Software-based floppy disc data separator
cisin at xenosoft.com
Sun Jun 20 22:27:01 CDT 2010
On Sun, 20 Jun 2010, Keith wrote:
> > I think it is great all these floppy reading projects are sprouting up.
> Well, I sort of sprouted up around 2005. :)
A ways after I burned out on my attempts
The bills to continue the projects were far past what I could manage.
> I don't want to digress here unnecessarily. And my viewpoint might not
> be popular. There's a large portion of the software that is
> abandonware, companies are defunct, IP isn't owned by anyone.
When a company closes, its assets go to its creditors and its owners.
When a person DIES, their assets got to their heirs.
(and MY heirs aren't as sweet and nice as I am! My executor has the
legal authority to destroy certain assets if unduly pressured. You do NOT
want to incur the wrath of Kathy!)
SEVERAL times I moved my company offices. Each time, even if it was just
a few blocks (such as when I moved from 1454 6th street to 2210 6th
street), and even each time that I discontinued an advertisement, I would
find out that people were declaring that XenoSoft was defunct, and that
therefore my software was "abandonware" or "public domain". Just because
you might not be able to find me on the first page in Google does NOT mean
that I no longer exist!
> Where there is an IP owner, they are not likely to be aware of, care, or
> spend time/energy/money trying to enforce those rights.
Do you know what it costs? A couple of companies were SELLING copies of
one of my programs. Just getting them to STOP was going to cost $10K,
and there was little or no hope of getting ANY compensation back. One
such expected to declare bankruptcy, so they spent everything that had
come in, including trips to the French Riviera!. They owed me more than
$80,000. I got $1200, and paid out $7400 in legal bills. What should I
do with the rest of those profits? I did succeed in putting "Nick
Coolman" out of business. Yes, it would have been much cheaper to stop
them with unlawful means.
It is certainly possible (and common) that somebody might not CARE about
their IP rights. IFF they explicitly declare it to be public domain, then
it is available. If they do NOT make such an explicit declaration, then
the the IP rights still exist.
They might not be able to afford to protect their rights.
They might not CARE about those rights.
But those rights still have ownership.
LONG after VisiCalc ceased to be a retail product, I had an opportunity to
purchase a non-exclusive share of the rights to it. If Adam Osborn had
acted more quickly to get a piece of the VisiCalc IP rights, then he would
have been COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY immune to the lawsuit(s) from Lotus!
If I were to have acted immediately and bought it, and then handed it over
to him, rather than wait for him to take action, then Paperback Software
would not have had to go under. But, he waited too long, and Lotus found
out and became high bidder.
> Copyright laws in the US (and in many other countries) suck.
Yep - because they don't include castration for infringers who hide behind
declaring what they want to be "abandoned".
There are many things horrifically wrong with USA IP law.
Your inability to get what YOU want, and are not entitled to,
is hardly one of the significant ones.
> We need access to this knowledge, now, while it's still important.
Did you ASK for it?
If you DID ask, and the owner said "NO!", then where do you get off
declaring that you can take it from its rightful owner?
The law kinda takes a dim view of stealing stuff, when the justification
was that the owner wouldn't let you have it.
If you didn't ask, then that's YOUR problem.
You would be amazed how much of it IS available, and can be made LEGAL, by
asking first. MANY heirs don't want it. It often takes little or nothing
to make it worth their while to give it to you. On the other hand,
DEMANDING it can convince the legal owner to DESTROY it rather than
passing it on. I suspect that some major mistakes were made in working
with Don Maslin's widow.
Whether or not their reasons for refusal are good ones is really NOT up to
Grumpy Ol' Fred
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