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  • Aug 15th, 2018 @ 2:50pm


    No, because Team Kodi aren't the people who are selling those computers, they're just the developers who make the free/open-source media software that they run.

    (Honest people who sell computers with Kodi preinstalled on them are clear and upfront about this distinction. Dishonest people are not.)

  • Aug 15th, 2018 @ 10:37am

    Re: Whether or not old is better than new...

    Of course, the big companies like Nintendo don't want their end users to learn from history, but to think that their new product is more golden and less shlocky than everything before it.

    So they're motivated to bury the past.

    I don't think that's an accurate read.

    Nintendo's still got a reputation for making excellent games. It has a negative reputation in some areas -- online functionality, hardware performance, third-party publisher participation -- but it's still widely viewed as a company that makes very good games.

    Breath of the Wild isn't considered a great game because everybody's forgotten about The Legend of Zelda and A Link to the Past -- my God, how many platforms has Nintendo rereleased those games for? Breath of the Wild is considered a great game on its own merits.

    Similar story on the Mario franchise and, starting with the Wii, it's also been easy to get past entries from the Mario Kart series on current Nintendo consoles and handhelds. (That the Switch doesn't have them available yet speaks to a failure on Nintendo's part to get its digital distribution platform together, not to an intent to bury those games.)

    Nintendo doesn't want people to forget about old Mario and Zelda games. It wants people to buy them again every 3-5 years, over and over again.

    And the games it doesn't try to sell, the ones caught in the crossfire when emulation sites go down? Nintendo doesn't care about those games. The company's motivation is to make money, not to preserve history.

  • Aug 15th, 2018 @ 10:16am

    Re: tl;dr

    Killing Section 230 primarily, and by a wide margin, will help bad people and hurt good people. That's not cause for celebration.

    It is for him.

    Because he is a bad person.

  • Aug 15th, 2018 @ 10:16am

    Re: Two things

    First and most importantly, the Bill of Rights should be viewed in its proper light: A list of things that governments always want to take from its citizens. Always. Always, always, always, and in all ways possible.

    That's not the proper way of looking at the Bill of Rights at all.

    The Third Amendment has never been challenged. It certainly isn't a thing "that governments always want to take from its citizens. Always. Always, always, always, and in all ways possible," it's a specific reaction to something that was a problem during the Revolutionary War and has not been a problem in the centuries since.

    The Ninth and Tenth don't fit your paradigm; they're not lists of rights at all. The Ninth is there to explicitly state that the Bill of Rights is not an exhaustive list and that people have rights beyond the ones specifically codified in the Constitution. The Tenth is a general reference to states' rights.

  • Aug 15th, 2018 @ 10:09am


    Because he's the sort of politician who believes that government spending is always bad.

  • Aug 14th, 2018 @ 2:23pm



    Here's what I had to say about the Manos restoration project in 2012 (note, for context, that I wrote that post before it became evident that Rupert Talbot Munch was a nut and likely con man).

  • Aug 14th, 2018 @ 2:16pm

    Re: "it was much easier to get one from the Internet"

    Well, obviously.

  • Aug 14th, 2018 @ 2:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I actually agree, but it must be noted that what you are saying is that Nintendo, who has repeatedly re-released SMB for multiple consoles, is actually doing a poorer job archiving a ROM they must have already used 3 or 4 times in the last decade than hobbyists who have no profit motive?

    No, merely that their internal process for gaining access to said ROM is less convenient than just grabbing it off the Internet.

    Or, more precisely, that it was in 2006.

  • Aug 14th, 2018 @ 12:12pm


    You should read more than two sentences into an article before you comment on it.

    I know what you're thinking -- "Read more than two sentences? Who has time for that?" But, my friend, I have some amazing news for you: taking time to read past the second sentence actually saves you time. For example, if you'd read the third and fourth sentence of this article, why, you wouldn't have had to spend any of the time it took you to compose your reply!

  • Aug 14th, 2018 @ 12:08pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Using the argument about whether or not Nintendo should have control of the product or not is basically asking why we don't let ourselves stay in Nintendo's walled garden, and we don't do that because some older games are just as good as the newer ones, if not better on some levels.

    Historical preservation isn't about whether old games are better than modern ones.

    I mentioned Socks the Cat Rocks the Hill downthread. Well, what's appealing about the game sure as hell isn't that it's a great game. It's exactly what it looks like: a middling 16-bit mascot platformer (albeit with some lovely sprite work and some genuine laughs).

    Socks the Cat isn't important because it's a great game. It's important because it was a lost game for so long.

    There are other examples of games that are historically significant but not good. ET and the Atari 2600 version of Pac-Man are historically significant because they're infamously bad.

    Even among games that aren't historically important, they're all worth saving. They all provide historical context. The good, the bad, the mediocre. The games that are in the most danger of being forgotten are, after all, the ones that are the most forgettable.

    All that said: there are a lot of obscure, older games that aren't commercially available and are fun to play. That's great, and I don't have any problem with people playing games because they enjoy them. But that's not the purpose of preservation. Preservation is an end in itself.

  • Aug 14th, 2018 @ 11:49am

    Re: Re:

    I'd have gone with Homer and Marge.

    "Well, like all Americans, fast, but..."

  • Aug 14th, 2018 @ 10:29am

    Re: Re: Re:

    the culture represented on that site is not being preserved by the Copyright Holder (evidence exists that some ROMs used by Nintendo in re-releases came from 'pirate' sites).

    While there certainly are a lot of games that haven't been preserved by their rightsholders, I am extremely skeptical of your implication that Nintendo didn't have a copy of the ROM for Super Mario Bros., of all things, in its archives somewhere.

    The presence of an iNES header in the Wii VC version of Super Mario Bros. doesn't imply that Nintendo didn't have a copy, just that it was much easier to get one from the Internet.

  • Aug 14th, 2018 @ 9:42am

    (untitled comment)

    Thanks, Mike, for both the explanation and the approach.

    I think that prioritizing getting stories right over covering them quickly is the right approach, and I think that priority shows in Techdirt's coverage.

  • Aug 14th, 2018 @ 8:23am

    Re: There must be redaction software out there

    In my experience, trying to highlight text in a PDF generally works very poorly. I wouldn't trust a graphical frontend to accurately detect which characters were covered.

  • Aug 14th, 2018 @ 8:20am

    Re: Re: There is a lesson to be learned here

    Do you mean it should NOT be called Redaction Tool?

    I don't think so; read that last sentence again.

  • Aug 14th, 2018 @ 8:05am

    Re: Re:

    They say a broken clock is still right two times a day (one if it's using military time).

    ...what is this clock you're describing that tells 24-hour time but still displays the time when it's broken instead of just a blank screen?

  • Aug 13th, 2018 @ 5:34pm

    Re: Re:

    ..."not criminal" is not the same thing as "not illegal".

  • Aug 13th, 2018 @ 5:22pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    you can't trust a capitalist business to regulate itself

    Sure you can! After the first wave of babies dies, everyone will stop buying baby food from that company!

    ...I really shouldn't have to add a /s here, but I've seen people try to argue with Chip, so a big bold NOTE: THIS IS A JOKE may be necessary, just in case.

  • Aug 13th, 2018 @ 5:17pm


    Hell, if Nintendo really wanted to make some dosh, it would help release classic games that never got out of Japan (coughsweethomecough).

    ...I...think you may be overestimating the market demand for Sweet Home.

    Which is kind of my point: there are a lot of games where there's probably no good market justification for their legal release. (And I say that as someone who recently paid $60 for a copy of Socks the Cat Rocks the Hill with box and manual.) And in those cases, the emulation community does a valuable service.

    In some cases, the emulation community even creates that demand; Earthbound's original North American release was greeted with middling reviews and poor sales, and Nintendo didn't even release it on Wii VC. If it hadn't been for illegal distribution of the ROM, the game wouldn't have gotten the cult following it now has, and I doubt we'd have ever seen it on the Wii U or 3DS VC, or on the SNES Classic.

  • Aug 13th, 2018 @ 4:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: new marketing scheme

    That's a bit of an oversimplification.

    Nintendo could, if it wanted to, sell all the games it owns the copyrights to as ROMs, playable on a device of the customer's choosing. It doesn't. That much is true.

    But Nintendo can't actually make every game released for its consoles available for sale, because it doesn't own all of them. For third-party titles, it would need to reach an agreement with the rightsholder. For licensed titles, it would need to reach an agreement with the licensor. And that's before we even get into the complexities of fan modifications -- think unofficial translations, ROM hacks, etc.

    Nintendo could do more than it's doing to appease fan demand for ROMs; that much is certainly true. But the full range of options that ROM sites provide simply can't be provided legally. That's not Nintendo's fault (though Nintendo isn't helping); it's a flaw in copyright law.

    Add to that, Nintendo has made an effort to make a good big portion of its back catalog available, especially its most popular titles. Those efforts have often had issues -- $20 per game for NES ports on the GBA, inferior emulation on the Wii U VC, scarcity of the NES Classic during its original manufacturing run, and even the original Wii, which represented Nintendo's best foray into emulating old games, still had some noticeable holes in its selection (coughcoughEarthbound) -- but it's not as if Nintendo has completely ignored demand, either.

    I'm not defending Nintendo's behavior here, and I think the company's going about this all wrong and has been for 20 years. But I still think it's a little more complicated than simply "Nintendo isn't meeting demand."

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