Seems like the hunt for these things is regressing to the 90’ies days of organisations like IDSA ( https://cs.stanford.edu/people/eroberts/cs201/projects/copyright-infringement/emulationanti.html ) where such takedowns were a common thing.
Now, “disneyright” seem to have zero chance of returning to anything sensible, i.e. a time-limited monopoly to give the author a fair chance to profit from his work, before it is forcibly elevated into the public domain for the benefit of current and future culture.
Meanwhile, the “corporation sanctioned alternatives” (various ‘virtual console’ stores, including the one by nintendo) have shown to be extremely volatile and customer unfriendly.
I have a faint hope that developments like this instills enough ‘disobedience’ to foster new piracy tools for discovering, sharing and curating emulation and related assets (including derivative work like gameplay streaming) - without ad-parasites or the unreliability and user-unfriendliness of torrents.
To me, the ironic thing here is that old ROMs were abandonware and not commercially available for quite a while before Nintendo discovered how popular they were. Only then did they start their virtual console store. (Note, most of these NES titles were never owned by Nintendo, and in many cases the entities that did hold the copyrights are long defunct. But lets just keep talking about NES Zelda, as available on the current 3DS VC store…)
And that’s why their “NES Classic” console is essentially a Raspberry Pi running an emulator. Very nice of the community to do all that development work for the brand owner to profit from!
Even their earlier efforts, the virtual console, had iNES headers of the roms they were using in their “inspired” emulators. What are the chances that they had preserved dumps and maintained their in-house emulators (they did have those) themselves vs. outsourcing the job to some firm that took whatever dumps they could find and repurposed an open source emulator.
Sidenote: I’ve been on the preservation side of emulation since about the mid-90ies, I restore pinball and arcade machines as a hobby and have quite a big emotional attachment to the ‘culture’ from that era. As such, I happily throw in both money and code to projects like mame and ‘the dumping union’ (procuring rare and dying arcade PCBs, dumping them for the mame devs to take over). It pains me dearly that there are not valid documentation (3D models, …) of now dead and dying arcade cabinets and other artifacts of that era.
Seems fair I guess. They probably made thousands of easy ad dollars off Nintendo’s property, so it’s normal they have a problem with this.
However, is Nintendo actually making profit of the original Zelda, for example? I mean, is there a way for me as a player to get to play the original Zelda without having to search for a second hand NES and fishing for the original cartridge in flea markets? I get that is their intellectual property, but still it’s not like they still sell those games
The current philosophy of the law is that Nintendo has an eternal right to tax Zelda. It was never meant to go into the public domain, will never go into the public domain, and if legislators have funny ideas about this stuff then they’ll use their billions of previous culture tax revenue to bribe (er… “lobby”) them to have the right ideas again.
Anyone who gripes about this state of affairs is obviously a commie trying to steal from them.
In my understanding, in France and probably other countries, works (not sure what, but writings and musics are included for example, probably programs/video games?) enter public domain 70 years after creator’s death.
How can this apply to a living company?
The original author(s) license (indirect in employment contract or direct via a specific one) rights to the work. The ‘death’ clause becomes really gnarly when the actual work of art is an aggregate of many copyright holders.
This becomes more complicated as the licensing gets split up into infinitely small pieces, like “time-limited distribution within country XYZ on the media of floppy discs”. Such time-limit clauses are a probable cause when contents to whole games suddenly disappear, typically sublicensed contents like music.
This, in turn, gets even more complicated by the notion of ‘derivative’ work; fanart or those “HD remakes” as even abstract nuances have to be considered. The stories about Sherlock Holmes are in the public domain, but certain aesthetics, like the deerstalker/pipe/… figure - are still(?) copyrighted. Defining ‘derivative’ work is complex in and of itself. For instance, Blizzard have successfully defended copyright of the linked and loaded process of the World of Warcraft client as such, in the case against certain cheat-bots - and similar shenanigans to take down open source / reversed starcraft servers.
Then a few years pass and nobody knows who owns what or when or where, copyright trolls dive in and threaten extortion fees based on rights they don’t have. Copyright in its current form has nothing to do about the ‘artist’ and is complete, depressing, utter bullshit - It has turned into this bizarre form of mass hypnosis where everyone gets completely and thoroughly screwed.
These aspects, when combined, is part of the reason as to why “sanctioned ROM stores” that virtual console and so on holds have very limited catalogs, the rightsholders are nowhere to be found and can’t be safely licensed.
Yep, Nintendo do still sell these games, and it is possible for you to buy them. I bought one of these last week.
They also still sell them on the Wii U and 3DS Virtual Consoles.
Oh sure, I totally forgot about those new editions, you’re right
I just got a NES Classic and SNES Classic. They are pretty dope! I think that they are starting to care a lot more now that these are a thing :)
This does, however, have the unfortunate side effect of players not being able to play their favorites unless they are one of the ~60 games on these two classic editions. So, that’s sad. :(
What I wish is that these companies were smart enough to simple SELL the damn things as-is rather than forcing people to buy them as part of their product / store / whatever.
I’d be perfectly willing to pay a modest sum for retro ROMs. They represent man and material hours put forth by the company when they were made, and they deserve recompense for that.
However I will not buy a Switch or whatever.
Suing abandonware archives is too meanly. Personally I found Nintendo franchises like all these marios and zeldas as disgusting as Hollywood stuff. They had done lots of aggressive marketing in social networks recently to ensure “geek culture” is associated with their silly characters targeted to 5-year-old kids. I hope if all these ROMs would be removed from internets, this will lower popularity of Nintendo brands.
It’s not abandonware when they’re maintaining their titles for virtual console on recent platforms. It’s not targeted at just 5-year-olds, it’s family entertainment that plenty of adults enjoy. Your comparison with Hollywood is far-fetched, and the adjectives you use are very trollish.
when they’re maintaining their titles for virtual console
when they’re maintaining their titles for virtual console
Except they’re not? On a switch only VC Mario title is an arcade one. No Zelda except BOTW (the latest one). DS Zelda titles are only available second-hand as cartridges.
They’re available on the 3DS VC. I’ve been playing through them all. And I’m in my thirties, FWIW. :)
This was not the case at one point if memory serves. It is also no guarantee going forward.
I think the point that people have been making is that Nintendo had no interest in re-releasing these games until they discovered how popular they were in the ROM scene and second hand markets.