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Atari C&Ds Emulators, Site About Asteroids

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the screaming-into-the-abyss dept.

Emulation (Games) 155

An anonymous reader writes "Atari Inc. has launched another round of cease-and-desist letters targeted at what remains of its fan community. Having threatened homebrewers for the Atari 2600 and 8-bit systems, as well as emulator authors for mobile platforms like Android, they're now upping the ante by menacing Atari emulator authors on the Dreamcast and sites with Asteroids in the name (though in fairness, that site apparently once hosted a version of the Asteroids game). The working theory is that the company is planning a big push into the mobile market, and is trying to eliminate everything it believes could threaten its latest attempts at reviving the brand name. However, the emulators in question appear to have no copyrighted content from Atari, so it's unclear what exactly Atari believes the infringing material to be."

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Infringing material... (3, Insightful)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 2 years ago | (#37289578)

However, the emulators in question appear to have no copyrighted content from Atari, so it's unclear what exactly Atari believes the infringing material to be

Their trademark.

Re:Infringing material... (2)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#37289640)

That's one thing I guess. Even so I could care less about this. If what's left of atari wants to slice it's own throat that's their business. Stupid is as stupid does and suing the few remaining fans they have ranks right up there. That's bean counters for ya.

Re:Infringing material... (2)

Purity Of Essence (1007601) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290056)

Infogrames has forever tainted the Atari brand to the point that it is almost worthless. They've done more damage than a hundred Tramiels. Their shareholders should be pissed. What an ignominious waste of an incredible legacy.

Re:Infringing material... (2)

tibit (1762298) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290336)

Using a trademark for identification purposes is kosher IIRC.

Re:Infringing material... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37290682)

*I* care because it limits my access to emulators. All they have to do is change the name, to e.g. Colleen800 and then use the subline "The Atari TM* 8-bit Emulator" and in small print *TM trademark owned by Atari.
In the FAQ:
Q. Why the name change?
A. We have been bullied by the current owners of Atari to change the name. The current Atari has very little do to with the Atari at all. We do not endorse their current products in any way, in fact, given the legal hassle we have been through, we completely understand if you decide to boycott the current Atari and tell all your friends about it as well.

Re:Infringing material... (2, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291440)

The fact that the BIOS of a machine made in 1975 can be DMCAed shows us why China and India is gonna kick our ass. Can you believe such insanity? our entire industry is building upon the shoulders of the giants that came before but thanks to Valenti (may he rot in hell) and his endless copyrights combined with DMCA garbage the west is pretty much dead with regards to innovation.

One simply can no longer build on the ideas of the past without a giant minefield of patents and copyrights controlled by absolute douchebags. I should know because I had a nice little idea to bring back the Shareware discs of old. It would have been "DOSBox...in a box" where the old Shareware games could be loaded and played like the old days of pre Win9x. but trying to deal with the douchebags i quickly found that one can't even offer the shareware titles anymore because the pigs that currently hold the rights all want iMoney for them, even if they have NO PRODUCTS being offered or even any hope of porting those titles in the future. We ain't talking Wolf3D here, we are talking about all the funky and weird crap that used to be on those "300 games for $5!" discs.

I found out if I want to say "Fuck America!" I can have the whole thing made in China no problem, but in the USA? the minefiled makes it more expensive than the highest AAA games, all thanks to endless copyrights and douchebaggery. is it any wonder the USA is in the shitter?

Re:Infringing material... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37289670)

So wait .. what? No one can create a game where you fly around shooting stuff regardless of the content? HUH?

Re:Infringing material... (2)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 2 years ago | (#37289722)

They obviously believe that an "Atari emulator" that emulates, as closely as possible, an actual Atari could feasibly be confused with an actual Atari product. And I have to admit, they have a point.

Personally I think emulators should be legal, but I have no idea how a lawyer would argue this in court. Probably some sort of disclaimer stating very clearly that it is not associated with or endorsed by Atari would be enough to cover their legal behinds, but even then I'm sure Atari would try to challenge it.

Re:Infringing material... (5, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 2 years ago | (#37289782)

Personally I think emulators should be legal, but I have no idea how a lawyer would argue this in court

The same way the after-market industry argued for car parts. Saying the oil filter is for a Ford V8 is descriptive, not infringement.

Re:Infringing material... (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291586)

Yeah... but its not a part for an Atari product. Its a thing that can use an Atari product. Its closer to a scenario where you build a replica of a Ford V8 and advertise that it accepts all the same parts as a Ford V8.

Re:Infringing material... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37289784)

So call it Atari-Compatible, or Atari-Clone -- just like the early PCs were all called IBM-Compatible and IBM-Clones.

Re:Infringing material... (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291616)

Ah, now that's a closer comparison. However, IBM was also staring down an anti trust lawsuit from the government.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_IBM#1969:_Antitrust.2C_the_Unbundling_of_software_and_services [wikipedia.org]

So they many not have wanted to squash competition too much, lest the gov get trigger happy AT&T style.

Re:Infringing material... (1)

Lieutenant_Dan (583843) | more than 2 years ago | (#37289828)

I'm not an expert but it could be:
- the logical design of the circuitry is copyrighted?
- an actual dump of a system ROM is used? (I know that was the case for the Intellivision emulator)

Personally, I think they're shooting themselves in the foot. All the folks that have good vibes from the Atari heydays of the 80s are usually the ones using the emulators; they are also the potential customers. A 10-year old kid is not going to stop buying the XBOX360 re-make just because he can play the 8-bit version for free.

There's a decent emulator on the XBOX360 [xbox.com] ; has Arcade, Atari 2600 and Intellivision games on it.

Re:Infringing material... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37290206)

I'm not an expert but it could be:
- the logical design of the circuitry is copyrighted?

The patents have expired on the boards used in the Atari 2600. Not sure about their other platforms, but I believe most have expired or have been released to the public domain (e.g. Jaguar).

- an actual dump of a system ROM is used? (I know that was the case for the Intellivision emulator)

The Atari 2600 has no BIOS, and no system ROM. As for the other systems, the linked thread points out that none of the distributions include a BIOS ROM -- the user has to supply one himself/herself.

Re:Infringing material... (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290208)

circuitry can't be copyrighted

Re:Infringing material... (1)

Kreigaffe (765218) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291622)

Check out Wikipedia's info on the Coleco Gemini.

It's a straight-up off-brand version of the Atari. same games play on it.

It was found legal because it was built using off the shelf equipment.

If THAT is legal, an "atari" emulator has to be legal.

Hell, call it a Coleco Gemini emulator.

Re:Infringing material... (5, Informative)

Purity Of Essence (1007601) | more than 2 years ago | (#37289740)

Except they are spamming DMCA notices -- the C standing for Copyright -- and all of the claims made in the notices are about copyright infringement. I hope someone nails Atari to the wall for this bullshit.

Re:Infringing material... (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290128)

Except they are spamming DMCA notices

I can't verify that at the moment, as the dcemulation site is blocked, but the term "cease-and-desist letters" (used in TFS) doesn't specifically only apply to DMCA takedown notices.

Re:Infringing material... (3, Informative)

Purity Of Essence (1007601) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290226)

Here's a copy of the initial post of the DCemu thread linked in the summary:

I received this cease and desist letter from Atari, are they completely dumb, did you guys get one? Should we be concerned? As far as I know, its still legal to distribute emulators unless some new law passed? and of all the sites, they are referring to my old ass DCEmu archive.

"Atari, Inc.
417 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10016-2204

Tel: 212-726-6500
Fax: 212-726-4214
E-mail: us.legal@atari.com

August 30, 2011

Re: seanbajuice.com

Dear Domain Admin:

I am writing on behalf of Atari, Inc./Atari Interactive, Inc. (“Atari”) to demand that you immediately and permanently cease and desist from the infringing activities described below and comply with the other demands set forth in this letter.

Atari is a global producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment software for all market segments and all interactive game platforms. Atari is the exclusive owner of intellectual property rights, including copyrights and trademarks, in numerous interactive entertainment software products, including those listed below, and vigilantly protects its rights.

Based on available information, Atari has a good faith belief that the url(s):

http://dcemu.seanbajuice.com/dcemu-atari800.htm [seanbajuice.com]
http://dcemu.seanbajuice.com/dcemu-DC7800.htm [seanbajuice.com]
http://dcemu.seanbajuice.com/dcemu-dcs2600.htm [seanbajuice.com]
http://dcemu.seanbajuice.com/dcemu-lynx.htm [seanbajuice.com]
http://dcemu.seanbajuice.com/dcemu-stelladc.htm [seanbajuice.com]

infringes its copyright and other intellectual property right by copying, reproducing and/or offering for distribution, display and/or download (including through links to other sites) unauthorized console emulation software and/or unauthorized copies of game products (software) protected by Atari’s copyright rights. Atari’s copyrighted works that have been infringed include:

Atari 800; Atari 2600; Atari 7800; Atari Lynx

The infringing material or the material that is the subject of infringing activities (collectively referred to as “Infringing Material”) is listed and/or identified by console and game-related titles or variations thereof, console and game-related descriptions, or images of console and game-related artwork.

The Infringing Material is in violation of Atari’s exclusive rights under the United States Copyright Act. It therefore constitutes copyright infringement in violation of 17 U.S.C. 501.

Pursuant to the provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), which is codified at 17 USC 512, Atari demands that you 1) expeditiously remove or disable access to the Infringing Material; and 2) take steps to prevent further infringement of Atari’s intellectual property rights at the above referenced URL(s).

I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted materials described herein is not authorized by Atari, its agent, or the law. The information in this notification is accurate. Under penalty of perjury, I affirm I am authorized to act on behalf of Atari whose exclusive copyright rights I believe to be infringed as described herein.

This notice is not intended to be a complete statement of the facts or law in this matter. Nor is it intended to be a complete statement of Atari's positions, rights or remedies, legal or equitable, all of which are specifically reserved.

If you have any questions, please contact me by phone 212-726-6500 or email at us.legal@atari.com.

Thank you.

Regards,

Kristen Keller,
SVP & General Counsel"

http://pastebin.com/kmkN7zCM [pastebin.com]

Re:Infringing material... (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290332)

Ok, so they are claiming copyright infringement.

They might be infringing, or they might not. It all depends on how the emulator was written, and whether or not they're providing ROM images or linking to other sites that do. Emulators are legal, but as I understand it there are certain limitations to avoid legal issues. E.g. the IBM-compatible BIOS, which was (legally) reverse-engineered from the IBM PC BIOS. The BIOS in classic Macs, by comparison, has never been reverse-engineered (to my knowledge), so in order to run a Mac classic emulator you have to (legally) obtain a copy of the Mac's BIOS ROM (of which the only way to legally get a copy is to buy an old Mac and use a ROM-dumping utility).

IANAL, so for advice tailored to their particular situation they'd need to contact a lawyer who specialized in copyright.

Re:Infringing material... (1)

del_diablo (1747634) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290882)

IANAL
But what makes most sense is to sue Atari for harrasment, and i think there is court procedures that can't be appealed.
No really, send them a note for "you have to go to court" via snailmail, ignore them not showing up, and claim damage.

Atari is a global producer blah blah blah (1)

Anomalyst (742352) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291394)

Sounds like the letter was produced by moronic marketdroids rather than a buncha bozo barristers.

Re:Infringing material... (1)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290154)

Except they are spamming DMCA notices -- the C standing for Copyright -- and all of the claims made in the notices are about copyright infringement. I hope someone nails Atari to the wall for this bullshit.

I haven't heard someone say that since Ms. PacMan.

Re:Infringing material... (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290228)

The one I found [dcemulation.org] isn't a DMCA notice, it's a C&D to the owner of the site, not the ISP. But it pretends to be a DMCA notice.

Re:Infringing material... (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290614)

IANAL, so could you explain why it "pretends to be" but isn't really a DMCA notice?

Re:Infringing material... (1)

Purity Of Essence (1007601) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290684)

His point is, a DMCA takedown notice is sent to an ISP, not a site owner, in order to compel them to remove the content without requiring the cooperation of the allegedly infringing party. The ISP must comply, in exchange for which they are absolved of any liability in hosting the allegedly infringing content. So, he's technically correct, it's not a DMCA takedown notice in the purest sense, but it fits all the requirements of a DMCA takedown notice excepting who the notice was sent to.

Re:Infringing material... (1)

LocalH (28506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290698)

Because it was sent to the site owner directly, and not to the ISP.

Re:Infringing material... (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290262)

To be fair, a few of them do link to Copyrighted ROMs and some give instructions on where/how to obtain copyrighted ROMs. It can be argued that links themselves do not constitute infringement, but they are not always upheld. I have never heard of instructions, being considered infringement. I guess they just wanted to bully people into removing stuff they didnt like.

Re:Infringing material... (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290386)

BTW, IANAL!

Re:Infringing material... (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291338)

but really people do you think that the people that use emulators would buy atari retreads? Or worse do you think they would wouldn't buy a good new version of an Atari game?
This is just a waste. Next they will go after Strella.

Re:Infringing material... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37291212)

As some others have pointed out, this seems to be more about trademarks than copyrights, though, and no one said they were sending out DMCA notices, just C&D, which are used for trademark infringement too.

It doesn't matter if the asteroids site doesn't have any copyright infringement, it's infringing their trademark:

See http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4005:nuopru.2.15 [uspto.gov]

Same for the emulator sites.

Re:Infringing material... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37289746)

Saying "comparable to TradeMark" is perfectly OK and will stand up in court... What gets you in trouble is representing your product as the trademarked name of the other product. That's why many generic drugs say "Compare to Robitussin (or whatever trademark)".

Re:Infringing material... (1)

Rob Kaper (5960) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290180)

If they were smart, they would stop overestimating the value of the Atari trademark. Most mobile gamers are too young to have a positive reaction to the name itself. The rest are probably old and experienced enough to realise their past achievements are not relevant today. Just find a new name. It is actually possible to launch a succesful brand with a name unknown twenty years ago, you know.

Re:Infringing material... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37291328)

Even worse, their recent actions will totally alienate gamers.

The patents are long expired on the 8 bit stuff AND the DCMA and legal precedent provide for preserving out of production works.

Re:Infringing material... (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290376)

'Their trademark.'

Since there's no actual trading going on here, where's the violation?

Re:Infringing material... (4, Informative)

WillyWanker (1502057) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290468)

Bullshit. It's more legalized extortion. They know just the threat of a length and expensive lawsuit is enough to get these small operations to shut down, even when Atari knows damned well they don't have a case. Laws and rights don't mean shit if you can't afford to defend them. Welcome to America.

Re:Infringing material... (1)

LocalH (28506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290482)

Except none of the machine names are currently trademarked (and the one existing "Atari 2600" trademark - not "2600", but "Atari 2600" - is a dead mark).

Re:Infringing material... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37290648)

It's not "their" trademark. Trademarks aren't property. Their purpose is to avoid consumer confusion. If there is no confusion, there is no "infringement." These sites are using "Atari" descriptively, which is allowed.

Re:Infringing material... (1)

mikael (484) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290688)

An Atari 400/800/1200(XL) emulator requires copies of the contents of the ROM chips to run (BASIC, Atari-DOS, ASSEMBLER). But for many third-party games that booted directly from disk, that wouldn't apply.

For the games (consoles, computers) themselves, the ROM codes of many games have been put online. In the past you would need the original hardware and some EPROMS to play the games, but now you can just run the emulator.

Atari did bring out a retro style joystick controller that had about 100+ original 2600 games in memory. Saw them at the post office for about £10.

Re:Infringing material... (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290984)

Their trademark

Exactly. If they don't protect the name "Atari" from being used by these sites, there's a chance that someone under the age of 30 might actually learn what "Atari" is.

Uhh, the games? (0)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | more than 2 years ago | (#37289584)

Sure it's a technicality, as the ROMs aren't art of the emulator, but it's obvious they don't want people playing Atari games, because they probably intend to release thm on the App store.

But hey, don't let common sense get in the way.

Re:Uhh, the games? (1)

TheBlueCrab (801925) | more than 2 years ago | (#37289710)

So they should go after the sites that host ROMs and such. Emulators are legal, regardless of how people may use them to do illegal things. Courts have stated this in many cases in the past. As long as the emulator authors don't go so far as telling people where to get ROMs and the like, I don't see how Atari would have a leg to stand on.

Re:Uhh, the games? (1)

Endovior (2450520) | more than 2 years ago | (#37289926)

So they should go after the sites that host ROMs and such. Emulators are legal, regardless of how people may use them to do illegal things. Courts have stated this in many cases in the past. As long as the emulator authors don't go so far as telling people where to get ROMs and the like, I don't see how Atari would have a leg to stand on.

This is true... but the fact remains that the average person is notoriously vulnerable to frivolous lawsuits. Most people don't want to go to court, even if they'd win, because the amount of money a big corporation can throw into harassing and delaying them in legal ways is very large. Even if you're totally in the right, what's easier... fighting a lengthy legal battle over your right to continue pursuing some hobby you're up to, spending large amounts of your own money in the process? Or simply conceding the point and walking away, losing neither time nor money? That's the philosophy behind why corporations pursue lawsuits that they wouldn't have a chance to win in actual court; the mere threat of going to court is more then enough to convince most people to simply not bother.

Re:Uhh, the games? (1)

spazdor (902907) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290716)

This is why it needs to be easier to countersue for your legal expenses and time.

Re:Uhh, the games? (2)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290362)

They're not legal if they're using Atari trademarks or linking to Atari ROMs, such as BIOS images.

Re:Uhh, the games? (2)

LocalH (28506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290512)

The emulator authors are doing neither (unless you can find a trademark for a targeted machine outside of the dead "Atari 2600" mark). The 2600, which is a targeted machine, never had a BIOS. Try again.

Re:Uhh, the games? (1)

crankyspice (63953) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290662)

Emulators are legal, regardless of how people may use them to do illegal things. Courts have stated this in many cases in the past.

Got any cites for that? AFAIK there has never been a definitive ruling on the matter; Bleem! ran out of money before they got that far. Haven't researched it though.

Re:Uhh, the games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37290772)

bleem came with the copyrighted ps bios.

Re:Uhh, the games? (2)

DJHeRobotExVV (2402664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290818)

Your honor, the defense cites Sony v. Connectix: http://digital-law-online.info/cases/53PQ2D1705.htm [digital-law-online.info]

Although the case in question pertains to whether or not Connectix as a whole were engaging in copyright infringement by way of having "intermediate copies" of the BIOS for the original Sony Playstation, I would submit that the following statement in Judge Canby's ruling on the case is pretty definitive regarding both the legality of emulators as well as the subject matter (trademarks) with regard to which Atari are sending out C&Ds, though it has not been tried in and of itself:

"The intermediate copies made and used by Connectix during the course of its reverse engineering of the Sony BIOS were protected fair use, necessary to permit Connectix to make its non-infringing Virtual Game Station function with PlayStation games. Any other intermediate copies made by Connectix do not support injunctive relief, even if those copies were infringing. The district court also found that Sony is likely to prevail on its claim that Connectix’s sale of the Virtual Game Station program tarnishes the Sony PlayStation mark under 15 U.S.C. Section 1125. We reverse that ruling as well." [emphasis mine]

Re:Uhh, the games? (2)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290068)

... it's obvious they don't want people playing Atari games ...

Well, I for one am happy to oblige.

Re:Uhh, the games? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290308)

You should take your own advice.

Lame copies are not a replacement for the real thing. This is the basic flaw in all of this nonsense and nonsense like it.

It makes absolutely no sense to attack the enthusiasts that have been keeping your brand alive for years. If you want to "cash in", then license the use of the original ROMs. You could even improve the emulation experience on the platforms you want better visibility on.

Re:Uhh, the games? (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290714)

And at their price, I would still just go to a yard sale and buy them for 50 cents. Although if they offered the ROM's for $1 each, I'd save myself the trouble.

HAHAHAHAHA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37289606)

Who on Earth would play old 120x80 games on their kiss my new metal shining 800x480/920x640? Duh...?

Re:HAHAHAHAHA (3, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#37289660)

Lots of people would. For a laugh or nostalgia. Would they pay for the privilege? I doubt it.

Re:HAHAHAHAHA (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290434)

Most of those games are much more fun than most modern chest high wall dirt simulators. Dont get me wrong, I LOVED first person shooters and 3D games ... in 1990 when it was still new and interesting.

First pst (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37289666)

I'm postig this frommy 2600 with a homebuil tcp stack. It is fast but does drop some pakcets now and again.

Resurrection failures (5, Insightful)

diodeus (96408) | more than 2 years ago | (#37289750)

8-bit Atari is to Atari is like Duke Nukem is to Duke Nukem Forever.

Re:Resurrection failures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37291568)

you mean way better ...... even if its decades older.

No. (1)

neostorm (462848) | more than 2 years ago | (#37289770)

Sorry Atari, you're not even the same entity you think you used to be. This is like me taking on the name of some deceased man, and trying to claim his property and namesake in retrospect.

Re:No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37289866)

Good idea! I'll be Michael Jackson. I'll also get to molest children without getting in trouble. I'm already white but I'll need to have treatments to turn albino.

Really Atari? (2)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 2 years ago | (#37289814)

Going after 2600 emulators for Dreamcast?

Going after emulators for Android is like the RIAA going after bit torrents. Going after emulators for Dreamcast is like the RIAA going after bootleg Edison cylinders.

(Not that I don't have emulators for the 2600 and NES for my Dreamcast--I do--but still. The phrase "bigger fish to fry" comes to mind.)

Re:Really Atari? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37289918)

Going after emulators for Android is like the RIAA going after bit torrents. Going after emulators for Dreamcast is like the RIAA going after bootleg Edison cylinders.

Well, someday I might not have a platform capable of running a 2600 emulator, but I should at least be able get the Dreamcast emulator running in DosBox under a Win7 VM that's hosted on a 16-core Win10 box. (Yo Dawg, I heard it's emulators all the way down!)

Re:Really Atari? (1)

DanTheManMS (1039636) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290110)

Forgive the e-peen waving here, but I've actually emulated a GBA emulating a GBC emulating an NES before (only worked with like 5 specific NES games but still). You could easily take it a few more chains up if you really tried. I know there is a proof-of-concept GBA emulator for the DS, and a DS emulator for the Wii, and a Wii emulator for the computer, but I don't know at which point this particular sequence would break.

Re:Really Atari? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37291438)

Does it have anything to do with genericized trademark laws? Either for the trademark itself, or for the difficulty of going after emus on modern systems if you don't go after the ones on old systems? IANAL; this process might make sense within the convoluted system that is US Law.

As for "bigger fish to fry", you can often do better in court against big fish if you successfully fry a lot of small defenseless fish first.

It's not like they'll lose marketable goodwill. Overall, people haven't stopped buying Big Music in revulsion to the RIAA, or stopped buying Sony's crap over the rootkit et al.

And the C&D can simply be to prepare the marketing ground by ensuring that the Search Engine results will only be pointing to Atari's re-release.

Wait .. Atari's still around? (1)

n5vb (587569) | more than 2 years ago | (#37289864)

Who knew?

*goes back to sleep*

Re:Wait .. Atari's still around? (2)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 2 years ago | (#37289900)

In name only. I believe the company that bought the name was known as Infogrames, but acquired the Atari trademark and game library sometime in the early naughties.

Back in the 90's I worked as an artist on a game for the original Atari in Milpitas, they folded over a decade ago.

Re:Wait .. Atari's still around? (0)

Carrot007 (37198) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290014)

> Back in the 90's I worked as an artist on a game for the original Atari in Milpitas, they folded over a decade ago.

Well you pass on the maths.

However the original Atari are surely Atari Inc. They ceased to be in 1984.

Re:Wait .. Atari's still around? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290494)

correct, if anyone was working for atari in the 90's they were just in denial, Pretty sure Time Warner still owned them directly into the ground up till the jag and then traded off to infogames probably as a joke. Which I honestly cant say who makes a shittier game tween those three.

After that its hard to tell, Atari is like a crack whore, hitting up each company for the opportunity to score another hit.

Re:Wait .. Atari's still around? (2)

Purity Of Essence (1007601) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291246)

Atari passed through several hands between Time-Warner and Inforgrames. Before Warner, it was owned by it's founders (Nolan Bushnell, et al). After the North American video game crash, the Tramiels (Commodore's founders) purchased Atari's debt from Time-Warner in the mid-80s for next to nothing. After a reasonable run of actually producing compelling product (Atari ST/TT/Falcon line and the over-hyped and critically bugged Jaguar), they sold it to a disk drive manufacturer in the 90s, who in turn sold it to Hasbro and/or Mattel a few years later, and it eventually wound its way into the hands of Infogrames who ditched their worthless name, took on the Atari moniker, and have been trying their damnedest to ruin it ever since.

Re:Wait .. Atari's still around? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291362)

oh yea, totally forgot about Hasbro, I think I still have some Atari foil stickers with a mattel logo in the corner

I got a copy of the C&D... (1)

BumpyCarrot (775949) | more than 2 years ago | (#37289898)

It read "Delete yourself! [wikipedia.org] (You got no chance to win!)"

VirtualDub's author (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37289920)

They may go after him.
Altirra, an 8-bit Atari computer emulator [virtualdub.org]

Movie (1)

Translation Error (1176675) | more than 2 years ago | (#37289970)

Maybe this recent push has to do with the upcoming Asteroids movie [avclub.com] that was announced a while back.

Re:Movie (1)

Anomalyst (742352) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291348)

Maybe this recent push has to do with the upcoming Asteroids movie that was announced a while back.

DO NOT WANT.

Ummm... Excuse me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37290052)

"The working theory is that the company is planning a big push into the mobile market, and is trying to eliminate everything it believes could threaten its latest attempts at reviving the brand name."

I hate to tell Atari this because they were so cool in their heyday and all... but their brand name is dead as a doornail now. And running around suing everybody they see won't resuscitate them.

wait what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37290156)

wait a second here, wasn't the fact that Atari never claimed copyrights on there games, the fact that when a company made third party games and they lost a lawsuit on that made them go bankrupt in the firstplace?

Re:wait what? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290976)

I am pretty sure they had copyright on their games, but the main thing is any dink with a rom burner and a afternoon can make their own cart's. This produced a flood of just shat games and rocked consumers confidence, "why pay 60+ bucks just to find out its a shitty broken clone, I am not buying any more of this garbage" much like the PSP

Add on top of that and the fact that everyone and their brother was making a game system with similar problems and the consumers no matter what lost, so they stopped buying all together.

Ok, maybe they have something new up coming out (2)

IWantMoreSpamPlease (571972) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290178)

I grew up on Atari games, maybe they are planning a push into the mobile market. That'd be cool. But suing everyone who still remembers your name is not a good way to generate good will.

Re:suing everyone (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290638)

I know this one!!

There's this Triangular Lawyer, flying around, suing at anyone and anything that uses the Atari name! The small targets are single businesses - the larger ones are small companies and clubs, which, when sued, split up and take the emulators and pass them around!

Dear Atari, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37290306)

If you would like to stay relevant in the modern age, instead of becoming a line item in the analogues of gaming tech. history, you will desist with stupid shit like this. Please wrangle in your legal department or dismiss whichever ass-hat board member thought this was a good idea to begin with. You're doing nothing but pissing off people that would otherwise support you if you actually produced a modern relevant product.

Sincerely,

The INTERNET

Re:Dear Atari, (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290390)

How dare a company protect its trademarks and copyrighted property, such as BIOS ROMs. The nerve! This is the internet--if you have the capability of pirating something, that suddenly makes it okay.

Re:Dear Atari, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37290418)

Except the emulators in question do not have any BIOS ROMs included (and the 2600 never had a BIOS to begin with). Try again.

Re:Dear Atari, (1)

mikael (484) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290764)

Given the bit sizes of the roms (8K), you could probably figure out a mathematical expression that would generate the identical bits ie.

a0 **b0 + a1 **b1 .. + an ** bn

Might take some time to find a combination... but it would be an impressive compression algorithm.

Re:Dear Atari, (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290902)

Most of the recipients are not copying BIOS ROMs, um cause there isnt any in a 2600 you dink

Re:Dear Atari, (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291248)

Yes, but I bet most of those sites link to sites that host the game ROMs and other atari systems did have BIOS's even if the 2600 didn't.

And as far as I know, the "names" of the systems and games are still trademarked. And while some are saying "This isn't the real Atari, they haven't done anything", they most certainly have. Ever hear of Atari Anthology? They've also got an iOS collection out. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ataris-greatest-hits/id422966028?mt=8 [apple.com]

Re:Dear Atari, (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291346)

then they need to go after those sites hosting the illegal material, nothing catches crooks faster than to give them a heads up

and no this Atari has not done anything, the Atari Anthology? you mean the one released 2004ish by Digital Eclipse? yea that's totally Infogrames and that iEmulator is free to download so they are obviously needing to sue

Atari is dead before birth (1)

tekrat (242117) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290340)

Do these retards understand that in a couple of years, your iphone is going to have the 3D capability of a PS2? Who's going to play "asteroids" as an iPhone app when Sega will be releasing Shenmu as an app?

They are assuming nostalgia value, but seriously, the larger market for the smartphones is 20-somethings who have NO memory of 8-bit Atari games. To them nostalgia is Pokemon and Power Rangers, and the games they played were SNES Starfox or better.

Re:Atari is dead before birth (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290422)

It doesn't matter what you think of their business decisions or their target markets (Atari was before my time, but I'd still play a retro Asteroids). That doesn't mean they don't have the right.

Re:Atari is dead before birth (1)

LocalH (28506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290462)

They don't have the right to go after these emulators, though - they don't infringe "Atari's" copyrights at all. None of them include BIOS images, and the 2600 never had a BIOS to begin with. Also AFAIK all patents are expired on the targeted machines, especially in the case of the 2600. The machine names (2600, 7800, etc) are also not trademarked ("Atari 2600" used to be trademarked, but is a dead mark now).

Fuck "Atari".

Re:Atari is dead before birth (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291536)

As far as I can tell, they're not going after the emulators themselves, but the sites that host them...that also often link to ROM hosting sites, or sneakily tell you where to go to get them. AtariAge has direct links to ROMS!

Also the "names" are trademarked. So those sites had better be using the ATARI® and 2600â as appropriate.

Re:Atari is dead before birth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37290488)

Pretty sure you're *behind* on that. A number of cell phones on the market already have better than the 3D capability of a PS2, and they even do it at higher resolutions than the PS2 did.

Re:Atari is dead before birth (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291084)

Disclaimer; this reply is not an endorsement of Atari being dicks.

Who's going to play "asteroids" as an iPhone app when Sega will be releasing Shenmu as an app?

I would- Asteroids is a great game. (Let's ignore that it might suck without physical buttons- that's clearly not the point you were making). Without looking it up on Wikipedia, I genuinely don't know (nor care) what Shenmu is, beyond being a game. I don't claim to be typical, nor a part of the most lucrative market. I say this to show that your personal view (*gasp*) doesn't represent every person on the planet, despite the fact you think it does.

They are assuming nostalgia value, but seriously, the larger market for the smartphones is 20-somethings who have NO memory of 8-bit Atari games.

So what? Even if your assertion is correct, that argument has two fundamental flaws.

Firstly, let's assume that you're correct and that twentysomethings are the largest group of smartphone users. This doesn't mean that there isn't a significant or worthwhile market outside that range, only that it isn't *as* large.

Secondly, Atari's strength in branding, IP and cultural significance relates very strongly to the late-1970s and early-1980s. Atari was well past its peak and heading for extinction (*) by the 1990s, and- despite the underrated Lynx's cult following- they would be absolutely stupid to focus in that period for nostalgia purposes, because, as you say yourself:-

To [today's twentysomethings] nostalgia is Pokemon and Power Rangers, and the games they played were SNES Starfox or better.

Again, so what? Atari has little nostalgic value relating to that time period- that's not their strength- and they can't go back in time and change that. It makes more sense to go with what they've got. They'd be better being a very strong player in a slightly smaller market than going for the 90s/twentysomething market and trying vainly to get them to remember the likes of Checkered Flag for the Atari Jaguar [wikipedia.org] .

Your logic is akin to saying that *if* the best long-distance runners earn decent money, but American Football players have the potential to earn a lot more, then a good runner should give up his sport and become a rugby player instead.... Even if he's the archetypal skinny-built Ethiopian type that seems to dominate running (i.e. good build for running, very poor for rugby) and always dropped the ball when he played rugby at school!

Do these retards understand that in a couple of years, your iphone is going to have the 3D capability of a PS2?

For someone calling others "retards", your own intelligence seems to be sadly lacking if you don't realise that the present-day appeal of such games does *not* rely on their being cutting edge any more, nor that the same argument could be applied to the SNES nostalgia of your coveted twentysomething demographic.

Go to hell Atari (0)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290384)

Your embarrassing rotting zombie corpse was a nuisance 20 years ago, its time someone just shot you in the head. Besides this is not bushnell and crew doing this. its whatever douchbag who got stuck with the atari properties this year as a gag gift.

good idea! (1)

nege (263655) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290566)

Good point. I haven't played asteroids in a while. Time to fire up the ol emulator.

Not surprised. Nolan Bushnell is back. (1)

datajerk (63203) | more than 2 years ago | (#37290840)

Nolan Bushnell (co-founder) of Atari back-in-the-day is back and in charge. Given the success of their 3 million downloads on iTunes (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ataris-greatest-hits/id422966028?mt=8) they see $$$ potential.

I hope the 2600 hardware and home-brew community survives.

Given the spanking that Nintendo is taking due to mobile gaming, watch out SNES and NES emulators.

Emulated C&D (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37290938)

I read that as Atari had made an emulator for the cease and desist process.
That could be a new break out genre.

Atari User calls it Deep Impact Event (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37290970)

Atari User have an article on this at http://atariuser.blogspot.com . Seems the C&D frenzy continues.

Not really Atari (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291244)

Its some holding company who bought the rights. What most of us would consider Atari has been gone for a long time now.

Why asteroids? (1)

kirkb (158552) | more than 2 years ago | (#37291434)

It's because some jerk-ass lawyer is working through Atari's trademark catalog alphabetically. Next...Breakout?

Let's all go infringe against Yar's Revenge. We'll be safe for years!

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