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Copyright strikes on Retro game Youtube vids - Paul Andrews?

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58 minutes ago, maryliddon said:

The point is that someone so assiduous about intellectual property is selling a computer that looks identical to someone else’s design.

 

Maybe legally. Who knows

 

 

Intellectual Property (IP) and Copyright are two different things.

Design copyright for domestic items is significantly different to other forms of copyright in that the legal protection far shorter and varies from country to country. The average is about 15 years and can be as low as 3 years. In the UK it's usually limited to 10 years from the point of the time the design was brought to market. The Commodore and Commodore 64 trademarks are undoubtedly owned by someone but the actual design copyright for the Commodore 64 case would have expired decades ago. Ironically the internals of a Commodore 64 would have more legal protection than the exterior design case as the internals of the computer would be covered by IP and patents.

 

It's the same reason the market has filled with cheap NES, SNES, Gameboy, Mega Drive clones. The design copyright has expired to the point that Nintendo and Sega would be on near impossible legal ground trying to sue anyone for anything other than trademark infringement and the internals of these cheap clone systems are all emulators or SoC boards.

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5 hours ago, Peter St John said:

Is money a good thing? 

Personally I have pretty radical anti-capitalist views. But you can't deny that money tends to be how society traditionally values things.

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1 minute ago, Anne Summers said:

Personally I have pretty radical anti-capitalist views. But you can't deny that money tends to be how society traditionally values things.

 

In this instance, though, it produces incentives for people to hoover up old IP and insist on removing code from established archives. Plus the recent large injections of cash into the Speccy retroscene have caused huge splits in the community. So I'm not really convinced it's great.

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1 hour ago, emmbux said:

Intellectual Property (IP) and Copyright are two different things.

Design copyright for domestic items is significantly different to other forms of copyright in that the legal protection far shorter and varies from country to country. The average is about 15 years and can be as low as 3 years. In the UK it's usually limited to 10 years from the point of the time the design was brought to market. The Commodore and Commodore 64 trademarks are undoubtedly owned by someone but the actual design copyright for the Commodore 64 case would have expired decades ago. Ironically the internals of a Commodore 64 would have more legal protection than the exterior design case as the internals of the computer would be covered by IP and patents.

 

It's the same reason the market has filled with cheap NES, SNES, Gameboy, Mega Drive clones. The design copyright has expired to the point that Nintendo and Sega would be on near impossible legal ground trying to sue anyone for anything other than trademark infringement and the internals of these cheap clone systems are all emulators or SoC boards.


That’s interesrting though from a bit of research it sounds like UK protection if 3D design is > 10 years and recently got a boost to 70 if you can demonstrate the design shows artistic craftsmanship.

 

https://www.dezeen.com/2016/09/23/uk-copyright-law-design-furniture-replicas-intellectual-property-lawyer-margaret-briffa/

 

EDIT

 

Crikey the change to 70 years of protection for 3D works is retrospectively applied. The c64 case in the UK may not be public domain?

 

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/606207/160408_guidance_s52_final_web_accessible.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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23 minutes ago, maryliddon said:


That’s interesrting though from a bit of research it sounds like UK protection if 3D design is > 10 years and recently got a boost to 70 if you can demonstrate the design shows artistic craftsmanship.

 

 

 

The key word is "Artistic". Admittedly the Commodore 64 is an iconic and eye pleasing design, but it was produced as a mainstream consumer product not an artistic design piece like a designer chair, vase or piece of architecture.

The updated copyright protection you highlighted is specifically aimed at copyright covering items of artistic craftsmanship which have highly specific criteria.

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23 hours ago, ulala said:

We all seem to agree that making plushie dolls and selling them for profit is not acceptable

 

And yet using that same character in a video to make money IS acceptable, because  it’s fair use.

 

im struggling to see the difference, I’m glad I’m not a lawyer

The difference is how you use it.  

 

Putting Horace, Mario or whoever in a Youtube video where you are reviewing the game, discussing the history of video games, that's all fair use.

 

Writing a Channel 4 Sitcom where Mario and Horace meet for dinner every friday night isn't fair use.  You don't own the characters, and you can't put them in your storyline, give them a script or make them a character in your film.  You can talk about them and make reference to them.  Octavius had Horace as her flatmate, a recurring character in her show.  You can't do that.  You'd imagine no-one would give a toss because it's Horace, but if you switch that for, say, Elsa from Frozen, you can see how it would upset the copyright holder.  Mark Kermode can post reviews of Frozen on Youtube and include clips from the film, but if he used the character in a story he'd be in trouble.

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Which brings us back to point 3: is all this worth it for fucking Horace? Who himself stars in a blatant rip-off of Konami's copyright? Simply because you have the right to do a thing doesn't mean you have to actually do it. Octav1us' videos were not going to harm sales or the viability of a long-moribund character, so why go through all this trouble?

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I agree with you, and I would imagine no-one would care about Horace (the holy trinity! Mario! Sonic! Horace!) , But if the owner of the character does care then they hold all the cards. I just doubt anyone could prove ownership of such a character. They would need to have evidence that the ownership of the character was legally and clearly transferred from each and every publisher in the 40 year chain. Surely the chain broke at some stage. He might own Hungry Horace, or Horace Goes Ski-ing, but actual ownership of the character? That's 40 years of watertight contracts that would be needed to be able to prove the company you bought the rights from had those exact rights to sell in the first place.

 

Like, if you printed T-shirts with screenshots of Chuckie Egg on, you'd have a problem when the copyright owner complained. But if you did a shirt with an isolated image of the main character, with no reference to Chuckie Egg itself, you'd only have a problem if someone owned that character and i'd bet no-one does.

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10 minutes ago, dumpster said:

The difference is how you use it.  

 

Putting Horace, Mario or whoever in a Youtube video where you are reviewing the game, discussing the history of video games, that's all fair use.

 

Writing a Channel 4 Sitcom where Mario and Horace meet for dinner every friday night isn't fair use.  You don't own the characters, and you can't put them in your storyline, give them a script or make them a character in your film.  You can talk about them and make reference to them.  Octavius had Horace as her flatmate, a recurring character in her show.  You can't do that.  You'd imagine no-one would give a toss because it's Horace, but if you switch that for, say, Elsa from Frozen, you can see how it would upset the copyright holder.  Mark Kermode can post reviews of Frozen on Youtube and include clips from the film, but if he used the character in a story he'd be in trouble.

 

I was going to post a similar comment related to this but you beat me to it, and you are absolutely correct.

There are far too many misinformed people using fair use/fair dealing as a given right or get out of jail free card to use another's IP. 

Under UK Fair Dealing law Octav1us could attempt to use parody as a defence of Fair Dealing but she would seriously be on very shaky ground as she wasn't creating a parody of Horace. She was using Horace as a comical character within her videos and to make matters worse she was using the characters image in her intros and promotional banners , regardless of monetization you can't just help yourself to stuff that isn't yours!

Putting all the partisan and emotional opinions to one side and looking at this from a purely legal standpoint she was 100% in the wrong. Paul Andrews perhaps could of handled this a lot better, he particularly seems ignorant of how Youtube claims work. He would have been far better off submitting content ID claims rather than copyright claims and demonetizing her videos to get her attention. That aside, I do think he is unfairly being cast as the villain and an IP troll. As he was involved with the Sinclair Vega and C64 it's likely he bought the IP and the associated  back catalogue of games to support the hardware for those projects. It's probably far easier to buy up an entire IP related to old software to bundle in with your hardware rather than enter into licensing deals with the individual IP holders.

 

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1 hour ago, Peter St John said:

 

In this instance, though, it produces incentives for people to hoover up old IP and insist on removing code from established archives. Plus the recent large injections of cash into the Speccy retroscene have caused huge splits in the community. So I'm not really convinced it's great.

 

What about all the potential new customers for retro games publishers that the commercialisation of the hobby can bring?

And the added incentive that their money will mean for creators in the retro space to create new stuff?

More readers for magazines like Retro Gamer ... And more businesses to advertise in them?

More visitors for events like Play Expo - and more businesses, products, services etc for those visitors to engage with when they are there?

More viewers for YouTubers like Octav1us, Slopes, Top Hat, Guru Larry etc ... Meaning more money to go into their Patreons and more incentive for them to make new content?

More incentives for people to make machines like the C64 Mini, Megadrive Mini etc?

More "new old" games being created for retro consoles, and more retro compilations for modern platforms?

Bigger audiences for films like Bedrooms to Billions, and more incentive for similar projects in the future?

 

Sure, I can see that there are downsides. But I think talk of existential threats to archives like WoS and archive.org are exaggerated. And I think it smacks a little of elitism to suggest that expansion of the retro community outside of the "hardcore" of emulation enthusiasts and collectors of original hardware is automatically a bad thing. 

 

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6 minutes ago, emmbux said:

 

That aside, I do think he is unfairly being cast as the villain and an IP troll. As he was involved with the Sinclair Vega and C64 it's likely he bought the IP and the associated  back catalogue of games to support the hardware for those projects. It's probably far easier to buy up an entire IP related to old software to bundle in with your hardware rather than enter into licensing deals with the individual IP holders.

 

I might be willing to follow that particular train of thought(even if I didn't agree with it) if he hadn't done the other things. If he was just trying to own IP to support his own projects then why try to shutdown a youtube channel that wasn't in competition and was promoting the IP in the retro community... And definitely why shut down a Jupiter Ace emulator and preventing it from appearing as a core for the spectrum next and others and the emu itself.

 

He is demonstrating all the hallmarks of a copyright troll so far.

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But I think talk of existential threats to archives like WoS and archive.org are exaggerated.

 

So I've been dancing around this today, but you work for a company that is literally an existential threat to WoS (archive.org is a separate matter as it's protected by US Copyright Law in ways that WoS will never be). You'll forgive me if I don't entirely see eye-to-eye that monetisation is a good thing overall.

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11 minutes ago, Peter St John said:

 

So I've been dancing around this today, but you work for a company that is literally an existential threat to WoS (archive.org is a separate matter as it's protected by US Copyright Law in ways that WoS will never be). You'll forgive me if I don't entirely see eye-to-eye that monetisation is a good thing overall.

We are no threat to WoS. We don't own any IP - we just license it. So we have no power (or indeed desire) to enforce any copyright. 

On top of that our service is built around streaming , and the added value that online leaderboards, tournaments, challenges etc bring to retro gaming. So we don't even consider archive sites to be competition. 

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57 minutes ago, Anne Summers said:

Sure, I can see that there are downsides. But I think talk of existential threats to archives like WoS and archive.org are exaggerated. And I think it smacks a little of elitism to suggest that expansion of the retro community outside of the "hardcore" of emulation enthusiasts and collectors of original hardware is automatically a bad thing. 

 

Where was there any suggestion that expanding the retro community was a negative? I don’t see one.

 

And as for the thorny issue of commercialisation, I have been following retro gaming since it first became a ‘thing’ circa 1995, and I can tell you that fan and amateur endeavours have often done far more to preserve many of these old games than any supposed IP owners, certainly when it comes to European home computer games.

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1 hour ago, Protocol Penguin said:

 

Where was there any suggestion that expanding the retro community was a negative? I don’t see one.

 

 

 

My point was that the commercialisation is an inevitable byproduct of the community expanding. And that there are a lot of positives to it, as well. 

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6 hours ago, emmbux said:

 

The key word is "Artistic". Admittedly the Commodore 64 is an iconic and eye pleasing design, but it was produced as a mainstream consumer product not an artistic design piece like a designer chair, vase or piece of architecture.

The updated copyright protection you highlighted is specifically aimed at copyright covering items of artistic craftsmanship which have highly specific criteria.

 

That’s incorrect. It’s the opposite, the criteria for artistic craftsmanship is classic British law; vague and open to interpretation. From the government’s guidance:

 

Quote

The works most likely to be affected by the repeal of section 52 CDPA are “works of artistic craftsmanship”. There is no statutory definition of a “work of artistic craftsmanship”. Without a formal definition, it is ultimately up to the UK courts to decide what would be classified as a work of artistic craftsmanship (protected by copyright law). As a first step in any infringement claim the onus would on the claimant to show that the work is one of artistic craftsmanship and therefore protected by copyright.


That said given the preceding cases it would be a hard argument to make for the C64 (or the knock off joystick design) and I’m not sure who’d want to or be able to make those arguments.


On a moral note, and irrespective of the legal arguments, I have more time for re-using a video game character in a new and original way than block copying an original design to present it as a new, trademarked (The c64 (tm)) product.

 

I don’t think I’m alone in that. Andrew’s tin ear for the community he’s trying to sell to doesn’t do him or the work he’s involved in any favours.

 

Putting all emotional and partisan issues aside all it’d take to clear things up is an apology. The guy seems to have too much of a chip on his shoulder to do that., 
 

 

 

 

 

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To go back to the YouTube issue. 

 

Whilst my normal human empathy gland is switched on for the plight of the lady in question, I can’t help but feel that last video was quite affected. 

 

It appeared to be put on to me. 

 

I feel that money is such a factor here on both sides that were now seeing propaganda. No doubt these transcripts will be next. 

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9 hours ago, Goose said:

Capture.PNG

 

Was quite enjoying it until it all kicked off. Was good seeing old screenshots in my newsfeed.

Horrible group that Preston Thomas used to mod.

 

also had 2 employees of RCL as members for ages despite this being pointed out them. Still has a lot of members that were balls deep with RCL.

 

This should have been nipped in the bud straight away on the main Spectrum Facebook groups.
 

Instead there were a stream on increasingly unfunny Horace memes to most recently Spectrum For Everyone making a statement about violent threats being made to Andrews.

 

The Spectrum scene is a cesspit on all sides. The #FreeHorace twitter hashtag is shameful and embarrassing 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Rex Grossman said:


Are people actually buying this?

Overall they may actually be in the right but this video… yikes! It’s pretty well done but incredibly cynical.

Yep but you can’t say that apparently.

 

they have been discussing things privately, to release this video has backfired imo 

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I don't follow it but from what I have seen here (Character assassination videos and unattributed facebook posts) then yes the spectrum scene is toxic. And to top it off with a cry of "there is bad on both sides" speaks volumes. And now we see people accusing her of being some sort of "crisis actor".

 

All unfortunate methods.

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The mood in the "scene" does seem to have turned against Octav1us in the last 48 hours. 

Which seems to be coloured with a fair amount of misogyny, I might add - I signed up to that Spectrum for Everyone group out of curiosity and there's an unfortunate amount of "She's only getting sympathy because she's got tits" and "no one would care if she was a fat middle-aged man" being thrown around. 

 

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8 minutes ago, Anne Summers said:

The mood in the "scene" does seem to have turned against Octav1us in the last 48 hours. 

Which seems to be coloured with a fair amount of misogyny, I might add - I signed up to that Spectrum for Everyone group out of curiosity and there's an unfortunate amount of "She's only getting sympathy because she's got tits" and "no one would care if she was a fat middle-aged man" being thrown around. 

 

from the misogyny in the character assassination vid (that apparently shows the "other" side of the story) to the baps comment by the "mediator of multimillion pound companies" it is all pretty vile. I'm glad I don't read the FB groups if that stuff is prevalent.

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13 hours ago, Peter St John said:

 

In this instance, though, it produces incentives for people to hoover up old IP and insist on removing code from established archives. 

 

Examples? According to Lee Fogarty, Andrews has been attacking WoS for years but at the same time he hasn't removed any of the game he "owns" (Melbourne House, Artic, Microdeal, Imagine) from the archive.  Mel Croucher (Automata) and Mark Cale (System 3) have, but they owned the old IP in the first place.

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It’s hard to make a judgement about intentions here.

 

What is far less debateable is that this response wasn’t to be expected.

 

Anyone with half a brain, who spent any time looking at her videos or social media, could see an out of blue copyright strike would end up in an inevitable shit show.

 

Hard to say if it’s just idiocy or actual ill intent.

 

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