Atari: The Shutdown of Atari2600.org

Hi everyone,

Some of you might be aware of the recent happenings concerning Atari and the shutdown of the popular website called Atari2600.org. If not, then please have a look at the statement from the author of Atari2600.org:

Following a ‘request’ from Atari Legal’s lawyer to hand them this domain, and to show my good faith and intentions with regard to their trademark and claims thereof… I have removed all content of this site.

I’m a bit of a retro-gaming nut. Over the 11 years I’ve ‘owned’ this domain, the site was used as a personal/hobbyist site for my interest in ‘2600 homebrew programming. It’s variously been used to promote my ‘2600 game Qb (2001-2003), my extensive tutorials on ‘2600 programming, as a domain for the ‘2600 programmers’ [stella] mailing list (2004-2010) and more recently linking to some of my videos and demos for the platform. The ‘2600 platform has been near and dear to my heart for a long time.

😦

This is bad news for sure. It turns out that Atari is on a witch-hunt against people making use of the Atari name, logo and other content on the Internet. They are actually going after their fan base! A bad move in my opinion.

I’d like to point you to an article written by James Matson that summarize my feelings on the subject. It’s called “Have you slapped your fan base today?” and was published on the website of Atomic – Maximum Power Computing.

There is also a post on Retro Otaku that takes the situation up for discussion, which is well worth reading. Like him, I’d like to add my voice to the chorus as well! It’s important that people are informed about the current events and what might be in store for the future.

I’d like to end this post with a quote from James Matson’s article that I feel is spot-on:

From a purely legal standpoint, it would seem reasonable for Atari to protect its brand, but waving a rusty fork at the fiercely devoted retro community is going to net the exact opposite effect.  Alienating the people who expend their time and whacky effort to renewing and regenerating the Atari legacy could be the final nail in the branding coffin of a company that seems intent on finding new ways to crap on its own legacy.

I agree.

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6 comments

  1. Thanks for the props mate 🙂

    James got the whole thing spot on in his post on Atomic and Guru Meditation, hopefully the witch hunt comes to an end before any more damage is done to such a well-loved brand of old-school greatness.

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  2. Atari isn’t going after the fanbase, Infocom is going after Ataris fanbase. Atari today is not what made atari 2600 back in the day, neither what made atari st.

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  3. Being a professional journalist, I can tell you the owner of that site has nothing to be concerned about. He is not infringing any copyright laws. Lawyers tend to be both cautious and agressive at the same time. Just because you use the word Atari, doesn’t mean you’re infringing against them. If that was the case, reporters couldn’t write about anything, that wasn’t positive. You still have freedom of speech in this country, whether the lawyers like it or not. In short, the lawyers are just seeing what they can get away with. The owner of the site should at least try to get Atari to buy him out. If they’re not interested, tough luck. Put your site back up. Atari doesn’t have enough money to take you to court just to lose!

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    • Hi there Bill,

      Thank you for your comment. It was both interesting and reassuring to read. 🙂

      It’s good to hear that the owner of the site does not have anything to be concerned about. 🙂

      Thanks again!

      Best regards,

      Old School Game Blog

      Like

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