EA Uses DMCA Takedown on Ultima IV Downloads

March 29, 2011 -

In what has been described by some in the Ultima community as a travesty, EA has used the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to take down several downloads of Ultima IV. This disruption has affected a number of Ultima IV-related projects including the ultra popular xu4, as well as the Ultima IV Sega Master System emulation from Master System 8 and the IBM-PC port at Phi Psi Software.

One of my all-time favorite Ultima sites, Ultima Aiera, also removed links to many Ultima IV-related projects. The move has incensed Ultima IV fans who thought the game was released as freeware a long time ago. While the game was offered for free thanks to some sites getting permission from Origin Systems a long time ago, EA still owns the rights to the game and can do what they want with it.

Ultima Aiera has a great run down of how the game came to be available freely and why EA still has the right to take the game down from web sites that never bothered to secure permission from original creator Origin Systems.

But the most interesting part of the post are the two first paragraphs:

"Observant Dragons and Dragonettes may have noticed that there has been some…disruption in Ultima 4-related projects of late. For example, both the Master System 8 and Phi Psi Software Flash-based remakes of the game have been taken down. Additionally, both Aiera and xu4 have removed their direct download links for the PC version of the game, and Dino has removed his comprehensive listing of other sites that hosted the same download.

Basically, after about fourteen years (since approximately 1997), Electronic Arts is finally cracking down and issuing DMCA notifications to most — not all! — sites that are hosting the PC version of Ultima 4 for download. This move is not being taken well by many, and people are wondering both why EA is wasting time enforcing copyright on an old game like this, and asking “hey, wasn’t it released as freeware?”

Source: /. by way of Uncharted NES.


Comments

Re: EA Uses DMCA Takedown on Ultima IV Downloads

You know I don't know enough about copyright but I know in trademark areas if you don't defend your mark and let it enter the public domain you eventually lose the right to it.  I wonder if they couldn't argue that Ultima 4 has been left in the public domain for to long for them to suddenly cry foul and demand it to be removed from sites.

Not that I care, I have the disk version, cd version, nes version, hell you name it I might have it somewhere if its Ultima related.  As long as they don't kill the upgrade patch for Ultima 4 (I prefer the Ultima 5 look and feel the patch gives over the original).  And hell maybe they are doing it because they saw Lucas make money off of the Monkey Island Upgrade ... wouldn't upset me if they rereleased Ultima 4 with better graphics and sound (as long as they do like Lucas and make sure the gameplay is exactly the same).

Re: EA Uses DMCA Takedown on Ultima IV Downloads

I wonder if they're even going to try running damage control for this.

Re: EA Uses DMCA Takedown on Ultima IV Downloads

Square hasn't tried when they got bad press for shutting down efforts to revive an IP, EA probably won't.

Re: EA Uses DMCA Takedown on Ultima IV Downloads

EA's lawyers must have had a slow day at the office.

- Left4Dead

Why are zombies always eating brains? I want to see zombies that eat toes for a living. Undead-related pun intended.

- Left4Dead Why are zombies always eating brains? I want to see zombies that eat toes for a living. Undead-related pun intended.

Re: EA Uses DMCA Takedown on Ultima IV Downloads

Oh well, I just bought the 1 through 7 on eBay... like a month ago...

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

Re: EA Uses DMCA Takedown on Ultima IV Downloads

Great, another company doing NOTHING with an IP shutting down anyone trying to revive interest in it.

Re: EA Uses DMCA Takedown on Ultima IV Downloads

And what, pray tell, is EA going to do with Ultima IV, besides twiddle their thumbs and piss people off?

Re: EA Uses DMCA Takedown on Ultima IV Downloads

Rumors have been flying around that some group inside EA is in the process of porting the Ultima series to modern systems, like what GOG does.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

Re: EA Uses DMCA Takedown on Ultima IV Downloads

"EA still owns the rights to the game and can do what they want with it."

And apparently this means stomping the hopes, dreams, and work of their fans.  Good move.

Zen aka Jeremy Powers
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Zen aka Jeremy Powers
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www.ZensPath.com
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Matthew WilsonI think its a good article, and devs can take some lessons from life is strange.04/24/2015 - 10:24pm
Andrew EisenI tinyURL'd it. The world is safe!04/24/2015 - 10:23pm
Matthew Wilson@AE my bad there is nothing I can do about that.04/24/2015 - 10:21pm
Andrew EisenLooks like the spoiler is right there in the URL.04/24/2015 - 10:20pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://tinyurl.com/ok9pf6b a interesting opinion piece on the life is strange episode 2, and a dark event that happens in it. full warning major spoilers.04/24/2015 - 10:11pm
Matthew Wilson@mech no just she, nor her co workers have not. she never said it is not real.04/24/2015 - 8:58pm
MechaCrashWas she saying "I haven't experienced it," or "I haven't experienced it therefore it does not exist"?04/24/2015 - 8:31pm
ZippyDSMleeoy the skyrim paid mod thing is going over well. My 2 lints, I would not mind if Skyrim had a full SDK and not a crappy lil editor....04/24/2015 - 6:46pm
Andrew EisenWell, that is indeed crappy and nonsensical.04/24/2015 - 3:45pm
Matthew Wilsonshe got attacked for saying that she personaly has not experienced the harassment some other female devs have, and she got acused of defending GG and ignoring harassment. she ended up getting dog piled because of it.04/24/2015 - 3:43pm
Andrew EisenFine but do you recall ANY details at all?04/24/2015 - 3:38pm
Matthew Wilsonit was several weeks ago now, and I will admit to not saving it.04/24/2015 - 3:36pm
Andrew EisenAttacked HOW and by WHOM for not writing off WHO as evil? Do you have a link or anything?04/24/2015 - 3:31pm
Matthew Wilsonthat is the whole point she was not attacked for saying anything. she was attacked for being willing to debate in the first place, and not just write them off as evil.04/24/2015 - 3:28pm
Andrew EisenI know there's not a lot of room in the Shout box but goodness you're being vague.04/24/2015 - 3:26pm
Andrew EisenGreat, but that STILL doesn't tell me what she said, why she was attacked (or what the attack was) or what "standard line" she's following. Details, man. Details!04/24/2015 - 3:25pm
Andrew EisenOr what the heck Nina White (someone else I've never heard of) is actually referring to.04/24/2015 - 3:24pm
Matthew Wilson@AE she is a game dev. she used to do stuff with hormanix and now works with https://outact.net/#!/?page_id=2 she will often engage and debate both side.04/24/2015 - 3:23pm
Andrew Eisen...following.04/24/2015 - 3:23pm
Andrew EisenYou mean focus on stopping the bad behavior of those who are doing it rather than condemning all the people that associate with them? Great. But I still don't know who Emma Clarkson is, what she said, why she was attacked or what "standard line" she's04/24/2015 - 3:23pm
 

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