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Default Interesting links for gamers (Indie games, Abandonware, Mods)

August 17th, 2019, 17:13
Public domain games aren't abandoned at all, they are just released to the public - which is the eventual fate of all intellectual property. Copyrights are never eternal.

Abandonware itself, though? I suspect there is no such concept legally. Practically speaking, though, a game can get to the point where a game's owner (if you can even figure out who that is - see No One Lives Forever) is never going to care enough to even speak out against people stealing it from them, never mind prosecuting.

That was definitely an easy state to get to before digital distribution. Stores are not going to take up valuable shelf space to stock a game that didn't sell well 5 years earlier. Now, though, all you have to do is make sure the game can still run on modern systems - and Windows is actually pretty good at making old things run fine. Abandonware is going to start getting pretty rare.

People WILL use it to try and justify piracy, of course. People will use anything to do that. Hey, the CEO of Games4U drives a VW, not an American car! What a slap in the face to the American worker! I'm totally justified when I steal his games!
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August 17th, 2019, 17:28
I make an exception for games that it's no longer possible to purchase; games that have literally been abandoned. My position is that if you make it available to purchase, I'll pay you for it. But if it's totally unavailable, yet can be accessed by downloading it somewhere, I don't feel too bad about that.
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August 17th, 2019, 21:14
Well selling a game (should) require supporting the game. You can decide not to sell it this year but then sell it next year - of course if people snatch it then you will likely make less money next year when you do sell it.
-
Also more frequently the ip gets tied up in various way making it difficult to sell. I think we should call it what it is and not pretend it isn't (theft).



Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
I make an exception for games that it's no longer possible to purchase; games that have literally been abandoned. My position is that if you make it available to purchase, I'll pay you for it. But if it's totally unavailable, yet can be accessed by downloading it somewhere, I don't feel too bad about that.
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August 17th, 2019, 22:46
Originally Posted by you View Post
Well selling a game (should) require supporting the game. You can decide not to sell it this year but then sell it next year - of course if people snatch it then you will likely make less money next year when you do sell it.
-
Also more frequently the ip gets tied up in various way making it difficult to sell. I think we should call it what it is and not pretend it isn't (theft).
Well, I don’t accept the idea of any piracy as theft in general. Some of these anti-piracy adverts say things like, “You wouldn’t steal an old lady’s handbag, so why do you download something without paying for it?” I think that’s preposterous – stealing a lady’s purse and torrenting an episode of South Park are categorically different things. The former deprives a person of property, the latter is essentially a licencing violation. I think that civilised people understand that paying for software or media licences is important to keep those folks in business and reward their work, but there’s no way I’d accept that downloading a piece of software that’s no longer on the market is “theft”.

I take your point about things coming back to market in certain circumstances, in which case I’d pay for something I’d acquired, but I wouldn’t feel too bad about getting hold of it by sharing if that was the only way at a given time. I certainly don’t think I’d be in with the purse-snatchers.
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August 18th, 2019, 00:46
I'm not sure this is the right place to have the conversation as it would be quite long and involved a lot of details and debate around ip, concepts, physical vs virtual, restrictions, drm, and more. But I will say that you are deriving a narrow defn of ownership which for the most part excludes intellectual property. While I might or might not agree with you - you should consider the slippery slope as you walk the line between physical and virtual.

Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
Well, I don’t accept the idea of any piracy as theft in general. Some of these anti-piracy adverts say things like, “You wouldn’t steal an old lady’s handbag, so why do you download something without paying for it?” I think that’s preposterous – stealing a lady’s purse and torrenting an episode of South Park are categorically different things. The former deprives a person of property, the latter is essentially a licencing violation. I think that civilised people understand that paying for software or media licences is important to keep those folks in business and reward their work, but there’s no way I’d accept that downloading a piece of software that’s no longer on the market is “theft”.

I take your point about things coming back to market in certain circumstances, in which case I’d pay for something I’d acquired, but I wouldn’t feel too bad about getting hold of it by sharing if that was the only way at a given time. I certainly don’t think I’d be in with the purse-snatchers.
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August 18th, 2019, 02:27
Well, I’m definitely not walking a line between physical and virtual – I’m stating they are categorically different. I think when considering the matter, the question of degrees of seriousness is important, as is the distinction between not paying a licence fee vs stealing a piece of property – such that the owner no longer possesses it and you possess it instead. The law certainly makes those distinctions.

I would rate something like downloading a piece of software for which you cannot legitimately purchase a licence as slightly naughty – akin to parking in a spot where you didn’t buy a permit, because there was nowhere else to park. We shouldn’t really do it, but I wouldn’t feel too terrible about it, nor judge anyone else very harshly for it. I consider that pirating a game which is available and you could afford to buy to be a shitty thing to do, and socially irresponsible. And then, in a much more serious category, stealing an old lady’s purse is morally reprehensible and deserving of serious consequences.

I wonder how many people here have ever pirated something. They are all, including me, a bit naughty, but if they are wracked with shame because they are as bad as thieves that robbed an old lady’s shopping money, the media industry has succeeded in seriously confusing them.
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August 18th, 2019, 07:49
True abandonware is very rare nowadays (at least for PC games). Remember that I started this thread 2006. Home of the Underdogs was often the only place to get abandoned games and check them out.
Today we have GOG, Ebay and Steam has many old games, too - so there's rarely a need to use an abandonware site.
Home of The Underdogs is still a good site for reviews, mods and guides to get old games running.
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August 18th, 2019, 15:05
I remember an article about that Dinosaur strategy RTS game … I read that the developers wanted to buy the rights back. The publisher had gone bancrupt. The problem was that a bank (a German Sparkasse) was having the rights, because they had bought EVERYTHING from the bancrupt publisher.

Now, that has led me to the horrible thought : How many banks are virtually sitting on rights of any kind of media product no-one knows about ? And which are not only gathering dust but also become forgotten ?
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August 18th, 2019, 21:01
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Now, that has led me to the horrible thought : How many banks are virtually sitting on rights of any kind of media product no-one knows about ? And which are not only gathering dust but also become forgotten ?
Quite a few - though mostly for games nobody is really interested in seeing show up again.

It gets even more confusing because the music, the right to publish, the actual IP rights, and who-knows-what-else can be divided up. No One Lives Forever is the poster child for that issue. Warner, Activision, and Fox all *may* own pieces of that game. However, it isn't worth it to them to even look up whether that's true or not!

<Obvious fix: legally require corporate copyright holders to give a definitive yes or no within a month of a request, free of charge. Individuals get longer because an individual might be on vacation, in a coma, or otherwise unavailable for more than a month.>
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September 19th, 2019, 18:19
Get Jagged Alliance 2 (the original not v1.13) to run under Win 8 and Win10:
The game should run much faster now!
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