February 10, 2005

Tecmo vs. Game Hobbyists - YADL! (Yet Another DMCA Lawsuit)

Here we go again. YADL! (Yet Another DMCA Lawsuit).

Plaintiff: "Tecmo" (a video-game company).
Defendant(s): Programmers and website creators (Mike Greiling, Will Glynn)
Target: Game modifications, (including "to make Tecmo Characters appear naked.")

These all follow a pattern.

The corporation issues a press release about the Threat To Civilization As We Know It, i.e. "Ignoring the situation will ultimately hurt future gaming experiences for both casual and hardcore gamers,".

The programmers and hobbyists get accused of mopery, popery, snookery and mookery, I mean, "copyright infringement, circumventing copyright protection systems in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), and passing off and unfair competition".

The free-speech side fights the good fight, points out it's an outrage, it's an atrocity, that it violates our social concepts of what is fair to use: "This complaint is absurd. ... . It's not competing in any way with Tecmo's product. In fact, you have to own Tecmo's product to use this stuff." (I'm skipping over the whole DMCA / fair use legal hack).

Sigh. Is there really any point in my writing much on this, except to me-too? It'll all be said, repeatedly, by many people, some far more qualified and more loveable than I am.

Two semi-original notes:
The coverage-swarm seems to have been triggered by the company press release. It's at the root of the echo chamber, even though the lawsuit seems to have been filed on January 21.

I don't know how many of these DMCA lawsuits there have to be, for certain people to admit my censored censorware research involved very serious legal risks (in some cases, it probably never will happen ...).

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in dmca | on February 10, 2005 11:59 PM (Infothought permalink)
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

Subscribe with Bloglines      Subscribe in NewsGator Online  Google Reader or Homepage


Yet again another corporation going ballistic because someone wanted to change the looks of a game that they bought. Yet again another corporation using the system to crush innovation and fair use. Yet again another corporation deciding to follow in the footsteps of the copyright nazi's.

And this whole problem started when they changed the law from its focus on distribution to copying. Something it should have never touched in the first place.

Posted by: Trent at February 11, 2005 03:01 AM

Regarding earlier comments, apparently people disagree on the notion that any publicity is beneficial even slamming attacks on character. In this medium taking an adversarial attack on character and turning it to an advantage can be done in many ways. One way would be to associate yourself from time to time or more frequently or repeatedly with an attack on character drawing more attention to the source of the adversarial view. That way you become associated with the view as an incorrect opinion rather than it being taken by itself as gospel. Or what they call spin.

Posted by: don warner saklad at February 13, 2005 03:30 AM

Yeah I went a bit over the top. Its just with all that is going on with the Copyright issue, Patents specifically software patents, Large corporations taking over the government (something that we let them do in the US thanks to the way we handle politics over here) and other various assundried items I let myself get a bit shrill. But I really do believe that corporate interests have through the influence they have gained over the US government have become effectively little dictatorships through the changes that have been made into the law concerning copyright and patents. Its all just gotten ridiculous. By proxy through the FCC, through the courts and the USPTO they are seeking to become the new masters and turn us all into little slaves or plebes who toil for them. Thats what I truly believe.

Posted by: Trent at February 13, 2005 02:02 PM