Reply To: TSN, INN – Screen Shots and memories

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(re: Source of images) Jason:

Good luck with your FauxINN project! You can’t imagine how much I wish INN existed — just so I could play it. I really miss it… Yes … you have my permission to “borrow” the images from here of INN for your site. Factually speaking — all images are/were of Sierra copyrighted material —so, it’s not clear that anyone, other than possibly Sierra owns them. I have no right to “give” you anything (or, for that matter, to have it myself).

Speaking of lawyers… here’s something interesting…

Recently, I spent an hour on the phone with lawyers for American Online. Apparently, they somehow wound up being the owners of INN. You cannot imagine what a pioneering effort INN was. The Internet did not really exist yet, and modems were barely running at 1200 baud (some people were just starting to have 2400 baud).

I had the foresight to patent what we were doing. Apparently, AOL understand that owning the patents on key aspects of multi-player games is important and called me recently to ask about the patent. I’m listed as the inventor, along with a few other Sierra folk. AOL has been working on getting the patents through the filing process for over 10 years! I had no idea this was going on. I remember filing the patents, and that they were very broad (we really were first in MANY ways).

The key thing to know here is that AOL understands the value of the patents, and that they are close to being issued. I doubt that your faux INN project is “in their crosshairs” …. but, it is possible that many other, larger, “infringers” are…

-Ken W