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Ultima IV — EA Takedowns Precede Official Reboot 194

Kevin Fishburne writes "According to posts at the Ultima fan site Ultima Aiera, both the browser-based Ultima IV Sega Master System emulation at Master System 8 and the IBM-PC port at Phi Psi Software have received cease and desist letters from Electronic Arts, the current IP holder of the Ultima franchise. The post states that despite the widely held belief that Origin had allowed the Ultima Dragons to distribute Ultima IV freely in 1997, in fact that is no longer the case. It further suggests that the EA takedowns are preceding an upcoming browser-based Ultima IV reboot by Bioware Mythic. Has EA lost an eighth, or are they well within their rights by going DMCA on a 26-year-old game they had no hand in developing?"
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Ultima IV — EA Takedowns Precede Official Reboot

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  • by Derekloffin ( 741455 ) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @03:59AM (#35649802)
    As far as I know, doesn't matter that it is older, or that they didn't personally develop it. It is still copyrighted, and unless someone can show it was given to public domain, EA is within their rights to do this.
  • It's an 'in-joke' (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tigger's Pet ( 130655 ) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @04:21AM (#35649912) Homepage

    Quote from [] - to stop me wasting my time re-wording;-

    A warning that first appeared in Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar. Earning all eight pieces of the ankh is a major part of the aforementioned quest. You have to act in harmony with all eight virtues in order to earn each piece. If you act unvirtuously, by cheating a blind herb-seller, attacking a peaceful citizen, etc., you will lose that virtue. If you've earned that virtue's piece of the ankh, you will also lose that eighth.
    On the Ultima-related newsgroups, "Thou hast lost an eighth!" is used as a rebuke when someone asks a stupid question.
    "Thou hast lost an eighth" also appears in Doom II -- when you want to quit the game, the confirmation dialog occasionally warns you that "Thou hast lost an eighth" for wanting to quit!

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @08:11AM (#35651170) Journal

    Because it's old doesn't make it right to just publish it using an emulator or something

    Of course it does. Copyrights aren't supposed to be eternal for a very good reason, despite the best efforts and desires of culture vultures who believe that they should have a license to get paid forever for work someone else did.

Adapt. Enjoy. Survive.