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Old 27 May 2016, 20:54   #223
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Originally Posted by JimDrew View Post
You can manufacturer a video card that is fully compatible with the Picasso96 software without any legal repercussions. You just can not include the Picasso96 software with the video card without permission/licensing, because that software is a copyrighted work.
I'm not sure that's true, the P96 readme on Aminet says there are no distribution restrictions for the archive, so a card manufacturer could include the lha with their card.

Originally Posted by JimDrew View Post
The only real issue I see is the lack of information about the driver structure that many of us are after.
Exactly, that's where the whole issue is coming from. The only public source of information about how to write a P96 driver is the uaegfx driver, because it's open source.

Various folk (most vocally, ThoR) have been suggesting that the uaegfx driver is maybe not kosher, in that there may never have actually been permission for it to be open source. I'm not aware of there having been a public statement by anyone who can definitively answer that (perhaps Cloanto could, they had some kind of business arrangement with the P96 authors for including P96 in Amiga Forever, and employed the driver's author, Brian King, at some point)

So, if that driver is questionable, any drivers derived from it would inherit its questionable status. Obviously the P96 authors aren't super concerned about this, because a) they have had the uaegfx driver in the P96 archive for at least 16 years, b) they don't appear to have asked for the uaegfx source to be taken down.
However, as far as we can tell, there's no expiry for copyright infringement claims to be made (unlike, say, a trademark infringement), so a new owner could play hard-ball with potentially all of the derived drivers.

You're absolutely right that there's no way that a piece of video hardware can infringe any copyright of P96. This is all about the drivers. A lack of certainty about the status of the vampire/matze/mntmn/etc drivers, and the lack of concrete DDK info.

Originally Posted by JimDrew View Post
I am hoping that Jens will "sell" developer kits. THAT is the only thing worth anything as far as the Picasso96 software is concerned.
His postings on the a1k forum (in German, so subject to translation errors) suggest that his intention is to release a new version of P96 that is no longer freely redistributable, instead it must be purchased from his online store, but he'll release the DDK for free.

I actually think that would be a fairly good outcome - sure nobody likes paying for things they've been using for free for a couple of decades, but in reality we should all have been paying the shareware fee for P96 anyway.
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