the Commie 64 lives?
trixter at oldskool.org
Wed Nov 28 00:11:36 CST 2007
Chris M wrote:
> In all honesty, are there likely to be penalties for
> owning/downloading old software like that?
Legally, yes. Practically, no.
The Internet Archive got a real bone-fide exception from the US
government (DMCA, I believe) to archive software that has historical
significance. Everyone else is breaking the law.
Should you worry? Probably not. There are very high-profile sites that
have been around for over a decade (Asimov mirrors and c64.com comes to
mind; many others) that have not been served with any cease and desist
letters because most software companies don't feel they are being harmed
through unauthorized distribution of materials.
> I do remember when it was deemed
> *illegal* for websites to host arcade machine roms
> (presumably it's also *illegal* to own them).
It's *always* been illegal :-)
The sites that get hit with cease and desist letters are sites that are
hosting ROMs for games which the current copyright holders are still
utilizing for money. The most obvious example would be Nintendo
cracking down on all NES/SNES sites because their newest console, the
Wii, has an online service where you can purchase the same games and
play them in an emulator on the Wii.
> illegal to xerox a page from a book at the library,
> but it goes on every day of the week.
It's not illegal in the US depending on what your usage is. There is a
Fair Use clause in US copyright law that protects your copy if you are
using it for a limited number of purposes (educational, parody, a few
others). Fair Use does **not** protect you from causing the copyright
holder financial harm and/or using said property to damage their image
> Anyway, I'm most interested in UK/Euro shareware and
> stuff, mostly the old games for the C64 (and other
> platforms as well). Does anyone remember that stupid
> little game with the robot...all I can say is I
> managed to get it to the *end* and the thing always
> would up screaming it's guts out (due to electrocution
Email me off-list as I think Jay would agree going this route would be
OT. One such list to discuss the hobby of collecting old software
(games or otherwise) is the "swcollect" mailing list. However, that
list is down this week as I'm upgrading my infrastructure at the moment :-)
Jim Leonard (trixter at oldskool.org) http://www.oldskool.org/
Help our electronic games project: http://www.mobygames.com/
Or check out some trippy MindCandy at http://www.mindcandydvd.com/
A child borne of the home computer wars: http://trixter.wordpress.com/
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