Source code rights

General discussion relating to the Transfusion project.

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Slink

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Source code rights

Postby Slink » Sat Aug 16, 2014 05:14 pm

Hey all. Long time, no see!

I was reading this thread, and I was wondering... In lieu of searching the forum, what ended up as the official answer to "where is the Blood source code" and "who owns it"?

  • I remember Jace Hall had "a version" of it but IDK if it was the original, and I don't know to what extent his rights allow the distribution of that.
  • I remember that reverse-engineering by de-compilation of any version of Blood is supposedly prohibited (whether for profit or for free, as the source was never released).
  • I understand Atari owns the IP rights.

Sorry to hash it up again. Thought maybe I could lend a hand again.
What's the deal? Thanks.

-Slink

Relevant, and probably already posted here: Atari shuts down Jace Hall's Blood re-release.

EDIT: After some light reading, I have my refresher: http://www.the-postmortem.com/forum/vie ... a&start=15
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dosgamer000
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Re: Source code rights

Postby dosgamer000 » Sat Aug 23, 2014 06:26 am

Slink it is good to see your green text again. Unfortunately, Jace's project fell thrown as the source code is still out of public hands, as you already know. A shame that every attempt to bring Blood back into modern gaming ends in failure. :(
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Willis

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Re: Source code rights

Postby Willis » Fri Sep 05, 2014 09:27 pm

Slink wrote:Hey all. Long time, no see!

I was reading this thread, and I was wondering... In lieu of searching the forum, what ended up as the official answer to "where is the Blood source code" and "who owns it"?

  • I remember Jace Hall had "a version" of it but IDK if it was the original, and I don't know to what extent his rights allow the distribution of that.
  • I remember that reverse-engineering by de-compilation of any version of Blood is supposedly prohibited (whether for profit or for free, as the source was never released).
  • I understand Atari owns the IP rights.

Sorry to hash it up again. Thought maybe I could lend a hand again.
What's the deal? Thanks.

-Slink

Relevant, and probably already posted here: Atari shuts down Jace Hall's Blood re-release.

EDIT: After some light reading, I have my refresher: http://www.the-postmortem.com/forum/vie ... a&start=15


As always, Blood has one of the more confusing "rights" histories.

I will start by saying that at least two former Monolith employees are known to have a copy of at least some version of source code, Jace Hall being one of them. No person known to have the source code has permission to release it currently.

Beyond that, it ends up being a tangled mess, as many times you hear everything lumped into "IP (Intellectual Property)", however, IP really consists of a few things. Namely, the more important things are (in no particular order) Copyright (art/sounds/exact packages, etc), Trademark (name/franchise), and Distribution Rights. Further down the line in the IP "lump" is source code rights.

Of those larger, more important sections of IP, the following are certain or mostly known/agreed upon:
Atari (via Infogrames, through acquisition of GT Interactive) own the distribution rights.
Warner Brothers (via Monolith) own(ed) [the now inactive] trademark for "Blood" and "Blood II: The Chosen" in the US Trademark database. How deactivation affects future use, I am uncertain.
Based on the quit claim license the Transfusion project acquired from Infogrames, it would appear Atari also owns the copyright for the completed projects (though the actual terms are not public).

Because all the contracts are not public, only those involved really know where the rights situation for the source code. Basic consensus is that Atari also owns it, but my not be in possession of it itself. If that is the case, they would need to approve its release, and they would be responsible with attempting to obtain it (which it doesn't appear would be too difficult still at this point).


As for the reverse-engineering by de-compilation, while most license state that it is not allowed, it is a very gray area in legal terms, as there are ways around it (one team doing the reverse engineering and writing an exact spec (but not making a new product), and a second team using only the spec to recreate), etc. But really, it's mostly not worth the effort, and would mostly result in an unmaintainable product.
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VGames
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Re: Source code rights

Postby VGames » Wed Jan 28, 2015 08:49 pm

I just took some time to finally read this thread and I have come to the conclusion that this whole situation both "sucks" and "blows" all at the same exact time. Which I believed to be utterly impossible before reading this thread.

Thank you for your time.

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