great abandonware for your classic PC

Ian King IanK at
Tue Mar 16 23:39:53 CDT 2010

>-----Original Message-----
>From: cctalk-bounces at [mailto:cctalk-
>bounces at] On Behalf Of Jim Leonard
>Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2010 8:05 PM
>To: General at; Discussion@
>Subject: Re: great abandonware for your classic PC
>On 3/16/2010 9:20 PM, Fred Cisin wrote:
>> There is NO abandonware anywhere on that site.  EVERYTHING there is
>> illegal copies for piracy.
>Abandonware is one of the most horrible terms I had the unfortunate
>history of helping coin.  I was part of the original movement and
>lobbied very heavily to call "software no longer made available in any
>form by the publisher" by the term "oldwarez".  Unfortunately I lost,
>and the horrid term "abandonware" was chosen.
>I'm not going to get into a discussion about pirating software with
>those who do it for a living.  We pirate software every time we get our
>old computers running (ie. you didn't really pay for that 30-yr-old
>operating system, did you?) so such a discussion would be hypocritical.

Yes, we did pay - or at least in kind.  

I spent months negotiating with a certain large corporation for rights to run their software, even thought it would have been trivial for me to simply install it from vintage media (that I possessed).  The software in question is certainly obsolete, but there is no question that they own the rights to it.  In other cases, it's hard to figure out who owns the rights - we're currently working with some folks on just such issues.  The degree of difficulty does not justify 'assuming' a faux doctrine such as 'abandonware'.  

Yes, I too have worked in roles that made money from intellectual property: software and music.  It's funny how it changes your perspective.  

Michael Jackson is still dead, but I read just today about a new business deal being negotiated about his music.  Death is the ultimate abandonment - but the intellectual property rights live on.  Is it 'right' or 'just'?  Sorry, I gave up swallowing camels and straining at gnats years ago.  I do know that wishing doesn't make it so, and wishing away others' IP rights, regardless of coming up with a clever moniker, is no guarantee that some lawyer somewhere isn't going to put his next child through college on your tab.  

-- Ian 

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