All source code of abandoned software should be open sourced. Manufacturers should be forced to do so on the end of service date.

@sophie most "contributions" of this nature are instant abandonware, given that software isn't really the bits. software is people. but it does give software freedom a boost to have the example, and librarians and historians an original source. another problem is that copyright is transferable, and someone ends up with the IP when assets are liquidated, even for pennies, but if you replace the word "forced" with "incentivized" I think you've got something.

@travisfw @sophie We may need a not-profit organization with the sole purpose of buying such ip using donations and then releasing the sourcecode. If noone else is buying, why shouldn't they sell it to such an organization?

@sankakujin @sophie 🤔 the Library of Congress might do it, or a number of other digital archiving institutions such as the Internet Archive, if there were a grant made.


Perhaps you could tell me specifically under what section of the #UrhG is #copyright transferable?


@0 § 29 Abs. 1 UrhG. But I think here it was more hinted at Nutzungs- und Verwertungsrechten which are also part of copyright.

Exactly. Entirely different kind of animal. I also agree that the subject of that discussion is not authorship but usage rights (i.e. intellectual property rights), but people seem to think that what may (or may not, I have no idea) be applicable in the #US legal systems automatically extrapolates to our own systems. This is all but guaranteed not to be the case.

@travisfw @sophie just lol if you dont think there are special interest groups willing to base off old software.

Look at the people putting in 100+ hours to subvert copyright of old games and patch them to keep them working

@alexandria @sophie true, even if most software is abandoned, very many have dedicated communities.

@sophie All code […] should be open sourced. Manufacturers should be forced to do so […].

@cadence @sophie may i add to this that if you're buying something that requires you to use a particular service to access it (games on Steam, books on audible, etc), if your account is closed or terminated for any reason (bans, service closure, etc), they should be required to send you a storage device containing DRM free versions of the items you bought

@PsyChuan @cadence @sophie but did you really buy the items? or did you buy a subscription to a service that allows you to play those games and is subject to terms?

i can see why they'd like you to believe the former while it actually is the latter, because then you'd maybe put a different value on it and only be willing to pay less.

depending on which it is, you either should or shouldn't have the right to a DRM-free copy.

@irl get that boot out of your mouth and then get the fuck out of here.

@cadence @sophie this isn't viable for indies who make video games and aren't already well-off.

@sophie @sebsauvage Community often asks for this but the answer is almost always "sorry we cannot open source [this project] because we use some parts in [other project]" 😟

@Yurienu @sophie @sebsauvage Our company releases ~50% of all code we write as open source right away.

For the rest it's sometimes business reasons, but often it's also because we're implementing APIs or using SDKs under NDA 😢

@sophie makes you think about how copyright can be dodgy, doesn't it?

If some abandonware was a book, a song, etc, it would eventually *have* to become public (even if it took some 70 years) due to the nature of copyright law. But legislators don't understand that programs come in source and object form, and whereas that would make it possible to share the binaries freely, nobody's talking about the paramount importance of the source code here.

@sophie There's an "Orphan Works" law in Canada that might cover this, but I don't think it's been seriously tested.

@sophie addendum: software more than say ~25 years old should be public domain

@sophie Quite a lot of software developed within the companies never sees the light of day. Not because it is too crappy (it's sometimes even crappier code which still goes into production), but simply because somebody higher up changed their mind.

Also, besides abandoned software there is discontinued hardware, with all it's designs and (internal) documentation. Buried under the piles of bureaucratic procedures.

@sophie I disagree. I would however encourage software companies to release old (and new!) source code wherever practical.

Sign in to participate in the conversation – a Fediverse instance for & by the Chaos community