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Re: OpenTTD infringes TTD

On 5/31/05, Nathanael Nerode <neroden@twcny.rr.com> wrote:
> Nathanael Nerode wrote:
> > Michael K. Edwards wrote:
> >
> >> [snipped lots of stuff where we agree]
> > <snipped even more>
> > I agreed with everything you said.  So I won't make this message long --
> > it started out as a whole lot of your paragraphs with "I agree with you"
> > after each one.  :-)

Careful how you say that -- start agreeing with me about things like
my digression into the FSF's anti-competitive behavior with regard to
OpenSSL, and you could become persona non grata around debian-legal. 

> Oh, right.  I did want to ask one thing: what if the rules files for FreeCiv
> were completely replaced, as well as removing the vestigial things like
> "shields" in the code?  Think it would be OK?  I don't know, but I think
> the current FreeCiv people are *trying* to do the right thing and just
> don't know the rules.  They made quite an effort to get rid of
> copyright-violating images (without being threatened or anything).  Also,
> the standard rules file is now neither the Civ I clone nor the Civ II clone
> (although it has similarities to both), and they seem quite willing to
> change it for game balance (since they don't seem to feel that they've
> achieved game balance); they're also encouraging people to make entirely
> new rules files.

Sid Meier and Brian Reynolds seem like nice guys; they probably don't
mind.  But the copyright is presumably now owned by the successor to
MicroProse, the endlessly mutating and merging game publisher that was
Hasbro Interactive when it last filed a big lawsuit and now seems to
be Atari again (this time as a subsidiary of Infogrames).  I suspect
that the only thing that would stop those guys from filing a lawsuit
is the prospect of a gamer boycott; but purging the remaining elements
of literal copying couldn't hurt.

The PC and console game industry is brutal (
http://news.com.com/2100-1022_3-5457274.html ) and Atari in particular
has hit upon recycling abandonware as a source of free money.  I
expect that someday Big Brother will knock on my door wanting to hunt
through the 5 1/4" floppies in my garage looking for the pirated copy
of Karateka I copied off a computer lab Apple ][+ in sixth grade.  I'd
rather he didn't trip over OpenTTD on my hypothetical Debian mirror in
the process.

- Michael

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