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IDSA Goes After Abandonware

Hemos posted about 14 years ago | from the information-wants-to-be-free dept.

Games 225

unicron writes "IDSA is trying to shutdown Home of the Underdogs, the biggest and oldest Abandonware site 'round. I personally run an Abandonware site and I'd like to see how this will end. People, talk to and its members with messages that they should pick on 0-day warez sites, not on Abandonware sites! Long live classic gaming!"

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Then that can apply to any code *you* crate (1)

sips (212702) | about 14 years ago | (#645941)

So theoretically if you don't do anything with a piece of code I can take it under the public domain right?

Re:IDSA (2)

Kierthos (225954) | about 14 years ago | (#645943)

Yeah, I think (IANAL) that it's called a suit in the public's interest. Although how providing free copies of games that are no longer available is against the public's interest is beyond me.

Again, this does delve into copyright law, and ownership issues. This could all be solved by various software and game companies releasing stuff into public domain, but I really can't see that happening on a large scale. Maybe you'd get a few games into public domain, but that's it. Of course, I'd love to see a lawyer read this on /. and take up the defense of the Underdogs. But I don't see that happening either.

Sad, really.


Re:IDSA (2)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | about 14 years ago | (#645949)

As sad as it is, the publishers would rather let these games vanish, rather than letting us play them for free. After all, they may put out a compilation of classics someday, so they want to protect their rights. At least I assume that is their reasoning.

No, that's not their reasoning. The fact is that they know that people would often rather play the old games, rather than the latest glossy-graphics mindless first-person shooter. Their economic model doesn't involve creating games that last; it involves creating something that sells for a couple weeks, and then superceding it with something else.

If they wanted continued revenues, they'd continue selling their games. Like you said, compilations are always nice -- but only show up very rarely. It seems that most of the abandonware gamers are fairly responsible people -- I think that most of them would buy a compilation of old games, unlike the standard warez crowd. They 'pirate' the games because there's no alternative way to get them, not because they're too cheap to pay for them.

Re:Except in the case of warships. (2)

TheCarp (96830) | about 14 years ago | (#645951)

I thought it was more...

your free to salvage abandoned ships - unless they have enough value in them that some government might get offended and jumps in.

Afterall...they can change (er I mean re-interpret) such things at will. Whatver suits them at the moment you know.

You think that anything salvaged by the US military from German Uboats is being returned to the current German government?

"Whoever salvages something from an abandoned/sunken ship ownes it...oh unless it was a warship - then its owned by the government that owned it....oh yea unless WE want it...oh yea and if you bring it up on a tuesday then...."


Re:Classic games really this important? (2)

killbill (10058) | about 14 years ago | (#645954)

As a side note... there is an emulator for several of these that will run on a Palm Pilot (zork and hitchhikers at least).

It has been a couple of years since I tried it, but it worked fine then. Should be easy to track down on www.pilotgear.com or similiar site.

Basically, you get the emulator, and just move the data onto the palm is a slightly modified format.


Re:Wha??? (1)

Zarniwoop (25791) | about 14 years ago | (#645955)

Nobody sold the disks. They were later found, stuck in storage with other odds and ends. Plus, I still had in my possession the box it originally came in, which contained the licence agreement.

I guess the question is this: Does one own the game (the media), and therefore we are free to do what we want with it, or the *licence to* the game? Microsoft, in particular, seems to support the second one, as they sell licences and media seperately, and you must have several licences to use their software on multiple computers legally.

It seems like if this is the case- if I can prove that I have the licence to the software- I can download the software legally.

Or must I now erase the 'warezed' copy off my computer and install from the media? Seems very silly- they are the exact same thing, but one would be installed from the Official Media (tm) and one from a .zip file from an abandoned software page.

What do I do, when it seems I relate to Judas more than You?

copyright -- take it or leave it. (3)

g_mcbay (201099) | about 14 years ago | (#645960)

Why is it on Slashdot that many of the same people who think its okay to break copyright laws in cases of emulation, 'free' music and abadonware are the same people who would scream the loudest if a company were to run afoul of the GPL?

The GPL is built upon copyright law. Copyright law is the foundation of the GPL (or any other license you care to mention). Take it or leave it.

It's the Law and It's OUR Government (3)

An El Haqq (83446) | about 14 years ago | (#645963)

I was under the assumption that the enforcement of copyright law is okay. If you didn't buy the game, then you have no rights to play that game. We live in a capitalist society, not some sort of utopic, world-property community.

Don't get me wrong. I support the idea of shortening copyrights on computer software. I would even suggest 5 to 10 year limits, but I don't think that people should complain when the current law is being enforced. You should instead try to change the offending legislation. You should draft a bill and send it to your Congressman. You should contact your representatives and tell them how you feel.

If enough people care, maybe Slashdot could be used as a forum for drafting pro-freedom legislation. Think of it as community-developed (cleverly avoiding the typical buzzword) government.

Second thought... (after calling IDSA trolls) (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about 14 years ago | (#645964)

Ok, so there must be a strategy behind this tactic. Does anyone see it? Perhaps they want to squeeze out all the classic (read: FUN) games, thus making available only new game sales.

Capitalism in action -- Wondertwin powers Activate! Form of -- an attorney shark! Form of -- a marketing weasel!

What next, sue record stores for selling used CDs, so all we can buy are new ($18+) CDs? Yeah, sure, that'll work. That'll not drive us to the internet and underground Game and MP3 sites.

Stupid clueless twits.


We'll do it for them (1)

ybmug (237378) | about 14 years ago | (#645966)

Of course, now that these abandonware sites have been posted here they will get slashdotted to death... effectively taking them down anyway.

Who submitted this story?

Re:An Interesting Idea (2)

cheekymonkey_68 (156096) | about 14 years ago | (#645968)

Just like WOS, The Underdogs already DO remove abandonware from their site when requested by the original author or puublishing company.

Not all the links on the Underdogs lead to downloads. Sometimes they just provide info on the game and where you can still buy it(if possible). if publishing permission was refused

The problem for sites like theirs is when you get classics like Elite, where one author agrees to the program being uploaded and the other still wants to enforce their copyright and refuses.

Re:Classic games really this important? (1)

egon (29680) | about 14 years ago | (#645970)

I can't speak for anybody else, but for me it's the nostalgia factor.

I'd love to find a version of Archon (old EA for C64 game) that could run under Linux. Hell, I'd even settle for a version that runs on 'bloze if I had to.

Give a man a match, you keep him warm for an evening.

IDSA (2)

Bad_CRC (137146) | about 14 years ago | (#645981)

who are they representing in these cases?

I was around when they hit davesclassics, and other classicgaming sites, but at least they were pretending to represent a legitimate client then.

this doesn't make sense.


Sentence Should Probably Read: (3)

GeekLife.com (84577) | about 14 years ago | (#645983)

People, talk to and bombard [IDSA] members with messages that they should pick on 0-day warez sites, not on Abandonware sites!

Classic games really this important? (1)

sips (212702) | about 14 years ago | (#645986)

When I want to play a game I like a nice long plot/story and I usually can't find that in most "classic" games. Are there any good examples of these games with a novelistic plot?

Re:Classic games really this important? (1)

FraggleMI (117868) | about 14 years ago | (#645992)

How about the old Ultima games?

Companies are managed by idiots (2)

Vicegrip (82853) | about 14 years ago | (#645993)

Long after a product has ceased to be viable to them...
Long after a failed product has any hope of ever giving them a return on their investments...
Long after all those interested in the money side of the software have forgotten about it....
Even long after the company has died....

You still find bonehead managers thinking they have something to lose by releasing the software to the community... idiots! pathetic loons! incomprehensibly devoid of imagination and vision!

This is the reason the gaming industry sucks now! It's being managed by stagnant blobs who are devoid of even a micro-hint of good-will.

Re:A moment of silence (3)

g_mcbay (201099) | about 14 years ago | (#645994)

Seriously though, other than a few classic games (For me, 'classic' refers to the Mega Man series, but for some it may be the Zelda series, the Ultima series, and who knows what else), will these games be missed? From my understanding, it's not like there is money being taken, because the only money that the companies would make is from royalties, and you can't make royalties off games that aren't sold anymore (used games shop don't pay royalties). So how is theft occuring?

You make a good argument, but it doesn't take into account reality. In reality, companies still make money off these old games. Many times in the past companies have rereleased old games, often on newer systems, usually in complilation format.

It is not hard to make an argument that they might lose sales in this situation when many of the classic game fans that might buy these titles can already easily download the games and play them via emulation.

The IDSA were trying to shut it down... (1)

lynk (85290) | about 14 years ago | (#645995)

...Now as the slashdot effect takes hold we do the work for them!!! Do'h.


"There ought to be limits to freedom" - George Bush

Re:Then that can apply to any code *you* crate (1)

R. Cain (212785) | about 14 years ago | (#645996)

"So theoretically if you don't do anything with a piece of code I can take it under the public domain right?"

Of course. If I were to create a privately licensed app and stopped developing for it and yanked it off the market, by all means. Because, it's abandoned. If someone felt they could use that code for either development or entertainment purposes, more power to them.
Why let a good app die?

Here's a trivial idea... (1)

magnetx11 (152596) | about 14 years ago | (#645997)

How about warning sites that they are going to get slashdotted. That way they can take the necessary measures for the boost in traffic.
Especially if they are running Linux.

Yet again (1)

maninblackhat (221616) | about 14 years ago | (#645998)

This is just another example of how the current copyright laws are twisted beyond their original intent by greedy associations of copyright holders. I echo the often-put-forth proposal limiting ALL copyrights - music, film, and software - to 8-10 years. This stuff has made all the money it's going to at that point, and greedy companies trying to make money of creative work that was done 30 years ago are going to have to ADD SOME VALUE to get people to buy it again.

And don't forget to add the ISDA to the list of Evil Greedy Copyright-Abusing B*st*rds. Just for those keeping score, the list should also have the RIAA and the MPAA on it.

The world is backwards. (2)

AFCArchvile (221494) | about 14 years ago | (#645999)

Photoshop 6.0 was being warezed all over the place just one day after its release, and Adobe is taking no action. Yet the IDSA goes after Abandonware sites! Gee, what's wrong with this picture?

Re:Lazarus anyone ? (1)

kyz (225372) | about 14 years ago | (#646000)

Lazarus are dead, and will stay dead. There are better Amiga sites out there now, like Warlock's ADF vault [nvg.org] and Amiga [back2roots.org] back2roots.

I stand corrected...! (1)

rc55 (148414) | about 14 years ago | (#646017)

*blush* OK, thanks for informing. This could be useful for people not in the know. As for Elite, it should be a case of if anyone has a problem, pull it, imho. Ruairi

Re:Here's a trivial idea... (1)

magnetx11 (152596) | about 14 years ago | (#646018)

oops, moderators please moderate that -1. Its backup.

Never played one of them (1)

sips (212702) | about 14 years ago | (#646019)

Where can you obtain one that runs well on old hardware?

Re:A little test (1)

lukegalea1234 (250067) | about 14 years ago | (#646020)

Well.. I think that, as others have mentioned, as nice as it would be for them to continue supporting it.. it just costs too much. They probably get like 5 requests for wolfenstein a year.. and that probably just isn't worth their trouble.. and the shelf lives on disks isn't that long.. in some cases any old distribution media they have around may no longer work!! That is another mandate of abandonware I suppose.. to preserve the older games by keeping it on new media..

Are the IDSA in the wrong here? (5)

tinla (120858) | about 14 years ago | (#646021)

Isn't it OK to copy games that are no longer distributed in the stores or commercially exploited?

No, the current availability of a game in stores is irrelevant to its copyright status. Unlike trademarks, copyrights are not considered abandoned if they are no longer enforced. Copyrights do not enter the public domain just because they are no longer commercially exploited or widely available. Therefore, the copyrights of games are valid even if the games are not found on store shelves, and copying or distributing those games is a copyright infringement.
(From http://www.idsa.com/piracy.html [idsa.com] )
What exactly are the IDSA doing wrong here? People should write to the member companies and ask them to change their corporate policies, not flame the ISDA. The companies signed up because they didn't want their IP put on the web for download.. you're allowed to complain to them but you can't just ignore them because you don't like what they have to say. The ISDA are doing what they're paid to do. They hit high profile sites because it is easy, low risk (they clearly have legal right whatever the moral viewpoint) and sends a message. If they let these high profile sites go it whould imply acceptace of copyright devalument after, say, 6 years or so. The members don't want that.

I know people here get very worked up about GPL violations, well these guys appear to be engaged in wholesale licence violation. Its not as if these companies aren't trading anymore or that these games have no value. Companies like Namco still make good money from 20yr old games being sold today. Maybe EA want to put Gunship [theunderdogs.org] in thier next flight sim as a secret sub-game in the air traffic control system computer (Day of the tenticle anyone?). These guys were giving Gunship away, which devalues such a promotion.

Am I missing something or is this whole "Abandonware" tag being abused. Who says these games are Abandoned? Doesn't that happen when the Publisher/whoever formally Abandons it, or changes the licence or the copyright expires? Maybe if they go bankrupt (although such rights usually find a buyer even then). There are examples of companies releasing old IP because they don't need it, think its good PR, had a fit of humanity etc.. but this site doesn't look like a repository of that to me.

I don't see the IDSA overstepping any marks here. This one of the roles they exist to carry out. Complaining to the members [idsa.com] makes sense. If you alert them to a market for old games them may make them a $1 dload...

the only game I want to see... [totally OT] (1)

ywwg (20925) | about 14 years ago | (#646022)

is Continuum, by data east. Best Game Ever. My life would be complete if someone found a god-mode for this game so I could finally see it all. Or, if there was a way to force dos programs to run slower.


Re:They'll get shut down at the registrar level. (2)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | about 14 years ago | (#646023)

Gandi [gandi.net] was created by hacktivists who know their shit about censorship ... among them [gandi.net] is Valentin Lacambre, former operator of Altern.org, the ad-less free hosting service which had to close dues to too many lawsuits and unfriendly laws.


Heart Of China (1)

mangu (126918) | about 14 years ago | (#646024)

I wonder how that game would have been if they had CD-ROMs in 1991.

Re:copyright -- take it or leave it. (3)

Nickbot (15172) | about 14 years ago | (#646025)

Yes, I agree.. how dare anyone on slashdot take a moderate position on copyright law? How dare they suggest that copyrights might a good thing in one instance, but not in another? Don't they know that the only proper course is to be fanatically for or against something, in complete disregard for the real world? I for one support this user's previous post. We shouldn't have to consider opposting viewpoints. Extremeism is the only way.


Re:copyright -- take it or leave it.[NOT] (4)

AstynaxX (217139) | about 14 years ago | (#646044)

Just because someone feels the GPL, or certain licences are logical and valid, does not mean they need to accept en mass all of copyright law. That's like saying because you agree with the right to freedom of speach, you must agree with later constitutional amendments with no regard to their content or effect since they are all part of the same 'law'.

As a side note, quite often the folks on /. bitching about GPL violations are NOT the same folks championing Napster, emulation, etc. Please keep that in mind.


Re:It's to screw people (2)

mattdm (1931) | about 14 years ago | (#646045)

I dunno. That's true in some cases, but the graphics and music and scope of games has improved vastly and continues to do so. (Gameplay is another question, of course.) There will always be a market for the latest and greatest games.


There are many programs to do this (1)

sips (212702) | about 14 years ago | (#646046)

Search the net for them. Or write your own they are basically just nop operations in a continuous loop to keep the processor busy for a while thereby decreasing the ammount of processor attention being paid to the app and reducing it's execution speed.

Cant they just register with a diffrent registrar? (1)

cyberdonny (46462) | about 14 years ago | (#646047)

And btw, what's to stop prankster from randomly picking sites registered at register.com and sending fake IDSA letters? No problem for the site (cheap registrars are a dime a dozen...), but might become problematic for Register.com if it happens on a large enough scale...

Re:copyright -- take it or leave it. (1)

kyz (225372) | about 14 years ago | (#646048)

Wrong on two counts. Copyright law does not exist "to give creators their due recognition", but "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts". Secondly, the copyrighted work's license (unless it's GPL or something) will not allow you to advertise offer copies to other people, which is what a web site saying "downloadz here" actually is.

Re:copyright -- take it or leave it. (1)

truthsearch (249536) | about 14 years ago | (#646049)

Read my earlier post and you'll see what the problem is. I don't read in most other posts that it's okay to break copyright laws. The GPL may be built upon copyright law, but its purpose, just as the copyright law it's based upon, exists to give creators their due recognition. Having these games available for download over the internet does not break copyright law. If I own an original of something, I'm permitted to leave a backup copy wherever I please, with whomever I want to give access to. If someone without a license decides to take it, it's that person who's breaking the law, not the web site.

Re:copyright -- take it or leave it. (3)

Anonymous Coward | about 14 years ago | (#646050)

copyright -- take it or leave it.

The GPL is built upon copyright law. Copyright law is the foundation of the GPL (or any other license you care to mention). Take it or leave it.
Don't forget what the author of the GPL says about copyright: that free software would be much easier to produce and use without it. The GPL does indeed utilize copyright, but the GPL is made necessary by copyright in the first place. Without copyright, the GPL could not exist -- but it would not need to exist. So, personally, I'm with RMS: LEAVE IT.

It happened to me (3)

mangu (126918) | about 14 years ago | (#646051)

I was recently backing up and preparing to throw away my last 5 1/4" drive, when I found one of my disks was defective (Sorcerers Get All The Girls). I sent an email to the company, asking them if I could purchase again this old favorite, and the answer was "no". Fortunately, I found it for free at an abandonware site.

However, I think their business model is wrong. Keeping my old games will not stop me from buying new ones, if the new games are good enough.

Perhaps they are afraid of comparisons. When a company starts, they usually have an outstanding product, or they will not survive. Then it's just a matter of creating so-and-so follow-ups, coasting on the fame of their oldest hits. That's why sequels are "never" as good as the original.

Re:A moment of silence (3)

Sheeple Police (247465) | about 14 years ago | (#646052)

It is not hard to make an argument that they might lose sales in this situation when many of the classic game fans that might buy these titles can already easily download the games and play them via emulation.

The only problem I have with that argument, is it seems to be based on games which were not capitalizing on the prevalent social belief. For example, a game like Civilization - great game, but comparitively week now a days. However, it can (and has been) released in the sort of 'classic' form. However, a game like 'Little Mermaid Fun Studio' or 'CHiPS: Living on the edge' (or for an even better argument in the feminaziest modern day and age, a title like 'Barbie's Paint and Play') [note: I do not know if these games actually exist. They are mentioned for use as example], there is really no marketability.

So I suppose it's subjective to the game. There are certain genres (ie: simulation, adventure, fantasy) that would no doubt suceed with a little touch up work and repackaging. I mean, heck, I've seen old Atari games repackaged by Activision and sold for $40 for the bundle of 12 - but those were all games without significant social connections.

Personally, I think it would be better if games stopped trying to capitalize on the social trends, and instead focus on quality, not cross-marketeering. So many great games existed on the Nintendo because movie/media companies weren't willing to spend money to platformize a movie/show, although, when they did, they often did so so sparingly w/ the money that it resulted in really CRAPPY games.

But thanks for bringing up that good point that some games still have a market, but just remember that some games are doomed to be abandoned - hence the 'need' for sites that host Abandonware.

Re:A moment of silence (1)

Sheeple Police (247465) | about 14 years ago | (#646053)

Billco -

Actually, something even worse to think is that when DirectX was released (waay back in the day), Sega released Sonic the Hedgehog on PC, along w/ Comix Zone and Ecco the Dolphin. Sounds like all they did was copy all 8 games they initially released w/ the DirectX launch, and copy to CD. Now, it may be just me, but does Sega really think there is a market for DirectX remakes of 1980's era games?

Re:Abandonware Legitimacy (2)

mR.dISCO (24100) | about 14 years ago | (#646054)

I noticed a few days ago (through The Underdogs site no less) that LucasArts is still selling many of their classic games here [lucasarts.com] . Stuff like Maniac Mansion, Monkey's Island, Battle Hawks 1942. Most of them are in collections. Of course a lot of them are only offered on 3.5" floppys, so if you really want an 'archive' you still have burn it to CD.

Re: Abandonware Open Source (1)

Shiva Lingham (252101) | about 14 years ago | (#646055)

I believe Wolfenstein has been open sourced. I don't have the time to hunt it down, but I'm sure you can find the source on 3D [goatse.cx] Realms [3drealms.com] website. I think that this is something that every company should look at doing, as most abandonware games are so old that they shouldn't contain any trade secrets or such.

On the topic, I believe that this is just a case of lawyers doing their job. They were told to look for copyright infringement on the web, and they found it, and are pressing charges just as much as they would if it were a game released yesterday and posted on a web site today. We just have to see which game company takes the high road first and sets a policy for allowing abandonware.

[Reply to This [goatse.cx] |Parent [goatse.cx] ]

My letter to the IDSA problem children (1)

KikStart (252100) | about 14 years ago | (#646056)

Well then, maybe they should be more specific about the more grievious software violations. All I can say is that there are better things to pursue than this dry well. I give you what I sent them: "To whom it may concern, You know, instead of suing the pants off of abandonware sites (where is the money in this anyway?), why not just use www.google.com and get busy? I'll give you a few hints. Do a search for 0-day, warez, cracks, etc. I'm certain you could find something FAR more relavent than suing a site that has 15-year old games for crying out loud..."

Slashdotted.... *chuckle* (1)

zoomba (227393) | about 14 years ago | (#646057)

It appears this abandonware site has fallen victem to the "Slashdot Effect"... too bad, was gonna see if I could find any of my old favorites this afternoon too...

I didn't think it was a "classic" game (1)

sips (212702) | about 14 years ago | (#646058)

And I didn't suspect it was there. Is it?

Except in the case of warships. (2)

totenkopf (215542) | about 14 years ago | (#646059)

For example, several Spanish galleons chockful of gold were recently found off the Florida coast by a treasure hunter. The US Government stepped in and said they can't salvage the ship. Governments and their heirs retain rights to warships unless they expressly give up those rights.

Re:copyright -- take it or leave it. (1)

edp (171151) | about 14 years ago | (#646078)

"Why is it on Slashdot that many of the same people who think it's okay to break copyright laws in cases of emulation, 'free' music and abadonware are the same people who would scream the loudest if a company were to run afoul of the GPL?"

Law that promotes contribution to society by rewarding producers is, arguably, good. Law that empowers a license that protects the right to distribute is good. Law that prevents valuable material from being preserved and distributed is bad.

I am open to other solutions, such as statutory licensing fees that would permit the distribution of abandonware for nominal amounts. But, in the absence of any other solution, non-profit distribution by amateurs is good.

"Take it or leave it."

There is no ethical principal that calls for people to obey the unethical dictates of government if they also choose to obey the ethical dictates.

Re:copyright -- take it or leave it. (1)

Maryck (84) | about 14 years ago | (#646079)

In the case of abandonware, people break copywright law because they simply have no alternative. Programs end up on abandonware sites specifically because they are not obtainable through any other legitimate means usually because the software is out-of-date.

Unlike the whole free music debate, this is not a case of people wanting the programs for free. They just want to have access to the programs period. Unless software companies suddenly start licensing out-of-date software, abandonware sites do have a legitimate and useful purpose.

Re:Legal code (1)

Lazarus Short (248042) | about 14 years ago | (#646080)

That's like saying that since there's no part of the US Code which states I can breath, I'm not permitted to breath

IANAL, but I think you're examining that section of the US code out of context. Overall, copyright law in the United States [loc.gov] prohibits unauthorized redistribution of a copyrighted work. The passage that IDSA quotes is a clarification that the law does not prohibit copying a piece of software that you own for purposes of running it or for archival purposes.

IDSA is pointing out that this exception does not cover posting games for downloads, and therefore, posting games for download is illegal under the law as a whole.


Re:copyright -- take it or leave it. (1)

OverCode@work (196386) | about 14 years ago | (#646081)

Take it, leave it - or repair it. Copyright law isn't perfect by a long shot. Abandonware is a very gray area (in terms of ethics, not necessarily legality).

Personally, I think that it's perfectly OK to noncomercially copy old games that are no longer sold for private use.

Copyright law is designed to allow authors to profit reasonably from their works, NOT to give authors a means to sit on their works and keep them out of the public view.


Re:A moment of silence (1)

cyberdonny (46462) | about 14 years ago | (#646082)

> Or are they saying you are 'introducing' more 'copies' of a game then the market initially had, and thus the amount of money being lost is equal to the price of the game at market introduction?

If that reasoning would fly, couldn't you ask for a refund of the royalties for throwing your legacy games in the thrash, because that would lead to "less copies of a game than the market initially had"...

New /. Rule (-1, Offtopic) (1)

scott1853 (194884) | about 14 years ago | (#646083)

Whoever posts direct links to an article must also setup a couple mirrors if the hosting site isn't a mainstream site like Times, USA Today, etc. I wouldn't mind discussing the article if I could actually read the article.

Already (1)

tfxx (199314) | about 14 years ago | (#646084)

Slashdotted already.

So while I was waiting for the page to load, I was thinking "what does it take to slashdot slashdot?". But I'm sure somebody already pondered on that one.

Re:copyright -- take it or leave it. (1)

Thackeri (203958) | about 14 years ago | (#646085)

Surely the main point is 'the letter of the Law' versus 'the Spirit of the Law'?

As someone else said, what is needed is a little common sense on the part of the copyright holders and honesty on the part of the Internet community.

As long as there are people out there who will break copyright on software being sold then the companies will have this continued knee-jerk reaction to any copyright infringement. I kind of don't blame them either. I think their attitude is often "give them an inch and they'll take a mile" which is precisely what happens. This attitude is exactly the same one that the FSF employs in order to make sure that they have a watertight position if/when they enforce infringements.

I would like to see a world where the excessive litigation gives way to more prodictive ways of people being rewarded for their labours but it's a long way off and I think things will get worse before that.


No it's not there just shareware (1)

sips (212702) | about 14 years ago | (#646086)

and hey thanks for the little link I found that entertaining

Re:Classic games really this important? (1)

TCaptain (115352) | about 14 years ago | (#646087)

Go to freshmeat.net and do a search on 'xarchon'. Its a nice clone that works on linux.

Value in Archiving (2)

mellifluous (249700) | about 14 years ago | (#646088)

Abandonware is actually good business sense.

Once a title is no longer generating any sales revenue for the owners, it is actually to their benefit to allow it to be archived and publicly available. By making the software more accessible, the older property can stay fresher in public awareness, thus paving the way for sequels and other exploitation of the original names and concepts.

That's where any ongoing revenue is going to be found.

Re:A moment of silence (3)

JabberWokky (19442) | about 14 years ago | (#646089)

For me, 'classic' refers to the Mega Man series, but for some it may be the Zelda series, the Ultima series, and who knows what else

Ironically, Origin and Capcom are two of the few companies (Activision's Infocom being another) that are still selling their old titles... generally, every game on a single CD-ROM. Origin is selling the entire Ultima line (including the white on black vector "Mystery Mansion" style Aklabeth, titled Ultima 0) on a CD. In Capcom's case, they are even selling arcade ROM images along with an emulator and real arcade style joystick.

It's nice to see that most of the Abandonware sites seem to be aware of this, and don't carry those games that are sold. Still, I grabbed a copy of Leather Goddesses of Phobos in about two minutes with Google.


What I don't get is... (5)

mwalker (66677) | about 14 years ago | (#646094)

If a manufacturer stops selling a title, why don't they partner with sites like this who are already making the title available, and come up with a licensing agreement? You can't buy Electronic Art's "Balance of Power" anymore. They're not making money. Why are they spending money to send out cease-and-desist letters? Where's the revenue stream? What's the business model?

Does this make sense to anyone?!?

Or is this just a FORM LETTER that someone at the IDSA sends out everytime they see software on the Internet?

You decide...

Re:IDSA (4)

IronChef (164482) | about 14 years ago | (#646099)

>who are they representing in these cases?

I don't think the IDSA needs a publisher's consent to move into action. This is what they DO, it's their prime function. Does the RIAA need an excuse to be a pain in the ass?

As a gamer I think this sucks, but I can sure see their point of view. Abandonware, despite the catchy name, is still piracy. It's people distributing commercial video games that aren't in the public domain.

As sad as it is, the publishers would rather let these games vanish, rather than letting us play them for free. After all, they may put out a compilation of classics someday, so they want to protect their rights. At least I assume that is their reasoning.

Time to start downloading.

Abandonware Legitimacy (2)

lukegalea1234 (250067) | about 14 years ago | (#646104)

Maybe I am wrong... but I thought the whole idea behind abandonware was that it all cases you couldn't purchase the old software from the original copyright holder even if you wanted to.

I took a look at underdogs and they have removed the download links on all IDSA companies's games and replaced it with something along the lines of:"please contact the original publisher to buy this title".

I am willing to bet that Sierra isn't supporting Manhunter 1..

It's to screw people (4)

sips (212702) | about 14 years ago | (#646106)

Their theory is that if you want games you *have* to buy the current games and that you should be forced to either upgrade or buy a new device to play said game. It's all meant for them to get more and more money out of you. Suppose you have every game ever produced since games were first produced for "computers" and you could play them anytime you wanted. There wouldn't be much desire to buy the new titles.

A moment of silence (2)

Sheeple Police (247465) | about 14 years ago | (#646110)

Let us hold a wake on Slashdot for the classic games which we will no longer be able to illegally obtain. Yes, dear readers, we shall all miss such classics as:
  • Sonic Spinball
  • Yo Noid!
  • Mario Picross

Remember, dear brethren, the legacy these games left before it is too late.

Seriously though, other than a few classic games (For me, 'classic' refers to the Mega Man series, but for some it may be the Zelda series, the Ultima series, and who knows what else), will these games be missed? From my understanding, it's not like there is money being taken, because the only money that the companies would make is from royalties, and you can't make royalties off games that aren't sold anymore (used games shop don't pay royalties). So how is theft occuring?

Or are they saying you are 'introducing' more 'copies' of a game then the market initially had, and thus the amount of money being lost is equal to the price of the game at market introduction? Sounds like that would be a pretty weak (and greedy) excuse.

A little test (1)

sips (212702) | about 14 years ago | (#646113)

What if you do something like this. Ok I personally never got a chance to register Wolfenstein but would really like to get a chance to play all the levels. Now is there a way to get the game? Can you call up ID and get a copy on floppies or such? Can you pay for it? Is there a site you can get it? I would think that software companies at least have copies off of backups that somone could get ahold of for these types of events.


jbridge21 (90597) | about 14 years ago | (#646117)

Please back up your statement that it's the same people who say two totally different things. I for one am NOT an advocate of "free" music, but I AM an advocate of abandonware.

And, never underestimate the power of the vocal minority to sound like the majority.

Re:Did Anyone Else Find This Ironic? (1)

HeadCrash (75749) | about 14 years ago | (#646118)

I found it a bit funny, especially considering the ramifications of the Slashdot Effect these days. As I am reading this article (11:21 AM US Central Time) both sites are totally /.'ed. The only thing the poster succeeded in doing was knocking both Underdogs AND his site off the net for the next 12-24 hours.

I've got a whole slew of abandonware sites bookmarked, but I'll be darned if I'd just jump right up and post them on /., 'cause I know what'd happen to them... in a flash of electrons, *POOF*, they'd be gone, thanks to the overload of people looking to get something for nothing...

Frank, Professional Devil's Advocate. Contact me for rates...

Appreciation and Depreciation (2)

tarsi210 (70325) | about 14 years ago | (#646119)

From the: It-gets-more-dented-the-older-it-gets dept.

I think perhaps one of the largest problems in the computer industry and others is the incorrect idea that many people have about the depreciation rate of software and hardware.

Everyone knows if you buy a new car, the moment you drive that thing off the dealer's lot, you can almost watch the value fall out the back of the car. It's called "depreciation", a feature which also occurs as a car/house/anything ages.

What I've found as a vintage computer collector [computershelter.org] is that people don't see computer hardware/software depreciating fast enough. Heck, if the thing was new 2 years ago, it should be at least 75% of its new value! WRONG.

This is a similar aspect with abandonware. These companies can't see that their major sales will come from the new games, that people will always buy new games, and so to keep their claws tight on their old titles is a silly waste of time and energy. This software really does depreciate in value, and the only value it retains after a long enough time is nostalgic. (Like Frogger. Man, what a game.)

It's really sad that these great technologies can't be released to the appreciative public (collectors, etc.) to be enjoyed on the older hardware.

Re:A little test (1)

csprague (129578) | about 14 years ago | (#646120)

id's been pretty good about that, actually. go here [activision.com] to buy the game.

Change the protocol? (1)

fatphil (181876) | about 14 years ago | (#646121)

The page says "If you can prove that you have the originals of the game but they no longer work, or you have lost the originals but have the package, or the receipt, them please request a backup from our library (which we legally own) from x@y.com".

Then the user e-mails proof to x, who promptly provides the backup?

Would that be legal?


Actually, you are incorrect (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 14 years ago | (#646122)

because of the precedent set under feline law "everything here is mine".

So you can see, by applying this well-known axiom, everything belongs to me, obviously, that includes this (and any other) alledged government. So the rest of you are out of luck. This is my government, not you-all's.

Just because I choose to selectivly enforce my rights does not invalidate them. So please be properly appreciative of the air you breath and the Earth under your feet. But for my benificence, you'd be fux0red [geocities.com] .

What we need is a simple compromise. (2)

Kenneth (43287) | about 14 years ago | (#646123)

The legitimate abandonware sites have one goal in mind: Make software which is not available retail or through the copyright holder available through another venue.

The problem is that the holders of the copyright feel legitimate ownership of these software titles, and have legal ane moral grounds for demanding that such software be removed.

Granted this is a shortsighted attitude, but such is their right.

As has been pointed out here, the GPL is based on copyright law. We scream loudly when violations to the GPL occur, and should allow others to have the same feelings toward their software.

My solution would extend the copyright of software owners indefinatly, however there are some requirments to keep copyright.

Those wishing to obtain a copy of said software title must have that title made available to them at a reasonable cost (Cost of media, plus shipping, plus some reasonable profit, not more than realistically obtainable via a retail outlet).

This would allow those who want to to get a copy of whatever software titles they desired, and would allow the company to hold on to the copyright.

If the company chooses not to make the software available, it and all related materials (code wheels, documentation...) reverts to public domain in five years. There would have to also be provisions to stop companies from holding on to a copyright without really providing access (providing only one day per 5 years or somesuch).

If a company really has reason to hold on to the copyright of a title, they should have no problem providing it. On the other hand if the goal is control of what you see and do with your computer (as is I suspect often the case), the copyright needs to be lost.

This should reasonably make everyone happy. If I want to I can get a game simply by writing the company. If they don't want to provide it, they loose the copyright, and I can LEGALLY get a copy from anyone who has it.

Companies may argue that this will hurt their revenue, as they will have to expend money on software that they do not wish to support, but that argument does not hold water, as it costs virtually nothing to reproduce software, and such software could be listed as unsupported.

There would be some cost to running the reproduction service, but that could be turned into something making a small profit simply through being able to charge a reasonable fee for such software.

Of course I doubt such a thing will ever happen, but who knows, if some companies were to think about it rationally, they may even find it worth doing.

Another idea would be for someone to start a company which would buy up the rights to old titles, upgrade them a little (move to linux, run under win 95, or at least not have to worry so much about the old DOS problems. Those could then be sold, and money made.

Well, so much for my idea. You may now discuss amongst yourselves :-)

Re:A moment of silence (2)

billcopc (196330) | about 14 years ago | (#646124)

To second your point, I just leeched a tiny ISO from the newsgroups called Sega Smash Pack 2. It's basically an 8mb compilation of antique sega games like Comix Zone, Phantasy Star, and 4 or 5 pieces of stinky filler. I was quite overjoyed to see my 32mb video card on my 20" monitor open up a 320x240 fullscreen display. They didn't enhance the games at all.. it rather looks like they put together an emulator and dumped a few old roms that flopped years ago. Of course it's Sega and we owe them pity for their repeated failures to survive in the home market, but if this crap is their reason for fighting abandonware they're just twisting the knife in their own chest. Hasbro might deserve 1% more merit because they at least do half-decent remakes of the classics. Their mindless lawsuits are disgusting and threatening to lone-wolf shareware-style coders around the world, whose indie remakes are often more fun than Hasbro's official offerings, but at least they put a little elbow grease into the "let's rip off our fans" paradigm.

No no no... (4)

Millennium (2451) | about 14 years ago | (#646125)

Most of us aren't picking on the copyright system in general. What we complain about is the abuse of this system. Examples:

1) Constant lobbying for unreasonable lengths of time on corporate copyrights, such that a corporation can screw people long after their products have ceased to make them any money whatsoever.

2) "Copy-protection" measures which effectively extend a copyright indefinitely by enforcing a copyright after it has expired (when the maker no longer has any right to do so).

3) Licensing terms which abridge fair-use rights on what is, effectively, a written work. Such practices would get a person drummed out of the book publishing industry; why should it be different for software (or music, or movies, or other copyrightable works)?

Copyrights are, by and large, a Good Thing. It's the current U.S. implementation of copyright that we complain about, because it's far too open to abuse in its current form.

Re:A moment of silence (1)

Sheeple Police (247465) | about 14 years ago | (#646126)

But that goes against the cardinal rule of "Big Media" - Money is to be taken, not given

It's mainly a support issue (1)

GregWalrath (9458) | about 14 years ago | (#646127)

Software companies are deathly afraid that someone is going to download Balance of Power or Karateka or some other such game, then expect the original publisher to support that game, even though it's been abandoned for years, and even though site operators write 'this is completely unsupported and you are on your own if there's a problem' in big, bold, capital letters all over the web site.

Yes, lawyers do some greedy, nasty things to defend the extremely wealthy (yes, that's you RIAA), but they also spend a lot of their time defending their clients against really stupid people.

Character trademarks is a driver. (4)

Christopher Thomas (11717) | about 14 years ago | (#646128)

If a manufacturer stops selling a title, why don't they partner with sites like this who are already making the title available, and come up with a licensing agreement? You can't buy Electronic Art's "Balance of Power" anymore. They're not making money. Why are they spending money to send out cease-and-desist letters? Where's the revenue stream? What's the business model?

My guess is that this is partly an "on principle" thing, but also largely an action to protect their character trademarks.

"Balance of Power" may not be selling copies, but if they cease to enforce trademarks on their characters/designs, the designs may become public domain. This would prevent them from releasing "Balance of Power VII" down the road - and worse, it would let someone *else* release it!

So, I can see where they're coming from (though I agree that it's a pain).

Re:It's mainly a support issue (1)

GregWalrath (9458) | about 14 years ago | (#646129)

but also, admittedly, part of it is greed - the companies don't want you playing old games and getting enjoyment out of those for free, they want you buying new games.

"Abandonware" can be misleading (3)

Masem (1171) | about 14 years ago | (#646130)

I do believe that there needs to be some sort of middle ground between basically obtaining old games without compensation to the owners, and having no access to the games. (Hint, look at BMG/Napster).

One thing to concider is how 'abandoned' is Abandonware? A good recent example is the classic game Reach for the Stars; the original was out in the early 90s, DOS text mode based. It was probably the first commercial turn-based 4X game out there (predated by similar games on BBSes). Of course, the game disappeared up till recently; a company has now basically put a nice DirX GUI on top of the underlying gameplay and released it. From the demo, it plays nearly the same as I remember from the original game. Now, in 1998 , it would have been called Abandonware, but now it's a real product. Would the text-mode version still be considered Abandonware?

IMO, what the companies should do is create secure sites where you can pay a small fee ($10/yr?) to gain access to the sites and can download games under the company's controlled environment; the company would not be responsible for any tech support or any documentation (save for cases where you had manual based copy protection). If a company decides to revamp a title, it can remove it from the server under their control. End result, more profits, abet small, for the company, and the games would not disappear forever, keeping classic gamers happy.

But of course, this is logical, and we all know how most companies operate...

Re:copyright -- take it or leave it. (2)

LarsG (31008) | about 14 years ago | (#646131)

Why is it on Slashdot that many of the same people who think its okay to break copyright laws in cases of emulation, 'free' music and abadonware are the same people who would scream the loudest if a company were to run afoul of the GPL?

They are usually two different sets of people, but whatever..

The GPL is built upon copyright law. Copyright law is the foundation of the GPL (or any other license you care to mention). Take it or leave it.

Please keep in mind that the Copyright law has two sides.

On one hand, it provides an incentive to produce and distribute IP. Whoever creates a work is given a time limited monopoly on sale and distribution.

On the other hand, the society should benefit to the fullest extent from the ideas, thoughts and experiences embodied in the work. That is why we have the notion of "fair use". Also, the work enters the public domain after the copyright expires.

What is happening, though, is that the copyright owners are not upholding their part of the deal. Old works that have not entered the public domain yet is rotting away. We see this happening with old movie classics, with books, with old computer games. The media that many of these works are stored on will turn to dust, and as a result of that we'll loose a considerable amount of our society's history.

It should really be the duty of the original author or publisher (or arguably, the libraries) to maintain these works until they enter the public domain.

According to the law, abandonware sites are illegal. According to morality and the original intent of the Copyright law, they are preserving an important piece of the histroy of computing.

And for people that really care, go read Eldred vs Reno.

Copyright Law (3)

Syllepsis (196919) | about 14 years ago | (#646132)

Copyright law was designed only to allow authors compensation for their works. Obviously, the spirit of the law is entirely absent in this case, and what I cannot figure out is why the authors and companies can possibly care about abandonware.

The only reason I can see is force upgrading, which is a bizzarre thing to happen in gaming. Perhaps a law stating that you loose your copyright after 3-5 years of not selling your work would be in order.

They'll get shut down at the registrar level. (1)

ChaosEmerald (178369) | about 14 years ago | (#646133)

Based on your own Services Agreement, Register.com does not allow member pages/websites/domain name holders with copyright violations in the form of pirated software.

This is one of the reasons I find the most important thing when considering a registrar is what gives them the right to take it away. So far, Gandi still seems to be on top with that. (We give the domain, you do what you want)

An Interesting Idea (1)

rc55 (148414) | about 14 years ago | (#646134)

One thing I found which would be an interesting solution would be to offer software vendors the facility to remove abandonware from these sites. I've seen this done to great effect on the "World of Spectrum" site, which archives a massive amount of ZX Spectrum games (probably Timex in the US, 8-bit computer). The Underdogs have always been a great supporter of staying on the right side of abandonware ethics and I think that this could be a viable solution rather than ripping the whole site down. One other thing to note about abandonware is this; with operating systems like Windows ME and 2000, it is becoming continually hard to get quite a lot of these titles working completely (with sound -- try doing some legacy games with Win2k and an SBLive), so the chances are the potential viewership of these sites are more experienced users... thus making reselling of these games economically unviable. My downloading habits with abandonware only seem to be one or two older games for nostalgic purposes (purchased of course ;P), but I wouldnt go about collecting entire archives. Ruairi --- http://www.musicfrequency.com/ Just my blurb, flame me if you want, I have no ego.

Re:Classic games really this important? (3)

Flounder (42112) | about 14 years ago | (#646135)

When I want to play a game I like a nice long plot/story and I usually can't find that in most "classic" games. Are there any good examples of these games with a novelistic plot?

It sounds like you've never played an Infocom game. No graphics, all text, but some of the better stories out there. Certainly beats the weak storylines of Diablo, Baldur's Gate, and any recent Ultima game. Hitchhiker's Guide, Planetfall, any of the text Zork games, and Deadline (which I'm still trying to finish after 14 years.)

Also good are the early Sierra games. They didn't have the graphics, so they had to balance with an awesome story and gameplay.

Re:What I don't get is... (2)

SquadBoy (167263) | about 14 years ago | (#646136)

It does not make sense but this is the way that "people" like the IDSA work. They own it and you can't touch it damnit. The companies pay IDSA to do this this is what they do. Their thought is that that they own the software if they wanted you to have it they would sell it to you since they don't sell it to you they don't want you to have it. They see it as a zero sum game not as something where everybody wins in other words they are idiots but we knew this.

IDSA (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about 14 years ago | (#646138)

IDSA are the software industry equivilent of trolls.

It's just a bad dream. Make it stop.


Re:False information (1)

Paul Sheridan (220709) | about 14 years ago | (#646140)

I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume your not just making this stuff up but what the hell does all that mean?
What is a facia level one consultant? What is a production-strata level product? What is the Galelio Zanith method?
I think most of us who care about this just like playing old games our pcs and aren't facia level one consultants like you (whatever that means).

Maybe the IDSA should look at Maritime law (5)

R. Cain (212785) | about 14 years ago | (#646142)

Seems like one of the most ancient edicts of naval law allows the commandeering of any abandoned vessel and recognizes the commandering party as the rightful owner.

Seems logical enough. Why not apply this to software?
I mean hell, if a program is no longer being marketed nor developed by it's respective corp/programmer, then by all means it should be deligated to public domain.

But, of course... that line of thinking would require an ounce of common sense... Something on very short supply in the electronic media industry.

Re:It's to screw people (2)

DeadSea (69598) | about 14 years ago | (#646148)

I enjoyed Ladder [f2s.com] , an abondonware game, so much that I cloned it.

I don't know how much latitude I have under copyright law to distribute a clone. Probably none. If the copyright owners were to ask me to stop distributing the game, I would.

In my own little fantasy world, I believe that those persons (unknown to me) who originally did the game would love to see more people getting enjoyment out of it. But then again, I could understand if they did not feel this way. So get it while its hot!

Re:A moment of silence (1)

joshsisk (161347) | about 14 years ago | (#646151)

For example, a game like Civilization - great game, but comparitively week now a days. However, it can (and has been) released in the sort of 'classic' form.

Weak? I think the original Civ could be classified as weak only in the graphics department. Personally, I consider Civilization to be the definition of a "classic" game... It has been revamped several times and, in general, the revamping has been mostly limited to the graphics (Civ II) and setting (Alpha Centauri). The revamps (Call to Power, Test of Time) which have changed the game's structure have failed critically and commercially. The "sequels" which have stayed true to the original (Civ II, Alpha Centauri) have done well commercially and have won accolades from the press. I believe both Civ II and Alpha Centauri were in the top ten of PC Gamers best games list. Alpha Centauri is a really great game, and just adds to the framework which was laid by the original Civ games.

Josh Sisk

Re:Change the protocol? (1)

CaseStudy (119864) | about 14 years ago | (#646152)

That's the MyMP3 case.

Re:Did Anyone Else Find This Ironic? (1)

devjoe (88696) | about 14 years ago | (#646153)

Well, FWIW, the IDSA site is slashdotted too, so I can't even find out from their site what companies they are representing.

A view from a game developer (2)

ClassicG (138845) | about 14 years ago | (#646155)

Speaking as a game developer myself, I am still amazed at the attitude that the IDSA takes over this matter of sites offering older titles. Maybe I'm in the minority, but I consider games as much a form of art as products for sale, and the 'art' value has potential well beyond a game's ability to earn money. If someone were to take any of -my- games and archive them for posterity once they were past the peak of their income-earning ability, I personally would be honored, not yelling for my lawyer.

Is there -any- point to this other than the fact that they can? Perhaps the notion that access to older games will make people have less interest in buying newer ones has a tiny bit of merit, but that's pretty damn petty.

Most forms of art simply cannot survive forever in their original medium. Books rot, film deteriorates, paintings get damaged, and so on. Games are no exception to this, and are even more prone to problems of this nature. The march of technology leaves many once-cherished games behind and since most companies often just do not care, the ONLY way that many of these can be preserved is through the actions of Abandonware groups.

Christopher 'ClassicGamer' Corkum
Pixel Rush Studios

Legal code (3)

truthsearch (249536) | about 14 years ago | (#646157)

IDSA claims an incorrect interpretation of the following US code:
Title 17, Sec. 117. Limitations on exclusive rights: Computer programs - (a) Making of Additional Copy or Adaptation by Owner of Copy. - Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106, it is not an infringement for the owner of a copy of a computer program to make or authorize the making of another copy or adaptation of that computer program provided: (1) that such a new copy or adaptation is created as an essential step in the utilization of the computer program in conjunction with a machine and that it is used in no other manner, or (2) that such new copy or adaptation is for archival purposes only and that all archival copies are destroyed in the event that continued possession of the computer program should cease to be rightful.
IDSA states "the right to make backup copies of computer programs for archival purposes, as embodied in 17 U.S.C. Section 117(2), does not in any way authorize the owner of a copy of a video or computer game to post or download a copy of that game to or from the Internet." The law states the purpose of copying, and does not limit the methods. Laws are written to limit actions, yet they are claiming that the law does not state you can do something, so you can't. That's like saying that since there's no part of the US Code which states I can breath, I'm not permitted to breath. It would be very sad if arguments such as this hold up in court.

Did Anyone Else Find This Ironic? (1)

ekrout (139379) | about 14 years ago | (#646158)

"Hey, I just read that IDSA is suing a certain abandonware website. Here's a link to my abandonware website." -- unicron, poster of this article

That's kind of like a drug dealer hearing about another neighborhood drug dealer getting busted, and then sending a news flash article into the local newspaper as himself.

Eric Krout

Some of this is history (1)

Demon-Xanth (100910) | about 14 years ago | (#646161)

Books have libraries, software has nothing. Until the library of congress starts archiving software, we will continue to have software lost, forgotten, and even when an attempted ressurection is attempted a lawyer comes in. Only a third party with a large amount of resources or the actual software companies can do something about it.

Wha??? (3)

Zarniwoop (25791) | about 14 years ago | (#646163)

Come on! I've used those sites in what I consider to be a legitement manner, even within the current copywright law (or at least grey area).

Many years ago, I got my first PC. A 386/SX 16, with one meg of ram and forty megs on the hard drive. Not so long after, I picked up "Privateer", a Wing Commander spin-off. It was one of the best and most enjoyable games I've ever played, and I spent *many* hours on it while other people were shooting up Castle Wolfenstein. Eventually, we got rid of the computer, and in the years following, I managed to loose the disks.

About two years ago, I decided I wanted to play it again. It's just a damn cool game.

I couldn't find the disks. Nowhere in the house, it wasn't installed on any old computers that I could find, etc etc etc... so I went on a hunt for it at stores (I had seen in in the "Classic titles" boxes that were around a while ago). Couldn't find it. Not suprising for that old of a game.

So I went on the Internet. Tried to find a copy, so I could still play the game that *I still own*. I finally found a copy, and enjoy playing it just as much as when it was new. It's kinda like downloading an mp3 of a song that you already have on CD.

If the companies aren't even going to support the software, then why go after people who are sharing the old, unsupported games and utilities?

What do I do, when it seems I relate to Judas more than You?

Re:Classic games really this important? (3)

Alioth (221270) | about 14 years ago | (#646165)

Yes. The entire Elite series - Elite, Frontier Elite 2 and Frontier: First Encounters.

They have a big fanfiction following, and the Elite Club [eliteclub.co.uk] will soon be offering the source code for FE:2 and FFE. See Frontier Developments [frontier.co.uk] website for more info on these games, or see alioth.net [alioth.net] for a website set in the fictional Frontier Elite Universe.

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