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Old 15 July 2009, 08:54   #1
Rixa
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C64 Forever ROM licensing

I've been trying to establish some licensing information concerning the ROM code distributed in C64 Forever. After waiting for a month for a reply to my e-mail, I got an initial quick reply from Cloanto by using their web form. It did not answer all my questions so I queried further, but I've now waited two weeks for a second reply and am not certain one is forthcoming. I have been implicitly told the code should be licensed and that All licensing information and credits are included in the documentation, but I don't wish to buy it to find out what it says. Other threads indicate some users here have this product, and I was thinking perhaps they could check out a few things for me.
  1. Does C64 Forever contain all the ROM files distributed in upstream VICE, including the non-C64 items such as the VIC20 or the PLUS4 ROMs?
  2. Are the ROM files identical to the ones shipped in upstream VICE or are there changes? (I'm asking because the ROM files in Amiga Forever are not only obfuscated with a key file, but also deliberately crippled)
  3. Are there some Terms of Use accompanying the ROM code with inconvenient restrictions such as only to be used in emulation or perhaps limited to one running copy at a time?
  4. Does it say anywhere whom the the ROM code has been licensed from? Tulip perhaps?
Please don't use this thread to vent how much you hate Cloanto, how pointless you feel C64 Forever is, to advertise Gamebase, to point out how the copyrights on the ROM code have not been enforced for twenty years nor to engage in any other unhelpful topics that are already well covered elsewhere.
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Old 15 July 2009, 08:56   #2
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Maybe Lemon64 or some other C64 forum is more appropiate to discuss that topic. You know how this thread will end here...
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Old 15 July 2009, 10:14   #3
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Personally, I don't hate Cloanto at all...

You don't get Amiga ROM codes along with UAE but obviously that's because Amiga corp still own the ROMs that Cloanto license for distribution with Amiga Forever.

But, Commodore don't exist so I'm not sure anyone actually owns the ROMS for the C64 and its relations (VIC20 et al).

This lack of licensing requirement was, I assumed, why you get the ROM code along with the big three C64 emulators VICE, CCS64 and HOXS64.

Based on my assumptions above I don't think Cloanto need a license to distribute those ROMs as there's no-one to agree a license with anymore.
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Old 15 July 2009, 11:06   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmc View Post
But, Commodore don't exist so I'm not sure anyone actually owns the ROMS for the C64 and its relations (VIC20 et al).
http://www.commodore-inc.com/index.html
Seems like they haven't went belly up yet... (this is the company that bought the rights in 2004 from Tulip )
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Old 15 July 2009, 11:40   #5
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That's interesting TCD. I thought http://www.commodoregaming.com/pcshop/Country.aspx owned all the rights? Indeed, it's that company release the C64 games on the Virtual Console (Wii).
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Old 15 July 2009, 11:43   #6
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodo...al_Corporation
The last sentence makes it clearer
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Old 15 July 2009, 13:17   #7
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Interesting, cheers TCD.

So Commodore does still exist - in a rather twisted and convulted mutation of the original... . Just goes to prove I should never base my conclusions on assumptions!
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Old 15 July 2009, 13:55   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCyberDruid View Post
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodo...al_Corporation
The last sentence makes it clearer
Schplendid.
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Old 18 July 2009, 00:39   #9
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I thought at least one C64 emulator had the ROMs coded from scratch (i.e. not Commodore's code at all) which is perfectly legal to distribute.
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Old 18 July 2009, 20:55   #10
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Uh, Commodore themselves gave the 8-bit machine roms out to public domain when they still existed. I think the author of C64S made it happen?
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Old 21 July 2009, 09:27   #11
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Quote:
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Uh, Commodore themselves gave the 8-bit machine roms out to public domain when they still existed. I think the author of C64S made it happen?
First I've ever heard of this, and I doubt it a bit. Is there any documentation of something like that having taken place?

If this was true, license-conscious things like Debian would probably ship it as well, because Vice is not very useful without. At http://packages.debian.org/lenny/vice it says:
This package does not contain the various ROM images needed to actually use the emulators; they are available separately from other locations (see the README.ROMs file). A corporation in the Netherlands called Tulip holds the copyrights to the ROM images, and redistribution is not permitted, but VICE itself is unencumbered.
This may be a bit out of date, but not Commodore-much.
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Old 21 July 2009, 09:35   #12
Rixa
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I thought at least one C64 emulator had the ROMs coded from scratch (i.e. not Commodore's code at all) which is perfectly legal to distribute.
Possible, but not entirely useful. Could work with programs that behave very nicely and only use system code through the published interface, but it was common to cut corners. A few programs may even have jumped to ROM code 'between the lines', interpreting data as opcodes, and ran unintended code that happened to be there.
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Old 21 July 2009, 11:27   #13
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I really need to dig into my pile of old disks. I seem to remember reading it in the documentation of an old C-64 emulator. Perhaps it was one of the emulators for the Amiga.
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Old 21 July 2009, 14:46   #14
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Rixa is right, especially some autoboot code for example started to load from the end of the rom area (writing goes to ram instead) and when the address of the next byte to be written wrapped to 0 from 0xffff the rom could be changed to ram suddenly with the custom code pre-loaded already instead of the rom code.
And this is just one of the many inventive ways of autostarting software on C64
The point is, anything that is not identical code at least in the IO routines is a waste of time.
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