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Takedown Letters For WP7 Tetris Clones

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the at-least-they're-consistent dept.

Cellphones 290

karios writes "Today I received a takedown letter from a law firm representing the Tetris Company for copyright violations involving my game Tetrada, which I published on the Windows Phone 7 marketplace. The witch hunt, after hitting Android, iOS and other platforms, continues on Windows Phone 7. It's a pity, since some of the tetromino games in the Marketplace were pretty decent."

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This is called... (3, Insightful)

dnaumov (453672) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135250)

...willful infrigement.

Re:This is called... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135312)

...willful infrigement.

Willful infringement of rights by the Tetris Company, yes.

As far as I understand it, what they usually try to claim is not actually trademark-/copyrightable (i.e. gameplay and such). Anyway, in most cases in the past they succeeded because targets of their threats couldn't or wouldn't afford to defend themselves; the usual justice by money. Plus app stores are quick to boot small developers if anybody pulls the lawyer card.

However the developer did make his fair share of mistakes: a) the Tetris Lawsuit Corp. has a history of copious amounts of lawsuits. b) the name is too close to a trademarked name. c) Tetris is a boring game.

Re:This is called... (1)

an unsound mind (1419599) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135878)

The Tetris Company doing something shady. Isn't there a surprise.

Oh wait, that's practically all they do. Steal other people's stuff and sue people.

Re:This is called... (1)

an unsound mind (1419599) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135900)

s/steal/take down/

Re:This is called... (1)

flyneye (84093) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136152)

d) Tetris is old. Any existing copyright should be ashamed of it's age and just go away. It's pretty fucking embarrassing really. It's like saying " This is the pinnacle of my achievment so I will guard it like it was fucking important or something." This isn't the first time this tard has wiped out a buncha tetris-alikes in the name of making himself a living. He's probably made more from litigation than from his few lines of code. If not then he really is an ubertard.
          Well Russky bro, if tetris is all the better you can do, you got two ass kickings coming. One for the copyright antics and one just to free up those last few brain cells.

Re:This is called... (4, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135798)

..willful infrigement.

Fortunately neither WP7 owner was particularly interested in the game, so not much was lost.

yay!~ (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135262)

first!!! ;)

Re:yay!~ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135286)

Gimme an "F"!

Re:yay!~ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35136034)

Er, nope!

WTF? (2, Informative)

igomaniac (409731) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135266)

You copied the game and even made the name of the game sound similar to the original, and you call it a 'witch hunt' -- man, you need a reality check.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135282)

i call it freakin pathetic and the Company involved needs to be shall we say substantially weakened just for being such a bunch of ass wipe five knuckle shuffle merchants
you may not agree could i give a toss could i f*** ..

Re:WTF? (1, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135326)

Sometimes the hunted really ARE witches.

Re:WTF? (1)

phantomflanflinger (832614) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135418)

How do you know? Does karios weigh less than a duck?

Re:WTF? (5, Insightful)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135508)

Since when game rules are copyrightable?

He didn't copy the code nor the graphics so he is clear of copyright, and the name is different enough to be clear of trademark. The Tetris company bastards are abusing the law, counting on people's inability to afford defending themselves.

Re:WTF? (0)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135584)

Tetris is trademarked. A near identical product with a name that could easily be confused for the original is exactly why Trademark laws were created.

Also I believe the set of shapes Tetris uses are protected by copyright laws

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135624)

Yeah, as if the Square shape is protected by copyright.

Re:WTF? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135756)

No, but a square shape, along with an L, an I and 2 elbow shapes, used in the context of a game where the aim is to line up these particular shapes to form an unbroken line may well be. It's all about context. Making up ridiculous arguments like "yeah, as if the shape of a triangle is protected by copyright" for your Legend of Zilda game is just moronic; if these are the types of arguments you have to resort to in order to prove your hatred of IP laws then I think it's clear how stupid your argument really is.

Re:WTF? (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136176)

No, but a square shape, along with an L, an I and 2 elbow shapes, used in the context of a game where the aim is to line up these particular shapes to form an unbroken line may well be.

Nope. In theory not. You can make tetris-like, quake-like, bejewel-like. I guess in US you could patent some aspects of the game, but you can't copyright a set of rules.

Anyway, IP rights are a very very strange domain of the law. They are incoherent, often unenforceable and open to multiple interpretations.

Re:WTF? (1)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135796)

Yeah, I'm pretty sure Lego has 1x4s too...

Re:WTF? (1)

kangsterizer (1698322) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135804)

You mean squares and rectangles belong to Tetris ? >:(

Quick, someone patents circles.

Re:WTF? (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136026)

A basic shape isn't copyrightable. A combination of non-basic shapes is. Just like you can't copyright a letter but you can copyright a collection of letters.

Re:WTF? (1)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136074)

Pleas stop using my Alphabet ©

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35136164)

you do realise that there are plenty of copyrighted typefaces, right? and that they are plenty expensive to use, and more so to get caught using without a license.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35136134)

The tetris pieces all consist of 4 squares connected at the edges in some way. Mathematically, there's only 7 possible pieces, and tetris uses all of them. While I don't even believe you had a point if Tetris used some 'special 7' pieces out of a few thousand, it's simply ridiculous to state that that you could copyright all members of a particular mathematical set.

It's kinda like copyrighting a 6-sided dice with the first 6 primes (2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13) on their respective faces.

I'm glad I don't have to pay the creator of chess a corn of rice for every move I make in agame.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135994)

you don't need to make a perfect digital copy of something to fall for copyright infringement. simple look and feel is enough. if it looks like an exact duplicate from outward appearance, the author is probably screwed.

Re:WTF? (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136046)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the courts shot that down [wikipedia.org] when Apple tried to claim the desktop?

While I couldn't give a crap about yet another Tetris ripoff (Advice to author...TETRIS SUCKED! If you are gonna rip something off, at least make it something good like Contra or something! Sheesh!) what I do care about is companies trying to patent/copyright ordinary things like blocks. If we don't watch it corps will just patent/copyright every damned thing and you won't be able to do squat without cutting a check...or are we already there?

Re:WTF? (2)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136194)

what's more is that the guy who invented tetris never invented anything else after that. the basic concept of the game is pretty obvious once you get to certain type of programming the idea would pop up(shapes would have differed, the concept not).

and if someone doesn't believe that, check some documentaries about the tetris guy and tetris - trolling for status and money whilst producing nothing of interest for the past 25 years(the docs paint a rosier picture of his accomplishments, but if you watch them you can decide for yourself) .

besides, they should have cloned panic bomber instead. more fun.

Re:WTF? (4, Insightful)

pokyo (1987720) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136258)

I'd have to disagree. What is the intent of copyright? If it is to prevent consumer confusion then I would have to side with The Tetris Company. I took a look at Tetrada and it is a clear duplicate, and if I was younger I wouldn't know any better and assume that this was Tetris. You have to take into account the sum of what you mentioned. If there was a game called Tetrada, and it didn't look the Tetris, then fine. However, you have a game that looks like Tetris *AND* a game name similar to Tetris. Personally, I like this action. The 'indie dev scene' is being taken over by developers intent on copying others ideas to make quick profit. I suppose this was popularized by Zynga. Don't get me started on Angry Birds...

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135770)

They only have a case on the trademark. You can copy the gameplay as much as you want, just like every FPS has similar gameplay to every other FPS. The Tetris Company currently owns the trademark on Tetris and has a huge track record of sending cease-and-desist letters to put publishers of similar games out of business. What they're doing is abuse of the DMCA (provided the trademark isn't infringed upon, as it is with the OP).

I'm not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. But fuck The Tetris Company.

There is no space in ICT for individuals (1)

what about (730877) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135280)

I am a small consultant, finding work is more and more difficult.
Big companies do not consider me since I am too small, small companies have not much cash left for ICT and when they spend they wish to have "guarantees" that I cannot give...
Yes, someone made some money on ipad or android market, what is the probability that you are one of the lucky ones ?
Add the fact that every year half of the knowledge you had is just become useless and ...
The constant threat to be offsourced to china or india and...
The increasing litigation for the most obvious ideas...
I am amazed that anybody take up a job in computing :-)

Re:There is no space in ICT for individuals (3, Informative)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135368)

Add the fact that every year half of the knowledge you had is just become useless and ...

If that is the case for you ... then frankly I have to say: "you seem not to know much!"

A solid IT background never gets obsolet, only technologies / languages / paradigmas do. And the latter only in limited cases.

There are hundreds of working opportunities in IT which NEVER get obsolet and are completely disconnected from technologies. E.g. requirements engineering, software processes (like SCRUM or XP), software architectures (finding a suiting one, describing it in UML or something else), the art of programming, may it be assembler or an oo language or the fancy languages we have right now like functional or functional / oo hybrids (Scala e.g.)

All that knowledge will never be obsolet. Knowing how a relational data base works, how to design a data base, the limits of it, the options for using No-SQL DBs or prevalent Systems (in memory databases) will never be obsolet.

Understanding the differences between REST / SOAP / Corba or any other "distribution" technology ... that will never be obsolet, regardless what "App Server" you use, if any.

System Architecture, Software Architecture, Architecture Patterns, Design Patterns, Language Idioms ... that won't ever die out, it only will fluctuate slightly.

The way how a unix like operation system works (my it be a comercial one or linux or a future one like Plan 9 or Hurd) ... that knowledge will never be obsolet.

Sorry ... I just scratched the surface. There dozens if not hundreds of "knowledge areas" which will always be useful for an "developer" ...

angel'o'sphere

Re:There is no space in ICT for individuals (0, Redundant)

krazytekn0 (1069802) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135428)

Dude, if you are going to use a word that many times, learn to spell it.

Re:There is no space in ICT for individuals (1)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135996)

Do you realise that English isn't the primary language for everybody in the world? For a German I thought he did pretty well, certainly better than some /. regulars.

Re:There is no space in ICT for individuals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35136032)

Yeah, everyone knows it's obsol337.

Re:There is no space in ICT for individuals (1)

what about (730877) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135546)

Yeah, sure.... trying to impress ?
Seriously, it is at least 20 years that no new concept has come out of ICT.
Packet transmission is as old as X.25 and Ham packet radio
Languages :-) .... beside the latest buzzword bingo no new concept... nice idea "functional programming" but who wants it ?
The web... twitter... ever had a BBS ?
Now, the new great buzzword, ipad iphone programming, new concept ? naaa
The difference between REST and POST, SOAP ... are you kidding ? they are variations on client server programming
Not to talk about DB... that is the same starting from the old times...
VIrtualization ? (look at IBM zservers, they had it for ages !!)
Something that may have changed a bit in the last 20 year is more encryption, I concede that...

The point is you do not live with concepts (ask to somebody teaching math) you need to SELL them and to do that you need to know DETAILS of ever new and changing stuff. Nice the first 10 years of your careers, then you think, wow, I spend quite some time learning and nobody pays me anything... wow.
Anyway, keep up !!

Re:There is no space in ICT for individuals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135830)

"nice idea "functional programming" but who wants it ?"

Telecoms industry. Ericsson's telecom equipment uses Erlang, just as an example, handling billions of calls daily, worldwide.

It's gaining traction in other fields that want fault tolerance and excellent support for distributed computing, for example on the miltech side, such as aircraft computer systems.

Re:There is no space in ICT for individuals (1)

AlXtreme (223728) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136024)

The point is you do not live with concepts (ask to somebody teaching math) you need to SELL them and to do that you need to know DETAILS of ever new and changing stuff. Nice the first 10 years of your careers, then you think, wow, I spend quite some time learning and nobody pays me anything... wow.

You are correct that as a small consultant you don't live with concepts. However why are you trying to sell them? Just learn a couple very well and keep an open mind to anything new that comes along.

As a small who^Wconsultant you should be selling only one thing properly: yourself. That is the only 'concept' that brings in the dough. If no one is paying you you aren't doing that very well, regardless of everything else that you know.

Re:There is no space in ICT for individuals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35136082)

"Functional programming" is a new concept? Functional programming existed around the same time C was invented. You should know that, since the STL was heavily influenced by those dialects.

Re:There is no space in ICT for individuals (2)

Eivind (15695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135664)

Add the fact that every year half of the knowledge you had is just become useless and ...

If that's the case for you, then frankly, either you don't know much, or else you're doing it wrong. (i.e. constantly jumping on the latest fad, and having few or no skills in the underlying fundamentals)

Algorithms. Program-organization. OO-principles. Functional programming. MVC. Data-structures. Relational databases. Key-value-stores. User-interface-principles.

Most of what you need to know about any of these, is literally decades old. Even programming-languages, which are a lot more faddish than fundamentals of programming, don't have a turnover-rate of 50% a year.

Most of the languages popular 5 years ago, still are. And several languages popular a decade ago, also still are. Java. C. C++. PHP. Python. (and swapping one language for a different one with similar fundamentals, is a simple thing to learn - if you are a guru C++ developer, learning Java should be pretty simple. And if you're a guru Python-programmer, you should be able to adapt to Ruby with no big problems.)

Re:There is no space in ICT for individuals (3, Funny)

rainmouse (1784278) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135668)

I am a small consultant, finding work is more and more difficult. Big companies do not consider me since I am too small...

Its a sad day when even oompa loompa's are being laid off.

Why dont people learn (0)

AvderTheTerrible (1960234) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135284)

With stuff this serious, don't ask Slashdot. CALL YOUR LAWYER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!oneoneeleven.

Re:Why dont people learn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135344)

Settle down, this isn't posted in Ask Slashdot. It is a news article in games.

Re:Why dont people learn (1)

Enigma23 (460910) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136030)

I think that the OP is fishing for advice and/or sympathy - sounds like it should have been posted in Ask Slashdot after all...

Trademark confusion (5, Insightful)

pieterh (196118) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135302)

You deliberately chose "Tetrada" to sound similar to "Tetris" and on alone the basis that the software is a video game (no matter what else it does), that's grounds for a take down letter, and a civil court case if you don't comply. You are deluded if you think you can play the victim here, and adding your tragic story to the Wikipedia article on the Tetris Company doesn't make your case stronger.

Is it really so difficult to be original?

Honestly, it really annoys me to see your mediocrity dressed up in self-justification and misplaced outrage. You are not a victim, you are an idiot.

Re:Trademark confusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135342)

Actually it is extremely difficult to be original, however it is also extremely easy not to be as dumb as the OP.

Re:Trademark confusion (1)

ynp7 (1786468) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135362)

Amen!

Re:Trademark confusion (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135694)

Is it really so difficult to be original?

Well, yes :-)

Re:Trademark confusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135842)

#1 - You don't understand trademark law at all
#2 - The main claim is primarily one of copyright, likely analyzed under the "substantial similarity" test outlined in Data East USA, Inc. v. Epyx, Inc. (1988) 862 F.2d 204 (if filed in federal court, which it almost certainly will be due to the internet sales aspect of the case).

Re:Trademark confusion (1)

s4ndm4n (1361751) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136010)

Agreed. 100%.

Re:Trademark confusion (1)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136092)

You are deluded if you think you can play the victim here, and adding your tragic story to the Wikipedia article on the Tetris Company doesn't make your case stronger.

It is kinda sad [wikipedia.org] , isn't it? Oh well, it didn't even last a day.

Re:Trademark confusion (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136192)

So you're saying that any word with the numerical prefix Tetra [wikipedia.org] should count as an infringement of the Tetris trademark simply for the name, even if the gameplay is completely unrelated to Tetris? That seems a little strange. The fact that it is an actual Tetris clone is what makes the name a bad idea, not simply the fact that the name has Tetra in it.

Re:Trademark confusion (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35136248)

You said,

You deliberately chose "Tetrada" to sound similar to "Tetris" and on alone the basis that the software is a video game (no matter what else it does), that's grounds for a take down letter, and a civil court case if you don't comply.

You sound like a shill, or at least a Troll. "Tredrada" does not use the word "Tretris" anywhere in its title. So either you are just lying because somebody paid you, or you think you can profit some way from over-aggressive IP enforcement. Either way you are still a jackass.

Most likely his game name was based on the word and geometric concept of "tetromino", which existed LONG before the Tetris game and which is not copyrighted or trade-marked as far as I know.

You've been caught trolling. If you continue I will tell your parents! You've been warned.

Change your perspective (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135316)

Imagine if you actually came up with an ORIGINAL game, the Tetris Company blatantly "cloned" it, and released it in the same marketplace... would that be fair?

Re:Change your perspective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135530)

Yes.

Re:Change your perspective (1, Informative)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135650)

It's not when he names his clone Tetrada which looks very similar to Tetris in the hopes that people will make that connection, exactly the sort of thing trademarks are supposed to protect against. His attempts at bringing up the definition of "Tetrada" was silly to say the least. No one is going to think "Oh, that means four of a kind!" instead of "Tetris".

This is typical bullshit that's spewed when they get caught with their pants down. Now he's trying to play the victim.

Re:Change your perspective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135908)

Have you seen how many tetris clones there is out there? Some of them are even called tetris, other are called sextris or similar.
They haven't protected their trademark before(not that well atleast), and if you don't you lose it.

Re:Change your perspective (1)

dk3nn3dy (722733) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135892)

That would be Zynga.

newbie error (1, Interesting)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135340)

Clearly a newbie. The game industry is littered with people being sued for selling clones right back to pacman and earlier. Didn't you do any research before doing this? Not exactly a great advert for your thoroughness and professionalism and now you've announced it to the world to prove the point.

dumb dumb dumb... (1)

SuperDre (982372) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135352)

People are so ignorant and naive in thinking they can copy anything and publish it. If you are creating a game/movie that is using other people's IP/gamedesign you better be prepared for stuff like this, it's common knowledge. If you do not make money off your game (so you won't be selling it, or stuffing it with a lot of advertisement) they might let it slip, unless it's really trademarked as then they have to actively do something about it.

So don't go blaming companies for their 'witchhunt', go blame yourself for not getting permission first. In this case I also think the app was being sold, so I really can't blame the company as you are just making money of their IP.

I'm publishing my own Tetrada clone: Penetrada (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135380)

This game is so dirty, it makes sex look like church!

Re:I'm publishing my own Tetrada clone: Penetrada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135400)

Who wants a game about pens?!

Re:I'm publishing my own Tetrada clone: Penetrada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135696)

This game is so dirty, it makes sex look like church!

Too little too late, been there done that, etc.: https://sexyadventuresgame.com/?verify_age=true (NSFW and all that)

They did it right, though: new game mechanics, little of the old ones remain and a name that's not even close to Tetris.

Re:I'm publishing my own Tetrada clone: Penetrada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35136146)

It was done in the 1980s, Sex Invaders.

You had a little penis you moved left and right and you needed to ejaculate onto the boobies, butts and legs that would come down. When you ejaculated on them properly you won the game.

http://s2.appbrain.com/screen?id=-4321326932869426130&i=2

Did you copy their code? (1)

android.dreamer (1948792) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135398)

If you didn't use one shred of their code and if you put something in the game that was different, I do think you would have a case against them. That sounds similar to if Coca Cola sued Simply Cola. I don't think they have, but I am sure that the case would be thrown out. I think if you stole their content or were hosting their game without permission and charging for it, then you would be at fault.

Re:Did you copy their code? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135460)

You can't patent recipes that's the difference.

Re:Did you copy their code? (1)

ikkonoishi (674762) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135504)

Cola is a generic term. Simply Cola would not infringe on Coca Cola in any way. More accurately for this instance the other cola product would be called Cocade Cola, and use the same can designs and font as Coca Cola.

If he had called it Block Stocker 2000 or something then they wouldn't have been able to do anything against him unless it could be shown he was actually using their code.

Re:Did you copy their code? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135548)

There's also the point of graphics: if the game looks very similar to the original, it can be copyright infringement even if the copy was made indirectly (a "derived work") instead of direct bit-by-bit copying. In the case of Tetris you could probably argue that what the blocks look like is purely functional and does not include copyrightable creative input, but you need a lawyer to do that.

Re:Did you copy their code? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135836)

Cola is a generic term.

Luckily the Tetris Company doesn't give two shits about this and also sends cease-and-desist letters to people who call their game 'FallingBlocks'

Re:Did you copy their code? (2)

DarthJohn (1160097) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135544)

IANAL... not legal advice... etc.

(patent) Even if the game rules of Tetris were patented, that would have expired by now.

(copyright) I remember Scrabble clones having problems because they copied the game board too closely, used the same layout, colors or fonts or something. This might be a problem here... maybe not.

(trademark) The strongest argument they (Tetris IP owners) probably have is that the name is too similar and refers to a video game.

So, pull it down, rename it and put it back up.

Nothing New. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135404)

They've been doing this for a long time. My favorite version of Tetris was called Tetris Max by Steve Chamberlin. It was for mac OS before MacOS X came around. It was a pretty good game - one of the best implementations of tetris I have played. The Tetris company found out about it and he had to can the shareware game. I still have a copy and play it on occasion on my aging mac. The only thing it compares to (even somewhat) is the arcade Tetris Plus 2, which is playable via MAME if you don't have the arcade cabinet handy.

I understand why they do it - and you should too... But it is a shame. Maybe you should pay their licensing fee if they're still willing to work with you.

Copyright and Innovation (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135458)

Seeing the flurry of comments mocking the submitter of his copying Tetris makes me realize how successful the corporations have been in their propaganda.

Copyright has evolved from a concept conceived to protect the temporary financial incentive of inventors as encouragement of advancing humanities to a god-give right for corporations to hold indefinitely the exclusive right to monetary gains regarding anything they find a way to copyright or patent. Musicians pride themselves in their own rendition of Fantaisie-Impromptu, but programmers cannot be allowed to remake a game that has been known and enjoyed world-wide for decades. Is there anyone on Slashdot that doesn't know the basic formula to a Tetris game? Once something has become as common place as Tetris is, you have to step back and realize that it has become the possession of man-kind. Using copyright as a tool to limit people's freedom to reinvent or recreate a knowledge known to all is exactly the opposite of what copyright laws should have been made to protect.

Re:Copyright and Innovation (3, Insightful)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135752)

Yes and no.

I think you're absolutely right to say that copyright has gotten out of control. I think pretty much anybody who reads slashdot regularly would acknowledge that.

However, that's not to say that there isn't a case for copyright, in its original form. I think what the comments on this thread - which at first glance look quite uncharacteristic for slashdot - show is that a lot of people have a gut instinct for what is right and wrong in relation to copyright (which may vary from person to person) and that for most people, the submitter falls on the wrong side of it.

Tetris is still relatively recent (less than 30 years old) and the submitter doesn't seem to have actually tried to add any value. My instinct is that in a world with good and sensible copyright laws, this would fall on the wrong side of them. The problem is that in the absence of such laws and the absence of a sensible political debate on said laws, we're left just feeling a bit muddled about it.

Re:Copyright and Innovation (1)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135776)

To be honest, I see this mostly as a trademark issue as the software is named Tetrada, which is very close to Tetris, and given that Tetris is a legal trademark of the Tetris Company, this situation is not merit-less.

I do not believe the Tetris Company has won any copyright cases against clones because you can't copyright gameplay and they did not invent the tetromino, so they shouldn't have any legal claims over their use alone.

Re:Copyright and Innovation (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135818)

There are many, many great shape-dropping games that bring a lot to the world of game design. Columns, Puyo Puyo, Drop7, and the rest. Direct Tetris clones, as a class, typically bring absolutely nothing to the table.

Re:Copyright and Innovation (0)

bit01 (644603) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135862)

Seeing the flurry of comments mocking the submitter of his copying Tetris makes me realize how successful the corporations have been in their propaganda.

It's mainly astroturf [wikipedia.org] and sock puppets [wikipedia.org] . Some marketers are so full of themselves that they think this is okay.

---

Marketing talk is not just cheap, it has negative value. Free speech can be compromised just as much by too much noise as too little signal.

Re:Copyright and Innovation (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136224)

I'm neither of those yet I still think the op was an idiot.
If he'd simply called it something not so similar to tetris he'd have had a good argument but this is pretty much what trademarks are for.

Ah, so Tetris belongs to the world? (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135868)

Then this clown should have released his code for free because he based it on something that apparantly belongs to the public. But oh no, he filled it with DRM and put it up for a sale on a DRM riddled platform.

Don't claim information wants to be free if you are trying to sell your rip-off.

Own? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135542)

The "tetris" company shouldn't own dropping blocks any more than the "quake" company owns shooting stuff with guns.

I peeked at this Tetris Clone he made (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135578)

From what I can tell, I am not surprised at all that Tetris Company is filing a Take Down notice on it.

While the effects seem fairly simple, it's just nothing special too, and from seeing this. I found the game on Youtube
here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z24nDTGezgg

Newbie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135594)

Almost the same name, almost the same game, and almost the same excuses for being idiot.

WP7 (1, Interesting)

stiller (451878) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135600)

Word Perfect 7? WordPress 7? Oh. Windows Phone 7. I'll file that one under irrelevant.

Re:WP7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135736)

Yeah, the real WTF of this story is that someone is developing for the windows phone platform...

dumb americans think it so and believe its so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135666)

Just waw....Im surprised by all the dumb american responses. FYI
"...U.S. Copyright Office state that copyright does not apply to the rules of a game..".
He can copy the game all he want. So STFU.

AS 1 of the crew of the makers of tetripz, we got slammed with the same kind of letter. Just because someone claims something
doesnt make it so. Tetris company couldnt do shit to us!

So get out and make all the tetris clones you want!!! Just dont name it tetris.
Get lost you stupid americans.

Re:dumb americans think it so and believe its so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135712)

"...U.S. Copyright Office state that copyright does not apply to the rules of a game..".

Citation needed...

...so I can know where to find it next time someone tells me they can copyright game rules! Thanks

Re:dumb americans think it so and believe its so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135764)

there ay go, you american twat:

http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl108.pdf

Re:dumb americans think it so and believe its so (1)

meerling (1487879) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135812)

That was something recent they stated last year I believe.
I don't think it applied to game play, just the actual rules.
Also, I keep thinking it was with regards to Hasbro, even though that wouldn't narrow it up much.
Sorry, but it's 2:30 am here, I'm very tired, and too lazy to try and do the searches to find the citations the A.C. wanted, what's his excuse...

Even if (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135686)

Even if he hasn't broken the law, it wasn't creative enough to be different. Suck it up, you got what was coming.

ITT everyone thinks they are a lawyer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135758)

I know there are some actual nerd lawyers who would take this case pro bono, too bad he folded

LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135774)

I bet the poster didn't expect this kind of replies...

Tetris company should pay its own dues first. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135832)

http://vadim.oversigma.com/Tetris.htm [oversigma.com]

read the true story of tetris.

Alexey Pajitnov is the infringer here. he grabbed what three people have created together for himself, without giving them credit, leave aside their proper shares.

average street pimp has more ethics. it doesnt strike me odd that, the legal system is exploited most by aggressive exploiters to attack others, even though they should be the ones in defense.

Take a look at WP7 MP support - You wonder why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135874)

You can almost see the smoke. That's a WP7 Marketplace support person. No kidding. You can't make this stuff up.

http://img14.imageshack.us/i/justinbonseygoogleprofi.png/ [imageshack.us] [imageshack.us]

[URL=http://img14.imageshack.us/i/justinbonseygoogleprofi.png/][IMG]http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/6862/justinbonseygoogleprofi.png[/IMG][/URL]

[URL=http://img14.imageshack.us/i/justinbonseygoogleprofi.png/][IMG=http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/6862/justinbonseygoogleprofi.png][/IMG][/URL]

http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/6862/justinbonseygoogleprofi.png [imageshack.us] [imageshack.us]

What, again? (1)

cjp (624694) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135884)

Didn't we have this story a few months ago?

Regardless of anyone's feelings on this, it doesn't become more newsworthy the more clones you report on.

Re:What, again? (1)

Waldeinburg (737568) | more than 3 years ago | (#35135902)

Didn't we have this story a few months ago?

Yes, but it was a PacMan clone, this is Tetris, it's a totally diff ... no, you're right.

It's easy to be decent... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35135964)

When your ripping off something decent....

Lame.... very lame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35136080)

In Soviet Russia ... they wip you until you are able to think creatively and create a real original game.
Lame.... very lame

Out of curiousity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35136124)

Why has something like Quadrapassel (tetris on Gnome/Ubuntu?) survived?

Personal vs commercial infringement. (4, Insightful)

the_raptor (652941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136150)

Slashdot in general is fairly sympathetic towards individual copyright infringement for personal use. However that does not mean any significant portion of readers is sympathetic to wilful copyright infringement for commercial purposes, especially if you are dumb enough to drag trademark infringement into it as well.

Releasing an open source clone of an old game will get a completely different response then making a commercial clone of an old game.

Nothing new... (1)

Bed42 (1265944) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136160)

This has been going on for over a decade now.. see http://abednarz.net/wp/1999/07/30/ [abednarz.net] and the corresponding Slashdot article from 1999 http://games.slashdot.org/story/99/02/19/0827245/Tetris-Under-Fire [slashdot.org] about my game Bedter (which is still online 12 years after the cease and desist letters were ignored http://abednarz.net/wp/category/software/windows-software/bedter/ [abednarz.net] )

What is this "Windows Phone 7" you speak of? (1)

phonewebcam (446772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136242)

Microsoft are doing phone software now? Well I never. Next you'll be saying they've got a search engine.

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