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Clarify App Request Rules?

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Last seen: 14 years 5 months ago
Joined: 2006-06-29 16:08
Clarify App Request Rules?

There's one rule not mentioned. How do you feel about requests for abandonware to be made a portable app? I'll give an example, so please don't take it as a real suggestion [though it'd be nice if legally possible!], so here goes...

Let's say Wolfenstein [the original Nazi-killing game] is abandonware. [I think it is?] And let's say I'd like the entire game or any other abandonware to be made portable. Or maybe Windows 3.1 [another example] so it can be placed on a laptop as the OS though the laptop has no floppy drive. [Win 3.1 is considered abandonware as far as I know]

Would such a request be allowed? If not, may I know why? I'll perfectly understand. I just thought it'd be logical to portalise abandonware as its abandoned and some people still want it.

Thank you.

Last seen: 15 years 3 months ago
Joined: 2007-06-09 13:23

I would not mess with Windows 3.11, not even with MS-DOS 1.0. Because Microsoft is still good in the business and them never released it as neither freeware nor Free Software. Very bad idea to repackage it. I think them would mail you and ask you to stop it if you are lucky or sue you instant.

Many abandonware (all? old dos games) you can package yourself as a portable app. Just take dosbox to use them.

On some other site it could be allowed to repackage abandonware if there is really no one how holds still the rights on it. Is this even possible? Old developers and publishers get bought by new firms and them get bought and so on and so on. You don`t know who has still the rights so you can`t even ask...

LOGAN-Portable's picture
Last seen: 11 years 4 months ago
Joined: 2007-09-11 12:24
Abandonware is not a legal

Abandonware is not a legal term, therefore legally its a non issue, it doesn't exist.

Last seen: 5 years 12 months ago
Joined: 2008-02-13 13:44

does anyone know of a possible "expiration date" on a proprietary license, in which the company no longer exists to maintain the product or it's claim to proprietary license? This wouldn't work for Win 3.1, 'cause Microsoft is still around to say "hey, that's mine!" Blum . I'm kind of curious about this legal stuff.

Last seen: 2 months 6 days ago
Joined: 2007-08-27 13:35
The expiration on copyrights

The expiration on copyrights keeps getting extended, at the request of Disney (can't have anyone else using Mickey Mouse, now, can we?). I think I saw 75 years recently. Doesn't matter much, since I probably won't be around, and Disney will probably get it extended to 150 years by then anyway.

It doesn't much matter whether or not you can find the owner of the copyright; the copyright is still in effect. Probably like any other abandoned property, reverts to the state after a while.

Don't quote me, IANAL.

The same with licenses that don't rely on copyright.


Last seen: 14 years 5 months ago
Joined: 2006-06-29 16:08

Okay. Thank you for the information. Let's see if I got this right...

Anything Windows makes will never be abandonware and will never be allowed to be portalised, no matter how much it helps others with older computers/laptops.

Abandonware on Abandonware sites can be portalised, and if they are DOS-based they can be used on DOSBox.

In cases where you can't get in touch with software authors, you're out of luck for portalising their software. [Like say Virtual Rosary. I'd love to figure out how to portalise it. There's a Linux version of it but can't find it except on Ubuntu: Christian Edition, so I'm not sure how they got the code to port it to Linux]

Please let me know if I have all this correct. I'm still fairly new to portables and I love them to bits. They're so much easier and smaller to use than their mainstream counterparts that require installation.

One of you said Abandonware is not a legal term. I never said it was. I don't know any legal terms nor lawyerisms. I'm just plain talking about abandoned software, abandoned games, abandoned OSes, etc. I'm fully aware of what kind of software this site looks for. I just thought that abandonware meant it was okay to look past what kind of license it has and revive it so people are still able to use it, especially in as nice of a format as portable. I never asked if PApps would portalise them for me. I was asking, since the rules didn't mention abandonware, how abandonware would be seen on this site. I would only make the suggestions if PApps said abandonware was okay and I found nothing in the searches that shows it was suggested earlier. Its odd how my hypothetical questions from genuine curiousity gets hot breaths blown at me; its almost like being dense means you don't have a license to ask questions and being curious is dangerous.

Whether from God or from man, the best things in life often come in small packages! -- Sr. Mina, BSP.

Last seen: 4 years 4 months ago
Joined: 2007-12-17 05:43
Personally I wouldn't have said that

that the replies involved any hot breaths blown in your direction, but I'm sorry to hear that you felt that way.

The point that people were trying to make is that there is no official, legal definition of what abandonware is. That means that there is no one answer to whether it is "right" or "wrong" to do any particular thing with such apps in general.

From a purely legal perspective, if the program was originally commercial, then unless the rights holder has at some point explicity declared it to be free or opensource, then it is still commercial, and you can't do anything more with the app.

That means that in cases where the rights holder cannot be traced or contacted, then the term abandonware actually means, "It is illegal to copy this application, but nobody is likely to sue you, so you'll get away with it and be safe". Wink

Whether that means that it is OK to copy and distribute such apps is between you and your conscience. Smile

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