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The Courts The Internet Games

Atari Targets Retro Community With Cease & Desist 219

svenski writes "Atari User reports that Atari Inc. have begun to target the retro community and have now turned their attentions to atari2600.org, a website first registered in 2000, demanding the domain name be handed over."
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Atari Targets Retro Community With Cease & Desist

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  • by Reverand Dave ( 1959652 ) on Monday August 22, 2011 @04:08PM (#37170832)
    There seems to be news like this in abundance. When corporate profits start to sag, or don't skyrocket the legal teams start looking for people to mess with to rack up billable hours. It's disgusting to say the least how willing these companies are to alienate fans in pursuit of profits.
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spazdor ( 902907 ) on Monday August 22, 2011 @04:09PM (#37170864)

    Because some quasi-develepor exec probably sold them on the idea that their decades-old intellectual property could become sellable again on the mobile/embedded platform market but first they need to kill off the community that formed around these games?

  • by swanzilla ( 1458281 ) on Monday August 22, 2011 @04:11PM (#37170896) Homepage
    Remove of the toe?
  • by SomePgmr ( 2021234 ) on Monday August 22, 2011 @04:12PM (#37170908) Homepage
    I'm not sure abusively litigious behavior is tied to failure. Apple, for example.
  • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot@@@worf...net> on Monday August 22, 2011 @04:16PM (#37170956)

    I'm not sure abusively litigious behavior is tied to failure. Apple, for example.

    Funny thing is, Apple is doing it wrong, literally. No patent troll sues to keep a product off the market - you have to wait until the product is wildly successful, perhaps close to the end of the patent term, THEN you sue for massive damages. Plus, Apple is filing everywhere but East Texas, sheesh. Everyone knows you use East Texas to make life easy.

    Suing to keep a product off the market means you give up whatever profits you could've made had that product been successful.

  • "Estoppel Defense" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lkcl ( 517947 ) <lkcl@lkcl.net> on Monday August 22, 2011 @04:17PM (#37170974) Homepage

    i've just written this to the blog-writer: Please use the "Estoppel" Legal Defense. There's no way that Atari have not known of the existence for 12 years of the atari2600.org domain name.

    The "Estoppel" defense states that if you ignore something, it is tantamount to "acquiescence" - i.e. "silent consent".

    thus it can be claimed that Atari has "Silently Consented" to the use of this domain name, by virtue of them not having done anything for well over a decade.

  • by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Monday August 22, 2011 @04:19PM (#37171008)

    Patent trolls don't generally have a competing product. The amount of money that Apple stands to gain by having a competitor locked out of the market is likely to be a lot more than what they can reasonably collect if they win a later patent case.

    But more importantly, it keeps competitors out of the minds of possible consumers.

  • by MichaelCrawford ( 610140 ) on Monday August 22, 2011 @04:34PM (#37171224) Homepage Journal

    Trademarks are special in that you lose them if you don't enforce them. That's not the case with copyrights, patents or trade secrets. If you don't defend your trademark, then the law holds that your mark becomes part of the language, so that you don't own it anymore.

    I learned of this when Saks 41st Avenue sent a C&D letter to a small clothing store called Sacks 41st Avenue in Capitola, California. It made the front page of the local paper. Saks' attorney told the reporter who asked about it that they had to defend their trademark or they would lose it.

    The problem though is that whoever administers the domain name dispute resolution policy may not apply the trademark law. It is possible that Atari could take the domain because they registered their trademark before the website registered their domain. Because their trademark is no longer enforceable, they have no rights to the domain, but ICANN may not heed that fact and so force the register to hand the domain over to Atari.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    You know what's even better? Playing Pong with then fucking that chick I pulled at the bar.

    Then, if she likes zombie movies, some co-op L4D2.

    You got limited vision, my man.
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Monday August 22, 2011 @05:06PM (#37171670) Journal

    That's the crazy thing. Infogrames took the Atari name, presumably to capitalize on people's good memories. Now they are attacking the very people trying the hardest to keep those memories alive. This makes no business sense whatsoever.

  • That's Just Right. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Half-pint HAL ( 718102 ) on Monday August 22, 2011 @05:32PM (#37172006)

    You're missing the point -- Apple wants to sell the thing that always works. Keeping things pinned down minimises crashes. Minimising crashes means higher user satisfaction, which builds the brand.

    User freedom is also known as "enough rope to hang yourself".

    Apple have been very clever and relied on the "appstore goldrush" to ensure that millions of different app developers can produce enough to satisfy the hundreds of significant use-cases of the phone. The ecosystem is saturated, so the loss of a few is no problem at all.

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