Developer ZeroPaige has spent the last seven years creating a port of Super Mario Bros. for the Commodore 64, a record-breaking home computer released in 1982. He released the game just before the weekend to critical acclaim. It didn't take long for Nintendo to start filing takedown notices.

When it was released in 1982, the Commodore 64 (or C64) was a revelation.

Resplendent in all its 8-bit glory, the machine packed 20 kilobytes of ROM, 64 kilobytes of RAM, the ability to display multicolor sprites and a sound chip (the now legendary SID) to die for.

How many machines were eventually sold is up for debate, but with lower estimates of more than 12 million units and some as high as 30 million, it was clearly a massive success story that still has developers excited today.

In parallel with the companies who wrote code for Commodore’s machine, a thriving hobbyist scene thrived in the 80s. So-called ‘demos’, distributed via BBSs, pushed the computer to its limits, delighting users with super-smooth scrolling and sampled speech – in fact anything it wasn’t originally expected to do.

The fascination with the C64 has persisted for decades. It wasn’t officially discontinued until 1994 but since then has lived on, both in hardware and emulated forms. Those pushing the limits of what the machine can do have also remained hard at work.

One of those individuals is a programmer known online as ZeroPaige, who for the past seven years has been attempting to cram a port of Nintendo’s 1985 NES game Super Mario Bros. into Commodore’s now ancient hardware.

On April 18, 2019, ZeroPaige revealed that his goal had been reached, with the release of Super Mario Bros 64.

“This is a Commodore 64 port of the 1985 game SUPER MARIO BROS. for the Famicom and Nintendo Entertainment System,” ZeroPaige wrote.

“It contains the original version that was released in Japan and United States, as well as the European version. It also detects and supports a handful of turbo functionalities, and has 2 SID support.”

The developer released the somewhat incredible port as a C64 disk image file, playable on hardware or emulators. The reception it received was amazing, with many fans heaping praise on ZeroPaige for completing a task many believed couldn’t be done.

But of course, the mighty Nintendo was watching too.

Links to the image squirreled away on hosting platforms started to go down, with the suspicion that the Japanese gaming giant was behind the deletions. Seven years of hard work taken down with a few lines of text.

Early this morning, the Commodore Computer Club revealed that it too had been hit with a copyright notice, effectively confirming that Nintendo was behind the action against Super Mario Bros. 64.

https://torrentfreak.com/nintendo-targets-amazing-c64-port-of-super-mario-bros-after-7-years-development-190423/?fbclid=IwAR2ROX1JHn8hUshM16hDw39D2oHnh0AUZ9v0or54TJUtluYyfmWgFmLGAfc

4 weeks ago

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Is Nintendo terribly evil and greedy?

View Results
Yes
Of course yes!

at least when sony does this they hire the person

4 weeks ago
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anybody remember Pokémon Uranium?

4 weeks ago
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Sadly, yes

4 weeks ago
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Yes; that, and AM2R.

...and SMBX.

3 weeks ago
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AM2R at least makes sense, since they were actively working on a Metroid 2 remake at the time.

This, on the other hand, is just needlessly and pointlessly overprotective.

3 weeks ago
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Once it's on the internet, it can't be deleted. Eat a donkey, Nintendo. The only company that has survived based on three or four franchises for the past 3 decades.

4 weeks ago
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Lucky for everyone, ZeroPaige waited until he had the port finished, so they couldn't stop him.

4 weeks ago
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I dunno, McDonalds is doing pretty good too :P

3 weeks ago
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it was way easier to download the disk image than to get my c64 back from the waybackmachine...

4 weeks ago
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Are y'all surprised by this?

Nintendo is a shit tier company.

Not sure why there's so many kiddos who love their low-quality products.

4 weeks ago
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I love (many of) their products, and I hardly consider myself a kiddo. Low-quality seems a bit far-fetched considering that they consistently gather praise from the press and have millions of fans all over the world. The Legend of Zelda and Mario games are easily among the best ever created, and they are accordingly nominated as such in most "all time" best games lists.

That being said, I agree this is a shitty move and they deserve any criticism they get for it.

3 weeks ago
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Considering they have 5 games on the 10 highest rated video games of all time, including three Mario titles, "low-quality" seems like a rather peculiar statement.

3 weeks ago
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That's the thing, though, Nintendo doesn't make low-quality products. They may be living in a cave, with their eyes closed and fingers in their ears, but they put out really good, really polished games.

3 weeks ago
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Nintendo is incredibly aggressive in controlling their IP. That's not going to change any time soon.

Copyright law is fucked and should have hatchets taken to it. If the original 1790 term length was still in force, the SNES library would be turning over to public domain now, and the original NES library would already be public domain. As it is I don't think any of us here are going to be alive by the time they do turn.

4 weeks ago
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Wasn't there a change a few years ago that said that a game was public domain after 80 years?

4 weeks ago
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Because it totally takes eight decades for a media company to make a return on their investments. See you guys in 2070. 😒

3 weeks ago*
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To some extent you can thank Disney for that, as from what I understand the laws were originally more reasonable until they started freaking out about the possibility of their mascot (Micky Mouse) becoming public domain.

3 weeks ago
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Are you kidding me? In 2070 Disney will make lawmakers change copyright to 120 years.

3 weeks ago
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Aint that the fuckin' truth.

3 weeks ago
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a lot sooner than that. the copyright on Mickey Mouse is set to expire in 2024, as the current limit is 95 years (first mickey mouse was from 1928)

3 weeks ago
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Japanese copyright laws are more harsh than international ones. It's something along the lines of "if a company does NOT protect it, they are at risk of losing it entirely"

3 weeks ago
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Which is backwards if you think about it.

If we were to treat intellectual property like physical property, then requiring it be protected like that is like expecting home owners to actively threaten anyone who trespasses on their property, even accidentally, lest the owner loses title. That's the exact opposite of what property laws are supposed to do: to properly recognize claims even when the claim is infringed on.

3 weeks ago*
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if a property owner doesn't enforce their property rights, they can lose them too.

3 weeks ago
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U.S. copyright also has a "use it or lose it" approach

3 weeks ago
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That looks suspiciously like the C64 classic The Great Giana Sisters.

And while it seems like a dick move, legally Nintendo pretty much has to do this if they want to keep their Super Mario trademark.(Trademark registration records can be found here: https://trademark.trademarkia.com/super-mario-75725834.html)

The law doesn't really care if an unauthorized use is a pretty cool fan project (such as this) or a scummy cash grab (like a Soulja Boy branded cheap Chinese knock-off console full of unauthorized roms).

4 weeks ago*
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Thankfully someone actually has some common sense and knows his shit.

4 weeks ago
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Yep, came into this thread hoping someone would explain this to those who don't already know that this is more the fault of poorly written laws then 'evil Nintendo'.

4 weeks ago*
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Well, if you want you can ignore shitty laws, or you can use them to prosecute harmless fans.

3 weeks ago
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Choice 1) Ignore shitty laws and lose hold of their important trademark
Choice 2) Keep ahold of important trademark consistently even against fan projects

Lmao, really? If you're going to expect Nintendo to risk losing it's IP you may at least try and make an argument for them to do so that isn't a strawman fallacy.
Or, you know, keep screaming "Nintendo bad." I'm sure that will totally bring about some change. They knew what they were doing, they didnt do what the people who are making fallout new vegas on the fallout 4 engine did by contacting the company, they intentionally waited until it was finished so that some people would get outraged because being angry is easier than being informed

3 weeks ago*
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Nintendo will lose the Super Mario IP over a C64 port?

3 weeks ago
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Trademark law in the US requires that you defend your trademark consistently against all infringement or lose it. So while they wouldn't lose the IP rights, other people would gain the right to make games with "Super Mario" in the title.

Additionally, some other people here have mentioned that Japanese law works that way for copyrights. If that's true and they don't fight it, they could actually lose exclusivity in Japan and everything in the game would become public domain, including the characters of Mario and Bowser.

3 weeks ago
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Do you know fanfiction? Are the owners of Naruto or Harry Potter going to lose their rights if they don't prosecute every piece of fanfiction or fanart ever?

What about mods? Is Bethesda going to lose the Elder Scrolls franchise if they don't start attacking modders?

3 weeks ago
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You're confusing copyright with trademark.

3 weeks ago
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Answering the person above me.

"Trademark law in the US requires that you defend your trademark consistently against all infringement or lose it"

3 weeks ago
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If reasonable people confuse the fan work with original work coming from the creator, yes, it's potentially trademark infringement, depending on what the trademark is registered for. Naruto may not have a trademark on non-illustrated fiction labeled "Naruto", but Harry Potter definitely does have a trademark on fiction labeled "Harry Potter". Similarly, Nintendo definitely does have a trademark on video games labeled "Super Mario". The entire point of a trademark is to identify the origin of a particular type of product, so trademarks require consistent enforcement or they are lost.

Copyright in the US, on the other hand, is not "use it or lose it". A copyright protects your ability to create works based on your own creations, but also your right to allow others to do so. As such, copyright owners can be selective. For example, "You are allowed to draw fanart, but not sell it" is pretty common. So is "I don't like this one particular use of my work for some reason, I want it removed." or "I will sell you a license to create something in my setting."

Others have mentioned in this thread that copyright in Japan is different from US law and does require consistent enforcement - if you become aware of a use of your copyright without permission and choose to do nothing about it,.everyone else is allowed to do that same thing. I am not familiar with Japanese law and cannot confirm that, but if it's true, yes, the owners of Naruto could lose their ability to enforce copyright on written text if they become aware of a particular piece of fanfiction and ignore it. And far more serious, Nintendo could lose their copyright on everything in Super Mario Brothers if they become aware of an exact copy and don't take it down

3 weeks ago
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Some things make a lot more sense now! 0.o

3 weeks ago
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I couldn't understand that link even if my life depended on it.

What's the deal here? 😏

3 weeks ago
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If they do not enforce the trademark and the product ends up being harmful in any way, itis as if it was tied to their trademarked product.

Simpler terms: if they make a fan Mario game and it ends up eventually some malware that spreads through the commonly associated title, then Nintendo can be blamed for letting it. If the guy contacted them to get an official licencing agreement, upon which Nintendo could check the game and say okay, you can release it, then everything is okay.

Plus the more mundane one is that if it is not their product, then they are not controlling the trademark and it gets diluted, weaker. Thus, cheaper in value, losing company value in return.

This is why in the 80s they did not let id Software do the SMB1 PC port, but never objected when they released it as Commander Keen (or was it Dangerous Dan…? At any rate, they quite redesigned it before launch).

3 weeks ago*
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Malware. On a Commodore 64 port. Malware

3 weeks ago
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Let's be realistic, nobody will run it on the real hardware, only on an emulator.

3 weeks ago
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I will.

3 weeks ago
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5.25" floppy or Datasette?

3 weeks ago
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Have both, but I loaded this port with a SD2iec. Works fine on my C64 but some machines don't run it. I don't know why.

3 weeks ago
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Wow! My dad still has both but they are not in use. I remember using that special punch so that we could use both sides of a single-sided 5.25" floppy.

3 weeks ago
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if he is able to write some malign SW in 6502 assembler that under the disguise of a famous Italian plumber's adventures is capable to take control of mame first and then of a modern operating system such as win10, he landed a job for sure as chief l33t officer in a big fortune company.

3 weeks ago*
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Ahhh my brain can comprehend this 👍
Cheers

3 weeks ago
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"scummy cash grab" like The Great Giana Sisters?

3 weeks ago
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Pretty much. Except The Great Giana Sisters never was hit with an actual lawsuit. Because Nintendo just threatening with one was enough for the publisher to pull the game.

3 weeks ago
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They should just rename it to Commander Keen

3 weeks ago
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BUT as always, you should ask the right holders before you start your project. If not, blame yourself.

3 weeks ago
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Also, funny that your article was from some torrent site.

3 weeks ago
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some torrent site

That's a well known news site.

3 weeks ago
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your comment shows that that you have no idea about torrents or what a torrent site is. Torrentfreak.com is probably the best news resource on the web, when it comes to copyright infringements. You will not find any illegal torrent on this site, just news.
https://torrentfreak.com/about/

3 weeks ago
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In Nintendo look for their interests and their IP. If someone copies a book of mine, or does something with one of my books, it obviously would not allow it.

3 weeks ago
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Does Nintendo have a plan to come up with a c64 Super Mario game? No. Is this port asking for money / profiting from it? No.

To compare this with a book copying is not the same. Nintendo might still be in their rights, but it's just very lame to say the least.

3 weeks ago
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No, even for a free project, I do not allow them to take a novel of mine and use it without permission. At least you should ask. Nintendo does not know if that project is of low quality or not and would not like to have Mario's name linked to it. Nintendo only defends its interests.

3 weeks ago
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I wouldn't say you're wrong, but this is pretty hilarious coming from someone with a fake Game Boy game avatar :D

3 weeks ago
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Hahahahaha

3 weeks ago
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I mean to say anyone is surprised about this would be foolish, they've always been known for being an ass when it comes to fan games or ports of their licenses, even if they're free.

It's a shame to know that 7 years of work has basically been screwed over, but again, Nintendo don't care about how much work has been put into something, if it's something based off their own IPs and they don't approve of it (and I don't actually know of an instance of them doing so) they'll take it down as soon as they're aware of it..

3 weeks ago
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It does seem like the creator should have expected this all along.

3 weeks ago
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To be fair it shouldn't have taken 7 years to switch out the Giana Sisters assets for Mario ones XD

3 weeks ago
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3 weeks ago
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i've voted "No, it's fair" and didn't read the full article.

and it's really fair. that's Mario stuff.
like, you love "nintendo", you start to "play" with "nintendo". sooner or later, you'll get a cease and desist or smth from Nintendo.

... Mario is just that, Nintendo :P

3 weeks ago
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I vote no in your flawed poll. Nintendo is just doing what it is legally required to do.

3 weeks ago
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It's 2019 and people are still surprised by this kind of thing? It's great that he was so dedicated, but maybe put all your effort into making a game with new characters instead of borrowing characters another company has spent 30+ years building up. And no, Nintendo is not the 'bad guy' in this scenario, they are just doing what they need to, to make sure their brand isn't diluted by a million 'fan fiction' games. Even if it was an amazing game, if they allowed one to go without permission, it would open a flood of infringement, because of a little something called 'precedent'. C64 remakes one day, hentai visual novels with goombas tomorrow. I'd rather live in a world without the latter thanks!

3 weeks ago
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Well, we talk about a "port" here wich in my eyes is more technical art than a copyright problem... your other examples doesnt fit for that scenario...

Sure its Nintendos right to fight against it, but why? Theres no reason for it, i think it's just a 100& anti copy policy and nothing more...

You can be sure that people like Satoru Iwata will have that version running on their own C64 at home, if they own one...^^

3 weeks ago
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You can be sure that people like Satoru Iwata will have that version running on their own C64 at home, if they own one...^^

Well, I don't think he plays many games nowadays...

Why? Surely a 100% anti-copy policy would be reason enough? It's not the 'right' of the gaming public to decide what can and can't be done with a franchise or a game, it is the right of the people or company who created the characters or games in the first place. And if they don't want their brand diluted, then so be it. Sad for the guy who wasted 7 years of his life on this project, but again, what was the expected outcome here? He could have asked for permission and tried to do it the legal way, but he obviously already knew what the answer would be, and carried on regardless.

Insert non-copyright infringing shocked fake pikachu meme here

3 weeks ago*
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Nintendo always goes after these guys. It should really be no surprise. Fan remakes/ports always get taken down by Nin. If I was planning to make one and actually hoped for it to enjoy a long life, I am pretty sure I would try to get Nintendo on board first.

3 weeks ago
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Honestly because of how the law is, they HAVE to go after things like that. If they lapse even on one, someone will argue later they didn't care and let their IP/copyright run out. It's very stupid, welcome to our world.

3 weeks ago
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Do you know fanfiction? Are the owners of Naruto or Harry Potter going to lose their rights if they don't prosecute every piece of fanfiction or fanart ever?

What about mods? Is Bethesda going to lose the Elder Scrolls franchise if they don't start attacking modders?

3 weeks ago
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Fanfiction isn't the same. Also generally fanfiction isn't that popular and get posted on main stream news sites. Games like this DO... which gets the WRONG attention.

3 weeks ago
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So... if there is a very very popular fanfiction, 50-shades-of-grey-popular, they HAVE to go after it, because it's popular, and uses names, but a game with very little popularity doesn't matter?

3 weeks ago
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Dude.... why are you coming at me so hard. I'm not fucking Nintendo I'm just saying what I heard before when someone brought this up about that Metroid game and the Pokemon game they shot down.... Damn man... calm down

3 weeks ago
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Sorry about that. Didn't mean to go so hard. Just trying to point out the fault in the argument, where a fanfiction can be far more popular than a videogame.

3 weeks ago
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fanfiction falls under fair use exemptions of copyright laws. porting the exact game does not.
mods are a much longer discussion

Basically, there's an exemption to copyright for a transformative purpose such as commenting, criticizing, and parodying a copyrighted work.
Fanfiction is generally considered to fall within that exception.

3 weeks ago
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Copyright law doesn't work like that. What you say is only applicable to trademark law, which is being broken here too since they're using the "Super Mario" trademark.

3 weeks ago
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Are there any AAA companies that have seen their IP illegally ported and chosen to leave it alone ?

No, this doesn't look like greed to me. Not compared to the rest of AAA companies.

When I think of greed in video games, I think of microtransactions. Especially lootboxes.
I think of crunch periods because the company doesn't want to hire enough developers. Especially Epic games with near permanent crunch despite a 3 billion dollar profit last year.
I think of Activision Blizzard getting paid 228 million by the US government because of how well they dodge taxes.

3 weeks ago
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Add Netherworlds to that list. 100 hour mandatory crunch weeks allegedly.

3 weeks ago
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It might be quicker to list the AAA publishers that don't have heavy crunch.

3 weeks ago
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If they don't charge anything for it then there's no reason to go after it.

3 weeks ago
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so if someone releases the latest avengers movie for free on the internet that's ok too?

3 weeks ago
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Yes but only because that's an awful argument.

3 weeks ago
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As I tried to explain before: there is a reason for it, because there's a trademark infringement.
Trademark law forces you to defend your trademark at all times. If you don't act the moment become aware of infringement, that is evidence that you allow you trademark to be diluted. And if you let your trademark be diluted, you lose it.

Hyperbolic and oversimplified scenario what happens then:

  • Nintendo lets this unofficial port, made without permission, slide. When it can be proven that the news about it was big enough that they could have been aware of it.
  • Some asset-flipping troll uploads "Super Mario Active Shooter LGBTQ+ vs MAGA Edition" onto the Steam store.
  • Nintendo issues a takedown notice over that trademark infringement.
  • Troll responds with "LOL SUE ME", Nntendo does in fact sue
  • Troll argues in court that Nintendo has no claim because they are inconsistent in upholding their trademarks, refers to C64 Super Mario Bros as evidence. Judge agrees, Nintendo loses trademark.
  • Steam, Apple AppStore, Google Play and other digital stores with no standards now get flooded with every sort of Super Mario bullshit, because there's no legal way to stop that.
3 weeks ago
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Definition of charge in English:

charge
VERB
[WITH OBJECT]
1Demand (an amount) as a price for a service rendered or goods supplied.

‘wedding planners may charge an hourly fee of up to £150’
with two objects ‘he charged me five dollars for the wine’

3 weeks ago
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Trademark law doesn't care whether you charge money or not. That's copyright law, and it's only one part of the four factors of Fair Use. Trademarks exist entirely to identify the source of goods, and free goods can absolutely still be trademarked. Similarly, free goods can still infringe on trademarks.

Why does trademark law work that way? Well, say I handed out a hundred free (and low-quality) watches with "Rolex" stamped on them. The people who get those watches could reasonably assume that they're made by Rolex because the watches have their their branding. And because they're low quality, some of those people will probably complain about Rolex making a low quality product. Suddenly, without any permission from Rolex, I've hurt their brand's reputation. Just because I didn't make any money doesn't mean that there was no harm done. So trademark law gives them a way to shut me down, even though I'm just handing things out for free.

Now let's say that Rolex finds out about my watches, but instead of shutting me down, they choose to let me continue. Now, because they know about it and allow it to continue, they are accepting any damage I may do to their brand. And rather than let them reserve the right to change their mind at any time in the future, the law gives them a reasonable amount of time to respond. If they don't stop me within the time limit, and I can prove when they knew about it, I can assume that I have their permission.

So let's say that happens, and I have permission to churn out crappy, low quality Rolex watches forever. By giving me that permission, Rolex has made it so that there are two independent, unaffiliated sources of goods with the same label - Rolex and GauRocks's Basement. That means that the "Rolex" trademark is no longer a useful way to identify the source of goods, and opens it up to a challenge that would revoke it entirely and allow anyone to sell watches marked "Rolex."

I've simplified things a bit here of course, but that's why, even if it's completely free, Nintendo needs to take action against anyone using its trademarks.

3 weeks ago
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I mean, I'm sure he knew it was coming. He didn't work on it for seven years hoping to get a deal or anything, he just wanted to share his project with the world, which he did. He was even smart enough to wait until it was done. Nothing shocking here.

3 weeks ago
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Nintendo Targets Amazing C64 Port of Super Mario Bros. After 7 Years’ Development
Is Nintendo terribly evil and greedy?
Yes Of course yes!

In fairness, I also regularly target 7-year old ports. I'm not sure about being evil, but I suppose I can admit to a bit of covetousness. :P

View attached image.
3 weeks ago
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next poll:

Tawny or Ruby?

3 weeks ago
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It's a Commodore 64 game. It's probably a 100kb file. Trivially easy to download and distribute. So it's out there now and it's not going anywhere.

Also, why'd it take 7 years to do a sprite hack of the Great Giana Sisters?

3 weeks ago
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the headline should read "idiot takes seven years to do a sprite hack"

3 weeks ago
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Heh, I actually played that one way back when. My friends and I had already played GGS and we were really bummed that it was just GGS with a Mario sprite.

3 weeks ago
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Super Mario Land DX is out.

Super Mario Land DX is a romhack of the original Super Mario Land for the Game Boy that turns the game into a Game Boy Color game. It adds color and changes the graphics to give the game a modern look.

Nintendo must remain busy. :p

3 weeks ago
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Was it worth it ? The 7 years work I mean, how many people still own and use a C64? Was there popular demand for it? Isn't Super Mario Bros playable on like, every android smartphone that came out in the last 8 years (via emulators) ?

3 weeks ago
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This is a labor of love and passion. Commodore enthusiasts are really impressed, and we are quite a few I must tell you.

3 weeks ago
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Own and use the actual hardware? That's a few hundred hard-core hobbyists probably. But those old machines tend to have a loyal following in the emulator scene too :)

3 weeks ago
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