Thread: Abandonware
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Old 23 May 2003, 07:40   #35
IFW's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Age: 46
Posts: 1,838
Actually copyright depends on a lot of issues...
As for Amiga games that were contracted, one word: expiration.
Read any such contract and you'll see the contact expires within a given amount of time and all rights are back to the original authors.
If the company does not pay - seems common for Amiga games, including one still being sold: Myst, so that was w@rezed by the publisher... - they are breaching the contract and it is automatically terminated.
If company goes bust and they are supposed to pay a royalty for the product or supposed to produce new units from the game they can't do that and hence can't fulfill the contract, that means it is terminated.
Basically the majority of Amiga games software in reality owned by their respective authors, not anyone else, though many of them are unaware of the legal conditions. Therefore non-existant companies giving "permissions" for games where the contract expired for years, etc are nothing more legal than anyone downloading from the usenet.
The in-house work conditions are slightly different, but most software houses just published games (once they were nearly finished) and sometimes had 1-2 in-house teams to produce games, however it was more often that they gave up on in-house work and contracted a developer company - like Imagitec -, who practically all own their games by now. Since those companies normally worked again on contractual basis and royalty fees, again the copyright by now belongs to the developers and so on...

etc., etc., etc.

This is not as simple as many people think and we could fill pages explaining each situation, that I am too lazy/busy to do...

Last edited by IFW; 23 May 2003 at 07:46.
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