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Legal Threat Halts Monopoly Development
Posted on 19 September 1998, 21:00 GMT

Parker Brothers, a division of Hasbro and the makers of Monopoly®, has threatened legal action against Kirk Meyer should he put a playable TI-86 version of that game on the Internet. Therefore, Kirk has stopped working on Monopoly® for obvious reasons. Ironically, Parker Brothers was impressed by his talents and have asked him to create a version of Monopoly for the color gameboy. Kirk is considering that offer and is also working on his pinball game Lalean for the TI-86.

 


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Legal Threat Halts Monopoly Development
Phil Killewald
(Web Page)

That's something we're all going to have to look at. I know of many games that people have made or are working on which are direct ports off of Microsoft or whatever company games. It there a way to get around this? Also, if Kirk isn't selling it, why would there be legal problims? He's just making it for fun, and not profit, right? Right Kirk?

-Phil

     19 September 1998, 21:19 GMT


Re: Legal Threat Halts Monopoly Development
Kirk Meyer
(Web Page)

Whether or not you make it for profit, its still against the law. I assume that Hasbro didn't like it because potentially many people could play my game rather than paying Hasbro money to buy their products...

     19 September 1998, 21:24 GMT


Re: Re: Legal Threat Halts Monopoly Development
chris wicklein

It is my limited understanding of US copyright law that the holder of a copyright (e.g. Parker Bros. of Monopoly) must take action against any known infringment (e.g. unauthorized use of that copyright, such as a free calculator port) or effectively loses that copyright. Parker Bros.'s future exclusive rights to Monopoly depend on killing any unauthorized use of the game name and concept now.

     19 September 1998, 22:19 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Legal Threat Halts Monopoly Development
Alan Johnson
(Web Page)

This is true. In order to let Kirk continue, Parker Bros. would have to waive their copyright, unless Kirk worked for them. I heard a similar story about some people who wanted to mak a MUSH for a fantasy novel but the author had to stop them. However, the company who the author gave the rights to the book to let them continue.

     20 September 1998, 00:50 GMT

Re: Legal Threat Halts Monopoly Development
Rob Hornick

You should see if Parker Brothers will let you put it on the net if you make them their Color Gameboy version (if you are inclined to make the Gameboy version.)

     19 September 1998, 21:32 GMT

Re: Legal Threat Halts Monopoly Development
tenalibabu

How did Parker brothers even find out about this?
This could be a start in shut down of calc games. Soon there will be others like mario and tetris. We can't let them do this. This makes me so mad!! Have they ever thought of the cheapest crime of all when Microsoft stole the idea of windows from Mac. I dont understand anyway because kirk is not making money off it. All our game ideas are from looking at other games so i think this is some serious problem.

     19 September 1998, 21:39 GMT

Re: Re: Legal Threat Halts Monopoly Development
Chris
(Web Page)

The courts have already determined that MS did not steal Windows from Apple, because they are both derived from work pioneered by Xerox.
cb

     19 September 1998, 21:43 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Legal Threat Halts Monopoly Development
Scott Gerenser

I agree that it's stupid to be cracking down on *calculator games!* How on earth did they go about finding something like this?

Oh, and about the Apple/Microsoft thing, that's not really true. The courts basically ruled that Microsoft probably did copy a great deal from Apple (much more directly than Apple did from Xerox, and besides, Apple's was a marketed product, Xerox's was a big imaginary "computer of the future" testing that they never thought would take off).

The only problem was that Apple signed an agreement allowing Microsoft to use their style of OS in exchange for Microsoft not stopping development of Word and Excel for the Mac. However, legal loopholes in the text allowed Microsoft to continue using it to this day, whereas Apple thought that their agreement only applied to Windows 1.0. The funny thing is that according to "Urban Legend" this agreement was signed on or nearly on Bill Gates' Birthday :-) Best birthday present he could've got by a long shot!

     20 September 1998, 15:19 GMT

Re: Re: Legal Threat Halts Monopoly Development
Chris

Oh yeah. I'm glad to see that someone is a loyal MAC fan too. Even though I stooped to the leave and bought a PC. But anyways, I think that a lot of companies know what is going on. There was a comment from a person from Microsoft about a month ago. They really don't care, how much business is this going to take away from them? Almost none. If we didn't copy these programs, well we wouldn't have any then.

Oh yes now the Apple/Microsoft thing. If you ask me Microsoft totally copied Apple.

     22 September 1998, 02:40 GMT


Re: Re: Legal Threat Halts Monopoly Development
Adam Stephens

Sorry to throw comments in that have nothing to do with the subject, but I have to say this..
Microsoft stole ideas from Mac(Apple)? Try this one on for size: Apple got it's ideas from an early GUI called Xerox Star. For all the crowd out there who's been in computers for longer then 3 years, you might remember the Apple Lisa which was sold sometime in the early 80's..83, I think. This computer cost in the $10,000 price range, and ran, you guessed it, Xerox Star. It was a flop because of its high cost, but Apple came out a year later with the Macintosh. In 1989 (again, I think) when Apple tried to sue Microsoft over Windows, Xerox woke up and tried to get in on the action by suing Apple for blatantly copying their OS, but it was thrown out due to the fact that they hadn't taken any action for 6 (er so)years.
The point being, Mac users have this lame claim that Windows 95(and now 98) is actually Mac 84. In reality, Mac 84 itself is Star 83.
So when you talk about the "cheapest crime of all when Microsoft stole the idea of windows from Mac" maybe you'll realize now that Apple wasn't all that original themselves. Flame away.

     22 September 1998, 21:45 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Legal Threat Halts Monopoly Development
Scott Gerenser

It is true that Apple got their "Inspiration" from Xerox, the Apple Lisa most definitely did *not* run Xerox Star. Xerox's PARC was basically a think tank, not some division signed with making real, marketable computers. While the workers thought it was a great idea, Xerox "bigwigs" basically saw no future for the product (for themselves) which is why they willingly allowed Steve Jobs/Mac people to come and take a look at their stuff, not caring about them viewing "corporate secrets," because they never planned to market the stuff (I assume a few were sold, but I don't think they wanted to pump any more cash into the proposition).

Obviously, this is way off topic, and mostly from memory, but I just had to add this. Obviously, I'm not flaming, just trying to add my input from what I know. I hope that flaming is not considered appropriate for this forum.

     23 September 1998, 23:21 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Legal Threat Halts Monopoly Development
Steve Horne
(Web Page)

Interestingly enough, Microsoft itself showed off its first version (albeit a very very putrid one) of windows in 1983. It took 8 more years before it really went mainstream... As for who copied who, at this point, it's somewhat irrelevant. X-Windows could be seen as a copy of Win3.x (in terms of its UI, not its guts [yeek]), and OS/2, NeXT, BeOS, Geos, and more have all used the concept of graphical user interface. Its just in certain areas (e.g. the "recycle bin") where Microsoft utterly copied Mac. Conceptually, the UI is important to computers as the combustion engine was to transportation. I don't really want to imagine a world where all cars could be made by Ford, or similarly, a world where all GUI's were made by Apple (or, more realisically now, Microsoft.)


Sorry for the ULTRA-off-topic post.

     26 September 1998, 03:47 GMT

Re: Legal Threat Halts Monopoly Development
Matthew

ID Software dosen't go sueing people for making Doom on the calcs I think this is stupid.

     19 September 1998, 21:44 GMT


id Software suing for DOOM
David Phillips

You are correct that id Software hasn't sued anyone for making DOOM for the calculator, but to my knowledge, no one HAS made DOOM for a calculator. People have made 3D raycasters, but none have been anywhere close to DOOM. Wolf3D would be closer, but anyway...

A company such as id Software can't hold a copyright on any 3D shooter. If this were the case, I think the first game company to be sued would have been Apogee for Rise of the Triad.

My final comment to consider is that id Software wouldn't sue anyone for doing anything innovative or creative. id is one of the coolest game companies ever. How many game companies release their source code? Michael Abrash wrote articles about the details of Quake while he was helping to program it. More companies should be like this...id is the exact opposite of Microsoft.

     19 September 1998, 23:40 GMT


Re: id Software suing for DOOM
justin

apogee and Id are connected . . . .

     26 September 1998, 04:53 GMT

Gee, is this a tough decision?
Chris Bohn
(Web Page)

Let me see if I got this straight. If KM develops Monopoly for free, then PB will sue him for every penny he's worth. On the other hand, PB is willing to *pay* him to develop Monopoly. I hate to sound like a sell-out, but if someone's willing to pay me to do something I want to do anyway, then my only decision is whether I laugh all the way to the bank or just on my way to the car.
cb

     19 September 1998, 21:48 GMT


Sellout, i think not...
Harper Maddox
(Web Page)

Were I placed in a similar situation, I probably would have made the same choice. It would be stupid to proceed on making monopoly for the calculator, with a legal threat out there. Of course, he would be making money on the game, but wouldn't anyone else like to make a game for money anyways. So, go for it Kirk... We'll support you. It would be good for someone in the Ti community to gain some corporate recognition.

     20 September 1998, 17:45 GMT

Re: Legal Threat Halts Monopoly Development
Daniel Plaisted

How did Parker Brothers find out about your version of monopoly?

     19 September 1998, 21:52 GMT

Re: Legal Threat Halts Monopoly Development
SMN
(Web Page)

Would someone (Kirk) be able to post the complete E-Mail here? i just find it ironically funny that they want a calculator programmer to write Monopoly for gameboy (I guess it wouldn't be too hard, they're both Z80. . .)

Next, how about asking Maxis about SimCommunity 2000?

     19 September 1998, 21:56 GMT


Re: Re: Legal Threat Halts Monopoly Development
justin

If your wandering programing a game boy is nearly the same as programing a claculator. I do both

     26 September 1998, 04:52 GMT

Re: Legal Threat Halts Monopoly Development
Michael Sherrard

I'm kind of surprised there's not a way to get around this. There is a series of games that are very similar or identical to monopoly called in a box... (Seattle-in-a-box is the one I've seen, and it said there are others on the package.) Maybe change the name and have 7 sided dies or something...

     19 September 1998, 22:17 GMT


Re: Re: Legal Threat Halts Monopoly Development
TLP

Yes ! And PB can't say anything if Kirk change the name of the game, since the ti-game is modified from original (it can't be EXACTLY the same:).
Howewer, i think it's a good way for Kirk to have interesting programming with PB :)

     19 September 1998, 22:38 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Legal Threat Halts Monopoly Development
Kirk Meyer
(Web Page)

Hasbro's copyright states that their copyright lies with the game name, the four corner squares, and the cards. Therefore the prices and property names would have to be changed, the board layout would have to be changed, a new name found, and new rules found. By then no one would even know how to play.

     19 September 1998, 22:58 GMT


We can still get monopoly...
Leon Pierre
(Web Page)

I guess we know what path that must be followed. I know that Kirk does not want to be sued by PB, and I know that the calc community does not want to lose the Monopoly game. So I suggest a happy medium. Change the monopoly game name, change the rules so that the game may be more enjoyable, and change the cards and the design of the board so the game is more fun. I know that some people have thought that if they could change the way a game was done, the game would turn out to be better. This is one of those odd chances that life throws at you to make a difference. With sufficient input, the game that is known as monopoly could be remade into a more fun and challanging game. This could turn out to be a blessing in disguise for us all. Kirk gets a name by making the CGB monopoly, and the commmunity gets a game that is more fun and challenging while somewhat keeping the monopoly "feel". But this is my opinion, and I know that it may not be acted upon by anyone.

     19 September 1998, 23:23 GMT


Re: We can still get monopoly...
Alan Johnson
(Web Page)

Or Kirk could take the money and go on to being a real video game programmer

     20 September 1998, 00:56 GMT

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