December 15, 2003 at 5:05 am #24651
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 assuming that the rights to these sequels where sold with the sale of Sierra. Also, how do you and Roberta feel about people (outside of Sierra) taking a series in there own creative direction? Thanks Ken, I live in Upstate New York and Sierra was a huge part of my game-life growing up.
December 15, 2003 at 9:46 am #24652
(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…
December 15, 2003 at 1:27 pm #24653
(Re: Legality of fan sequels?) Ken,
I hope this doesn’t come out as a stupid question, but I’m curious about something in regard to your message about Vivendi losing money, etc. It got me to thinking: What would happen (if anything) to the intellectual property, ownership, etc of Sierra’s products if Vivendi either completely shut down their games business, or if they (Vivendi) went completely bankrupt and shut the doors to the entire corporation. I think I may already know the answer to my first question: Vivendi would retain ownership if the company chose to shut down what remains of Sierra, correct? Even though I know it’s highly unlikely that Vivendi would just cease to exist, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the “what if?” of such an occurence.
December 15, 2003 at 5:04 pm #24654
(Re: Legality of fan sequels?) What would happen (if anything) to the intellectual property, ownership, etc of Sierra’s products if Vivendi either completely shut down their games business, or if they (Vivendi) went completely bankrupt and shut the doors to the entire corporation.
I would be very surprised to see them just shut it down – someone will buy it at some price – although, my guess is that the price is getting lower by the minute.
If it were to completely shut down, then I’m not sure what would happen. Perhaps someone out there is a lawyer and could tell us.