In this Japanese court decision, Spec Computer is sued (this is the appeal) by game manufacturer Konami for copyright infringement. Spec Computer loses and is forced to pay Konami. Konami had created a game that simulated a love story, where the player/main character would progress over a specific set of days, building personal "stats" and romantic relationships. Spec created a memory unit that could boost a player's stats and start the game at any point in the game's calendar. Konami argued, and the court agreed, that this action changed the essential contents and purpose of how the game was meant to be enjoyed, thus infringing upon the author's "right to preserve the integrity of a work." The case is similar to the Nintendo of America v. Lewis Galoob Toys case in the US, where Nintendo challenged Galoob's right to produce the Game Genie (which did basically the same thing as Spec Computer's product); Nintendo lost. Yet in Japan, the original game creator won out over the party who created the means to modify it. When comparing these two cases, it seems as if Japanese copyright law is enforced more strictly than American.
As other sources indicate, Japanese anime and manga artists happily live with fan-made comics starring copyrighted characters (called dojinshi, or doujinshi). In fact, much of the talent and creativity within the industry can be attributed to artists starting out in the dojinshi field. But in Konami v. Spec Computer it is clear that such infringement is technically against Japanese law as much as it would be against American law (even more so, given this case's similarity to Nintendo v. Galoob). So it is not the law that dictates the products of Japanese fan-culture, but rather common opinion and recognition of the positive effects to come out of certain forms of infringement.
Nintendo appealed with the argument that the Court should focus on the visual elements produced, which they claimed to be derivative works. The court discusses the fact that improvement is laudable, while replacement is not. The spell checker for a word processing program is used as an example of a positive improvement/enhancement. And with that, the subject of fair use was taken into account, and the functions of the Game Genie were scrutinized in relation to the four factors that allow for fair use to be claimed. If in fact the Game Genie was determined to create derivative works, then the question was, would they be allowed under the factors of fair use?
The out come was a positive one for Galoob. The Game Genie's temporary derivative works were determined to be non-commercial, and they were not found to cost Nintendo any loss of profit. Therefore, no injunction was granted to Nintendo.
This case is an interesting one because of the fact that the Court discussed the coding of the games, which proves that there is a growing understanding of such technology among court officials. In addition, it shows a progression of Copyright law which allows it to accommodate new technologies.
Call#: Lippincott Library HD9993.E454 N577 1993
In regards to my paper, the Tetris cases represent a major problem within the game industry during its shaky beginnings. Much like other forms and mediums, it took a series of court cases to define the standards of copyright practices. The Tetris case serves as a good example of video game copyright gone wrong, along with proof that such copyright decisions at the time could drastically change the market. Nintendo gaining the rights to Tetris may have had just as much to do with luck as it did with negotiation skills, however, the proceeding cases definitely set a precedent within the video gaming industry. In addition, although it is not discussed within the book, further legal proceedings regarding Tetris were to take place later in time.
Buse goes on to discuss Video Game narrative, and its ability to immerse the player to the point of obsession. His views are not too kind, as he claims that video games are based on belligerence, and they teach through a process of negative reinforcement, considering they are for the most part, based upon competition and combat. He also declares them to be almost chauvinistic in that they primarily show what he describes as a "worst case scenario of patriarchal gender relations" (pg 166) and that they do not ever possess a narrative. Buse even goes as far as to equate video games with cocaine, considering that they can appear to be addictive.
While this article does not have anything to do with video game or computer copyright issues, it does serve as an example of the way in people of different field must strive to interpret them. Buse's discussion of technology and the way in which it causes immersion is also of importance to my paper. The idea that video games are becoming increasingly more interactive begs the question of whether or not technology will progress to a point where interactivity within the game will demand copyright protection.
The game Defense Command was determined to be nearly identical to Defender in both the "play mode" in which the player gains control of the character, and the "attract mode" which is defined by the screen that displays before the coins are inserted. Artic's defense was that there was no "fixation" as far as the audio and visual effects presented on screen were concerned. When a person plays "Defense Command" whether in attract mode, or play mode, the person changes what is occurring on the screen, and so there is an element of transience to the images and sounds presented to the player (even though said changes are infinitesimal). Essentially, Artic made the argument that each player is a co-author of his individual game. The Courts however, did not accept Artic's argument of transience.
It was concluded that Artic's claims were not sufficient, considering that within the play mode, there was enough repetition of audio and visual material that the little difference made by the interference of the player was insignificant, and within the attract mode, there was basically no player manipulation.
The most important aspect of this case, which relates significantly to my paper is fact that this case brought into question whether or not ROM was copyrightable. Artic claimed that by initiating the case, Williams was arguing that ROM was in fact not only a machine part, but intellectual property. Still, the Court dismissed this claim as the ROM was said to merely prove fixation, and that it was not copyrightable. Artic also argued that it copied object code, rather than source code, making this case groundbreaking on another level. Copy of object code would not have infringed upon copyright, considering it was un-copyrightable. It is important to note that in order for a decision to be reached, the Court had to deliberate and almost translate existing copyright law in order to reach a conclusion and counter argument to match Artic's claim. The case ended in favor of Williams, because the Court was able to study existing Copyright law in order to accommodate the technology.
Hemnes used several cases to illustrate his point that in most early cases, video games are either over or under-protected. Cases such as the Pac Man or Galaxian cases are used as examples in which copyright law applies differently to video games than it would to another medium, such as literature. Although not mentioned within the text, the novel "The Wind Done Gone" is an example of a derivative work that could be considered to have undergone a similar case. However, while the novel was considered fair use, the speeding up of the game Galaxian was not.
What is most important, Hemnes argues, is the preservation of originality and expression of ideas, which in his conclusion he believes could be better achieved through more careful analysis of the effects that video games have upon elements of the fair use doctrine. Considering my paper focuses on the ever growing complexities of video game and computer game software, it is important to take into account early video game cases and the obvious flaws in their litigation.
Call#: Van Pelt Library Z642 .V35 2001
Within the chapter “The Digital Moment, The End of Copyright?” Vaidhyanathan includes a sub chapter entitled, “”Recycling” The Idea-Expression Dichotomy” which begins by describing the format and icons of the very computer he is using to type his book. Every “GUI” or Graphic User Interface displays a trashcan icon, which is used to delete documents and programs from the computer. However, there are obvious differences regarding this icon, depending upon whether you are using a Mac, or a computer with the Microsoft Windows operating system. One displays a trashcan, while the other is more of a recycling bin. Not only do they look different but they are labeled differently as well, even though they inherently perform the same function. Vaidhyanathan uses this example to argue that although intricacies such as a trashcan/recycling bin causing a monumental court case may seem to threaten the idea-expression dichotomy (which is what copyright laws initially serve to do, protect the expression of an idea, rather than the idea itself) they actually do the opposite, and serve to revive it (when it comes to software design). Vaidhyanathan believes that this revival began with none other than the Atari v. North American Phillips Consumer Electronics Corp. case, in which the game KC Munchkin was found to be too similar to Pac Man and eventually (after a struggle regarding what is in fact copyright-able) was taken off the shelves. This case was won by Atari even though such things as “pellets” and “ghosts” were not deemed “original”. In another case, the Apple II fought against the Franklin Ace 100, which brought about the question of whether or not source code should, or could, be copyrighted. This case was a triumph for Apple as well, allowing the company to dominate for quite some time.However, back to the discussion of GUIs, the court ruling between Microsoft and Apple regarding their similar GUIs resulted in the idea of standardization, which allowed for basic design to be identical, as long as very minute differences such as the trashcan/recycling bin were to exist. Although an opposite outcome to the Atari case, it can be seen within Vaidhyanathan's discussion that the idea-expression dichotomy was revived in relation to software, be it for video games or computers. This is crucial to my paper because the idea that software (in general) can be protected under copyright law, is a definite example of the Courts having to deliberate upon new technology, and interpret Copyright law in order to include advancements in technology.
Atari v. North American Phillips Consumer Electronics is a primary case in determining video game copyright law. Atari/Midway sued North America Phillips Consumer Electronics on the ground that their game, K C Munchkin directly infringed upon Atari's original, copyrighted game, Pac Man. Pac Man was copyrighted as an audio visual work, and so the very fact that KC Munchkin possessed similar visual and aural elements, not to mention near identical game play , was the basis for the lawsuit. The case beings by describing in meticulous detail, the copyrighted work of Pac Man, from the shape of the pixilated creatures, the position of the "gobbler", right down to the number of "power pellets" on the maze-like playing field. Conversely, aural and visual elements of the accused KC Munchkin game were also painstakingly reviewed down to the smallest detail. Minute differences, such as the number of dots/power pellets, and the position of the "gobbler" at the initiation of game play, are heavily scrutinized. While there were found to be evident similarities in so far as both games display the same basic element (such as a mina, "gobbler" character, ghostlike enemies, pellets, maze structure, etc.) the court concluded that there were enough differences between the games that an injunction was not necessary. The court maintained that differing elements such as the personification of the KC Munchkin character, the different sounds and even the fact that the KC Munchkin ghosts were "spookier" were enough to make the games significantly different. The factor that games are not protected under copyright law was a rather large issue, and so there was credit given to the artistic visual aspects of the game. In addition, the question of how much of the elements of the game were original and artistic, and how much of them were common sense, was also a big factor. The graphics also came into discussion, with the belief that the technology simply could not allow for drastic distinction between characters.
However, with an appeal, Atari was in fact able to take KC Munchkin off the market. The court employed the "ordinary observer test" and concluded that even though there were differences between the games, to the average player there would really be no distinction (nor care) for differences between the games "artistic expression".
This case is extremely important to my paper because within it are various examples of the way in which video games can be misinterpreted, and the complications that can arise from such interpretations. Labeling Pac Man as an audio visual work, along with the fact that source code is not mentioned at all within the case are very important factors to my paper. How can copyright define a video game? Also, visually, the court determines the similarities between both games as a fault of the graphics, and this is certainly something that can not be said of later games, as technology advances.
This journal article is a profile of the Modifying or “Mod” Community who use existing video game engines as the framework to create video games of their own. It focuses on Mario Orsini who with his team of 15 is developing a Mod called “Orbit Wars.”
It becomes germane to the subject of Video Game Copyright issues because the Mod Community itself is a bit of an oddity in the context of a Video Game Industry laden with myriads of complex copyright and patent laws. When a video game is created, it is programmed in two fundamental parts, the engine, which is the part that defines the physics of the gameplay itself, and then there is what the author refers to as the “aesthetic package” which defines the look and theme of the characters and visual effects. Modders take the engine from an existing game and create an aesthetic package of their own. In essence, they create a derivative work, the kind in which one conventionally thinking, might believe to be under fire from waves of lawsuits. As this article demonstrates, not only is that premise not true, but the situation is quite the opposite. Several examples are cited which illustrate the encouragement of the modded video games. It becomes clear that the Mod Community is looked upon by the industry as a way to seek new talent and embrace innovation.
The aim of the article seems to be in its illustration of benefits the Mod Community provides for both Modder and Game Maker. It does this by alluding to situations such as Id Software’s “Quake” line, which was the first game to include a set of developer’s tools with the game. They also cited the popular Mod “Counterstrike” which was a created with the engine of a game called “Half-Life.” Counterstrike’s popularity grew so much among the online Mod Community, that Sierra Entertainment, who published the original Half-Life, picked it up and sold it commercially. It would go on to sell “at least 1 million units.” These are effective and well-known examples that support the argument. Ultimately, it may be a way to show the Mod Community as a shinning example of the ideal relationship that could exist between Game Maker and Consumer. The context of this relationship entails one of mutual respect where the creative aspect of the game comes from both ends. It also demonstrates that the knee-jerk reaction to protect the content of the software can often end up hurting the product because it shuts it off from the community of people that support it through sales and allegiance.
Argued before the 9th Circuit Court in 1992, this case was Nintendo’s attempt to stop Galoob’s production of the “Game Genie.” The device in dispute attached to standard Nintendo cartridges, which allowed users to input various special codes to perform “cheats” and alter the physics in the games they owned. Nintendo argued that the device created unauthorized derivative works, Galoob stood solidly behind the fair use defense.
The arguments presented some interesting perspectives on the extent of exactly what constitutes a derivative work, and also how far fair use defenses can go. Nintendo’s arguments imply that Galoob’s device unlawfully authorizes users to use copyrighted works in spite of the fact that it does not violate copyright law. This method of argument however was unfruitful considering that the precedence set by the Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc. case unambiguously established that simply providing the means to commit a type of infringement does not constitute infringement in itself. What further invalidated the argument was the fact that the Game Genie did not even encourage any infringing activities in that the purchase of a legal copy of the game was required to use it with the device. Of the four factors, which determine fair use, the effect on the potential market was what came into play. Since it did no apparent harm to the potential market, the Court was not receptive.
This distinction is very important to the idea of Video Game Copyright Issues because it give a definitive boundary to what we as consumers are physically allowed to do with software that we purchase. This is a case that goes beyond the arguments of copy protected source codes and piracy. With lawsuits like this, Game Makers attempted to exercise control over the products that they sell beyond the point where ownership has transferred to the consumer regardless of if it affected their market. Did it become an argument about the moral rights of the Game Maker to maintain quality of their own brand? Perhaps such an argument would have held more water. However, if the Game Genie case had gone Nintendo’s way, it may have set precedence for more lawsuits of the same nature which may have further pushed the boundaries of DRM technology for software and hardware. Such actions would not be to the benefit of the consumer, and would have only solidified a monopolistic control on not only sale and distribution, but on the very existence of the software itself.
This is a news item, which discusses a list of four exceptions provided by the Library of Congress, which may be legal ways to circumvent the arm of the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) and allow limited impunity to bypass some forms of copy protection. In relation to the theme of Video Game Copyright law, it is perhaps not a hugely relevant list of exceptions, but it does effectively illustrate that there is somewhat of a gray area in the Emulator/ROM issue.
The exceptions themselves include Internet filtering lists, programs protected by a dongle (any type of hardware device which is necessary for activation), programs in obsolete formats, and ebooks, which do not contain accessible features for disabled people. While this type of “legal” circumvention of DRM measures does not create the huge impact for those who wish to see copyright restrictions loosened, it may possibly have rejuvenated the emulator debate among its proponents. The vast majority of the emulators that exist in downloadable formats on many Internet sites are made from older video game consoles that have been long out of production. The ROMs that the emulators run are ripped from games that are likely older than a great portion of those who download them. It is this very argument through which many form the moral justification to download and play these ROMs. Such an idea could even be expanded into one about the promotion of arts and sciences, or the cultural benefit of generations too young to immerse themselves in the classic games.
The article uses the short reach of these exceptions as a way to illustrate the need for more rights to be given. The author makes the point that the Library of Congress has found itself in the unique position of being able to “poke the law” and get the attention of the Government and bring these issues into light. Being from a technology-oriented site, the article is clearly in favor of loosening restrictions. However, it is not so much a call to arms as it is a reporting of the exceptions themselves as they were released. The author’s point of view is apparent and he uses the news to bring up the questions about its possible impact on the emulation debate. There is perhaps no issue that is of more importance to the subject of Video Game Copyright than this. It is through this debate that the future of the industry will transform.
Sony, because of its extensive activity in the courtrooms has garnered somewhat of a reputation for being DRM fanatics. However, when this rumor began to spread, it created an intense wave of negative backlash to Sony and perhaps to the DRM argument itself. The rumor in question was that the Playstation 3 console would have a technology that would leave a type of electronic signature on each new game disc that was placed in the machine. From that point on, the game disc would be playable on that machine and only that machine. The implications of that would have been enormous. People would not be able to loan games to their friends. Rental outlets would not be able to carry Playstation 3 games. If one were in a situation where the console needed to be replaced, that person’s entire library of games would be unplayable. And it would be the complete elimination of the used game market.
Fortunately for consumers, and Sony itself, “rumor” is exactly what it was. Sony recently made it very public that the rumor was not true. Perhaps it was a competitor who started this since interest in the Playstation 3 seemed to drop for a time due to the backlash. However, the patent for the supposed technology itself does indeed exist. It would not exist if there were not a desire by some to incorporate it. It is no secret that Game Makers have been attempting to exercise control of not only the intellectual property aspect of their software, but also its physical format. If the other video game consoles also adopted these measures, you would more than likely see alternatives such as acquisition of the games as downloads through their respective online features. Perhaps such a measure would have been tempting to Game Makers who saw the benefits of phasing out physical copies of their games as a way to cut production costs and maintain tighter control over its distribution. Cases involving the reverse-engineered production of Emulators were ruled as a fair use because the physical extraction of the object code stimulated activity for the public good. To be aware of how easily their work can be infringed (in their eyes anyhow), there is no denying that this is the ideal direction in which the industry would like to lead. It would be their proverbial check against the blows that have been dealt to them in unsuccessful litigation.
This is a short news item about the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) backlash against modification or “mod” chips. Any relatively recent console system has embedded unto it, a DRM (Digital Rights Management) chip, which prevents pirated or counterfeit copies to played on the system. A mod chip is essentially a chip designed to replace that DRM chip that will in turn allow the user play out of region copies of games and consequently, counterfeit copies.
This particular item focuses on a Hong Kong-based online software store. The crackdown on the mod chips which the site sells, seem to have been legally strong-armed by joint lawsuit filed by Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo. The article serves to illustrate how DMCA-like measures are occurring not just in the United States, but also around the world. The author quickly relates the aforementioned lawsuit to the renewed vigor of the Video Game Industry to stem piracy in the aftermath of the DMCA. It also effectively puts into perspective the point of view of the industry, which sells heavily equipped hardware at a loss, which is ideally made up in software sales. The effect of piracy is not a mere nuisance but something that insidiously chips away at the infrastructure of its very business model.
It is the somewhat personalized perspective of this article brings which makes it applicable to the predominant theme of the copyright issues pertaining to video games. While viewed in the context of a research item, it is limited in the amount of information it gives and is more in the area of food for thought. However, it is a piece through which perspective is gained. In this case in the near peril of the site Lik-Sang.com, which at one time was one of the world’s leading distributors of mod chips. Its struggle against the so-called “Goliaths” of video games was one that showed how these measures affected the supposed “pirates” which they had gained the reputation of being. Suddenly, the anonymous pirates and counterfeiters seem more anthropomorphic. The article makes reference to a similar lawsuit brought about by Sony against a retailer in Australia that was ruled in favor of the retailer. This contrast effectively illustrates a primary point in the whole debate in regards to the inability for international law to come to any consensus. International law is very disparate as far as the acceptance of the devices. In light of that, anything that sheds light on the global aspect of the mod chip crackdown is a ripe subject in terms of video game copyright.
This is a journal article, which is a comprehensive look at the Video Game Emulation debate. Its layout is filled with loads of historical facts and analyzes the nuances of the debate in several chapters according to each aspect. In spite of the heavy loaded nature and its plethora of facts and technical data, it does all of this to arrive at a conclusion regarding the suggestions of the authors towards finding an amicable way to solve the legal disputes surrounding copyright infringement.
Its argument is not established early on in the article, but it lays the groundwork for it by setting the debate itself into context. It begins by explaining exactly why there is a need in the first place for the emulators and how the emergence of these have only been magnified by the rise of the Internet and peer-to-peer networking. Then it devotes some chapters to examining the methodology and technical data that brought the emulators about. The economic ramifications are also discussed, at which point the direction moves towards the points of views of both sides of the debate. Several cases are cited examining the potential legality or illegality of the practice. Finally, it arrives at its conclusion, which gives the authors’ strategy for issues.
The argument given is quite adamantly against an RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) type of attempt at simply eliminating the emulation community through endless litigation and bullying tactics. It also makes the case that Game Makers should embrace emulators by recognizing the consumer need and actually meeting that need themselves instead of persecuting the individuals from the outside who have taken the initiative to do it for them. Moreover, the claim is made that customer loyalty would be recaptured. The support of backwards compatibility among gaming consoles is another major suggestion placating consumer ennui and possibly extending the longevity of the product itself. A plethora of statistics is also given to solidify its points.
So what does all of this have to do with Copyright Law, specifically related Video Games? Much of it does, and much of it is technical data and statistics that is, perhaps inconsequential to the legal debate itself. Ultimately, the article serves as a well-researched cornucopia of information about the subject. The overarching theme of this is how legality is either upheld or circumvented in the industry. Piracy and copyright law go hand in hand. The arguments made by the authors are conventional ones, views more than likely anyone outside of a Game Developer’s office would hold. However, its methodology is very precise. It cites information in a very unbiased way and allows the reader to make up his/her own minds. This results in a very different experience for individual readers, yet at the same time brings the debate into the frame of mind that it wants. While probably more fact and data-oriented than the casual reader may care to stand, it accomplishes what it sets out to do in a very efficient way.
The important precedent set in this case was the fair use judgment involving the disassembly of copyrighted object code. According to the Judge J. Reinhart, “Where there is good reason for studying or examining the unprotected aspects of a copyrighted computer program, disassembly for purposes of such study or examination constitutes a fair use.” This decision essentially gave a validated legal existence to Emulators as well as the right to distribute them. This specifically refers to the Emulators themselves, which were created by reverse-engineered object code of the hardware of the original video game consoles. The ROMs used to play on the Emulators however, remain illegal to distribute even to this day under the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act.) However as established in other landmark fair use cases such as Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc. simply providing the means to an infringing activity does not constitute an infringement itself. It is this method of argument that the Judgment seems to draw its endowment. The aim of stimulating activity for the public good qualifies object code as a fair use.
It is this very judgment from which the very crux of the pro-emulation side draws its argument. Even after the implementation of the DMCA, a person who is able to establish him/herself as a developer or an associate of one is legally permitted to create backups of game software based on the premise that they are extracting the code for either educational purposes or for providing the basis for an entirely new work. This is a very important concept in relation to Video Game Copyright Issues because serves as a prime example of what one is able to physically extract from products they pay for and own. To know that what transformative works may have resulted from that extraction is protected is key to understanding the intricacies of the emulation debate. That debate may pave the road for the future of the industry itself.
This brings us to the defendants, Internet Gateway. In spite of these agreements, they reverse-engineered Blizzard software to create a type of emulator called the Bnetd Project, which was a namesake nod to “Battle.net,” the name of Blizzard’s server. The Bnetd software allowed users to run the online features of official Blizzard software on servers that they created themselves, in essence, bypassing Battle.net. The fair use defense of Bnetd failed even on the merits of its own arguments. What perhaps was its main defense was that Bnetd still required the official Blizzard software to operate. It may have been an argument on the possible lack of effects it would have on the market, but at the same time, it allowed potential pirated copies to enjoy benefits that would have otherwise remained exclusive to paying customers. The onus was on them to demonstrate how their software could provide legitimate non-infringing uses.
Indeed the law agrees that simply providing the means to commit infringement does not constitute infringement itself. However, no other use could be justified seeing as Bnetd existed only for the single purpose of infringing on the Blizzard licensing agreements. The standards for finding a fair use simply did not apply in this instance. The significance of this case is its demonstration of the power of the EULA and TOU. The court did uphold them as valid enforceable contracts and even went so far as to point out that Blizzard had placed the agreements on the outside packaging of the software, which also guaranteed a full refund within 30 days if the purchaser did not wish to comply.
In relation to the overall scope of Video Game Copyright Issues, you begin to see with this case where the old loopholes loose their luster when put to applicable standards which force infringing parties to reveal the underlying motive behind what they do. It may not necessarily be nefarious, but the ambiguity of copyright law was designed to create an atmosphere of innovation and creativity. If you are being honest with yourself and find that your motives are not quite so altruistic, then the concession may need to be on your part.
Sony had filed suit and won over the issue of this screenshot, it was quickly appealed and argued before the 9th Circuit Court. Bleem openly admitted that it took the screenshot and used it for advertisement and for the packaging, but doing so was protected as a fair use. The Court made special effort to apply the four factors in determining fair use: The purpose and character of the use, the nature of the copyrighted work, the amount used in relation to the whole, and the effect on the potential market or value of the copyrighted work.
The fair use argument of Bleem brought forth examples from landmark cases like Campbell v. Acuff-Rose and Harper & Row v. The Nation. The Court’s attempt to avoid rigid application to copyright statute illustrates the frame of mind in which this decision was made. It was found that Sony’s argument did not stand the scrutiny as the screenshot did not have enough substance or was not the heart of the work, which was supposedly infringed. In relation to the last of the four factors in determining fair use, Sony was in the market in this instance with video game hardware and software, yet argue that they at the same time were in the market with the screenshots themselves. The Court clearly rejected this line of argument because the screenshots had no adverse affects on the market that Sony represented. Although the case was not directly about the Bleem emulator software, its presence undoubtedly hung as a pendulum over the entire case and was even addressed by the Court. It was not difficult to read between the lines to find what this case was really about.
JS&A’s method of argument was that the device allowed users to create backups of the cartridges they owned for protection against “mechanical or electrical failure.” But given the massive library of games that already existed for the Atari 2600 system at that point, the Court did not find any other relevant non-infringing uses for it. JS&A’s other argument was that the Prom Blaster was intended to copy games sold exclusively by JS&A themselves. The Court found that argument weak since they only manufactured nine games and given the cost of the machine, it would not constitute any logical decision to do such. The burden on JS&A was rather light especially considering it came in the aftermath of the Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc. case which demonstrated that if the device could justify any legitimate non-infringing uses, it could be within the scope of fair use. JS&A’s device could not reap any such uses. It’s failure to do so left the Court with little choice but to issue a preliminary injunction enjoining JS&A from selling, manufacturing, and distributing the Prom Blaster.
There have been many such devices as the Prom Blaster developed for many subsequent game consoles over the following years. But it was not until the rise of the Internet did the practice of emulation really start to make any serious kind of detrimental impact to the industry. When all one needs is a computer and Internet connection to acquire an emulator of a game console and download an entire library of games, this became a danger to them in an exponentially greater way that JS&A could compare. Unlike physical counterfeit copies, this could lead to a form of piracy where the supposed loss and damages would be inestimable. That perhaps is why the JS&A decision is so important to the issue of Video Game copyright. There had been cases regarding software programming codes, but this was the first one to specifically call video games to the forefront to be judged in its own merit of being a protected work of artistic expression.
"So it should be no surprise that the video game industry is plagued by legal battles -- many of which have shaped companies and games as we know them. And it's hardly a new trend; the justice system has a long relationship with videogames, stretching back to the medium's infancy."
need to read this one...
A MUD (Multi-User Dungeon or, sometimes, Multi-User Dimension) is a
network-accessible, multi-participant, user-extensible virtual reality whose
user interface is entirely textual. Participants (usually called players) have
the appearance of being situated in an artificially-constructed place that also
contains those other players who are connected at the same time. Players can
communicate easily with each other in real time. This virtual gathering place
has many of the social attributes of other places, and many of the usual social
mechanisms operate there. Certain attributes of this virtual place, however,
tend to have significant effects on social phenomena, leading to new mechanisms
and modes of behavior not usually seen `IRL' (in real life). In this paper, I
relate my experiences and observations from having created and maintained a MUD
for over a year.
"Machinima is the making of animated movies in real time through the use of computer game technology. The projects that launched machinima embedded gameplay in practices of performance, spectatorship, subversion, modification, and community. This article is concerned primarily with the earliest machinima projects. In this phase, DOOM and especially Quake movie makers created practices of game performance and high-performance technology that yielded a new medium for linear storytelling and artistic expression. My aim is not to answer the question, “are games art?”, but to suggest that game-based performance practices will influence work in artistic and narrative media." -Lowood
This article was a primary source for my paper. Althogh Lowood focuses almost entirely on the FPS culture which emerged out of Id Software's original 3D shooter trilogy: Wolfenstein, DOOM, and Quake, it also covers a good deal of general info about machinima...
Wierd. When I click on the link to penntext screen from Penntags, it looks like we don't have te article online fulltext, but the screen I tagged provided a link to the ACM journal that has it. We do have the fulltext. Hmm. A little troubling.
Apparently, there's something in here about video games teaching spatial literacy. Reccomended by David Seaman from DLF.
A meta-analytic review of literature that examines the physiological and psychological effects of violent video games. Concludes that violent video games increase aggressive behavior in children and young adults. Specifically, violent video games increase physiological arousal and aggressive cognitions, while leading to decreases in prosocial behavior.
Film and Media Theory Approach
Remediation: Understanding New Media / Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin. MIT Press, 1999.
The End of Celluloid: Film Futures in the Digital Age / Matt Hanson. Rotovision, UK, 2004. ISBN 2880467837
The Medium of the Video Game / Mark J.P. Wolf. University of Texas Press, 2001.
The Language of New Media / Lev Manovich. MIT Press, 2001.
Narrative vs Ludological Approach
First Person: New Media as Story, Performance, and Game / Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Pat Herrigan. MIT Press, 2004.
Narrative as Virtual Reality: Immersion and Interactivity in Literature and Electronic Media / Marie-Laure Ryan. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001.
Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature / Espen J. Aarseth. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997.
Game Design Theory
Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals / Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman. MIT Press, 2003.
A Theory of Fun for Game Design / Raph Koster. Paraglyph Press, 2005.
Videogames / James Newman. Routledge, 2003.
The Video Game Theory Reader / Mark J.P. Wolf and Bernard Perron. Routledge, 2003.
Gamestudies.org Academic Journal
The article begins by examining some standard arguments for games being narrative. There are at least three common arguments: 1) We use narratives for everything. 2) Most games feature narrative introductions and back-stories. 3) Games share some traits with narratives.
The article then explores three important reasons for describing games as being non-narrative: 1) Games are not part of the narrative media ecology formed by movies, novels, and theatre. 2) Time in games works differently than in narratives. 3) The relation between the reader/viewer and the story world is different than the relation between the player and the game world.
retail exchange exert a powerful influence over the aesthetic reception of gaming as a
set of enjoyable, exchangeable and exhaustible encounters. At the same time, the
mere fact that gamers talk about and contest each others' valuations in online forums
shows that there is nothing natural about such a valuation, and that the boundaries of
value codings and the boundaries of what constitutes fun are tested, if not traversed.
This is the bibliogrpahy for a reaserch essay I am working on in conjunction with a documentary I produced on my own addiction to videogames, entitled As Real As Your Life. Mostly just an overview of where i see the indusrty heading in the next 10 years,and what complications we may be faced with in a culture increasingly dependent on virtual reality experience.
One-hour tv special that was originally aired on the G4 network. The program discusses the history of violence in video games ranging from "Death Race" (1976) to "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" (2005). The special examines both sides of the controversy regarding the effects of these games.
Professes that contrary to what the media may like you to believe, there is no substantial link between violent video games anf and real-life violence or crime. Also explains that further research is needed to support any conclusion
Discussion of two scientific studies relating to the effects of violent video games. Compares the results of these two studies to popular behavior models. Results of both studies are consistent with "the General Affective Aggression Model, which predicts that exposure to violent video games will increase aggressive behavior in both the short term and the long term"
It is argued that exposure to violent video games causes aggressive behavior, desensitization to violence, belief in a "scary world", etc. Three types of evidence are commonly used to support these conclusions--correlational studies field studies, and laboratory experiments. This paper analyzes the experimental evidence that is used to support this argument.