(Re: Legality of fan sequels?) I am a long time Sierra fan. I have question about all these people out there trying to make sequels to Space Quest and Kings Quest (kq9.org)…Is this legal?
I am not a lawyer … so, take this as just my opinion – but, I believe these are definitely in violation of copyright laws, and that Sierra would have no problem shutting them down IF THEY WANTED TO. I haven’t spoken to anyone at Sierra in years, so I’m not sure what they are thinking, or even if there is anyone is left there to do any thinking.
My suspicion is that they know about these games, and either don’t want to alienate their own fans, or don’t want to spend the money with lawyers. That said, there is still a chance they will attack the games. You have to protect your trademarks and copyrights, or you can lose them. They may at some point get guidance from their lawyers that they have to attack, whether it makes business sense or not.
I love the idea of fans building games. Sierra could, if it wanted, grant some form of cheap license to the people building the games. Hopefully they’ll consider this.
Vivendi, who owns Sierra, just published the financials for the games business. Sales are WAY DOWN, and they’re losing money. People are being laid off. My guess is that they have much bigger problems to worry about than someone building fan games. I tried a few years ago to contact someone at Vivendi to see if I could help, but was told politely to butt out. The gentleman I spoke with didn’t last 60 days past our meeting, so perhaps the new management would talk to me. I’m not sure who to call…