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Capcom 'Saddened' By Game Plagiarism Controversy 163

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-the-way-to-the-bank dept.
Capcom's recent release of action platformer Maxsplosion for the iPhone caused indie developer Twisted Pixel to call Capcom out for copying the concept from their successful Xbox Live game 'Splosion Man. Twisted Pixel said they had no plans for legal action, since they were "too small to take on a company like Capcom." The indie studio had even pitched the game to Capcom for publishing at one point, but were declined. Now, Capcom has released a statement denying that Maxsplosion's development team had any knowledge of the meetings and saying, "MaXplosion was developed independently by Capcom Mobile. Nonetheless, we are saddened by this situation and hope to rebuild the trust of our fans and friends in the gaming community."
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Capcom 'Saddened' By Game Plagiarism Controversy

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14, 2011 @04:19AM (#34874908)

    /. readers 'saddened' by misspelling of "controversy" in the title.

    • Re:"Controversey"? (Score:4, Informative)

      by aliquis (678370) <dospam@gmail.com> on Friday January 14, 2011 @04:30AM (#34874958) Homepage

      Clearly not the same.

      Heck, I can't see any [ecetia.com] similarities at all [apple.com].

      As if they don't lose that argument already at the name.

      • Its this kind of thieving corporate bullshit that really makes my blood boil. I mean how can anyone> with a good idea approach anyone for investment without the risk of it being lifted wholesale? You can't patent an idea, all you can do is show it and pray the mealy mouthed oily headed gordon gekko wannabe MBA across the table from you doesn't know that. Boycott Capcom, let them get that icy sinking feeling in their gut for a change.

        Yes, I know whereof I speak.
        • by scubamage (727538)
          You make whoever you present it to sign an NDA, which you get notarized before you ever speak to them. It's what I've done whenever I've approached a 3rd party with any of my ideas. It takes a day to do and is totally worth it.
          • by nabsltd (1313397)

            You make whoever you present it to sign an NDA, which you get notarized before you ever speak to them.

            So, then if the person you talk to likes your idea, he can't speak with anyone else in his company to champion it. That doesn't seem like a good way to sell an idea.

            Basically, it's not possible to present an idea to anyone without giving them the chance to "steal" it. Since ideas are cheap and it's all about the execution, anyway, you really shouldn't worry too much.

      • I think the Capcom's game reminds me much more of Sonic the hedgehog than their game.
  • The games look a lot simlar, in gameplay and in the name, but I'm sure it's a coincidence. Poor Capcom, getting bashed like that.. Like they've ever rehashed a successful game concept!
  • by Undead Waffle (1447615) on Friday January 14, 2011 @04:37AM (#34874986)
    I know corporations are people now and everything but I find their expressions sometimes difficult to interpret. Can we ask that they include a "current mood" icon on their corporate website or something so we can all avoid potentially embarrassing situations?
    • by GameboyRMH (1153867) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {hmryobemag}> on Friday January 14, 2011 @09:06AM (#34876292) Journal

      I understand corporate emotions now. As soon as I read the title, I knew Capcom had plagiarized something.

      So here is the corporate-to-human emotion conversion table:

      Corporate --- Human (Example as used in corporate-speak)

      Sad --- Remorseless denial of guilt in the face of overwhelming evidence (As seen in the title, or "we are saddened about the situation at our Chinese manufacturing plant")

      Happy --- Having a Greedgasm (As in "we are happy to report record 4th quarter earnings")

      Proud --- Cautiously Optimistic (as in "Microsoft is proud of the security enhancements to our latest products")

      Pleased --- Cackling like a Supervillain (as in "we are pleased to be found innocent in this case")

      Regret --- Polite Indifference (as in "we regret to inform you that your services are no longer needed" or "we regret to inform you that your personal information was stolen from our database")

      Disapproval - Insane with Rage (as in "Ubisoft disapproves of piracy")

      Remorse - Grudging, hollow, and remorseless admission of guilt (as in "BP expresses remorse at the ecological disaster in the Gulf of Mexico")

      • by JasterBobaMereel (1102861) on Friday January 14, 2011 @09:38AM (#34876544)

        Silence --- Thankful no one seems to have noticed "Phew we seem to have got away with that, everyone is blaming BP"

        as in the Gulf Oil Spill :
          Hyundai - Built the Deepwater Horizon
          Transocean - Owned the Deepwater Horizon
          Halliburton - Contractors doing the work, and Maintaining the Rig
          Anadarko, MOEX - Co-Operators of the field and Rig

        • by radtea (464814)

          You left out the caterers, the company that ferried employees back and forth, the security firm and the janatorial contractor.

          You're not really a very good BP shill, are you? I hope they aren't paying you much, if the best you can do to deflect the significant portion of responsibility that rests with them for choosing such a lousy bunch of contractors and pushing them to complete a dangerous well on an unrealistic schedule, is to point out that there are others who must take their own portion of the blame

      • by marnues (906739)
        Use of the royal we in those statements creeps me way out.
      • by I8TheWorm (645702) * on Friday January 14, 2011 @11:54AM (#34878474) Journal

        I am pleased to announce that this list is brilliant, and I express remorse at not having penned it first. However, I regret to inform you of the possibility of it showing up on other websites soon.

      • by radtea (464814)

        Sad --- Remorseless denial of guilt in the face of overwhelming evidence

        Or: "Hey look, lying is profitable! But my god don't tell our employees or customers, because we depend on thier honesty for our business to succeed!"

        There is a moral theory that says you ought to make your behaviour the rule--that action is ethical if you could will that everyone behaved that way. This is based on quite reasonable notions of identity: if all humans are of the same kind, then it is reasonable that they should behave in the same way, so what is ethical for one ought to be ethical for all

    • by I8TheWorm (645702) *

      Their response reminds me of the Johnny Carson (I think, it's been a while now) skit of Nixon saying "I didn't do anything wrong, and I apologize for what I did do."

      Huh?

  • Double-plagiarism É (Score:5, Interesting)

    by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Friday January 14, 2011 @04:41AM (#34875026) Homepage

    Judging by the video, Capcom's game looks like as much a rip-off of Splosion Man as of Sonic the Hedgehog.

    If this is the product of the wholly-owned subsidiary that used to be called Cosmic Infinity, then I'm not surprised. There were a shithole back when they were independent, cranking out such shovelware classics as "Who wants to be a millionaire", which was little more than "You don't know Jack" 's Java engine with a different set of questions. That shop was an embarassment to the Canadian tech industry, and for Capcom to buy them up, well that just shows how little they care about the mobile segment.

    For Twisted Pixel, this is not worth suing, because if push came to shove, Capcom will simply disown the studio and there will be nothing to go after. This is partially why big game houses farm out the shady/underdeveloped titles to subsidiaries: limited liability.

    • "We here at Capcom are saddened that we have been caught ripping off this game, now we know that we can't go after Minecraft, Super Meat Boy etc without getting noticed."
      • by alexhs (877055) on Friday January 14, 2011 @05:28AM (#34875270) Homepage Journal

        We here at Capcom are saddened that [...] we can't go after Minecraft, Super Meat Boy etc without getting noticed.

        Well, I think that they don't care that much about simply getting noticed.
        They're saddened that they could lose sales because of bad publicity as a consequence.

        • by ShakaUVM (157947)

          >>They're saddened that they could lose sales because of bad publicity as a consequence.

          I thought all publicity was good publicity? =)

      • To be fair, they could probably code a better Minecraft than the official client and server that Mojang have been putting out. :3

        • by Shikaku (1129753)

          Considering Notch coded Minecraft in OpenGL 1.1 and has lighting on a cubic basis is manually calculated on every "chunk" update, yeah Capcom could CODE Minecraft better (they won't update it afterwards however).

          I'm not dissing Minecraft the game: I own it since the alpha before 10000 sales (it's over 1 million now). It's just really primitively implemented and Notch needs to buy and read a book like OpenGL 2.0 for dummies.

    • I see a pattern here where these big cat corps think thay can just pick up ideas from little devs and shoulder it out.

      Sadly this behaviour gets noticed only here on /., Gamasutra and other similar niche websites. The mob will buy the Capcom version in the end anyway.
      • by arose (644256)
        What is your take on Tetris and Super Mario clones then? Furthermore, what about the derivatives?
      • I see a pattern here where these big cat corps think thay can just pick up ideas from little devs and shoulder it out.

        What is your take on free clones of UNIX, distributed under such names as FreeBSD, Fedora, and Ubuntu?

    • by rjstanford (69735)

      Although to an individual developer, suing someone with limited liability can still result in a reasonably sizable settlement; possibly far less than Capcom might make on the rip-off, but more than the indie dev was likely to make on it, which is arguably a reasonable solution.

      What they won't get is 10% of Capcom which, ironically, may mean that the studio is more likely to go with the settlement rather than tying it up for decades.

  • I mean, I see the similarities and everything, and if I were them I'd go after Capcom.

    Of course, maybe their motivation for not doing so has nothing to do with Capcom being huge... maybe they're afraid of some Jihadist group claiming prior art.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14, 2011 @04:45AM (#34875042)

    If the likely net cost of the lawsuit times the likeliness of that lawsuit succeeding is smaller than the expected revenue minus the goodwill hit, then move ahead.
    If Damages * Likelihood is greater than Revenue, then proceed.
    Just as simple as that. Just like any other lesson from school. I've been amazed and disgusted at how openly some executives have admitted this to me. And they almost always phrase it precisely like that.
    After more than a few drinks.
    Usually then they laugh and look smug.
    Our executive culture is fundamentally rotten. Fundamentally. Every fucking "premium" MBA program in America should be forced to publish their curricula and have outside experts analyze their lectures. Seriously. Because these days this kind of criminality is quite literally taught in our business schools. You think I'm exaggerating? Get a few drinks into a graduate of a high status MBA program on a day that they're feeling good and ask them.

    • by Enter the Shoggoth (1362079) on Friday January 14, 2011 @05:09AM (#34875168)

      If the likely net cost of the lawsuit times the likeliness of that lawsuit succeeding is smaller than the expected revenue minus the goodwill hit, then move ahead.
      If Damages * Likelihood is greater than Revenue, then proceed.
      Just as simple as that. Just like any other lesson from school. I've been amazed and disgusted at how openly some executives have admitted this to me. And they almost always phrase it precisely like that.
      After more than a few drinks.
      Usually then they laugh and look smug.
      Our executive culture is fundamentally rotten. Fundamentally. Every fucking "premium" MBA program in America should be forced to publish their curricula and have outside experts analyze their lectures. Seriously. Because these days this kind of criminality is quite literally taught in our business schools. You think I'm exaggerating? Get a few drinks into a graduate of a high status MBA program on a day that they're feeling good and ask them.

      As much as I hate the whole concept of management school are you sure you're not confusing correlation with causation? It may not be part of the curricula - perhaps only criminal scum of this ilk are attracted to the degree in the first place and don't need to be taught to behave unethically?

      • If they are all using a similar phrase to decide whether or not to go ahead with legally dubious actions, that suggests they are getting the information from the same source rather than lots of morally questionable people all coming to the same decision independantly.
      • by mwvdlee (775178)

        Now now. I'm sure a job with the sole goal is earning as much money as possible attracts all kinds of social, creative and non-materialistic people.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Hi. OP here. no, I meant precisely that executives have admitted to me that this approach is taught in business schools. Which should be no great surprise since it's none too far a stretch from the philosophies of people like Alfred P. Sloane who organized and endowed many of these schools in the first place.
        http://streetcarstospaceships.typepad.com/s2s/2008/12/i-dont-want-to-live-in-a-society-run-by-a-bunch-of-generals.html

        Iacocca's autobiography, oddly enough, goes into quite a bit of detail about this. A

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Hi. OP again. Fwiw, I first heard the formulation above at an inventor's conference in Crystal City in, iirc, 1985 from one of the conference speakers. Funny thing, in his case he was mentioning it as the reason that he said most companies *won't* steal inventions. After all, afahcs, they also then followed the rule that if the lawsuit was likely and the damage solid, it was cheaper just to buy the frackin' thing.
          Problem is, as books like The Innovator's Dilemma lay out, Not Invented Here makes it, oddly en

    • Hey, at least this way TwistedPixel are getting some free advertising. I'm not that interested in the game yet, but at least I'm now aware of it.

    • It's not an ethics program, it's a business program. To do as well as you can in any system, you need to make the most of every resource you have and stretch the rules as far as possible.

      I wouldn't do these things myself, but I can see the "business sense" in your little formula. Whoever can bend the rules the most has a good chance of being the most successful, as long as they don't go too far.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Look again at what you just wrote. "make the most of every resource you have". "make the most". What does that mean exactly? "every resource you have". What do you mean by that? And do they "have" things that first they need to steal? Do I "have" your possessions? The contents of your bank account? Is that a view of the world we should look at and say "that's only natural"? If that's not "too far" for you, what is?

        Not only that, ya see, you actually *don't* even always maximize gain by maximizing short-term

        • I didn't say to make the most of the short term or to try to screw people over necessarily. IMO that is not good business sense unless you're one of those douchy CEOs looking to make a quick buck and then jump ship. I'm just saying that if it's legal, then I don't blame a company for doing such things.

          For example with the first Saints Row game it was obviously a rip off of GTA and I found that kind of despicable. For some reason I decided to try the second game though, when it got really cheap, and I found

          • by radtea (464814)

            I'm just saying that if it's legal, then I don't blame a company for doing such things.

            Did you know it's actually legal to, I don't know... goof off on /. during the workday [*]? If employees took the attitude of their bosses, companies would go broke in short order. So it your position isn't even logically consistent: it depends on there being one set of rules for some human beings and a different set of rules for others who are beings of exactly the same kind.

            [*] Hey, don't look at me... I've got two compiles and a firmware update running...

            • Well, I can't blame employees for goofing off on Slashdot either, seeing as people do need to take a break every so often. Of course, I probably do it just a teeny bit too much. I think that makes my position pretty consistent. I get my coding done, and part of my job is just being around in case things go wrong anyway.

      • by radtea (464814)

        To do as well as you can in any system, you need to make the most of every resource you have and stretch the rules as far as possible.

        You would not like to walk down the street in a society where everyone behaved that way.

        If it isn't right for everyone to do it, it isn't right for anyone to do it, because we are all beings of the same kind.

        Arguably, there is a stable solution to the social game that involves treating people the way they treat others, and I see no reason not to treat all corporate executives as dishonest scum who should be looted at every opportunity, based on exactly the reasoning you just gave.

        After all, if I can bend th

        • I didn't say it was "right", I just said it was what you needed to do to do "as well as you can", and for a company that basically means maximising profit. Companies very often do things which your average person would think of as wrong, but is not necessarily illegal.

          There's a difference between "right" and legal. It's very hard to keep the two in line. Especially since "right" is such a nebulous term.

          I see no reason not to treat all corporate executives as dishonest scum who should be looted at every opportunity, based on exactly the reasoning you just gave.

          After all, if I can bend the rules without getting caught--the bet execs are making every day--then there's nothing wrong with my doing so. It's a business decision, and I'm in the business of maximizing my own benefit, just like they are. There's nothing wrong with that, is there?

          That is indeed how a lot of people think, and act. I sometimes wonder if I'm being a fool for not acting t

    • by Ihmhi (1206036)

      A new car built by my company leaves somewhere traveling at 60 mph. The rear differential locks up. The car crashes and burns with everyone trapped inside. Now, should we initiate a recall? Take the number of vehicles in the field, A, multiply by the probable rate of failure, B, multiply by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don't do one.

      I don't know about you, but the fact that something like this can even happen is an egregious

      • by gilroy (155262)

        Really? Do you ride in cars at all? Because then you're just as culpable. We could make cars much, much safer, but they would then be much, much more expensive... perhaps so expensive that no one could afford them, or at least a very few.

        Everyone is making this trade-off all the time. It's harsh to see it laid out so explicitly, but it's actually there all the time.

        • by karnal (22275)

          Exactly. Consider 4 or 5 years ago, I was at Firestone getting new tires put on my car. There was a customer there who was told by the Firestone rep that their car needed ball joints, shocks, tires. Basically the front end had been let go long enough that all of the normal wear parts needed swapped.

          The customers got new tires and maybe an oil change. And due to their budget, the cheapest of the cheap tires. Now THAT should scare everyone; because no matter how well you take care of you, someone else is

          • by Jiro (131519)

            That's not completely the fault of the customer, it's the fault of greedy companies just like the ones we're discussing. Shops have a habit of telling the customer they need things they don't really need, and/or trying to sell expensive items when the cheap one is just as good. The customer has no way to know that this time around he really does need all those other parts and really wouldn't be better off with the cheap tires, since he has no way to know that the shop is telling the truth this time instea

            • by karnal (22275)

              While I don't disagree about shops telling people about things they don't need, when a customer comes in with a beat up '80s era taurus that should have been put out to pasture a long time ago it's probably not corporate greed driving the recommendations.

        • by coolmadsi (823103)

          We could make cars much, much safer, but they would then be much, much more expensive...

          I've heard that attaching a large spike sticking out of the steering wheel would make drivers drive very, very carefully.

    • by sorak (246725)

      This was taught to me in a network security class as "Risk Management". Of course, it was being applied to questions like "how much should I spend on security measures for facility x?" The big difference with MBAs is that ethical implications are a possibility but not a deterrent.

    • by Eil (82413)

      If Damages * Likelihood is greater than Revenue, then proceed.

      cost-benefit analysis, and it's the cornerstone of every informed business and management decision.

      Our executive culture is fundamentally rotten. Fundamentally. Every fucking "premium" MBA program in America should be forced to publish their curricula and have outside experts analyze their lectures. Seriously. Because these days this kind of criminality is quite literally taught in our business schools.

      So you're against having reason and logic i

    • What do we expect them to do? They are a small company. If they win the lawsuit they would break even or make a few bucks. If they lose it will be hundreds of thousands and they go out of business. Even if they win a huge settlement, they don't see a dime until the suit is won, the years and years it takes them to win in court leaves them deeply in the red.

      We should be more outraged that large companies can effectively strong arm small businesses or individuals out of attempting to raise a suit like this.

  • Capcom gave out a response that the games were due to coincidence? Wouldn't it have been better for them to say nothing at all?
    • by LingNoi (1066278)

      Yeah that's really dumb, they want to win back their fans trust and they do that by telling a big lie. They really must take us all for idiots; I can't wait to see an article from them discussing piracy. Keep this in your bookmarks folks.

  • Typo. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hldn (1085833) on Friday January 14, 2011 @05:08AM (#34875164) Homepage

    Now, Capcom has released a statement denying that Maxsplosion's development team had any knowledge of the meetings and saying, "MaXplosion was copied independently by Capcom Mobile.

    fixed that for you.

    maxsplosion is a blatant copy of splosion man. i wrote a short story in 3rd grade where a man named flilligan got stranded on a desert island with several other castaways, and that wasn't even as blatant as this.

  • by shish (588640) on Friday January 14, 2011 @05:11AM (#34875184) Homepage

    copying the concept

    Isn't that perfectly allowed, as long as they don't copy any actual code, data, or trademarks? If cloning a concept is a problem, then there are a lot of open source projects and indie games in trouble :S

    • Re:Isn't that legal? (Score:4, Informative)

      by cappp (1822388) on Friday January 14, 2011 @05:23AM (#34875240)
      Depends. Whilst Copyright typically doesn't protect the expression of an idea, it can do so within a limited set of circumstances, specifically those that meet the standard of Substantial Similarity [wikipedia.org]. There's a bunch of competing tests to establish if substantial similarity exists, they can all be found in the linked article, but in general if the work in question is so similar as to raise judicial eyebrows then there's a pathway for legal intervention.

      You're free to write a story about a wizarding school somewhere in the remote parts of the UK, you're fine writing a story involving said wizarding students fighting against some great evil, you're on shakey ground when the heroic lightning-bolt scarred Harry Motter and his two friends (one poor, the other both a girl and smart) battle the forces of wizardy prejudice, and you're probably going bankrupt if you go ahead and skip the pretense. It's all a matter of degree really.
      • Re:Isn't that legal? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by antifoidulus (807088) on Friday January 14, 2011 @05:26AM (#34875258) Homepage Journal
        Of course the thing that everyone seems to have forgotten is that when the tables were reversed and another company released a game [wikipedia.org] that was incredibly similar to Capcom's Street Fighter II Capcom wasted no time in suing Data East...... Does sort of make Capcom look a bit hypocritical.
        • Woops, I did forget to add that Capcom eventually lost the suit, so maybe they interpreted that as "borrowing" ideas to the point where you only change one thing is ok.....
          • Data East also released http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karate_Champ>Karate Champ, the first side on beat'em up, 4 years before Street Fighter came out.. so while the Fighter's History poster and style does look very much like Street Fighter, you could still make the case that Capcom were the first to actually copy anything in this instance.

    • by Raumkraut (518382)

      Precisely.
      I think an appropriate level of criticism would be: "Bad show, old bean", followed by a fair amount of tutting.

  • Translation: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zouden (232738) on Friday January 14, 2011 @05:11AM (#34875192)

    "We are sad that someone noticed, and hope that people will forget that we did this."

    • by thegarbz (1787294)
      No their statement is perfectly true. I'm sure that some lonely PR guy really is saddened that they work for an unethical megacorporation for penuts while their CEO wipes his arse with hundred dollar bills after shitting on indie developers.
  • Justice now is one-way only? And nore interesting, always on the side of the stronger? Strange, I suppose the whole idea of "justice" is protect the weak from the stronger...
    • by pzs (857406)

      Simpsons did it - "People like us can't afford justice" [subtitlr.com].

    • by sjames (1099)

      I do believe you've got it. This will continue for a while longer until a majority of people complete the grieving process and internalize this knowledge. Them citizens will begin burning down corporate headquarters when this sort of thing happens. They will, of course, be labeled as terrorists and criminals. After that happens for a while, the citizens will take to burning down the courthouses as well. There is an outside chance that enlightened self-interest on the part of various leaders will bring about

  • More likely... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mysticalfruit (533341) on Friday January 14, 2011 @08:40AM (#34876106) Journal
    Capcom is just saddened they got caught... No worries if it sells enough copies, Apple will in turn copy it and then ban the original from their application store!
  • They'd at least complain to apple and have the app taken down. A more clear copyright infringement there couldn't be. This, by the way, was what copyright law was intended for... and it's sad that it has little to no affect on cases like this anymore and is instead used by the very companies the laws are supposed to protect us against.
    • by greensoap (566467)
      Some people above have already mentioned it, but this is anything but a clear copyright infringement. You can copyright code and graphics as they are expressions of the idea. You cannot copyright an idea like a type of character, a situation the character is in, or game mechanics (though you can copyright the expression of the game mechanics). This gets a little murky, but basically if I want to create a game about a guy that can explode at will which allows the guy to fly across the level then I am allo
      • Now does that make it "right" for me to copy little indie game company's concept when they pitch an idea to me? I would say no, but that is why you need a good NDA agreement before shopping an idea. Without legally protected content (patent, trademark, or copyright protected), you need a good contract to make the other side legally obligated to not disclose your idea in the form of their own game.

        It's really not even that unlikely that the team that developed the game for Capcom didn't know that the idea h

  • "too small to take on a company like Capcom."

    Which is exactly why Capcom can and did.

  • They've figured out a new way to reorder the 5 step plan!

    Step 1: ???
    Step 2: We may have no idea what to do, but a tiny little company that's way too small to sue us made a successful game!
    Step 3: Copy their idea.
    Step 4: Profit!
    Step 5: Act remorseful when the similarities are inevitably discovered.
  • I was under the impression that gameplay plagiarism in video games was a time honored tradition, and is not illegal in any way unless the actual source code or data is plagiarized.

    How many Angry Birds clones are there?

    I can see there being trademark infringement here because of the name, but nothing else.

  • That way small companies will have even *less* ability to fight the giants in court. Oh wait, that doesn't help at all.

  • by sjonke (457707) on Friday January 14, 2011 @12:17PM (#34878860) Journal

    Everyone should buy this game and then post a bad review for it. That will teach 'em!

  • I guess makes a corporation seem more human when they can pretend to express a mood, after all they are technically people!

    In other news today, Playstation felt irritated and exasperated because of PS3 pirates, Linux feels disappointed and neglected for another year, Facebook feels cheerful and optimistic about the coming year, and Apple was full of rage and jealousy because Google looked so damn cheerful and content.
  • As has been pointed out elsewhere, Capcom did not violate copyright. You cannot copyright a game mechanic, a character design, or a game concept. This isn't like Capcom pulled art assets out of Splosionman and resized them before putting them into Maxplosion, or put Splosionman through a disassembler and included chunks of the resulting code in their own game, or made a character or logo so similar that it would violate trademarks (remember, trademark law operates on very different principles than copyright

  • I wonder what the reaction would be if it weren't CapCom who had written a "knockoff" product, but rather an open source one.

    My bet is that most of the people piously talking about how evil mimicking ideas was, would be defending the open source project.

    Mark me down as on the side of allowing software engineers to be inspired by other products which, while having some interesting elements, just don't quite get all the way there. Otherwise we just hold back innovation.

    The last thing the world needs are pat

  • There's a forum thread [googleusercontent.com] where a developer of MaXplosion admits that they were inspired by Splosion Man. Isn't that enough of a smoking gun?
  • Originality is a myth. Every idea that ever has been had wouldn't have been had were it not for other ideas others had in the past. Anyone who claims he is owed for an idea he had is a hypocrite for he then also owes many others for the ideas that inspired his.

    Also, people think of things all the time, everywhere, and have forever. There's no way to know who thought of an idea first, and it doesn't matter, since people can think of things independently at different times.

    All these "controversies" are not

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