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Choose from The Astrocade, Magnavox Odyssey, The ColecoVision, Atari 7800 ProSystem and the Atari 2600

In today's home console gaming world, it's all about the latest and greatest. Which console has the best graphics? Which has the most power? But many of us remember the pre-Xbox/PlayStation days when consoles like the Atari 2600 ruled the realm -- and now, we can revisit our 8-bit roots. 

The Internet Archive Software Collection recently added "The Console Living Room," which allows nostalgic gamers to play old games from consoles like The Astrocade and Magnavox Odyssey right on their browser. 

According to archive.org, you can select games by system, with choices including The Astrocade, Magnavox Odyssey, The ColecoVision, Atari 7800 ProSystem and the Atari 2600.
 

[Image Source: Gamebreaker.tv]

Once you select a system, browse through its available games and select one by either clicking the screenshot or "Emulate This" button. 

The JSMESS emulator system is used to bring these classic games right to the browser. Archive.org touts "hundreds" of games to choose from, but just know that there isn't any sound available for them at this time (however, it will be added soon). 

Check it out here

If the Internet Archive doesn't ring a bell, you might remember hearing about a fire at one of its San Francisco locations just last month. Thankfully no data was lost, but estimates put the cost of repairs to the building and replacing destroyed equipment at about $600,000.

Source: The Internet Archive





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Mega-scale copyright infringement
By Guspaz on 12/30/13, Rating: 0
RE: Mega-scale copyright infringement
By amanojaku on 12/30/2013 2:27:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What is the nonprofit status of the Internet Archive? Where does its funding come from?

The Internet Archive is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. It receives in-kind and financial donations from a variety of sources, including, but not limited to: Alexa Internet, the Kahle/Austin Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and you.

Why is the Internet Archive collecting sites from the Internet? What makes the information useful?

Most societies place importance on preserving artifacts of their culture and heritage. Without such artifacts, civilization has no memory and no mechanism to learn from its successes and failures. Our culture now produces more and more artifacts in digital form. The Archive's mission is to help preserve those artifacts and create an Internet library for researchers, historians, and scholars. The Archive collaborates with institutions including the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian.

What is the Wayback Machine's Copyright Policy?

The Internet Archive respects the intellectual property rights and other proprietary rights of others. The Internet Archive may, in appropriate circumstances and at its discretion, remove certain content or disable access to content that appears to infringe the copyright or other intellectual property rights of others. If you believe that your copyright has been violated by material available through the Internet Archive, please provide the Internet Archive Copyright Agent with the following information:

Identification of the copyrighted work that you claim has been infringed;
An exact description of where the material about which you complain is located within the Internet Archive collections;
Your address, telephone number, and email address;
A statement by you that you have a good-faith belief that the disputed use is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law;
A statement by you, made under penalty of perjury, that the above information in your notice is accurate and that you are the owner of the copyright interest involved or are authorized to act on behalf of that owner;
Your electronic or physical signature.

Internet Archive uses the exclusion policy intended for use by both academic and non-academic digital repositories and archivists. See our full exclusion policy.
https://archive.org/about/faqs.php

quote:
The Oakland Archive Policy

Recommendations for Managing Removal Requests And Preserving Archival Integrity

School of Information Management and Systems, U.C. Berkeley

December 13 - 14, 2002

Introduction

Online archives and digital libraries collect and preserve publicly available Internet documents for the future use of historians, researchers, scholars, and the general public. These archives and digital libraries strive to operate as trusted repositories for these materials, and work to make their collections as comprehensive as possible.

At times, however, authors and publishers may request that their documents not be included in publicly available archives or web collections. To comply with such requests, archivists may restrict access to or remove that portion of their collections with or without notice as outlined below.

Because issues of integrity and removal are complex, and archivists generally wish to respond in a transparent manner, these policy recommendations have been developed with help and advice of representatives of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Chilling Effects, The Council on Library and Information Resources, the Berkeley Boalt School of Law, and various other commercial and non-commercial organizations through a meeting held by the Archive Policy Special Interest Group (SIG), an ad hoc, informal group of persons interested the practice of digital archiving.

In addition, these guidelines have been informed by the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights http://www.ala.org/work/freedom/lbr.html, the Society of American Archivists Code of Ethics http://www.archivists.org/governance/handbook/app_... the International Federation of Library Association's Internet Manifesto http://www.unesco.org/webworld/news/2002/ifla_mani... as well as applicable law.
http://www2.sims.berkeley.edu/research/conferences...


RE: Mega-scale copyright infringement
By Guspaz on 12/30/2013 4:44:23 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure what your point is, the policies you're posting seem to show that The Internet Archive's massive-scale copyright infringement is against their own policies... that doesn't make it any less illegal, or absolve them from liability when they inevitably get sued (or, if they're lucky, merely C&D'd).


RE: Mega-scale copyright infringement
By amanojaku on 12/30/2013 6:43:34 PM , Rating: 3
I'm sorry I wasn't very clear. In summary, the Internet Archive is a legitimate library. Consequently, it is legally authorized to collect and make available to the public copyrighted works. The is exemplified by its partnerships with the US Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institute. The Internet Archive focuses on electronic copyrighted works as opposed to physical materials like books, periodicals, and art.

The policies listed give copyright owners an easy means of having their works removed from the site, as well as making it clear that the Archive respects those copyrights.

For further reading on why libraries, including electronic ones, are able to offer copyrighted materials:

Fair Use Preservation by Individuals and Libraries: 17 USC § 107

(P-N-A-M)
1) Purpose of the use
2) Nature of the work
3) Amount or substantiality used
4) Market impact

If preservation is being done for non-commercial, socially beneficial reasons, it seems likely that the “Purpose” factor would lean towards fair use...

As is always the case with fair use, you can’t really know if your use is fair until a court determines if it is fair. Nevertheless, when considering the preservation problems of motion pictures, the Senate concluded that given the great danger of loss, “making of duplicate copies for purposes of archival preservation certainly falls within the scope of ‘fair use.’ “[17] We can hope that the courts might accept a similar argument for equally fragile digital information...

http://fairuse.stanford.edu/2003/11/10/digital_pre...

Exemption for Nonprofit Libraries and Archives

"Section 404 of the DMCA amends the exemption for nonprofit libraries and archives in section 108 of the Copyright Act to accommodate digital technologies and evolving preservation practices. Prior to enactment of the DMCA, section 108 permitted such libraries and archives to make a single facsimile (i.e., not digital) copy of a work for purposes of preservation or interlibrary loan. As amended, section 108 permits up to three copies, which may be digital, provided that digital copies are not made available to the public outside the library premises. In addition, the amended section permits such a library or archive to copy a work into a new format if the original format becomes obsolete—that is, the machine or device used to render the work perceptible is no longer manufactured or is no longer reasonably available in the commercial marketplace."

http://www.copyright.gov/legislation/dmca.pdf


RE: Mega-scale copyright infringement
By Guspaz on 12/30/2013 7:13:25 PM , Rating: 2
It seems to me that the preservation fair use clauses enable preservation, not active distribution of titles that are arguably not currently in immediate danger of being lost without preservation. Atari 2600 games are in no more danger of being lost than newer games (in that both the hardware and game cartridges in good working order are generally abundant), and you can imagine how Microsoft might react to a library deciding that Halo 4 needed to be preserved and that ISOs of it should be hosted online. Indeed, the DMCA section that you quote explicitly states that libraries and archives are permitted to make copies with the intent of preservation so long as they do not make the copies available outside the library premises .

I think you could make a fair case for The Internet Archive making preservative copies of games. I don't think you can make a fair case that this gives them carte blanche to distribute the copyrighted games en-masse online.

All of the games are still under copyright, most by still existing companies (heck, there are even Nintendo properties being hosted there), some are even still on sale via licensed products such as the Atari Flashback.


RE: Mega-scale copyright infringement
By TheJian on 12/31/2013 3:47:58 AM , Rating: 1
If your product is no longer sold (and hasn't been for 10+yrs) who is losing money?

When was the last atari 2600 sold? See the point? Still confused? When was the last cartridge for one of these sold? Get it yet?

I don't see how you can loose money on someone "pirating" a work that will never be sold ever again to even a retarded person. IE, the 2600 was discontinued in 1992 and I'm not talking collectors crap here but actual retail sales Atari etc would collect on. At this point anything running on this device is for nostalgia only. It's only infringement if it's possible that you are losing money. Even then they severely distort reality. Most people who pirate will NEVER pay you and a good portion of those can't even AFFORD it if they wanted to. If your product is worth ZERO the sum total of what I can steal from you is...Well...ZERO. Feel free to sue me for...Well...ZERO...LOL. No court should even accept this case or any like it.

If a judge allows a lawsuit over a product worth absolutely nothing he should lose his job. PERIOD. You are clogging up the courts for...wait for it...ZERO :) You are defending NOTHING of value. I'm not sure how you think these things are worth any price above $0. Where is the damage here? Who is losing out on revenue? You work for Apple or something? Everything is sue worthy to you?

You apparently are a lawyer (or work at apple? I jest but you get the point) or you would understand how stupid it is to defend this. And in the former case, I get your bias even if I think all stupid lawsuits should be squashed and charged a fee for wasting everyone's time (you should have to pay whatever you asked for in damages...That would stop crap suits). You are the reason nobody can get a speedy trial these days (and also the reason most can't afford it, it takes years usually for a final verdict), which I used to have a right to. Now you spend years in jail waiting for them to get to you in many cases and can end up bankrupt before any verdict comes. We do not have time or money to defend useless crap cases.


RE: Mega-scale copyright infringement
By Guspaz on 12/31/2013 4:36:44 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not a lawyer (or even American), but you seem to have a major misunderstanding of how copyright law works. While there is a danger of losing a trademark if you don't enforce it, there is no such danger with copyright. You don't need to produce revenue to be able to enforce your copyright, and while that may have an impact on damages (in Canada, individual liability from damages is capped at $5k with unintentional infringement encouraging the minimum of $200, versus the US with a $150k limit). I hate copyright law as much as the next guy, and think it should be relaxed severely rather than strengthened, but the sort of mass-scale distribution that we're talking about here is a too much even for me.

In terms of when the last Atari 2600 was sold, that's not relevant. We're not talking about people making counterfeit consoles, we're talking about the distribution of copyrighted *games* without permission, and those games are definitely still being legitimately and legally sold.


By Souka on 1/1/2014 11:16:48 AM , Rating: 2
I guess fairly recently, and games do have value... so having free games like this could be viewed to devalue them.

"Man Sells Old $5-$10 Atari 2600 Game for $31,600"
http://www.tomsguide.com/us/air-raid-atari-2600-eb...

But myself, I think it's pretty neat the archive.org is doing this. :)


RE: Mega-scale copyright infringement
By Mathos on 12/30/2013 8:19:00 PM , Rating: 2
Or you could assume, that since most of those older games are considered abandon ware, as in the original company has no interest in publishing the game.

That the original publishers likely allowed that site to distribute said software that way, via their rights as the copyright holders.

You seem to be assuming that such a site wouldn't have already covered their rear ends legally before doing so.

The argument that said hardware is still abundant and working is also bunk. Since the newest system on that list is the Atari 7800, was discontinued in 1992, 22 years ago and only sold 3.77million units in the US. Same goes for the 2600, but it's slightly more abundant at 30million units. Now consider that realistically about half of those 7800s still work, and about 1/10th of those 2600's still work. Since that 30m units is spread out from 1977-1992.

Lets not forget that cartridges for said systems have a limited usable life span. The Memory on them and batteries do die after some time. God only knows I have a quite a few NES carts that no longer boot, if I can even get the console itself to work.


RE: Mega-scale copyright infringement
By Guspaz on 12/30/2013 10:47:10 PM , Rating: 2
Abandonware doesn't mean it's out of copyright, and there's a bunch of games on that list that aren't abandonware; several are still for sale via products like the Atari Flashback. And while Nintendo seems to be decently cool with fan productions like Super Mario Crossover, I find it unlikely that they'd give the OK to distribute Donkey Kong.

In terms of reliability, newer generation consoles are arguably worse in that regard. Many consoles from older generations are still working (I think your 10% figure is questionable), and those that aren't are often easily repaired (the majority of dead NES can be repaired by replacing the cartridge socket). Even the cartridges can often be repaired; batteries can be replaced, and most problems are due to dirty contacts that can be solved by cleaning. It's very rare for the chips themselves to go bad, and most other components on the boards can be replaced. Even the ICs can be transplanted...

Modern consoles, on the other hand? Damaged discs (particularly blurays) are difficult or impossible to repair, and the consoles, being far more complex, are usually toast when they die, with few components being replaceable.


RE: Mega-scale copyright infringement
By PrinceGaz on 12/31/2013 10:16:03 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not a lawyer, but my understanding of the law is that abandonware status trumps copyright law, meaning that if a game has not been available to buy for a certain period of time (which varies from country to country, but is generally between 5 and 10 years), then it is legal to freely distribute it and obtain a copy distributed in that way, provided no money is asked for or received for it.

Works that do not qualify for abandonware status due to it having been sold in some way by the current copyright holder within that period in the country where it is being distributed, may still be distributed if older than a certain number of years (usually at least 10 years) as trialware under the 24-hour rule. The legal requirement of no money being paid also applies here, but with the additional restriction that you must either purchase a copy of the game from the rights holder, or delete it, within 24-hours of downloading it. Failure to purchase or delete it within 24-hours means you will probably be in breach of copyright law in most countries.

Like I say I'm not an expert in these things, but that's how I see it. As such, all the games for the systems mentioned fall into either the abandonware or 24-hour trialware category, so they are doing nothing wrong by making them available, and people who play them aren't doing anything wrong either (unless they play a game classed as trialware for more than 24 hours in one session).


RE: Mega-scale copyright infringement
By Guspaz on 12/31/2013 4:43:14 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not a lawyer either, but there is absolutely no legal standing for "abandonware". As far as copyright law is concerned, that status doesn't exist. Stuff is either under copyright, or it's not. The only thing that changes for abandonware products is the likelihood of getting sued for infringement; if nobody knows who owns a copyright, you're probably not going to get sued for infringing it. But if somebody realized that they did own that copyright, from some work that hasn't been sold since the 70s, they'd be well within their rights to sue you.

There's also no legal basis to the "24-hour rule"; it doesn't exist. Peoples' beliefs about abandonware as it relates to copyright, or that it's not infringement for 24 hours, that's all just common misconceptions that gets spread around as truth.


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