Lawyers force “Tetris Clone� Quinn out of business - Macenstein

Lawyers force “Tetris Clone� Quinn out of business

Posted by Dr. Macenstein

You may recall a couple weeks back we clued you guys in to two free games for the Mac, both “borrowing� from arcade classic of the past. The first was AsteroidsQC, an update to the 80’s arcade hit Asteroids. The second was Quinn, a Tetris clone sporting some great features such as network play and customizable themes.

Well, over the weekend, lawyers representing the Tertis Company apparently sent a cease and desist letter to Simon Haertel and Chris Wells, the makers of Quinn. In the letter, the law firm of Norris McLaughlin & Marcus, PA alleges that Quinn makes unlawful use of the Tetris name, and violates copy-written gameplay elements as well, including “…downward, lateral and rotating movements of the differently oriented four-brick playing pieces, as well as the shape and appearance of the four-brick combinations comprising the playing pieces. Additional copyrighted features include, without limitation, the scoring features, the featres displaying the next four-brick playing piece that will fall down the playing field matrix, the disappearance of any completed horizontal row, the subsequent consolidation of the playing pieces remaining on the field as a result of the downward shift into the space vacated by the disappearing row. Further, the makeup of the playing field itself, i.e., the vertical matrix, higher than it is wide, with a base of ten individual “bricks� per horizontal row, and generally twenty individual “bricks� per vertical line, is also copyrightable expression�.

We here at Macenstein are big fans of Quinn, and certainly feel it is the finest Mac implementation of Tetris thus far. The fact that it is, er.. WAS, free made it even more dear to our hearts. And normally we LOVE rooting for the little guy when it comes to David and Goliath type lawsuits. However, we feel in this case the boys over at Quinn unfortunately do not have a leg to stand on. Quinn pretty much IS a carbon copy Tetris clone, and was even marketed on their web site as such. Every allegation in the cease and desist letter IS accurate, and it seems the Tetris company has every legal right to demand Quinn be pulled.

Quinn’s makers seem to realize this. While they are hoping to enlist the help of the online community to find a legal loophole that will allow them to continue to distribute Quinn, it seems their only rationale so far seems to be that the Tetris Company hasn’t updated their web site in over a year, leaving Tetris fans no other alternative but to seek to write their own game.

We wish both Simon and Chris luck in their fight, and hope they are somehow able to reach an agreement which allows Quinn to be reposted in the future. Luckily for us, we were able to download this gem of a game before it was pulled. Now the question is, how long before the makers of Asteroids catch wind of AsteroidsQC?

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