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Guest Shingen

Abandonware: The Issue, The Games, The Gamers, The Creators

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Guest Shingen

I can across this post on the underdogs forum (ie: refering to first post in thread)

What do you guys think about the issue??

Please note that I am NOT talking about software piracy, but abandonware.

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Yeah publishers suck from time to time (read : often). Like one said, publishers aren't gamers first, they're businessmens first.

I found an interesting article on CNET.

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One important note regarding Abandonware:

If the software comes with a EULA, it's not Abandonware, and can therefore be considered pirated.

Like Mr. Silverman stated in his answer to the question, there may be sections of code within the software that were written and copyrighted by other individuals or companies who still hold the license for that code and may still hold a binding contract for royalties.

Tracking down developers and/or publishers for permission to distribute out of production code is pragmatic at best.

Personally, I would consider any software, whether it's out of production or not, pirated if it doesn't contain some type of freeware statement wtihin the files.

"The preceding 1337 free diatribe was brought to you by the letter 3"

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quote:

If the software comes with a EULA, it's not Abandonware, and can therefore be considered pirated.

Really? That's taking it to an extreme. You didn't remember this in you speech, did you?

Er, and clarify the term "freeware statement". It's kinda confusing me. If you pay for something, it can't be freeware. Unless portions of it are, then they have to make some sort of credit.

______

Hehe. You could always wait until the Copyright expires if you really wanna be um, legit.

quote:

How long does copyright last?

The Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, signed into law on October 27, 1998, amends the provisions concerning duration of copyright protection. Effective immediately, the terms of copyright are generally extended for an additional 20 years. Specific provisions are as follows:

* For works created after January 1, 1978, copyright protection will endure for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. In the case of a joint work, the term lasts for 70 years after the last surviving authorÔÇÖs death. For anonymous and pseudonymous works and works made for hire, the term will be 95 years from the year of first publication or 120 years from the year of creation, whichever expires first;

* For works created but not published or registered before January 1, 1978, the term endures for life of the author plus 70 years, but in no case will expire earlier than December 31, 2002. If the work is published before December 31, 2002, the term will not expire before December 31, 2047;

* For pre-1978 works still in their original or renewal term of copyright, the total term is extended to 95 years from the date that copyright was originally secured. For further information see Circular 15a.

lol.

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Guest Shingen

quote:

Personally, I would consider any software, whether it's out of production or not, pirated if it doesn't contain some type of freeware statement within the files.

well, technically, if the files aren't released my the developer/publisher then it would be piracy...

but I think the real question is: Does releasing out-of-date, non-retail, un-supported games as "abandonware" hurt the game industry, or ultimately help it???

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Guest

IMO, if the game is no longer sold in stores and technology has left it so far behind its not even in the company's own website.. then its abandonware.

In 10 years or so see if you can find Wing Commander 1 in Origin's website.. or see if you can even buy a copy directly from them. You wont be able to.

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I'm a supporter of abandonware, period. The one reservation I had was that admins should seek permission first, but that Underdogs post really blew it out of the water.

That CNET article is quite interesting.

The writer used the analogy of stealing a car from a parking lot to describe software piracy. I think that in the case of abandonware, the car is being salvaged from a junkyard. However, I do accept that there are some factors that make freewaring impossible for some software (the previously mentioned issue of licensed code), which is why abandonware site admins should always cooperate when asked to remove a title by the owner.

The use of a Microsoft representative on the side of the publishers in that article made me laugh under my skin because it contributes to my next point.

Apart from the accepted factors, I can only think of two reasons why publishers would be against abandonware, and they're the two reasons that they would never admit (especially the second reason):

1. When their current software is a clone of their old software.

2. When their old software is better than their current software.

[ 04-26-2002, 03:42: Message edited by: Menchise ]

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Guest Shingen

There's is also another point to the issue:

Almost 99% of ALL the games that I have EVER DL'ed from a site, I have PAID for at one time or another.

The fact that the game is 5 years old or better, and I DIDN'T have the sales receit at the time, DOESN'T NEGATE the fact that I paid for the game... and since there is no out-of-pocket production/maintenece costs to the publisher/developer for me to DL off a fan site, how the hell can it be concieved a piracy???

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Because when you buy a game, you buy a single license... and legally, when you get rid of the game, you get rid of the license. So you have no (legal) right to donwload the game even if you had it

This legal crap was brought to you by Epsilon 5

[ 04-26-2002, 12:21: Message edited by: Epsilon 5 ]

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Guest

I have a huge box stuffed with old floppy disks with games like Tie Fighter, MOO, MOM, X-Com I, etc etc. Because of their "age" those disks are full of CRC errors and are unusable.

I still have the disks..the boxes (in most cases)... but not the game itself. Yet I can download these games from abandonware sites and get my fave games back. I still play MOO and X-Com... best games of the old days.

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Ahem. First, I'm the guy who wrote the CNET.com article. In the two years since I've heard it all.

Second, Marc Saltzman wrote a much more in-depth article for Gamespot.com a few months ago - here's a link:

http://gamespot.com/gamespot/features/pc/abandonware/

When reading the CNET article, please keep in mind that it was one of the first of its kind - I interviewed people at software associations who had never heard the term before I came along. Now things are different.

Cheers!

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Guest

I can imagine it...

"Whutware?"

"Abandonware"

"Ah yes my wife uses those, you can even microwave them.."

"No sir, as in abandoned software. Abandonware."

*blink*

"Old games downloadable from the web sir"

*shock* "like... free?"

"yes"

*calls lawyer*

[ 04-29-2002, 15:23: Message edited by: Tac ]

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Different that everyone knows what the term Abandonware means.

I agree with the 2 points that Menchise said. To add a third point to it, companies sometimes re-release older games in "packs"; another way to keep squeezing cash from a perhaps abandoned game.

I enjoy old-school games. NES, SNES, and DOS/Win9x based games; those were the days....

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quote:

Originally posted by Cmdr Nova:

To add a third point to it, companies sometimes re-release older games in "packs"; another way to keep squeezing cash from a perhaps abandoned game.

Epic megagames does that. I wanted to get Solar Winds ep2, but it's only available in pack of ten games for 20 buck. I just want Solar winds! I had ep1 on a diskette a few years ago

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This is why computer games (and computer software in general) should be classified as actual products instead of "Intellectual property" with copyrights.

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