Imagine Publishing now own the rights to Crash & Zzap!64

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Re: Imagine Publishing now own the rights to Crash & Zzap!64

Post by Matt_B » Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:10 am

CraigGrannell wrote:Amstrad Action was a Future magazine. Amtix was the Newsfield mag, and, like Crash, is complicated in that the brand was offloaded to a competitor rather than staying with the original company.
Yes, but with Amtix being a bit of a short-lived flop, it was definitely Amstrad Action that filled the Crash/Zzap niche for the machine. With Chris Anderson and Bob Wade being ex-Newsfield employees too, it had a very similar style to them. As such, uniting the three brands under the Retro Gamer banner wouldn't seem too far fetched to me.

Anyway, given that the value of the names alone doesn't appear to be that much, let's hope the price they paid wasn't either, and there's still some money left to send the way of Oli Frey for the logos.

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Re: Imagine Publishing now own the rights to Crash & Zzap!64

Post by CraigGrannell » Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:18 am

I think the point is that Future is still a going concern, whereas Newsfield is not. That said, if Imagine wanted to buy some Future IP, now would be the time, given the firesale that's going on there.

As for logos and such-like, there really needs to be a conversation, although I would have imagined such a thing could and should have happened with Roger and Oli earlier. (Also, who's to say Oli will want to sell or even licence the logos? And even if Oli does agree to this, all that does is pave the way for resurrecting the brands in some form, but certainly not reprinting anything, which would be a massive copyright minefield.)
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Re: Imagine Publishing now own the rights to Crash & Zzap!64

Post by paranoid marvin » Mon Nov 03, 2014 3:18 pm

RG has used logos and other stuff close enough to warrant copyright infringement claims if they were ever going to appear. And of course it has used Oli artwork old and newly designed, so obviously they're on good terms there.

I do wonder what can actually be done with the licence given that it's for a machine way past it's commercial life. I guess they could reissue mags in PDF format for download at a small cost, but is there really enough market interest out there ready to pay to read old game reviews and features?
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Re: Imagine Publishing now own the rights to Crash & Zzap!64

Post by CraigGrannell » Mon Nov 03, 2014 6:30 pm

Existing 'tribute' logos aren't the same as using the real thing, and as for terms, we have no idea of any agreements that have been in place, nor how the relationships were or indeed are. It's pretty clear things have at least been cordial between Imagine and the ex-Newsfield guys, given the amount of reused Oli Frey art; but it remains to be seen how that relationship will continue, what with the announcement that was made, and the nature in which it was done.
paranoid marvin wrote:I do wonder what can actually be done with the licence given that it's for a machine way past it's commercial life. I guess they could reissue mags in PDF format for download at a small cost, but is there really enough market interest out there ready to pay to read old game reviews and features?
Well, no they couldn't do that—at least not legally. First, you'd have to strip all the ads. Secondly, you'd have to strip everything that wasn't created in-house, because back then contracts were not 'forever', but instead were based around very specific time- or issue-specific rights usage. And that's assuming Imagine even owns the rights to any of the IP and not just the names 'Zzap!64' and 'Crash'. Given what I know and that's largely public knowledge about the rights situation for the old Newsfield content, though, reprints in any format would be next to impossible and open up Imagine for all kinds of legal problems.

And, yeah, there's no market anyway. If you want those magazines in PDF, they're easy enough to find online; if you want them in print, you may as well scour eBay for the originals. And unlike Retro Gamer, the mags are now almost pure nostalgia, given that they were so heavily based on reviews, news and previews. The bulk of a typical Retro Gamer, on the other hand, will remain far more relevant 20 years from now.

Perhaps I'm missing something, but I don't really see anything here beyond Damian Butt realising a long-held dream of securing the rights to something he once loved. There doesn't really seem to be any business opportunity, and even using the brands within existing Imagine magazines would seem oddly out of place and divisive.
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Re: Imagine Publishing now own the rights to Crash & Zzap!64

Post by paranoid marvin » Tue Nov 04, 2014 7:19 am

CraigGrannell wrote:Existing 'tribute' logos aren't the same as using the real thing, and as for terms, we have no idea of any agreements that have been in place, nor how the relationships were or indeed are. It's pretty clear things have at least been cordial between Imagine and the ex-Newsfield guys, given the amount of reused Oli Frey art; but it remains to be seen how that relationship will continue, what with the announcement that was made, and the nature in which it was done.
paranoid marvin wrote:I do wonder what can actually be done with the licence given that it's for a machine way past it's commercial life. I guess they could reissue mags in PDF format for download at a small cost, but is there really enough market interest out there ready to pay to read old game reviews and features?
Well, no they couldn't do that—at least not legally. First, you'd have to strip all the ads. Secondly, you'd have to strip everything that wasn't created in-house, because back then contracts were not 'forever', but instead were based around very specific time- or issue-specific rights usage. And that's assuming Imagine even owns the rights to any of the IP and not just the names 'Zzap!64' and 'Crash'. Given what I know and that's largely public knowledge about the rights situation for the old Newsfield content, though, reprints in any format would be next to impossible and open up Imagine for all kinds of legal problems.

And, yeah, there's no market anyway. If you want those magazines in PDF, they're easy enough to find online; if you want them in print, you may as well scour eBay for the originals. And unlike Retro Gamer, the mags are now almost pure nostalgia, given that they were so heavily based on reviews, news and previews. The bulk of a typical Retro Gamer, on the other hand, will remain far more relevant 20 years from now.

Perhaps I'm missing something, but I don't really see anything here beyond Damian Butt realising a long-held dream of securing the rights to something he once loved. There doesn't really seem to be any business opportunity, and even using the brands within existing Imagine magazines would seem oddly out of place and divisive.

That is certainly the ultimate collector's dream ; to own that which they loved as a kid. I suppose there would be some mileage in one-off tribute,or 'best of'' magazines - you only have to look on the Speccy and C64 (and now Amiga) books that have been massively overfunded on Kickstarter (and of course RG itself) to see that there are people willing to pay good money for retro done properly. Obviously they would have to only go with stuff that has got past the legal eagles. As for old ads - they appeared quite often in 'old' RG; and say for example they reprinted a 'Silica Shop' or 'Cassette 50' ad - are they really infringing anyone's rights by re-printing these ads? And if they were would anyone know (or even care) I'm guessing there would be more time spent arguing over who owned the rights to what than would be worth the time spent.

I do also wonder whether the possible re-issue of the old Speccy and C64 (among others) bookazines may somehow be linked into this.
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Re: Imagine Publishing now own the rights to Crash & Zzap!64

Post by the_hawk » Tue Nov 04, 2014 8:19 am

CraigGrannell wrote:Perhaps I'm missing something, but I don't really see anything here beyond Damian Butt realising a long-held dream of securing the rights to something he once loved. There doesn't really seem to be any business opportunity, and even using the brands within existing Imagine magazines would seem oddly out of place and divisive.
I remember the RG issue that had the Your Sinclair mag attached I absolutely loved that. I'm guessing there's a potential for a semi-regular pull out mag in the style of Crash/Zzap maybe with a few classic reviews & some homebrew.
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Re: Imagine Publishing now own the rights to Crash & Zzap!64

Post by CraigGrannell » Tue Nov 04, 2014 8:53 am

paranoid marvin wrote:I suppose there would be some mileage in one-off tribute,or 'best of'' magazines - you only have to look on the Speccy and C64 (and now Amiga) books that have been massively overfunded on Kickstarter (and of course RG itself) to see that there are people willing to pay good money for retro done properly.
Well, two things there. First, there have already been two Zzap! tributes, #107 and the SE that was available with Retro Gamer #18. Both, note, were done with the full blessing of Roger and Oli. But in terms of best-ofs, best of what? Those mags were fun to read at the time, but would there really be people who'd pay for what would ultimately be a collection of scans of old reviews? As for those books you mention, they're something else entirely: retrospective and beautifully designed bespoke collections, rather than just money for old (reprint) rope.
As for old ads - they appeared quite often in 'old' RG; and say for example they reprinted a 'Silica Shop' or 'Cassette 50' ad - are they really infringing anyone's rights by re-printing these ads?
Yes, they are. And although you're of course perfectly correct in noting they appeared in old RG, that was of course a different publisher and a different time. You'll note full-page reproductions of old content (or reworkings of it into something like a new cover) don't appear anywhere in the mag now, without express permission from rights holders.
And if they were would anyone know (or even care) I'm guessing there would be more time spent arguing over who owned the rights to what than would be worth the time spent.
As someone who creates things, I'd hate to think we'd end up in a situation where that would be an acceptable position to take from what, remember, is a major UK magazine publisher. I can't for a second imagine Damian Butt or anyone would just forge ahead regardless, without securing rights, purely on the basis that would be so staggeringly wrong from a moral standpoint. In other words, just because you can get away with something, that doesn't mean you should—and it'd only take one stubborn rights holder to torpedo everything.
the_hawk wrote:I remember the RG issue that had the Your Sinclair mag attached I absolutely loved that. I'm guessing there's a potential for a semi-regular pull out mag in the style of Crash/Zzap maybe with a few classic reviews & some homebrew.
Branded sections had occurred to me, perhaps with design reminiscent of the old mags. But Zzap!64 and Crash are but two of a huge range of well-remembered mags, and most of the others would be beyond Imagine's reach, unless Butt has very deep pockets. But, yeah, perhaps they'd work as a rebrand of old bookazines, but even then you'd end up with a name, possibly a logo if a deal can be reached with Oli, and then a load of content that, unless hugely redesigned, doesn't remotely resemble either magazine in the slightest.
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Re: Imagine Publishing now own the rights to Crash & Zzap!64

Post by ianpmarks » Tue Nov 04, 2014 4:10 pm

Your Spectrum/Your Sinclair was always the better magazine.

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Re: Imagine Publishing now own the rights to Crash & Zzap!64

Post by The Laird » Tue Nov 04, 2014 4:48 pm

ianpmarks wrote:Your Spectrum/Your Sinclair was always the better magazine.
Have to agree.

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Re: Imagine Publishing now own the rights to Crash & Zzap!64

Post by knight_beat » Tue Nov 04, 2014 6:14 pm

At this stage we can't assume that Crash/Zzap will be used for retro content. Imagine could be looking to launch a kids games mag, competing with 110% Maximum and ROBOT, or even some kind of online mag.

That said, if Imagine feel the urge to put their money into Crash #99 and #100, I won't stop them.

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Re: Imagine Publishing now own the rights to Crash & Zzap!64

Post by The Laird » Wed Nov 05, 2014 5:26 pm

What would be really cool would be if Imagine made new issues of Crash and Zzap with new content. I was thinking they could get all the existing writers and freelancers they have to write reviews of their favourite games, bung in a few features and publish like a real issue 8)

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Re: Imagine Publishing now own the rights to Crash & Zzap!64

Post by stvd » Wed Nov 05, 2014 5:34 pm

CraigGrannell wrote:But in terms of best-ofs, best of what? Those mags were fun to read at the time, but would there really be people who'd pay for what would ultimately be a collection of scans of old reviews?
Yes.
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Re: Imagine Publishing now own the rights to Crash & Zzap!64

Post by paranoid marvin » Wed Nov 05, 2014 5:54 pm

stvd wrote:
CraigGrannell wrote:But in terms of best-ofs, best of what? Those mags were fun to read at the time, but would there really be people who'd pay for what would ultimately be a collection of scans of old reviews?
Yes.

I kind of agree. Not with wholesale scans of the mags, but some of the news/reviews/interviews; then vs now. And there are some interviews with coders who either sadly are no longer willing to talk, or even more sadly have passed away.

As I said, done properly people are willing to pay good money for retro done right.
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Re: Imagine Publishing now own the rights to Crash & Zzap!64

Post by CraigGrannell » Thu Nov 06, 2014 5:59 am

The Laird wrote:What would be really cool would be if Imagine made new issues of Crash and Zzap with new content. I was thinking they could get all the existing writers and freelancers they have to write reviews of their favourite games, bung in a few features and publish like a real issue 8)
Which they'd have to pay for, and you can bet the second RG did any kind of thing like this, people would start bitching about 'their' machine being ignored. (This happened around the time of the Zzap! tribute with issue 18, although that cost Imagine nothing apart from print costs, given that it was done entirely on the goodwill of Rob and those who assisted him.)
paranoid marvin wrote:I kind of agree. Not with wholesale scans of the mags, but some of the news/reviews/interviews; then vs now. And there are some interviews with coders who either sadly are no longer willing to talk, or even more sadly have passed away.
I think the issue I have with this is all of this content is out there anyway. So all Imagine would really be doing is scanning magazines someone buys from eBay, attempting to clean up said scans, and then selling them back to you. And the market for that must be terrifically small, especially given the sheer effort that will have to go into securing copyrights, in order to do this legally.
As I said, done properly people are willing to pay good money for retro done right.
I guess that's the thing—I don't see this idea as retro done right, although I can tell from here some others do.
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Re: Imagine Publishing now own the rights to Crash & Zzap!64

Post by The Laird » Thu Nov 06, 2014 6:19 am

CraigGrannell wrote:
The Laird wrote:What would be really cool would be if Imagine made new issues of Crash and Zzap with new content. I was thinking they could get all the existing writers and freelancers they have to write reviews of their favourite games, bung in a few features and publish like a real issue 8)
Which they'd have to pay for, and you can bet the second RG did any kind of thing like this, people would start bitching about 'their' machine being ignored. (This happened around the time of the Zzap! tribute with issue 18, although that cost Imagine nothing apart from print costs, given that it was done entirely on the goodwill of Rob and those who assisted him.)
I am sure paying them would not be a problem if it was going to be sold as a commercial product that makes money, just like RG is. And how can people censored? Zzap has always been a C64 mag and Crash has always been Speccy, there is no argument to have. I am not suggesting taking over RG, I am suggesting standalone magazines.

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