Larry Niven's Altair
cclist at sydex.com
Thu Aug 20 23:22:10 CDT 2015
> Be it right or wrong to use an unlicensed copy...Even back in 1976
> MSOFT to my knowledge did not pursue legal action against end users
> for violation of its BASIC license, so why in 2015 presume MSOFT
> would start now? To be honorable it would not hurt to send a letter
> to the Living History Museum c/o Paul Allen to ask for a hobbyist
> license but we both know that is a huge longshot. Maybe Ian King
> would have his ear. But to what end?
> Again, I respect your opinion not looking to argue beyond this
> friendly reply. As I said before I do have a license but it is not
> for sale..where would I get a new copy?
Sure, I understand. Paul Allen might get a personal kick out of it.
My experience with the world of music publishing is somewhat related,
however. Pretty much in the USA, if a copyright was renewed and made it
to 1978, it has a lifetime of 95 years, until the US Congress extends
that to 120-150 years. (The US Supreme Court has held that creating
copyrights that never expire (i.e. copyright in perpetuity) is not
constitutional, it has held that there is not a specific upper limit to
Nor is it necessary that one possess an actual copy of the material
under copyright protection. Consider Warner Bros., owner of the
copyright to "Happy Birthday to you". The authors of the ditty had
both been long dead when Warner acquired the copyright--and it brings in
about $2 million a year. (There reportedly has been discovered a 1922
book with the words and music, which, by copyright terms then in force,
would render Happy Birthday to be in the public domain.)
Indeed, I've been contacted by an author for a copy of his own software
to be licensed to another party, as he'd lost the code several years
back. (Yes, I purchased a license way back when).
Unlike patents and trademarks, it's not necessary for the copyright
holder to prosecute every infringement brought to his attention. He can
simply select the deepest pockets.
I've tried to get permission to arrange a work written in 1917, but not
published until 1969 and been refused (and not politely). Of course,
the author had already been dead in 1969...
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