Copyright FAQ

From ScummVM :: Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This Copyright FAQ exists to clear up the legal situation of the games supported by ScummVM and to address common issues.

Why is copying/downloading my favorite adventure game a problem?

Apart from the obvious (the game was written by people with commercial intent, they own it, so they can ask you not to get it for free) copying games also endangers the ScummVM project.

Providing support for obviously "warezed" versions of games could create the impression that ScummVM promotes copyright violations. Needless to say, this is not in the interest of the ScummVM developers. Game companies often keep a close eye on projects which are re-implementing their game engines; any negative connotation makes it more likely for a project to be shut down.

In addition "warezed" versions of games downloaded from random websites may have been modified to include exploits that could compromise your computer.

Game XY isn't being sold any more. Is it ok to download it?

Unless declared otherwise by the copyright holder you are not allowed to get the game free of charge. You can find most games for purchase on eBay or see the Where to get the games page.

What about abandonware?

Abandonware is not a proper legal concept in any country. Just like how it’s not legal to copy a book under copyright because it is out-of-print, it is not legal to copy a game under copyright because the company is no longer selling it.

Copyright of computer software seems to end 95 years after publication (at least in the USA). Feel free to check back in around 2080 if you're allowed to download the games then.

What am I allowed to download free of charge?

Which other games am I allowed to download legally?

Check the lists of open source video games, freeware games, and liberated games on wikipedia.

Legal disclaimer

While this document was written with the best intentions, the author is not a lawyer. If you know that something in here is obviously wrong, make a suggestion, don't sue. :)