Abandonware site charges for downloads

From: der Mouse <mouse_at_Rodents.Montreal.QC.CA>
Date: Mon Dec 20 16:12:24 2004

> Everything is still owned by someone, unless it has been explicitly
> placed into the public domain by its last owner.

(Or unless sufficient time has passed - last I looked, it was something
like fifty years after the author's death. Obviously that is not
relevant to "abandonware", most/all of which is not yet 50 years old.)

> AFAIK, the concept of "abandonware" doesn't have any legal basis
> whatsoever. [under US copyright law]

When a company dissolves, what happens to its property? Is that
something that must be specified as part of the dissolution process?

> This is a fundamental problem with US copyright law.

Well, there are more fundamental problems, I believe, but this is not
really the place to discuss them.

> With tangible property, when a dispute arises the property owner has
> to prove ownership (via a title document).

I daresay most physical property does not have title documents. If you
buy a pair of gloves, what is the "title document"? (The sales slip?
How is it tied to your particular pair of gloves?)

I suspect that your statement really applies only to things ownership
of which is registered with governments, such as land or motor
vehicles, not relatively minor property such as loaves of bread and

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Received on Mon Dec 20 2004 - 16:12:24 GMT

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