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Comment: Re:In this case Apple's position is sane (Score 1) 414

by KevinKnSC (#35965238) Attached to: Amazon Responds To "App Store" Lawsuit From Apple

Also, do people seriously use "app" for "appetizers"? Or is there some other reason you would use app in a restaurant?

Yes, but it's usually only internal. That is, the waiter won't ask you if you'd like an app, but if you order an appetizer he'll ask the cook if the app is ready yet.

Comment: Re:Betting pool (Score 1) 163

by KevinKnSC (#35306448) Attached to: Feds Help You Find Your Fastest Internet Service

I'm in the same position, with listed speeds much higher than any provider in the area will actually sell me. Instead of just posting about it here, though, we can help to improve the data. Since we all want faster connections, it's in our interest to notify them when a provider is reporting an area covered at a higher speed than is actually available in that area.

Clicking the provider name will expand some details, and then mousing over the bullet next to "source" will show the agency that uploaded that data to the national database. In my case, it's an office of my state government, and they have a speed test and contact information on their site. Your local site will vary, but contacting them about the error will get it corrected much faster than posting about it on /. will.

Comment: Re:TL;DR Version (Score 1) 391

by KevinKnSC (#35291020) Attached to: Why Google Wants Your Kid's SSN

You told him he was wrong and then listed several reasons he might be right. Someone born in the United States but whose parents are in the U.S. in a diplomatic capacity for a foreign power aren't citizens, but someone born outside the U.S. to U.S.-citizen parents is a citizen. So, place of birth isn't a reliable indicator of citizenship. Likewise, a citizen might not have an SSN and a non-citizen might have one, so that's also not a reliable indicator.

Comment: Re:Let's state some facts here (Score 1) 290

by KevinKnSC (#35142530) Attached to: Takedown Letters For WP7 <em>Tetris</em> Clones

You and the author of the blog you linked to misunderstand trademarks. You will need to argue either non-infringement (that a reasonable person would never think that "Tetrada" is somehow related to the Tetris Company) or dilution (that the average person uses "tetris" to mean "a game with tetrominos" and not "Tetris, the game by the Tetris Company"). "'Tetra-' just means 'four'!" or "It's in the dictionary!" are irrelevant distractions. I think you'll have a hard time making that case.

On the copyright side, you seem to be proposing that as long as you don't directly copy the bits from Tetris you're okay. I think that's an overly narrow view of copyright law that is going to get you in (more) trouble. For example, if you write a book with the exact same plot and characterization as another, that's still copyright infringement even though you didn't photocopy the original pages. When something like this goes to court, they will look at the first work and the allegedly infringing work, and compare how much of the first work's artistic expression was incorporated into the second, as well as how much originality the second work added to the allegedly copied elements.

In your case, you don't seem to have added any innovation or originality to Tetris, so you have to argue that except for code, images, and sounds, Tetris contains no copyrightable material. Again, I think you're going to have a very hard time making that case.

With that said, "how much of a video game idea is protected by copyright?" is a question I'd like to see the courts answer. However, since your game consists of a direct clone with no originality, I think that pursuing this case would almost certainly set a precedent that would later be used against people who actually did do some innovating--in short, you would be furthering the suppression of derivative but innovative works.

Comment: Re:Let's state some facts here (Score 1) 290

by KevinKnSC (#35140340) Attached to: Takedown Letters For WP7 <em>Tetris</em> Clones

Ok, I've read every single one of the comments (so far). The issue here is not me not being original. I know I wasn't. The issue is if I (and many more) are breaking the law.

On the subject of the law, your posts suggest that maybe you don't understand the distinctions between trademarks and copyrights. If you are going to keep posting about this, let alone if you're going to pursue legal action, I strongly suggest you educate yourself on the differences.

Did Pro Evolution Soccer break the law when they made a game oh-so-similar to the Fifa series? They were careful enough not to include players and teams names that had a copyright, but the gameplay followed the rules of football (or soccer for my US friends), which have not copyright and could not have any. And the shape of the ball was the same in both games. And Kick Off 2 .And Sensible Soccer. Oh my god, the non-original senseless clowns.

This is a false analogy. In all of these cases, you could ask the developer "Where did you get the idea for this game?" and they'd say "From the sport of football, which predates copyright." Your answer to that same question is necessarily "From the video game 'Tetris'".

If my game was better or worse, or if it brings anything new to the "original" is for the customers and the market to decide.

Your opinion is not law; whether your game infringes is exclusively for the courts to decide.

Some reviewers said that it was in fact better because it played better and it felt better to them. But all that is irrelevant. If you ask me, it was a better implementation in this version, and I was preparing some never-before-seen game modes for the next version. Will anyone get to see the innovation apart from me? No. Would I be breaking the law when I would bring original gameplay modes in the mix?

I don't understand why you think future innovation would somehow absolve you of past infringement. If you had released a game with innovative modes in the first place, you could reasonably argue that you were making a different game that was distinct enough from Tetris to not be covered.

I would still be using tetrominos, but for anyone over 12 it is known that tetrominos (like dominos, trominos, pentominos, hexominos etc) were NOT invented by Tetris, were not used there for the first time and while Tetris is copyrighted as a word, other words that derive from the word tetromino are not all copyrighted by this fact. Quoting wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyomino): "Polyominoes have been used in popular puzzles since at least 1907, and the enumeration of pentominoes is dated to antiquity. Many results with the pieces of 1 to 6 squares were first published in Fairy Chess Review between the years 1937 to 1957, under the name of “dissection problems.” The name polyomino was invented by Solomon W. Golomb in 1953 and it was popularized by Martin Gardner." "The word polyomino and the names of the various orders of polyomino are all back-formations from the word domino, a common game piece consisting of two squares, with the first letter d- fancifully interpreted as a version of the prefix di- meaning “two”. The name domino for the game piece is believed to come from the spotted masquerade garment domino, from Latin dominus. Most of the numerical prefixes are Greek. Polyominoes of order 9 and 11 more often take the Latin prefixes nona- (nonomino) and undeca- (undecomino) than the Greek prefixes ennea- (enneomino) and hendeca- (hendecomino)." So clearly, the names were used long before Tetris. I can agree that Tetris is a make-believe word that uniquely characterizes this game. That is why I did not use this word, and chose to use a greek dictionary word, Tetrada.

Again, learn the difference between trademarks and copyrights if you're going to keep writing about this. Trademarks protect the word or mark and anything sufficiently similar. Are you really going to suggest that "Tetrada" doesn't sound like "Tetris"? "But it's in the dictionary!" doesn't absolve you of trademark infringement. Further, the Tetris guys aren't claiming the rights to any game using polyominos, they're claiming the rights to games where tetrominos fall into a playing area and get rotated to match up with other pieces, and when a solid line is formed across the playing area those blocks are removed. That's a much more specific idea than just "games involving polyominos", and you can't really argue that you didn't copy that exact idea from their game. In court, they would argue that "falling blocks" is a generic game idea but that "falling tetrominos that disappear when solid lines are formed" is part of the artistic expression involved in their copyrighted work, and you'd have to argue that the disappearing lines formed by tetrominos are actually a generic idea. However, you'd be arguing that while admitting that you copied this generic idea from the game of Tetris. Contrast this with your position if you had made a game about placing tetrominos with letters in each block, where you have to match them up to make words. Then you'd be able to argue "Sure, both games use tetrominos, but that's the only similarity." Can you see how this argument might stand up better?

My other game, MonsterUp, was inspired by Doodle Jump on the iOS. If you saw v1.0, it was somewhat similar as well. By v.1.3 (I am releasing 1.4 these days) it has transformed to something unique and innovative. All games are inspired by some other game, save for a selected few. Are all these games illegal and immoral? Improving on current designs IS a way of innovation. Angry Birds did it successfully (improving on Crush the Castle) and everyone cheered! Worms "ripped off" Scorched Earth. Every FPS out there "stole" from Wolfenstein 3D and the list goes on.

There's a gray area between "copied from" and "inspired by" where we could have some interesting discussions about how much innovation occured and how much is needed not to be considered a derivative work, but your game is not in that gray area. You outright copied Tetris, have no innovation beyond "I was going to change it into something unique in the future", and then chose a confusingly similar name for it. If you want to avoid copyright problems while basing your business on cloning other games and then adding to them, you might want to wait until you've actually done some innovation before releasing them commercially. For comparison, you can make and sell a movie where people do things in their dreams, but you can't start by selling a shot-by-shot remake of Inception and argue that it doesn't infringe because you were going to gradually change scenes until it was a different movie.

Wake up, the Tetris Company is using their money to pay lawyers to maintain a monopoly on tetromino puzzle games. That is the end of it. And you people cheer for them.

I'm willing to bet that everyone here thinks the Tetris Company is overly litigious. We're also aware that the idea of a game can't be copyrighted but that a particular expression of a game can. If they were going after a game whose only similarity to Tetris was the presence of tetrominos, we'd all be rallying around it. Heck, if you could point to even a little evidence of innovation we'd probably all be taking your side. There are plenty of possible tetromino puzzle games that are not blatant rip-offs of Tetris, but you didn't make any of those possible games.

Comment: Re:But what you did is flawed (Score 2, Informative) 1260

by KevinKnSC (#33894184) Attached to: Proving 0.999... Is Equal To 1

No, you're missing the whole point. 1/3 is exactly equal to 0.333... with an infinite number of trailing digits. It's not an approximation or an estimate, it is two ways of representing the exact same real number.

Here's how you convince yourself: If 1/3 was really close but not quite 0.333..., then we could split the difference between those numbers and find another real number between them. But we can't, which means we were wrong to assume that 1/3 and 0.333... were distinct.

Comment: Re:WTF (Score 1) 709

by KevinKnSC (#32993612) Attached to: GOP Senators Move To Block FCC On Net Neutrality

Read it again. There's a comment about the FCC followed by a question about government regulations that doesn't mention the FCC. Your interpretation is that the poster was only talking about FCC regulations since he mentioned them in the previous sentence, the other interpretation is that the poster was generalizing from the FCC to all government regulations. I think both interpretations are valid, but quoting only part of the message to make it seem like your interpretation is the right one is poor form.

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. -- Thomas Alva Edison

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