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Old 21 February 2019, 17:52   #1
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When are new (commercial) Amiga / CD32 titles considered 'free' nowadays?

Now that the 'retro-scene' is booming and new commercial games are being released for 8 and 16 bit systems, the question arises : when is it considered okay to spread / copy these titles (if ever)

Now at CSDB the policy is that new C64 titles are being spread about 1, 1.5 year after release (after the games had a good chance to sell).

How is this with new titles on the Amiga front? say a title like 'Reshoot' for the CD32 for example?

Or is it simply 'never'.

Last edited by Asphodel; 21 February 2019 at 22:23.
Old 21 February 2019, 18:36   #2

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How about asking the author of the game?
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Old 21 February 2019, 19:02   #3
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As long as the author (or better the copyright-holder) does not give its consent it is actually "never".

Certainly not as long as the product/game is sold in any way and the company/author is still reachable - and even if not and the software is abandoned it is still a rather dark grey legal matter ....
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Old 21 February 2019, 20:01   #4
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It's actually not a grey area at all: copyrighted material can only be spread when the owner of the copyright agrees. That these people/companies may be dead or out of business doesn't actually change this.

The only reason 'abandonware' works is that the people owning the copyright aren't complaining (probably because they're bankrupt, dead or just don't see how to make money of it any more). But make no mistake: it's in no way legal.

This is in part why copyright in it's current form is a bad idea in my opinion. It takes 95 years for anything to leave copyright no matter what. That is insanely long and totally unreasonable given the economic life span of copyrighted works and the stated intent of copyright (i.e. incentivize creators to keep creating new works).

Edit: as for the OP's question - I personally do not agree with spreading these new commercial releases at all (unless the author agrees). This is not some mega-corporation, but usually just some guy whose 'pocket money' is kinda being stolen here. And to me that feels totally different somehow. Maybe it's because I'm no longer 15

Last edited by roondar; 21 February 2019 at 20:10.
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Old 21 February 2019, 21:53   #5
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...95 years...
Disney: Hold my beer. Mickey Mouse coming to you in 324238th century.
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Old 21 February 2019, 22:07   #6
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Thanks for the answers. as long there's money made from it by the author I agree. But as there are a lot of Amiga talk on this site about modification and such of old titles , I can imagine that newer titles will get this 'status' too after a while. Ofcourse there's a lot of discussion too at CSDB about this topic, it just seems that the 1.5 year seems to be generally excepted in the C64 scene.
So I was just curious about the amiga side of things.
That said, the fact is that most new titles are also offered digitally, and games don't really need to be 'cracked' anymore in that sense. So spreading seems hard to stop.

Last edited by Asphodel; 21 February 2019 at 23:00.
Old 23 February 2019, 16:48   #7
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It's an interesting one I think.

The community seems open in talking about how "cracktros" were just part of life, and we all had "x-copy parties" back in the day.

I didn't.

The first time I met a "friend of a friend" who could "get you any game you wanted" it was like meeting a drug dealer or something.

But fast forward 30 years and only enthusiasts are writing games, as opposed to publishing houses whipping underpaid devs to meet deadlines.

So now it seems more frowned upon perhaps?


I've not yet tried any new stuff but I will.

Back in "my" day, I used cracked versions to "try" a game, and then I'd save and buy it.

...and to be honest, the cracked copy hardly ever loaded lol.
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Old 23 February 2019, 22:23   #8
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Openretro.org has a list of sites which offer game downloads seemingly with approval of the copyright holder

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