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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

USA Legalizes Abandonware

According to PCS Intel, the U.S. Copyright Office has issued new rules, effective November 26, enabling public access to commercially unavailable software.

New rules officially permit the use and distribution of so-called Abandonware, or software that is no longer generally available to the public (in the form it was originally released). Meaning, you can now legally use MAME to emulate classic arcade games on your phone (assuming it's powerful enough... and the game is no longer available).
The above article speaks specifically about phone software, and the good news from the original text of Rulemaking on Exemptions from Prohibition on Circumvention of Technological Measures that Control Access to Copyrighted Works is:
Computer programs and video games distributed in formats that have become obsolete and that require the original media or hardware as a condition of access, when circumvention is accomplished for the purpose of preservation or archival reproduction of published digital works by a library or archive. A format shall be considered obsolete if the machine or system necessary to render perceptible a work stored in that format is no longer manufactured or is no longer reasonably available in the commercial marketplace.
Meaning, your use of classic science fiction games for DOS, such as Dune and Elite, from sites such as Abandonia is officially decriminalized!

Check out the origional Blog Here

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