Author Topic: What do you think about the roms controversy?  (Read 393 times)

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Online Itchigo

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What do you think about the roms controversy?
« on: November 22, 2018, 08:25:54 AM »
So VPF pulled it's Gottlieb roms. Another site had a 22 million dollar judgement against them for Nintendo roms.
https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/bjezda/couple-who-ran-rom-site-to-pay-nintendo-dollar12-million

I said this 3 years ago at Vpinball.com
Iíll say this again. Eventually some misguided individual is going to go to the wrong person and convince them that money is being lost, and thatíll be the end. Is your cab backed up??? Do you not need any more tables?

Supposedly Gottlieb wants $50,000 per rom, is that really worth it????

I should say that I have never hosted roms here. There were many other sites that had them, so I figured I didn't need the liability. I guess I was right.  :Green:
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Offline Humid

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Re: What do you think about the roms controversy?
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2018, 11:01:41 PM »
The ongoing increase in digital sales and digital products has caught up to this hobby. Years ago no one expected a resurgence in retro game sales. I predicted years ago, as I harvested old console roms from sites that it wouldn't last forever. Mainly because they don't make games as imaginatively and fun as they once did. Hence the return of the Charger, Mustang and Camaro automobiles that reflect the fun styling of the past. Glad I have all my Gottlieb roms tucked away. 

Offline kencaine

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Re: What do you think about the roms controversy?
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2018, 09:18:19 AM »
Well, I just went over to VPF and read the posts about the take-down. I know the ROMs images are available through the net still. I would bet that Gottlieb will be trolling around to have them all taken down. And that is their right, I suppose. I would not have such a big issue if Gottlieb made a site where one could buy/download the ROM images for individual games instead of just taking their ball and going home.

The rights are owned by the Mondial Group (http://mondialgroup.com). They have set up a lousy web site (http://gottliebpin.com) for Gottlieb pinball stuff. Only thing there are links to other sites for buying products and none of them carry the ROMs.

A better practice would be to have a web site where the ROMs could be downloaded, cheaply, buck or two, than to completely remove them from everywhere. I would pay a few bucks for a ROM image to run a VP game. If Zen can produce full games with Bally/Williams ROMs for about $3 a game the costs for just the ROMs should be in line with this price.

Online Itchigo

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Re: What do you think about the roms controversy?
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2018, 06:06:28 AM »
The ongoing increase in digital sales and digital products has caught up to this hobby. Years ago no one expected a resurgence in retro game sales. I predicted years ago, as I harvested old console roms from sites that it wouldn't last forever. Mainly because they don't make games as imaginatively and fun as they once did. Hence the return of the Charger, Mustang and Camaro automobiles that reflect the fun styling of the past. Glad I have all my Gottlieb roms tucked away.

Very true about no one expected this. In a way VPF is partly responsible because of their commercialization of the hobby. Not just them mind you, but they are a major site where people talk about spending money on the hobby- that attracts attention. If no one talked about spending money on their cabs, and it was desktop only, I'm guessing it would have taken longer for this to happen.

Totally agree about the classics. Them young whippersnappers can't come up with any (good) new ideas, so we rehash the old ones. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to tell some kids to get off my lawn... :Whistle:
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Offline kencaine

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Re: What do you think about the roms controversy?
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2018, 08:38:03 AM »
they don't make games as imaginatively and fun as they once did

I have to disagree with this statement. I think games today are as good as they every have been, maybe better, and cars too. We only tend to remember the very best from the past simply because they were the very best. There were a lot of dog games made that we are better off forgetting. Cars, can you say Yugo and LeCar and AMC Javlin. The folks that recreate VP games don't make the lousy games that people don't play. Your not seeing too many Chicago Coin games being made as there is not much interest in playing them.

And now, back to the ROMs to keep the discussion 'on topic'. I don't think it would be all that difficult to re-engineer some of the early ROMs for use in VP. Would it be a violation of IP if I wrote a new ROM or script that could be used in VP to simulate the Gottlieb ROMs. For instance, Haunted House, the total functionality of the ROMs is not that significant over an EM game. It is not a deep rule set. The game/music sounds could be recorded from an actual table. Perhaps new ROMs could breathe new life into old machines and game play. Maybe we should look at this as an opportunity.

Online Itchigo

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Re: What do you think about the roms controversy?
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2018, 07:09:02 AM »
Possibly. I could be just that the newer games don't appeal to me. I've always maintained that the older games were more "motor skill based", and the games that came out after were more about the story. Or it could be that graphics had improved, and the manufacturers were trying to take advantage of that.

As far as the roms go, I think it would be possible. But I don't know about the legality. I don't have enough skills to go into roms.
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Offline kencaine

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Re: What do you think about the roms controversy?
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2018, 11:08:39 AM »
Recall back when the speadsheet legality wars raged on? Can you copyright a look and feel of a game? There were many speadsheets in the day (Lotus 123, Quatrro Pro, Excel) and there were a lot of lawsuits about the look and feel. I think that recreating the roms would be okay as long as you don't extract any code from them for reuse. For the more modern games that would take a lot of work to get all of the details like the original roms.

As an opinion I don't think the Gottlieb ROM games were all that good anyway. I can live without them.

Offline Dugarin

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Re: What do you think about the roms controversy?
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2019, 05:27:21 AM »
I don't think you can copyright the look and the feel of a game. That's so subjective. But then again, who knows...

Offline kencaine

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Re: What do you think about the roms controversy?
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2019, 07:58:06 AM »
I've recently been reading about fan films of Star Trek and CBS has pulled the rights out from fan films. Seems too many are staring to look too good (Star Trek Continues, Anaxar) and are potentially taking away fans from professionally produce Star Trek series (Discovery). Those characters and visuals are copyrighted so maybe the same would apply to pinball recreations.

I'm actually surprised that there are not more 'professional quality' VPX created original games. I'd be interested in seeing download statistics for recreations vs originals. I would bet that the recreations have a far greater download rate and are played more at home then originals.

The problem with creating originals is the complete package of programming skills, artwork, table design and good theme idea. I may be able to do the programming, and not the artwork as I can hardly draw. And would a ROM need to be programmed to use the DMD under PinMAME? One would need to form a team to do a true professional original.

Online Itchigo

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Re: What do you think about the roms controversy?
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2019, 08:39:16 PM »
I haven't worked in vpx (vp9), but I've done some originals. Some even good....

But yeah, you rarely have 1 personal that does it all. I can code and build all day long, but I suck at graphics. In fact, if anyone wants to help finish this table it was built like 5 years ago....
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