Lems and the Law
I'm working on a project that is based on (or should I say, is a derivative of) the original Amiga version of Lemmings. Now, given that I would like to make the finished product available for download, this raises a couple of questions:
Both Psygnosis and DMA Design are now dissolved / bought out / whatever, and even if they weren't, I reckon Lemmings' earning potential has long ago expired and passed into the realms of historical curiosity. In light of this (and seeing as how copies of the ubiquitous Skid Row cracked version are so widely available on the intertubes anyway!), is anyone be likely to bothered if I distribute a game derived in part from an 18-year-old copyrighted piece of software?
If so, I did have a secondary plan: to distribute a package which doesn't contain any original data, and requires the user to provide a copy of the original disks. How they then choose to come by that data is their own business. :-) However, that raises a further problem, namely that the original disks are Copylocked, so my data-extractor would either have to break the protection or expect pre-cracked ADFs, both of which are less than legal!
So what's generally the deal with the legal side of emulation/retrogaming? I suspect it's "technically illegal but tolerated in practice"... If anyone has any input it'd be much appreciated :-D