This page is a wiki. Please login or create an account to begin editing.


136 posts / 0 new
Last post
Offline
Joined: 2009 Mar 21
COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENTS: Take down EA Games

I have received this email from EA's IP department. Please everyone delete games on Mac Garden that were produced by EA:

"I write on behalf of Electronic Arts Inc. (“EA”). EA is one of the world’s leading developers and publishers of interactive entertainment software. EA owns or controls the copyrights in its products, including but not limited to the PC games American McGee’s Alice, Full Tilt Pinball, Future Cop: LAPD, Madden NFL 2000, PowerPoker, RoboSport, SimAnt, SimCity, SimEarth, SimIsle SimSafari, SimTown, System Shock, PGA Tour Golf, Populous, Populous 2, Syndicate, Theme Park (the “EA Games”), and has the exclusive right to reproduce and distribute the EA Games.

It has come to our attention that you are offering for download unauthorized copies of the EA Games on your website www.macintoshgarden.org (the “Site”). EA has not authorized you to reproduce or distribute copies of the EA Games. Your distribution of the EA Games infringes EA’s copyrights in the EA Games. Further, your unauthorized commercial use of EA’s trademarks and game artwork constitutes infringement of EA’s intellectual property rights.

We demand that you immediately cease and desist all unauthorized copying and distribution of the EA Games and any other EA products. We further demand that you immediately and permanently remove all EA artwork, packaging and in-game images, and other intellectual property of EA from the Site. We request written confirmation of your compliance with this demand no later than June 18, 2010. You can contact us at IPEnforcement@ea.com.

This letter is not intended to be a full statement of the facts, and it does not prejudice or waive any claim, whether in law or in equity, that EA may have with respect to this matter or any other matter.

Very truly yours,

K A R E N J E S S O P
Sr. Paralegal, IP Enforcement"

Comments

macgirl84's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Oct 26

How very quaint that they call them "PC games" -- don't they realize the games here are for Macs?

Kasm279's picture
Offline
Joined: 2010 Mar 23

Macs are Personal Computers Tongue

macgirl84's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Oct 26

Here's a shortlist of EA titles from their website: http://www.ea.com/2/legal-notices

iig's picture
iig
Offline
Joined: 2009 Jul 16

OK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS IS IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I AM GOING ON A NO-EA STRIKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DOWN WITH THE SIMS, SIM CITY, MY SIMS AS WELL AS ALL THEIR OTHER GAMES.
Those greedy hogs at ea will pay for what they have done, taking away some great classics from future generations.

On another note, who is the spy here? Smile

macgirl84's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Oct 26

If you really want to dislike EA, read this livejournal: ea-spouse.livejournal.com/

I love how making their games compatible for Intel-based OSX Macs involves sticking a CIDER wrapper over the Windows game and calling it done. Its inefficient and makes me miss the 1-2 year lull while Aspyr translated the games...

iig's picture
iig
Offline
Joined: 2009 Jul 16

Ha! More like "challenge those abandonware sites which take away .1% of our profit"

macgirl84's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Oct 26

But the issue is that EA is a big corporation, whereas the Garden is a labor of love.

It's better to comply and keep the site than have EA sue us all into oblivion...

Most things here are either freeware, abandonware, or they've been released into the public domain. EA just proved they don't view Maxis as abandonware. But then, how could they when they're milking the Sims and SPORE so hard?

iig's picture
iig
Offline
Joined: 2009 Jul 16

Farewell maxis, for i shall miss thee. Sad

Excuse me well i rant about ea.

EA reminds me of a mafia boss. "I'm such a big and powerful company that you and everyone else has to do what i say or i'll sue you"

macgirl84's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Oct 26

Oh, you should hear the threats they put out over the street dates of games... I worked at an EB Games from 2002-2005, and hell hath no fury like a broken street date.

Or not making quotas on those damn sports games. I swear they forced the company to cut hours when we didn't sell enough Madden....

macgirl84's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Oct 26

I think I got all of the Maxis/EA content removed...

There are still some links to external mirrors in the comments of several games, so an admin or mod will have to remove the links to those...

Do we need to remove the pages for the games as well? Or can they stay behind as items akin to gravestones?

amatecha's picture
Offline
Joined: 2010 Mar 10

No the pages are fine. It's just the copyrighted material (game and its content) that matters. Screenshots are fine to keep online too.

Unfortunately on a site like this we have to listen to these threats or the whole site could be gone.

On that note, I have the plans to start a [redacted] server. More on that at another time (like, when it's online). Once it is up I would like to archive every game on this site if at all possible.

amatecha's picture
Offline
Joined: 2010 Mar 10

"We further demand that you immediately and permanently remove all EA artwork, packaging and in-game images, and other intellectual property of EA from the Site" It's not really within their right to demand the removal of content that is, for example, users' own screenshots. Even product photography, I have a strong feeling we have the right to have that content on the website because it is freely available all over the web, and EA doesn't seem to mind that, apparently (take a quick look at, for example, MobyGames.com , which has full high-resolution scans of packaging, manuals and game media of pretty much EVERY computer game ).

amatecha's picture
Offline
Joined: 2010 Mar 10

"Further, your unauthorized commercial use of EA’s trademarks and game artwork constitutes infringement of EA’s intellectual property rights."

There is ZERO commercial use of ANYTHING on this entire website. Smile

Balrog's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Apr 24

Even though I am not a lawyer, covers and screenshots generally fall under fair use, at least here in the US. The files are what they're concerned with.

Balrog's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Apr 24

Can you make an A-Z list of what needs to be removed (even if you've already removed it) and paste it to pastebin.com or a similar place? Thanks!

macgirl84's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Oct 26

EA might try to say that since the website survives on donations that, in a really weird way, it can be considered a commercial enterprise. They should go after Wikipedia next, or maybe Wikia; I'm sure a large number of their games have representations there.

What I would like is a complete list of companies they've acquired over the years; there are probably more than just Maxis....

amatecha's picture
Offline
Joined: 2010 Mar 10

Ask and ye shall receive:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_acquisitions_by_Electronic_Arts

macgirl84's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Oct 26

-wince- crud.

Bolkonskij's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Aug 3

Maedi, someone gave 'em a hint. They don't pay people surfing the web to look for stuff like this, that's why so many bigger sites are still online without problems.

Screenshots are the intellectual property of the author (originator) here in Europe as well. Same goes for packshots as long as you've taken the screenshots yourself. Just like Mercedes cannot urge you to remove a photo of your new mercedes car from your private website. It's yours.

What can we do? Take down the download files and NEVER EVER spend a single penny on an EA game again. I did in the past, but I'll never do it again. And tell people about it.

amatecha's picture
Offline
Joined: 2010 Mar 10

Actually, they probably just did an extremely simple Google search - go search "simtower mac download", for example. Or even worse, "simant mac download". Furthermore, the Macintosh Garden page for Sim Ant shows up in the first page of results even for "simant download", which is pretty brutal. The whole forum is indexed too. Sad This site should not be indexed by Google. Which got me to thinking, you should have to have an account and be logged in to be able to even see a Download link, IMO.

Bolkonskij's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Aug 3

that's definitely a good point regarding google, though they don't hire people for googling.
Reason is you need to see it from the entrepreneurial perspective: It doesn't make any sense to go after a site where maybe 200 people are downloading - while you don't get any revenue from it, you have to pay the employer (which are high costs today) AND you get bad press.

I had been working at a big video game company part-time during my semester breaks and they never sent someone googling for stuff like this. Usually they would only pick on the big fish (like those reproducing games in large quantity in the Far East for example) or once someone notified them. (though even then, most cases simply went into the trash).

You never wondered why there are so many pages out there with roms and abandonware that openly promote it? Manufacturers don't like it, but for them it's simply not economical to go after small sites and maybe even lock it down with subsequently two new sites popping up somewhere else. They've given up long ago...

Offline
Joined: 2009 Apr 10

It is a shame really, but what else can be done? EA is quite repressive with their IPs and they are very serious when it comes with their titles. The titles remaining are: A-Train, Sim City Classic, and a couple of others I have yet to track down. I can only imagine the situation will get worse... =(

bertyboy's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Jun 14

Well it had to happen one day. A clear mission statement on the home page would help the sites defence.
Pampering to requests to make games downloadable and playable by as wide an audience as possible doesn't help - and I'm just as guilty as the rest of us.

All the games produced by EA themselves won't be missed. All the games produced by firms since bought out by EA will. I know many of us jest that we'll never buy another EA game, those of us that already have bought an EA game recently had already made this commitment. Battlefield 2142 was extremely dire on Mac with draconian copy protection that took away the pleasure.

Still, if we can get back to them confirming that we have done all that they ask, also stressing the sites mission statement - about the preservation of Macintosh software, and ask them to reconsider some of the titles, those based on floppy disk perhaps.

MCP's picture
MCP
Offline
Joined: 2010 Mar 12

This site has definitely done its job too well as far as Google is concerned. If there's a way to make the site easy to find without all of its individual pages turning up there, that might prevent something like this happening again.

iig's picture
iig
Offline
Joined: 2009 Jul 16

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ea owns everyone, and now i can't download my favorite games.

i'm just waiting for them to announce that they bought out 2dboy.
EDIT: I wrote EA an email at the address listed in the message, that explains what macintosh garden is and why would should get the write back to distribute games, i encourge all of you to do the same.

IIGS_User's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Apr 8

Can you de-activate Game File Upload for such pages?

Offline
Joined: 2009 Nov 14

Big time suck. Luckily, I now have legal copies of SimFarm and SimAnt.

I think that we should argue why EA doesn't have Macintosh copies of said games available...but if they do, they'll probably be all DRM'd up anyway.

There probably was a snitch from here. I wonder who they are.

Can we hire a lawyer?

MCP's picture
MCP
Offline
Joined: 2010 Mar 12

"There probably was a snitch from here. I wonder who they are."

It's called Google.

bertyboy's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Jun 14

Well it might not come down to us to resolve this. Now I'm in no way suggesting that we ignore the Cease & Desist from EA'a paralegals, but we have a number of factors in favour of the site:

  • It is the law of the land in which the site is hosted that prevails.
  • If we persisted (against all advice) to sue for damages EA would have to show lost revenue.
  • EA writes and sells very poor software, like all empires their day will be over in time, sooner rather than later if they don't up their game (so to speak).
  • EA has lost nearly $2billion in the last 3 years, it's last profit was $76m in 2007.
  • Apple could buy EA tomorrow with a tiny percentage of its cash mountain. This has been rumoured (www.macrumors.com) more than a few times over the last 10 years. But it looks like Apple doesn't need EA to keep the iPod / iPhone / iPad games market booming.
Offline
Joined: 2009 Nov 14

Where is this host located? Is it America or Britain?

iig's picture
iig
Offline
Joined: 2009 Jul 16

If server is in the USA, some kind of act in DCMA would apply(at least, i think so)

At least i have something to look forward to. . . The day when EA is BANKRUPT HA HA HA HA HA!!!!

IIGS_User's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Apr 8

At least i have something to look forward to. . . The day when EA is BANKRUPT HA HA HA HA HA!!!!

Then Macintosh Garden will buy the EA's copyrights. *)

It's no long way until, if they do not remove their copy protection things.

*) That was a joke.

amatecha's picture
Offline
Joined: 2010 Mar 10

We should really be hosting in some European country which has very casual rules on copyright.. Wink

"If there's a way to make the site easy to find without all of its individual pages turning up there, that might prevent something like this happening again."

Yes, very easy. A robots.txt file in the site root will solve the issue. More info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robots_exclusion_standard

I've worked as a web developer for the past decade or so so I'm super familiar with this kind of stuff ^_^ haha

Offline
Joined: 2009 Nov 14

@amatecha: Unfortunately, that will prevent previous versions of Macintosh Garden appearing in Archive.org...ever again. So keep that in mind...

amatecha's picture
Offline
Joined: 2010 Mar 10

The upside is that you can have rules for specific search bots, so most could be disallowed but then the archive.org bot could be allowed (for example). Assuming the archive.org bot looks for rules specific to it, or whatever.

IIGS_User's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Apr 8

I was not able to kill Sim City Classic, and A-Train because of 'You are not authorized to access this page.'

amatecha's picture
Offline
Joined: 2010 Mar 10

One thing regarding all of this... someone put this on all the pages we removed the downloads from:
"At the behest of Electronic Arts, the links to this game have been removed."
That wording basically means EA does not want the links removed. "At the behest of" means "that person would prefer otherwise". So, the above sentence means something like "EA doesn't want us to do this, but the download links have been removed".

EDIT: nevermind, MCP corrected me. Who knows where I learned this wrong meaning of "behest". Probably used incorrectly by someone when I was a kid and it stuck with me that way! Lame. haha Sad

macgirl84's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Oct 26

I'm the one who put up the behests.

This example in Apple's onboard OSX dictionary is the primary reason:
"the slaughter of the male children at the behest of Herod."

I thought it was a very well chosen word. Sorry it confused you... =(

RSK
Offline
Joined: 2010 Feb 9

"EDIT: nevermind, MCP corrected me. Who knows where I learned this wrong meaning of "behest". Probably used incorrectly by someone when I was a kid and it stuck with me that way! Lame. haha"

It happens, though. I just remember that "behest" rhymes with "request".

Balrog's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Apr 24

Can someone PLEASE put out a list of names of what should be removed (even if it has already been removed)? We need to go through the server and make sure it actually has been removed.

MCP's picture
MCP
Offline
Joined: 2010 Mar 12

Sorry, I'm a word nerd--

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/behest

Main Entry: be·hest
Pronunciation: \bi-ˈhest, bē-\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, promise, command, from Old English behǣs promise, from behātan to promise, from be- + hātan to command, promise — more at hight
Date: 12th century
1 : an authoritative order : command
2 : an urgent prompting

iig's picture
iig
Offline
Joined: 2009 Jul 16

@balorg, All the games with sim in there name as well as pretty much all the games that have been updated on the tracker list here within the last 24hours.

Offline
Joined: 2009 Apr 10

@ Balrog:
Autoduel
Comanche Mac
Deer Avenger 2
Wolfpack
Sub Battle Simulator (both Color and b/w)
PT-109
PT Boat Simulator
A-Train
Bill Elliott's NASCAR Challenge
SimCity Classic (need to remove screenshots)
SimCity 2000 Collection
SimAnt
SimEarth
SimTown
SimLife
SimTower (possibly YootTower, because it was designed by the same guy (Yoot Saito))
SimSafari
Robosport
SimIsle - Missions in the Rainforest
Widget Workshop - A Mad Scientist's Laboratory
Klik & Play (published by Maxis in the U.S.)
Full Tilt! Pinball
A-Train
American McGee's Alice
Archon
Deluxe Music Construction Set 2.5
Future Cop: LAPD
Madden NFL 2000
PowerPoker
WarCraft II (Battle.net Edition) (According to the Author tags)
System Shock
Studio 1
4D Boxing
PGA Tour Golf 2
Pinball Construction Set
Populous
Populous II: Trials of the Olympian Gods
Bard's Tale
Powermonger
Grand Prix Circuit
SkyFox
Star Flight
Star Flight II
Chuck Yeager's Air Combat
One on One
Patton Versus Rommel
Syndicate
Theme Park
Ogre
Moebius: The Orb of Celestial Harmony
Omega
Super Wing Commander
System Shock
Wing Commander IV
El-Fish
Any Creative Wonder games (i.e. Madeline)
Command and Conquer
Legend of Kryndia 1 (both versions) & 3
...
that's all I can find.

macgirl84's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Oct 26

@Balrog -- I'm going through looking for the various publishers that EA has acquired over the years...

Only issue is that some of the games (like Sim Farm) didn't have any info put into the Publisher/Designer/etc fields, so they aren't turning up.

I suppose we could ask them for a complete list of everything they own @_@

RSK
Offline
Joined: 2010 Feb 9

Wow. I've been gone for months due to classes and finals, and this kind of thing happens. I see it was recent, though. I wish I could help out, but I've been out of the loop concerning their games and what companies EA owns now for years.

But seriously, making you guys take down a game that was made in 1987? What profit can they expect from that? I'm pretty sure that game isn't being re-distributed by them. It's kind of too bad, too. If I really like a game I've seen or downloaded from here, I usually try to buy a copy from a store (if it's still distributed) or from someone on eBay. Not gonna happen with EA now.

I think someone must have tipped them off, though, because I just did a search for "Moebius: The Orb of Celestial Harmony" and found another abandonware site that has it available for download still, and it's a PC version, not a Mac version. Pfft.

By the way, I know where the EA office is located here in California (yes, they're located in Los Angeles, also known as the City of Lawyers). XD I also have heard they're total snobs. They only want to hire people from USC to work there; apparently UCLA and Santa Monica College graduates aren't good enough for them.

Good luck. If there's anything you guys can think of that an occasional user like me can help with (like research), let me know. I wouldn't want to see the site taken down because of them.

bertyboy's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Jun 14

Like already hinted at, the game info might not (or might incorrectly) point at EA or one of their axquisitions. This may be true for some of the titles put up by users outside of the US, where the European publisher was different to the US.

I've removed all the MegaUpload files from the EA games so even if someone came across a cached version of the game page in Google, the link would be dead.

Make no mistake, the site will survive and thrive without EA. The best thing to come out of it may be that we get no more whinng from new members for warez with their laughable definitions of what constitutes abandonware. That always irked me.

RSK
Offline
Joined: 2010 Feb 9

"Make no mistake, the site will survive and thrive without EA."

Oh, I don't doubt that. It's just that living in a city with more lawyers per person than anywhere else in the world makes me really, really dislike lawyers. I also dislike people and companies that have lawyers send out threatening letters instead of doing the asking first themselves, then having the lawyer send a letter when nothing happens. It's kind of like schoolyard bullying.

bertyboy's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Jun 14

Well, the more lawyers EA have the better, it's more overly-expensive staff of mixed abilities that deliver no financial benefit to the company. The more time of theirs we consume of theirs involved in discussion over definitive lists and questions over European publishers and asking them to reconsider (multiple) individual titles. Perhaps asking to discuss a licence to distribute at no cost, all costs them time and money. And the paralegals never make decisions themselves, every question has to go to a IP counsel to get a decision made.
I'm saying we should comply fully, but question everything they have asked. And then ask them to clarify it.

IIGS_User's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Apr 8

@Balrog:
Besides the list of kataetheweirdo, I found a few other titles by searching for 'behest':

Madeline and the Magnificent Puppet Show
El-Fish

MCP's picture
MCP
Offline
Joined: 2010 Mar 12

If I was an optimist I would think that maybe EA is just clearing the way for making a deal with GOG.com or something like that. But I'm not an optimist when it comes to big corporations...