Apps labeled as Tetris Clones removed from Android Market

by tasos.klei...@gmail.com » Tue, 07 Apr 2009 22:43:26 GMT


Sponsored Links
 On Saturday April 4th, I received a message from google saying that my
game "Robotic Space Rock" was pulled from the android market after a
request made by a legal firm representing an entity known as Tetris
Company. My application was removed from the android market together
with Blocks, Cubik, Net Tetris, Netblocks and Tetroid (6 apps in
total) under claim that it violates the DMCA and more specifically
trademarks and copyrighted material owned by the Tetris Company.
However, none of the trademarks or copyrighted material (music,
graphics and sound effects) are present in my game. Sound effects and
music were created by me specifically for the game. There is no
reference to the word tetris in the game. Additionally, all the game
code, graphics and sound effects  were created by me and published on
the code site  http://code.google.com/p/monolithandroid 

Additionally, I am not aware of a software patent covering the game
mechanics of Tetris, so I cannot see how I could violate something
that is not protected by a software patent. Also, even if the game was
protected by a patent, the patent would have expired, since the
original game, Tetris, was created 23 years ago. However game
mechanics cannot be covered by patents.

I would also like to point out that my game is available completely
free of charge to every user of the android market.

I wrote those concerns to Google and I sent an email to the EFF. The
bottom line is that for my application to be restored on the android
market, I have to send a DMCA counter-notification. And then the
Tetris Company can sue and take the case to Court.

When games were pulled from the iPhone App store, they blamed apple,
but it is not hard to see that behind application removals we can find
companies like the Tetris Company, that demand application removals
claiming copyright infringement and trademarks. However, it is not
easy to battle these companies as individual developers. I, for
example, am a Greek citizen living in Greece, so it is difficult for
me to file a counter-notification, because then the Tetris company
will probably sue me and I will have to defend my case in court. Why
should I bother? Am I making money out of the game? No! But even if I
did you can see how easy it is for corporations to neutralize
developers like that. I think that something should be done.
Independent developers should get together to battle against such
misuse of the law by corporations.
And to those that want more facts, you can find more details on my
blog:
 http://tkcodesharing.blogspot.com 
--~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~



Apps labeled as Tetris Clones removed from Android Market

by Tasos.Kleisas » Tue, 07 Apr 2009 23:22:28 GMT


 Ideas cannot be copyrighted, only patented. But the Tetris Company
does not have a patent. And game concepts are not patentable. Take a
look at  http://desiree47.wordpress.com/ and http ://abednarz.net/wp/34/
They claim a look and feel copyright claim, but the game art, sounds
and music have nothing to do with tetris.
--~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~


Sponsored Links


Apps labeled as Tetris Clones removed from Android Market

by Al Sutton » Tue, 07 Apr 2009 23:31:46 GMT


 Implementations can be copyrighted which is where there claim comes from.

Having seen the demo video of your game I can see why they would appear to
have a reasonable basis for their case. You'd added some fancy features, but
the basic game play is the same right down to the block shapes.

My advice, and I'm not a lawyer, is to start work on something original
because I don't see Google letting you back in the market with your app any
time soon.

Al.
---

* Written an Android App? - List it at  http://andappstore.com/  *

======
Funky Android Limited is registered in England & Wales with the 
company number  6741909. The registered head office is Kemp House, 
152-160 City Road, London,  EC1V 2NX, UK. 

The views expressed in this email are those of the author and not 
necessarily those of Funky Android Limited, it's associates, or it's 
subsidiaries. 


-----Original Message-----
From: android-developers@googlegroups.com
[mailto:android-develop...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Tasos.Kleisas
Sent: 07 April 2009 16:22
To: Android Developers
Subject: [android-developers] Re: Apps labeled as Tetris Clones removed from
Android Market


Ideas cannot be copyrighted, only patented. But the Tetris Company does not
have a patent. And game concepts are not patentable. Take a look at
 http://desiree47.wordpress.com/ and http ://abednarz.net/wp/34/ They claim a
look and feel copyright claim, but the game art, sounds and music have
nothing to do with tetris.



--~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~



Apps labeled as Tetris Clones removed from Android Market

by Michael Elsd枚rfer » Wed, 08 Apr 2009 05:27:01 GMT


 > Having seen the demo video of your game I can see why they would
 > appear to have a reasonable basis for their case. You'd added some
 > fancy features, but the basic game play is the same right down to the
 > block shapes.

I don't think so. I'm no layer either, of course, but I thought the 
consensus was that while TTC has a trademark claim to the name, 
copyright claims on "features" and gameplay are just bullying.

I've also never heard of TTC ever winning this case in a court, or, for 
that matter, even just following up on their threats against people who 
refuse to comply.

Michael

--~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~



Apps labeled as Tetris Clones removed from Android Market

by ewjordan » Wed, 08 Apr 2009 06:04:08 GMT


 


Yes, implementations may be copyrighted, but unless these apps
actually use code stolen from an official Tetris release, they are not
infringing against these copyrights.

A game's mechanics absolutely positively may not be copyrighted.  I
quote straight from the US Copyright Office: "The idea for a game is
not protected by copyright. The same is true of the name or title
given to the game and of the method or methods for playing
it." ( http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl108.html )

TTC is (and has been, for quite some time) trying to churn copyright
and trademark together into some muddy mixture of general IP
protection so they can assert ownership over the _idea_ itself, but
this is not legally valid.  As mentioned previously, this is the type
of thing that would require a patent, but they don't have one, so
they're instead banking on the fact that the people they're going
after don't have the resources to fight them.

Google's hands are tied, since they have to comply with DMCA requests
by default.  Counter-notifications are the way to go, and should
effectively force the issue - recall, Apple yanked the apps by its own
decision, so a counter-claim means nothing, whereas Google is simply
pulling apps to comply with DMCA.  There's a _huge_ difference there.

--~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~



Apps labeled as Tetris Clones removed from Android Market

by Al Sutton » Wed, 08 Apr 2009 14:55:58 GMT


  still remember the Lotus Look & Feel lawsuits that put a couple of
companies out of business in the late 80's early 90's;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotus_Development_Corporation#Look_and_Feel

Hence why I'm always wary of look and feel claims.

As for the statement you've quoted, as I read it we're not talking about the
idea of a "game to fit blocks together", nor the name Tetris, nor the G1s
input methods. Monolith Android copies every aspect of Tetris down to the
shapes of the block, removal of full lines, multi coloured blocks, etc.,
etc., etc.

Yes, it adds a few features and the actual graphics, music, etc are not
lifted directly from a Tetris implementation, but as I see it it's like
building and selling a car that looks like a Porsche but with slightly
different shaped headlights and doors.

Given that the Tetris company already have a sidekick implementation I guess
they're clearing the way for a G1 implementation by removing any
competition.

Al.

P.S. Personally I'd rather see all this effort go into something new and
original, not recycling an idea that as the OP mentioned is over 20 years
old.


---

* Written an Android App? - List it at http://andappstore.com/ *

======
Funky Android Limited is registered in England & Wales with the
company number 6741909. The registered head office is Kemp House,
152-160 City Road, London, EC1V 2NX, UK.

The views expressed in this email are those of the author and not
necessarily those of Funky Android Limited, it's associates, or it's
subsidiaries.


-----Original Message-----
From: android-developers@googlegroups.com
[mailto:android-develop...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of ewjordan
Sent: 07 April 2009 23:04
To: Android Developers
Subject: [android-developers] Re: Apps labeled as Tetris Clones removed from
Android Market


On Apr 7, 11:31am, "Al Sutton" <a...@funkyandroid.com> wrote:

Yes, implementations may be copyrighted, but unless these apps actually use
code stolen from an official Tetris release, they are not infringing against
these copyrights.

A game's mechanics absolutely positively may not be copyrighted. I quote
straight from the US Copyright Office: "The idea for a game is not protected
by copyright. The same is true of the name or title given to the game and of
the method or methods for playing it."
(http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl108.html)

TTC is (and has been, for quite some time) trying to churn copyright and
trademark together into some muddy mixture of general IP protection so they
can assert ownership over the _idea_ itself, but this is not legally valid.
As mentioned previously, this is the type of thing that would require a
patent, but they don't have one, so they're instead banking on the fact that
the people they're going after don't have the resources to fight them.

Google's hands are tied, since they have to comply with DMCA requests by
default. Counter-notifications are the way to go, and should effectively
force the issue - recall, Apple yanked the apps by its own decision, so a
counter-claim means nothing, whereas Google is simply pulling apps to comply
with DMCA. There's a _huge_ difference there.

block shapes.
look and feel copyright claim, but the game art, sounds and music have
nothing to do with tetris.



--~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~



Apps labeled as Tetris Clones removed from Android Market

by Al Sutton » Wed, 08 Apr 2009 15:00:19 GMT


 gt;From the same copyright page that was quoted
(http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl108.html);

"Some material prepared in connection with a game may be subject to
copyright if it contains a sufficient amount of literary or pictorial
expression. For example, the text matter describing the rules of the game,
or the pictorial matter appearing on the gameboard or container, may be
registrable."

To me that covers block shapes, multi-coloured blocks, removal filled lines,
etc., etc., etc.

Al.

---

* Written an Android App? - List it at http://andappstore.com/ *

======
Funky Android Limited is registered in England & Wales with the
company number 6741909. The registered head office is Kemp House,
152-160 City Road, London, EC1V 2NX, UK.

The views expressed in this email are those of the author and not
necessarily those of Funky Android Limited, it's associates, or it's
subsidiaries.


-----Original Message-----
From: android-developers@googlegroups.com
[mailto:android-develop...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Al Sutton
Sent: 08 April 2009 07:56
To: android-developers@googlegroups.com
Subject: [android-developers] Re: Apps labeled as Tetris Clones removed from
Android Market


I still remember the Lotus Look & Feel lawsuits that put a couple of
companies out of business in the late 80's early 90's;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotus_Development_Corporation#Look_and_Feel

Hence why I'm always wary of look and feel claims.

As for the statement you've quoted, as I read it we're not talking about the
idea of a "game to fit blocks together", nor the name Tetris, nor the G1s
input methods. Monolith Android copies every aspect of Tetris down to the
shapes of the block, removal of full lines, multi coloured blocks, etc.,
etc., etc.

Yes, it adds a few features and the actual graphics, music, etc are not
lifted directly from a Tetris implementation, but as I see it it's like
building and selling a car that looks like a Porsche but with slightly
different shaped headlights and doors.

Given that the Tetris company already have a sidekick implementation I guess
they're clearing the way for a G1 implementation by removing any
competition.

Al.

P.S. Personally I'd rather see all this effort go into something new and
original, not recycling an idea that as the OP mentioned is over 20 years
old.


---

* Written an Android App? - List it at http://andappstore.com/ *

======
Funky Android Limited is registered in England & Wales with the company
number 6741909. The registered head office is Kemp House, 152-160 City
Road, London, EC1V 2NX, UK.

The views expressed in this email are those of the author and not
necessarily those of Funky Android Limited, it's associates, or it's
subsidiaries.


-----Original Message-----
From: android-developers@googlegroups.com
[mailto:android-develop...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of ewjordan
Sent: 07 April 2009 23:04
To: Android Developers
Subject: [android-developers] Re: Apps labeled as Tetris Clones removed from
Android Market


On Apr 7, 11:31am, "Al Sutton" <a...@funkyandroid.com> wrote:

Yes, implementations may be copyrighted, but unless these apps actually use
code stolen from an official Tetris release, they are not infringing against
these copyrights.

A game's mechanics absolutely positively may not be copyrighted. I quote
straight from the US Copyright O



Apps labeled as Tetris Clones removed from Android Market

by fadden » Thu, 09 Apr 2009 06:15:44 GMT


 


This says the *text matter describing the rules* is subject to
copyright.  It does not say that the rules themselves are.

--~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~



Apps labeled as Tetris Clones removed from Android Market

by Edward Falk » Sun, 12 Apr 2009 03:23:40 GMT


 > I wrote those concerns to Google and I sent an email to the EFF. The

Yes, this is how the DMCA works.  I wish everybody knew this part.

My understanding is:  When an ISP or other provider receives a DMCA
takedown notice, they have no choice but to take the offending
material off line.  They can't use their judgment, they just have to
do it.

If you file a counter-claim, then they have to put the material *back*
on line.  Again, not their decision to make.

After that, it's between you, the complainant, and the courts.


--~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~



Apps labeled as Tetris Clones removed from Android Market

by clark » Sun, 12 Apr 2009 04:14:28 GMT


 First and foremost, IANAL.

Fight the man!  That's all I have to say.  This is utter BS on the
part of TTC and you should fight them.  I've been using linux for
years and I seem to have had Gnometris packaged with it for a while.
Is there a reason why this game, a clone of tetris, has avoided being
removed?

I think Al hit it on the head when he mentioned the fact there is a
tetris game on the sidekick and chances are they are developing one
for the G1.  I'm sure it will be a paid app, so they are attempting to
get rid of any competition, especially the free apps that offer
similar gameplay.  Perhaps it is TTC that should come up with
something new and leave the little developers alone, otherwise...
David will be coming for you, Goliath.


~clark



--~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~



Apps labeled as Tetris Clones removed from Android Market

by Semprebon » Sun, 12 Apr 2009 20:28:55 GMT


 Not strictly true. They can choose to remove the material and not be
liable for copyright infringement themselves, or they can ignore the
request and become liable. In reality, most will choose the first
option.




--~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~



Apps labeled as Tetris Clones removed from Android Market

by Al Sutton » Sun, 12 Apr 2009 20:33:02 GMT


 I think the most tragic thing about this is the guy who brought this up is 
not US based and so the DMCA is irrelevant to hi as it has no juristiction.

If Google wants to apply US laws to everyone around the world who wishes to 
list an app on market I can see a lot of problems ahead with this and other 
Intellectual Property related issues.

Al.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Semprebon" <sempre...@gmail.com>
To: "Android Developers" <android-developers@googlegroups.com>
Sent: Sunday, April 12, 2009 1:28 PM
Subject: [android-developers] Re: Apps labeled as Tetris Clones removed from 
Android Market



Not strictly true. They can choose to remove the material and not be
liable for copyright infringement themselves, or they can ignore the
request and become liable. In reality, most will choose the first
option.







--~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~



Apps labeled as Tetris Clones removed from Android Market

by Tasos.Kleisas » Mon, 13 Apr 2009 20:14:28 GMT


 What puzzles me is that when tetris clones were pulled from apple app
store, a lot of tech related sites reported the news. However, not
even one android related site wrote a word about the android market
application removal. They only complained about the tethering apps
removal. But no word on DMCA removals. Why?
--~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~



Apps labeled as Tetris Clones removed from Android Market

by Sundog » Mon, 13 Apr 2009 22:44:32 GMT


 Anyone who is surprised by this must be very, very new to the
programming game. I've been waiting for this since the store opened.

IMHO, to the extent that the Android community becomes a proxy for
those that think All Ideas Should Be Free And Stealable, that is the
extent to which Android will never be a real grown-up operating
system.

On Apr 7, 8:43am, "tasos.klei...@gmail.com" <tasos.klei...@gmail.com>


--~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~



Apps labeled as Tetris Clones removed from Android Market

by Ikon » Tue, 14 Apr 2009 01:39:25 GMT


 his is not legal advice. I actually am a lawyer, and these copyright
violation claims are very shaky. Basically, they have a copyright to
the exactly worded source code. So if they wrote "int numTetrads =
50" and you wrote "int numBlocks = 50" you would not be infringing.
You need to copy, wholesale, a portion of their code in order to
infringe on their copyright. Further, they have trademarks on the
"look and feel" of colors/blocks and a trademark on the name "Tetris".
So technically, according to the law there is no claim. With that
said, if they have a good lawyer and are in front of a retarded judge,
then maybe they can go somewhere with this.
They also have NO software patent claims, nor allege any. Even if
they DID have a software patent, software patents are under a lot of
scrutiny, and it probably would not take too much to get it
invalidated.

On Apr 13, 10:43am, Sundog <sunns...@gmail.com> wrote:
--~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~



Other Threads

1. Suhu in action

Desire sapa tuh yg di kerjakan bro,,yop,??

*heheheheh*


pelita baru cell
jl.konggoasa no.34 kendari
081341837777


-----Original Message-----
From: "yopie suryadi" <yo...@anjroid.net>
Date: Fri, 14 May 2010 12:21:33 
To: Idandroid<id-android@googlegroups.com>
Subject: [id-android] Suhu in action

Lesjaw - wongompong

Lagi berusaha memecahkan misteri desire...

@yopiesuryadi
www.jeruknipis.com/forum

-- 
"Indonesian Android Community [id-android]" 

2. AigoN700 ? Irobot ?

Udah ada yg punya kah?
Aigo N700 1GHz 
Irobot 500 mhz 

Ipad wannabe hehehe 


*various smartphone readystok :)
081973412628
252c34a5 ym jchen_success

-- 
"Indonesian Android Community [id-android]" 

3. PNG Decoder loading RGB_565 on 24 bit PNGs with alpha - then settings bitmap.config to null?? wtf

4. OpenCore / Possible Issue w/ Streaming MP3 over HTTP?

5. Hardware platform thoughts

6. Sound question

7. Perjuangan seorang mahasuhu