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Takedown Letters For WP7 Tetris Clones 290

Posted by Soulskill
from the at-least-they're-consistent dept.
karios writes "Today I received a takedown letter from a law firm representing the Tetris Company for copyright violations involving my game Tetrada, which I published on the Windows Phone 7 marketplace. The witch hunt, after hitting Android, iOS and other platforms, continues on Windows Phone 7. It's a pity, since some of the tetromino games in the Marketplace were pretty decent."
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Takedown Letters For WP7 Tetris Clones

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  • This is called... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dnaumov (453672) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @04:30AM (#35135250)

    ...willful infrigement.

  • by pieterh (196118) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @04:44AM (#35135302) Homepage

    You deliberately chose "Tetrada" to sound similar to "Tetris" and on alone the basis that the software is a video game (no matter what else it does), that's grounds for a take down letter, and a civil court case if you don't comply. You are deluded if you think you can play the victim here, and adding your tragic story to the Wikipedia article on the Tetris Company doesn't make your case stronger.

    Is it really so difficult to be original?

    Honestly, it really annoys me to see your mediocrity dressed up in self-justification and misplaced outrage. You are not a victim, you are an idiot.

  • Re:WTF? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mwvdlee (775178) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @04:49AM (#35135326) Homepage

    Sometimes the hunted really ARE witches.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @05:18AM (#35135458)

    Seeing the flurry of comments mocking the submitter of his copying Tetris makes me realize how successful the corporations have been in their propaganda.

    Copyright has evolved from a concept conceived to protect the temporary financial incentive of inventors as encouragement of advancing humanities to a god-give right for corporations to hold indefinitely the exclusive right to monetary gains regarding anything they find a way to copyright or patent. Musicians pride themselves in their own rendition of Fantaisie-Impromptu, but programmers cannot be allowed to remake a game that has been known and enjoyed world-wide for decades. Is there anyone on Slashdot that doesn't know the basic formula to a Tetris game? Once something has become as common place as Tetris is, you have to step back and realize that it has become the possession of man-kind. Using copyright as a tool to limit people's freedom to reinvent or recreate a knowledge known to all is exactly the opposite of what copyright laws should have been made to protect.

  • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KiloByte (825081) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @05:30AM (#35135508)

    Since when game rules are copyrightable?

    He didn't copy the code nor the graphics so he is clear of copyright, and the name is different enough to be clear of trademark. The Tetris company bastards are abusing the law, counting on people's inability to afford defending themselves.

  • by RogueyWon (735973) * on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @06:24AM (#35135752) Journal

    Yes and no.

    I think you're absolutely right to say that copyright has gotten out of control. I think pretty much anybody who reads slashdot regularly would acknowledge that.

    However, that's not to say that there isn't a case for copyright, in its original form. I think what the comments on this thread - which at first glance look quite uncharacteristic for slashdot - show is that a lot of people have a gut instinct for what is right and wrong in relation to copyright (which may vary from person to person) and that for most people, the submitter falls on the wrong side of it.

    Tetris is still relatively recent (less than 30 years old) and the submitter doesn't seem to have actually tried to add any value. My instinct is that in a world with good and sensible copyright laws, this would fall on the wrong side of them. The problem is that in the absence of such laws and the absence of a sensible political debate on said laws, we're left just feeling a bit muddled about it.

  • by the_raptor (652941) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @08:04AM (#35136150)

    Slashdot in general is fairly sympathetic towards individual copyright infringement for personal use. However that does not mean any significant portion of readers is sympathetic to wilful copyright infringement for commercial purposes, especially if you are dumb enough to drag trademark infringement into it as well.

    Releasing an open source clone of an old game will get a completely different response then making a commercial clone of an old game.

  • Re:WTF? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pokyo (1987720) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @08:32AM (#35136258)
    I'd have to disagree. What is the intent of copyright? If it is to prevent consumer confusion then I would have to side with The Tetris Company. I took a look at Tetrada and it is a clear duplicate, and if I was younger I wouldn't know any better and assume that this was Tetris. You have to take into account the sum of what you mentioned. If there was a game called Tetrada, and it didn't look the Tetris, then fine. However, you have a game that looks like Tetris *AND* a game name similar to Tetris. Personally, I like this action. The 'indie dev scene' is being taken over by developers intent on copying others ideas to make quick profit. I suppose this was popularized by Zynga. Don't get me started on Angry Birds...
  • by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @08:42AM (#35136328) Homepage

    You deliberately chose "Tetrada" to sound similar to "Tetris"

    Tetris derives its name from the word tetra, the ancient Greek word for four. The Tetris Company should not be allowed to have a trademark on the number four, or the word four, in any language.

    I haven't seen the game, so I can't comment as to its originality, but it seems to me that there are potentially many variants of tetris rules which are sufficiently original that they should be allowed to stand on their own.

  • Re:WTF? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jellomizer (103300) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @10:25AM (#35137304)

    Is this going to be new norm on Slashdot. A single developer company makes a cheap ripoff of a Copyrighted game. They post the program on a popular store platform, where the copyright holders can easily check on. They get a letter telling them to stop. Then they post whining to Slashdot because they figure just because we support open source software movement we feel it is OK to break copyrights. Open Source and FSF isn't about breaking the laws it is about making and releasing products with rules where those laws are not in effect.

    Ok so you messed up. Were you really think you were going to make a living off of selling a Tetris ripoff?

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