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Last week I was embroiled in a Copyright dispute. Well actually it was probably more like a libel case; let me explain.
In case you’ve not heard about it, there is a new Spectrum on the block. The Spectrum Next. It had a very successful Kickstarter and is due to be released in August.
Back in January I was contacted by someone, let’s call them BoB, who asked about licensing the engine for The Lords of Midnight. Now, obviously there is no ‘Engine’. I do have the original z80 code that I hand disassembled, the 80×86 code that I ported, and the various bits of code that I have developed of the years. The nearest thing to an engine is the ‘The Midnight Engine’ which is the underlying code used in my recent remakes. Now, that code is 90% mine, there is no code in it from the original spectrum versions of the Lords of Midnight or Doomdark’s Revenge. However, they wouldn’t exist without the original, and they obviously heavily interpret Mike’s original algorithms etc… because they were written to play, and expand upon The Lords of Midnight. The copyright to that code is mine. I have spoken previously about making it available to anyone who would like to do something non-commercial with it.
In June BoB contacted me again about developing a fan remake of The Lords of Midnight on the Spectrum Next, to which I answered in principal there is no problem doing so.
I possibly need to give that some context, to the whole. me giving permission.
Over twelve months ago I started sowing the seeds that would allow for a remake, and had many ideas and plans for it. The team have covered a lot of ground and many great ideas have come out of a lot of discussions and work.
For me there are many reasons why I have now come to this decision, but ultimately, it just boils down to me not being able to make the project work in a way that I originally envisaged.
The rest of the team are continuing with the project and I leave it in the capable hands of Dan Whitehead and Dave Gautrey.
I wish the team all the best and hope they have much success with the game.
‘From Bedrooms to Billions’ ‘A 90 minute feature length documentary film telling the remarkable, true story of the British Video Games Industry between 1979 – 1996. The film shows how the creativity and vision of a relatively small number of individuals allowed the UK to play a key, pioneering role in the shaping of the billion dollar video games industry which today, dominates the modern world’s entertainment landscape.
They originally contacted Mike Singleton for an Interview which he agreed to, but due to his health at the time was unable to do. To put it in perspective he’d just had a chunk of his jaw and tongue removed, and even by the time of his death he was not talking clearly, although close friends and family were able to understand him.
The only known footage of Mike was from a BBC interview for the program Get Set which was transmitted Saturday 28th May 1983.
Unfortunately, the BBC have long since deleted this VT!
Anthony and Nicola are trying to track down anyone who may have recorded this program, and still have it.
Of note, Ultravox and China Crisis performed on the show, and therefore it is likely to have been recorded for either of those performances.
If you can help, please get in contact at http://uvuperformance.com.
Here is the full details of the show.
GET SET – Broadcast 28/05/1983
NMRN314N TX 28/05/1983 (programme Junked by BBC!)
MAG PROG 1:37:10
Kids mag prog pres live from NBH M’cr by Mark CURRY & Deborah APPLEBY.
Guests Ultravox, China Crisis, Mike SINGLETON, Mike READ. Items; competitions, music, cartoons, the VideoVote, guests, COMPUTER GAMES, dinghy sailing & fun, fun, fun!
live studio; sp s, ex-lib & cpyt film inserts; sp s, ex-lib & cpyt promo
ITEMS; MUSIC: Ultravox perf 3 songs live – ‘Hymn’ (5m26s), ‘We Came to Dance’ (3m52s) & ‘Serenade’ (3m24s). Videovote – viewers phone to choose their fave pop video from 4 clips; winner – ‘Bad Boys’ by Wham! China Crisis – Mark
INTVs Eddie LONDON & Gary DALY from China Crisis & intros promo vt of their new single ‘Tragedy & Mystery’.
Demonstration of latest COMPUTER GAMES with Mike SINGLETON.
Summer Scene -vt/film round-up of events around UK. Also; dinghy sailing,
INTV with Mike READ re ‘Great Rock & Roll Trivia Show’, Book Tokens competition, cartoons.
SUBCAT LONPROG FILING DATE 28/05/1983 CIN LISC 244292
REPORTERS : APPLEBY Deborah, CURRY Mark
CONTRIBUTORS : DALY Gary, DEMPSEY Mick (DIR MAG), HARRISON Tony (PRD MAG), LONDON Eddie, READ Mike, ROACH Barry (DGN), SINGLETON Mike