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Isn't this a GitHub TOS violation.

At the risk of sounding crass, who cares? If LucasArts cares, they'll send a DMCA to GitHub. Software from 1993 isn't depriving them of any profit and it's being shared for educational reasons. (it's not even the game itself) Preemptively freaking out over copyright is exactly what the MPAA wants you to do: they want you to forget that it's your right to share things. This has a chilling effect that we should avoid lest we enter a cultural black hole where we can only confidently share anything published before 1923.

This is why I wish copyright would expire after 15 years or so instead of forever. Especially for software. Very, very few people are profiting from 15 year old software.

Apparently I'm one of those people. I'm still earning money from Photoshop plugins I first wrote around 2001 / 2002. And the DOS version of Rebel Assault mentioned in this post is still sold through Good Old Games, 20+ years later (though presumably without the accidental copy of Deluxe Paint):


Software products can have a surprisingly long life. (Which can also mean a surprisingly long time of providing customer support, too.)

Of course there are exceptions. But for every piece of software that's still making money 15 years later, there's 99 pieces that are totally abandoned. Often it's difficult to even figure out who owns the rights and how to contact them.

Even the works that are still generating revenue after 15 years, surely most of them have already made 99% of the money they are ever going to make. The people buying rebel assault now are just a few nostalgia seekers. It will add up to a tiny tiny fraction of the total copies sold in it's heyday.

If there were a mechanism whereby it could be extended for a fee, profitable 15yo+ software would still be protected but the community would benefit from everything else.

15 year old software, like Windows XP and MS Office XP?

Yes. Both are abandoned by microsoft — if they weren't protected anymore, people could add their own patches and fixes and distribute them.

People already create and distribute patches for Windows releases: release binary diffs (e.g. "patcher" programs) - which has the added advantage of being much smaller and easier to distribute - and that doesn't even mean you need to violate copyright law anyway.

> Very, very few people are profiting from 15 year old software.

Except the ones (for example Nintendo) who do have a lot of cash, influence groups and lawyers to enforce their rights as long as they want.

Technically yes. Technically it's infringing copyright. The important question, however, is whether this is old enough that nobody cares anyone. I would wager that it falls on the side of not raising any flags anywhere, even though at one point this was valuable IP.

If it turns out it is, I'll remove the infringing content. But considering the age and circumstances, I'm giving it a shot for now.

I'd recommend possibly sticking it on archive.org - I've seen other old software on there. Either that or reach out to lucasarts and ask if it's okay, I suppose. (As long as you get it in writing)

You'd need to contact Disney. They own the IP now.

LucasArts still owns the IP, Disney is just its parent company now. LucasArts is the licensor, so I'd still recommend contacting them.

IIRC, Disney shut down the game division when they acquired LucasFilm, so you would have to talk to someone at the parent co (Disney). Disney has a lot of old IP that's still very valuable, so they guard it aggressively[1].

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steamboat_Willie#Copyright_sta...

It is Disney today. They own and decide.

Technically, neither Disney or LucasArts own DeluxePaint.

Who owns it?

Edit: Looks like EA owns it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deluxe_Paint#Legacy

I thought LucasArts still owned the IP, but Disney owned LucasArts?

For Deluxe Paint you will probably have to ask Electronic Arts.

Aye, that's actually my next step. :) (Archive.org, that is.)

I went through all the links, clicking on them and asking archive.org to save a copy. I also did it with the "Download", "Raw", and "Download ZIP" links.

Disc image and photo if possible - they're librarians, remember.

The disc is deeply worn, so a full ISO is probably not going to happen -- though I'll try a bunch of stuff. Maybe I'll get lucky!

At the time, these files were worth six billion dollars.

Disney paid $4.05B in 2012 for all of Lucasfilm, I don't think at any point in particular these files specifically were worth $6B.

I read that as sarcastic and very funny. Upvoted.

Yep, I don't think it's going to last very long there

How so?

Several points someone might have a problem with: - This is content that shipped on a commercial product - It contains proprietary LucasArts content, including a development tool - It also includes minimal copies of Deluxe Paint 2 (whoops!)

I looked past all of this considering the age of it, but I won't fault GitHub for yanking it. I'll host it elsewhere if that happens.

Makes sense, thank you for the explanation.

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