Yeah, except that abandonware has no legal standing. We were trying to
do this work legally, getting permissions from licence holders, and it
proved impossible -- not because we couldn't find the people concerned,
even after 20+ years, or convince them that preservation was a good idea
-- we could, and did. It was impossible because determining for sure
who owned the old copyrights was, in many cases, impossible. This is a
sleeper copyright issue atm, as far as I can tell, which tends to get
subsumed within "abandonware" discourses, as in your reply.
I take your point about treading too carefully around copyright (and in
another situation, it's probably not what I'd advocate doing). But the
fact is that many institutions do take a careful, conservative approach,
and it is important to have such institutions participating in the
preservation of cultural content. Because copyright worries them, it
functions as an excuse to do nothing, particularly in relation to a set
of artefacts (software, digital games), whose cultural worth some remain
to be convinced of.
So "no-one cares anymore or is making any substantial income off it" =
institutions won't touch it.
Ironically, it's these very institutions that can make the problems with
copyright in relation to preservation go away, because many enjoy
exemptions on the prohibition against making copies for preservation
Luke Munn wrote:
Yeah I believe that would fall under the
"abandonware" category = e.g.
no-one cares anymore or is making any substantial income off it.
I'm not an IP lawyer or knowledgeable on this topic, so I'm not sure
if there is a legal precedence for this, but it is used on thousands
of videogames, especially, and other media.
Imho in some cases people tread too carefully around copyright. Trashy
web example: failblog.org
recently did a post on 'record breaking
fail' using the Guiness Book of World Records logo. GBWR sent a cease
and desist style email, Failblog pixelated over the logo and removed a
word, problem solved.
Dr Melanie Swalwell
Senior Lecturer, Screen and Media
& Course Coordinator, B. Media
GPO Box 2100
Adelaide SA 5001
125B Humanities Bldg
Ph: +61 8 8201 2619
Fax: +61 8 8201 3635