Marko Mäkelä wrote: > Isn't it ironic how Nintendo is allowed to copy from others but not vice > versa? As far as I understand, it is not a copyright violation to copy a > physical item if some minor details change. It would be legal, provided > that no patents, design patents or trademarks are violated either. I am not a lawyer, but which intellectual properties belong(ed) to the MOS 6502? As far as I know, one can't claim copyright on hardware, only patents. Since the 6502 doesn't contain any microcode, but a PLA, I suppose there was no software copyright that could apply as well. To be honest, didn't the 6502 itself emerge out of the 6800 and at least to a beginning was controversial? Since Ricoh somehow circumvented existing patents by skipping the decimal mode, I suppose legally there was little to do for MOS or whoever held the remaining patents. Did rest of the underlying patents lie with Motorola or no party at all? As for Nintendo's participation, it is not clear to me if Ricoh engineered the 2A03 entirely on Nintendo's requests or if it was a cooperative effort and Ricoh already had some of this design available. Given these assumptions, I suppose a CPU design that indeed contained microcode, to which extent it can be copyrighted just like higher level computer software, would have been harder for Ricoh/Nintendo to copy. The various articles about the Famicom keep coming back to the fact that there was no 6502 development software in Japan, so Nintendo had to roll their own. This does seem like a false statement as HAL Labs made several games for the VIC-1001 which clearly predates the Famicom, even on the prototype stage. It is quite obvious that in Japan, they most reluctantly would import and adopt some foreign tools (e.g. cross assemblers etc) from USA or Europe, so disregarding what Commodore themselves and through partners did in Japan, perhaps there really wasn't anyone doing 6502 coding before the Famicom. Perhaps though Nintendo rolled their own development software to not raise suspicion from outside, in particular if they were going to use a special CPU with built-in sound that resembled/copied an existing design but without had it licensed. I don't know how tightly various software firms worked with the hardware manufacturers, i.e. if MOS et. al would have gotten a word of notice if some third party software developer in the US sold software to Nintendo in c:a 1982. Best regards Anders Carlsson Message was sent through the cbm-hackers mailing listReceived on 2014-11-27 15:00:03
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