[offtopic and offsite] website disclaimer

  1. Copyright notice

3.1 Copyright © 2015, Bob Bates
3.2 Subject to the express provisions of this disclaimer:
(a) we, together with our licensors, own and control all the copyright and other intellectual property rights in our website and the material on our website; and
(b) all the copyright and other intellectual property rights in our website and the material on our website are reserved.

  1. Licence to use website

4.1 You may:
(a) view pages from our website in a web browser;
(b) download pages from our website for caching in a web browser; and
© print pages from our website,

I wonder if I’m even infringing on copyright by copying and pasting this material from http://www.bobbates.com/bob_disclaimer/

anyway, I was taking a break from IF Comp by playing Timequest and I went to ifdb to edit the page so to make that link available but it says “Author’s website” and then I get there to see whether or not it is available from there and, off course, no it is not and then I stumble upon one of the most impressive demos of paranoid IP legalese ever - why even make your webpage available when it’ll be copied all over by whomever accesses it?

so, no, I didn’t edit the ifdb entry and I wonder if the author will sue everyone and their mother when he finds out his old abandonware is on archive (Nintendo sure did)…

Making use of something for the purpose of educational discussion is unambiguously a “fair use” under US copyright law, so you’re not in any trouble at all for quoting the site’s terms of use here.

Beyond that, there seem to be (at minimum) two claims asserted there, but I wouldn’t worry much about it. It’s not a very good terms of service, and depending of course on details probably wouldn’t hold up. The important practical point, though, isn’t what the TOS says but how the owner of the website uses the TOS. If they never intend to assert any of the claimed rights, then the whole thing is just an insurance policy rather than a legal bludgeon. Key is use of the otherwise undefined term “licensors.” In other words, I think this TOS is stating with wink that they have no intention of claiming any actual copyrights over user-generated content.

A few things to ponder if you’re interested in these complex issues:

Who Owns Copyright In User Generated Content?

hope so. Still afraid of updating the Timequest entry on ifdb.

I saw Bob Bates at RAIF. I rather gushed all over him like a fangirl, I’m sorry to say. I exchanged a couple of e-mails trying to help him out with something, or, as I recall, pointing out to him the people who would be able to help him. I last saw him at the TADS board in IntFiction.

My point is, he’s a very accessible guy. I doubt very much he’d mind - but you can always ask him.

how would that go? “Hello, Mr Bates. I’m not a long time fan, just this guy that found some of your old games on the internet archive and wondered about your take on it given the paranoid legalese I’ve seen about your webpages alone.”

Might not work that well. Anyway, his Infocom stuff is there too. Perhaps he gave in to Jason Scott’s appeal after Get Lamp. Sadly, the other Infocom guys didn’t and all Infocom but later stuff is not archieved (there). What a sad limbo they got into, Activision doesn’t even list anything related to it anymore…

I wonder if it would be possible for the IFTF to buy the rights from Activision and resolve the issue once and for all. It might not fall under the purview of “Technology Foundation”, but the organization does serve the role of community nonprofit.

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Not sure IFTF has enough funds for that. But, hey, we’re in the age of crowdsourcing. I’d merrily contribute to a “Release Infocom classics from evil corporate hands” project.

Then again, if it draws enough attention, Activision might just settle that with a new Lost Treasures release for mobile. :confused:

it’s not without precedents: Blender 3D was a commercial product before a fundraising campaign turned it into an open source project. Then again, the very creators wanted that.

Try rather, “Hello, Mr Bates, I understand you’re still active within the IF scene so if you don’t mind I’d just like to clarify something. You know about the IFDB?”, etc etc. It might work better.


I mean, I seriously doubt Activision will sell, or at least sell for a serious price (if they sniff interest they’re very likely to put a high price on it, right?), but if there’s a possibility, an entity which might put the offer forward, YESS!!!1!