According to two reports – one on Atari User and another on 8-Bit Rocket, lawyers representing Atari are taking aim at the retro Atari community. The most recent actions on Atari's part include sending a cease and desist letter to atari2600.org, a website that has been registered by Andrew Davie since 2000. For more than a decade Davie has used his site to highlight his non-commercial programming efforts for the classic Atari 2600 console.
Davie Told Atari User that he received a cease and desist letter signed by Atari's SVP & General Counsel, Kristen Keller. The letter demanded that Davie begin making arrangements to hand over his web site – atari2600.org – to them, claiming that the because the domain name contains the Atari brand ("Atari"), in its entirety, they have a legal right to it.
Davie says that he is "disappointed" with Atari's approach to the situation and is considering his position. Clearly, if Davie has owned and operated his web site for over ten years, Atari may have a hard time taking possession of it.
Atari also recently went after Starsoft Berlin, another hobbyist site that creates and promotes demos for the Atari platform.
While the Atari 8-bit enthusiast community doesn't know what Atari is up to with all these lawsuits, some are suggesting that the company is simply cleaning out the barn before bringing many of its classic franchises to new platforms such as mobile devices and social networks.
Thanks to Uncharted NES for the tip.