On Sat, 2009-04-18 at 22:59 -0700, Blair Campbell wrote:
> > Downloading commercial software that you own a copy of for personal
> > use is not illegal.  Downloading old commercial software that isn't
> > sold anymore which the author doesn't care about is not illegal.
> > To be illegal, the owner of the intellectual property has to raise
> > suit and why would they over someone using the product personally?

> No, it is still illegal.  That is like saying "it's only stealing if I
> get caught" or "I stole a laptop from my friend but he doesn't use it
> so it's ok".
No.  Theft involves taking property from someone where abandoned
software is NOT property.  If the producers of the software or the
owners of the intellectual property have no intention of prosecuting
people who share it, it effectively becomes legal to share it.  Who
is going to prosecute you for letting your buddy download an image
of an old 8 bit Nintendo game?  I am not saying that it is right
to download a commercial software program if you don't get caught.
I have never said that.  A laptop and a lamp are property, a software
program is not.  I can copy a software program, in most cases, without
taking away the owner's copy.  I may not have a right to use my copy,
but I'm not stealing by copying the owner's installation media.

> I think it is more of a legal gray area if you are downloading a copy
> of something you already own, not necessarily illegal.
> > The people breaking the law are those who try to profit off
> > the software without paying the owners of it anything.
> But you are (in a sense) profiting by using software you otherwise
> wouldn't use.  If you want a copy and you want it legal, use ebay.
Using ebay involves purchasing a used copy of the software from someone
who no right to sell their license to use it.  This software is often
over priced on ebay.  Wordperfect 6.0 dos on ebay, if you can even find
it, is extremely expensive.  Are you going to pay a pirate $300-$500
to have a copy of WordPerfect 6.0 dos for your own personal use on
3.5" disks that are probably shot?

> > I disagree strongly with the notion that using commercial abandonware
> > is illegal or criminal in any way.  If commercial software were never
> > shared, it would never have the popularity that it enjoys.  I'm not
> > against paying for the use of commercial software, but if the author
> > of the software doesn't care about it, why should I be prevented from
> > using it?  I can't pay for the use of a commercial program that isn't
> > sold anymore and I am not interested in being fleeced by a third
> > party seller which probably doesn't have a right to sell me the
> > program.
> ebay.  At least you can feel good inside.
That's assuming that I am not buying from a software pirate.

> > I have never talked about the source code of commercial software nor
> > have I ever suggested that people go to a site that hands out source
> > code.  In fact, I don't know of any sites that hand out the source code
> > to commercial software.
> Source or binary doesn't really matter.

Au Contraire, it matters a lot.  With the source code of a commercial
program, you can adapt that program to work on systems it was never
designed for even if the original authors of the program won't.  With
a little reworking of the source, you can claim that it's yours and
try to get around the original author's copyright and/or patent.

> > I have never suggested that anyone else nor do I myself profit from
> > my use of software downloaded from http://vetusware.com.  I don't
> > make money off of this abandonware.  I don't even provide a source
> > for other people to download it from.  I allow people to download
> > battletech I and II from me if they want to, but those programs
> > are so old that I seriously doubt there's an issue.

> it doesn't matter.
Yes it does.  Legally speaking, a software pirate profits off of
commercial software by selling copies of it, say on ebay, to other
unsuspecting victims.  The way you are treating software as 
property no matter what is very distressing.  I wonder if you
have a problem with people sharing and modifying open source

> > I don't appreciate this late, I have the moral high ground tone
> > that you are taking Aitor.  I am not a pirate.  I do not go out
> > and get whatever commercial software I can without paying for
> > it only to turn around and try to sell it.
> It doesn't matter whether or not you are selling it.  If you don't own
> something, it isn't legally yours. Simple.
> On a side note, I could care less whether or not people use illegal
> copies of software on FreeDOS; that's a personal choice.  But don't
> try to force your opinion on other people.

You mean the way you are trying to force your opinion on everyone?
Are you suddenly a lawyer who magically understands that there's
no gray area when in fact there is a lot of gray area?  I think you
have been listening to Microsoft.  Property notions don't
work well when you are talking about software, especially ancient
software.  Anything from the 90's or earlier qualifies as ancient
software.  In the software world, anything that is 3 years old 
can be considered ancient.  Commercial DOS software hasn't been
supported since the 90's.  if someone wants to squeeze blood out
of a turnip for using abandoned commercial software, good luck
to them.  The last word is, talking about http://vetusware.com
does NOT make me a software pirate.

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