Tetris clone infringes on Tetris Co.'s copyright

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Hamtaro126
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Re: Tetris clone infringes on Tetris Co.'s copyright

Post by Hamtaro126 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:50 am

This happens so many times that it is common for Tetris clones to be taken down, such as the infamous clones made by our own forum moderator named Tepples, So This is still going on in any stance...

Don't need to worry unless you recreate a clone of Tetris yourself, of which there are too many to even create another one!
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Post by snarfblam » Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:05 am

When it comes to puzzle games, there seem to be different opinions about what constitutes copyright infringement. Gameplay mechanics aren't subject to copyright, but very related parts of the game may be. Or may not be. Who knows? It really depends on who you ask.

For Tetris in particular, the concept of a falling block game where you clear lines by completing rows is not subject to copyright. Some argue that the use of square blocks would infringe. You would have to use circles or other shapes instead. Some argue that the shapes used in Tetris are subject to copyright. Others say that tetrominos are a mathematical concept and not subject to copyright. There's the argument that the size of the playfield (ten columns, twenty rows) is subject to copyright.

There's a lot of back and fourth, but the company that owns the rights to Tetris (I forget who currently owns the rights) has much more clout than a small or homebrew developer.

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Re: Tetris clone infringes on Tetris Co.'s copyright

Post by tepples » Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:10 am

Hamtaro126 wrote:the infamous clones made by our own forum moderator named Tepples
Are already gone. I wonder how long it'll take for FSF to remove tetris.el from Emacs.

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Kasumi
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Re: Tetris clone infringes on Tetris Co.'s copyright

Post by Kasumi » Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:41 pm

tepples wrote: Are already gone. I wonder how long it'll take for FSF to remove tetris.el from Emacs.
Somewhat sad. Can you at least tell me if there was a higher version than .46 (Nov 8 2008) released of the PC/NDS/GBA lockjaw?

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Post by Bregalad » Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:47 pm

I don't understand.
I understand the copyrighting between games with recognizable characters, worlds, etc...

However in the case of Tetris it's just square blocks falling off the sky. How could this be copyrightable ?

Even Chess would have more material to copyright than Tetris... at least Chess have characters....
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Re: Tetris clone infringes on Tetris Co.'s copyright

Post by tepples » Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:56 pm

Kasumi wrote:Can you at least tell me if there was a higher version than .46 (Nov 8 2008) released of the PC/NDS/GBA lockjaw?
No. That was around the time I bought my PowerPak and got into serious NESdev. I put Lockjaw on hold in favor of LJ65 until May 2009, when Tetris Co. had another wave of takedowns, and I haven't touched a single line of code in a falling block game since then.

The LJ65 project produced the following:
  • Libraries for nametable compression, glitch-free controller reading, and a music engine, which have since been reused in Concentration Room and Thwaite
  • Discovery of a glitch that happens when rendering is turned off on a line that contains sprites
  • Proof of concept that a palette of black, orange, green, and blue can be used for dithered blocks in a playfield
  • This generalized block puzzle game loop, which may prove useful to developers of games that aren't Tetris

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Post by lidnariq » Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:13 pm

Bregalad wrote:How could this be copyrightable ?
It's not. But that court decided it was, and someone justifiably doesn't want to be martyred to try to prove it's not.

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Post by Drag » Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:22 pm

The only thing I can see that would be subject to any kind of law-related action is the infringement on the "Tetris" trademark. Even then, you're only infringing if you use the word Tetris.

Is the concept of a game where you maneuver 4 solid objects arranged in a continuous shape, with the shape randomized in some fashion, with the intention of forming complete rows to delete them patented? If not, anyone is free to clone the game however they see fit, as long as "Tetris" doesn't appear anywhere within.

Were the makers of Crazy Kong, Brush Roller, and Great Giana Sisters sued for the (sometimes blatant) similarities between DK, Pacman, and Super Mario Bros?

Finally, Tengen got away with reverse engineering the lockout chip, didn't they? If someone reverse engineered a video game to produce a faithful clone, is it theft?

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Post by Dwedit » Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:45 pm

Crazy Kong plagiarized Donkey Kong a lot more than Crush Roller/Make Trax copied Pacman. I wonder how much code Crazy Kong shares with Donkey Kong, since they both run on Z80s.
Tengen eventually lost a lawsuit for how they made their lockout chip. Probably would have been legally safer to use what Codemasters used.
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Post by tepples » Fri Jun 22, 2012 4:13 am

The Great Giana Sisters was recalled upon threat of lawsuit.

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Post by Hamtaro126 » Fri Jun 22, 2012 5:48 am

tepples wrote:The Great Giana Sisters was recalled upon threat of lawsuit.
Until Nintendo decided to let them do a version on the DS, Which turned out better than a actual port...
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Post by tepples » Fri Jun 22, 2012 7:10 am

Platformers had gone from clones to genre in the 20 plus years since then, giving artists time to think up an art style that doesn't look so much like SMB1. The game's official website (requires Flash Player) shows an art style that looks far less like SMB1 than the original C64 version did.

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Post by tokumaru » Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:26 pm

What a terrible website! Looks like it was made in 2004.
shows an art style that looks far less like SMB1 than the original C64 version did.
The blocks still look VERY similar to the ones from SMB.

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Post by Drag » Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:29 pm

tepples wrote:The Great Giana Sisters was recalled upon threat of lawsuit.
Upon threat, but no lawsuit actually happened. I think they could've successfully defended themselves if they'd had the resources, but they didn't, so they took the easy route out and backed down.

Tengen actually lost the suit? I thought it ruled in their favor. Or is this a different lawsuit that happened later? Either way, the lockout chip was patented, which is a different beast from reverse engineering something that just has a copyright stuck to it. I'm not actually sure why I brought that up, because this is the whole point of a patent (as in, RE'd or not, you can't publish something that someone else patented, you'd need to change it enough to step around the patent). If Tetris was a patented concept, then The Tetris Co would have grounds to take down clones. However, I don't think it is.

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