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Old 05-10-2012, 11:29 AM   #41
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I just realized something. It seems like, in a twisted way, the importance of preserving culturally significant things was used as justification for some of the more egregious extensions of copyright, when copyright holders essentially argued that they NEEDED to retain copyright to protect culturally significant things like Mickey Mouse from being messed with by all the people that would get their hands on him when the copyrights expired.

I don't know what point I'm attempting to make with that observation (if any), and don't consider it very relevant to the discussion at hand. I was just struck by the irony.
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:42 PM   #42
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That's the difference between plagiarism and piracy. Abandonware falls into the piracy-category, not the plagiarism category.

As for the entire "entitlement" discussion: in the current digital age, if a mass produced, culturally significant product gets made, it should also be available to be discovered.
If it really is nowhere to be found legally anymore (because it's out of print / rights have gone into limbo / whatever other reason) then it is in abandonware territory.

I agree that current copyright laws should be seriously altered, and I applaud any organisation (read: GOG) that does the utmost to ensure that abandonware gets a new, fully legal, commercial release, and that the original developers get some revenue for it still.
In fact, the efforts that GOG is making, should be mandatory by law, so that all games, books, movies etc. can at all times be acquired.

While I agree that
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Ed
the ability to pay will ALWAYS be a barrier to access for anything that is bought and sold
, I strongly believe that it should be the ONLY barrier.

Precisely that's the crux with abandonware: it's not about whether or not one can afford a copy, it's about actually FINDING a copy that is otherwise completely unavailable.

If a site like GOG sold EVERY SINGLE currently 'abandoned' game, then abandonware would simply be piracy, and we wouldn't have this discussion at all.

But until that day, I personally see nothing wrong with obtaining a game through an abandonware site (provided you did your absolute best to find it legally). The second that said game becomes available commercially again, however, you should buy it on the spot.
This is actually something I've done multiple times in the past: making an illegal copy legal again by buying it when doing so finally became a possibility...
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