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  • 2 weeks later...

Nicely done, glad to see this finally published!

Great job stitching my incoherent ramblings together into something that's not as boring as it could have been ;)

 

Eh, you weren't rambling. And I know more than a bit about rambling!

 

I was a thrill to see your passion for this project on display like this. I think most of still cling on to the faint hope that something playable may one day see the light of day, Activision be damned. But yeah, it's a faint hope, but your project was somehow always there and its cancellation is still bitter, even if your disclosures of this wealth of material are awesome. At this point, hoping it'll somehow be released is something that seems to happen unwittingly.

 

That's rambling. And tell you what... should you one day wish to piss on Activision's army of lawyers, you know where to ask for help ;)

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AWESOME video!

 

That's rambling. And tell you what... should you one day wish to piss on Activision's army of lawyers, you know where to ask for help ;)

 

Oh, I would love so much for you to elaborate on this, Frede. Is this why VSB was successfully released with no legal trouble? Tell about the pissing on Activision, do, Frede! :D

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I have absolutely no idea why Activision hasn't taken notice after we released the game. It hasn't been as well-publicised as SQ2VGA, but it's not as if it's a complete secret either. We deliberately did our best to fly under the radar when The Silver Lining was C&D'ed, and that seems to have worked. But it's not as if we've taken care to keep the game under wraps since then. On the contrary - we've spammed it to death!

 

Chris Ushko has speculated that not having a number helped, though. There's no way anyone is going to mistake VSB or SQInc for an official installment. And we've tried to avoid directly using the name "Space Quest" where possible. But I think the best way to piss on Activision is to not give a damn. Especially considering how SQ7 was mauled when the team tried to be nice.

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I'm hoping that since the releases are already said and done, that Activision won't C&D VSB and/or Incinerations. Not only are they awesome games, but being my first beta testing gigs I have sentimental fondness for them, not to mention I'm excited for the VSB voice pack in the works *shameless plug warning* and not just because I'm cast in it! :D *end shameless plug*

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I'm hoping that since the releases are already said and done, that Activision won't C&D VSB and/or Incinerations. Not only are they awesome games, but being my first beta testing gigs I have sentimental fondness for them, not to mention I'm excited for the VSB voice pack in the works *shameless plug warning* and not just because I'm cast in it! :D *end shameless plug*

 

Eh, SQ0 and Replicated have been out for over a decade and no action has been taken against them. It's hard to say exactly why SQ7 got the C&D and all the others didn't (Josh Mandel on the writing team, taking the next sequel number, not flying under the radar, etc)...but I think that since VSB, Incinerations and the others are all faites accomplis that it will be harder for Activision to see the benefit of doing anything about it - any damage they may have done has already happened.

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What I don't really understand is why these companies don't use the fan games as free advertising for their own work. The buzz created in the communities over the fan games would be the ultimate opportunity for Activision to make some cash.

 

Some simple ideas:

 

Make a new game, and use the fan games' fans to advertise it (see: effectively SpaceVenture...).

Allow the games to continue, but require them to carry advertising for the company's latest products.

Let the fans make the game, and once they're done upload it to the company to sell for a small fee.

Use the fan games to say "hey guys, appreciate you still love our product. By the way, the new SQ collector edition is out..."

 

But, of course, these companies live in the old world, where every pirated copy of a game is seen as a lost sale (it isn't), every borrowed idea damages the worth of the original (it doesn't), and everything that can't be directly monetised can't make money (it can).

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  • 1 month later...

Allow the games to continue, but require them to carry advertising for the company's latest products.

No. Just...no. Go down that road, and before you know it fan creations everywhere will be having annoying adverts forced on them by corporate lawyers.

 

One very important thing to realize here is that the whole trademark/copyright thing ultimately has *nothing* to do with money, at least not directly. After all, VSB, Incinerations, SQ7-Fan, and the like are *free* games - no money is changing hands. The whole 'taking away sales from the company' argument doesn't fly here.

 

The *real* issue here is one of legal precedent. The idea is simple: if Activision or whoever gives out the rights to bandy about their intellectual property in a fangame, and make a habit of doing so, then they eventually lose *control* over those rights.

 

You know the word 'xerox'? It's a verb, used to refer to making a photocopy of something. Once upon a time, the Xerox company was a huge presence in the world of photocopiers - so much so that people began to use the name of the brand (Xerox) to refer to the act of making copies. The Xerox company hates - *HATES* this, because it dilutes their brand name; people now use the word to refer to *any* photocopy stuff, even when it's not actual Xerox brand.

 

That's what a lot of copyright law stuff is about; if you don't make a show of acting like you're trying to protect your IP, you run the risk of losing control over it in the future. Every so often, Activision or whoever has to flex their legal arms over stuff like this, or else the lawyers of the future might be able to point back at this time and say "Hey, they didn't take action then, what right do they have to do so now?" Sometimes they'll pick on fan stuff for absolutely no logical reason beyond them crossing some obscure line in the legal dirt - one that makes no sense to us, but means everything in the courts.

 

I agree that the fact that the game went around calling itself "Space Quest 7" was probably a big part of why it got shut down. 'Tangent' games like VSB and Incinerations are one thing, but if someone releases a game called Space Quest 7, then the legal SQ copyright holders can't release one of their own and potentially get screwed over should they decide to make one in the future. It's a lot like how businesses will often reserve Internet domain names *years* in advance, in order to make absolutely sure that no one else can have them - even if they themselves aren't using them yet either.

 

In short - it's a legal thing. It doesn't have to make sense to regular people like us; it just has to *exist* so that some lawyer somewhere can make a point in court. :P

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