordinarily messy and the original discussion is about the US):

The original novel of Little Women is public domain, and available legally free of charge

The 1918 adaptation is public domain and available legally free of charge

The 1933 and 1949 adaptations are available free on archive.org, among other places.

The 1970 and 1978 TV adaptations are available on YouTube, free of charge

The 1994 adaptation is available for free on Crackle, ad supported

The 2017 TV adaptation is available on Amazon Prime, essentially free for existing subscribers.

So, other than the 2018 adaptation (assuming I’ve not missed one), EVERY adaptation, including the original source material is available for free. Yet, the 2019 adaptation has made over $130 million at the box office so far – a feat that you claim is impossible.

Explain how that fits your claim with factual data, I dare you.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:19 Re:

Many on YouTube have built a fan base that supports them as full time creators via the likes of patreon, while many a published author still has need of a day job to keep food on the table. Think of the poor starving artist has been the rallying cry of the publishing industry for a very long time, and it has been their accounting that kept the artists starving.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:17 Re:

"you can’t produce the list that proves your claims."

Oh, but I can. I just don’t believe that anyone with any kind of honest argument would be demanding that rather than go to IMDB to look at it themselves. So, it’s not worth the time or effort humouring you, when even the movie you named destroyed your thesis on its own.

On the other hand, I’ll bet you can’t cite a single movie that has lost money because a similar older movie exists. Thus, completely destroying the sad argument you attempted to make.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:18 Re:

I just don’t believe that anyone with any kind of honest argument would be demanding that rather

You’re the one demanding that my web site would be able to compete against the whole list. That operation just is slightly difficult if the list cannot be produced. It’s completely unreasonable to demand competing against products which cannot be enumerated.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:19 Re:

"You’re the one demanding that my web site would be able to compete against the whole list."

No, reality is demanding that. Every new work competes against every work that has come before it, be it in the marketplace or in the consumer’s own library. I had the choice a couple of days ago to stay at home and watch Netflix/Prime/MUBI/Shudder that I already pay for, watch one of my existing library of 800+ DVD?Blu Rays, view whatever’s on free broadcast TV, stream videos on YouTube, or do something other than watch a movie. All I could do for free.

Or, I could pay to watch 1917 on the big screen. I did the latter. Strange, that, huh?

What’s especially funny about your whining here is that you refer specifically to your shitty web site. Sorry dude, even if you managed to somehow eradicate everything over a few years old, your site and software would still be competing against existing sites that are better made. You would still fail.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:20 Re:

No, reality is demanding that.

This doesn’t fix your inability to enumerate the products.

The reason why I demand a short list of products to compete against is because if your list is missing some google’s homehub product, then the market doesnt really care about competing against that product and my work will be easier. This is why the actual complete list is required when customers are demanding more burdensome operations to compete against the competition. These short lists of products might reveal what part of the market our market research has ignored when producing plans to compete in the market. But since you can’t produce the list, you’re basically requiring "guess it yourself, we refuse to tell you what we mean" kind of competition.

We understand if the competition has made you sign nda’s and then you’re not allowed to talk about who the actual competition, but we might have tendency to ignore your demands if the short list cannot be produced.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:21 Re:

"there’s two billion websites on the planet, do I actually have to guess which website you’re talking about?"

All of them. Are you actually this stupid?

"even the teenagers gave better information about why they think my web site cannot compete."

We gave you the exact reasons, but then you started rambling on about making interfaces for 5 year old and getting copyright permission from dead people, so the thread got lost somewhat.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:22 Re:

All of them. Are you actually this stupid?

To compete against one website, you need to implement some killer feature that disables or neutralises that website’s main feature.

To compete against 30 websites, you need to implement 30 features.

To compete against 2 billion websites, you need 2 billion such features.

There isn’t enough time to implement all of this. Thus your suggested process fails miserably and your demands cannot be met with the available resources.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:23 Re:

"To compete against one website, you need to implement some killer feature that disables or neutralises that website’s main feature."

No, you really don’t. It help to have a unique feature, but it’s not the only way to compete.

"To compete against 30 websites, you need to implement 30 features."

You really have no idea how to attract an audience, do you? You’re saying that rather than creating a product that fills a niche and attract people to that product, you have to individually tailor every aspect of your product to counter every possible competitor. What if you miss something? What if your supposed features contradict one another? What if you end up implementing something that removes the features people want from their existing products?

Again, no wonder you’re so bad at this, you know nothing about how anything works.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:24 Re:

you have to individually tailor every aspect of your product to counter every possible competitor.

Yes. Usually how you do it is this:
1) teach your users to press a button at certain position on the device
2) make sure your competitors are doing something evil at that place
3) when user switches to competitor, they will accidentally press the evil button
4) competitor gets bad reputation

If your product has enough of this kind of features, it becomes very difficult to switch to a competitor, when their products are not working as expected.
When people are testing the devices before purchase, they will notice the inconsistency in competitor products and will reject it before damage is done.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:25 Re:

"1) teach your users to press a button at certain position on the device
2) make sure your competitors are doing something evil at that place
3) when user switches to competitor, they will accidentally press the evil button
4) competitor gets bad reputation"

So, you’re incapable of making your own product attractive to consumers on its own merits, and so have to resort to dirty tricks to get them to even consider you? Makes sense.

I’m not sure what that has to do with attracting visitors to your website, but thanks for admitting that nobody would use your software if given a real choice.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:26 Re:

I’m not sure what that has to do with attracting visitors to your website,

you’re the one who asked about competition and how my web site can compete against the competition. You didn’t ask about attracting visitors to the website.

The trick is that I’m not copying their features. Instead I offfer unique experience. Usually doing the opposite of what competitor is doing is better idea in competition.

When your competitors are cloning your features, you have no other choice than implement features that neutralizes the competition. Cloning is always quicker than actually inventing new features that allows you to compete.

Can you see that the feature I just invented would be good plan in competition?

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:27 Re:

"you’re the one who asked about competition and how my web site can compete against the competition. You didn’t ask about attracting visitors to the website."

You don’t think that attracting traffic to your website is an essential part of competition?

"Usually doing the opposite of what competitor is doing is better idea in competition."

No, it’s really not. Especially if the competition is successful at what they’re doing and people like using them.

Maybe that’s your problem – your competitors all have intuitive software that works properly, and you’re insisting on offering them the opposite?

"When your competitors are cloning your features, you have no other choice than implement features that neutralizes the competition"

Then why are you such a failure, while the market is full of sites offering similar services that happily compete with one another?

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:29 Re:

"there must be 2 billion failures on the planet"

More businesses fail than succeed, that has always been the case and no more so in an era where there’s no barrier to entry to the market.

So far, we’ve established that you think that the way to get people to use your software is not to attract people to your website nor to improve it so that new visitors can tell what the hell it is you’re meant to be selling, but rather to trick them into not liking the competition? I think the likes of Pixar and Blender are safe for now…

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:31 Re:

No, the only way you can explain it is that I’ve used it and it’s terrible. I’ve also given you explanations of why and what can be done to fix it. But, you have chosen to ignore them in favour of rambling on about how it’s unfair that you have to compete with people who have actually achieved a subscriber base.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

And for most works owned by the legacy industry, the result of asking will be a deafening silence.

If an author has so many customers that he has to take steps to hide his whereabouts, then its unreasonable to ask for the licensing address to be easy to find.

Given that some movie theathers and companies owning cinemas still manages to find the correct address where to license the material from, you cannot claim that the operation is impossible to perform.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

"If an author has so many customers that he has to take steps to hide his whereabouts"

Strange, you say this, yet you’ve never been successful enough to even consider having to do such things.

Yet, I can find the home address of, say, Stephen King quite easily and he’s been known to welcome visitors to his home.

"Given that some movie theathers and companies owning cinemas still manages to find the correct address where to license the material from"

For some works. Others cannot be licensed because that is not possible. I can name several works from less than 30 years ago which either took years to get an official DVD release or still cannot get one due to problems finding the copyright owner – sometimes with their own director or producer pushing for the release.

It may not be impossible for cookie cutter studio production line stuff (although the problem there is convincing the suits to bother at all if the movie isn’t a blockbuster), but for real independent cinema it can be a major problem.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

Strange, you say this, yet you’ve never been successful enough to even consider having to do sucth things.

I just happen to be one of the authors of over 100 million devices on the european market, so what exactly is the basis for these claims that it’s not successful enough? How many of customer calls do you think authors like me need to handle?

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

"I just happen to be one of the authors of over 100 million devices on the european market, so what exactly is the basis for these claims that it’s not successful enough?"

Because a) you previously claimed that millions of devices thing was a possibility in the future rather than something you’ve actually done and b) we know you’re full of shit

"How many of customer calls do you think authors like me need to handle?"

All of them, if you’re too greedy and stupid to hire support staff for such a successful product.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:10 Re:

you previously claimed that millions of devices thing was a possibility in the future rather than something you’ve actually done

This isn’t true. The work that resulted in over 100 million devices was done between 1998-2013, so it’s not future prediction, but actual number of sold products to real customers in europe.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:11 Re:

"This isn’t true."

Then, it’s the first time you mentioned that it had already been done. The last time you talked about such things, it was presented as a hypothetical:

"But I can still create over 100 million devices using these principles."

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20200106/07180543684/disney-titles-disappear-without-warning-bringing-confusion-to-streaming-wars.shtml#c3647

"The work that resulted in over 100 million devices was done between 1998-2013"

I’d love for you to prove this. I’d also love for you to prove how much of your code is actually in use, rather than you just attempting to take sole credit for the work of the entire team who worked on the devices (and manufactured and sold them – we all know you’re incapable of the latter yourself)

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:13 Re:

"all the code is in use"

Prove it.

"We don’t know any instance where the code was discared."

Who is "we"?

"And I’m pretty quick at writing code, so there’s tons of my code in every device"

If speed of writing code is your main claim to fame, I wonder how many of those devices in the wild have been exploited in recent years.

Most of them I expect, if your claim to have all the code you wrote over a 15 year period in production with no changes is to be believed.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:14 Re:

how many of those devices in the wild have been exploited in recent years.

good luck with collecting statistics about that.

you wrote over a 15 year period in production with no changes

it doesnt require changes when my implementation is perfect the first tine.

Do you actually think authors who can do 100 million devices have time to write the same code multiple times, simply because they messed up the implementation the first time. Basically if there is quality problems, nothing can be done after it has been copied 10 million times.

If you have trouble believing how one person can do both "speed of writing code" and "perfect implementation quality", then you need to learn about the process how nasa managed to send humans to moon 50 years ago. Their process is expensive, but can produce accurate results with very tight deadlines.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:15 Re:

Their process is expensive, but can produce accurate results with very tight deadlines.

And their process produces around 10 lines per man day of code, and they have had the odd critical failure and lost Mars probes. Besides which, none of their code is accepted for service until several people have reviewed it. Also, a tight deadline for NASA is measured in the years time frame, with most projects taking a decade or more from inception to launchable hardware.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:15 Re:

"good luck with collecting statistics about that"

If you ever reveal which poor operation had the misfortune of employing you, it would be relatively easy to track.

"it doesnt require changes when my implementation is perfect the first tine."

No software is perfect, especially embedded software that can’t be easily changed- and especially software that was built decades ago under very different real life production environments.

"Basically if there is quality problems, nothing can be done after it has been copied 10 million times."

Which is why I wouldn’t be surprised if your code got exploited in the wild if you are telling the truth about the number of devices using it.

"the process how nasa managed to send humans to moon 50 years ago"

Just because a team of the best minds the world had to offer at the time could achieve something, that doesn’t mean you did when working alone.

Also, do you want me to start sending you examples of costly errors made by NASA over the years, or is the fact that a couple of their lunar missions succeeded among the failures enough for you to think they were perfect?

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:16 Re:

that doesn’t mean you did when working alone.

There’s several problems with this statement:
1) you expect 100 million devices appear out of thin air by one person
2) even elon musk has problems sending shuttles to space without nasa’s help
3) reaching the moon without nasa’s help is nearer science fiction than reality
4) humans spent millions of years watching the moon before figuring out
how to reach there
5) most humans on the planet do not even know about newton’s laws of gravity,
much less about how to use those laws to calculate your traejctury to moon

i.e. your statement hit a sweet spot that I already warned you against year ago or something.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:17 Re:

"1) you expect 100 million devices appear out of thin air by one person"

No, but you asked me to believe that the one time success of the entire team working on the Apollo moon landings 50 years ago means that the code you made on your own is perfect.

Surely, even someone as delusional as you can see the problem with that nonsense?

Also, do you really want to keep claiming that NASA is perfect or doing things nobody else can do? because there’s a lot of evidence I can supply to prove you wrong, as usual.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:18 Re:

the entire team working on the Apollo moon landings 50 years ago means that the code you made on your own is perfect.

You can always prove me wrong by trying the builder (or even my web page) and write a report about all the software errors that you can find. Once you’re done, post a link to the report and we’ll check it out to see if it has anything worth fixing.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:19 Re:

"You can always prove me wrong by trying the builder (or even my web page)"

I did try your web page, and have explained what’s wrong with it. The fact that you refuse to listed and instead ramble on about how perfect it is (while at the same time whining that nobody uses it as much as Pixar’s and it’s unfair that you have to compete) is your problem.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:20 Re:

I did try your web page, and have explained what’s wrong with it.

you havent found any technical issues like crashing or normal software errors.

all you have is some opinions that some things could be implemented in better way or more in line with the other software on the market

But that doesnt follow the requirement that my software implements features opposite of what competition is offering.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:21 Re:

"you havent found any technical issues like crashing or normal software errors.’

No, I haven’t, nor have I claimed to. I have found fundamental issues in design, usablility and purpose.

From what I can tell, your incoherent, obscure, obtuse mess of a website does seem to be stable, so you do have that going for you.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:22 Re:

No, I haven’t, nor have I claimed to. I have found fundamental issues in design, usablility and purpose.

these are all opinion-based where there isn’t stable best practices available. Instead you can always bash any product using these arguments, without possibility for authors to fix claimed deficiencies. It just shifts to different stuff even if you follow your advice and redesign the user interface every week. More stability is required for software that is going to last 20 years. Redesigning the user interface practices based on whims of the users is not a valid approach given that there is learning curve involved for every change.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:23 Re:

"these are all opinion-based where there isn’t stable best practices available"

The people who have designed and work full time and the current standards will be surprised to hear that, but given the contempt you hold animation professionals in I’m not surprised you attack other fields as well.

"More stability is required for software that is going to last 20 years"

The stability of your website means nothing of it doesn’t help people find and use your software, and almost any decent long running website has had a fundamental redesign at some point in the last 20 years. New visitors laugh at 20 year old web design.

But go ahead, it’s easy for you to have 100% uptime with 0 visitors, so you might as well boast about the metric you can actually achieve.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:25 Re:

Well that might be true in your parallel universe, but again in the real world it’s how sites have actually stayed competitive. Check out, say, Apple’s site design 20 years ago compared with now then try telling me with a straight face that people would still be using it if it still looked like that – or try telling me they make less money. I dare you.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:27 Re:

"That’s the nice thing about creating the technology yourself"

Apple didn’t create the technology. Try again.

"All the copycats are using years old tech."

So, since you’re using old tech on your site, you’re a copycat? Good to know.

Had anything of worth been created using your software, by the way? I can see many great things created with your competitors tools. What has your s been used for?

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:29 Re:

Found what? The software (in which case you should probably stop arguing with people who tell you why your website is failing to inspire anybody to do anything other than close the window)? Or, a use for the software?

Meanwhile, both Blender and Renderman, the tools you so often try to pretend are inferior to the tool you have in your head, have been used to create Best Animated Feature nominated works at this year’s Oscars.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:31 Re:

"why take the credit of whatever other people can do?"

Because they’re taking credit for providing the tools that enabled the other people to do their work, not the work of those other people. The artists who created I Lost My Body directly attribute tools within Blender for allowing them to create their movie.

https://www.cartoonbrew.com/how-to/how-they-did-it-layering-2d-drawings-onto-3d-animation-in-i-lost-my-body-183151.html

Blender take credit, because the artists who used it give them credit. That’s how collaboration works. Yet, here you are, still arguing that you’re owed a mansion because you wasted so much time creating an incomprehensible website that nobody wants to use…

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:32 Re:

still arguing that you’re owed a mansion because you wasted so much time

The time spent has definitely not gone to waste. It has fulfillrd the original goals of the project:
1) I learned OpenGL
2) I managed to created my own project without help from the environment
3) I learned enough math to be able to do bigger projects
4) I created a working website and builder tool
5) I created large amounts of error-free code
6) I created 100 games
7) I created 70 demo effects
8) I created a reusable library
9) I created 12 games in itch.io
10) I had tons of fun in ludumdare
11) I perfected my coding process using my own coding conventions
12) I spent time marketing the project / trolling on various forums
13) I have maintained the project for long time
14) performance of the end result have been fully optimized
15) there are over 600 features available in the builder tool
16) builder has 2^600 feature combinations in its feature list
17) builder tool has window resize implemented
18) builder tool has 5 import paths implemented
19) there is several rendering paths available
20) the engine works in a web browser

So all the important project goals have been met.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:33 Re:

"12) I spent time marketing the project / trolling on various forums"

It’s clear from your bus adventures that you’re the worst person to market your product, and if you think that trolling is a good use of your time… well, at least you’re honest about that part.

"So all the important project goals have been met."

…apart from creating a worthwhile, marketable end product that anyone but yourself wishes to use.

You’ve spent numerous posts here attacking Blender for various reasons, while claiming that the skill of animators is so trivial that a 5 year old can do their job as long as you design the right interface. Meanwhile, Blender and their customers are celebrating an Oscar-nominated film sold for a handsome profit to Netflix, and you’re here whining that allowing people to access older content is unfair competition.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:34 Re:

…apart from creating a worthwhile, marketable end product that anyone but yourself wishes to use.

You shouldn’t require other people to do things that you yourself cannot do. I’m pretty sure you haven’t managed to do that operation that you require yourself either.

Usually you need to try the techniques you’re recommending yourself, before forcing other people to enter the worthless process that only exists in your mind.

When you allow processes that the persons suggesting cannot themselves do, you accidentally allow processes where one person need to travel to moon without nasa’s help simply because everyone can see that moon exists.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:35 Re:

"You shouldn’t require other people to do things that you yourself cannot do"

Counterpoint: nobody is capable of doing everything, and society is better when people collaborate and build on what already exists.

What’s funny about your story is that your own crapware depends completely on a great many projects, devices, standards, protocols and physical media that you yourself did not create.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:36 Re:

society is better when people collaborate and build on what already exists.

why is it difficult for you to admit that my web page is just ok?

your own crapware depends completely on a great many projects,

Aren’t you dismissing authors of all those dependent projects whenever you bash my crapware? You cannot praise those projects at the same time when you bash my crapware!

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:37 Re:

"why is it difficult for you to admit that my web page is just ok?"

Because it’s not, and despite many attempts at constructive criticism to say how it can be improved, you instead attack competitors who have created work far superior to yours, and denigrate the talents of potential customers.

"Aren’t you dismissing authors of all those dependent projects"

Only the ones who say shit like "You shouldn’t require other people to do things that you yourself cannot do" while routinely depending on the work other people do.

Since the only person saying stuff like that is you, then you are the only one who gets criticised for saying it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:37 Re:

why is it difficult for you to admit that my web page is just ok?

Because it has gained you zero users for your software, and because it does not make clear on the front pages what you are trying to do or sell. So far it only success is in boosting your ego, and ability to whine about unfair competition.

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bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:35 Re:

I can expect you to be able to do these things if you want to be successful without the assistance of someone who can do those things. I may not be able to do marketing myself, but I don’t expect to be able to sell a product without some sort of marketing or existing customer base familiar with me or my work to spread it by word-of-mouth.

I’d also expect more from someone who claims to know what they’re doing than someone who makes no such claim.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:35 Re:

Your processes seem to involve a lot of pointless work for nothing.

"1) you reject the license of blender because they’re a competitor"

Well, normal people would just ignore it or utilise the parts that are compatible with the licence you wish to use yourself, but go on

"2) thus its illegal to use it"

Not unless you break the terms of the licence it’s not. Which should be irrelevant since you just refused to use it? The only way your argument makes sense here is if you use the software while refusing to obey its licence requirements. Which is as it should be – but it would be your software that was illegal in that case, not Blender.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:36 Re:

Also, regarding 3):

because it’s illegal, attacking it is ok — illegal stuff generally gets attacked

Uh, no. It’s illegal for you to use it without a license, but the product/service itself is not illegal. By that logic, cars are illegal because you need a license to drive them. (Yes, they’re very different kinds of licenses, but the point stands.)

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:37 Re:

cars are illegal because you need a license to drive them.

The situation is more complicated:
1) the license would not be available
2) the internet keeps pushing that tech and require licensing it
3) the cost of licensing would be prohibitive
4) there’s whole community trying the oppose the arbitrary requirements
for everyone to take the licenses to random software

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:21 Re:

you havent found any technical issues like crashing or normal software errors.

If a visitor cannot figure what the site is about without some random clicking, then the quality of the software does not matter. That requires an very visible, simple text description of what the site is about right there on the front page.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

"you can’t expect them to answer your queries if there isn’t significant amount of money on the table."

You also can’t expect them to answer if they;’re dead or the company no longer exists. You know, like the decades-dead company your games were apparently released through. Did you look into whether you legally own any copyright on those games before giving permission to use them by the way? I’d hate for you to be admitting to breaking the law here without realising it.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

"well i still have their email addresses"

Does it work? I have plenty of emails of companies that existed 20 years ago, it means nothing if they no longer have a working server.

Not that it matters in the slightest. If the company no longer exists, then by definition they can no longer legally hold the copyright to your game. This means one of 3 things – the copyright reverted to you, the copyright was sold or transferred as part of whatever liquidation the company went through, or nobody legally holds the copyright to the game. If the latter is your situation, you broke the law by giving people access to a copyrighted product you no longer own.

Once again, the end game of your idiotic fantasy version of copyright is that you made yourself a criminal for using your own product…

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3

the preservation activity when its working correctly, they can actually find the copyright owners

Assume I have in my hands a book from, say, 40 years ago. Both the author and the publisher of that book are long dead (the author literally, the publisher metaphorically). The publisher’s holdings were not purchased by another publisher. The author didn’t have any family to whom they could pass on the copyright. And no one — not family, not a lawyer, not even a complete stranger — was bequeathed the copyright upon either the author’s death or the publisher’s closing.

Now for the $64,000 question: How can I “correctly” preserve that book for future readers and the general public when all possible copyright owners no longer exist and (technically) no one else can enforce that copyright?

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Anonymous Coward says:

You could but your theory would be wrong. Nintendo sold out completely of every retro console they released. Within hours. Perhaps if they had made enough consoles to saturate the market we could imagine how many more they might have sold had there been no access to ROMs for home emulators. But they didn’t. And theory that their market was reduced is pure fantasy.

RomUniverse’s major mistake was distributing modern content. That was a terrible idea and it’s fairly strange that they’re the ones fighting Nintendo instead of any of the myriad sites with a higher moral standing.Sorurce: http://gbhouse.info

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