Vintage Software Copyright

Peter Cetinski pete at
Fri Aug 21 10:21:33 CDT 2015

This discussion on the legality of sharing manuals, PDFs, etc. leads me to think about the vintage computing hobby as a whole.  While we all encourage the hobby to grow, the downside is that as it does, the software copyright holders may start to take notice.  As a developer of modern systems who expects to be paid for my work (except what I share with the community of course) I am in a conundrum because the hobby cannot succeed without the large collection of easily accessible vintage software available yet there is no way to “buy” most of it today.  But, we would also not expect or would we pay 1980s retail prices.  I know some generous copyright owners have allowed unrestricted use of their old software, like Roy Soltoff from Misosys, but many others have not or have disappeared.  I’m fairly new to the hobby so maybe this has already been hashed out years ago.  Just wondering what the community thinks.

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