Legality of downloads on Christy Marx's website.

Feel like your conquest has you questing in circles? This is for the Cristy Marx games, Conquests of Camelot: The Search for the Grail and Conquests of the Longbow: The Legend of Robin Hood. You can ask for help with these games here! (Beware of the rabbit... it's got fangs!)

Legality of downloads on Christy Marx's website.

Postby joek0 » Thu Nov 24, 2011 10:04 am

A lot of people on GOG are downloading both Conquest games on Marx's website. There is a small debate on weather or not it is legal to download from Marx's site. Even though Marx is the creator, the game is owned by Sierra. Do you think it is OK to download from Marx's websit?. Who currently owns the rights to the Conquest Series(Sierra/Activision)?

Conquest of Longbow
http://www.christymarx.com/

Conquest for Camelot
http://www.christymarx.com/
Last edited by Collector on Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: By Collector - removed direct links to download pages.
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Re: Legality of downloads on Christy Marx's website.

Postby DeadPoolX » Thu Nov 24, 2011 1:40 pm

As far as I know, Activision is the legal IP holder of the two games. Like you said, Marx may have created it, but she did so for Sierra Online and they were bought and absorbed into Activision.

Al Lowe and Jane Jensen don't have the freedom to allow gamers to download the LSL or GK series, so I can't see why Marx could with the Conquest games. Maybe there's some sort of agreement between her and Activision, but if there is, it's very well hidden and makes me wonder: "If she could gain the right to do it, why can't other former Sierra designers, like Lowe and Jensen?"

If Marx hasn't received permission to release the Conquest games, then she is committing an illegal act. Being a former designer and having written the stories for numerous TV shows and cartoons, I'd have thought she'd be familiar with the concept of intellectual property and copyright.

I have to wonder just how long she's had these games available for download on her site. On the page to download Conquests of the Longbow, she claims: "Again, I can make no guarantees about these files. Download at your own risk. This is a large file and takes a long time download unless you have a very fast connection, so take that into account."

I don't know about you, but none of the Sierra games count as a "large file" to me nowadays. CotL is a grand total of seven (yes, that's the number 7) megabytes. I own games where the save files are larger than that. Unless she thinks everyone still uses dial-up (and except for a few random people in rural areas, I can't imagine anyone's used that for a good decade or so), she's had that file on her website for years. If that's true, I wonder why we're just noticing it now.
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Re: Legality of downloads on Christy Marx's website.

Postby Maxor127 » Fri Nov 25, 2011 8:42 pm

She's had Camelot on there for at least years. I'm sure she knows the legality of whether or not she can host the games. And if it is illegal, then more power to her for making it available to everyone when Activision or whoever owns the rights is doing nothing with them.
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Re: Legality of downloads on Christy Marx's website.

Postby DeadPoolX » Sat Nov 26, 2011 2:06 am

Maxor127 wrote:She's had Camelot on there for at least years. I'm sure she knows the legality of whether or not she can host the games. And if it is illegal, then more power to her for making it available to everyone when Activision or whoever owns the rights is doing nothing with them.

Unless Activision has sold her the rights, she's committing a crime. Whether or not Activision will bother taking action is something else entirely, but that doesn't negate the fact it's illegal for her to put those games on her website.

I can't believe you're patting her on the back for illegally hosting intellectual property. I suppose you're in-favor of "abandonware" as well then, huh?
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Re: Legality of downloads on Christy Marx's website.

Postby Datadog » Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:10 pm

Just curious, but does Mark Seibert own the rights to host "Pepper's Adventures in Time?"
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Re: Legality of downloads on Christy Marx's website.

Postby Collector » Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:30 pm

No. Just remember, while discussion of abandonware is not forbidden, please no direct links to abandonware or abandonware sites. A number of the old Sierra developers host downloads of some of their older games without owning the IP. I don't mind their websites being linked to, but please don't link to any of the download pages. I do not want this site to be associated with abandonware. carry on.
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Re: Legality of downloads on Christy Marx's website.

Postby Akril » Sun Nov 27, 2011 1:24 am

According to archive.org, those games were on her site since 2004 (and possibly even earlier than that). I highly doubt she or any other designers have permission to offer these games for download, but they've probably gone unnoticed because they're so low-profile compared to King's Quest, Space Quest, etc.
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Re: Legality of downloads on Christy Marx's website.

Postby Maxor127 » Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:41 pm

DeadPoolX wrote:
Maxor127 wrote:She's had Camelot on there for at least years. I'm sure she knows the legality of whether or not she can host the games. And if it is illegal, then more power to her for making it available to everyone when Activision or whoever owns the rights is doing nothing with them.

Unless Activision has sold her the rights, she's committing a crime. Whether or not Activision will bother taking action is something else entirely, but that doesn't negate the fact it's illegal for her to put those games on her website.

I can't believe you're patting her on the back for illegally hosting intellectual property. I suppose you're in-favor of "abandonware" as well then, huh?

Yes I am. So by that logic, if my original Camelot disks were damaged, I could never play the game again because it's not being sold anywhere. Ebay is more for collectors and still, the "owners" of the property wouldn't be making money anyways if I bought it from there, and I'd still be risking buying damaged disks. And I don't believe someone should pay a steep premium to experience a bit of nostalgia. I'm sure you've committed crimes regarding intellectual property without even realizing it because the laws are flawed. I'm sure all of the scans on sierragamers.com is considered stolen intellectual property, or the music from queststudios.com, or manuals on replacementdocs.com, or fan sequels or remakes that go under Activision's radar. So if the creator wants to offer their 20+ year old game for free when it's technically owned by a soulless corporation who is doing nothing to sell or support the games, then yes, I support it. The alternative is that the games can't be found anywhere, physical copies slowly degrade, and the games are gone forever. It's not like she's making money from it. In fact, I remember seeing some company that was selling Gold Rush in a custom wooden case. In the end, it's moot because all anyone can do is speculate on who owns the rights.
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Re: Legality of downloads on Christy Marx's website.

Postby DeadPoolX » Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:55 pm

Maxor127 wrote:Yes I am. So by that logic, if my original Camelot disks were damaged, I could never play the game again because it's not being sold anywhere.

Not yet, but lots of older Sierra and LucasArts games are for sale -- at very reasonable prices -- on GOG and Steam. It's only a matter of time before more games are added.

Maxor127 wrote:And I don't believe someone should pay a steep premium to experience a bit of nostalgia.

A steep premium? No, I agree there; however, I don't believe we should get it for free, either.

Maxor127 wrote:I'm sure you've committed crimes regarding intellectual property without even realizing it because the laws are flawed.

The laws are somewhat flawed, but designed to protect the IP holders. Some people think it's unfair, but they probably wouldn't if they were the owners themselves.

Maxor127 wrote:I'm sure all of the scans on sierragamers.com is considered stolen intellectual property, or the music from queststudios.com, or manuals on replacementdocs.com, or fan sequels or remakes that go under Activision's radar.

That doesn't make it legal just because Activision ignores or doesn't notice it.

Maxor127 wrote:So if the creator wants to offer their 20+ year old game for free when it's technically owned by a soulless corporation who is doing nothing to sell or support the games, then yes, I support it.

It's not "technically" owned, it's legally owned in every capacity. Whether or not the owners support it, sell it or sit on it forever is irrelevant.

Maxor127 wrote:The alternative is that the games can't be found anywhere, physical copies slowly degrade, and the games are gone forever.

Diskettes can and often do degrade, which is why it's good to back them up onto CDs, DVDs or flash media.

Maxor127 wrote:It's not like she's making money from it.

You know as well as I do that's not even close to a justifiable reason.

Maxor127 wrote:In the end, it's moot because all anyone can do is speculate on who owns the rights.

No speculation needed. Activision owns the rights. It's up to them if they want to sell the game (or the rights) themselves. If they choose to ignore what other people do with their IP, that's also their prerogative.
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Re: Legality of downloads on Christy Marx's website.

Postby envisge0ne » Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:34 pm

I cringe when I see debates about the legality of copyrighted material. People become very passionate and deffensive in there opinions. Not that that's what happened here yet, but I've seen it happen many times. And I've always understood both sides of the debate about it.

On one hand, it's someone's property and people are stealing it. No matter how we try to paint it, that's what we're doing. It's illegal and if the IP owners decided to take action, the websites would be shutdown very quickly & possibly face serious fines. People try to call it abandonware, like somehow that makes it more legal or more tollerated. That's just an excuse to feel comfortable about downloading something illegally. Kinda like no harm, no foul mentality.

On the other hand, most "abandonware" games are software that hasn't seen the light of day in many years, in terms of any real financial gain to the IP owners. The owners are more than happy to let the games collect dust and disappear forever. So it almost feels unfair when they raise bloody hell about people downloading these games. Nintendo was notorious for trying to shut down MAME and the distribution of there ROM's. And they never tried to use the argument that they could lose anything from them being freely obtainable. They just didn't like it. And I do get a little irritated when I see these big companies try to stop the distribution of these classic games, when they have no intentions of offering them back to the public.

So my opinion is, if the games are essentially gone forever, then we should be allowed to download them. It doesn't hurt anyone. But if the games are still being sold, and profitting, then it's illegal to download for free and it shouldn't be allowed. Esp when you can get most of the popular Sierra games from Gog.com for practically nothing. There's really no excuse to rationalize why you had to download it illegally. As of right now, I think the games Christy Marx is offering on her site is fine to be avaialable for free & I commend her for it. Even if, technically, it's illegal.
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Re: Legality of downloads on Christy Marx's website.

Postby Collector » Sun Nov 27, 2011 11:42 pm

For me, the main issue about the legality of it is that I have to be careful about the liability in terms of SHP, which supersedes any morality issues. Philosophically, I am in accord with the "spirit" of abandonware, but the law trumps all, whether we agree with it or not. We could restore the balance if we returned to the original copyright law and dumped all of the Mickey Mouse extensions that hold copyright in a kind of virtual perpetuity.

The original law gave guarantees (for what, 17 years?) and after which the IP fell into public domain. It recognized the need to allow creators to profit from their labors, but also recognized that most technology and even civilization itself is built upon what proceeded it. The rights of past works held indefinitely is a real anchor around the neck of progress. All of this becomes even more muddied when IP rights becomes entangled with blind unreasoning bureaucracies of large corporations that refuse to let go of any asset, regardless of how little worth it may be to revenue generation.
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Re: Legality of downloads on Christy Marx's website.

Postby Rakeesh » Sat Dec 24, 2011 11:20 am

I have been aware of Marx's site for some years. It is indeed old and rarely updated. I believe (pure speculation) that she just offers her work, hoping she doesn't harming anyone until someone tells her to stop.

I can't help but remember that in the CoC manual she preaches a sermon about not copying games and singlemindedly dubbing all of it as "theft, pure and simple".

What she is doing may be illegal but not a "crime" (or "piracy" or "theft" or any negatively colorful word). Violations of law are not invariably called 'crimes' but also 'offenses' or 'infractions'
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Re: Legality of downloads on Christy Marx's website.

Postby sarien » Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:32 pm

Any update about that? What about writing email to sierra or activision or christy about this issue? :geek:
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Re: Legality of downloads on Christy Marx's website.

Postby Collector » Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:53 pm

No. There is nothing to update about this. Activision owns the IP, but they either don't care or are unaware. Either way, the developers do not have the right to distribute.
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Re: Legality of downloads on Christy Marx's website.

Postby sarien » Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:08 pm

how about mail to them under the name of sierrahelp.com :/
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