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Thread: What ever happened to HOZER games

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    Default What ever happened to HOZER games

    Hey, HOZER games has dissapeared for a while now, anybody know why? I believe the person running it was named Randy Chritchfield or something like that. I got a lot of really cool homebrew games like Dark Mage, A better Pac-Man, Mondo Pong, etc... And some really cool Hacks off him a couple years ago.
    Ive noticed that Atari Age sells lots of the same games he sold they just changed the lable art. I tried to ask them once if there was a connection to them starting to sell the same games he once did, but I got no reply.
    Anybody have an answer for me?
    Thanks
    Nothing can clench you thirst except rum and gold.

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    lets just say they are gone to never return

    Do a search you will find the thread on atari age about why they are gone

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    Kirby (Level 13) Buyatari's Avatar
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    Uhh why not just spill the beans here so EVERYONE here can share. Just tell us what happened if you know the whole story.

    Adam

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    Ladd Spencer (Level 17) Sniderman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buyatari
    Uhh why not just spill the beans here so EVERYONE here can share. Just tell us what happened if you know the whole story.

    Adam
    Because what happened is 12 pages of the most stomach-wrenching sh*t-storm to ever grace the retrogaming hobby, in my opinion. If you want the whole story, read this:
    Ta-da. If someone doesn't feel like reading it, tough. I'd rather not do a re-cap as 1. it turns my guts, seeing what happened and 2. no one came out smelling like a rose when it ended. Everyone involved - on both sides - acted like asshats. My opinion only here.

    This whole scenario is only whispered about because this event really divided the entire community for a while. It's just now scarring over. Bad, bad, ugly badness.
    Still Around...Still Gamin'...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sniderman
    Bad, bad, ugly badness.
    If I ever start a band, that's what I will name them.
    Seeking display quality copy of I Want My Mommy for the 2600... if you have one, PM me, I will pay/trade well.

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    drowning in medals Ed Oscuro's Avatar
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    Whoa, is King Atari in that post actually our Raedon? The avatar and title are exactly the same as what he used a while back.

    ...anywho

    Maybe I don't know the whole story here, but how can any of these guys actually OWN the rights to the original programs that they've hacked? Hacks aren't legal, and you can't claim a hack as your intellectual property. If they're homebrews (seeing a change in terminology near the bottom of the page) that should be OK.

    It's just getting worse on page 2...hate to think what it'll be like on page 11 :O

    Return of Mario Bros.??? That's copyright infringement, plain and simple. Nobody should be selling that hack, and really nobody should've made it in the first place. What. The hell.

    If you want to control how your homebrews are distributed, distribute them with a license, and make people read an EULA type agreement before downloading them. It's that simple.

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    Dude, don't dredge it all up again. It's all in the past now. Breathe.
    Seeking display quality copy of I Want My Mommy for the 2600... if you have one, PM me, I will pay/trade well.

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    drowning in medals Ed Oscuro's Avatar
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    This is the first time I've seen it; it apalls me how much people go on about legal issues when they really know nothing about it.

    You don't need to tell me what to post or not post, and if anybody needs to "breathe" here, it might well be yourself.

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    Ladd Spencer (Level 17) Sniderman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Oscuro
    This is the first time I've seen it; it apalls me how much people go on about legal issues when they really know nothing about it.

    You don't need to tell me what to post or not post, and if anybody needs to "breathe" here, it might well be yourself.
    And this is *precisely* the reason why no one brings it up. It's also *precisely* why I hesitated to post the link. Everyone gets all up in arms, arguements ensue, names are tossed about, and it all starts over again.

    *sigh* Nothing good came of it back then, and nothing good's gonna come of any conversations from it now. I suggest we let this thread die before this whole thing once again explodes into the sh*tstorm I see happening. Thanks.
    Still Around...Still Gamin'...

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    Yep, that quote shows precisely how much of a poster child for ignorance I am

    Thanks for nothing, there. I can understand where you're coming from, but I had to say something about your last post in relation to mine.

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    Well its ALREADY been brought up and now that it has I'm sure people don't want to wade through 11 or 12 pages of mud-slingging for a paragraphs worth of recap.

    Tell them you can't discuss it will only make them want to know EVERYTHING.

    Now we discuss war ,religion, murder ,politics and more in the Off-topic section yet no one can give us the low down on an argument over some atari games?

    <Shhh> it never hapened......ignore it just move along.

    Ok well

    This is what I gathered after reading the 1st page of mud slinging.

    1. Hozer was selling homebrews.
    2. Hozer was then selling copies of homebrews against the homebrew writters wishes and not giving them due credit or money.
    3. Big debate over who really owned the rights.
    4. Activision stepped in and made Hozer close shop over other issues (I'm guessing selling Activision owned games).

    Is that what you were afraid to say ?

    Adam

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    Ladd Spencer (Level 17) Sniderman's Avatar
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    Afraid, nope. It's just that this goes much deeper, encompassing the Atari Age staff, most of the homebrewers, the Activision legal department, a few ROM sites (believe it or not) and a guy who - though he kept the 2600 fanbase in homebrews for more than a decade - was run out of business due to his own shortsidedness and the rabid pursuit of that same-said fanbase.

    Fear's uninvolved in this situation. It's just every. frigging. thing. wrong with the hobby all rolled into one gigantic pissing match and it saddens and angers me. What surfaced from that whole situation?

    - the pulling of ALL Activision ROMs from throughout the Internet. Look for 'em. They're gone.
    - the alienation of the homebrewers who - for a while - doubted the honesty of their distributors.
    - the shutting down of a guy who supplied homebrews and burned copies of hard-to-find games for a minimum price ($11) for 10+ years. He also launched many of the homebrewers in action today.
    - and let's not even get into the fact that there are many, many, many folks in our hobby who I take a very dim view of because of their words and actions in this situation.

    So, in summary, you pretty much hit it on the head. But it isn't fear, so much as a loathing and disgust for everyone involved.
    Still Around...Still Gamin'...

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    drowning in medals Ed Oscuro's Avatar
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    The only problem here is that it seems the author actually was getting paid, and was just insisting they stopped being sold 'cause he got pissed. Other authors supposedly had their "wishes ignored," though, whatever that's worth.

    Bottom line:

    Nobody in the whole argument has any damn business hacking games for the Atari with Nintendo's trademarked characters, nobody has any business selling hacked games, and the whole issue is just bad. Even wholly legit homebrews aren't being copyrighted, so they just don't have a say what's done with them. GPL them or something, at least.

    I'd agree with Sniderman that this doesn't need to be dredged up.

    Also, good post here by Sniderman, some new information, missed it as it was between the time I started writing this one and editing it just now.

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    WOW!!!!!! I had no idea that my question would open a major can of worms. I had honestly never heard the story behind why Hozer had gone. I bought many a game, homebrews, hacks and copies of rare prototypes from them, and was so supprised to find them gone since they seemed to have a great thing going.
    Anyway I do get the overall picture and thank you guys for letting me know. It does sound like an unfortunate story. Sorry.
    Jim
    Nothing can clench you thirst except rum and gold.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Oscuro
    Even wholly legit homebrews aren't being copyrighted, so they just don't have a say what's done with them. GPL them or something, at least.
    I don't understand what you're trying to say there. The fact that the homebrew code exists at all means that it holds an implied copyright to the author. They ARE copyrighted and therefor the author of a true homebrew holds all rights pertaining to the use, distrubution, derivation, display, and copy of that game.
    Seeking display quality copy of I Want My Mommy for the 2600... if you have one, PM me, I will pay/trade well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chadtower
    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Oscuro
    Even wholly legit homebrews aren't being copyrighted, so they just don't have a say what's done with them. GPL them or something, at least.
    I don't understand what you're trying to say there. The fact that the homebrew code exists at all means that it holds an implied copyright to the author. They ARE copyrighted and therefor the author of a true homebrew holds all rights pertaining to the use, distrubution, derivation, display, and copy of that game.
    And before anyone replies to debate/argue/belabor the point, allow me to repost this:\
    And this is *precisely* the reason why no one brings it up. It's also *precisely* why I hesitated to post the link. Everyone gets all up in arms, arguements ensue, names are tossed about, and it all starts over again.

    *sigh* Nothing good came of it back then, and nothing good's gonna come of any conversations from it now. I suggest we let this thread die before this whole thing once again explodes into the sh*tstorm I see happening. Thanks.
    These Hozer threads are nothing but trouble, dammit.
    Still Around...Still Gamin'...

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    Quote Originally Posted by chadtower
    I don't understand what you're trying to say there. The fact that the homebrew code exists at all means that it holds an implied copyright to the author. They ARE copyrighted and therefor the author of a true homebrew holds all rights pertaining to the use, distrubution, derivation, display, and copy of that game.
    You have no clue what's going on. I've been around copyrights all my life, and Thomas Jentzsch himself said that they were made "Freely available" and when I downloaded two of his ROMs (AsteroidsDCPlus_Hack.zip and CatTrax.zip, a conversion) there was no copyright notice. I'll come back to that "freely available" in a minute.

    Copyright is not automatically won. When you save a new piece of software to disk or a floppy you automatically gain copyright these days, but there are some reasons why you might not qualify. Let's look over a few reasons why he doesn't qualify for copyright ownership on various pieces of "his" software:

    Copyright 1993-1998 Oppedahl & Larson LLP.

    First, a bit of terminology. The question whether a work is "copyrighted" might, depending on who is talking, mean either of two things. Someone who says a work "is copyrighted" might be trying to say that a copyright registration on the work has been obtained from the U.S. Copyright Office. A different person who says a work "is copyrighted" might mean that the work is protected by the U.S. copyright laws. Lots of people say the former, but it is sloppy usage. The latter is more correct.

    In the United States, an original work becomes protected by the copyright laws from the moment it is "fixed in a tangible medium". This provides several obvious examples of ways that a work could fail to be protected by the copyright laws: the work might contain no originality, or it might not be fixed in a tangible medium. Yet another example is if a work has gone into the public domain, perhaps because the term of copyright has expired or because the owner has dedicated the work to the public prior to the expiry of the copyright term.
    Click Here for the rest of that page.

    a.) Hacks aren't his property--the very act of distributing a ROM is illegal, though companies might ignore it (or don't feel they have the time to pursue it). Hacking a ROM is no more legal.

    b.) Software, like all other material, must contain "some degree of originality" and I don't think converting a ROM to NTSC qualifies.

    Now his "original" software (Jammed, Star Fire, Thrust, Thrust+ DC Edition and Thrust+ Platinum (nevermind that Thrust is a probably unauthorized port of a C64 game which he did NOT program) doesn't come with any sort of copyright notice, unless it's actually in the ROM itself. Jammed is another conversion, and I don't know about Star Fire. I could've missed a couple titles as well, but the point is that it helps to have a copyright notice.

    3.) There's no limits given to distribution--if I wrote that everybody could copy a book I wrote, that's the way it will be forevermore, even if I have copyright. He set it loose on the Internet, and while he could argue (if indeed he had some say over these copyrights) that he hadn't authorized the sale of these binaries in hard form, he'd still be wrong because he has "has dedicated the work to the public prior to the expiry of the copyright term." There might be a question as to whether he's explicitly done that (might have to make an explicit statement which I think has been done) and whether he can now pull the copyrights is also in question, but I think the answer is a resounding No.

    OOPS!

    Not to put Thomas Jentzsch's hard work down, but there's a reason he hasn't brought threats of any legal action (besides the fact that it would cost him too much money for no reason). He has no grounds to charge anybody on. I'm not sure I agree with him on "moralic" [sic] grounds, either. It looks like he got pissed and decided to try and bring up some false rights to cause some pain to the other guy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Oscuro
    Not to put Thomas Jentzsch's hard work down, but there's a reason he hasn't brought threats of any legal action (besides the fact that it would cost him too much money for no reason). He has no grounds to charge anybody on. I'm not sure I agree with him on "moralic" [sic] grounds, either. It looks like he got pissed and decided to try and bring up some false rights to cause some pain to the other guy.
    And if you paid attention to the AA thread, you would see that Thomas was not interested in bringing in lawyers for the sake of the hobby... The argument was (from Thomas' standpoint) was NEVER about a legality, but about morality IE respecting the wishes of another HOBBIEST.

    His hope in posting the story originally was that Randy might receive enough peer pressure to get him to stop... IE Randy might stop trying to "bite the hand" so to speak...

    He was still selling other unauthorized homebrews as of this past summer.

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    drowning in medals Ed Oscuro's Avatar
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    Yes, I read the article. Read the last part of my statement again: I'm just bringing this up so everybody has an idea that when you try to claim copyright protections on a software piece that wasn't originally yours, that you didn't put a notice on, and argued shouldn't be used by a certain person later on, you have really very little case at all. Compounding this is the fact that Hozer could've made the argument that since he believed his use of the material was far, and his business revolved around the use of this material, that this quite blatant selective enforcement of copyright laws is depriving him of software upon which he is dependent (didn't mention that earlier myself).

    Anybody who distributes software over the 'net should know this. I know it's not an argument against Thomas himself but rather an argument for all the idiots and self-made copyright gurus out there who claim he has some sort of a legal case.

    Is a "Hobbiest" somewhat like "the most Hobbit?" How about "The one who hobbles the most?" While you have avoided misspelling "moralistic," you've got "hobbyist" wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Oscuro
    Yes, I read the article. Read the last part of my statement again: I'm just bringing this up so everybody has an idea that when you try to claim copyright protections on a software piece that wasn't originally yours, that you didn't put a notice on, and argued shouldn't be used by a certain person later on, you have really very little case at all. Compounding this is the fact that Hozer could've made the argument that since he believed his use of the material was far, and his business revolved around the use of this material, that this quite blatant selective enforcement of copyright laws is depriving him of software upon which he is dependent (didn't mention that earlier myself).
    And thus it does not belong in this thread, because there was no mention of a LEGAL or COPYRIGHT claim. It was simply an issue of trust among peers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Oscuro
    Is a "Hobbiest" somewhat like "the most Hobbit?" How about "The one who hobbles the most?" While you have avoided misspelling "moralistic," you've got "hobbyist" wrong.
    Okay.. I see where this is going...

    If my German was as good as Thomas' English, I would quite proud...

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