Presentation on theme: "Abandonware in the Land of Pirates Demis Harper, James Cain, Keith Neer."— Presentation transcript:
Abandonware in the Land of Pirates Demis Harper, James Cain, Keith Neer
What is abandonware? Abandonware is computer software which is no longer sold or supported by its publisher, but not officially discontinued The initial use of the term was for games that ran on console hardware in the late 1990s, but all types of software may fall into this category Software often remains under copyright and international law
What abandonware is available for download? ROMs-Read-Only Memory from a video game cartridge Transferred to a computer file using specialized hardware and dumping Played using an emulator – an application that emulates a game console MarioNES emulates the Nintendo Entertainment System in a window
Retrode Gold converts Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis games to backup copies on a computer
What abandonware is available for download? Warez-Executable programs (.exe files) that have been cracked These include eBooks, computer games, cracks, movies, etc. Warez can also use emulators Pronounced like wares, not Juarez Benito Juarez
DOSBox emulates the command-line interface of DOS
What determines the legality of downloading and using abandonware for private, personal use? Research – Using abandonware code is legal if released by the manufacturer Using code distributed by a pirate is illegal Entertainment – Downloading software distributed by a pirate is always illegal Even so, companies care more about pirates than users Distributing copyrighted software without the manufacturers permission is illegal, and often watched more closely
What determines the legality of downloading and using abandonware for private, personal use? Software used as a tool – May be downloaded for non-commercial use NeXTStep and OpenStep are abandoned APIs that may be downloaded for free Screenshot of OpenStep
Is it ethical to download and use a pirated copy of abandonware? Its morally sound if: The website it comes from includes a disclaimer The original copyright laws are ignored by the producers The producers wouldnt make a profit from the software if you purchased it Its morally wrong if: You can find and purchase the software without much difficulty You share it with others (for free or otherwise) The software comes out of abandonment
Reasons for Distribution Abandoned Software not otherwise available. Supports use of Abandonware for archival purposes Hardly ever prosecuted Abandonia.com
The Counterargument Abandonware still copyrighted Publisher interest may be growing
Hacked Games Game modified from original version by third party. Example: Donkey Kong Role Reversal http://mediaarealive.com/donkey-kong- role-reversal/ http://mediaarealive.com/donkey-kong- role-reversal/
Problems Who owns copyright to hacked game? Does distribution of hacked game violate terms or copyright of original game? Solid answers difficult to find.
Kantian Analysis Maxim: I distribute/download abandonware in the case that it is not otherwise available for legal purchase in order to have the program available for the future. General: Everyone distributes/downloads abandonware in the case that it is not otherwise available for legal purchase in order to have the program available for the future.
Kantian Analysis (continued) PSW: Would it be rational to adopt this as natural law? If everyone distributed and downloaded abandonware, it would be widely available. Increased interest may cause companies to redistribute the abandonware making it available for purchase. Yes. This creates a symbiotic loop.
Act Utilitarian Analysis Option 1: Do not pirate abandonware Consequences: 1 Abandonware unavailable to self/public, 2 Copyright upheld Likelihood: 1 High, 2 Certain Utility:1 low, 2 high
Act Utilitarian analysis (continued) Option 2: download/distribute abandonware Consequences: 1 Copyright violated, 2 prosecution, 3 abandonware available for use. Likelihood: 1&3 Certain, 2 very low Utility: 1 low, 2 low, 3 high
Rule Utilitarian Analysis Rule: Everyone downloads/distributes abandonware. Consequence: Interest in abandonware product X grows. Company republish or update, product X is no longer abandonware. Product Y is abandoned. Repeat with product Y. Outcome: Beneficial to both parties, moral.
Social Contract Theory Analysis Current Contract in the form of Copyright violated by distribution of abandonware. Downloading/distribution violates copyright. Ergo, downloading/distribution is wrong. Implied contract: Abandonware downloads rarely prosecuted. Possible implied exception to copyright law? If so, downloading/distribution is acceptable.
Our Sources Wikipedia http://www.geekosystem.com/how-to-make-rom-retrode/ http://www.maconintel.com/news.php?article=179 http://www.gamefaqs.com/features/help/entry.html?cat=24 http://www.joystiq.com/2006/11/23/us- chttp://www.joystiq.com/2006/11/23/us-copyright-office-grants- abandonware-rights/copyright-office-grants-abandonware-rights/ http://www.bit-tech.net/gaming/pc/2009/01/24/abandonware-the- ethics-and-essentials/1 http://mediaarealive.com/donkey-kong-role-reversal/ http://firstmonday.org/article/view/2971/2529 http://www.abandonia.com/en/story Ethics for the Information Age, 5 th Edition, Michael J. Quinn
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