Daybreak Games Enters Into Agreement With Project 1999

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Game Updates & Maintenance

NOTE: No EverQuest II content

I’ve been a huge fan and supporter of emulators for years, despite the totally unwarranted slight against them that they somehow constitute “theft”. Developers and players of emulators are typically the most passionate of played who have purchased these games many times and want to play them on a different platform. Some games are long forgotten and hard to acquire, so emulation is the best solution.

Recently, MassivelyOP has been extensively covering the popular SWGEmu with several live casts and interviews. Players who miss EverQuest as it existed shortly after launch had no option until the Project 1999 emulator appeared. SOE president John Smedley spoke fondly of emulators in his Reddit Ask Me Anything a couple of years back, and thus far SOE has taken no action against these sites. Still, the official policy has been that emulators are not allowed. Until now.

From the EverQuest forums:

An Update & Announcement from Project 1999!

If you’ve ever looked for people playing EverQuest on Twitch, you’ll often find fans playing on the Project 1999 servers (often referred to as just P99) and engaging with other members of the community via their Twitch chat. Project 1999 is a fan-based, not-for-profit, classic EverQuest emulation project.

The guys running Project 1999 are passionate fans of EverQuest and our work, and we’re fans of what they’ve been able to accomplish with support from the player community. So, we’d like to bring you the following announcement from the P99 crew:

“It’s been an exciting year for Project 1999 and we have some exciting news we’ve been really anxious to share with all of you. As some of you may be aware, in the past there has been both confusion and concern over the status of Project 1999.  We have recently entered into a written agreement with Daybreak Game Company LLC that formally recognizes Project 1999 as a fan based, not-for-profit, classic EverQuest emulation project. The agreement establishes the guidelines that we as a project must follow, but it will allow to us continue to update the game without risk of legal repercussions. As a show of good faith to support the efforts of Daybreak Games, we have decided to reschedule our expansion release as to not conflict with the upcoming new progression server being released in the coming weeks. We would like to personally thank all the folks at Daybreak and acknowledge how awesome it is for a company to work with and embrace the creations of their fans. This is really something that’s unique in the gaming industry.”

To read the rest of the post, please visit the P99 forums.

We’re proud that the EverQuest community is one of the most passionate and engaged groups of players in the gaming world. We’re glad we were able to reach an agreement with the team behind the fan-based, not-for-profit emulation project as they continue to share their love of EQ with many.

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Comments (13)

  • Wilhelm Arcturus

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    Your interesting interpretation of “theft” and its copyright implications aside, there are also issues with brands and trademarks. If you don’t defend them, if you let others use them freely, they can cease to be yours. Ask the people who used to use the words aspirin, thermos, or escalator as trademarks. Even now Kimberly-Clark is fighting the final action in the losing battle over the word Kleenex.

    And then there is the inevitable way that customers punish companies that do one nice thing. I expect, in the end, that Daybreak will somehow become the villain in this because they endorsed P99 but not some other project. Expect SWG fans to probe the limits of reality.

    Reply

    • unclex

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      the only issue with SWG is this.. DISNEY aka money hunger rat baster owes copyrights to anything star wars where day breaker might not care if they emulate some of there games the money hungry rat baster will

      Reply

    • Feldon

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      The copyright is on the name EverQuest. The game is called Project 1999. Don’t be daft with the Kleenex and coca cola analogies.

      Reply

  • xalmat

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    Regarding SWG, Daybreak has no say, as they never owned the rights to the Star Wars brand in the first place, only an IP license that expired.

    I am vehemently against P99 due to its blatant theft and use of EQ assets, even if it is a fan project. They should have made their own original IP that merely mimicked EQ mechanics. But since Daybreak now officially allows it, my stance is moot.

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      Emulation is not a crime. Preserving a game which is no longer available is not a crime. It’s preserving history. Copyright had been twisted into something grotesque. It used to be 22 years. Now it’s 125 years after the death is the author. Just because Disney has an army of lawyers. You guys are defending corporate greed.

      Sorry but people who view emulation of a game which is no longer available (swg, free realms, launch EQ) or for which the company is incapable of getting a profit (old nes, genesis, SNES, game cube, etc games), I’ll just say if you think emulation is wrong, and you have a DVR or ever used a VCR, you are a massive hypocrite.

      Reply

      • Xalmat

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        I’m very keen on the difference between fair use of media, time-shifting (via VCRs and DVRs), and blatant IP theft, thank you.

        Classic games can still generate a profit. See: GOG.com, Nintendo’s eShop, and so on.

        Emulation in general is fair game (ie a software emulation of a game console, especially one where the hardware patents and design patents are long since expired). Creating ROMs using rom copy devices for personal backup is fair game. Downloading ROMs off the Internet is theft.

        Like the copyright laws or not (i am not a fan of long term copyrights), they are still law. Same goes with the DMCA (which I am also not a fan of).

        Reply

        • mithreal

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          We speak as if “the law” was actually a meaningful thing when its really is nearly always in a state of being bought and sold to the highest bidder.

          Reply

      • Archangel

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        To emphasize Feldon’s proper understanding of “emulation”, ask yourself why AMD can “emulate” Intel CPUs.

        Here’s one explained legal reason why (or look up the court case):

        NEC v INTEL: Breaking New Ground In The Law Of Copyright
        http://jolt.law.harvard.edu/articles/pdf/v03/03HarvJLTech209.pdf
        “The status of copyright protection of computer programs has long been in a a state of confusion. In NEC Corp. v. Intel Corp., the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California shed some light on three previously unresolved issues in this murky and continually evolving area of copyright. The court ruled that: (1) microcode embedded in certain Intel microprocessors constituted copyrightable material; (2) reverse engineering of the microcode did not infringe the microcode copyright; and (3) independent “clean room” development of similar microcode was persuasive evidence of non-infringement.”

        “NEC v. Intel represents the first successful defensive use of clean room procedures to refute an allegation of copying. The holding may create a willingness on the part of courts to accept clean room evidence of noninfringement.”

        “The current status of copyright protection for computer microcode and software in general in inappropriate at worst and improvident at best.”

        Or more appropriately, Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc. v. Connectix Corporation. Sony won the case in district court, BUT lost the appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Court (3-0).

        SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT, INC. v. CONNECTIX CORPORATION
        203 F.3d 596 (9th Cir. 2000)
        http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/people/tfisher/IP/2000%20Sony%20Abridged.pdf

        Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc. V. Connectix Corp.
        http://scholarship.law.berkeley.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1299&context=btlj
        “In Sony v. Connectix, the Ninth Circuit concluded that Connectix’s reverse engineering” … “was protected fair use.” … “the decision is significant because it permits reverse engineering of software in the process of creating a product that will compete directly with the original.”

        Or Sony Computer Entertainment America v. Bleem, or …… The gist being Sony lawyers made software emulation legal in the United States, by consistently losing.

        While DBG is not part of Sony, the legal rulings/spankings remain valid.

        Although Feldon’s “DVR or ever used a VCR” is partially wrong and right, but I’ll skip those court cases. ;)

        /*

        “What are you, some kind of lawyer?”
        Mike Ross

        Reply

        • Feldon

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          Thank you for finding and quoting the case law.

          Reply

  • Eric Poling

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    Maybe I am just being cynical, but I don’t understand why DBG would endorse an emulator version of EQ (even an old version) if they intend to continue supporting it. There is a big difference between letting it be as it has been there for a while and formally recognizing it.

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      Because Daybreak does not offer players what Project 1999 does — a near launch version of the game without 10 years of changes.

      Reply

  • Eschia

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    Usually when a corporation says they’re in favor of something that is free which competes with them, I always get this feeling in my mind that they’re up to something shady.

    Reply

  • sspekt

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    Ya. I have to admit my own burgeoning cynicism gets in the way as well. Why am I cynical? Because at heart I’m an idealist who wishes better things for the world.

    As for P99 my guess is they will use it as a cushion for when they shut EQ down.

    I just really hope there’s a serious EQ 2 emulator out there.

    Reply

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