Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I just received a cease-and-desist order from Square Enix (the holders of the Carmageddon copyright).  They allege that my "actions have already caused and will if they continue cause substantial damage to the value of Square Enix's copyrights and you will understand that Square Enix cannot allow this clear infringement to continue."

Square Enix hold the copyright to "underlying computer code, text, audio and visual aspects of the game [Carmageddon]", and copyright laws they quote say I cannot "use, reproduce or distribute" those works.

Obviously this is all a bit silly given we're talking about a game thats 13 years old and you can't buy anymore, but still, its a cease-and-desist letter.

So, right now I've taken the download link down.  I will be renaming the project to Cartastrophe OpenC1.  It will be distributed without ANY copyrighted material.

Square Enix require me stop working on this project and not release it in whole, part or any form.

The computer code for OpenC1 is MY intellectual property.  There is no part of my code which Square Enix has any control or copyright over.  I absolutely assert my right to work on it and distribute it as I see fit.

49 comments :

  1. Huh(..

    But if you won't distribute Carma resources (so it will require user to have legal copy of a game), but only your code - will it work this way ?

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  2. Yep, if you choose to load Carmageddon data files using Cartastrophe on your computer I don't have any control over that ;)

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  3. Dumbasses.

    If the game itself isn't avaible to buy anywhere on the globe, 'COS THIS GAME IS 13 Y/O, HOW you can do damage to square fuck-nix copyrights

    "Square Enix cannot allow this clear infringement to continue" , say what ? they don't loose ANY money, 'cos you can't buy this game...doh !



    God i hate biurocracy.

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  4. Just nuts.

    Completely ground up remake to non-commercially tribute/resurrect a piece of gaming history!

    Would love to hear how the original devs feel about this. Sounds like the actions of men in suits, rather than anyone that genuinely cares about the IP.

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  5. If those guys would shut their pie holes, do some work & actually put out a working version of the original game, I would GLADLY pay a good 30 to 40 bucks for it right now, without question -- that's how much I loved this back in the day. I even found a sealed boxed version of it a number of years ago, but for the life of me couldn't get it to work in WinXP. The original Carma was just so ridiculously fun & over the top, it could not be beat. Carma2000 didn't have the magic. And now they're trying to kill this... sheesh. Get your act together & put it back out, then, you guys? We'll pay for it!

    But maybe that's just me.

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  6. What a bunch of a**holes... I mean they should be glad people like their game so much they actively try to port it to current platforms - they should talk about it, write about it, maybe contact you if you don't want to officially re-release the original Carmageddon with enhanced graphics - maybe you could ask them?

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  7. Waht thy !@#$%^&* they have been done I can't believe. Though it looks like its no about redistributing full game files and yo cant do nthng wit demo? And damn 13 or more yrs old..? Damn them to hell. And they supposedly want to say they taht they own title and yo cant do it anything wit it to hell..? as it looks from that. this is bulshit. Or is it just bureaucracy trash..?

    Anyway changing title is perfect. Common go on yo Sq..* whatever... people gonna lose interest to it due to yor actions...

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  8. It would be cool if you try to do full open source remake of the game. I mean include open source graphics too.
    Look at this game for example http://www.openttd.org/en/
    Developers saved original feel of the game and made it even better.
    Maybe some artists would gladly help you for free just because they also love carma :).

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  9. Wow... just unbelievable!

    You're making it so people are able to play a game they must already own on a modern PC.

    I assume it's because you're distributing the C1 demo files and using the name "Carmageddon"


    Presumably you can include a link to the original demo though? Not that it matters really, I'm sure most people who are following this project already own carmageddon anyway.

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  10. I will never buy games from those bastards again!

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  11. Square, STOP fucking around and make a decent game, YOU are the only one that cause substantial damage to the value of your copyrights, FFXIII?, LOL, FFXIV?, LOL, and many more, these games are the real damage, so STOP closing projects and be a bit competent.

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  12. Good course of action jeff. This c&d is only valid as long as you call it carmageddon and distribute the files with it.

    Modding community should be able to provide a free content package for you.


    Now about that ATi issue...

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  13. Haha! I love these guys :)
    As someone said before they are just men in suits, they have absolutely no relation with Carmageddon besides working for the guys who bought the guys who bought the guys who bought the intellectual property of the game/code/etc. from Stainless Games after C2. Speaking of Stainless I'm sure they (and former Carma team members) would be/are very interested by this project and are probably happy to see people maintaining their work on/for modern systems.

    But yeah they were very fast at it. Are you sure they are really Square Enix? If so they probably didn't have a look at your work at all and directly assumed you were infringing copyrights etc. Changing the name is enough but Cartastrophe sounds a bit farfetched? Personaly I would have simply abstracteed the name to OpenC1 or similar. And btw would loading the fonts directly from the game ressources be that much of a problem? No idea here, just suggesting.

    But I can see why they try to close all the C1 projects. Every now and then they duplicate C1 or trimmed C1 onto other platforms like we've seen for the Gizmodo or smartphones. Also as it's a kind of tendancy lately, expect someday a Remastered Carmageddon 1: Special Edition to be released all of sudden and in the lame way...

    Anyway, hold on, don't pay attention to them and just change the damn name...

    BTW I can't get it to work on my main comp, however I'm experiencing several hw problems and it might be linked. On another comp the game starts correctly but I have that white screen once the race starts (hud displaying ok). Haven't got time to test on other comps yet. Still, your project is getting very solid and this sure makes a lot of people enthusiastic :)

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  14. Oh and IMO the complete opensource remake isn't a good idea. It would never be as good as the real C1 (very far from it even). Also it's difficult to generate quality new content for C1, esp. if we can't generate/setup some important features (crush datas, transp materials, custom tracks that don't crash, etc.).
    And finally it'd be accepting the exagerated threats from these guys, and distancing from your original idea (using the original ressources).

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  15. If anyone has already downloaded version 1.1, can you please Rapidshare it?

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  16. I would suggest against that. Don't want to get Jeff in trouble. Give him a chance to rename it and re-upload.

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  17. I have but i don't wish to share coz maybe ima may get on trouble too... Saying Trully Just wait till he releases it as renamed and then what u nead is only to get a demo and/or full game (decoded) for it to work or make sure it has a decoder inside it self whitch i realy don't think there's one at this stage...

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  18. You clearly have been in contact with the legal drones of Square Enix.

    I can't imagine that a game developer with half a brain cell would stomp on you for reviving a dead game.

    Try to get hold of somebody at Square Enix that isn't a lawyer and has something to say. Things should look up from there.

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  19. Blessing in disguise. "Cartastrophe" will be an original game and not some zombie remake that requires the original data files and thusly locks in anybody who doesn't have access to it or isn't willing to go through the hoops necessary to acquire it.

    I look forward to the release! Btw, post a showcase thread on the FreeGameDev forums when you are ready so we can all see it!

    http://forums.freegamedev.net/

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  20. Some of us *want* a carmageddon game which uses the carmageddon files rather than an original game. It holds nostalgia for us. Me? I played it when I was 13 (yes, it's rated 18 yada yada). Just has so many memories for me.

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  21. Awesome to see such a classic made playable on current OS/hardware.
    cease and desist sucks, hope you get the issues worked out so you can release it again. Missed out by a few hours -_-

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  22. blarg this is disguisting. they (who sais that they know it) tries to forbid everything and make every fan who cant play unhappy. and thus this game is way lot years old. yo must try and find a way to overcome it and/or change the title as is in this situation is so unfair or ether there will be no good there as everything may get messed up becouse of that...

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  23. "If the game itself isn't avaible to buy anywhere on the globe, 'COS THIS GAME IS 13 Y/O, HOW you can do damage to square fuck-nix copyrights"

    Companies are required by law to protect their copyrights, otherwise they lose them.

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  24. Disregard what I have said above.

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  25. oh great ...

    You know, you do love a game, if you follow it half your life, although you get kicked in the balls by the censored german version with robos, a joke of third part, the fact it won´t run on newer OS´s, the time hoping there will be a new one.
    Then there seems to be light on the end of the industrial induced carmageddon tunnle and you get clutch and maybe zombiedriver, if you want to count it ... thinking every second "man thats maybe 10% the fun, carmageddon once used to be" ... but still you try to play it, because there are very few games, adopting carmas gameplay in some way.

    So, years after ... in a night full of listening to fear factory, you decide to google the game, which introduced you to a certain kind of music, humor and gamephysics and find a blog, from a guy, living the other side of the globe, who recodes it, essentially for the most hardcore fans, who still are reminded of the days pc-games were pc-games. Mind blown, joy of carnage, running over cows and grannys, leaving their carcasses with bloody lines on the ground, cartapulting pedestrians with that spiral upgrade, damn, it´s so near - two months later, a letter from square enix ... again serious ball kicking, carsectomy all the way.

    The journey goes on ...

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  26. forgot to ask, because i was thinking about car-puns ... what about the name "Carma"?
    I mean, the fans of the 2,5 Carmageddons call it Carma anyway ...

    Protected, too? But i could imagine this would be tricky, though ...

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  27. "Companies are required by law to protect their copyrights, otherwise they lose them. " Well, yeah BUT why the hell they even care 'bout those copyrighs when you cant even buy the fuckin' game and they dont make money out of it...

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  28. @kuba

    i thought that, too (its still censored here, so not even ebay is a big option for me, but it would be still second hand ...). As someone mentioned above, i guess there could be mobile versions/remakes or someone got hopefully a new Carmageddon/remake in the pipe?
    Would be great - on the other side, if i am looking at the games the last years til now, i would not expect very much :/ (graphics yay, rest meh. Basically.)
    Although, a HD Remake of the first one, new physics, all levels, good multiplayer, music in vein of the first and gore/dismemberment, paired with gtaesque ragdolls ... a dream. I guess the often mentioned carma1 conversion with the flatout2 engine could work too, for the next 13 years :D

    But, if there is something like a new Carmageddon in some developers hands, wouldn´t it be a smart move (marketing wise) to allow here this project?

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  29. They have lawyers on salary who spend their 40 hours a week (ha ha) on nothing but trademark and copyright infringement. When they can't fill their time and performance review meetings with legitimate grievances they just use whatever they can find to make it look like they are serving a function.

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  30. I'm sad that I'm only just now discovering this.
    I was a huge fan of Carmageddon and I'm super excited at the possibility of playing it again.
    Let me/us know if there is anything you need to further this project.

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  31. Mr.Deviance brings back opencarma to you good people!
    Download link: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=Y0WOMXTJ

    File Description:
    Mr.Deviance takes a shit on squareenix's staff and wishes them cancer!

    Be sure to visit the engine section of http://cs.rin.ru/forum for cool stuff too ;)

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  32. Did I say ENGINE section ? Stupid me! I meant ENGLISH section not engine lol...

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  33. Hey, Been following you carmageddon work for a while now as an old timer of the carmageddon mod scene, this is shitty news. I'm guessing you could probably get the C2 files working within your engine (as well as C1?) you would have access to the high quality C1 replacemnt models (just change the car names) then we could just load in our data folders from C1/2, you could possibly make a track selection screen that scan the /Tracks folder and generates a list from there? I'm rambling, I miss the old girl and commend your hard work!

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  34. @sash

    Good point mate, good point

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  35. I'm another kiwi heavily involved in an open-source engine for an old game (http://open-ra.org). A situation similar to this has been a fear of ours since day one. Luckily EA has a better track record the SquareEnix at this sort of thing (see "A Path Beyond") but I'm sorry to hear it has happened to you.

    Best of luck and keep up the good work.

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  36. hehe, I see you don't give up a fight and have taken the appropriate steps to avoid further nonsense. Very good!

    I haven't had the time to test the demo yet, but will do asap. Btw, I agree that OpenC1 is a better name then Cartastrophy. ;)

    Keep it up!

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  37. it's a way better and less confusing and also less conflicting wit so called copyright holders so ima agree too :D

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  38. did u completely give up on sharepod? 4.0 has been out forever

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  39. Mr.Deviance brings the opencarmageddon demo file here again and Double dares square enix fat lawyers to suck his tool and teases them by uploading the file to multiupload!
    Have fun people, download this and next time you take a dump in the toilet, think of square enix copyright and their games!
    http://www.multiupload.com/FJ9K9QXRZF

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  40. Hey Jeff! Mr.Deviance says that you should reply the cease-and-desist mail with a chist-and-decease mail!

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  41. You, my friend, are a saint. I just tried it out and it is so awesome! I used to have all the ped mods to make them spice girls and such. Brings back so many good memories. I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. I'll have to see if I can find all my old files and try out those mods. Please don't stop! Square Enix are fools. They should be partnering with you not squashing a great thing. Good luck!

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  42. OpenC1 Is a nice name. It's also a safe name as OpenTTD is just fine with that name masking Transport Tycoon Deluxe. It's funny how the company that holds TTD copyright knows about Open TTD and that it has more players than any similar game they ever put out but they can't do anything about it. They just continue to say that they dislike the way this project is heading blah blah blah... losers.

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  43. In fact. You can safely state that OpenC1 is based on Carmageddon. OpenTTD guys have a similiar statement on their main webpage and they get away with it.

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  44. I had been actually worried about legal stuff but then I thought to myself it is not your first such project and you knew what you were doing. That maybe it is fine because the game is abandonware, or you have asked someone in question for permission or whatever.
    I really hate to hear this and seriously I don't get their attitude, however you could see something like that comming.

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  45. Whoever Square-Enix has hired for their legal department needs to be fired. This is clearly a case of them trying to be "better safe than sorry" by sending automated C&Ds out as scare tactics.

    Fox and Paramount used to do stupid crap like this; they would send out dozens of Cease & Desist orders to people who started up fansites for The Simpsons or wrote about Star Trek without proper "authorization". Eventually some fans stood up to them and both companies realized they were doing more harm than good. Besides, the court costs to track down and persecute fans "infringing on copyrights" over stuff like fanart and fanfiction far outweigh the benefits of actually getting stuff like this shut down.

    I wouldn't worry about those blow-hards.

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  46. That's right. These bastards that file C&D's are just some random people that have nothing to do with the creation or evolution of our favorite characters, games or movies.
    They are just holding captive, the things that we have loved since many years and we were free to do what ever we wanted with them.
    No here come some jewish corporatist bastards that say only they have the right to talk and modify those games and characters.
    If I had the money and power I would kill them all!

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  47. @Trendy: "If I had the money and power I would kill them all!"

    I think you have played carmageddon too much :)

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  48. new version soon? 1.1 is crashing on level load for me. "System.FormatException: Input string was not in a correct format." at 11 places

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