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ZX Spectrum Kickstarter firm pays overdue royalties

Elite Systems cancels contracts with developers whose games were used without payment

Longstanding UK games studio Elite Systems has reportedly paid all overdue royalties to developers whose titles were featured in its ZX Spectrum Elite Collection apps for iOS and Android.

ZX Spectrum Elite Collection was released in October 2010 and initially included six Spectrum games: Chuckie Egg, Saboteur!, Turbo Esprit, Harrier Attack, Buggy Boy and Frank Bruno's Boxing.

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Over the years a number of DLC packs expanded the collection to around 200 games. While Elite owned the rights to some of these titles, most were acquired through licensing agreements with their original programmers, with royalties promised for each sale. For numerous developers, these royalties went unpaid until now.

One of the affected parties, Dynamite Dan developer Rod Bowkett, told Polygon this week that Elite Systems has now cancelled its contracts with the developers in question and paid them all outstanding royalties.

"It seems this affair has finally been resolved," Bowkett said. "In addition our contracts with Elite have been successfully terminated thus preventing the company from legally using any of our games in any of their current or future products.

"This has been a very long haul for us, but hopefully a line has been drawn which will discourage similar copyright abuses in the future."

Shortly after completing a successful Kickstarter campaign for a Bluetooth ZX Spectrum keyboard for iOS, Android and Windows devices in January 2014, Elite Systems pulled its ZX Spectrum game emulator apps in response to the complaints about their legality.

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