Re: [stella] Supercharger question: Batch convert to CD format?

Subject: Re: [stella] Supercharger question: Batch convert to CD format?
From: Paul Hart <hart@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 10:58:37 -0700 (MST)
On Tue, 19 Jan 1999, Jon Folkers wrote:

> Nobody asked, but I don't think this is any more illegal than what I had
> in mind originally, especially since I own the vast majority of these
> games in cartridge form.

That brings up an interesting issue, and I apologize about rehashing it if
it has already been thoroughly beaten to death on the list before.  Is it
wrong to distribute images of copyrighted Atari 2600 games?  I'm not
asking if it is *illegal* to do so (which it technically is because the
copyright has not likely expired), but I'm asking is it *wrong* to do so.

I feel like we find ourselves in an interesting role of preservation. 
These games for the Atari 2600 that are so dear to our hearts are bound to
disappear forever unless someone, somewhere, preserves them for future
generations.  The days of commercial viability of the 2600 have long since
passed, and I, for one, am willing to break the letter of the law so that
those to come may enjoy the hobby, like I did and still do.

Please don't misunderstand me, I wholly support software copyrights to
protect the financial interests of developers, but I also feel like there
is a time to recognize that a higher ideal should take priority.  We do
not copyright software because software has some intrinsic right to be
copyrighted; we copyright software to protect the financial interests of
the developers who fairly deserve to be compensated for their works.  What
should we do when in all honesty a piece of software has essentially no
further commercial value?  Is anyone harmed when you duplicate this
copyrighted work?

I am sometimes dismayed to see this called "piracy" because I feel there
is a real difference between duplicating a floppy disk and murdering
people on the high seas.  It seems that existing laws governing intangible
goods such as intellectual property, and especially computer software, are
inadequate, but I unfortunately do not have any better proposals, so I
remain in conscious violation of the law. 

Thoughts, anyone?

(I should add that these are my own opinions, not the opinions of my
employer, anyone affiliated with my employer, nor anyone else.  I alone
take responsibility for them.)

Paul Hart

Paul Robert Hart        ><8>  ><8>  ><8>        Verio Web Hosting, Inc.
hart@xxxxxxxxxxx        ><8>  ><8>  ><8>

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