Originally Posted by -Acid-
Yes but as someone already stated, there is no money in suing hobbyists not that it would even get past a cease and desist order. Besides that with the complex state of who holds what copyrights, you could probably just claim whoever was taking action against you didn't have the right to, it would most likely take them years and more money than they had trying to prove they owned the copyright
Could be, but then who knows how this plays out when you're actually at the receiving end of such a lawsuit.
I take it that current laws in the USA and Europe provide enormous leverage to go after even those accused of intellectual property infringement. The law is blunt, so to speak, and the subtle points of your actions may not be handled well by it. Money may not even be an issue either, as the parties who may come after you would be doing this because of contractual obligations (as in "we granted you the right to use this material under specific circumstances and you will lose that right if you fail to police its use").
I don't know about you, but I have come to view caring for software as a responsibility. Software ought to be useful. How would you achieve this if you are running the gauntlet of avoiding getting tripped up by whoever is after you for tinkering with code you were not supposed to be using? User feedback being as important as it is, how do you listen and respond to it if you end up having to do so clandestinely? Seems like an awful lot of distractions to me, where at some point you'll have to consider whether the effort you spend on making the software work well has come to be overshadowed by the effort spent on evading the agents of law and/or justice.
I can easily imagine causes which in my eyes would justify this effort (e.g. PGP comes to my mind, even Tor). But some small Amiga hardware driver? That seems to become even smaller as you look at it.
That said, if there is a reason to work on the 68k Amiga operating system of old, I think it ought to include being able to cooperatively work on it, within the legal boundaries that exist. If this old operating system has to live on and grow, it cannot do so in the shadows only.