Monday, August 22, 2011

Atari continues efforts to alienate and persecute retro fanbase


Further to earlier reports of Atari targeting parts of the retro Atari community, Atari have now turned their attention to atari2600.org, a website that has been registered by Andrew Davie, since 2000.

The site has been used by Davie over the years to showcase his non-commercial programming efforts for the ancient Atari 2600 console. The receipt of a letter from Atari's SVP & General Counsel, Kristen Keller, came as a surprise for the Atari enthusiast, who told Atari User he is "disappointed" at Atari's approach and is considering his position.

Atari are demanding Davie begin arrangements to handover atari2600.org to them as the domain name contains the Atari brand ("Atari"), in its entirety, in the domain name.

Atari have also recently gone after Starsoft Berlin, a hobbyist site dedicated to producing various demos for the Atari 8-bit computer platform - again a completely non commercial fan site.

13 comments:

lkcl said...

Please use the "Estoppel" Legal Defense. There's no way that Atari have not known of the existence for 12 years of the atari2600.org domain name.

The "Estoppel" defense states that if you ignore something, it is tantamount to "acquiescence" - i.e. "silent consent".

thus it can be claimed that Atari has "Silently Consented" to the use of this domain name, by virtue of them not having done anything for well over a decade.

090bfac6-5db3-11e0-b059-000bcdcb2996 said...

Atari died decades ago, all that is left is a bunch of corporate morons wielding the Atari brand that have nothing to show for the fat checks they cash every month.

kallisti5 said...

to be honest, if the domain has existed for 11 years... it would be a hard case for Atari in court. Especially so if it's been registered to the same owner for all 11 years.

samspock said...

That's nothing. The company I used to own had registered atari.com early on and just sat on it to see if they would notice. When they did, one of the Tramiel brothers called and angrily demanded we hand it over. The fact that we were a licensed Atari dealer did not seem to matter to them.

Psiphyr said...

Considering Atari comes from the game "GO", they could just slap some GO content on the front page, next to a large middle finger.

nimdil said...

We should hand them over domain atarcorporationsucks.com - it also contains ATARI in it and I guess they will be happy to have it.

Captain_Obvious said...

As of now, atari2600.org points to a "This is a future homepage" (a.k.a. Cybersquatter). As far as I know, Atari is free to reclaim trademarks.

CodeHxr said...

If Atari gets away with this, I'm going to create a company called "A" and demand all domains that contain my company's name in its entirety to be handed over to me.

Feydakin said...

It's amazing how some people don't seem to realize that any value their company has or had is directly related to the fan base.

Rigs said...

Geezus...someone had it right when they said that it's nothing but a bunch of old asshats trying to leech off the name alone. 'ATARI' as a company, hasn't existed (in the form we all remember) since the early 90's. When 'Infogrames' became 'ATARI', it had NOTHING to it from the old school except name alone. They bank on the name for leverage when there is no leverage to give...They will fade, just ignore them...the rest of the industry does...

Militant Buddhist said...

If Atari was smart, they would encourage and even support these sites. Communities like these helped make that Atari2600 Flashback 2 such a success. Even the console seemed targeted at the faithful as there were several new home-brew games included. Atari also made the unit modifiable by making it a real Atari 2600 on a chip with clearly marked solder points for adding a real cartridge slot to play actual cartridges. I understand the need for keeping tabs on its intellectual property, but I dunno. Maybe they aren't against the site, per say as the atari2600 in the title. Still seems silly. Commodore, Atari, TI, Tandy should get behind all these communities to help keep them alive.

Unknown said...

I would NEVER give it to them.
If you are going to give it up, put the atari2600.org up for sale, they can't stop you.
If they want it that badly enough they will just have to
pay the $10,000.00 your asking for it or they should
have registered that domain in the first place.

wgungfu said...

Captain_Obvious - Completely incorrect, there was no cybersquatting going on. That was noted 2600 homebrew author Andrew Davie's long running website. He took it all down when he decided to turn the site over, hence what you saw. In fact, there is currently the following message up:

Following a 'request' from Atari Legal's lawyer to hand them this domain, and to show my good faith and intentions with regard to their trademark and claims thereof... I have removed all content of this site.
I'm a bit of a retro-gaming nut. Over the 11 years I've 'owned' this domain, the site was used as a personal/hobbyist site for my interest in '2600 homebrew programming. It's variously been used to promote my '2600 game Qb (2001-2003), my extensive tutorials on '2600 programming, as a domain for the '2600 programmers' [stella] mailing list (2004-2010) and more recently linking to some of my videos and demos for the platform. The '2600 platform has been near and dear to my heart for a long time.

:(

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