Atari Suing Nestle for Breakout Game Kit Kat Ad

monkeymagick

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Nestle is facing a lawsuit filed by Atari accusing the company of copying Breakout in one of its ads. The suit claims that the chocolate maker is infringing on its copyright by exploiting the nostalgia factor of mostly Baby Boomers and Gen Xers. The advert aired last year on UK TV, which had the Breakout blocks replaced with Kit Kat bars -- yes, I know ingenuous idea.

Created as a successor to "Pong" by Steve Wozniak with help from Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, "Breakout" requires a player to knock down rows of colored bricks with a paddle
 

monkeymagick

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Hershey's did this with the Reese's Pieces Peanut Butter Cup (Pac-Man) but I am sure they got permission. The commercial even uses the melody.
Now, I'll have the Pac-Man melody in my head all night.

do-do-da-do-do do-duh-do
 

Azphira

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Because I might accidentally try to play the commercial instead of their game.

If Atari thinks it's customers are this stupid, maybe they should be too stupid to buy the new console when it comes out. Buy $400 in Kit Kats instead.

If only Atari cared as much about Alone in the Dark The New Nightmare having a white screen, Alone in the dark 2008 crashing when starting a new game and Alone in the Dark: Illumination having a mostly negative rating.
 

Ultima99

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Because I might accidentally try to play the commercial instead of their game.

If Atari thinks it's customers are this stupid, maybe they should be too stupid to buy the new console when it comes out. Buy $400 in Kit Kats instead.

If only Atari cared as much about Alone in the Dark The New Nightmare having a white screen, Alone in the dark 2008 crashing when starting a new game and Alone in the Dark: Illumination having a mostly negative rating.

Litigation is easier than hard work!
 

dkarn45

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Atari stopped Jeff Minter's wonderful work on TxK & T2K and that move made me disgust them.
This is just more similar crap from Atari that validates and justifies my continuing disgust with them.
 

iamjanco

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...and a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, long before I purchased that first 66MHz Pentium 1 Packard Bell back in '94, I played the hell out of breakout (in between fending off a nasty-looking troll, brandishing a bloody axe). On a Commodore 64, at that (remember cassettes?).
 

MaZa

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There has been a million Breakout clones through the gaming history and I'm willing to bet that not even half of them had any permissions from Atari. I think it is safe to say Atari has lost this copyright except for the title Breakout itself.
 

dreadcthulhu

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Unlike trademarks, a person/company can't lose a copyright due to lack of previous enforcement, MaZa. Atari has a good legal case here. That said, I do think the biggest problem with copyrights are that they last too long. Patents are only 20 years long, and we still get plenty new things being invented. It seems silly to me that video games, TV shows, and movies get a longer protection time than life saving drugs, new crop varieties, better engines, and so on.
 

lostinseganet

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They should have tried to get some support for their new console they released....Well they could say they had some third party support....some :p
 

JokerCPoC

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Yep, before Apple existed, Atari was there first. Wozniak and Jobs were Atari employees back then.
 

JokerCPoC

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There has been a million Breakout clones through the gaming history and I'm willing to bet that not even half of them had any permissions from Atari. I think it is safe to say Atari has lost this copyright except for the title Breakout itself.
That's cause those million were not on TV making money for another company.
 

Azphira

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"Atari, SA (ASA) is an international French holding company headquartered in Paris" EU, that explains the litigation.
 

JokerCPoC

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...and a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, long before I purchased that first 66MHz Pentium 1 Packard Bell back in '94, I played the hell out of breakout (in between fending off a nasty-looking troll, brandishing a bloody axe). On a Commodore 64, at that (remember cassettes?).
Yeah I remember cassette drives and programs on cassette, I typed quite a few in from almost everyones favorite magazine back then, COMPUTE, I'd have to type CLOAD(I don't remember how to save the games, but I could look that up, its been a long time since 1980), then press the play button on the 410 cassette drive, but then I had a modded Atari 400 w/48K ram and a real keyboard, the ancestor of all modern PCs, why?

Cause it had a chipset, just like PCs do today.
 

Nytegard

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The article mentions Jobs & Wozniak, but Breakout wasn't their idea. Nor did Wozniak and Jobs create it. Wozniak did work on it, but they ended up discarding his work.
 

MrTroy03

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Because I might accidentally try to play the commercial instead of their game.

If Atari thinks it's customers are this stupid, maybe they should be too stupid to buy the new console when it comes out. Buy $400 in Kit Kats instead.

That's not the issue, it's that Kit Kat is using Atari's property to make money, they are capitalizing on Atari's property and popularity to advertise their product. If they want to use an Atari property to increase sales of Kit Kats, they would need to contact Atari and come to an agreement ($$$) for the usage.
 
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Zarathustra[H]

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How long does this sort of copyright last?

Breakout is 41 years old this year, and there have been several remakes of the game over the years, Arkanoid and Arkanoid 2 probably being the best I've played, and the first of those came out 30 years ago now.

Did they get a license from Atari for that?
 

Nytegard

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How long does this sort of copyright last?

Breakout is 41 years old this year, and there have been several remakes of the game over the years, Arkanoid and Arkanoid 2 probably being the best I've played, and the first of those came out 30 years ago now.

Did they get a license from Atari for that?

For this type of work, a copyright would last 95 years.
 

Master_shake_

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what if nestle just bought atari and set fire to their assets?

they could use their bottled water money.
 

iamjanco

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Yeah I remember cassette drives and programs on cassette, I typed quite a few in from almost everyones favorite magazine back then, COMPUTE, I'd have to type CLOAD(I don't remember how to save the games, but I could look that up, its been a long time since 1980), then press the play button on the 410 cassette drive, but then I had a modded Atari 400 w/48K ram and a real keyboard, the ancestor of all modern PCs, why?

Cause it had a chipset, just like PCs do today.

Wow, I had totally forgotten about the code you used to be able to type in manually. Neat stuff.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Yeah I remember cassette drives and programs on cassette, I typed quite a few in from almost everyones favorite magazine back then, COMPUTE, I'd have to type CLOAD(I don't remember how to save the games, but I could look that up, its been a long time since 1980), then press the play button on the 410 cassette drive, but then I had a modded Atari 400 w/48K ram and a real keyboard, the ancestor of all modern PCs, why?

Cause it had a chipset, just like PCs do today.


Press play on tape

IMG_20170820_004907.jpg
 

CharonPDX

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Wasn't this settled *DECADES* ago with other Breakout clones in the early '80s?

They can't exactly copy it, but work-alikes should be 100% legal.
 

Nytegard

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Wasn't this settled *DECADES* ago with other Breakout clones in the early '80s?

They can't exactly copy it, but work-alikes should be 100% legal.

Yeah, but according to Wikipedia:
A shift in legal options for developers to challenge clones arose from the 2012 federal court decision that ruled in favor of the Tetris Company, the owners of the Tetris copyright, over the clone Mino which used the same gameplay as Tetris but with different art assets. The developers for Mino has cited in their defense that they only used the uncopyrightable gameplay elements of Tetris in Mino. The court ruled that copyright law was in favor of the Tetris Company's claim, as the gameplay was copied without changes, and while the art assets were new, the "look and feel" of Mino could be easily confused for that of Tetris.

Now, you'd have to get a lawyer for this. From my interpretation, which could be entirely wrong, I'm guessing it would be legal to have a game which plays similarly (thus, can't copyright a genre), but illegal if you made a game like Super Mario Bros, even if you coded it from scratch, which had the same exact layout and gameplay, but just different art and music.
 

raz-0

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Unlike trademarks, a person/company can't lose a copyright due to lack of previous enforcement, MaZa. Atari has a good legal case here. That said, I do think the biggest problem with copyrights are that they last too long. Patents are only 20 years long, and we still get plenty new things being invented. It seems silly to me that video games, TV shows, and movies get a longer protection time than life saving drugs, new crop varieties, better engines, and so on.

What are they going to sue on, look and feel? At least in the US this would fail miserably as a common sensible person couldn't tell you which of a jillion block breaker games it is looking like.
 
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