Crypto Company Turns Games It Doesn’t Own into NFTs, Quickly Deletes Them

As recently as last week, the Retro Arcade Collection was dubbed a set of NFTs meant for “preserving abandonware games on [the blockchain].” In practice, that meant playable demos for games like Blizzard’s Blackthorne and Remedy’s Death Rally had been embedded into NFTs without any authorization by those games’ rights holders. A week later, following inquiries from Waypoint, the NFTs were removed after “some NFTs got reported.”


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/n7nxxb/crypto-company-turns-games-it-doesnt-own-into-nfts-quickly-deletes-them
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Crypto bros taking things that aren’t theirs and not doing basic research into the legality of something? I’m absolutely shocked.

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Oh, I would bet that they knew it wasn’t legal but did it anyway. It’s not clear from the article whether they sold these for money (and if so, how much) but since they’re quickly pivoting into their other projects this just seems like another way to attract other people to scam.

And to make a minor point, given that (to my knowledge) NFT’s can’t themselves hold much data they likely were not “preserving” anything except a proof of ownership for their web game to read.

Copyright is bad, and NFTs are bad, so I’m not sure who I actually want to win this one…

Well, okay, copyright is a good thing since it is a social contract that art should be supported with resources and artists should be able to live on their work. But it is grossly corrupt and disgustingly manipulated at this point. NFTs are completely useless in every single case and do nothing at all, so, I guess I’m rooting for copyright?

Ew.

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Silicon Valley startup heads, and ignoring regulations for profit? Name a more iconic duo.

This was my understanding also which made me confused when I read this:

On April 22, the Retro Arcade Collection launched to demonstrate MetaGravity’s ability to embed playable software within an NFT, when the NFT was viewed on OpenSea, one of the larger NFT marketplaces. And it worked, too. It was janky—getting the browser to recognize my keyboard was a pain—but it worked.

I looked around for more information but mostly came up with either links back to this piece or fluff PR from the company, and my eyes started glazing over.

I know everyone is exhausted by NFT shit by now but I kinda wish Waypoint had the bandwidth to get an expert to review the details and pick apart what’s actually happening when they report this kinda stuff

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The screenshot of the listings show them going for around 0.058 eth which google says is $112. Seems a little expensive for a copy of Zool, but like all NFTs it’s about some imagined speculative investment that will totally skyrocket any day now I swear. I’m curious how many actually sold and if it’s enough to justify getting lawyers involved beyond just sending out some DMCAs.

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Patrick didn’t have to suffuse the article with his barely concealed disdain for NFTs, but he did it anyway and I appreciate that.

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Given crypto creeps have already made a habit of stealing other people’s work, this kinda seemed inevitable. Seems like a natural extent of people stealing stuff from DeviantArt and minting other people’s tweets.

There’s this implicit myth all over the internet that abandonware is essentially public domain. It’s not. All it really means is that no one is enforcing the copyright. There’s nothing stopping the copyright holders from starting to enforce it again. The thing here, where they’re saying “well, it’s freeware, so we should be able to use it” is patently absurd. How on earth did they think they could get away with that?

Copyright is deeply flawed, as others have discussed, but stopping scumbags from stealing your work and re-selling it without your consent is the exact reason the idea of copyright exists in the first place. I’m mostly just baffled. The NFT community is fully under the impression that they can just do fucking anything, huh? The world is not under a GNU license.

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Ironically, the world being under GPL would probably limit the usefulness of NFTs like this anyway [since GPL means you have to share stuff, not restrict it].