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Thread: Saturn Homebrew Drama

  1. #1
    Hero of Algol TrekkiesUnite118's Avatar
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    Default Saturn Homebrew Drama

    So I figured I'd bring this up here. As some of you may know I've been more active in the Saturn Homebrew community for the past few years. Lately we've had a thorn in our side festering in the form of a Saturn oriented Facebook group. To get right to the point, the owners of this group have been using the homebrew games and translation patches many of us have created for their own benefit. This includes but is not limited to the following:

    • Claiming to be affiliated with Sega and that the pirated material they provide is an official Sega Archive.
    • Taking credit for translation patches they had no part in making. (Originally made it appear they were the ones coordinating my Grandia Translation patch as well as the Sakura Wars Translation).
    • Taking credit for homebrew games they had no part in making. (Released VBT's port of Wolfenstein 3D and other peoples ports of Flashback, etc. as "lost prototypes")
    • Selling people's homebrew games and translations without their knowledge or permission. (VBT's port of SMSPlus! with a bunch of Roms. They sold it as a prototype of a "Sega Master System Collection.")
    • Distributing projects with copyrighted material violating the software license. (VBT's port of Wolfenstein 3D with the full retail WAD, my port of Final Fantasy with the NES ROM, etc.)
    • Accusing the SegaXtreme community of distributing malware. (KnightOfDragon made a new Sega Saturn patching utility that creates proper images to make patching easier. If the patch creator wishes it can check for patch updates. They accused it of being malware because it's written in .NET).
    • Banning all mention of SegaXtreme and pretty much the entire homebrew community from their group.


    Basically it's become a very toxic situation for us and any attempt on our part to deal with it civilly has been met with middle fingers. We eventually started to discuss the idea of making a splash screen to effecitvely state "This was created by SegaXtreme. If you got it elsewhere or paid for it you've been scammed." This immediately led to me getting this deranged message in my PMs on discord:


    Long story short, if you see people trying to claim SegaXtreme is spreading malware or that applying patches or getting homebrew from that site is "not safe" it's effectively not true. The owners of this particular facebook group are effectively trying to benefit off of other peoples hard work while giving them the middle finger. I'm simply posting this so that people know to avoid this group for the cancer that it is. The group in question is this one: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1750615984951970/
    Last edited by TrekkiesUnite118; 01-18-2022 at 10:03 PM.

  2. #2
    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingOutrunner
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    First of all, why haven't you reported the group to FB, cops, and/or Sega lawyers? Certainly at least FB should take action if they're distributing your copyrighted assets.

    Second of all, why would you make a video reading a post out loud instead of posting the text? That wastes everyone's time, I had to youtube-dl it to get at the text at a high enough resolution to read it.

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    Most of the community really appreciates all the translation activity you guys do, I can only imagine how infuriating it is to have some pass off your hard work as their own or mask it with various untruths.
    Thanks for putting the truth out there !

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingSports Talker HyperSnugz's Avatar
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    I think the implication here is that he at least reported it to FB but they just ignored it.

    And also holy fuck, that message stinks of bullshit more than a cow field.

    I'm sorry you and the others doing the work have to go through this. Disgusting what people will do for a profit and worse still him using others to defend their vile actions in his deranged message.
    The 32X deserved to exist, if only to pave the way for the creation of the best waifu ever.

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    ESWAT Veteran Team Andromeda's Avatar
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    How some of these scum sleep at night, I do no know
    Panzer Dragoon Zwei is
    one of the best 3D shooting games available
    Presented for your pleasure

  6. #6
    Hero of Algol TrekkiesUnite118's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roce View Post
    First of all, why haven't you reported the group to FB, cops, and/or Sega lawyers? Certainly at least FB should take action if they're distributing your copyrighted assets.
    As far as I can tell Facebook doesn't have that as an option to report groups. Their reporting mechanism seems to be aimed more at hate groups, terrorism, etc. They don't appear to have one for reporting something like piracy. As for going to Sega, we have considered that however it is the nuclear option. Saturn homebrew is still in a state where it very much relies on using Sega's libraries and tools. In theory you could argue the legality of how these tools were obtained, but it still probably wouldn't help. Most of them come from either people buying official devkits and discs on auction sites, or even back to the 90's when Sega had a developer portal that was open to all on the internet with an FTP server with all that stuff.

    Basically Saturn Homebrew is still in a state where we don't have a full or almost full clean room SDK to work with yet like Genesis and Dreamcast have with SGDK or KallistiOS. Work is being done on that with YAUL, but it's still very much a work in progress with some features just not being available or fully working. A lot of developers as a result are still using SBL or SGL with the intent of moving to something like YAUL when it gets more fleshed out. Also JoEngine is still SBL and SGL, it's mostly just a wrapper to try and make those libraries easier to use.

    Going to Sega about it puts the entire homebrew and dev scene at risk of getting a Cease and Desist.

    Quote Originally Posted by roce View Post
    Second of all, why would you make a video reading a post out loud instead of posting the text? That wastes everyone's time, I had to youtube-dl it to get at the text at a high enough resolution to read it.
    Even in full resolution the thing was unreadable. Putting it through Text To Speech was the only way I was able to get through it. I made the video for easier sharing of it.

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingSports Talker HyperSnugz's Avatar
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    Technically they're breaching whatever licence the software has been distributed under by selling property that contains stuff not belonging to them (and furthermore, said contents having been compiled via commercial toolchains from over 20 years ago - with the system they were intended for being long discontinued and no longer officially distributed or used in any form).

    I'm no legal expert, but I feel like the more obvious issue here is the former, particularly with what was mentioned about the fact there are active efforts to develop a community SDK and that the current methods are being used simply as a "placeholder" of sorts until the toolchains and whatever are stable enough or such.

    I can see your concerns for certain about the situation being difficult to resolve on a legal level, since the illicit redistributors have basically given you the middle finger and stuck their bare arse out the window.
    The 32X deserved to exist, if only to pave the way for the creation of the best waifu ever.

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingNameless One Centrale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    Basically it's become a very toxic situation for us and any attempt on our part to deal with it civilly has been met with middle fingers. We eventually started to discuss the idea of making a splash screen to effecitvely state "This was created by SegaXtreme. If you got it elsewhere or paid for it you've been scammed." This immediately led to me getting this deranged message in my PMs on discord:
    Whoa, I didn't read it but judging by the wall of text, obviously you struck a nerve! All things considered, I think it's a great idea to include a splash screen, as well as some kind of secret code that you can enter that will reveal a similar message. Just make it extremely hard to find in the code.

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    Hero of Algol TrekkiesUnite118's Avatar
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    And now they're basically telling people our translation patches are illegal as well as unsafe to apply and possibly riddled with malware, and that only their pre-patched images are safe:



    For those curious the admin is the same one who sent me the crazy rant.

  10. #10
    Master of Shinobi
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    These kind of people exist in every homebrew community, you just didn't see much of them because the Saturn did not have one yet.

    Don't bother arguing with them, just report them on youtube/facebook/paypal and move on.

  11. #11
    Hero of Algol TrekkiesUnite118's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zyrobs View Post
    These kind of people exist in every homebrew community, you just didn't see much of them because the Saturn did not have one yet.

    Don't bother arguing with them, just report them on youtube/facebook/paypal and move on.
    How do you even go about reporting it to Facebook? The option for copyright infringement clearly states you must be the original copyright owner and be able to prove it, which for Translation Patches and Ports we are not the original copyright owners of the original games. All the other options are focused on Harassment, False Identities, Terrorism, and Fake News.

  12. #12
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    The translation work itself is the translators intellectual property, so if they post those as their own or try to sell them, then copyright infringement works.

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingOutrunner
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    You own the code to the FF port, do you not?

  14. #14
    Hero of Algol TrekkiesUnite118's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roce View Post
    You own the code to the FF port, do you not?
    Some of it, but it uses SBL which is owned by Sega.

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    The Gentleman Thief Baloo's Avatar
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    There is this idea that there is no copyright for creators of anything that would generally be subject to copyright if the creation is an unauthorized derivative work. Anderson v. Stallone, No. 870592 WDKGX, U.S. District Court, C.D. California. (1989). In that case, a screenwriter wrote a script using the Rocky characters that he said Stallone stole and used for Rocky IV. But the plaintiff had no copyright in the original parts of the work in the first place because it was unauthorized regarding its use of the Rocky characters created by Stallone. Hate to say it, but this is a murky and gray situation regarding these translations and ROM patches. You've done a ton of work into a copyrighted work that a company who doesn't seem interested in enforcing its own copyright is doing, but generally that means you don't own the work, the copyright holder can. They can use your work and market it as their own, or go for injunctions. And the other guys are ultra scummy and also violating copyright in selling them. Doubtful that there is recourse by the ROM hacker. Might as well tell SEGA what is going on.

    Selling to me is over the pale. But I think it's way too much of a tu quoque argument to say one rom hacker is stealing work because they are using another rom hack as a base. Any rom hacker can be called a thief by changing the base work without permission of the owner. It's like touching up a Da Vinci painting and saying it's annoying Da Vinci gets all of the credit for the original. Of course he does, you just enhanced the underlying original work.

    I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice.
    Last edited by Baloo; 01-20-2022 at 10:46 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by j_factor View Post
    The Sega Saturn was God's gift to humanity. This is inarguable fact!



    Feedback Thread: http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthr...ack&highlight=

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