Thread: Abandonware
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Old 07 May 2003, 18:26   #7
Mr Creosote
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Posts: 527
obviously if these sites host the games, they have to give the impression that it is OK to do so
How much more can you simplify an issue? Let me show you some quotes from sites you don't visit:
We don't claim ownership on the software titles offered here. All of them are classed as Abandonware though. That doesn't make it legal to download them in any way! Unless you own the original, you're commiting a crime by copying any of the files to your computer (unless it's clearly stated that this particular game/application is freeware). Just like we're commiting a crime by offering them.
Despite the fact that publishers no longer derive revenues from these games since they have stopped selling them (and any revenues from retailers that still sell them were gained a long time ago, at the time of sales), it is illegal to distribute them.
Is it legal?
Simple answer: no. According to current laws, copyright lasts 50 years after the author's death, or in the case of a company 75 years from its initial release. So unless you find copyrighted software made more than 75 years ago, it's not legal to copy.
I doubt more is needed. You'll find statements such as this on almost every Abandonware site. Not what you suggested:
Some sites go to great pains to explain that since you can't currently buy said game, then the public has the right to just take it. Which is just not true.
I don't want to discuss this further, all I'm asking of you is to keep your prejudice away from things you (admittedly) have no idea about and which not interest you.
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