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Sunday, 25 January 2015

Homebrew Amiga Game Brings Out The Lawyers

Released on new year's eve 2014, Smurf Rescue was yet another Amiga game produced using Backbone; a games creation system that seems to be gaining some degree of popularity at the moment.

Unfortunately, what started out as a bit of fun and a gift to the Amiga community quickly got nasty as Studio Peyo's solicitors sued the author, hipoonios, for creating an unlicensed videogame of their blue coloured creations.

Here's hipoonios;
"Yes, it is true! 
Remember my crappy Smurf game I made in Backbone just a few weeks ago? "Studio Peyo" (the owners of The Smurfs trademark) have sued me for have creating an unlicensed video game of The Smurfs. 
Now I know pretty well that you are not allowed to make unlicensed video games or use others work without permission, but this is just a game made in BACKBONE for a 30 year old computer. LOL... this is insane! I'm sure they don't even know what an Amiga is. And I doubt more than 50 people have downloaded it. 
How much do you think I must pay for this? ... (see the attached screenshots)"

Initially hipoonios assumed this to be a scam, but that was until a huge pile of legal documentation was delivered to his house.

While the game does infringe on Peyo's copyright, you'd think that a simple email to the author asking him to take the game down from his web site would be enough. This really is a case of using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut.

Hopefully this story will have a happy ending and no money will be required to change hands, as this is quite clearly an over the top reaction to a Public Domain game on a computer platform that's not been commercially available for around 20 years.

You can follow the progress of this sorry tale in this thread over on the English Amiga Board.

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