Ask Slashdot: Namco DMCA Takedown Edition

December 7, 2010 -

An interesting submission in Slashdot's "Ask Slashdot" section solicits the help of commenters on a DMCA takedown notice for an Android game called "Super Pac."

The developer asks the community what he should do because Namco sent a DMCA takedown notice to him, which in turn got his Pac-Man-like Android title pulled from Google’s Android marketplace. Now he can't sell his game and doesn't know what to do. Here is the question:

First a description of the game from its offficial web site:

"Based on the classic arcade game Pac-Man, the aim is to eat all the pills in the maze, while avoiding the four ghosts. There are also power-pills available in each corner which temporarily turn the ghosts blue, and more importantly, edible! Bonuses are awarded for eating ghosts. Fruit bonuses also appear and can be eaten for additional points.

Once all the pills have been eaten the level is complete. Each level is progressively more difficult as the effectiveness of the power-pills gradually decreases. There are 6 levels to complete in total."

And now his query to the Slashdot community:

"I was just on the receiving end of DMCA takedown notice for my game in Android Market, 'Super Pac.' Namco Bandai have filed the notice with Google, claiming breach of copyright of their game 'Pac-Man.' Although my version is obviously inspired by the original arcade game, no original artwork or sound has been copied. The problem from my point of view is that the DMCA notice is not clear where or why the breach is alleged. My guess is that maybe the name is too similar, although I did a trademark search for 'Super Pac' before release and came up with nothing. Furthermore, Google have disabled my access to this app, presumably as required by the DMCA, so I am unable to even make whatever modifications would be required. As a part-time developer with limited means (i.e. can't afford expensive lawyers), but willing to make best efforts to avoid legal issues, how does one negotiate what seems to be a difficult minefield of trademarks, copyrights and DMCA? Does anyone have tips in this area?"

The general consensus in the comments seems to be that no one can come to a general consensus about this game..


Comments

Re: Ask Slashdot: Namco DMCA Takedown Edition

Wow. Cluelessness has no bounds it seems

Re: Ask Slashdot: Namco DMCA Takedown Edition

The worst part is the hundreds of these bs rip-off games on the Anrdoid Marketplace.  Not only that, but I'm going to assume a good portion of them are simply there to data-mine your info and pass it along to a third party.  People need to be careful and aware on the garbage the get on their phone.  "How can a free copy of Tetrus go wrong?" ...  Very...

Re: Ask Slashdot: Namco DMCA Takedown Edition

My advice?

Stop ripping off other works and make your own damn game.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Ask Slashdot: Namco DMCA Takedown Edition

There are Pacman ripoffs ALL over the internet, though if this one was making money I can see the problem.

Re: Ask Slashdot: Namco DMCA Takedown Edition

I'm gonna have to agree. At the very least, take some time to come up with your own original theme for the game if you're not creative enough to come up with your own mechanics. It seems pretty 'common-sense' to not simply reproduce someone else's game that exactly.

Re: Ask Slashdot: Namco DMCA Takedown Edition

Yeah.. I am not in favor of takedown notices... but regardless of if he created art from scratch, the game is still a blatent rip off and Namco seems within their rights to be annoyed.

 
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E. Zachary KnightMatthew, AE, Yeah, that is why I have a hard time understanding critics of Sarkeesian. I look at her videos as a Feminist review of video games, but for some reason, others look at them as personal attacks.10/30/2014 - 12:01pm
E. Zachary KnightDefinitely a good answer. That is the way I lean. If you actively chose to stop gaming, or just stopped out of habit, then yeah, you are no longer a gamer.10/30/2014 - 11:45am
Matthew WilsonAE i agree, but it is worth pointing out the fact that that is whats happening.10/30/2014 - 11:45am
quiknkoldbehavior to warrant having a Title that doesnt involve a piece of paper.10/30/2014 - 11:43am
quiknkoldwaiting in line. Thats not being a Gamer. Thats akin to me reading a Pamphlet in line and calling myself an active reader. or watching a movie trailer on a tv in walmart and calling myself an active movie goer. There has to be some form of repetitive10/30/2014 - 11:42am
quiknkoldbeing A Gamer is a Conscious decision. I am consciously engaging in this form of media and showing some form of enthusiasm. The only person I Wouldnt call a gamer is somebody who has a random game on their phone just to kill 5 minutes cause they are10/30/2014 - 11:41am
E. Zachary KnightSo how much time must pass since the last time you played a game before you are no longer a gamer?10/30/2014 - 11:33am
Andrew Eisen"Plays" is present tense so the clarification doesn't seem necessary to me.10/30/2014 - 11:18am
quiknkoldI would change that from "One who plays games" To "One who currently plays games". Like my friend as a kid playd games but then he stopped and hasnt for the last decade+ so I wouldnt call him a Gamer.10/30/2014 - 11:16am
Andrew EisenHmm, that sounds like a great idea for a series of articles! I bet they'd be well-received and not taken the complete wrong way at all!10/30/2014 - 11:12am
Andrew EisenThat's right, gamer simply means one who plays games. That's it. The idea that "gamer" refers to something very limited and specific, well, that's no longer applicable in this day and age of mainstream gaming.10/30/2014 - 11:12am
Andrew EisenMatthew - As I said last night, that is not a bad thing. Different types of reviews to serve different interests is a GOOD thing and should be encouraged! There is not, nor should there be, only one way to review a game or anything else.10/30/2014 - 11:01am
ZippyDSMleeAnyone see this? http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/10/29/1339617/-Cartoon-Gamergate-Contagion-Spreads?detail=facebook10/30/2014 - 10:55am
E. Zachary KnightNeeneko, Matthew, yeah, there is no "wrong" way to review a game. It all depends on who the reviewer wants reading the review.10/30/2014 - 10:48am
quiknkoldhas their own stream, you are a gamer. I think the only prerequiset is to Play Games for Enjoyment10/30/2014 - 10:21am
quiknkoldI always felt the Gamer Identity was expressing an enthusiasm for Gaming in general. There are different degrees to that. If you say "I love this game and play it, lets see what else" with Ipad game, you are a gamer. If you are a retro game collector who10/30/2014 - 10:20am
NeenekoIt is long overdue, and things will probably settle down when they accept that the industry does not cater to them and them alone and go back to posturing within their own subculture.10/30/2014 - 10:10am
NeenekoThe community has always been split, with many factions within it, and they used to not interact all that much. Now they are having to confront they are not alone and thus not the one twue gamer identity.10/30/2014 - 10:09am
CMinerMW: The two are not mutually exclusive.10/30/2014 - 10:05am
Matthew Wilsonthe gaming community is going to split in to 2 groups. one wants games reviewed as product, and the other as art with all the social critique that comes with that. at this point i dont think it can be stopped sadly.10/30/2014 - 9:56am
 

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