NAMCO Demands Takedown Of Pacman Game Created By Kid Using MIT's Scratch Programming Language

from the create-your-own! dept

An anonymous reader sends over the story, found on Reddit of how Namco Bandai sent a letter complaining that a kid recreated Pacman online using Scratch. If you're not familiar with it, Scratch is a very simple programming "language," basically designed to teach kids how to program (or think about programming) from a young age. And what's one of the best ways to learn to program? It's to recreate an app that already exists. But that's not allowed:
The really obnoxious part is at the end, where it says "While we appreciate the educational nature of your enterprise and look forward to the contributions of the future programmers you are training, part of their education should include concern for the intellectual property of others." Apparently propaganda about copyright is more important than actually teaching little Johnny how to program?

This is how kids learn. They recreate what they know. Kids learn to play music by copying the music that they know. Many learn to draw by copying drawings that they see. They learn to write by copying the writers they like. This is how education works. But in a world where copyright trumps all, learning takes a back seat apparently.

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  1. identicon
    Neil Roy, 13 Aug 2012 @ 10:28am

    I actually created a PC version of an Amiga game called Deluxe Pacman and have had it available for many years now (since the 90s) and have never been contacted by Namco.

    I looked up trademarks and they have the name Pac-Man trade marked, but not "Pacman". I found one trademark entry for "Pacman" by some Korean clothing maker. This could explain why I never heard from them, I'm not sure. It does resemble their game, only with guns, dynamite etc.. I have been working on a new version, but want to rename it, it's so difficult to find a name that isn't trademarked, it's crazy, the simplest name is trademarked. Greed is rampant it seems. (my game is free, not that it makes a difference)

    It could be difficult to get rid of my game now, it's all over the net. It has sometimes concerned me. I guess this is the good thing about not having a lot of money, they can't get blood from a stone. ;)

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