rules for shareware

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scarface
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rules for shareware

Post by scarface » Sat Feb 07, 2009 1:14 pm

I did a switchless installer for jasc paintshop pro8, removed some components and removed the activation. is the software old enough to post it? (released in 2003).

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code65536
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Post by code65536 » Sat Feb 07, 2009 1:39 pm

Unless a company expressly allows it (which Jasc/Corel has not done), that would be illegal, regardless of how old it is (unless it's so old that it falls out of copyright, but that's still many decades off in the future). People get away with "abandonware" only because the copyright holders don't care to pursue the issue, and while a lack of enforcement and pursuit may translate into de facto "legality", it does not equate de jure legality. And 2003 isn't that old, either--that's still 2 years younger than XP.
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scarface
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Post by scarface » Sat Feb 07, 2009 2:03 pm

many decades I dont know... if we takes roms for example from nintendo64, they are legally on internet because the games arent commercalized any longer. anyway thats a good question. If Ive time I will do the shareware version but I dont know if anyone will be interested.

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RogueSpear
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Post by RogueSpear » Sat Feb 07, 2009 7:01 pm

This entire subject falls into some fuzzy areas, but for the most part all of the different companies involved, including Microsoft, could begin sending out C&D letters and we would all have little choice other than to C&D. I think that so long as what you do is not considered pirating (cracks, keygens, pre-activated, etc) and does not blatantly violate any applicable EULAs you should be relatively safe. Don't take my word for it however as I'm not a lawyer.

There are more than a couple of software titles that I've discontinued making custom deployments for. After reading their EULA I decided that it was not even worth the time to use the software much less do anything else with it.

And this is exactly the reason that I am heavily biased in favor of software that falls under the most permissive of open source licensing. Mainly GPL and BSD.

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Post by newsposter » Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:26 pm

"not commerialized" does not mean abandoned or 'free'.

Rule of Thumb: If it takes a lot of mental and verbal gymnastics to justify this, you're probably on the wrong side of the issue.

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code65536
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Post by code65536 » Sat Feb 07, 2009 11:56 pm

scarface wrote:they are legally on internet
No. This is a very common myth about abandonware spread by people who don't understand copyright law. Those games are illegally on the Internet.

There are only three ways software can be freely posted on the Internet and be legal:
* If the copyright holder relinquishes the copyright.
* If the copyright holder expressly allows it.
* If the copyright has expired (this takes many decades).

Whether or not it is still being commercialized is completely irrelevant to the legal (i.e., de jure) status of the software. If it's not being commercialized, the holder probably doesn't care enough to pursue it, which makes it de facto okay to post, but that does not make it de jure okay to post--i.e., it is still illegal (even though unenforced).

I know this sounds like a pedantic splitting of hairs, since in practice it doesn't matter as long as the copyright holder doesn't pursue it. But people should be precise in the words that they use, so don't use the word "legal" when it technically is not. "Probably okay" would be more apropos.
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5eraph
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Re: rules for shareware

Post by 5eraph » Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:25 am

scarface wrote:I did a switchless installer for jasc paintshop pro8, removed some components and removed the activation. is the software old enough to post it? (released in 2003).
You cannot post it here for (at least) the following reasons:
  • As shareware, the included activation method must be fully functional and not preactivated.
  • "Removing the activation" as you put it, makes this equivalent to the retail version. In other words, this is warez.

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