Re: [NTLK] Abandonware (from New 2100 on eBay)

From: Eric L. Strobel (
Date: Thu Jun 27 2002 - 11:58:55 EDT

on 6/27/02 11:42 AM, Christopher Frazier at

>> Can it still be registered? I seem to recall someone posting
>> here a few months ago that they wanted to pay for it but couldn't
> anymore.
> That's something I've been wondering about here... What's the deal with
> abandonware? I've been popping around on UNNA and have noticed that a
> number of the packages that I've wanted to use were published by
> organizations that aren't around. Maybe those packages aren't worth
> using, but it made me ask myself what the community is doing about good
> software that's no longer legitimately available. What's the general
> concensus?
> Chris

Oh, Good Heavens!! Not the 'abandonware thread' again??!? :-)

To summarize quickly, and hopefully without bias, there are two basic
schools of thought (with variations on these). One is that, regardless of
the abandonment, the software is still covered under somebody's copyright
and so cracking it and/or distributing keys for it constitutes piracy. The
other view is to make a heroic effort to contact the copyright holder and
obtain permission to distribute (and perhaps obtain source code for further
development), but, failing that, go ahead and make the package available.
In this second view, the way I seem to remember it being refined, an escrow
account would be set up to collect any applicable shareware fees. If the
author later turns up, they'd get paid. If not, then some procedure would
have to be established to dispose of that money in a proper fashion.

I'm sure if I over/under/mis-stated anything, there are plenty who will
correct me on this. Also, you can check the list archives... You should
have no problem finding a number of threads on this general topic!

- Eric.


Eric Strobel (fyzycyst_at_NOSPAM^

===================================================================== Bioweapons? HA! I laugh at them!! *I've* cleaned the coffee urns at work!!!! =====================================================================

-- Read the List FAQ/Etiquette: Read the Newton FAQ: This is the NewtonTalk mailing list -

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Wed Jul 03 2002 - 14:03:03 EDT