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Full Screen Mario by Josh Goldberg is nice, but illegal

5 years ago34 views

Full Screen Mario is an amazingly meticulous browser-based re-creation of Nintendo's Super Mario Brothers console game from 1986.

Josh Goldberg, a junior at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, began working on his site in October 2012 as a computer programming exercise. When Josh began his project, he wasn't worried about copyright because he "didn't think it would be a big project," Goldberg told the Washington Post. Full Screen Mario is now getting 300,000 unique visitors a day.

Goldberg used HTML 5 to totally recreate the entire 8-bit Super Mario Bros. game brick by brick, level by level. You can play the game for free anywhere you can get an internet connection. The site got so popular that Boing Boing did an article on it, which got Goldberg even more attention.

Unfortunately the people over at Nintendo also got wind of the site and now are asking Goldberg to pull the plug. "Nintendo respects the intellectual property rights of other companies, and in turn expects others to respect ours as well," Nintendo said in an e-mailed statement. "Nintendo is seeking the removal of the content, as we vigorously protect against infringement of our intellectual property rights."

If copyrights were still 28 years, then Super Mario Bros. would actually be entering the public domain in about three months. The problem is that Nintendo has corporate copyrights for Super Mario Bros. which don't expire for 95 years. This means the game won't go public domain until January 2082. That is unless Congress decides to extend it even more.

While video game makers need copyright protection, a monopoly of almost a century seems a bit excessive. Goldberg's site is still operational - for now.


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