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Old 07 July 2007, 06:35   #1
atze
 
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Why is kickstart not freeware?

Ok, maybe someone got the copyright on KS. But when I look over there at Pc-DOS-Emulators, I ask myself: why? Why it is impossible to get a free copy of good old Amiga-OS-Roms to get all the Emulators running? Why do some people sit on those rights and cant imagine that because of this, Amiga software will (slowly) vanguish? No disk will be functional forever, and the web only serves you with things when enough people are looking for it.

FREE KICKSTART ROMS!

Ok - said enough, I go playing Monkey Island on ScummVM, Strike Commander, Master of Orion, Cannon Fodder, Battle Isle ... on DOS BOX >

... would like to see the good old parallax scrolling of the shooters again and those soundtracks! But I won't buy the cow when I can get the milk for free.
 
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Old 07 July 2007, 09:27   #2
APFelon
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Well, it's for the same reason people rob graves. There is money to be made off of of the corpses of nostalgists. Frankly I think paying hard cash for ROMs I already own to be hardcore shhmitty. I would call the people who own the software rights to the kickstarts petty, but that would be like calling a murderer a "willing life taker with poor motives".

"FIND" the ROMs that you own (if you have an old A500, download the kickstart ROMs and leave your guilt at the door) and play happy. Usenet is a brill place to start. Or simply Google them... kick.rom amiga

Go get them, tiger.

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Old 07 July 2007, 10:45   #3
alexh
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It is free
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Old 07 July 2007, 16:14   #4
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A couple of points you may want to consider.

DOSBox is not really comparable to Amiga emulators because all of the required software components were already available under free licenses before it was created. Remember DOSBox is not just an x86/BIOS emulator but it also contains a re-implementation of DOS i.e. it doesn't contain any protected code from the IBM BIOS or QDOS/MSDOS/PCDOS/DRDOS. The x86 PC is an open architecture whereas it is not clear who owns the Amiga rights, even if there was a willingness to release Kickstart for free the cost to reach an agreement with all interested parties may be prohibitive.

WinUAE includes a free Kickstart replacement that is enough to play most games, only programs that actually use ROM functions require a genuine OS ROM, also keep in mind that although a lot of people on EAB still own Amiga hardware and therefore have legal access to the ROMs whether this gives any of us the right to use Kickstart ROMs for emulation purposes is not known for sure.

With the above in mind you may as well just "steal it" as the chance of the rights holders being able to pursue a legitimate claim against any of us is negligible.
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Old 07 July 2007, 18:54   #5
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they should be free IMHO, but u can easily get'em...
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Old 07 July 2007, 18:58   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexh
It is free
hee hee
everythings free on the internet
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Old 07 July 2007, 19:16   #7
Marcuz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atze
Why is kickstart not freeware?
because.

anyway, nobody tells you how to "milk the cow" and whatever, you prolly know that already, but as someone makes his businnes legally (also) owning the copyrights [or whatever technicity the kickstarts are under] of this software, i don't think it's up to us to expres our alleged disdain in that matter.
this is getting old. oh no, it was that already. it's getting ancient.
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Old 08 July 2007, 06:48   #8
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The only roms I dont legally own are the A500/2000 3.1's, The A4000T roms and the 3000/T and CDTV Roms. But be buggered if I was going to make copies of my own, I just downloaded the buggers I needed. I really only use the 3.1 roms these days anyhow.
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Old 08 July 2007, 09:44   #9
Minuous
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Quote:
a lot of people on EAB still own Amiga hardware and therefore have legal access to the ROMs whether this gives any of us the right to use Kickstart ROMs for emulation purposes is not known for sure.
It's been firmly established that people holding a licence to the ROMs (ie. purchasers of said ROMs) are able to freely use dumps of the corresponding ROMs.
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Old 09 July 2007, 00:57   #10
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They may persue people who have the roms? Hey owners, ive downloaded all of the roms of the net!! so erm, ner ner ne ner ner!
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Old 21 July 2007, 19:47   #11
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The x86 PC is an open architecture whereas it is not clear who owns the Amiga rights, even if there was a willingness to release Kickstart for free the cost to reach an agreement with all interested parties may be prohibitive.
Ok, just a clarification issue here:

Are you saying that nobody actually knows who ownes the right to the Amiga Kickstart?

If that statement is true and can be proved, what is the point in all of us observing the issues of copyright and paying out money for a license, and not simply distributing said KS code? Are we not simply being, for want of a better word, "mugs"?
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Old 21 July 2007, 20:56   #12
Graham Humphrey
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Are you saying that nobody actually knows who ownes the right to the Amiga Kickstart?
Surely Cloanto do? And/or Amiga Inc? Or is it not quite that simple?
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Old 21 July 2007, 20:58   #13
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why does somebody not ask cloanto ? the power of email and all that.
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Old 21 July 2007, 21:02   #14
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why does somebody not ask cloanto ? the power of email and all that.
Assuming they don't have the power of the delete button.
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Old 22 July 2007, 13:27   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minuous
It's been firmly established that people holding a licence to the ROMs (ie. purchasers of said ROMs) are able to freely use dumps of the corresponding ROMs.
While I would be happy to argue that such actions are within the rights granted to license holders by Commodore I also recognise that this is only my opinion, whether a court would agree is pure speculation. My skepticism comes from this claim sounding a lot like other pieces of net-lore that have later proven to be false such as the incorrect claim of Windows downgrade rights by individuals (which is demonstrably false).

Again, I agree with you, but do you have any evidence to back up your claim? My interest in this point is genuine, I'm not just trying to wind you up.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbob2
They may persue people who have the roms?
Well yes, but my point is who are "they"? To successfully pursue a claim in court it would be necessary for a plaintiff to prove they are the rightful owner and that a loss has ocurred, with the mess of ownership that has existed since Commodore's collapse even an experienced IP lawyer would find this a challenge.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lloyd
Are you saying that nobody actually knows who owns the right to the Amiga Kickstart?
The situation is not clear in my non-expert, non-legal opinion.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lloyd
If that statement is true and can be proved, what is the point in all of us observing the issues of copyright and paying out money for a license, and not simply distributing said KS code? Are we not simply being, for want of a better word, "mugs"?
Copyright law is generally clear and unambiguous in so far as copyright does not need to be maintained in any way to remain technically valid, it remains in place for however long the appropriate statute specifies, the absolute minimum term for signatories to the Berne Convention is 25 years after the date of first publication (in most countries protection lasts between 50-70 years after publication/author's death). The situation gets more complex when the protected work has no commercial value, here in the case of Kickstart where the rights holder does not offer the ROMs for sale it would be (in my opinion) very difficult to pursue a claim for damages against somebody offering them for free on the Internet because the courts recognise actual losses only and not potential losses.

Note that I am talking about the actual rights holder here (whoever that may be) not a company like Cloanto who have at some point licensed Kickstart, Workbench, AmigaBasic etc. for distribution as part of their own commercial product.
Quote:
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Surely Cloanto do?
They definitely do not own it, on their legal page it is stated that they (Cloanto Italia srl) are "the holder of several Amiga-related intellectual property licenses".
Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham Humphrey
And/or Amiga Inc?
Probably but I really do not know.
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Old 22 July 2007, 13:32   #16
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Consider the MAME situation; people who have the relevant arcade machine are allowed to use the emulator for that, otherwise noone would be allowed to emulate anything, which is clearly not the case.
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Old 22 July 2007, 13:44   #17
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Copyright law is generally clear and unambiguous in so far as copyright does not need to be maintained in any way to remain technically valid, it remains in place for however long the appropriate statute specifies, the absolute minimum term for signatories to the Berne Convention is 25 years after the date of first publication (in most countries protection lasts between 50-70 years after publication/author's death). The situation gets more complex when the protected work has no commercial value, here in the case of Kickstart where the rights holder does not offer the ROMs for sale it would be (in my opinion) very difficult to pursue a claim for damages against somebody offering them for free on the Internet because the courts recognise actual losses only and not potential losses.
Unfortunately ISPs, web-/server-space providers and even domain registrars (famously Go Daddy) are paranoid about legal issues, so anybody hosting such files risks being kicked off the net at the whim of entities supposedly holding copyright/licenses.

While there are generally no further legal claims, this still has very real financial impact in many cases, such as already paid fees for terminated services not being refunded, etc. That's not to mention the general trouble and annoyance of it all.
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Old 22 July 2007, 14:45   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lloyd
Are you saying that nobody actually knows who ownes the right to the Amiga Kickstart?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham Humphrey View Post
Surely Cloanto do? And/or Amiga Inc? Or is it not quite that simple?
Not quite that simple. Gateway still owns the patents to all Amiga IP (including the kickstart roms presumably). As part of the purchase from Gateway in late 1999, Amiga Inc. (formerly Amino Developments) was only given a license to all Amiga patents.

Since the buyout, Amiga Inc. have only sub-licensed the kickstart roms to Cloanto for the Amiga Forever package (whether they have done so legally is dependent on the contract of sale with Gateway I imagine since they don't own the IP). The deal with Cloanto probably doesn't prohibit Amiga Inc. sub-licensing the kickstart roms to others willing to stump up the cash for a license (unless Cloanto paid for an exclusive license, which I don't think was the case).

Many people believe that Amiga Inc. own everything Amiga- it's not true (well, AFAIK). Even Bill McEwen admitted to as much in the first executive update he released after the "buyout" from Gateway:

http://www.amigahistory.co.uk/jan3rd2000.html

For those who can't be bothered following the link to the executive update, McEwen says that they acquired from Gateway:

1. All trademarks logo's etc.
2. All existing inventory of Amiga International
3. All existing licenses.
4. License to All Amiga patents (Gateway still owns the patents, but we are able to use them).
5. All web sites, and registered domain names.
6. The Amiga OS and all that is associated with the OS.
7. The Amiga operation as it exists today.


Whether Amiga Inc. have done any further deals with Gateway since 1999 to purchase the Amiga IP outright, I can't say. All I know is that Amiga Inc. and Gateway certainly haven't publically admitted to any further dealings.

Hope that answers the question as to who owns the kickstart roms (as well as the Amiga IP per se).

Last edited by DrBong; 22 July 2007 at 14:56.
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Old 22 July 2007, 15:14   #19
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Thank you DrBong that is about as complete an answer as anyone can reasonably expect.

@eLowar: My original point was to differentiate x86/DOS emulation from Amiga emulation and to point out that the risk from infringement is minimal for the reasons stated above. I'm not prepared to go so far off-topic as to discuss service agreement termination by ISPs or domain registrars, vexatious infringement claims or losses by 3rd parties, to do so would only be an exercise in pointless rhetoric.

Gak! I didn't realise you guys have already been down this road before with the same unspectacular result.
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Old 22 July 2007, 17:15   #20
Zetr0
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hmmm this leads me to an idea...


why not write our own free Kickstarts? not using any of the original code and writing our own, that would support as much functionality as the computer as possible.
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