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IDSA Forces Arcade Game Manual Archive Offline

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the legal-scrooge dept.

Games 215

AtariKee writes "The IDSA and the DMCA has struck again, this time forcing the maintainer of Stormaster.com, a coin-operated video game manual and tech information archive, to shut down. Stormaster has been an invaluable resource for collectors of classic coin-operated video games for years, and this loss further demonstrates the idiocy that is the DMCA. I can understand ROM images to some extent, but 25 year old coin-op operator/tech manuals? The full text of the IDSA's letter can be read on Stormaster's site." Previous Slashdot posts about IDSA (Interactive Digital Software Association) show that this is typical of the organization.

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read carefully (3, Insightful)

ummit (248909) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268649)

...forcing the maintainer of Stormaster.com to shut down... I can understand ROM images to some extent, but 25 year old coin-op operator/tech manuals?

Well, I notice that the IDSA letter does not demand that those 25 year old manuals be taken down, or that the site be shut down -- the letter refers only to a list of 7 "game products" (which are presumably ROM images).

Re:read carefully (3, Interesting)

tha_mink (518151) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268678)

*you* should heed your own advice.

Well, I notice that the IDSA letter does not demand that those 25 year old manuals be taken down, or that the site be shut down -- the letter refers only to a list of 7 "game products" (which are presumably ROM images).

Sounds to me like you should have read the next paragraph.

The unauthorized copies of such game product[s] appearing on, or made available through, such site are listed and/or identified on such Internet site by their titles, variations thereof or depictions of associated artwork (any such game titles, copies, listings and/or other depictions of, or references to, any contents of such game product, are hereinafter referred to as "Infringing Material").

Re:read carefully (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6268682)

When I masturbate... I think of you, Steve.

Re:read carefully (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6268698)

Copyright stormtrooper organizations love to use robots to search the web for copyright infringemnets, then threaten website holders whether or not they have actually done anything wrong. Remember the incident where the BSA demanded an OpenOffice mirror shut down? Or the time when RIAA demanded an academic website be shut down because some file names set off the robots keyword algorithms (there were no copyright infringements, just a coincidence in keywords and the use of a .mp3 suffix in a filename).

What has likely happened here is another stupid webcrawling robot went through, found several keywords including Tron, DigDug, etc., assumed that it was copyright infringement. and then sent an automated letter threatening a lawsuit. Probably this has happened to this poor guy way too much and he is tired of it.

The ph34rb33r webcomic is lame and must be trolled (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6268652)

oOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoO TROLLS UNITE oOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoO

We must rape the forums [ph34rb33r.com] on the ph34rb33r website [ph34rb33r.com] , in order to deride them, and insult their lame excuse for a 'webcomic'. There are minimal forum rules in place to stop trolls over there, such as a 20 second delay until another post can be done. Obviously, this allows you to refresh the page once the 20 seconds is up, and then resend the data, so that it will be reposted. The forum in question also has image posting capabilities, allowing you to use the explicit material contained upon rotten.com [rotten.com] and goatse.cx [goatse.cx] . In addition to all this lack of troll-protection, the forum actually allows anonymous postings! Members of TrollKore have already trolled their forums multiple times, with crapfloods and the posting of sexual imagery. The posts were deleted after around an hour, but I believe that we have put a small dint in their weak ego. Ah, did I say 'their'? I meant 'his', since he is the only one that runs the webcomic, and has no friends.

A sample of the offending content is here [ph34rb33r.com] . Please note how the webcomic is fucking lame and unfunny, and its very existence needing to be eradicated from the Internet. Also note how the comic looks as if it was drawn by a small child (and probably was). THE INTERNET IS NO PLACE FOR A SMALL CHILD, LET ME TELL YOU, GOOD SIR! At present, this is more important than meer Slashdot, fellow trolls. You now troll for FREEDOM, FREEDOM FROM AN INTERNET WITHOUT LAMENESS FROM SUCH TWATS.

I ask you this... if the forum could be down by tomorrow, isn't that worth trolling for? ISN'T THAT WORTH CRAPFLOODING FOR?!?

I plead to you, fellow troll, this fucking LOSER has to be revealed for the motherfucker he really is.

Thank you.
TrollKore out.

oOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoO TROLLS UNITE oOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoO

-PENIS--PENIS--PENIS--PENIS-
P________________8',-',";,.P
E_______________#'',-',";,.E
N______________8(',-',";,..N
I_____________#(',-',";,.,.I
S__________#8#8_',-',";,.,.S
-_________#',-.8',-',";,.,.-
P________8~',-..#',-',";,..P
E_______#'',-',";8_',-',";.E
N_____8=',-',";.+#+',-',";.N
I____#=',-',";,._8',-',";,.I
S___#=',-',";,..(#',-',";.8S
-__8(',-',YOUR,.(8',-',";s#-
P_8(',-',MOTHER";#',-',-s8_P
E_#z',-',LOVES,";8',-..s#__E
N_8_.,#',"YOU',";~#,..88___N
I_#.##',-DEARLY,";~8,8#____I
S_8##',-+~'',-',-~#'8______S
-_#.,..-',-',";.'=8#_______-
P_.8+_',-',";,.'88_________P
E___888',-',";~8___________E
N______8#888#88____________N
I__________________________I
S____.oO TrollKore Oo._____S
-_At the head of the game._-
P__________________________P
E___irc.freedomirc.net_____E
N_______#trollkore_________N
I__________________________I
S__________________________S
-PENIS--PENIS--PENIS--PENIS-

pot meet kettle, kettle meet pot (-1, Offtopic)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268668)

Please note how the webcomic is fucking lame and unfunny

Re:pot meet kettle, kettle meet pot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6268676)

No offense, but it BLANTANTLY is.

Or are you fucking blind/mentally retarded?

Re:pot meet kettle, kettle meet pot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6268694)

Ah, sorry, you were agreeing with him.

Yes it is.

Anybody notice this: (5, Insightful)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268657)

At the bottom of the page/letter:

"
Note: The information transmitted in this Notice is intended only for the
person or entity to which it is addressed and may contain confidential and/or
privileged material. Any review, reproduction, retransmission, dissemination
or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon, this information by
persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited. If you
received this in error, please contact the sender and delete the material from
all computers."

Isn't posting it on the internet the same as retransmitting or disseminating?

Re:Anybody notice this: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6268673)

If you would have googled you might have known such notices have no legal value (they are unenforcable because of the fact that using e-mail means that it might be saved temporarily at many places)

Offtopic, but interesting- mods will be the judge (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6268731)

I'd like to see some specific references to this. Clearly, sites like InternalMemos.com [internalmemos.com] have no problem reproducing and disseminating internal correspondence within a private company. I wonder whether copyright law prohibits public postings of private emails. On one hand I'd say no, because we've all seen memos, cease and desist letters, and leaked emails posted tons of places. But what if an email should contain something like a poem? Wouldn't that be protected by copyright law? Wouldn't the letter in itself, as a unique form of expression, be protected? Is there a difference in copyright ownership between a letter sent by a lawyer vs. an internal memo at a privately owned company vs. a letter sent by me to grandma?

Just curious.

Yes, it's probibited (2, Interesting)

localroger (258128) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268965)

But Pud never let a little thing like that deter him. It's a civil tort so it's only as illegal as the sender's willingness to sue you. I suspect FuckedCompany is counting on the companies involved to not want to stir up a shitstorm with him.

Re:Anybody notice this: (4, Informative)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268684)

Isn't posting it on the internet the same as retransmitting or disseminating?

No. The bit at the bottom applies to anyone who is NOT the intended recipient who might get the letter. If you drop some of the excess verbiage, it reads:

"Any dissemination by persons other than the intended recipient is prohibited."

Re:Anybody notice this: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6268899)

Ha! As if that bullshit footer had any legal backing whatsoever.

Re:Anybody notice this: (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6268737)

The disclaimer only goes to show that one Robert L. Hunter, IV working for Interactive Digital Software Association happens to come from a long line of asshats.

Not really a problem. (4, Informative)

OwnerOfWhinyCat (654476) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268758)

If you read closely the prohibitions apply to persons or entities other than the intended recipient. I believe the idea here is that the intended recipient is obligated to be truthful (at lawyer-point), but if his ISP sees the letter going by in the "suspicious mail" folder and does a routine SPAM reveiw on it, the ISP cannot then publish what he found.

In fact to state that the intended recipient is not allowed to have the letter "reviewed" by a lawyer would be contrary to their purpose of using expensive lawyers to handle what should be done by decent thinking people.

As a previous poster noted though, the letter does not include specific references to the manuals for those games, and it wasn't and endless list of games.

If I had to take a wild stab at it I'd wager the site-owner is just frustrated by running a non-profit site that isn't doing any actual damage to anyones business and getting kicked in the teeth for it by lawyers anxious to justify their billable hours.

"Look! We stopped another person from freely sharing information that will never be of use to anyone! That'll be $1200 dollars please."

Wrong, a very big problem (2, Informative)

localroger (258128) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268916)

The notice at the bottom is indeed intended for StorMaster, the intended recipient. This applies to all letters you receive from anybody, including e-mails; in the case of the letter you own the physical media (the paper) but you do NOT own the content and you do NOT have the right to publish it without the sender's permission.

This is an area of copyright law which may not be intuitive, but it is well established. Republishing e-mail you receive without the permission of the sender is illegal. In this case there is no doubt about the situation; permission is expressly denied in the letter itself.

Re:Anybody notice this: (1)

T40 Dude (668317) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268853)

Isn't posting it on the internet the same as retransmitting or disseminating? NOT if it's /.

Re:Anybody notice this: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6268884)

Ah, but you realize that when WE view it, we are creating a copy ourselves in RAM in order to view it. I was not the intended recipient when I made a copy for my viewing, now was I?

The point is: Whoever posted it has no legal trouble, but we might.

The best part... (-1, Interesting)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268660)

He violated the EULA on the letter (which I assume is copyrighted) by posting it to his website... the relevant part is:

Note: The information transmitted in this Notice is intended only for the
person or entity to which it is addressed and may contain confidential and/or
privileged material. Any review, reproduction, retransmission, dissemination
or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon, this information by
persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited.

Perhaps they will send him another cease and desist letter to get the numbers they report to their clients up?

Big fat dirty lawyer bonus check approaching! Ye haw!

Re:The best part... (4, Insightful)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268706)

Read it carefully:

"Any reproduction... by persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited."

He's the "intended recipient", so he can do ANY of the actions listed. Get a clue. Learn to read.

Re:The best part... (1, Informative)

parkanoid (573952) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268812)

You're snipping out the context:
Any review, reproduction, retransmission, dissemination or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon, this information by persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited.

(emphasis mine)
I believe posting it on a publically-accessible website qualifies as making it availible for review by "by persons or entities other than the intended recipient".

Re:The best part... (1)

deadsaijinx* (637410) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268846)

you broke it by reviewing it, not him. He can reproduce it all he wants and distribute it as he sees fit. And you not being able to review it wouldn't hold up in the court of law any way.

Re:The best part... (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 11 years ago | (#6269039)

Read it carefully again:

"Any reproduction..."

The web server under his control is making copies, but your PC and ISP are violating this, because: the ISP may cache it for you, making a copy, your PC will RAM cache it, making a fast access copy, and, your PC (especially if it has IE) will make a disk copy of it. If it's IE, it'll be hard to find, too.

Re:The best part... (1)

baltimoretim (631366) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268792)

He didn't break the EULA. You did!

"Any reproduction... by persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited."

looking at the letter... (3, Funny)

parliboy (233658) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268666)

Wow, I didn't know Tron 2.0 was in the arcade!

Re:looking at the letter... (2, Interesting)

sllim (95682) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268746)

I wonder if this is the real problem.
I think Tron 2.0 is the name of the new movie coming out, and probably the name of the crappy video game tie in as well.

You think he grabbed some images of the game and posted them to his website?

I wonder if he hadn't done that if they would have left him alone.

Hmmmm....

Re:looking at the letter... (1)

jasonbw (326067) | more than 11 years ago | (#6269015)

The game tron 2.0 is due in august. The rumor is that the sequel will be made if the game does well enough.

Looks fake to me (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6268680)

Looks fake to me, look at the address it was sent from:

dmca@idsa.com

Who would use that address?

Also look at this:

"Note: The information transmitted in this Notice is intended only for the
person or entity to which it is addressed and may contain confidential and/or
privileged material. Any review, reproduction, retransmission, dissemination
or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon, this information by
persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited. If you
received this in error, please contact the sender and delete the material from
all computers."

If he was really tired of "dealing
with DMCA lawyers," would he have posted that letter then?

Seems fake, like a bootleg April fools joke.

KTHXBAI

Doesn't look fake to me. (2)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268727)

Looks fake to me, look at the address it was sent from:

dmca@idsa.com

Who would use that address?


Probably IDSA's DMCA lawyers [google.com] .

- A.P.

Re:Looks fake to me (4, Offtopic)

ewhac (5844) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268745)

Note: The information transmitted in this Notice is intended only for the person or entity to which it is addressed and may contain confidential and/or privileged material. Any review, reproduction, retransmission, dissemination or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon, this information by persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited. [ ... ]

Prohibited by what?

The recipient received this notice unsolicited. There was no prior agreement in place that the recipient would maintain the contents of the notice in confidence. Therefore, barring national security interests, I can't see any reason why the recipient shouldn't be free to do anything they want with the notice, including expose the sender to public ridicule and derision.

It's meaningless boilerplate.

Schwab

Re:Looks fake to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6268883)

Key words there are "by persons or entities other than the intended recipient". So they are free to do anything they want with it.

Clever Idea (3, Insightful)

Esion Modnar (632431) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268840)

Let's say that your site needs a boost in traffic. Just cook up a fake letter from some non-existent lawyer, saying cease-and-desist, then leak said letter to /. to get the effect we all know and love.

BAM! Your ISP staggers for half a day or so, but you'll probably enjoy residual traffic as a result of the exposure...

Not saying that's the case here, but what if...

Perhaps this has happened already?

Re:Clever Idea (1)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268964)

Let's say that your site needs a boost in traffic. Just cook up a fake letter from some non-existent lawyer, saying cease-and-desist, then leak said letter to /. to get the effect we all know and love. BAM! Your ISP staggers for half a day or so, but you'll probably enjoy residual traffic as a result of the exposure...

Not saying that's the case here, but what if...

Perhaps this has happened already?

Probably not the case here (since the site is down with no signs of ever returning), but I'd bet that a good 15% of the stuff submitted is feeble attempts to drum up traffic. Unfortunately, these sometimes reach the front page...often more than once [cough]dupes[cough...

They're only making it harder upon themselves.. (-1, Offtopic)

stevey (64018) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268681)

Sure they've taken the site and the ROM's down .. but look at this:

Note: The information transmitted in this Notice is intended only for the person or entity to which it is addressed and may contain confidential and/or privileged material. Any review, reproduction, retransmission, dissemination or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon, this information by persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited. If you received this in error, please contact the sender and delete the material from all computers.

They've posted a confidential email to the world - they're gonna get sued bigtime now!

(OT: But didn't we used to be able to use <pre> tags?)

Fax them and tell them what you think (2, Informative)

daveaitel (598781) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268687)

I believe this is their number... Attention: Piracy Enforcement Ãââoe DMCA Officer Telephone: 202-223-2400 Fax: 202-223-2401 E-mail: dmca@idsa.com

For PC game manuals (4, Informative)

jmaatta (550428) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268688)

The Underdogs [the-underdogs.org] has manuals of many old (but better than most of the newer ones) PC games available for downloading. You can also have the games for some of the manuals, but don't tell anyone.

Re:For PC game manuals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6268726)

You told everyone reading slashdot. Way to go, Skippy.

Re:For PC game manuals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6268738)

Hey, they don't distribute any IDSA members' games.

Tell Everyone (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268803)

Underdogs only posts stuff that they have permission to post. Not all the game publishers are hoarding every bit of IP they can.

Don't forget to donate a few bucks to keep the site up!

25 year old (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6268691)

Uh, last time I checked, copyrights lasted longer than that [unc.edu] . How is this wholly the DMCA's fault?

Okay, what's up with that last clause? (1)

thdexter (239625) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268693)

Note: The information transmitted in this Notice is intended only for the person or entity to which it is addressed and may contain confidential and/or privileged material. Any review, reproduction, retransmission, dissemination or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon, this information by persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited. If you received this in error, please contact the sender and delete the material from all computers.

So I guess we're breaking the DMCA by reading this... :P. Anyway, is that a valid clause? IANAL but you can't tell me something in confidentiality and strip me of my right to repeat it unless I've signed an NDA or some such thing.

Re:Okay, what's up with that last clause? (1)

ArsonPerBuilding (319673) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268900)

If your are not the intended recipient, then you can't do anything with this letter. If you are the intended recipient, than you can do anything, take out a full page ad in the New York Times and publish it...read it very carefully.

It's not even the DMCA (0, Redundant)

localroger (258128) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268937)

This has been well-established case law since the 19th century. You cannot publish the contents of mail you receive without permission, and this paragraph is explicitly denying permission.

The bit about "other than the intended recipient" is not giving the intended recipient permission to do whatever he wants; quite the opposite, it is notifying anyone he might hand the letter to or who might get a look at it inadvertently that they don't have permission to publish it, either.

Re:It's not even the DMCA (1)

thdexter (239625) | more than 11 years ago | (#6269044)

Re-reading it, per the request of another replier, I found I was mistaken and it's saying that if I were to go into his home and read his emails, I can't publish them. Which is well and good. But I think you're mistaken, anyhow; cite me some law sources. As we found with the Linda Tripp tapes, I can record and release tapes where I know the conversation is being taped and the other party doesn't.

Is anyone surprised? (3, Interesting)

McAddress (673660) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268708)

So far this law has been used to prosecute sewing pattern pirates. Now it is being used to go after videogame websites. If Orrin Hatch has his way, the RIAA will be able to destroy your computer. More and more it looks like Richard Stallman [openschooling.org] might not have been that far off.

Re:Is anyone surprised? (4, Interesting)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268953)

It might have been fairer for the DMCA to have had a cutoff point, like minus 10 years from the introduction of the act.

There are plenty of Commodore and Sinclair ROMs, manuals and diagrams on the net. They're available to keep such old gear working for future generations to see. What next, ban the distribution of classic car manuals and sue people for producing reproduction parts?

Freedom & Sticker shock. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6268976)

True and like any prophet, people were willing to burn him at the stake because his ideas as best inconvienced them. At worst it made some of the things they liked to do impossible.

Freedom costs.

Motivation? (3, Insightful)

niom (638987) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268709)

I fail to see the motivation in some of these cease and desist actions by large companies; Blizzard recent shutdown of Freecraft is another example. What's the point? Simply showing they can?

Re:Motivation? (1)

jmaatta (550428) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268719)

I wonder when Sid Meyer is going to shut down FreeCiv :)

Re:Motivation? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6268748)

Why have any lawyers if you don't feed people to them?

Re:Motivation? (2, Interesting)

qorkfiend (550713) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268824)

It's probably more along the lines of a deterrent, much like the criminal justice system. They can't catch everyone, and they know it. So, they choose a few of the more obvious "lawbreakers" to make an example of, in hopes of getting everyone else to think "uh oh, they could come after me next, time to get rid of my MP3s/ROMs/etc."

Aside from the glaring flaws in our legal system, the deterrent idea doesn't seem to work too terribly well, and I doubt it will work very well in the digital arena, either. I certainly know I'm not close to halting some of my illicit practices.

Help me (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6268710)

Somebody has hacked my loonix boxen and now my 19" screen can only display 639x481! Does any1 know how to fix. LOL thnx Euginea [osnews.com]

Hmmm... (4, Interesting)

Tyrdium (670229) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268715)

IDSA has a good faith belief that the Internet site found at http://www.stormaster.com/ infringes the rights of one or more IDSA members by offering for download one or more unauthorized copies of one or more game products protected by copyright, including, but not limited to:

It looks like what he's being accused of is having warez on his site, not manuals. Of course, if the manuals also included schematics for some reason (repairs?), then by having the schematics up on his site he would be allowing someone to reproduce the game. I'm not sure what was in the manuals, since I never got a chance to see them...

Re:Hmmm...what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6268775)

You can make games from Schematics alone?!? How can I do that?

Re:Hmmm...what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6268828)

>You can make games from Schematics alone?!? How can I do that?

Easy. Get a bunch of TTL chips, put them together properly, and you will have pong.

>>> Insert brain here <<<

Re:Hmmm... (2, Interesting)

forwhomthebelltrolls (670539) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268776)

Looking in the google cache [google.com] , it appears as though the manuals where scanned images.

Re:Hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6268830)

The unauthorized copies of such game product[s] appearing on, or made available through, such site are listed and/or identified on such Internet site by their titles, variations thereof or depictions of associated artwork (any such game titles, copies, listings and/or other depictions of, or references to, any contents of such game product, are hereinafter referred to as "Infringing Material").

You dope

Re:Hmmm... (5, Informative)

macwhiz (134202) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268894)

Looking at the Wayback Machine [archive.org] archive for the stormaster.com site, it looks like it included ROM images. That'd probably be why the DMCA was invoked.

I can understand why the game makers would want those ROMs taken down. People are still willing to pay for versions of the classic games -- look at the various "oldies" cartridges for modern game systems. Two of the games on the list I know to be available in stores: Frogger was recently remade as a 3D game, as was Dig Dug. Both include the "classic" game. (I saw Dig Dug at my local job-lot clearance store just the other day.)

It's not a case of the code having no value. Clearly, you can still sell that code. So, having it available for anyone with MAME to use is stealing from the pockets of the current rights-holders.

As much as I think DMCA is bad law and is abused, this is one case where it seems to be used as intended.

Overseas (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6268717)

Why not just give the site content to somebody living in a country where "freedom" still means something.

Mirror (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6268730)

208.195.115.176/stormaster.html [208.195.115.176]

Scary legalesse talk!

WARNING: GOAT!!!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6268880)

Follow that link only if you want to see an image of a man's anus.

Re:WARNING: GOAT!!!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6268905)

No, you follow this link [nero-online.org] for images of a man's anus.

In related news... (1)

Lazarus_Bitmap (593726) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268740)

All sex-education related manuals are being removed from book stores. In an unusual joint maneuver by pop star Madonna and Pat Robertson, Madonna has exclusive intellectual property rights to the practice. Those heathens wishing further information are encouraged to purchase her videos, music and coffee-table books. Calling the move a "Win-Win", Robertson has encouraged non-heathens to simply avoid the act altogether.

Tech Manuals, good faith and goodwill (3, Interesting)

HardcoreGamer (672845) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268747)

If the site originally hosted tech manuals for the games and not the actual game ROMs themselves, it doesn't appear that the site would have to be taken down. The letter appears to refer only to the software, not information about the software.

Then again, this could be the operative phrase:

any such game titles, copies, listings and/or other depictions of, or references to, any contents of such game product, are hereinafter referred to as "Infringing Material"

If the IDSA was smart they would sponsor the site instead of trying to shut it down. There are a couple of concepts known as good faith and goodwill. It would behoove them to start practising both.

Why is it shut down? (4, Insightful)

pclinger (114364) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268760)

The notice tells the owner of the site to stop offering for download a few specific items that the letter claims were on it's site. There was nothing in the letter which stated the entire site must be taken down.

I can understand ROM images to some extent, but 25 year old coin-op operator/tech manuals?

Read the letter. It doesn't say to take down any manuals. The person who shut down this site shut it down on their own accord. They could have just removed those specific items for download and they would be in the free-and-clear.

Re:Why is it shut down? (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268893)

Yeah, but "shutting the site down" just sounds so much more exciting, you know?"

Re:Why is it shut down? (3, Insightful)

NukeIear (307760) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268939)

He says

Sorry everyone but stormaster.com has been taken down! I'm tired of dealing with DMCA lawyers.

So I would guess that after being bothered numerous times he doesn't care if he can remove a few more manuals and make that lawyer go away since another will be pestering him next week.

Re:Why is it shut down? (1)

anonymous loser (58627) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268970)

I agree. The letter's wording:
IDSA has a good faith belief that the Internet site found at http://www.stormaster.com/ infringes the rights of one or more IDSA members by offering for download one or more unauthorized copies of one or more game products protected by copyright, including, but not limited to:

Dig Dug
Donkey Kong
Frogger
Mario
Pac Man
SWAT
Tron 2.0 (game)

Indicates to me that IDSA mistakenly thinks the site is offering the game ROMs for download, which it is not. In any case, removing the titles in question would solve the issue; there's no need to take the whole site down. IDSA has a history of this sort of thing; I suspect they google for the names of games, then send letters to all the websites that turn up hits.

This has nothing to do with DMCA (2, Informative)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268764)

Such a site is illegal under copyright laws going back to at least the Copyright Act of 1909, and probably back well before that.

Re:This has nothing to do with DMCA (1)

deadsaijinx* (637410) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268808)

you're right, this site is in violation of Copyright laws. however, the problem is that the DMCA did step in on this one. Perhaps because of the first word, Digital. Either way, the DMCA shouldn't be getting involved in this.

Re:This has nothing to do with DMCA (1)

CausticWindow (632215) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268831)

Pay attention. The DMCA gives them the ability to request that the content must be taken down immediately, without further proof or court ruling that it is indeed infringing.

Hence the part "IDSA has a good faith belief". I'm not sure what the punishment for not following a DMCA notice is though.

Re:This has nothing to do with DMCA (1)

DeepRedux (601768) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268995)

The DMCA gives the web hosting company (ISP) a limited immunity ("Safe Harbor") from copyright violations committed by its customers. That immunity ends shortly after they get the letter. The DMCA does not add any penalty if an ISP doesn't not take down the site in response to the letter. The ISP just loses its DMCA-provided Safe Harbor.

Without the DMCA Safe Harbor, the ISP could easily lose a civil copyright violation lawsuit for actions committed by its customer.

Come on people... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6268772)

The guy was distributing game manuals for Dig Dug and Frogger... when you read 20-year old video game manuals, you're reading COMMUNISM!

This seems perfect for freenet (1)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268778)

Were I in their shoes, I'd take the site down and move it over to freenet.

Too bad freenet sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6268801)

and no one knows how to use it.

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6268795)

We're guilty until proven innocent now. Lovely.

Re:So... (1)

portwojc (201398) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268993)

No it's not that.

It's guilty unless you have the $$$ to fight back in court.

Is it just me? (3, Insightful)

oaf357 (661305) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268798)

Is it just me or does it seem like these DMCA claims are always targetted at people who can't really fight them?

Why risk? (2, Informative)

Glendale2x (210533) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268813)

Okay, now I'm not aware of what was on the site beyond what the letter on the site and the /. story say, however...

In today's litigation happy world, why even risk having ROM images available? Such things are just begging for trouble. The cease and desist letter sounds like some copy of the game itself (beyond tech manuals) was available.

If it was just tech manuals, then yeah, it's stupid. For ROM images, whoever put them there is stupid. It doesn't matter what we think about the software in question, if it's still protected by copyright, then you invite the wrath of lawyers.

archived (2, Interesting)

oohp (657224) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268814)

There is still an archive [archive.org] from the 4th of July 2002 at the Wayback Machine. Mirror it and make a Freesite on Freenet.

Re:archived (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6268948)

mirror: http://www.spies.com/~arcade/

cache? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6268818)

anybody got the page cached? i wanna see how gay the people harrassing this guy is.

Bot. (2, Insightful)

mrseigen (518390) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268826)

I think this is a bot; the IDSA has gone after tons of innocent game sites before with their scripts. I severely doubt a real human would confuse "manuals for download" with "ROMS for everyone".

Bit torrent for Warcraft 3 Expansion (0, Troll)

TorrentTroll (679319) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268834)

Here it is 9 days early, enjoy.
Warcraft 3: Frozen Throne [bytemonsoon.com]

I'll try to post more torrents are they come out. Help out the community by reposting this.

Re:Bit torrent for Warcraft 3 Expansion (1)

Eudial (590661) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268923)

Now that is INCREDIBLY off topic.

Re:Bit torrent for Warcraft 3 Expansion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6268978)

You know what you should do - whoever is tracking the torrents that you post (I assume there'll be more) should give pre /. stats and post /. stats. I'd like to see how many people are downloading/seeding this in, say, an hour or so. Seeing referrer stats on this file would also be interesting since you put a direct link. Put the info in your journal or something so once you get down to -1 (inevitable), you don't have to waste one of your two posts on it.

Curiously yours (and not downloading because Blizzard sucks), AC

No ROMs?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6268865)

Here, look at this (2002) entry in the WayBack machine. I feel they may have had roms:

http://web.archive.org/web/20020604154107/http:/ /s tormaster.com/

There is a stormaster.com/roms

Way back machine says: (1)

zdislaw (664912) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268878)

http://web.archive.org/web/20020604154107/http://s tormaster.com/ Here's what he had up a year ago. Looks like manuals and ROMs for arcade and pinball games (since there were some questions about which it was).

Small claims court for cabinet owners? (2, Insightful)

beacher (82033) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268911)

Looking at the manufacturers of the games in question -
Dig Dug - Atari/Infogrames
Donkey Kong - Nintendo
Frogger - Konami
Mario - Nintendo
Pac Man - Midway
SWAT - Sega
Tron 2.0 (game)
Okay I think I may understand the Tron 2.0 [gamezone.com] given that a new PC game is soon to be released. The only other game that is still "current" with successful sequels is Mario. I can understand protecting all rights with those two. Frogger? Every sequel has sucked monkey nuts (Swampy's revenge anyone?). Dig Dug Deeper? The other games have found their way to the Best of Arcade CD's that retail for 9.95 at walmart and they don't even play as well as the cabinets.

In all reality they're going for the arcade game manuals though.. Not even the ROMs, so they're not even allowing the lawful owners of cabinets to get manuals without having to pay $9.95 to buy reproduction for a damn Frogger manual [ebay.com] . I don't get it.

Has anyone tried to buy an original manual and then sue the IDSA for the difference between official/out-of-print price and the retail price? I'm tired of the "corp/little people" thing. I'm tired of the corporate squeeze on the most asinine stuff.
-B

Retype/format the info... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6268934)

...if somebody releases the information in a different manner, i. e. not images of the manuals or the original text, would the DMCA still apply?

resources for writing a dig dug ripoff? (1)

polished look 2 (662705) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268941)

This may sound a bit silly, but as I was reading the replies to this article, I began to wonder if the state of the art of programming has matured to the point that a video game framework has been implemented such that writitg a game, or an extremely similar game, such as Dig Dig or Donkey Kong is not that difficult. If there is some kind of virtual-machine game program with a development platform and a good framework, perhaps an extremely-similar but GPL'd version of these classic arcade games are within the reach of a decent coder.

woops. i forgot to add: if i want to do this... (1)

polished look 2 (662705) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268954)

If I want to do this (write a gpl version of digdug) where should I begin to look? I mean, has anyone else thought of this and if so what resources are available?

Re:woops. i forgot to add: if i want to do this... (2, Informative)

baffle (144921) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268980)

John R. Halls book "Programming Linux Games" is now awailable freely on the web. Go to his site [overcode.net] for a copy or order it from No Starch Press.

It's official (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6268956)

With the MPAA, RIAA, and the IDSA engaged in such ludicrous behaviour, I cannot spend any more money on movies, music, or games. To hell with these markets. These people need to be destroyed for our nation's own good.

Isn't this quite standard copyright? (2, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268961)

25 year old manuals are still copyrighted for many years to come, and is fairly common worldwide (not that that equals good, but anyway).

The parts I really don't like about the DMCA is that is makes it illegal to use my own property, like play my DVD under Linux, or make a back-up of it for my DVD-less laptop.

Soon it'll get here too with the EUCD. Sigh.

Kjella

Coin-op... what? (4, Funny)

wirelessbuzzers (552513) | more than 11 years ago | (#6268969)

a coin-operated video game manual and tech information archive

Instructions
1) Select manuals to be read.
2) Insert coin(s) to buy time.
3) To extend time, press the red button and insert more coins... ... and don't you dare post a ??? PROFIT!!! joke after this...

Solution (1)

heli0 (659560) | more than 11 years ago | (#6269006)

Step 1: Contract with web host in Vanuatu
Step 2: Move site to their server

So what is the problem?

It should be standard practice now for any site admin based in the US who thinks their site has any chance of violating the dmca to host it in a country such as Vanuatu, and keep the owners identity unknown.

They're not the only ones - Hit list follows (2, Informative)

beacher (82033) | more than 11 years ago | (#6269043)

Just did a search and I'm seeing similar results - c64 had a dmca notice [c64.org] for Diablo,Dig Dug,Donkey Kong,Frogger,Mario,Pac Man,Soldier Of Fortune, Spider-Man (Game),Tron 2.0 (game). Same with mame.net [216.239.39.100] for Pac Man They're even chasing dcc's [frgp.net] eDonkey [open-files.com] .. They're chasing eveything. The most interesting thing is the Incident #'s. Most agencies prefix their incident #'s with year, but this isn't the case.. their #'s are linear. Have they already submitted almost 1,000,000 ceast and decists?
-B

This stinks.... (1)

TheHawke (237817) | more than 11 years ago | (#6269045)

and reeks of shotgun tactics with cease and desist letters.

I'd say ignore their asses, repost the manuals and let them deal with it in a more personal manner. This smells like what happened with that one university that got lettered by the MPAA for hitting on their movie script archive.

Besides, If i ever got my mitts on a rare cabinet of Gorf, or a Atari Hercules pinball i'd like to have a source for a shop manual when the need arises.
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