Saturday, November 29, 2014

All Hail the New Blog

     What are the origins of the name of this blog "Demon Castle Dracula," you ask? Let's go back in time to some good ol' retro gaming history first.  In the 1980's a company by the name of Galoob, made a cheat device that hex edited Nintendo NES games in runtime RAM.  For whatever nonsensical reason, this made Nintendo furious.  They took out a lawsuit claiming that Galoob violated their intellectual property by changing copyrighted codes.  This of course was impossible to prove, however the courts bought it, and Nintendo won the lawsuit by the time the SNES Game Genie was out.  Galoob lost millions, and retreated away from the gaming industry.

     Fast forward to the inception of my website, midway through the lifetime of Geocities (circa 1994).  My website's name is a mistranslated form of the Japanese game Akumjou Dracula, known in the states, and outside Japan, as CastleVania.  As far as I know you can not copyright the mistranslated forms of titles, although the world never ceases to amaze me.  My site was originally a link to a lot of fan made CastleVania projects, which eventually started in the concept of ROM hacking.  Basically it is a form of modding games that were on systems where they could not normally be modified.  This is done by editing changes to code that was dumped off the original game.
     The copyright laws of the 90's and the 00's were quite complicated, then came the introduction of the DMCA laws, or Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  This gave companies a much faster way to complain about individuals, or groups, misusing their intellectual property.  It was a very scary law, for the internet, that made bigger companies that hosted communications websites very nervous. They were quick to jump to block content for any, no matter how silly, complaint, without verifying it first.  This has been the way the internet has worked up through now.  While the law claims to protect intellectual property, it has been abused by companies that throw bogus claims out, to try to either steal, by claiming as their own, or intimidating individuals into surrendering their intellectual property.  The system to fight wrongful claims is nonexistent, outside of lawsuits, and the cumbersome appeals process of hosted communication websites.

     Now, back to my website.  By the time it was starting to become popular, DMCA threats, none of which were ever shared with me, caused my site to move servers several times, even change languages.  Much like Galoob, mistakenly thinking that you could change code to an item without it being an intellectual copyright mess, I found myself in a dilemma.  Even though my site had disclaimers that only the modified data was allowed, and you had to find the source material yourself, this still wasn't enough to satisfy those whose intent was to bring it, and its like, down forever.
      So by mid 2014 my site finally came down.  I held onto the domain name, unsure of what to do with it, but by Thanksgiving 2014 I decided to make it a somewhat random mixture of a gaming and current affairs Blog.  There you have it, in case you ever wondered. RIP old site, and all hail the new Blog.

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