Horace Goes Copyright Striking

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/11/18/horace-goes-copyright-striking.html

How an obscure game character from the 8-bit era ended up at the heart of a very modern YouTube takedown fight

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And crap like this is why copyright bots are a Bad Thing and should never have been built.

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We’re going to see a lot more of this. Game companies tend to not last very long, either shutting down (and having assets sold off) or being bought up, and for many years were mostly operated according to the principle of “let’s get some friends together and make games,” so they were legally pretty wobbly. (This is still often true of small indie studios.) To add to that, old game IPs of failed companies didn’t hold a lot of interest, so no one paid much attention to them. Over time, companies bought companies which bought companies, etc… each time rights issues getting more muddled.

The end result is that there are tons of game properties where no one has any idea who owns the IP. E.g.: No One Lives Forever. All indications are that we’ll never know who legally owns that one. Both the likely corporate candidates can’t be bothered to do the work required to figure it out, assuming they even still have the documents that might tell them (or that the documents would make it clear, even if they still had them).

Previously these properties were being bought up by other game companies. Now they’re just being bought up by grasping capitalist assholes, trying to make a quick buck on game properties without either reissuing games or making new ones - i.e. without doing any work themselves. They’re hoping they can find some game-developing sharecroppers who will take all the risk and do all the work of developing and publishing the games they hold the IP rights to. (This doesn’t seem to have worked out so great for any of the parties previously involved in this kind of situation so far.) Except I doubt the aggressive capitalists who are the new “owners” have any idea what they’re doing, so dumb legal threats are to be expected.

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Something similar happened to me with a t-shirt design parodying the old commodore logo. A company called Elite Systems sent a takedown request, and then proceeded to try and shake me down for a few grand in licensing fees.

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I will never get this take-down-shit from so-called “copyright”-holders in form of companys; fan-art is free advertising you stupid anal-fixated “copyright” control-freak-fuckers!

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Can’t get past the bit where you say that wasn’t Horace’s arm. My life is a lie

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Yeah, but now he’s sexy, right? I believe the British term is “Phwoar”

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While copyright bots suck, I’ve been a subscriber to Octav1us for a whole and her account of the story gives the impression this is not an automated takedown, but a targeted protection of IP.

This didn’t ping up automatically like registered background music in a video, but Andrews himself sending a claim

  • This story is INFURIATING, but this post is possibly the most Rob thing ever…
  • Reading this feels like falling down the Time Tunnel for me. “Clicked that Like button so hard I nearly broke my mouse,” etc. :slight_smile:
  • I still possess the issue of Popular Computing Weekly that picture of “Programmer, William Tang” appeared in
  • Those photoshopped gameboxen!
  • All that detail about lawsuits and enthusiasm outpacing legal prudence is fascinating. BRILLIANT closing para too (“Stay off the slopes.”)

What? WHAT???

WHAT

Was that on Qwertee.com, or similar? I’ve always wondered how they work/get away with it (esp. given the popularity of Star Wars and Nintendo stuff, two of the most famously litigious entities).

OT, but similarly Beschizzean, I submitted this design to Qwertee once but it didn’t pass the voting threshold:
image

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In researching this piece, I was shocked also.

Alt headline: “Horace sexualized”

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K…kind of?

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