Cease and Desist Letter? WTF

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Cease and Desist Letter? WTF

Post by cheatah » Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:34 am

I received this cease and desist letter from Atari, are they completely dumb, did you guys get one? Should we be concerned? As far as I know, its still legal to distribute emulators unless some new law passed? and of all the sites, they are referring to my old ass DCEmu archive.

"Atari, Inc.
417 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10016-2204

Tel: 212-726-6500
Fax: 212-726-4214
E-mail: us.legal@atari.com

August 30, 2011

Re: seanbajuice.com

Dear Domain Admin:

I am writing on behalf of Atari, Inc./Atari Interactive, Inc. (“Atari”) to demand that you immediately and permanently cease and desist from the infringing activities described below and comply with the other demands set forth in this letter.

Atari is a global producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment software for all market segments and all interactive game platforms. Atari is the exclusive owner of intellectual property rights, including copyrights and trademarks, in numerous interactive entertainment software products, including those listed below, and vigilantly protects its rights.

Based on available information, Atari has a good faith belief that the url(s):



http://dcemu.seanbajuice.com/dcemu-atari800.htm
http://dcemu.seanbajuice.com/dcemu-DC7800.htm
http://dcemu.seanbajuice.com/dcemu-dcs2600.htm
http://dcemu.seanbajuice.com/dcemu-lynx.htm
http://dcemu.seanbajuice.com/dcemu-stelladc.htm



infringes its copyright and other intellectual property right by copying, reproducing and/or offering for distribution, display and/or download (including through links to other sites) unauthorized console emulation software and/or unauthorized copies of game products (software) protected by Atari’s copyright rights. Atari’s copyrighted works that have been infringed include:

Atari 800; Atari 2600; Atari 7800; Atari Lynx

The infringing material or the material that is the subject of infringing activities (collectively referred to as “Infringing Material”) is listed and/or identified by console and game-related titles or variations thereof, console and game-related descriptions, or images of console and game-related artwork.

The Infringing Material is in violation of Atari’s exclusive rights under the United States Copyright Act. It therefore constitutes copyright infringement in violation of 17 U.S.C. § 501.

Pursuant to the provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), which is codified at 17 USC § 512, Atari demands that you 1) expeditiously remove or disable access to the Infringing Material; and 2) take steps to prevent further infringement of Atari’s intellectual property rights at the above referenced URL(s).

I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted materials described herein is not authorized by Atari, its agent, or the law. The information in this notification is accurate. Under penalty of perjury, I affirm I am authorized to act on behalf of Atari whose exclusive copyright rights I believe to be infringed as described herein.

This notice is not intended to be a complete statement of the facts or law in this matter. Nor is it intended to be a complete statement of Atari's positions, rights or remedies, legal or equitable, all of which are specifically reserved.

If you have any questions, please contact me by phone 212-726-6500 or email at us.legal@atari.com.

Thank you.

Regards,

Kristen Keller,
SVP & General Counsel"
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Re: Cease and Desist Letter? WTF

Post by BlueCrab » Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:49 pm

While there is case law to prove that emulators do not infringe upon copyrights in general (when distributed without any ROMS or other protected material), under the DMCA you have certain responsibilities/rights upon getting a DMCA takedown notice.

I'm not a lawyer, so I'm not clear on all of that kind of stuff. My advice would be to consult a legal professional.
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Re: Cease and Desist Letter? WTF

Post by DanteJay » Wed Aug 31, 2011 1:03 pm

What BlueCrab said.
An emulator is a program like any other, and falls under the same rules and guidelines that affect all software. The intended usage of an emulator does not affect its legality in anyway.

The usage of an emulator is also completely legal, and any reverse engineering of a system's BIOS to make emulation possible is also legal. The case of Sony vs. Connectix concluded the following:

"Connectix's reverse engineering of the Sony BIOS extracted from a Sony PlayStation console purchased by Connectix engineers is protected as a fair use."

There are some gray areas regarding this however. Some emulators require a copy of the system's BIOS to operate, and distributing a BIOS file is in fact illegal unless the copyright holder authorizes the distribution, or if the copyright becomes nullified.(Which can happen because of other events not discussed here.)

Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Are_emulators ... z1WdAmcDzg
As long as the emulators don't contain any roms (copyrighted games or system programming) you should be in the clear. But you'll have to act in your defense, so they don't take you offline.
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Re: Cease and Desist Letter? WTF

Post by Ex-Cyber » Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:32 pm

Who was this actually addressed to? You? Your web host? Your web host's ISP? Your domain registrar?

Anyway, I personally think it's nonsense (a game console per se is not a copyrighted work), but the big question is whether you're prepared to risk having to argue in court that it's nonsense or at least retain a lawyer to professionally tell them to fuck off.
BlueCrab wrote:under the DMCA you have certain responsibilities/rights upon getting a DMCA takedown notice
That doesn't apply to just any recipient or just any notice mentioning 17 USC 512. There are requirements both for being eligible for that protection in the first place (which I doubt he's met) and for a DMCA notification to be valid (which I doubt the notice meets, because of who it seems to have been sent to).
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Re: Cease and Desist Letter? WTF

Post by Noah120 » Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:26 am

Serioulsy? ATARI!?!?!? Wouldn't this be form the goverment to send you this e-mail?
:facepalm: Like DanteJay said.
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Re: Cease and Desist Letter? WTF

Post by cheatah » Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:49 am

Ex-Cyber wrote:Who was this actually addressed to? You? Your web host? Your web host's ISP? Your domain registrar?

Anyway, I personally think it's nonsense (a game console per se is not a copyrighted work), but the big question is whether you're prepared to risk having to argue in court that it's nonsense or at least retain a lawyer to professionally tell them to fuck off.
BlueCrab wrote:under the DMCA you have certain responsibilities/rights upon getting a DMCA takedown notice
That doesn't apply to just any recipient or just any notice mentioning 17 USC 512. There are requirements both for being eligible for that protection in the first place (which I doubt he's met) and for a DMCA notification to be valid (which I doubt the notice meets, because of who it seems to have been sent to).
It was sent directly from an Atari email address, after some Googling, the lady who sent it, seems to be an intern at Atari's lawyer department. I politely asked her to clarify which law I broke and gave her several sites who get WAY more hits then my old archived DCEmu and have yet to hear back.
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Re: Cease and Desist Letter? WTF

Post by DCDayDreamer » Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:31 pm

This is a strange but somewhat interesting topic, I did some digging around with regards to the pages/downloads in question:

Atari800DC - Christian Groessler made countless versions of this emulator, NOT ONE distribution contained any Atari BIOS ROMS, the README files did however contain a URL (directly to the Atari800 SourceForge download) where you could acquire the ROMS. The sourcecode for every version of this emulator was also released (again without BIOS ROMS).

http://sourceforge.net/projects/atari800/
ftp://ftp.groessler.org/pub/chris/dreamcast/atari800dc/


DC7800 - The distribution by Ian Micheal DID NOT contain any Atari BIOS ROMS, it contained an empty BIOS directory with instructions of what to name the files and where to put them. Couldn't find the sourcecode for this emulator on Ian Micheal's site - that seems to be the only legality issue and it has absolutely nothing to do with Atari.

http://imrtechnology.ngemu.com/emulators.htm


Dcs2600 - Marc Dietrichstein's site is still available but it only has info on DColem and oddDC, the downloads are available on dcemulation though. Looking at the downloads there doesn't seem to be anything other than PD ROMS on the CD Images, there are no BIOS files anywhere (unless they are embedded within the binary).

http://dcemulation.org/?title=Emulators
http://dcolem.emuunlim.com/


Atari Lynx M.E.S.S. - As with DC7800 the distribution by Ian Micheal DID NOT contain any Atari BIOS ROMS, it contained an empty BIOS directory with instructions of what to name the files and where to put them. Couldn't find the sourcecode for this emulator on Ian Micheal's site either - there is however a source 'diff' directory in the package (which is useless without the sourcecode).

http://imrtechnology.ngemu.com/emulators.htm


DCStella - Svolli made several distributions of this emulator (some had PD ROMS), this is a port so if there's any legality issues they originate from within portions of the Stella sourcecode.

http://stella.sourceforge.net/
http://svolli.org/software/dcstella/


In my opinion the real authority on legalities concerning emulation of Atari systems would be guys that run AtariAge, if they do not have the answers I'm sure nobody does.

http://www.atariage.com/index.html
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Re: Cease and Desist Letter? WTF

Post by Skynet » Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:18 pm

You couldn't find the source code on Ian Michael's site? What a surprise. :lol:
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Re: Cease and Desist Letter? WTF

Post by |darc| » Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:37 pm

Someone at Atari simply doesn't know what the hell they are talking about.

I would reply that none of the archives being hosted contain any copyrighted code and ask her to clarify.
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Re: Cease and Desist Letter? WTF

Post by Quzar » Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:46 am

|darc| wrote:Someone at Atari simply doesn't know what the hell they are talking about.

I would reply that none of the archives being hosted contain any copyrighted code and ask her to clarify.
They're not protecting the copyrighted code/bios/games. What they're going after now is the use of the name atari. 'Atari 7800' for example is a copyrighted name. By using it as the title of a webpage you may be in violation of their copyright.

It would never hold up to any scrutiny, but it makes for good scare.
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Re: Cease and Desist Letter? WTF

Post by BlueCrab » Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:11 am

Considering the name "Atari" is not, and cannot be copyrighted, what they're doing may well be illegal (sending out fraudulent DMCA notices is illegal, IIRC). Trademarked, sure; copyrighted, no.
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Re: Cease and Desist Letter? WTF

Post by Stryfe » Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:30 am

Looks like your not the only one.

http://www.atariage.com/forums/topic/18 ... ari-today/

A quick Google search show that Atari is harassing quite a few people. I'm not legally inclined, but in civil cases (if it ever goes that far), is there burden of proof or something on their part?
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Re: Cease and Desist Letter? WTF

Post by DanteJay » Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:07 am

Stryfe wrote:Looks like your not the only one.

A quick Google search show that Atari is harassing quite a few people.

At this rate, they'll be threatening all the groups that sing Lady Marmalade.
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Re: Cease and Desist Letter? WTF

Post by Specially Cork » Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:27 am

Just abusing the DMCA notice system to scare you. As BlueCrab said, I don't think they can actually use that legislation because this is a trademark issue rather than a copyright one. Having said that; there's laws to protect trademarks too - but their only option there is to sue you. I'm not sure if they could actually win if it came to that - but the idea that only Atari would have the right to call something an "Atari emulator" doesn't seem too bizarre.

I don't think they're gonna bother though. Atari have just gotten bored and decided to scare a bunch of emulation and fan sites off the web.

It's a fairly dick move.

By the way, smiley likes Atari.
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Re: Cease and Desist Letter? WTF

Post by not just souLLy now » Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:24 pm

LOL AT THIS
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Re: Cease and Desist Letter? WTF

Post by DCDayDreamer » Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:39 pm

I think this is a genuine mistake, although Kristen Keller seems to be acting on behalf of Atari, Inc. she clearly has no evidence of direct violation of copyright, the cease and desist letter is more like a 'generic accusation'. The letter includes this:
Based on available information, Atari has a good faith belief that the url(s):

http://dcemu.seanbajuice.com/dcemu-atari800.htm
http://dcemu.seanbajuice.com/dcemu-DC7800.htm
http://dcemu.seanbajuice.com/dcemu-dcs2600.htm
http://dcemu.seanbajuice.com/dcemu-lynx.htm
http://dcemu.seanbajuice.com/dcemu-stelladc.htm

infringes its copyright and other intellectual property right by copying, reproducing and/or offering for distribution, display and/or download (including through links to other sites) unauthorized console emulation software and/or unauthorized copies of game products (software) protected by Atari’s copyright rights. Atari’s copyrighted works that have been infringed include:

Atari 800; Atari 2600; Atari 7800; Atari Lynx
Kristen Keller has implied that the url(s) contain "unauthorized console emulation software and/or unauthorized copies of game products (software)". There does not appear to be any software in either of those url(s) which is copyrighted by Atari. The Atari 800, Atari 7800, and Atari Lynx emulators are useless without the BIOS files - and they ARE NOT included in the downloads. The Atari 2600 does not have a BIOS so all the 2600 emulators can be released as fully working, they can also include PD ROMS (unless some of the ROMS contain copyrighted characters, graphics, sounds, etc.). As for the emulators themselves being classed as unauthorized, that is true, but it DOES NOT make them illegal in any form unless they contain copyrighted code (which they DO NOT) and/or are being distributed as official Atari software (which they ARE NOT).

With regards to any possible copyright infringement, Christian Groessler's README for Atari800DC says this:
You can get the A8 BIOS ROMS at

http://prdownloads.sf.net/atari800/xf25.zip
That download has been hosted on Sourceforge since 2001 (even though it contravenes the Sourceforge Terms of Use), the cease and desist letter includes this: "including through links to other sites", so if you consider the letter to be completely legitimate and a typed url in a text file 'a link' then there is indeed one form of copyright infringement.

As for the name ATARI, the cease and desist letter states:
Atari is a global producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment software for all market segments and all interactive game platforms. Atari is the exclusive owner of intellectual property rights, including copyrights and trademarks, in numerous interactive entertainment software products, including those listed below, and vigilantly protects its rights.
Kristen Keller has pointed out "trademarks" (see above), however, the cease and desist letter makes no further mention of trademarks, and no mention of any trademark violation, only 'Infringing Material'. The letter does however clearly state "Atari’s copyrighted works that have been infringed".

Back to the name: ATARI only appears with one emulator - Atari800DC, an easy compromise would be to rename the thing A800DC. Trying to abolish the Use of the ATARI name within webpages (titles or otherwise) would be a pointless and extremely costly exercise, a recognition of trademark ownership would probably be the least requirement for webpage legalities: "Atari is a trademark of Atari, Inc. blah, blah, blah, this site is not affiated with blah, blah, blah, this emulator is not endorsed by blah, blah, blah."

Now the tricky bit - Logos and artwork. StellaDC has 'themes' and if you look here...

http://svolli.org/software/dcstella/images.html

...you'll find the ATARI name, logo, and some modified fonts. These are arguably 'fan art' and could possibly fall under 'fair use' but that's an entirely different legal minefield. Anyone remember SONY v BLEEM?, at one point a mere screenshot of a game caused controversy (and mounting debts due to legal proceedings), but BLEEM was a commercial product and we are talking about freeware emulators on a dead console here.

To round up all this rambling, I'm sure a clear and concise email to Kristen Keller would sort this matter out with very little hassle, final quote from the cease and desist letter:
This notice is not intended to be a complete statement of the facts or law in this matter. Nor is it intended to be a complete statement of Atari's positions, rights or remedies, legal or equitable, all of which are specifically reserved.

If you have any questions, please contact me by phone 212-726-6500 or email at us.legal@atari.com.

Thank you.

Regards,

Kristen Keller,
SVP & General Counsel
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Re: Cease and Desist Letter? WTF

Post by pavelbure » Mon Sep 19, 2011 4:41 pm

Bastards didn't even mention the 5200
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Re: Cease and Desist Letter? WTF

Post by atf487 » Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:39 pm

Had a lol with "seanbajuice"
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Re: Cease and Desist Letter? WTF

Post by |darc| » Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:33 pm

I just got a similar email for dcemulation.org. Did you ever hear anything back, Sean?
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Re: Cease and Desist Letter? WTF

Post by RyoDC » Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:14 pm

I'm so sorry for being that rude, but wtf? Did they eat a bucket of a bullshit that being dropped by an insane cow? Who the f-ing hell cares? Rights rights... Atari and games for her were developed about 20 years ago, if my memory do not linger.
That's a piece of shit. Who cares about those rights. Did you get catched in the jail or what? It's all just poor words. They can't do anything to you.
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