[sebhc] New archive additions

Deb and Glenn Roberts gfroberts at adelphia.net
Sun May 8 09:39:38 CDT 2005

> I have release disks of Supercalc, DbaseII, Wordstar, JRT Pascal, etc. But
> I thought there were still copyright issues with most of these.

Copyright is arguably one of the more confusing (or at least one of the more
debated) topics in classic computing. 

A copyright provides its holder the right to restrict unauthorized copying
of an original expression, which can include music, software, photographs,
written material, etc. This allows someone to be rewarded (through
commercial trade) for their artistic efforts.

So the question is, what is the correct behavior for sharing old software
for which there is no longer a commercial market and the original owner of
the copyright is in all likelihood not even be in existence any more?

Gene Buckle's http://www.retroarchive.org/ has adopted the following
principle (in his own word):

"I've always run the site on the premise that if a copyright holder doesn't
want their material to be hosted on the site, they'll let me know.  This
occured when Leor Zolman asked me to pull the BDS C archives and replace
them with a link to his site now that he's released it to the public.  It
hasn't happened since.

I also will not host material that is still being sold, nor will I host
material less than 10 years old.

The aim of the site is to preserve software & data for computers that are
becoming more and more rare & precious every day.  If a copyright holder
doesn't want their contribution to the golden age of computing preserved, so
be it.  I'll snatch it off the drive so fast it'll leave a dimple on the
listing page."

Which strikes me as a pretty reasonable policy...

- Glenn

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