It's a Bizarro-World indeed when Microsoft is held up by a judge in Europe as a paragon of openness, but that's apparently what happened in a law suit brought by Nintendo. The games console and software maker has lost its case against Divineo Group in a Paris suit to block the sale of Nintendo DS Flash cartridges in France. The …
First they came for ...
... Microsoft and I did not speak out - because I was not a Redmonian
Then they came for Intel and I did not speak out - because I was not an Intelian
Then they came for Apple and I did not speak out - because I was not an Appleculty
Now they've come for Mario - and there is no one left to speak for him
Kidding aside, Nintendo deserved to get spanked on this.
"Should be more like Windows where ANYONE can develop any application if they wish to."
It's a gaming device, not a general purpose computer. Does Microsoft allow all and sundry to develop games to run on the xbox360?
No. No they don't.
Now, don't get me wrong, the day homebrew stuff is commonplace on all *gaming* platforms will be a grand day indeed, but there is no point holding Microsoft up as a paragon of openness when they are doing exactly the same thing!
Tux because, well, who knows more than tux about openness? (oh, OK, maybe Paris . . . )
yeah, MS does allow just about anyone (some countries not allowed)
Yes, MS does let anyone that wants to develop software for the xbox360. You have to pay them to get the right to do so with an account to submit to xbox live, but Nintendo doesn't even allow that. Not just anyone can call nintendo and get a development kit.
Through DreamSpark you could (can?) get free access. XNA (the development environment) is free, so with a little effort you can develop against the 360 for free.
Uh,, Yes, yes they do, you can write your own games on the 360 with the paid creators club, something similar to the net yarouze except that you don't need special hardware.
Microsoft provide a wealth of free tools, source, documentation
Yes, yes they do. Google for 'XNA'. The Xbox 360 has a HUGE, perfectly legal (and encouraged) homebrew community.
develop on XBOX 360
Goat Jam: Actually, Microsoft DOES allow anyone to develop for the 360 - it's called XNA. http://creators.xna.com/en-US
The difference is...
...the media. Nintendo says you have to use their cartridges under license. Microsoft don't force you to use their own brand of DVD's.
Nintendo have been doing this since the NES, so this ruling is a little late in the day. The next round of consoles will distribute games over teh internets so perhaps consoles will be entirely sealed bricks. No media slots, bluetooth controllers, wifi, just a slot for the powerto plug in and a HDMI cable?
"Does Microsoft allow all and sundry to develop games to run on the xbox360?
No. No they don't."
I'm pretty sure anyone who can code can write a game using the free XNA toolset MS provides, and submit it to MS for sale in XBLA or the Indie Games section. I'm not sure of the specifics, but the tools and markets are definately there.
Re: Say what?
"Does Microsoft allow all and sundry to develop games to run on the xbox360?
No. No they don't."
Yes. Yes they do. Anyone can download XNA studio express. Anyone willing to pony up a hundred bucks a year can install whatever they make on their xbox. For another 100 a year, and a bit of peer-reviewing, you can sell your product via the xbox live market place. Thats a pretty open platform right there.
re: Say What?
"It's a gaming device, not a general purpose computer. Does Microsoft allow all and sundry to develop games to run on the xbox360?"
Actually they do, it's not free of course, but independent developers (even a bedroom coder on their own) can develop for the XBOX 360. They have to buy a premium subscription which is $99 (for a year I think) and then you can get your games released on XBOX Live Arcade - http://creators.xna.com/en-GB/membership
Works out cheaper than a Sony Net Yaroze was all those years back, and I believe you can start developing games on Windows and then convert them over to the XBOX.
It's just a shame that Microsoft don't drop the charges and make it a bit more open and also open to Linux users.
In two minds about this decision
Goat Jam wrote:
""Should be more like Windows where ANYONE can develop any application if they wish to."
It's a gaming device, not a general purpose computer. Does Microsoft allow all and sundry to develop games to run on the xbox360? No. No they don't."
Bad analogy, because the dark pit of Redmond _do_ actually allow hobbyist development _for_ the XBox360 (you've got to use Windows as the development environment). The thing's called XNA - see http://creators.xna.com/en-GB/
Meanwhile, back to the story, I'm unconvinced by the decision - yes Nintendo have a right to control who has access to their kit (whether this is via having to buy an SDK or other means). On the other hand they shouldn't/can't be allowed to use this to strangle the market (as Apple seem to enjoy doing). As to the carts themselves, again - yes they can be used to pirate games, but they also let the users make more/better use of the hardware they've got.
Oh god no.
The day that happens is the day I completely give up on computer games.
Fuxache, it's a toy. Insert disk, press "go", enjoy. Fuck downloading updates and making sure I have Internet connectivity and making another forgettable username/password and hoping their authentication servers don't decide to throw a wobbler and tell me I'm not allowed to use what I've paid for. If I wanted that, I'd get a Windows PC and start using Steam.
That's it, I'm moving to France!
First, they throw DMCA out the window by ruling that copying a DVD for backup purposes is legal. Now they rule that flash cards are legal as well. Throw in the fact that they prohibit stores from selling SIM-locked phones, and well, the French now actually seem like the sanest of nations in the world.
I'll drink to the baguettes and wine!
The non-ubuiquity of DMCA
"First, they throw DMCA out the window by ruling that copying a DVD for backup purposes is legal."
It's hard to throw something out that they're not subject to to begin with…
I thought the whole point of DRM was that is was legally supported by most countries?
The judge sounds like some old technologically challenege guy who thinks a Wii is a bodily function!
I am not in favor of any form of DRM, but insane judgements like this just muddy the water!
This is an unsound judgment.
DRM is only legally supported when it's protecting something it's allowed to protect. Even in the US it doesn't give you a free pass to lock up anything you want to. Lexmark tried to use it for their inkjet refils and failed. A garage door opener manufacturer tried and failed. Like Nintendo they were trying to use DRM to get a monopoly they weren't entitled to.
You sir or madam, have an interesting definition of monopoly. Nintendo is regulating what hardware can be plugged into the handset that they designed. Does the fact that the controller ports are proprietary and not, for example, USB on the Wii make the Wii illegally locked down? Where does one draw the line between not being compatible and "locking down" the unit.
They could have taken the low road and blamed any failures on flash cards, instead they did the (relitivly) honest thing by admitting they didn't want their brand diluted or games copied.
I am ideologically opposed to DRM and device control, but I will admit that a significant portion of Nintendo's sales draw is based on the fact that their games tend to be well designed and have excellent game play. They also have a very family-friendly reputation. Nintendo does review their games before release to maintain that level of quality; from what I have seen they do so with fairness and according to a standard, as opposed to a whim.
The purpose of this is to make the average buyer like Nintendo products because they don't have to wade through mountains of crap to get the rare gem that works properly (like one does in Windows software).
Having said that, I do have a flash for my DS, and I have several home-brew applications, some that I have written. No, I do not have a developer's machine, I merely acquired a freely available SDK about two years ago and a flash card.
Dare I mention the Jesusphone?
So because MS runs their business their way, all should do it? Since when is a judge a businessman or platform architect?
Stick to what you know, and you don't sound foolish. Or less often, in my case.
Nintendo: Ni! Ni! Ni! Ni! Ni!
French Judge: I fart in your general direction, sons of a silly person. Windows is an open platform, you tiny wipers of other people's bottoms.
So what's the problem
"Should be more like Windows where ANYONE can develop any application if they wish to."
As much as I dislike MS for their unsavoury business practices. I don't see the problem here. It's true.
Unsure what the effect will be for the Xbox though or the PS3 for that matter. If MS and Sony have the same requirements, they need to open up their consoles as well. This can only be a good thing.
"Unsure what the effect will be for the Xbox though or the PS3 for that matter."
Sony is probably in for an easy out on that one – hell, they even have a "Install other OS" option *in the main system setup menu of the console*.
An option being used by the Pentagon for installing Linux in order to chain the PS3s together and create a giant supercomputer.
Just need someone to write a dual boot program for the PS3 and I'm all sorted :)
that is not possible on the new slim ps3s. They changed the hardware, and can't be arsed to maintain the hypervisor (Other OS mode was just a PPC VM)
So MS is a paragon of openess, yes? OK...
So how about they let someone write a half decent DivX codec for the XBOX360, the one MS has it absolute tosh! VLC the free OSS player, can play practically any video codec on the planet, yet everyone else has trouble playing MPEG1 sometimes!
No, MS want to keep their system locked down so you have to drive the console using media spewed from that God-awful home-media server cack off Windows Vista/7 in streamed WMV format! That's their business, it's their console afterall.
So there's a fine example of your so-called sodding openess at work my friend!
Now why don't you go back to locking up kiddy-fiddlers and thieves caught nicking choccy's from the corner shop, keep out of tech you don't understand you daft old pillock!
iPhone App developers rejoice!
So where does this leave Hackintosh? In a French court? I'd assume so.
Jailbreaking your iPhone extends its feature set. In France.
Datel cards? France ftw
I'm sure there are other cases that clearly need lodging in France asap
All they need to do now is
Spank MS for blocking non MS xbox memory cards in November and we will all be happy.
Title Goes Here
DS Flash cards are for playing pirated games, end of story. Just the same as chipped 360s are for playing pirated games.
People will go on about homebrew and such, but the DS screen and speakers are no good for movies or MP3s, Linux on the DS is fun till you actually try to use it and the homebrew library is pitful (Apart from SCUMM, which is also skirting the periphery of legality).
As for 'Openness' from Microsoft, anyone can download the XNA dev kit for the 360, but you have to cross Bill's palm with silver to actually put your code on your own console.
FAIL because, well, just because.
where to start with this, where to start
yes, DS flashcarts can be used for piracy, but they are mainly used for legally developed homebrew. stop waving the straw man with the eyepatch around...
MP3 & OGG sound pretty good when listened to on headphones, the main reason to run an MP3 player on a mobile device. or are you one of those twats who insist on having their tinny mobile phone playing some chav crap on the bus of train?
SCUMM is not skirting any periphery at all, it is firmly in lawful territory. hell, they even have some cool games that the original devs have put into the public domain or made freeware.
the only thing I will agree is your comment about microsoft.
Fail,because you are full of fail....
I only use my DS for emulators - Atari 2600, C64, Speccy, Colecovision, NES, Master System, Megadrive, SNES, Gameboy, NEOGEO... All with complete game sets (Except for the NeoGeo due to storage reasons.
Going to look into sorting out the Amstrad CPC 464 next!
The DS homebrew scene is pretty strong, just like my original XBox which has an even larger suite of emulation goodies (A few N64 games on there running through Surreal64 multiemu)...
With all that coolness, you realise how crap the vast majority of "native" games are :)
..this will be the same France where it is illegal to sell off your second hand perfume in the on-line car boot sale.
But fair enough, you can't go round telling Microsoft that they must embrace other peoples browsers and then tell Nintendo that they should be able to have it all their own way. I am not sure what the situation is with the iPhone. I though it was not illegal to sell software for it, but Apple won't sell it from their shop unless you pass their mysterious criterion first.
What's the problem?
MS have always allowed anyone to develop and deploy tools for use on their OSes. It was one of the major selling points of DOS- it was even on the adverts. They even provide- free- tools to do the job (Visual Studio Express, and to a lesser extent VBA in MS Office).
Good on the judge for being open-minded.
Ah, c'est bon.
Full marks to the French for seeing that vendor lock-in is anti-competitive and ultimately harms the consumer.
re: "Say What?"
"It's a gaming device, not a general purpose computer. Does Microsoft allow all and sundry to develop games to run on the xbox360?
No. No they don't."
Actually, I think they do. They have the XNA Game Studio which allows anyone to write and publish games for the XBox 360 via XBox Live.
I don't know the judgment beyond what this article conveys, but I'd imagine it just says that if somebody else builds a device to open your platform then good luck to them - not that if you create a platform then it must be open. The other stuff is likely just exposition around the actual legal fact and some slightly weird interpretation by Max Console.
Not that I'm against modding, I have a couple of R4's for my ds lites, awesome little things.... but I don't think the judge really understood what he's proposing here.
It can't be long before somebody sues microsoft in france now - first for blocking 3rd party memory cards (locking out other manufacturers from your platform), and second for crippling features like install to hdd if you get caught with a modded box... I'm can only imagine the judge will then be telling microsoft to be more like Nintendo, who openly embraced homebrew on their platform via flashcarts, once they were told. :)
Shurely shome mishtake?
These are Console memory cartridges we're talking about here. You know, the very thing that MS themselves have just successfully sued the fuck out of someone for making clones of?
Still, I suppose the Judge gets 10/10 for sheer irony value here.......
"The judge sounds like some old technologically challenege guy who thinks a Wii is a bodily function!"
Yes he is out of step with recent developments, but to me he sounds more like the little boy pointing to the emperor's new clothes. He's just saying, "Hang on, this isn't *right*.". More power to his wrinkly elbows, if you ask me.
Develop for 360
While anybody can develop for the Xbox 360, one cannot produce your own CD/DVD and go on to sell it and I believe that's the point here.
Paris because, well, she'd never lock anyone out.
A bit like being told
to cheer up and be a bit more like Jack Dee.
Trying not to sound like an idiot...
...but I will anyway!
The problem pure and simple probably has nothing to do with homebrew and other apps. It's the fact that these cards can be used to play illegal downloads/copies of legitimate games with Ninty or any other developer/publisher making any money from them.
If we're going to look at Microsoft as an 'open' platform or whatever maybe we should take into account the thousands of people they banned for modding their 360's. Yes, doing so can mean that people can play copied games and stuff but there are also other things that modding can do which has nothing to do with illegal games. I assume that MS is not allowed to ban French users from Xbox Live for modding their consoles as it seems to be pretty much the same thing!
The only console ever worth having was the Atari
Big up for the VCS posse
Still got mine. Fake wooden finish and toggle switches.
Mmmm, toggle switches.
Paying for Playing on Xbox360
Nope, you only need to pay to release your games to other people.
You can write and test your games totally free, as in, doesn't cost you a bean to test the game you've written in XNA on a Xbox hooked up to your own network.
Which is nice :)
a load of comments on a Reg story that support (to some extent) Microsoft? Am i really seeing this????
bloody hell, it must be Friday...
Hang on a minute...
Didn't microsoft recently get sued for this exact same behaviour over Xbox 360 cards?
What a bloody awful ruling!
Not sure which is worse, the Judge using the word 'should' in a ruling, the judge saying anything should be more like Windows or the ruling itself that prevents Nintendo from protecting their proprietary hardware and software licensing.
Whenever a judge says something should be like something else they are not in fact stating something that is supported by law, they are stating something that is supported by personal opinion. Now, I'm well aware that judges give legal opinions all the time, however those legal opinions are not the same as personal ones, and they have to be based in the law, not personal belief.
Windows is most certainly not an open platform, trying to develop for Windows without getting Microsoft to divulge the innards of Windows is like trying to extract a brain tumor with your bare hands. It's a bloody and messy business fraught with unknowns and mistakes.
As for the ruling itself. It sounds as though the judge has a bit of a freetard streak running through them. Nintendo was seeking to protect it's proprietary hardware, something that is most likely covered by multiple patents and trade secrets, against infringement. Not only that but the infringing product also bypassed their system security allowing unlicensed software to run on the Nintendo console. People are framing this as if it's a DRM issue, and it's not. The DMCA would have an impact in the USA because the cartridge in question undeniably circumvents the security of a digital system which is a clear violation under the DMCA. But elsewhere, not so much.
However, the ruling makes no sense at all because it effectively sets a precedent that blocks consumer electronics makers from using proprietary hardware in their products. Any CE product that uses built in security or proprietary hardware to prevent unlicensed third party products from interacting with their product would be found guilty under this precedent. So for example a cordless phone manufacturer could not use a custom encryption scheme to prevent a competitor's hand set from working with their base station. The implications of this judgement are quite far reaching.
The other thing that bothered me is this thought that the judge found that although the cartridge being challenged by Nintendo did circumvent Nintendo's system security, it also added functionality not provided by Nintendo, and this somehow makes the circumvention of security OK. Eh? Run that by me again. It's OK to break the security on a device as long as you extend functionality? That's bollocks that is. That's a fine justification for home brew development, but it's not a justification for allowing a product to circumvent a manufacturers security. Nor is it a legal defense.
I imagine that Nintendo will appeal this to a higher court.
As for those saying that MS does so allow anyone to do whatever they want with their Xbox360, perhaps you should remember that MS recently perma-banned about a million 360s because they had been modded to allow home brew software and playing pirated games. XNA is a development environment that while inexpensive is still something you pay for, so not everyone can do it, Not only that, but XNA imposes limits on what you can and cannot do and manages home-brew development within Microsoft's manages and secure network. In other words, claiming that XNA is somehow equivalent to home brew is rather like saying that a parrot in a cage is just as free to fly as a parrot in it's native environment. Clearly it is not.
Protecting from what?
"the ruling itself that prevents Nintendo from protecting their proprietary hardware and software licensing" ..... what?!
Once I have bought something, with my own money earned by hand or by brain, it belongs to ME. What I do with it once it's mine is absolutely NONE of the manufacturer's business (well, unless I throw it through their window).
"Any CE product that uses built in security or proprietary hardware to prevent unlicensed third party products from interacting with their product would be found guilty under this precedent. So for example a cordless phone manufacturer could not use a custom encryption scheme to prevent a competitor's hand set from working with their base station." -- well, they aren't allowed to anyway! That's the whole idea of DECT: any handset must be able to work with any base station. You have to compete fairly on price and features, not by erecting artificial barriers to competition.
"The implications of this judgement are quite far reaching." -- Yes; and as a consumer -- remember? The poor sod who pays the manufacturers' wages -- I wholeheartedly applaud it.
to anyone suggesting that more openness could hurt Nintendo
I draw attention to the successes of iD Software, the pioneers of the field.
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