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Sudden Availability of Abandonware

May 23, 2008

I just noticed something very interesting up on Abandonia. With the departure of Vivendi, Lucasarts, and Activision from the ESA, their old games have now effectively become abandonware. Now this doesn’t seem like something I’m inclined to immediately believe. It seems to me that a copyright with the Library of Congress is enough to protect a work of art from being within the public domain, and you do not need an association to necessarily protect your art for you. That being said, let me get this out of the way:

WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I would seriously be excited to play some of my old favorites again. But what bugs me is that Lucasarts, Activision, and Vivendi most likely isn’t the end of companies leaving the ESA. It’s only a matter of time before other companies follow in suit, and when they do, that means their old games will become abandonware too. It’s like, imagine you make music, and you decide to go indie and sell all your stuff online like Nine Inch Nails, but in doing so, you’ve forfeited all rights to your old music and now anyone can download it for free.

So far these companies’ games are not downloadable. However, if they are made so, is it a conscious choice on the part of the developers? A punishment by the ESA for them leaving? Or is it just the internet’s way of finding loopholes as quickly as possible?

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One Comment
  1. Tahnks for posting

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