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  • In time for Xmas 2016
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  • May 8th - 12th 2018
  • May 12th 2018
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World of Spectrum

Searchable threads in one long post:

David Levy avoids paying games rights holders

David Levy and Teacher Stern work hard using backers money on lawyers fees to attempt to cover up and stall confirmation they have not paid the original Vega console royalties correctly to either games rights owners or GOSH. Instead they choose to allegedly contact coders from the 80s to try to disprove current trademarks and ownership of brands.

This email exchange is clear proof that David Levy does not want the Pandora's box of royalties open for inspection. Instead he uses endless email replies to obfuscate, lie and skirt around the truth instead of showing the correct amounts have been paid. Teacher Stern seem to go out of their way to aid him in this process even though they supposedly support the sick children's trust.

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Text version

From: Mark Greenshields <XXXXXX@firebrandgames.com>
Date: 7 November 2016 at 22:06:15 GMT
To: Darren Melbourne <XXXXXX@playdemic.com>, David Levy <david@retro-computers.co.uk>
Cc: Suzanne Martin <suzanne@suzannemartin.com>, Suzanne Martin <suzanne@suzannemartin.com>, Clare Toomer <c.toomer@teacherstern.com>, "Jack Rabinowicz" <j.rabinowicz@teacherstern.com>, David Levy <david@retro-computers.co.uk>, Simon Boschat <s.boschat@teacherstern.com>
Subject: RE: Kick Off [TS-TSSDocs.FID379493]
HI David

Whilst you have told me that you have paid the royalty you as seems to be what I hear standard practice, not provided me with proof.

Until I receive unequivocal proof of this and a correction to your erroneous press release I will not go away. Lack of proof could also result in legal action for a breach as I stated before.

Therefore if you have actually paid the royalty, make it simple and prove it. It is not hard for me to find out if this is not the case, but it is even easier for you to provide proof.

Mark Greenshields


From: Darren Melbourne [mailto:XXXXXX@playdemic.com]
Sent: Wednesday, October 19, 2016 5:28 AM
To: David Levy <david@retro-computers.co.uk>
Cc: Mark Greenshields <XXXXXX@firebrandgames.com>; Suzanne Martin <suzanne@suzannemartin.com>; Mark Greenshields <XXXXXX@firebrandgames.com>; Suzanne Martin <suzanne@suzannemartin.com>; Clare Toomer <c.toomer@teacherstern.com>; Jack Rabinowicz <j.rabinowicz@teacherstern.com>; David Levy <david@retro-computers.co.uk>; Simon Boschat <s.boschat@teacherstern.com>
Subject: Re: Kick Off [TS-TSSDocs.FID379493]

Hi David,

How ridiculous this situation is! It's kind of you to acknowledge that I don't own Kick Off, a fact that I've been trying to drum into you since you issued your press release when I immediately asked that you change it! I note that you've ignored my requests and the press release is STILL active and unchanged! Why?

Why would you openly acknowledge that I don't own Kick Off and still refuse to change the press release?

Why would you have stopped cc'ing Teacher Stern on this email chain? I've rectified this as I suspect that Mark will be dealing with you from a legal perspective and it's only fair and correct that they are kept abreast of proceedings!

Best Regards


Sent from my iPhone


On 19 Oct 2016, at 09:39, David Levy <david@retro-computers.co.uk> wrote:


We have now received an email from someone who is very well established in the business and who knows Dino Dini extremely well. We trust the contents of this email.

In our view this confirms what Darren says about him not owning the IP of the original Spectrum version of KickOff.

In our view it also confirms that you do not own that IP either.

As you say, your time and mine are valuable to us, so let us now call an end to this matter.




From: Mark Greenshields <XXXXXX@firebrandgames.com>
To: David Levy <david@retro-computers.co.uk>; Darren Melbourne <XXXXXX@playdemic.com>
Cc: Suzanne Martin <suzanne@suzannemartin.com>
Sent: Tuesday, October 18, 2016 4:30 PM
Subject: RE: Kick Off [TS-TSSDocs.FID379493]


Given the Spectrum version as with all versions was owned by ANCO and I bought all Kick off assets and IP, the chain of title is pretty clear. Just because someone wrote a game doesn’t mean they own the IP – Work for Hire contracts specify that as I am sure you know. So unless you have proof that someone else owns it without any conflict, my chain of title is unequivocal. Either way these arguments are futile because all I want is the credit AND a copy of the PAID statement paid to GOSCH to prove the agreed royalties are paid. My time and I assume yours is not worth all this going back and forth unless there is something I am unaware of in the income or plans.

Therefore send me the statement and proof of payment to GOSCH.




From: David Levy [mailto:david@retro-computers.co.uk]
Sent: Tuesday, October 18, 2016 5:05 AM
To: Mark Greenshields <XXXXXX@firebrandgames.com>; Darren Melbourne <XXXXXX@playdemic.com>
Cc: Suzanne Martin <suzanne@suzannemartin.com>
Subject: Re: Kick Off [TS-TSSDocs.FID379493]


As I thought I had explained, the fact that you have established a trademark in your name is not proof that you own the IP rights to the original Spectrum version of the software. IP rights and trademark ownership can be held by different people/entities.

Please bear with us while we check this out. We are awaiting responses from people who we are fairly certain will know who owns the IP to the software for the original Spectrum version. As soon as we have that information we will let you and Darren know.




From: Mark Greenshields <XXXXXX@firebrandgames.com>
To: David Levy <david@retro-computers.co.uk>; Darren Melbourne <XXXXXX@playdemic.com>
Cc: Suzanne Martin <suzanne@suzannemartin.com>
Sent: Monday, October 17, 2016 3:18 PM
Subject: RE: Kick Off [TS-TSSDocs.FID379493]


That is not indeed accurate. I will not be showing you a legal agreement with confidential terms. I can show the agreement exists and a portion of the content but the commercial terms etc will remain confidential.

That aside you KNOW that Firebrand Games Ltd has the only legal trademark and you have checked that, so that is required to be acknowledged.




From: David Levy [mailto:david@retro-computers.co.uk]
Sent: Monday, October 17, 2016 9:14 AM
To: Darren Melbourne <XXXXXX@playdemic.com>
Cc: Mark Greenshields <XXXXXX@firebrandgames.com>; Suzanne Martin <suzanne@suzannemartin.com>
Subject: Re: Kick Off [TS-TSSDocs.FID379493]

Hi Darren,

We are making enquiries investigating the ownership of KickOff. The problem we have at the moment is that Paul Andrews put your name into our database as the owner of KickOff, and himself as the person to whom royalties should be paid (or who can tell us to send those royalties to GOSH). If we were now to accept what you say, remove your name from the database and change the press release accordingly, it would leave us admitting that we are using a game for which we do not know the identity of the rights owner, which clearly we cannot do.

We have asked Mark Greenshields to provide us with documentary proof as to his claimed ownership, but he refuses to do so. This refusal does not help the situation.

Please bear with us while we continue our enquiries.




From: Darren Melbourne <XXXXXX@playdemic.com>
To: David Levy <david@retro-computers.co.uk>
Cc: Mark Greenshields <XXXXXX@firebrandgames.com>; Suzanne Martin <suzanne@suzannemartin.com>; Clare Toomer <c.toomer@teacherstern.com>; Jack Rabinowicz <j.rabinowicz@teacherstern.com>; Simon Boschat <s.boschat@teacherstern.com>
Sent: Monday, October 17, 2016 1:54 PM
Subject: Re: Kick Off [TS-TSSDocs.FID379493]

Hi David,

I don't know how much more clearly I can state this but for the sake of clarity let me repeat it again! I don't own Kick Off, I've never owned Kick Off and I've never stated that I do! Apart from playing the original game on the Amiga and producing/play testing Mark Greenshields superlative NES & S-NES conversations I've never had anything to do with Kick Off!

May I therefore once again respectfully request that you amend your erroneous press release as I don't want Mark Greenshields trademark compromised by your error!

Best Regards


Sent from my iPhone


On 13 Oct 2016, at 11:12, David Levy <david@retro-computers.co.uk> wrote:

Hi Mark,

I write further to my emails of earlier this morning.

Please send me copies of all relevant agreements with the Anco insolvency practitioner and Eidos plc, and any other documentation needed to establish beyond reasonable doubt that your company has been and still is the rightful owner of the Kick Off game for the Spectrum.

As you will have gathered we have already removed Kick Off from our compendium of games for future production runs, and given the problems this whole matter is causing we would prefer to leave it that way.

With regards to retrieving royalties already paid to Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital Charity, is that really what you wish us to do (assuming of course that we come to accept that you are the rightful owner of the game)? The amount involved is very modest. It would be better if you were to ask Darren to pay that sum to you, since it was he who claimed ownership of the game and instructed us to pay the royalties to Great Ormond Street.

KInd regards,



From: Mark Greenshields <XXXXXX@firebrandgames.com>
To: David Levy <david@retro-computers.co.uk>
Cc: Suzanne Martin <suzanne@suzannemartin.com>; Clare Toomer <c.toomer@teacherstern.com>; Jack Rabinowicz <j.rabinowicz@teacherstern.com>; Simon Boschat <s.boschat@teacherstern.com>; Darren Melbourne <XXXXXX@playdemic.com>
Sent: Wednesday, October 12, 2016 8:35 PM
Subject: RE: Kick Off [TS-TSSDocs.FID379493]

Hi David

The company is Firebrand games LTD and not Firebrand games and publishing Ltd (I own both but the latter is indeed dormant). Firebrand has been successfully trading since 2003 and is very active.

The company was in a CVA, that is correct, but it came out successfully quite some time ago. Either way the company was and remains the legal holder of the rights.

We purchased all rights from the insolvency practicioner for Anco after Mr Gupta’s passing, and subsequently from Eidos PLC who had some rights. We also registered separately the trademark, which I am sure you can find multiple trademarks registered to us when searching the trademark register.

Whether Mr Melbourne or Mr Andrews are registered in your database or not is not quite honestly my problem. I am the sole owner of Kick off through my company and have the legal agreements for all registrations as well as purchases and I am stating your product contains MY IP without permission. If you have a signed agreement for the use of this IP please supply me with a copy so I can deal with the other party who signed an agreement they did not have the permission to do..

Any of my other companies whether registered at Mr Melbourne’s address or otherwise has no relevance in this. I have many companies and many commercial interests. I have known Mr Melbourne for decades and used his address as a registered address for a company I own 100% of and have sole control of.

Further my residence in the US has no relevance to the royalties. They are owed to a UK registered company in good standing and as such it is entitled to collect the royalties without set off. Under OECD rules there is no tax with holding between the UK and USA.

I trust this will be clear and you will supply the relevant details.

Yours sincerely

Mark Greenshields


From: David Levy [mailto:david@retro-computers.co.uk]
Sent: Wednesday, October 12, 2016 2:10 PM
To: Mark Greenshields <XXXXXX@firebrandgames.com>
Cc: Suzanne Martin <suzanne@suzannemartin.com>; Clare Toomer <c.toomer@teacherstern.com>; Jack Rabinowicz <j.rabinowicz@teacherstern.com>; Simon Boschat <s.boschat@teacherstern.com>; Darren Melbourne <XXXXXX@playdemic.com>
Subject: Kick Off [TS-TSSDocs.FID379493]

Dear Mr Greenshields,

Your email to Clare Toomer has been forwarded to me so that I can reply to you direct.

You will already have received my email to Darren on the subject which explains that your name was omitted from the spreadsheet we use as the basis for our royalty communications and payments.

My email to Darren also explains that we will need proof of your ownership of KickOff if we are to amend our spreadsheet data for that game.

There are only two reasons I can think of why your name was not put into the ownership column on our database - either Darren Melbourne told Paul Andrews that he owns the rights or Paul Andrews thought that Darren had told him that Darren owns the rights. Either way, as you will appreciate we cannot simply change ownership data that we were given on a number of occasions during the last year merely on the basis of an unsubstantiated claim from someone else to the effect that they own the rights to a game. It is also noted that you have a commercial relationship with Mr Melbourne going back some years.

Furthermore, on an inspection of the Companies House records for Firebrand Games Publishing Ltd we note that the company is variously described as "dormant". We also note that Firebrand Games Limited as having only recently emerged from an insolvency arrangement (see below). Under the circumstances, in addition to providing proof that your company is the owner of KickOff, could you please advise us as to how that ownership came about.

We also note that you are the sole director of a company Napa Investments Limited Co, a company that is Registered at the residential address of Mr Melbourne, namely 26 The Chase, Knaresborough, North Yorkshire HG50SY.

Finally we note that you are a resident of the USA as stated at Companies House. When providing proof of ownership please also provide details of your tax status so that we can ensure we have deducted and/or paid any relevant taxes in relation to your claim, in the event that you can provide proof of ownership.

Kind regards,

David Levy
[Chairman - Retro Computers Ltd]

2 Insolvency cases
The law requires some Scottish company and LLP insolvency documents be filed with the Accountant in Bankruptcy (AIB). Find further details at AIB's register of insolvent companies <http://roi.aib.gov.uk/ROI/>

Case number 2 — Corporate voluntary arrangement (CVA)

Date of meeting to approve CVA5 February 2014 Date of completion or termination of CVA18 March 2016

Practitioner Kenneth Wilson Pattullo
Third Floor Finlay House, 10-14 West Nile Street, Glasgow, G1 2PP

Case number 1 — Corporate voluntary arrangement moratorium

Moratorium start date16 January 2014

Practitioner Neil Dempsey
7 Queens Gardens, Aberdeen, AB15 4YD

Practitioner Kenneth Wilson Pattullo
7 Queens Gardens, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, AB15 4YD


From: Mark Greenshields [mailto:XXXXXX@firebrandgames.com]
Sent: 12 October 2016 17:23
To: Clare Toomer; 'Darren Melbourne'
Subject: RE: Kick Off [TS-TSSDocs.FID379493]

Dear Ms Toomer

Thank you for your responses to Darren Melbourne concerning the Kick Off IP which I own exclusively, in addition to owning the exclusive trademark in the brand.

If indeed royalties have been paid which I understand is not the case please have the statement forwarded to me immediately with proof of such payment. In addition any payment must be recalled from whoever it was paid to and paid to Firebrand Games Ltd, the exclusive rights owner of Kick off.

Without the countersigned agreement and indeed payment, Retro Computers Ltd has no rights whatsoever to include my title in the VEGA or the VEGA + and are in both breach of copyright and trademark infringement as I am sure you will be aware.

I require the press release removed immediately and a new one issued confirming your error and that indeed Kick off as included in the VEGA is (c) and tm Firebrand Games Ltd and to supply me with confirmation it has been done.

In addition no use can be made in the VEGA until this is resolved and indeed a separate SIGNED agreement by both parties exists. For clarification I require the countersigned agreement for the original VEGA, the royalty statement and payment of the royalties due, the retraction and issue of a new press release with the correct information asap. If this is done we can discuss inclusion in the new hardware. I will require a piece of the original hardware sent to me and one of the new hardware to prove it is not in place (unless a new agreement is in place).

It is of no relevance who did the licensing in the past. I am only concerned with the illegal use of my IP and the immediate fix of this by the company that is and has used it commercially.

I look forward to your reply and reparations on the issues contained within.

Yours sincerely

Mark Greenshields

Managing Director

Firebrand Games Ltd


From: Clare Toomer [mailto:c.toomer@teacherstern.com]
Sent: Wednesday, October 12, 2016 10:34 AM
To: 'Darren Melbourne' <XXXXXX@ideaspad.co.uk>
Cc: Mark Greenshields <XXXXXX@firebrandgames.com>
Subject: RE: Kick Off [TS-TSSDocs.FID379493]

Dear Sirs

Paul Andrews (a former director of Retro Computers (“the Company”)) was responsible for all matters relating to games, rights owners and royalties. Following his resignation, the Company received a spreadsheet (which Mr Andrews prepared) containing details of all Vega games and various details associated with each.

The rights holder of Kick Off is shown as Darren Melbourne for whom the contact email address is XXXXXX@andrewsuk.com <mailto:XXXXXX@andrewsuk.com> .

Royalties in relation to Kick Off have been paid.

We ask that you direct any future queries as to royalties / any other operational matters etc to the Company directly.

Yours faithfully

Teacher Stern LLP

Clare Toomer


t +44 (0) 20 7242 3191 x 3322

f +44 (0) 20 7197 8066

d +44 (0) 20 7611 4872

m +44(0) 7813 544 948


Teacher Stern is proud to support Doorstep London and The Sick Children’s Trust as its nominated charities.


From: Clare Toomer
Sent: 12 October 2016 09:54
To: 'Darren Melbourne'
Cc: Mark Greenshields
Subject: RE: Kick Off [TS-TSSDocs.FID379493]

Dear Mr Melbourne

Thank you for your email as to Mr Greenshields and the “Kick Off” game about which we shall take our clients’ instructions.

Yours sincerely

Teacher Stern LLP

Clare Toomer


t +44 (0) 20 7242 3191 x 3322
f +44 (0) 20 7197 8066
d +44 (0) 20 7611 4872
m +44(0) 7813 544 948


Teacher Stern is proud to support Doorstep London and The Sick Children’s Trust as its nominated charities.


From: Darren Melbourne [mailto:XXXXXX@ideaspad.co.uk]
Sent: 12 October 2016 09:20
To: Clare Toomer
Cc: Mark Greenshields
Subject: Kick Off

​Dear Ms Toomer,

I note with interest that your client has issued a press release stating that my games have been removed from the forthcoming Vega+. I have included the link for ease of reference: http://retrocomputerslimited.com/2016/10/10/legal-notice-darren-melbourne/

The press release states that one of my games is Kick Off. Kick Off is owned by Mr Mark Greenshields who is cc'd on this email. Mr Greenshields also signed a contract with Retro Computers Ltd but never received an executed copy from your client, even though they went ahead and used his game on the VEGA. I introduced Mr Greenshields to your client but as for ownership of the brand or the game, this has never been asserted and therefore should never have been assumed.

I've spoken to Mr Greenshields who is distressed at the damage that this press release could potentially cause his organisation as he is in the middle of a trademark dispute and this ill timed and incorrect press release could damage his trademark claim.

Mr Greenshields will write to you independantly but in the best interests of his company and his brand I demand that the press release is immediatley withdrawn and a correction is made, acknowledging Mr Greenshields as the trademark owner for the Kick Off title and brand.

I also note with interest that Mr Greenshields has not recieved a royalty statement or payment from your client. There is little defence for this save for the fact that your client believed that Kick Off was licensed from me but then again I haven't received a royalty statement or proof of payment either.​ Mr Greenshields will communicate with you directy regarding this issue also.

Please ensure that your client makes their correction before the end of today, otherwise Mr Greenshields will most likely take further action.

Very Best Regards 


Darren Melbourne

SVP Licensing 

+44 (0)7973 XXXXXX
+44 (0)1625 XXXXXX


www.ideaspad.co.uk <http://www.ideaspad.co.uk/>

www.xsfitnessclubs.co.uk <http://www.xsfitnessclubs.co.uk/>

www.antstream.com <http://www.antstream.com/>

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Confirmation of the shilling that went on from certain individuals during this absolute scandal. What a disgrace!

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