Sunday, May 21, 2017

IP Not-So-Freely

Heads up, folks! If you've got a 3DS (Old or New; it doesn't matter), there's a new hack called Boot9Strap that will let you install and run homebrew apps straight from the main menu. It'll take you about an hour to go through all the steps and the results aren't guaranteed, but I put the hack on my Old 3DS this afternoon, and it worked like a charm for me. You'll find the instructions here if you're interested.

It's a good day to be a 3DS owner, but alas, ColecoVision fans aren't so lucky. The current holder of the Coleco brand, one Chris Cardillo, is making life miserable for hobbyist game designers, threatening them with cease and desist notices while publicly claiming that he supports their work. You can read more about this mess on AtariAge, but the impression I'm getting is that Mr. Cardillo wants to sell licenses to produce software for a console that's been dead for (looks at watch) uh, thirty two years. It's like trying to put the genie back in the bottle, after it's been cremated and the ashes have been scattered to the sea.

Cardillo probably has no legal way to force ColecoVision game designers to accept a licensing agreement with his company, Coleco Holdings LLC. Sure, the ColecoVision brand is his, but the system is another story... if the glut of NES clones on the market are any indication, the patents on the hardware have long expired. Most likely, fans of the ColecoVision will continue to design games for the long-dead console independently, albeit with legal disclaimers on their title screens... and no shortage of contempt for the man who made them necessary.

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