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Comment Mask work expires before patent (Score 1) 151

For convenience, I shall quote the relevant part of the statute:

it is not an infringement for the owner of a copy of a computer program to make or authorize the making of another copy or adaptation of that computer program provided: (1) that such a new copy or adaptation is created as an essential step in the utilization of the computer program in conjunction with a machine and that it is used in no other manner

tlhIngan wrote:

That defense doesn't work because you're format-shifting.

The format shifting is "an essential step in the utilization of the computer program in conjunction with a machine".

Mask works have higher protections

Mask works are covered under chapter 9 of the U.S. copyright statute. And as flink pointed out, protection under chapter 9 subsists until the end of the Gregorian calendar year of first publication plus ten more years (17 USC 904). It's shorter than even a patent.

Comment First episode free (Score 1) 151

I really wish the Android Play Store had a search option to only show games priced $5 or more, because micro transaction and spam-the-player are dismal experiences.

Would a 1-episode game available without charge on Google Play Store, with additional episodes available for in-app purchase, also be a "dismal experience"?

Comment How many people have that controller? (Score 1) 151

Adding physical buttons to smartphone or tablet is not a problem. I constatnly use my iPega controller

How many other people own that controller or others like it? I haven't seen one third-party controller maker release sales figures, and without them, it becomes hard for a for-profit company to justify developing a game targeted at a particular third-party controller. It's also bulky to carry in a pocket.

I think there is lot of money to make if Nintendo released an attachable controler that hosts the device such as smartphone as its screen with built-in battery. AND also released its vast library of oldschool games on it. They have means to do it via all this virtual console stuff they have on their current systems.

Then why hasn't every third-party developer on the NES and Super NES released iPega editions of its games?

Comment Swipe gestures with your thumbs (Score 1) 151

A smartphone does not beat an Atari 2600, because fundamentally it doesn't have enough buttons.

In theory, a multitouch device can support seven actions per thumb: tap, hold, swipe up, swipe down, swipe left, swipe right, and large swipe. Swipes can be combined diagonally. That already gives you more gestures than a 2600 controller. One might make a platformer by using tap to stop, swipe sideways to go (large swipe to dash), swipe up to jump, and tap with the other thumb to shoot. Do any Android games use a similar control scheme?

Comment Re:Has Nintendo not heard of smartphones? (Score 2) 151

Agreed, none of the iPhone, Android, Windows Phone games have anywhere near the depth or fun of a halfway decent DS/3DS cartridge game.

I'm pretty sure that's for two technical reasons.

Limits of blind positional input
A touch screen is designed for applications where you activate objects that you're looking at. That's fine for point-and-click games or continuous runner games like Rayman Jungle Run where a whole quadrant of the screen is the button. But a lot of other genres don't handle well with a touch screen as the only input method, especially games where you control the speed and direction of movement and attacks of a character in the center of a scrolling view. The virtual gamepad in Pixeline and the Jungle Treasure for Android was an exercise in frustration, as I kept pressing outside the controls' active area. Unlike a modern smartphone, the Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS systems have physical buttons and directional controls, and I'm pretty sure that most action-oriented games for those systems use them.
Android is reportedly plagued by input lag and audio lag. A game like Punch-Out!! would be unplayable under such conditions.

Comment How to make a defense under 17 USC 117 (Score 1) 151

But if I go buy the game cart at the flea market, download a dump of the same cart, and play it on an emulator, in practice nobody is going to sue me.

And if you buy the Game Pak and a Kazzo or Retrode dumper, you have a defense under 17 USC 117(a)(1) (or foreign counterparts) if someone does sue you, so long as you can afford a lawyer and don't distribute the dumps.

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