Vintage Software Copyright

ethan at ethan at
Fri Aug 21 12:10:18 CDT 2015

> It's a balance between data being lost, and violating copyrights. I am sortof 
> aligned with der Mouse here. If I have something that is copyrighted, I do 
> not want to contribute to spreading it without permissions. But I also do not 
> want it to be lost. Many times it is things which I do have legally myself, 
> so I don't even feel bad about it. If, at some point, the copyright holder 
> decides that it's ok to redistribute, then I can help people who are looking 
> for it.

In the case of hoarding crusty computer stuff, it's by far and large past 
the end of it's useful life. The equipment isn't being run commercially, 
it isn't being used to make money, and the software authors aren't around 
to support sales of software for the machines. IF they were, I doubt many 
people would buy it because once again, end of it's useful service life.

It's now museum relics, and a handful of people trying to preserve the 
stuff before it is gone.

The internet doesn't remember all either, stuff is lost from the internet. 
Wikipedia deletes pages they find boring or low traffic. Privately owned 
servers crash, get hacked, or owners loose interest and move on to other 

I don't really see archiving old paper manuals and magnetic media as a big 

I *DO* have friends that are interested in vintage computing but work in 
jobs where any copying of any software that isn't strictly allowed by law 
is a no-no, and they're pretty much stuck. Own a couple of computers but 
can't do much because it's difficult to buy software for Commodore 
64 (especially development tools) and stuff. I think it's madness but 
gotta feed the landlord/bankers.

  -- Ethan O'Toole

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