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Old 07-15-2005, 07:16 PM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Filmman
THe owner are Vugames and they do have the License for it because Sierra give the Space Quest series to Vugames
Filmman,

UV doesn't have the license to the NAME, which is what rtrooney was saying. The name "Space Quest" belongs to the Children's Museum of Indianapolis, and Sierra had to license it every time they wanted to use it.

--Josh
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Old 07-15-2005, 07:21 PM   #62
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Interesting! I didn't know that. What, Space Quest-wise, does Vivendi own the rights to? I mean, at what point can Vivendi bring legal action on a fangame... would it have to be called Space Quest AND feature a character named Roger Wilco?

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Old 07-15-2005, 09:09 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NemelChelovek
Did they give you permission to give out the ending to their unreleased work? If not, you are not only unjustified, but also prosecutable under the law (now that Sierra has been disbanded).
HAHAHAHAHAHA! Now THAT would be a funny case to watch someone pursue.

I'm not at all sure what my favorite part of that post is, but I'm pretty sure it's the implication that Sierra being disbanded somehow changes the legal ramifications of revealing the ending to a piece of fan fiction.

Hey, the chick in The Crying Game was a dude. Sue me.

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Old 07-15-2005, 09:19 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josho
Filmman,

UV doesn't have the license to the NAME, which is what rtrooney was saying. The name "Space Quest" belongs to the Children's Museum of Indianapolis, and Sierra had to license it every time they wanted to use it.

--Josh
http://www.childrensmuseum.org/themu...lanetarium.htm, for those curious. I never actually knew this was the case.

I feel like I get smarter every time you post, Josh.
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Old 07-16-2005, 12:29 AM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtrooney
I've been reading the thread from the beginning. I'm just curious why people assume that the owners of the SQ name would license it. It certainaly isn't a guaranteed. And, without the license, it isn't going to happen.
I didn't assume anything. I said "I'd love to see it", which isn't "why don't they make it".
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Old 07-16-2005, 01:08 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josho
Filmman,

UV doesn't have the license to the NAME, which is what rtrooney was saying. The name "Space Quest" belongs to the Children's Museum of Indianapolis, and Sierra had to license it every time they wanted to use it.

--Josh
I figured the rights were over with by the time the last Space Quest game was in production. Also why exactly did Space Quest get sold to Indianpolis' Children's Museum just so they could use the words Space and Quest together? Was it Sierra that did this? When I bought the Space Quest Collection in the 7th grade, I bought it from Havas Interactive after they took over Sierra. Did they do it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fov
Interesting! I didn't know that. What, Space Quest-wise, does Vivendi own the rights to? I mean, at what point can Vivendi bring legal action on a fangame... would it have to be called Space Quest AND feature a character named Roger Wilco?
Well, if you have the Space Quest Collection, the last updated collection done, it does say they own the rights all over the case and the CD. I used to imagine there was some exhibit about the Space Quest games throughout the years and wish to visit it. Now Evan has gone and ruined my fantasies.

Last edited by syntheticgerbil; 07-16-2005 at 01:14 AM.
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Old 07-16-2005, 01:58 AM   #67
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Emily,

Well, I know that Sierra did copyright many of the characters. We spent weeks at one point fulfilling the Legal Department's request that we write up "character sheets" that gave all sorts of background information on each character, along with artwork, so that they could be copyrighted. I believe this was done for most of the different series and became a matter of course for any game in development.

I don't think a fangame would even have to use the name "Space Quest" to warrant action on VU's part. Since VU doesn't really hold the license to the name on an overall basis (just on specific games), I doubt they'd have standing to sue over its use. But Roger Wilco is an identifiable character, and they could sue over that (even if it wasn't used in the title). Sue, heck -- for all I know, they might even be able to bring criminal charges if they could convince a prosecuter to do so.

SyntheticGerbil,

Sierra didn't sell the rights to the name Space Quest to the Museum. What I'm not sure of is whether the Museum had copyrighted the name PRIOR to the release of the first Space Quest game. It may've been that Sierra released the first game or two, didn't bother to copyright the name, and then found at some point that it HAD been copyrighted and had to license its own name for later installments. Sierra basically didn't bother to do copyright searches, or copyright its own individual titles and characters, until relatively late in the company's history. Hence, for instance, the Hero's Quest debacle (having to change the name to Quest for Glory after the game was already released), the Keeping Up With The Joneses debacle (having to throw out the entire first run of the game -- boxes, manuals, etc. -- when it was discovered shortly before they were about to ship that Sierra couldn't use the name, and the game was renamed "Jones in the Fast Lane"), and so on.

Some legal aspects were approached way too casually for way too long, which turned out to be very expensive for the company upon occasion. Copyrights and names were a prime example.

Then there was the wonderful story about the battery-operated bunny in SQ4. Our legal department (we actually had one by then) wrote a letter to Duracell to secure their permission to use the bunny. We never heard back from them, so the legal department, feeling it had done due diligence, assumed it was okay to use it. So the game was released. Shortly thereafter, we got a letter from the Energizer people (Energizer batteries are made by Everready, not Duracell), saying, "Excuse us...?" Sierra ended up having to hastily negotiate the rights to the bunny after the fact. Fortunately, I think we were able to demonstrate that this was good publicity for them, and the settlement was very low.

--Josh
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Old 07-16-2005, 08:01 AM   #68
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God, those stories are great. It's nice to hear that things fell through the cracks at Sierra the way they do at most companies. I especially like the bunny story.

Wonder if anyone held on to any of those Keeping Up with the Joneses games, for collector's value?

Quote:
Originally Posted by syntheticgerbil
Well, if you have the Space Quest Collection, the last updated collection done, it does say they own the rights all over the case and the CD.
I don't own that. I have boxed copies of Space Quest II and the VGA remake of SQ1, and I don't see mention of it on either of these, so maybe it hadn't become an issue yet. Copyright on the SQ1 VGA is 1991. On the front of the box Space Quest has a "registered trademark" symbol next to it and on the back it says that symbol means "a registered trademark of, or licensed to, Sierra On-Line, Inc." So maybe it had been licensed. On the Space Quest II box (1987), Space Quest has a TM after it, which means it's a trademark, but not a registered trademark. I'm not sure what the difference is between the two.

I have seen another CD game at Goodwill more than once called Space Quest, that's some kind of educational game. I never looked too closely but wondered why Sierra hadn't taken action against that. Now I wonder if it was put out by the children's museum.
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Old 07-16-2005, 11:36 AM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josho
Then there was the wonderful story about the battery-operated bunny in SQ4. Our legal department (we actually had one by then) wrote a letter to Duracell to secure their permission to use the bunny. We never heard back from them, so the legal department, feeling it had done due diligence, assumed it was okay to use it. So the game was released. Shortly thereafter, we got a letter from the Energizer people (Energizer batteries are made by Everready, not Duracell), saying, "Excuse us...?" Sierra ended up having to hastily negotiate the rights to the bunny after the fact. Fortunately, I think we were able to demonstrate that this was good publicity for them, and the settlement was very low.
--Josh
Thanks for filling me in, Mr. Mandel. I was wondering if you saw this secret room that was found recently in Space Quest 4 when you originally wrote a few things for it? It's on this page, at the end:
http://www.spacequest.net/sq4/cancelled/
The Dacron Danny thing is cool too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by fov
I have seen another CD game at Goodwill more than once called Space Quest, that's some kind of educational game. I never looked too closely but wondered why Sierra hadn't taken action against that. Now I wonder if it was put out by the children's museum.
That's weird. Maybe it had something to do with a planetarium...
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Old 07-16-2005, 02:37 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syntheticgerbil
That's weird. Maybe it had something to do with a planetarium...
See the following: http://www.childrensmuseum.org/themu...lanetarium.htm

The timing of all this is unclear. The one certainty is that Vivendi couldn't have received from another party something that party didn't have the right to sell. In this case, the Space Quest name. As for licensing, I think it's doubtful a children's museum would license the name to a game developer who's sole claim to fame is the latest LSL. Or at least not without extreme editorial oversight.

Still looking good Josh. Judging from your current pic, you've obviously been doing an intensive Rogaine regimine. <G>

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Old 07-16-2005, 03:43 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josho
So the game was released. Shortly thereafter, we got a letter from the Energizer people (Energizer batteries are made by Everready, not Duracell), saying, "Excuse us...?"
Off topic; I aways wondered why both Duracell and Energizer can use that bunny. Did they make an agreement or something? Or can't they trademark it? For years I thought both companies are the same, because they didn't sue each other for breaking trademark rules.

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Old 07-16-2005, 04:10 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erwin_Br
Off topic; I aways wondered why both Duracell and Energizer can use that bunny. Did they make an agreement or something? Or can't they trademark it? For years I thought both companies are the same, because they didn't sue each other for breaking trademark rules.

--Erwin
Actually, they can't! Duracell is owned by Gillette, and Energizer is owned by the parent company of Shick. You will never see the bunny in a Duracell commercial.
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Old 07-16-2005, 05:14 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtrooney
Actually, they can't! Duracell is owned by Gillette, and Energizer is owned by the parent company of Shick. You will never see the bunny in a Duracell commercial.
Hey Guys can we get back on Topic here we are getting little off-topic here
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Old 07-17-2005, 04:30 AM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtrooney
Actually, they can't! Duracell is owned by Gillette, and Energizer is owned by the parent company of Shick. You will never see the bunny in a Duracell commercial.
Oh, but I have! Lots of times on TV commercials.



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Old 07-17-2005, 11:43 AM   #75
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Wow I never knew Duracell had a bunny. I wonder which bunny came before.

The Space Quest one is definetly the Energizer one though, just with a different battery.
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Old 07-17-2005, 12:54 PM   #76
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About the Bunny in SQ4, according to Space Quest.net which I helped typo-edit for Frans, outside the US, the Energizer Bunny is owned by Duracell. I'm pretty sure what the site says, but I'm not 100% sure as I haven't checked that section in a while. As to the Children's Museum and the rights to SQ, I'd known that the rights to Space Quest were owned by them ever since I saw something at the bottom of Roger Wilco's Virtual Broomcloset and I'd always wondered why it wasn't owned by Sierra. Now, if I've read the posts on this correctly, VU can sue people for using Roger Wilco in fan games? If this is true, I'm surprised they haven't done anything about the completed fan projects out there that have him in the game.
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Old 07-17-2005, 01:05 PM   #77
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The real question is...what the hell do bunnies have to do with batteries anyway?

About as much as Duck's have to do with toilet sanitization, I guess.
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Old 07-17-2005, 01:28 PM   #78
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The Eveready Energizer bunny came first.

Right before going to Sierra, I actually happened to be working at the advertising agency (DDB Needham, as it was called at the time) that had lost the Eveready account. People at the agency who'd worked on the project were quite bitter, because the "bunny" had been an invention of that agency years before, and had been retired. As soon as Eveready went to the new agency (I'm not sure which one it was), the new agency said, "Hey, why don't we use that bunny again?" and Eveready said, "Sure!".

I think Duracell just adopted a bunny in order to poke fun of, and steal some sales from, Eveready.

SyntheticGerbil,

I have never seen that room! Very cool. I doubt it had anything to do with KQ6, though, as KQ6 had not even been started on at the time that SQ4 came out.

I'm surprised that VU has not defended their SQ copyrights with fangames the way they have with the Tierra releases.

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Old 07-17-2005, 02:55 PM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erwin_Br
Oh, but I have! Lots of times on TV commercials.
--Erwin
I know I'm supposed to get back on thread, but the question has been asked.

There is a fuzzy area in copyright/trademark law called satire! A person, or company can do a satirical interpretation of an existing entity and not break any laws. I'm sure you've seen that kind of thing frequently on Saturday Night Live take-offs of existing advertisements. I'm fairly certain the "Duracell Bunny" falls into this category.

But how, considering Eveready and Duracell are marketing the same product, did the Duracell Bunny pass the satire test? My guess is that Eveready/Gillette may have felt that the Energizer Bunny had become such a familiar product representation, (think the equivalent of Kellogg's Tony the Tiger,) that any satirical portrayal by Duracell would only bring more sales their, (Energizer's,) way. I.e., people see a pink bunny advertising batteries, they will think Energizer regardless of who is paying for the ad. My bet is that they guessed right, and so chose to leave Duracell alone.

Josh,

Please give me the name of your airbrusher. There is a reason why my pics have me wearing a hat.

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Last edited by rtrooney; 07-18-2005 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 07-18-2005, 07:11 AM   #80
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Sierra Breaking alot of laws some they get sue for like radio stack and toy are us and other stuff like that for putting that stuff into the Space Quest games
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