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AuthorTopic: whdload collections legal?  (Read 8832 times)

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Offline orb85750

whdload collections legal?
« on: September 15, 2011, 10:36:19 PM »
I'm not going to harp on this one, but I just want to know -- and maybe it's a stupid question:  There are sellers on eBay providing tons of whdload (commercial) games on CF.  Is this copyright infringement?  I know that copyrights don't simply expire/become public domain  -- at least not in 20-25 years. "Abandonware?" is that a legally recognized concept??
 

Offline fitzsteve

Re: whdload collections legal?
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2011, 10:48:15 PM »
No, they are not Legal.  But the Copyright holders need to bring a case and many of them are absolved by larger companies now who are just not interested in a small time eBay seller.

Same for people selling pirate Kickstart Roms, Workbench Disks, etc...  

What shocks me is people actually pay £40 for a CF Card they can get for £8 and a CF-IDE adapter they can get for 99p :lol:

Everything else they can download from one site in A-Z packs...
 

Offline runequester

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Re: whdload collections legal?
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2011, 11:04:21 PM »
Abandonware is real in so far that most of the companies dont care about their amiga titles or dont exist anymore.
A few like team17 just made adfs available.

It is not however a legal concept anywhere in the world i know of.
 

Offline haywirepc

Re: whdload collections legal?
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2011, 11:23:29 PM »
May not be legal but in my view its keeping that software alive for people who still care to use it. The original software makers, many are long out of business, or moved on to pc/mac and don't care. If they did, I'm sure they would protect their titles more.
 
To people who really care about that old software, it is really nice and convienant to get like 2000+ games ready to go already installed. I got one myself and really enjoyed it. It was only slightly more expensive than a 4gb cf card by itself. I think it was a fair price for the time the seller took to format/copy the files.
 
Steven
 

Offline Tripitaka

Re: whdload collections legal?
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2011, 11:26:05 PM »
Well it is a bit fuzzy in some respects. Copyright only works IF YOU DEFEND IT. It's not illegal UNTIL you are challenged. So as long as you put the cash aside from each sale to pay the copyright when (and if) you get challenged your OK. Oh allright, I admit that is a totally immoral approach, sadly it's an approached that has been used many times in the past to great effect, often by big companies.
The trick when you get challenged of course is to say "I never intended to rob anyone, have your copyright fee." ....and then pay up.
It's not the same everywhere of course, America has far stricter laws than in the UK. I will give you an example. Bung, a Chinese manufacturer made the V64 Doctor back up unit for the N64 ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIcsqA8Dco0 ). This device was illegal to sell in the US. The ruling was that video game carts could not be backed-up as they counted as hardware, the data on them was proprietary code (protected) that made the hardware do what it did. In the UK, the courts considered the carts to be software and backing up your software to protect your investment was (and is still) completely legal. These days of course you don't get to own anything as you only have the software under license, but that's another story again.
At the end of the day of course I'm with fitzsteve on this, it is a pricy way to buy a CF card.
Falling into a dark and red rage.
 

Offline amigakit

Re: whdload collections legal?
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2011, 11:32:17 PM »
They are not legal if they do not have the Copyright owner's permission to distribute.

Remember: we are not talking about old games here,  these sellers are preloading Hard Drives with a WHDLoad Key and re-selling it over many times.  WHDLoad is an excellent piece of software that is regularly updated and the author does not deserve to have his work pirated. They are also reselling Workbench and AmigaOS files without permission.  

These sellers are selling their CF hard disks at a price of nearly double the market price.  The sellers in question are selling sufficient quantities to be considered a business by the tax authorities but are not registered as a business, not paying taxes and have little interest in providing after-sales support.  We have had dozens of phone calls from their customers to us asking for help.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2011, 11:34:36 PM by amigakit »
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Offline bbond007

Re: whdload collections legal?
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2011, 11:43:14 PM »
Quote from: haywirepc;659513
I got one myself and really enjoyed it. It was only slightly more expensive than a 4gb cf card by itself.


AND - You probably left an electronic paper trial. Now you will always have to be looking over your shoulder for Bill and Fleecy...
 

Offline Tripitaka

Re: whdload collections legal?
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2011, 11:46:25 PM »
Quote from: bbond007;659518
AND - You probably left an electronic paper trial. Now you will always have to be looking over your shoulder for Bill and Fleecy...


Dude, that's the stuff nightmares are made of.
Falling into a dark and red rage.
 

Offline bbond007

Re: whdload collections legal?
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2011, 11:49:54 PM »
Quote from: Tripitaka;659521
Dude, that's the stuff nightmares are made of.


At least you won't have to worry about the FBI - too busy trying figure out who hacked Scarlett Johansson's iPhone.
 

Offline itix

Re: whdload collections legal?
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2011, 12:11:58 AM »
Quote from: Tripitaka;659514
Copyright only works IF YOU DEFEND IT. It's not illegal UNTIL you are challenged.


Nothing in this world is illegal until you are challenged.
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Offline orb85750

Re: whdload collections legal?
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2011, 12:22:37 AM »
Quote from: amigakit;659515
They are not legal if they do not have the Copyright owner's permission to distribute.

Remember: we are not talking about old games here,  these sellers are preloading Hard Drives with a WHDLoad Key and re-selling it over many times.  WHDLoad is an excellent piece of software that is regularly updated and the author does not deserve to have his work pirated. They are also reselling Workbench and AmigaOS files without permission.  

These sellers are selling their CF hard disks at a price of nearly double the market price.  The sellers in question are selling sufficient quantities to be considered a business by the tax authorities but are not registered as a business, not paying taxes and have little interest in providing after-sales support.  We have had dozens of phone calls from their customers to us asking for help.


Interesting, I wonder if the author of WHDLoad has tried to contact eBay to prevent the unauthorized sale of his work.  That should be very easy for him to do.
 

Offline Darrin

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Re: whdload collections legal?
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2011, 12:26:01 AM »
Quote from: itix;659526
Nothing in this world is illegal until you are challenged.


So you're saying that kidnapping and having sex with an 8 year old isn't illegal unless you're caught?  Tell that to the judge.
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Offline haywirepc

Re: whdload collections legal?
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2011, 12:29:23 AM »
Many of the people who are selling these things include UNREGISTERED whdload.
 

Offline orb85750

Re: whdload collections legal?
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2011, 12:45:51 AM »
Quote from: Tripitaka;659514
Well it is a bit fuzzy in some respects. Copyright only works IF YOU DEFEND IT. It's not illegal UNTIL you are challenged.


That may be true for patent disputes, but copyright infringement in the USA is clearly illegal.  We have seen bootleggers of DVDs, etc. get heavy fines, or even imprisonment.  It does not require a complaint/challenge from the movie studio.  It's simply a crime to make unauthorized copies and sell them on the street, internet, or anywhere else.
 

Offline paul2004v

Re: whdload collections legal?
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2011, 03:22:32 AM »
I'm not a legal bod but as I understand it in the UK at the moment, computer software copyright is similar to music copyright as opposed to book copyright which has a longer term to it.

If I understand correctly, music copyright lasts for 50 years from the date of the first publication/public performance and I'm pretty sure computer programs are the same.

At the moment, although it's not enforced and the government has said it needs to revise things, it's actually illegal to rip a copy of your own CD for your own personal use on an iPod etc. or as a backup. This carries through to software too and as such technically, it's illegal in the UK to use something like WHDLoad if you follow the letter of the law completely.

That being said, I don't think anyone is going to prosecute anyone for making a copy of your own original version for your own personal use and this is why the Government wants to revise the copyright laws because in a lot of ways in the UK, they're just too tight and un-enforcable.

So the answer to the question really is, it depends on the copyright laws where you are as to whether it's illegal today... or tomorrow. As far as I can tell, in the UK, Amiga games should be out of copyright sometime around 2035 onwards so it'll be just in time for my retirement :D

Paul