[casual_games] Copycats -- What Can Be Done?
austin at pettomato.com
Wed Jul 19 09:06:55 EDT 2006
How do you know that the sound fx are copyrighted? I'm sure a lot of us pull
from the same sound fx libraries that we've licensed.
Pet Tomato, Inc.
Jamie Carlson wrote:
> I've always been on the somewhat "ambivalent" side of the Copycat fence.
> Which is to say that I really don't like how all of these developers
> just change the theme of the game but keep the core game mechanics
> almost entirely untouched, but what can you do about it? As this thread
> has proven, it is a very tough legal battle.
> Conversely, in the example of Luxor vs. Zuma, I think that the Luxor
> devs changed a pretty sizable amount to Zuma's Match-3 formula and made
> a compelling alternative play experience that is more than worthwhile on
> its own.
> But... (and this really just seems wrong)...
> Bigfishgames has a new exclusive Zuma/Luxor clone called "*Dynasty*" and
> one of the things I love about Bigfishgames (any portals listening, you
> should Clone this feature!) is that they have that little video Flash
> app running on each of the new game pages with gameplay footage. So I'm
> watching the video for Dynasty and notice that they have a "free
> roaming" flying dragon (which seems to eliminate much of the difficulty
> if you ask me, but I digress) and admit that is probably going to be a
> sufficient change to the gameplay to make it "different enough"... So
> that's fine...
> However, when I turn up the volume a bit I notice that they are using
> some of the sound effects that are EXACT copies of sound fx straight out
> of Zuma! (the "slow down" sfx and "explosion" sfx sound exactly the same)
> Take a listen:
> I mean, the devs can't do THAT! Can they? To be fair, I suppose
> there's the chance that Bigfishgames lazily just added those sound
> effects for the video without thinking about it, but I'm very doubtful
> of that...
> Don't get me wrong, I've created a bunch of sound effects in the past by
> using stock samples from audio libraries and then bringing them into my
> Audio Editor and would just "tweak 'em" enough to make them sound
> unique... But to lift "copyrighted" content/media from another product
> in your own field, that's a no-no from a legal perspective so it's so
> easy to compare/contrast the two samples.
> - Jamie
>> >> On 4/27/06, *Jim Stern* <jstern at iwin.com <mailto:jstern at iwin.com>>
>> >> I know there have been quite a few discussions in the past about
>> >> developers and publishers being frustrated with all the cloning
>> that is
>> >> being done in games. In some cases, the new games are clearly an
>> >> improvement from their predecessors, and they can help to push the bar
>> >> toward higher quality games. In other cases, they literally are
>> >> mimicking the same UI, layouts, game play, and art style. I would
>> >> to know if anyone has information on:
>> >> 1) Legal steps that can be done to thwart this kind of activity
>> >> (whether certain parts of the game are copyrightable or if there is
>> >> legal precedence to get the offending party to cease and desist), and
>> >> 2) Whether people are taking a stand against working with
>> >> developers who are clearly violating the rights of those who developed
>> >> the original idea
>> >> Thanks.
>> >> Jim Stern
>> >> iWin, Inc.
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