Your thoughts: Abandonware Legality

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Forum' started by towgers, May 12, 2017.

  1. towgers


    Jun 5, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Ashland, PA
    This has been a topic of debate for awhile but I want to hear thoughts from you all here. Do you believe that Abandonware is "Okay" to download? Or do you think its still stealing.
    towgers, May 12, 2017
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  2. towgers


    Jan 20, 2016
    Likes Received:
    King's Lynn, UK.
    It's an interesting one, towgers.

    It's a really murky 'minefield' to navigate, legally speaking. The Wikipedia article:-

    ...defines it thus:-

    "Abandonware is a product, typically software, ignored by its owner and manufacturer, and for which no support is available. Although such software is usually still under copyright, the owner may not be tracking copyright violations."

    The article then proceeds to further define it, further down the page, as:-

    "Commercial software unsupported but still owned by a viable company

    The availability of the software depends on the company's attitude toward the software. In many cases, the company which owns the software rights may not be that which originated it, or may not recognize their ownership."


    "Commercial software owned by a company no longer in business

    When no owning entity of a software exists, all activities (support, distribution, IP activities etc.) in relationship to this software have ceased. If the rights to a software are non-recoverable in legal limbo ("orphaned work"), also the software's rights can't be bought by another company, there can't be copyright enforcement etc."

    I think, personally, that usage of such material is a matter for the individual's conscience. I also find interesting the postulation that where later versions of a particular piece of software have introduced DRM, then usage of older versions of that software can, legally speaking, be seen as a deliberate attempt to circumvent the DRM implementation.....


    Of course, the whole concept of 'abandonware' is always seen in relation to its capacity for generating an income. Which is standard practice in the Windows world. I don't honestly know whether the concept is even valid in the Linux eco-sphere, where over 98% of software is released for free under the terms of the GPL...

    I also don't fully understand the concepts of 'freeware' and 'shareware' in relation to this, I will admit.

    Thoughts, anyone else?

    Mike. ;)
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
    Mike_Walsh, May 17, 2017
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