Friday, October 25, 2013

Reading material: Sega v. Accolade

at 5:00 PM
On the left: Sega. On the right: Accolade. Hedgehog Court - it's just like Kangaroo Court, but you go insane.
Continuing the "feature" of me "featuring" other content, I recommend checking out this very interesting court case on the subject of software licensing, copyright, and trademarks. Back in the early '90s, Sega tried to stop any cartridges lacking the expensive Sega license from running on their hardware, but a handful of enterprising young developers at Accolade found the practice to be a little too much like extortion and decided to code a workaround that let their games run without approval. Their defense was that reverse engineering a piece of software to decipher how it works was not inherently a breach of copyright. When Sega took steps to lock out and legally entrap Accolade, the rebellious developers struck back with some clever software and legal tactics of their own. You'll have to read the rest here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sega_v._Accolade

The suit is over twenty years old and it's been a decade since Sega has made a console or Accolade even existed, but it established a software copyright case law precedent still referenced today. It's also interesting to read the ridiculously shady shit Sega tried to get away with. Also, I've seen a lot of hilarious court case names in my day, but the therein cited "Anti-Monopoly, Inc. vs. General Mills Fun Group" definitely ranks highly.

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