Commodore 64 licence deal heralds emulator clamp down

Dead for almost a decade, the Commodore brand name is about to be re-animated and with it one if the erstwhile home computer giant's best-known machines, the Am... sorry, the Commodore 64.

Well, sort of. Tulip, the Dutch PC maker which acquired Commodore in 1997, has licensed the C64 brand to one Ironstone. The latter is hoping to meet demand for retro-style games by offering titles that run on today's operating systems.

In other words, it wants to dominate the C64 emulation community and turn it into a commercial enterprise.

This is where it gets scary. Tulip has licensed to Ironstone "the exclusive rights to exploit the official Commodore C64 web-portal and use of the Commodore 64 brand name", the companies' joint statement says. Both companies "invite the Commodore community to join the official Commodore C64 web portal". Tulip will "not allow unauthorised use of the Commodore brand".

In short, join us or we'll get you. Commercial sites - of which there are over 300, Tulip claims, almost all of them unlicensed - will presumably have to cough up cash to continue using the Commodore and/or C64 brand names.

News source: The Reg

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