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Re: Another GPL violation settled

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: Another GPL violation settled
Date: Thu, 25 Jun 2009 12:41:45 +0200

Atari settle over ScummVM based Wii game GPL violations

The ScummVM developers have agreed a settlement with Atari over GPL
violations in three Nintendo Wii games developed by an Atari
subcontractor. An official press release from the ScummVM developers
"cyx" and "fingolfin" stated that a case over three games, "Freddie
Fish: The Case of the Missing Kelp Seeds", "Pajama Sam: No Need to Hide
When It's Dark Outside" and "Spy Fox: Dry Cereal" which used the ScummVM
engine to run classic point and click adventure games, had been settled
in May, with Misitic Software paying all legal fees and making a
donation to the Free Software Foundation.

According to a post from "Sev", another ScummVM developer, both
Fingolfin and Cyx are prohibited from talking about the settlement. Sev,
on the other hand, is not, and says that the developers are not happy
about the outcome. According to Sev, the ScummVM 0.9.0 engine was used
by the named games, as revealed by characteristic errors in the graphics

The ScummVM developers contacted and sent a letter to
Atari. The Atari lawyers responded, first denying the problem, then,
after discovering that the Nintendo Wii SDK explicitly prohibits the use
of open source software, threatening to take action against the ScummVM
developers for the reverse engineered Humongous Games code they said
appeared in one of ScummVM's game engines. This says Sev "turned into a
completely different, much more complicated case" with the options being
go to court or arrange a settlement.

The arranged settlement, apart from restraining two of the developers
from discussing the issue, involves the games being allowed to be sold
for a period of time, with no reprinting and after that time, the
remaining stock being destroyed. Although unhappy at the settlement, the
developers considered it better than spending months in court, and, as
Sev says summing up "when you hear about ScummVM, remember, it is
commercial grade software which even Atari is not ashamed to put their
label on". 



Jun 16, 2009: GPL conflict with Atari 
Posted by cyx, fingolfin 

Consider the following an official "press release", and note that the
exact wording is dictated to cyx and fingolfin by the settlement terms. 

In December 2008, members of the ScummVM team discovered that three
games for the Nintendo Wii console ("Freddi Fish: The Case of the
Missing Kelp Seeds", published in Germany under the name "Fritzi Fisch
und der verschwundene Schatz"; "Pajama Sam: No Need to Hide When It's
Dark Outside", published in Germany under the name "Pyjama Pit: Keine
Angst im Dunkeln"; and "Spy Fox: Dry Cereal", published in Germany under
the name "Spy Fox in: Das Milchkartell") made use of ScummVM, without
complying with the terms of the GPL license. They sent a warning letter
to the German distributor of these games, Atari Deutschland GmbH, who
was not aware that ScummVM was used in the creation of the games. Atari
Deutschland GmbH established contact with Mistic Software Inc., the
developers of the games. 

Mistic Software Inc. responded by denying that members of the ScummVM
team hold any rights to the particular code they used. The dispute was
ultimately settled in May 2009 by Mistic Software Inc. paying all legal
fees and making a donation to the Free Software Foundation as a sign of
good will, without acknowledging copyright infringement. 



(GNG is a derecursive recursive derecursion which pwns GNU since it can 
be infinitely looped as GNGNGNGNG...NGNGNG... and can be said backwards 
too, whereas GNU cannot.)

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