we once lived in the beforetimes
Game Development Art Projects Archival Projects Hot Hyperlinks Read my Diary

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

It didn't start intentionally. I never intended to archive old home pages as memorials for people. I didn't even know most of these people personally. It began because these people had maintained incredibly niche home pages that also happened to have extremely important information on them.

The first one was the Betrayal at Krondor Help Web - a project that Professor Eysteinn Björnsson maintained for over 20 years until his death. I needed some help getting past a game-breaking bug in Krondor, and that site was the only place that had some information on it. I had only planned on mirroring the site's old data for other players... and overnight that turned into becoming the BaK Help Web's new webmaster. And then more people connected to Krondor died, and suddenly an obituary page became necessary.

A few months after that, my friend Geoff died. Geoff and I were old graduate school acquaintances. Most people knew him because of his academic career. But I knew Geoff primarily through his NakedMUD engine. After he died, his NakedMUD home page was wiped. I was insulted that all of the work he poured into that passion project was suddenly gone, and only wanted to mirror it so others could enjoy his hard work again. I ended up writing a eulogy, that won't do him a damn bit of good, but having the chance to explain to the world what a special man he was sure gave my heart some peace.

And then last week happened. I was searching for some old Simpsons icons for my classic Macintosh (an LC 475), and stumbled upon an entry on the garden called Banned Simpsons Icons. (Who could resist downloading something with a title like that?)

They were called the "Banned Simpsons Icons" because Fox once sent the artist - Jeanette Foshee - a cease & desist letter for her uncannily perfect renderings of the copyrighted characters. It was a big deal at the time, way back in 1995.

Jeanette wrote,

Well, I have some bad news for you. There won't be a Volume 5. Friday I got home to find an overnight letter from Twentieth Century Fox. It was from their legal counsel saying that my icons were copyright infringement, and it issued a cease and desist order, and said my icons were to be deleted everywhere, and they'd look into recovering whatever profits I'd made (which will be $0.00, as I never asked for money)...

You can read the rest of the letter here.

I noticed that it listed the icons as available for purchase, and I thought: hell, why not give the Jeanette some well-earned cash for her awesome icon pack? After all, I had downloaded it way back in the mid-90s when I was a teenager!

Except - the artist's site was dead. Google has been nuking old "Google Sites" homepages for the past year. I figured that the artist might have moved her stuff to another site, so I googled her name...

Next Page


About Me