Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Olympic Web Site Features Pirated Content

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the do-as-I-say dept.

The Internet 235

An anonymous reader writes "Despite all the emphasis on protecting Olympic copyrights in China this year, the official web site of the Beijing Olympics features a Flash game that is a blatant copy of one of the games developed at The Pencil Farm. Compare the game on the Olympic site with 'Snow Day' at The Pencil Farm."

cancel ×

235 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Copyright doesn't work like that (-1, Troll)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691326)

yawn.

Re:Copyright doesn't work like that (0)

ta bu shi da yu (687699) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691420)

Oh? Why so?

Re:Copyright doesn't work like that (-1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691424)

bad summary.

Re:Copyright doesn't work like that (2, Informative)

ta bu shi da yu (687699) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691586)

That still makes no sense. Copyright does work like that.

Re:Copyright doesn't work like that (-1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691644)

Like what? What are you talking about? If you want to have a conversation, state your freakin' opinion already.

Re:Copyright doesn't work like that (2, Informative)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691780)

Umm... dude, reread your two posts before that one. They're about as choc full of content as kdawson's head.

Re:Copyright doesn't work like that (2, Insightful)

ta bu shi da yu (687699) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691950)

Interesting.

Comment 1: That's not how copyright works. No explanation of why.
Comment 2: Really? How so?
Comment 3: Bad summary.
Comment 4: Actually, copyright does work that way.
Comment 5 (your comment): I have nothing to say, but I'll try and take you down a peg or two by making an inane comment.

The bottom line is: you haven't actually contributed anything yourself. Reread your own comment - it's not exactly full of information - interest or insightful.

Actually, It works EXACTLY like that. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22691452)

Disregard that the games is similar. The reality is that the music, the clouds, the ice cubes, etc were STOLEN straight out from it. Not a bit changed. This is akin to somebody lifting 100 pages out of 120 page book. Copyright is designed to prevent just that. How did you get modded up?

Re:Copyright doesn't work like that (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22691670)

Copyright works precisely like that. Maybe if you didn't shoot your mouth off so quick you would have noticed that the article is talking about theft of assets, not code. And then maybe if you knew anything about the history of copyright you wouldn't have tried to claim "fair use" on the art assets because of their byte counts. The inclusion of unused assets from the original demonstrates beyond any doubt that this whole game is a derivative work. There's a reason why legal reverse-engineering is done with two sets of engineers and a spec handoff.

This is good old-fashioned copyright infringement, with no ambiguity at all. And not only are you wrong, you're being a dick about it. What do you have against the author of the original game?

Re:Copyright doesn't work like that (1)

Hogwash McFly (678207) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691790)

And not only are you wrong, you're being a dick about it. What do you have against the author of the original game?
Yeah, I too am curious about QuantumG's agenda here. There's something not quite right about all his apologist posturing in this thread. Maybe daddy is on the Olympic Committee or something?

In other news... (3, Interesting)

Chapter80 (926879) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691772)

In other news, Chinese hackers finally figured out a way to get tech savvy people to "click that link", without sending a fake greeting card, ad for prescription meds, or an important fake announcement from Bank of America or Paypal. Make it a copyright issue and get it posted onto Slashdot.

I hope there are no vulnerabilities in Flash.

You got it wrong (5, Funny)

Jack Malmostoso (899729) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691332)

These are Summer Olympics, that game is called "Snow Day". How could it be a copy?

Re:You got it wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22691882)

Commy bastards!

*has red blindfold on* (1)

glendening (1219796) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691342)

they are not the same! that is some other website you are looking at! we pushed those flash games into the swamps! *coughlawsuitcough*

Chinese copies? (0)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691344)

The Chinese have seen an idea they like and make an imitation of it? Shock, horror, how will our technology markets ever survive if they repeat it somewhere else?

Oh, hang on, they already do copy gadgets and make cheap versions that look almost identical.

Yes the idea is the same, yes the clouds are suspiciously similar, but how many other games are there on the Net that are almost identical like that? Unless they actually copied exact content then there's no copyright issue I can see, just lack of creativity.

Re:Chinese copies? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22691362)

The are not knockoffs, they are the same games but with the resources changed. Have you played them or even looked at them properly?

Re:Chinese copies? (0)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691438)

Have you? Its actually a complete rewrite with a few copied images and sounds (which are not even used).

Seriously, get your decompiler out and have a look.

Re:Chinese copies? (4, Insightful)

JavaRob (28971) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691696)

Have you? Its actually a complete rewrite with a few copied images and sounds (which are not even used).
I'm starting to think they just tweaked the source code to make it look different, specifically to dodge legal trouble.

I mean, think about it -- in the Chinese game, your goal is to make the clouds *go away* so you have blue sky.
So, obviously, you hit them with ice cubes. And they go away?

NO, they start snowing on you.

The fact that they didn't even change that detail from the original game -- and it would have been a fairly trivial change! -- looks pretty bad to me.

Re:Chinese copies? (5, Informative)

lazy_playboy (236084) | more than 6 years ago | (#22692040)

The author of the 'orignal' claims that he has decompiled them and that the games use identical resources, even down to resources that the original author accidently left in but isn't actually used in the game.

If true that's beyond coincidence or imitation.

Re:Chinese copies? (2, Informative)

RenHoek (101570) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691368)

It's not a clone, i.e. they did not see the original and thought "Hey, we can make something like that".

It's a byte-perfect copy of many of the elements in the game, sound and graphics. So it really is a copyright violation.

It's simply re-skinning some elements and publishing it as your own. Like taking Windows, make the default background red, and selling it as your own operating system.

Bullshit. (0, Flamebait)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691386)

I decompiled it, there's no similarity.

All the graphics are different.. you don't even need a decompiler to see that.

Here's the main routine of the Chinese game [insomnia.org] .

And here's the routines from the other one [insomnia.org] .

Even without understanding action script anyone can tell they are completely different.

And besides, why would you bother ripping off the code for something so trivial? Any decent Flash jockey could re-write this game in an hour or two.

Sorry (4, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691404)

Seems there are duplicate files in the SWF files of each. So although the code might be new, the content isn't completely.

Fair use (0, Troll)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691528)

Seeing as I'm replying to myself here, let's make it 3 for 3.

The original work is 353,472 bytes. The copied material is:

icecube 758 bytes
cloud 3464 bytes
splash sound 5423 bytes
bell sound 1783 bytes
poof sound 1783 bytes
bling sound 1783 bytes
song 42967 bytes
total 57961 bytes

Which is 16% of the original work, and the majority of that is the song which was used in neither the original work, nor the derivative..

In any case, this is small enough to be considered fair use.

Re:Fair use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22691608)

Well, I knew I'd see it sooner or later - a Free Software proponent claiming that copyright on code, as an expression of algorithms and behaviors, matters more than copyright on art, a personal and unique creation. Congratulations, you're a douchebag.

Re:Fair use (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22691622)

Which is 16% of the original work, and the majority of that is the song which was used in neither the original work, nor the derivative.
Wrong. Clearly, you have no idea what "fair use" is. You should look it up.

In a nutshell, "Fair use" means taking another's copyrighted material for academic or critical purposes. Instead, this (assumed) copyrighted material has been taken for neither of those purposes - instead, it is used to make a website more fun for kids.

And furthermore, 16% of a document/book/program likely goes far beyond fair use for even academic, scholarship, or critical use.

If these "copyrighted materials" had no value, then the developers should have simply included their own materials instead of someone else's content.

FURTHERMORE, to say that 16% of a book, movie, song, or other work is "small enough" to be considered fair use is simply ludicrous. The percentage of material is irrelevant to the copyright. A film is made of over 100,000 still images, yet a single 35mm photograph doesn't have 1/100,000th the copyright protection of a film.

It is NOT fair use, or even close to it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22691628)

First, code would almost be considered distinct from content. For example, a book's words vs. the pix are distinct. The media (passive) in this is RADICALLY different than code (active). As such, the percentage is about 75%.

But lets skip that BS argument. Instead, read the wiki [wikipedia.org] .
  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
Since this is used for commercial gain, AND it destroys the value of the original piece, you can bet on it that any intelligent judge (or just intelligent individual) will throw out your argument.

Better to keep quit, rather than open mouth (or keyboard) and remove all doubt.

Re:It is NOT fair use, or even close to it. (4, Interesting)

pipatron (966506) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691650)

From your link:

Fair use is a doctrine in United States copyright law

This is China. Not United States. If you post a relevant link to the Chinese copyright laws and their notion of fair use, that would be informative and interesting.

Re:It is NOT fair use, or even close to it. (4, Informative)

Quothz (683368) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691862)

If you post a relevant link to the Chinese copyright laws and their notion of fair use, that would be informative and interesting.

Here y'go:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agreement_on_Trade-Related_Aspects_of_Intellectual_Property_Rights [wikipedia.org]

Note that China is a participant in TRIPS (follow the link at the bottom t'see all participating countries). Software copyright is addressed (it is treated as a literary work under this agreement), and fair use is very limited.

Re:It is NOT fair use, or even close to it. (-1, Troll)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691652)

Sorry, infringing the copyright on a work that is given away for free precludes 4. The nature of the copyrighted work is that it is trivial and has about a $20 value.. and that's if you were to hire an american to create it.. in china it has about a $1 value. So 1 is the only thing that works in the author's favor.. and in a Chinese court the case would be thrown out.

Re:It is NOT fair use, or even close to it. (1)

AcidPenguin9873 (911493) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691850)

Sorry, infringing the copyright on a work that is given away for free precludes 4.

Nope. Ever heard of advertising revenue? How about non-free items included with the free ones? Ever hear of a company called Red Hat?

The nature of the copyrighted work is that it is trivial and has about a $20 value

That's about the value of a music CD of your favorite band. Now, someone remind me, what is the fine for illegally redistributing copyrighted material?

and in a Chinese court the case would be thrown out.

Would it? [wikipedia.org]

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22691654)

It doesn't matter how little you copy, it's still a copyright violation. (And no, this particular usage is definitely not covered by fair use.)

Re:Bullshit. (5, Insightful)

RenHoek (101570) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691480)

Here ya go.. an extremely enlarged view of the icecube images used in both flashes

cubes.png [palli.nl]

You can look hard you can see the gamma is a little different between them, but how are they not the same image?

Are you willing to tell me that these are images made by two different persons that just happen to make it look exactly the same?

Re:Bullshit. (-1, Flamebait)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691496)

Wow. Ya know, is it too much to ask that people read the entire thread [slashdot.org] before posting?

This is like "posting on the Internet 101" stuff here.

Re:Bullshit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22691522)

Think it is too much to ask you to learn how to read code AND check your data before you post?
Heck, just reading the TFA would have gotten you enough to realize that you needed to check content first.
This is like "posting on the Internet 101" stuff here.

Re:Bullshit. (3, Insightful)

mrstu (1253256) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691518)

I'm calling bullshit on that... it uses the same fonts in many places, the graphic for the bar on the side is identical, pixel for pixel, as is the sprite for the clouds, among other things. And if you actually follow the link and RTFA, you'll see that there are several resources in the olympic edition that PROVE the link, including the splash screen for an earlier game made by the same person that he forgot to remove when he re-used the engine.

Re:Bullshit. (-1, Flamebait)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691540)

They're standard flash fonts.. and maybe you should read the entire thread before posting.

Re:Bullshit. (2, Informative)

kramulous (977841) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691686)

Hey G, can you change the permissions on those two txt files. 403. Or, is that the point?

Re:Bullshit. (2, Informative)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691816)

You obviously didnt RTFA.

They didnt strip out a lot of the unused resources.
Many of the original game files are still in there even when they arent used.
It doesnt take a genius to realise that many of the graphics and sounds are identical as well.

It appears like they did rewrite the code but its still a blatant copy.
They based it from the original swf, they didnt start from scratch.

Re:Bullshit. (-1, Flamebait)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691874)

OMG they copied this guys cheap and nasty little game and made another cheap and nasty little game just like it to entertain the kids for 30 seconds on the olympic site!

Before, it was just a cheap and nasty little game no one cared about, but now it's being seen by billions! Clearly, this guy deserves a palace and a new car with solid gold hubcaps.

Here's an idea... go do something meaningful, you fucking wanker. Then come back and bitch about how much you're entitled to. You make me sick.

Re:Bullshit. (0, Flamebait)

pagerwho (1071772) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691946)

Mod parent as flaimbait.

Re:Bullshit. (1)

lazy_playboy (236084) | more than 6 years ago | (#22692050)

errr... what the fuck?

Here's an idea... you go do something meaningful, you fucking wanker. Then come back and bitch. You make me sick.

Re:Bullshit. (5, Funny)

mrboyd (1211932) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691864)

The funny thing is that the chinese source code looks cleaner than the original. If I had to choose a company by looking at those two samples I'd probably go for outsourcing in china.

Smells like trouble for the US job market :)

Re:Chinese copies? (0, Redundant)

fractalVisionz (989785) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691742)

Has anyone though that maybe they got permission to make the copy? I would suspect that there would be permission and not just a blatant copy. Maybe I'm putting to much faith in them, but hey, no one has mentioned it yet.

Not just a copy... (5, Informative)

Veroxii (51114) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691370)

They actually re-used the code, not just copied it. From TFA:

I'd also like to point out that this is not just a clone of my game. They didn't see my game and set out to make a similar game. They actually stole my game. I'll say it again:
The Olympics stole my game.
They downloaded the swf file from my site, decompiled it, swapped out the little guy for the Fuwa characters, took my name off of it and republished it as their own. I can tell this is what happened because they are still using some of my original art from Snow Day (the clouds and the ice cube are exactly the same). I also took the liberty of decompiling their game and actually found it still contains the sound files from Snow Day, even though they aren't being used in the Olympic version. It even still has the splash sound effect from The Lake (I used the engine from The Lake to make Snow Day and must have forgot to delete this file).

Re:Not just a copy... (0, Offtopic)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691422)

found it still contains the sound files from Snow Day, even though they aren't being used in the Olympic version

If they did decompile and recompile it then hurrah for the Chinese - they removed the music! Yes, there's a mute button, but I still hate any Flash games that insist on playing music.

Re:Not just a copy... (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691618)

I've always found games without music pretty boring. Especially on some of the simple flash games. Check out Orisinal [ferryhalim.com] . Half the fun comes from the catchy tunes the guy uses.

Re:Not just a copy... (2, Funny)

fatphil (181876) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691532)

I can't verify that because the chinese one works on flash 7 (which I do have installed), but the "original" runs only on flash 8 or above (which I don't have installed). So hoorah for the chinese for making more portable games, and ptooey to the original author who was unable to animate a few freaking sprites without using version 8 of the flash API.

Re:Chinese copies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22691382)

From the article:

The Olympics stole my game.
They downloaded the swf file from my site, decompiled it, swapped out the little guy for the Fuwa characters, took my name off of it and republished it as their own. I can tell this is what happened because they are still using some of my original art from Snow Day (the clouds and the ice cube are exactly the same). I also took the liberty of decompiling their game and actually found it still contains the sound files from Snow Day, even though they aren't being used in the Olympic version. It even still has the splash sound effect from The Lake (I used the engine from The Lake to make Snow Day and must have forgot to delete this file).

Re:Chinese copies? (2, Insightful)

nawcom (941663) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691384)

i feel like i'm defending this guy, so just as a note, i look at this at the same viewpoint as most of the commenters here. I rtfa, and according to the creator the olympics game even had some of the sound files, and other resources that he designed packed into the swf - even though their version doesn't use it, or use replacement resources, hence they obviously decompiled it and changed it to what they saw fit - without getting rid of the originals.

Unfortunately, if my assumption is true, since this is hosted in china there's not much the author can do. Eric Baumer has stolen more shit then this cinese olympic site, and as far as i know, hundreds of flash developers never got their money's worth from him, so the owner of snowday is outah luck too.

Re:Chinese copies? (4, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691416)

Even if you don't make a bit-for-bit copy of a game, you can still be liable for infringement. See also K.C. Munchkin. Copyright protects the expression of an idea, and whether a copy of that expression happens mechanically or at the hand of a person, the result is still either direct copyright infringement or the creation of derivitave work (which is also copyright infringement).

However, they clearly did decompile the original Flash file and just swapped a few (though not all) art resources. The clouds aren't suspiciously similar... they're the same. The snow, mechanic, ice art, launching art, health bar, etc aren't just similar, they're identical. The tuning seems to be the same, with the same launch times, etc.

It's true that the Chinese are known for copying things. And that flash games get copied a lot more than they should. But the olympic games are notorious for enforcing their copyrights over the slightest infraction by others. Having the Olympics casually steal other developer's work in this fashion seems extremely self-contradictory.

Re:Chinese copies? (1)

arlanTLDR (1120447) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691454)

If you actually read the article, he downloaded the swf of their game, and it still pointed to sound files that are used in his version but not in the Olympics version.

Re:Chinese copies? (1)

coaxial (28297) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691482)

It's not a clone. They decompiled the swf and changed some of the graphics. It's obvious from a hex dump. If you bothered to read TFA you would have known that.

Re:Chinese copies? (1)

DavidD_CA (750156) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691548)

If you RTFM, you'll see that they allegedly copied the SWF file and made minor tweaks to some of the sprites and wording, and of course the author of the game.

He even says he decompiled their game and found remnants of code that he reused from other games he made which have nothing to do with this one.

So it's a lot more than just a knock-off. It's an alleged derivitave work without permission.

Re:Chinese copies? (1, Interesting)

Alsee (515537) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691752)

(1) an idea they like and make an imitation of it? Shock, horror

(2) Unless they actually copied exact content then there's no copyright issue I can see, just lack of creativity.

Mod score +Five Insightful for the two individual concepts.

Mod score -TwelveBazillion Didn'tReadTheFuckingArticle.

-

Yawn! (5, Funny)

Stephen Samuel (106962) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691346)

Knockoffs from China... What next? Lies from the WhiteHouse?

They should be grateful (5, Funny)

gijoel (628142) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691350)

Plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery.

Is Slashdot an official Anti-China site now ? (0, Redundant)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691536)

There are tons of things China has done wrong, but not this one !

Is this a slow news day or what ?

Geeeeesh.

the pirated version is better (0, Troll)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691354)

Choice of characters, better graphics.

How date they!

The original version is better (1)

pmontra (738736) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691378)

Sound, better movement (both character and ice blocks), rankings.

Furthermore you seem never to run out of time in the copy. I hate games that try their best to make you win.

sympathy for the devil (-1, Troll)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691458)

Guy making proprietary software of a trivial nature is outraged that someone dared to use his code without his permission.

Boo-fucking-hoo.

Re:sympathy for the devil (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22691596)

You have posted nearly half the comments to this article. All in defense of the Olympics. Was it you that developed this for them?

You're a fucking homo POS, QuantumG (0, Flamebait)

Fanboy Fantasies (917592) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691602)

Die in a fire.

U think that is bad-THEY STILL OCCUPY TIBET!!!! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22691358)

Now what the hell, is an occupying country, doing hosting the Olympics????

This Greek, is no amused!

FREE TIBET!!!!!

Greek Geek :-)

Article presents no evidence of copying?? (-1)

kiwioddBall (646813) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691360)

Perhaps they have licensed it?
Perhaps it is a rip off, but then either way the Slashdot article should provide evidence of this.

Re:Article presents no evidence of copying?? (2, Informative)

cskrat (921721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691394)

Follow the link given in the Summary and then read what was written by the original author of the game.

Seriously RTFA.

Re:Article presents no evidence of copying?? (1)

arotenbe (1203922) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691398)

FTFA:

They downloaded the swf file from my site, decompiled it, swapped out the little guy for the Fuwa characters, took my name off of it and republished it as their own. I can tell this is what happened because they are still using some of my original art from Snow Day (the clouds and the ice cube are exactly the same).
So... the fact that both the mechanics and the artwork of the game are the same is not evidence that they stole it?

Re:Article presents no evidence of copying?? (4, Informative)

Anthony Boyd (242971) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691402)

Perhaps it is a rip off, but then either way the Slashdot article should provide evidence of this.

Ummm... what? Did you read the article? It specifically does exactly what you say it does not do. It includes screenshots to show that many of the graphics are stolen (pixel for pixel exactly the same, not an approximation). And it includes text from the creator of the original game, documenting how he reviewed their game code and discovered that it was completely stolen, not clean-roomed. From the article:

I also took the liberty of decompiling their game and actually found it still contains the sound files from Snow Day, even though they aren't being used in the Olympic version. It even still has the splash sound effect from The Lake (I used the engine from The Lake to make Snow Day and must have forgot to delete this file).

I'm pretty sure that if the game the Olympics is using contains sound files that are basically leftover stubs from his other games then that's pretty damning evidence.

Re:Article presents no evidence of copying?? (3, Informative)

Bazman (4849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691472)

He also mentions that the Olympics site contains games very similar to those wonderful Ferry Halim games from www.orisinal.com - of course, they might be licensed from him. Anyone asked Ferry?

Any lawyers out there fancy taking on the Chinese Olympic Committee? Might not be a good idea... [guardian.co.uk]

Re:Article presents no evidence of copying?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22691676)

1) They might've licensed it. But wait, they're sneaky yellow bastards, so it must be stolen, right?
2) If it was stolen, it just as well might've been stolen FROM them. But wait, they're sneaky yellow bastards, so they must be the thieves and not the victims, right?

(CAPTCHA: ashamed. I am.)

Coca Cola did the same... but sortof fixed it. (4, Informative)

88NoSoup4U88 (721233) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691364)

Coca Cola did the same last year by ripping off "Ninja" [7secondsoflove.com] by Joel Feitch (the guy behind Rathergood.com [rathergood.com] )

Two weeks later it was reported that Joel Feitch got well compensated for it (exact amounts were not disclosed as part of the agreement).

Read all about it here [robmanuel.com] , with accompanied footage.

attack of the clones (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22691428)

i wonder if the website is being routed through their knocked-off copies of cisco equipment too?

i'm just waiting to find out that their athletes are clones of americans, but with cheaper parts and crappy build quality, that say strange things due to mis-translation of the manuals.

The Chinese version doesn't even make sense (3, Interesting)

Ma8thew (861741) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691450)

Why is the character in the Chinese version 'Fighting winter' by making the clouds snow?

Social Commentary about China's pollution? (2, Funny)

reidconti (219106) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691478)

Seriously, can noone else see this game as a hilariously ironic commentary on China's futile attempts to lower pollution in order to have blue skies for the Olympics?

Of course this: http://www.economist.com/world/international/displaystory.cfm?story_id=8874472 [economist.com] Economist article seems to not be loading right now, but they even have a blue sky monitoring scale which counts days without brutal amounts of smog, and are trying to figure out if they can somehow control the weather.

Re:Social Commentary about China's pollution? (1)

reidconti (219106) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691498)

Okay, maybe not weather. I was able to get a mirror to come up several seconds later.

http://kerrycollison.net/index.php?/archives/5379-Talking-dirty-in-China-Beijing-wants-to-clear-the-air-for-the-Olympics.html [kerrycollison.net]

I guess I was thinking about cloud seeding when I originally read that article :)

Hopefully, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22691490)

he filed at the olympic site about the IP infringement. He deserves it. And I agree with him about taking it to suhu in the same fashion. Hell, after reading up on the google/suho issue, this sounds just like the same. Google used sohu's data and the idea from sohu. How is this different? It is not.

Don't get mad, get even (1, Interesting)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691500)

Mail the Olympic committee, tell them what they are doing, demand that they take it down until a license is negotiated; demand payment for the use that they have already had; demand a reply within 7 days. State that unless they come to an agreement that you will extract compensation by using copyrighted Olympic material for your business. Put in a court claim in your country.

The chances are that the Chinese will ignore the mail and the court claim.

Put up some copyrighted Olympic stuff to the advantage of your business, have a link explaining what you are doing.

If they sue in China: ignore them.

If they sue in your home country then join your court claim to theirs.

Re:Don't get mad, get even (5, Informative)

Ma8thew (861741) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691678)

I would suggest that is not sound legal advice. Maybe it would be, up until the bit where you say they should use Olympic copyrighted stuff. I think that would result in only the lawyers getting any money out of this.

With the millions of games out there... (1)

asalazar (232336) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691502)

I'm sure no one would notice if we copy this game and change some graphics.

Probably off-topic but what the hell... (5, Insightful)

Harold Halloway (1047486) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691504)

A friend of my father-in-law's owned for many years a hotel in France called 'Hotel d'Olympique'. He still owns the hotel but it is no longer called that as he was sent a 'cease and desist'-type letter by the IOC.

FWIW I am not interested in the Beijing Olympics. Any lingering interest in the event has been soured by the appalling way that Chinese citizens have been treated by their government and, by extension, the IOC. No sports event in the world is worth evicting, beating, imprisoning and killing your own citizens for.

Re:Probably off-topic but what the hell... (0, Troll)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 6 years ago | (#22692080)

A sentence about the IOC's affects on your Uncle's hotel followed immediately by disparaging comments related to the IOC through info about China. No conflict of interest here at all. It's a very concise business case against the IOC and to win favor for your poor Uncle's hotel. I expect many /. mods are trying to get a free night there.

Re:Probably off-topic but what the hell... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22692142)

I'm just disgusted by all the copyright and trademark issues surrounding the games. Wtf? The whole thing is like a joke.

What the. (1)

PacketScan (797299) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691506)

Oh that's a near copy. But a tad different. So where to send the take down notices.

Heavy Handed Hypocrisy (5, Interesting)

Riturno (671917) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691550)

This is especially ironic since many of the Olympic Committees sue anyone using the word 'Olympic' or press governments for legislation protecting their precious name. For instance a few link samples:
US: http://www.dvorak.org/blog/?p=15360 [dvorak.org]
CA: http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/1777/125/ [michaelgeist.ca]
UK: http://blogs.reuters.com/uknews/2008/02/06/olympic-tussle-over-a-name/ [reuters.com]
Given the IOC and each local Olympic committee's approach trademark ownership, they should have no problem removing the game.
This is unlikely because, they will not treat other's work the same as they want theirs enforces. Hypocrisy at its finest.

Re:Heavy Handed Hypocrisy (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22692114)

It's more likely that, once the local Olympic committee finds out about this, it will be the original that will become the target of the take down order and copyright infringement suit.

In Vancouver, they started lawsuits against and harassed businesses that had been in operation for decades before the local winter Olympics were awarded. It's about the most horrible thing to have occurred in Vancouver.

So let me get this straight (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691688)

It's OK for Scrabulous to essentially copy Scrabble because you can't copyright or patent game rules, but it's not OK to copy this game?

Re:So let me get this straight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22691708)

Duh, because Scrabble is made by one of those large corporations that has more money than the guy who made this game, so obviously Hasbro is evil whereas this guy is a hero. And you call yourself a slashdotter.

Re:So let me get this straight (5, Informative)

One Childish N00b (780549) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691712)

It's OK for Scrabulous to essentially copy Scrabble because you can't copyright or patent game rules, but it's not OK to copy this game?

You are looking at two different uses of the word 'copy', or rather, at two different levels of copying. Scrabulous copies the rules of Scrabble in a game developed by different people, and if there was a lawsuit for every internet game that - to put it mildly - took a great deal of inspiration from another, none of us would be able to move for the boxes full of litigation papers. This, on the other hand, is different, because it copies actual code and graphics from the original. You cannot legally protect game rules, but you can legally protect code and artwork.

There is also an irony issue here, in that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has always gone after people even vaguely infringing *it's* copyright with all the teeth-baring viciousness of a rabid attack dog, so to have a website associated with them involved in blatant copyright infringement is more than a little amusing, but that takes a back seat to the difference between the actual legal issues of the two.

Re:So let me get this straight (1)

KanjiMonster (1016616) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691722)

It's OK for Scrabulous to essentially copy Scrabble because you can't copyright or patent game rules, but it's not OK to copy this game?
They didn't just copy the rules, they copied whole parts of the game (including graphics and sounds, which you can copyright).

Re:So let me get this straight (1)

Hogwash McFly (678207) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691732)

Well, considering that they didn't just copy the game rules but lifted assets from this guy's game wholesale, I don't think it's the same situation. When you take into account the Olympic Committee's zealous protection of their intellectual property by threatening small businesses who capitalise on the 'Olympic spirit', it makes it all the more infuriating.

Re:So let me get this straight (2, Insightful)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691870)

Don't forget that copyright is ridiculous when it applies to the RIAA and MPAA, but it's incredibly important when it applies to flash games and the GPL.

This isn't the first set of blatant hypocrisy around these parts.

Re:So let me get this straight (1)

Zorque (894011) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691886)

Yeah, pretty much. VISTA HAS NO DRIVERS AND NOTHING WORKS *waits 5 months for wireless drivers* AT LEAST I DIDN'T FUEL THE KKKORPORATE MICRO$CAM MACHINE

copyright rules in china (1)

bloomtools (1253274) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691694)

goodluck trying to get china to do anything about it

Enforcing the Copyright (1)

mrvachon (1253280) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691736)

Hi All,

I agree that this game is an obvious copy however at least they went through the trouble of changing the characters and giving folks the choice of character which is "different" than the orginal game. Since the origainal game is FREE and the copied game is FREE nobody is losing or gaining here so I don't see a big problem with it.. There are MUCH bigger problems to worry about than copyrights... tell me you've never copied an image from google's image search for a website or powerpoint presentation!

Re:Enforcing the Copyright (2, Insightful)

rfunches (800928) | more than 6 years ago | (#22692054)

Let's try that argument out again, with a small difference:

Since the original OTA television show is FREE and the copied television show is FREE nobody is losing or gaining here so I don't see a big problem with it.

Let's say the original show is "Firefly." I create a work called "CowboyNeal in Space." I shoot some of my own scenes with their own dialogue and characters, but for the most part "CowboyNeal in Space" still uses scenes, music, dialog, CG from "Firefly." Some of those copied scenes reference things that don't even exist based on the "CowboyNeal in Space" scenes (e.g. referring to the captain as "Malcolm Reynolds" instead of "CowboyNeal").

Am I gonna get the living #$*% sued out of me if I upload it to Youtube? Faster than Mal can say "shiny." I've done exactly what the website has done - taken an original work, tweaked a few things to make it fit my needs, forgotten to tweak some things causing continuity reasons (the presence of snow and ice cubes), and posted it.

The fact that "Firefly" was free to watch (when it did air on Fox; obviously watching it on DVD or Sci-Fi Channel meant you had to pay for them) doesn't mean it's okay to copy it. The value of the asset has nothing to do with whether it's protected by copyright. If you put it in the public domain and waive all copyright protection, it's free game. If you use a very small portion for limited academic purposes (or other fair use purposes), you shouldn't be sued, but it depends on the amount of the original work used and in what context. But free != public domain. Unfortunately the internets propagate this myth.

Business as usual (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22691796)

Mainland China is all about making money as fast as possible with no regard to the long term (e.g. screw the environment, screw human rights, screw international law). Anybody want to make a bet on whether they're paying to use Transformer images in the Mario Kart clone http://kart.sdo.com/ [sdo.com] ?

Do They Have Slashdot in China? (1)

rueger (210566) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691830)

Wow... seventy-nine posts, most of which attempt to debate the subtleties of Chinese copyright law, something about which none of the posters know anything.

Now we know why the Chinese government built the Great Firewall...

Re:Do They Have Slashdot in China? (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#22691868)

I was expecting someone to come up with the fact that Olympic official website of NBC (which runs in free economy) will force you to run Windows or OS X (if Silverlight 2 isn't late!) if you want to see the videos. Instead it is the cold war all over again along with needless defence of their country by their citizens.

Lets say you are a happy Ubuntu user but somehow interested in Olympic content. As Icaza (future author of future clone) already started whining, the only way to watch videos from official site will be install windows. As nobody will pay for Windows, they will pirate it, an american product! Guess who is the king of Windows piracy? China! That is the real red conspiracy my friend! ;)

http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,143232-page,1/article.html [pcworld.com]

This is a good reason why... (1)

Mistshadow2k4 (748958) | more than 6 years ago | (#22692018)

...pirates have no respect for copyright. The holders of copyrights apparently only respect their own.

Despite all the emphasis on protecting Olympic copyrights in China this year, the official web site of the Beijing Olympics features a Flash game that is a blatant copy of one of the games developed at The Pencil Farm.

They demand that others respect their copyrights and then turn around violate others. How many times have we seen stories where this happened? I've lost count.

What's good for the goose... (1)

WoollyMittens (1065278) | more than 6 years ago | (#22692062)

This once again confirms that copyright only work one way... always TOWARDS large corporate interests.

nevermind the law... (1)

xeno (2667) | more than 6 years ago | (#22692108)

Nevermind the vagueries of copyright law and its applicability to Chinese-hosted site, what matters is that this is likely to be a visible loss of face for the ROC Olympic Committee. Given the Chinese proclivity to punish moral crimes on a spectrum that ranges from extreme public humiliation to summary execution, I'm curious if the I-only-reused-16% developer will have 16% of his/her body mass removed for reuse after the execution [usatoday.com] van [theage.com.au] comes for a visit?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>