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Old 06 April 2016, 12:48   #70
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Auckland
Posts: 1,810
I discovered a few interesting things re: the Trademark files.

In brief, I was discussing the issue with a friend who pointed out there's a legal precedent here in Sega VS Accolade, which ultimately determined that - at least in the US, unsure about the rest of the world - copy protection methods similar to the one employed by the CD32 have no legal standing.

Here's a good summary from

TMSS works by simply requiring instances of the SEGA trademark to appear in various memory locations (see below). Should an unlicensed game appear on the market, Sega could exert its rights over the SEGA trademark and sue the developer for trademark infringement.

The legality of this system was challenged in the United States by Accolade in the court case SEGA vs. Accolade, which ruled in Accolade's favor. The verdict set a precedent that copyrights do not extend to non-expressive content in software that is required by another system to be present in order for that system to run the software. While the system was never challenged elsewhere, Sega did not enforce it after the Accolade case, and consequently several unlicensed game developers started popping up.
In short as I understand things
* Developing software for a system like the Genesis (presumably any other computer system including the CD32) is protected by Fair Use, even if said software is commercial.
* Given that it's an activity protected by Fair Use, and that there's no way to carry out the activity without the inadvertent Trademark infringement, Sega themselves were held responsible.

And this was back in 92-93 even!
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