Future Of Video Game "Preservation"?

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BlueCrab
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Re: Future Of Video Game Preservation?

Post#11 » Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:33 pm

itsthinkingstill wrote:Great way of putting it all in a paragraph!

I think that applies (me personally anyway) to games that are still published/still accessible in some form from the publisher or holder of the IP. Games that have not been printed or re released in 15-30 years i think could be consider fair game in uploading. Like the Netlink games for example, all very rare and in limited quantity and have not been touched by Sega legally since 97-98

Just me though
The problem with that thought is as follows: what stops Sega or whatever other company from re-releasing that game on some current/future platform? Just because something hasn't been commercialized in the last 15 years doesn't mean it won't be 15-20 years from now (of course, I'm not saying that stuff like that is likely at all for the vast majority of games). Would the average person downloading something from a ROM site delete their copies if Sega were to do so? I'd think that to be even less likely than Sega re-releasing such things. ;)

While I agree that morally speaking, it doesn't feel as bad in that case, it is still illegal. As I said up there earlier, arguing about the length of copyright protections being too long (especially in the case of works created for hire -- i.e, for a company) is an argument that I think our country and its lawmakers might need to have, but 17 U.S.C. § 302 is pretty clear here about how long copyrights are good for -- Life of the Author + 70 years for works not created for hire, or (for works created for hire) date of publication + 95 years (with the few minor cases of date of creation + 120 years if that is an earlier expiration than the earlier + 95 years case). It's very unlikely that our legislators would ever consider making that term shorter, considering the outrage it would prompt from (for instance) the Walt Disney Company if the first Mickey Mouse cartoons would fall into the public domain because of it.

Simply put, there's not a single computer game in existence that has had its copyright expire at this point. Some may have been subsequently released into the public domain by the original authors, but none have actually had their copyrights expire.

There's also the argument that pirates weren't going to pay for it anyway, as presented in the replies that went up shortly before mine here. That doesn't mean that companies need to make pirates lives easier nor does it mean that Nintendo, Sega, etc. shouldn't be doing everything in their power to get ROM sites shut down. In fact, it only strengthens the argument (in my opinion). If the pirates have no way to get a hold of what they want to pirate either A) they'll have to waste way more time/effort finding it, B) they'll go without, or C) they'll actually buy whatever it is they wanted to pirate. Many will go into A or B there, but I'd wager that a non-zero number would also fall into the C camp (even if it is a minority). If it's infinitely easier to obtain something legally than illegally, there will be at least some people who will choose to do so, even if they might not have before.

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Aleron Ives
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Re: Future Of Video Game "Preservation"?

Post#12 » Sat Aug 25, 2018 12:03 am

The problem is that morality and legality are not the same thing. People who aren't copyright holders seem to agree that copyright lasts too long, so nobody feels guilty about stealing copyrighted work that the author isn't actively trying to sell anymore. After all, Nintendo doesn't get any money if you buy a Super Mario World cart on eBay, and it doesn't get any money if you download a ROM of Super Mario World, either, so from the player's perspective, there isn't really any difference between the two options in terms of supporting Nintendo.

It also isn't financially feasible for companies to sue every single person who downloads something illegally, so that puts us in a situation where a) people don't feel a moral obligation to avoid stealing something that isn't being sold, anyway, and b) people don't feel a legal obligation to avoid stealing, because they know they won't be punished for it.

This adds up to make copyright law somewhat pointless because of how it extends protections for a ridiculously long period, but as BlueCrab said, corporations that own copyrights aren't going to give them up if any legislator were to suggest shortening the copyright period. As such, the status quo will remain.
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OfManNotMachine
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Re: Future Of Video Game "Preservation"?

Post#13 » Sat Aug 25, 2018 12:16 am

Also,

Companies do have to defend their copyrights/trademarks because if they don't, they can lose said copyrights/trademarks. I do get that aspect of it. And yeah I do get that from a technical standpoint it's not legal. But considering the NES classic gives you like what? 20 or 30 games? What about the rest of that library you won't get to experience?

There's a gray area here that Nintendo etc won't acknowledge or just don't really give a crap (probably just don't give a crap)

It'd be nice if Nintendo etc try to find a common ground where both parties could be happy. I have absolutely NO clue what that could really be though.

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itsthinkingstill
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Re: Future Of Video Game "Preservation"?

Post#14 » Sat Aug 25, 2018 2:08 am

All good points!

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BlueCrab
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Re: Future Of Video Game "Preservation"?

Post#15 » Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:45 am

OfManNotMachine wrote:Companies do have to defend their copyrights/trademarks because if they don't, they can lose said copyrights/trademarks. I do get that aspect of it. And yeah I do get that from a technical standpoint it's not legal.
You're a little bit off here, and it's a very common misunderstanding, so I just want to straighten it out really quickly...

While trademarks can be effectively (and legally) lost if they are not defended (look at how common the use of the term Kleenex or Q-tip are for products that are not of those specific brands) -- copyrights cannot be lost in this way. The only way a copyright can be "lost" is if the rights holder voluntarily gives it up (releasing the work in to the public domain) or if the copyright term expires. That said, if a company doesn't defend their copyrights then they have effectively lost them (but they can, of course, choose to defend them again at a later date).

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mazonemayu
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Re: Future Of Video Game "Preservation"?

Post#16 » Sat Aug 25, 2018 12:49 pm

nothing is gonna disappear, folks have just gotten lazy over the past decade: if they can't find a torrent or a ddl for whatever it is they are looking for, it 1) flips them out, or 2) "doesn"t exist anymore"...there's still nzb, irc, emule, etc...shit will pop up somewhere else eventually
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OfManNotMachine
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Re: Future Of Video Game "Preservation"?

Post#17 » Sat Aug 25, 2018 3:10 pm

Blue Crab,

Actually...trademarks that are now common everyday use phrases actually to some degree have lost their trademark. When I trademarked my own brand, I talked to a lawyer about it and they told me you always have to defend your trademark, or you lose it, and if it somehow became an everyday phrase, it's lost as well, but its such good publicity that nobody really cares. I also did a quick check to confirm this and came across this. Kleenex while owning the copyright to the term Kleenex, can't sue to defend it any longer because it's now a generic copyright. But...they probably also don't care cause of how popular the word as become. Sure they "own" the copyright...but they can't defend it either...so it's pretty much lost for all intents n purposes. Thankfully in my own personal instance, I won't ever have to worry about that. Just people usuing my likeness to make money, which to my knowledge hasn't been done.

Escalator. Trampoline. Aspirin.

What do these brands have in common? They were all once officially owned trademarks, and they are all now everyday words. Sometimes brand names become so popular they take on lives of their own. Once a trademark has reached generic status, the loss of distinctiveness means a loss in trademark protection.

The irony, of course, is that these businesses worked really hard to achieve high levels of recognition—only to have their trademark protection fall away. This is the one item on our list that isn't completely within your control. But, considering the many ways rights can be lost, this is certainly the most desirable of these scenarios.

OfManNotMachine
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Re: Future Of Video Game "Preservation"?

Post#18 » Sat Aug 25, 2018 3:25 pm

There was a brief time in the early 90's where video games were generalized as Nintendo. Drove me crazy. Mainly with older adults they always be like "oh you playing Nintendo?" and I wanted to be like NO BITCH IM PLAYING A SEGA GENESIS!!

That distinction slowly got handed to the original Playstation for awhile as well, but now games are a little more common place and the average person knows the difference between them these days.

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mazonemayu
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Re: Future Of Video Game "Preservation"?

Post#19 » Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:52 pm

Not necessarily, my gf has been saying for years now, that I'm playing my Playstation (FYI, I bought a PS2 this year, I never owned one so it's something new in our house), when my DC is on, and only last week she actually thought I owned an Xbox One, coz a friend and I were talking about Xbox, I only own an OG Xbox...now we're talking about the partner of a hardcore gamer here (I hate the term, but that's basically what we all are here), so if she doesn't know the difference, and we have lived together for 15 years now, I can only guess what the average person knows about the big brands LoL
We are SEGA generation.

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NTSC/US complete
310 JAP games to go

OfManNotMachine
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Re: Future Of Video Game "Preservation"?

Post#20 » Sat Aug 25, 2018 6:01 pm

True. Xbox was also a generic term for awhile. I guesd basicly whatever console is hot at the time....everything just gets labelled as that to the average consumer.

Nothing drove me craizer than back in the day when I was a manager for Gamestop back when Dreamcast wad out...and this one regular customer always called the Dreamcast the Dreamscape.

Id never tell her she was wrong...Id just say it correctly right after she said it to try n see if she picked up on it...she never did

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