VOGONS


Abandonware and Dosbox

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Reply 20 of 91, by Dominus

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Excuse me? As someone who has been abandonware in the scene for years I have to say something here. The webmasters of these places are NOT "sticking it to the law" nor do they support piracy. In fact most respectable forums/sites will direct you to buy links if they are available.

First off, morally I do think the concept of abandonware is good and sound. But there is no way around it that abandonware has no legal ground and is therefore pirating of games so they are "sticking it to the law" and they do support piracy. It's just piracy with a morally higher background. I'm always amazed that people that support abandonware just can't accept these facts and carry on.

Thus projects like Dosbox just can't be associated with it.

And about abandonware sites I have no clue what they look like nowadays and what codex they follow, but ages ago they were just glorified warez sites in my eyes.

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Reply 21 of 91, by LoneLines

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I think the problem is more to do that some of the games on abandonware sites are post-installed, with save games, specific paths etc.
People come here looking for help when they basically have a broken game (and nothing wrong with dosbox).
Mind you, some actual releases of shovelware CD games also do this (If anyone has the Private Eye Mysteries CD (includes Crime Wave, Mean Streets, Martian Memorandum and Countdown) the installer simply copies all files to the HD and tells you to run the game. Those with a keen eye will notice some of them have been already configured for sound, so you need to manually delete the old configs in order to set it up again for DOSBOX).

LoneLines list of workarounds for various games in DOSBox:
http://ADogsBox.jellofishi.com

Reply 22 of 91, by butterfly

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I think this forum is not the place to discuss such things as abandonware. abandonware is in a legal 'gray area', it's not contemplated by law. Technically abandonware is illegal and that's it.

Reply 23 of 91, by Targaff

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Regardless of abandonware's legal status or lack thereof, I fail to see how mere discussion of it is an issue.

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Reply 24 of 91, by franpa

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LoneLines is cutting it close with explaining how to fix a abandonware product to work with DOSbox.

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Reply 26 of 91, by FeedingDragon

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The original statement in this topic, though, was a suggestion that all those people wanting help getting their downloaded games to run should go to the forums provided by whatever abandonware site they downloaded the game from in the first place.... Whew, talk about a long sentence. Basically, I agree with that thought. If the site they downloaded it from doesn't have a forum, then just find one that does and go there instead. I think the suggestion was made in response the the slew of "I downloaded game <xxxx> and it doesn't work, please fix it for me," posts that I've been seeing recently. This, despite the fact that the rules clearly state - Don't ask for help with downloaded games, you won't get any (not a direct quote, I know, but close enough.)

As for the debate about the legality of abadonware, I'm more than willing to debate it, but in a more appropriate area please 😀

Feeding Dragon

Reply 27 of 91, by leileilol

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basically

games from your own own legal copies' media = okay, preferred and recommended

games ILLEGALLY OBTAINED FROM ABANDONWARE SITES, most possibly TAMPERED and "pre-fixed for XP" = BAD BAD FOR DOSBOX TECHNICAL SUPPORT

Get what i'm saying? Pure genuine game copies prevail.

And yeah, abandonware sites are pretty much glorified warez sites with a php powered CMS and big CSS styles, a (usually newbie) lucas/sierra adventure playing community with a made-up (il)legal clause to dodge the obvious serious questions of their credibility.

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Reply 28 of 91, by avatar_58

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Dominus wrote:
First off, morally I do think the concept of abandonware is good and sound. But there is no way around it that abandonware has n […]
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Excuse me? As someone who has been abandonware in the scene for years I have to say something here. The webmasters of these places are NOT "sticking it to the law" nor do they support piracy. In fact most respectable forums/sites will direct you to buy links if they are available.

First off, morally I do think the concept of abandonware is good and sound. But there is no way around it that abandonware has no legal ground and is therefore pirating of games so they are "sticking it to the law" and they do support piracy. It's just piracy with a morally higher background. I'm always amazed that people that support abandonware just can't accept these facts and carry on.

Thus projects like Dosbox just can't be associated with it.

And about abandonware sites I have no clue what they look like nowadays and what codex they follow, but ages ago they were just glorified warez sites in my eyes.

Of course it's illegal, everyone knows that. Only a fool would argue that point. However the "moral" part is highly debatable, and frankly I find it a little insulting that people refuse to allow those of us who think so to speak about it. I'm actually glad this topic is allowed to exist, but I forsee a closure if it escalates to personal attacks.

You yourself say you haven't been to them in years. Which ones did you go to (names not urls) anyway? I can easily turn around and call "all" bittorrents sites bad and pirate dens, but it's not true. Just because there are tons of bad apples doesn't mean everyone agrees. Don't believe me? Go to HOTU. Theres not a single supported game in their database. If someone contests, it is removed. No questions asked. You explain to me how this system is flawed and I'll concede.

leileilol wrote:
basically […]
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basically

games from your own own legal copies' media = okay, preferred and recommended

games ILLEGALLY OBTAINED FROM ABANDONWARE SITES, most possibly TAMPERED and "pre-fixed for XP" = BAD BAD FOR DOSBOX TECHNICAL SUPPORT

Get what i'm saying? Pure genuine game copies prevail.

And yeah, abandonware sites are pretty much glorified warez sites with a php powered CMS and big CSS styles, a (usually newbie) lucas/sierra adventure playing community with a made-up (il)legal clause to dodge the obvious serious questions of their credibility.

You my friend are just looking for a personal fight. I am not. Stop making general statements to which you know nothing about. I find it incredibly childish that you would act like this when you weren't even provoked.

"Abandonware sites" are no more different than any other community. In fact I'd argue they are quite mature and aged. They consist mostly of older folks who appreciate classic games, but are saddened by how rare and unsold the games are. I'm only a young guy of 21, but my head lies with old games....otherwise I would never have joined this forum 😉 I assure you I'm hardly "noob" nor will I ever dodge any arguments about my actions. I committed what you would call illegal acts. So sue me, I downloaded some games that aren't sold by the original developers. I assure you I have far more legal games, because I *do* go out of my way to obtain them legally if possible.

I used to belong to a small community that would actively help people with old games. Support and the locating of extremely rare games. If a buy link was possible (at the time, even if it was CDAccess) we would present it. If not then we would hunt for a download link from a half-way decent website. I used to be very good at it too, and I don't for a second consider what I did "morally" wrong. Go ahead and try to pin that label on me, but from my research each game wasn't sold by the original dev/publisher. No one lost money, except for people on ebay. Victimless crime if you will.

Illegal? By a technicality that will one day change. Morally wrong? Please, people do far worse in this world than share games that have been unsold for 20 years. I'm willing to bet as you play that downloaded copy of Doom 3 you thumb your nose at me, as a hypocrite. At least I buy all my new games.

Reply 29 of 91, by leileilol

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avatar_58 wrote:

You my friend are just looking for a personal fight. I am not. Stop making general statements to which you know nothing about. I find it incredibly childish that you would act like this when you weren't even provoked.

....

I'm willing to bet as you play that downloaded copy of Doom 3 you thumb your nose at me, as a hypocrite. At least I buy all my new games.

oh soapbox man, no comment.

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Reply 30 of 91, by Dominus

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Of course it's illegal, everyone knows that. Only a fool would argue that point. However the "moral" part is highly debatable, and frankly I find it a little insulting that people refuse to allow those of us who think so to speak about it.

If that's what you think, you should stay away from statements like "The webmasters of these places are NOT "sticking it to the law" nor do they support piracy".
And mostly abandonware supporters are free to speak their mind as long as they don't forget that part "Of course it's illegal, everyone knows that. Only a fool would argue that point." Most of the times they tend to forget that and thus make the discussions kind of pointless as they glorify pirating games.
As I said, morally I support abandonware. I do think copyright laws are much too strict and should be softened up big time. But as long as they aren't I'm closing every thread advertising abandonware (be it by posting links to abandonware sites or saying that he/she downloaded Ultima7 from somewhere) on the exult forum. I do this to protect the Exult project and would do that here as well.

You yourself say you haven't been to them in years. Which ones did you go to (names not urls) anyway? I can easily turn around and call "all" bittorrents sites bad and pirate dens, but it's not true. Just because there are tons of bad apples doesn't mean everyone agrees. Don't believe me? Go to HOTU....

It was six or seven years ago, sorry, neither my brain nor my browser history remembers which abandonware sites I visited. Going to HOTU now doesn't change what I saw in those sites ages ago.

I'm actually glad this topic is allowed to exist, but I forsee a closure if it escalates to personal attacks.

I'm willing to bet as you play that downloaded copy of Doom 3 you thumb your nose at me, as a hypocrite. At least I buy all my new games.

You are not helping in deescalating it, are you?

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Reply 31 of 91, by avatar_58

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Dominus wrote:

As I said, morally I support abandonware. I do think copyright laws are much too strict and should be softened up big time. But as long as they aren't I'm closing every thread advertising abandonware (be it by posting links to abandonware sites or saying that he/she downloaded Ultima7 from somewhere) on the exult forum. I do this to protect the Exult project and would do that here as well.

Indeed, and you should. Technically, as I said, it IS illegal. So therefore any links shouldn't be allowed on forums that prefer to remain on the web without fear of being shut down. Exult shouldn't support Ultima VII abandonware links. Just as VOGONS shouldn't allow dos games links.

Mind you I'm willing to bet 50% of Exult and Dosbox users have downloaded abandonware, and probably even oldwarez. In fact I'm probably wrong and the numbers are far greater than that. I really wish people wouldn't immediately jump on people who are honest about it in threads though.

If someone says "I downloaded Ultima V recently and it locks up" theres really no point in a backseat moderator attacking them saying to go buy it from ebay. Unless theres a download link theres really no problem here.

I just find it kind of silly to watch people go off on abandonware, yet themselves have knowledge of thousands of dos games. Theres no way in hell they own even half of their catalogue.

Reply 32 of 91, by Hazekel

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I have tried to stay out of this argument, since we have heard it all before, but what bothers me are those who are determined to act as a sort of private copyright police. I have come to sites like this to get help with games before and promptly get accused of using pirated software even though I just bought the game!

This happened with Half-Life 2. I just bought the game (which is one of the heaviest copy protected games in history!) and when I sought help I was instantly accused of using a pirated version! I finally got help - from Sierra, but it still bugs me that some people are more concerned with pursuing a fantasy of being with the internet police. I wound up posting a reply to myself to help others who might have had the same problem.

In short, help people with their games and don't assume that because the game works on your system someone must have a "pirated" version if their's doesn't work. I like this site, and most people here are friendly and helpful, but some people here are sarcastic and rude (not a lot, but a few). Let's just help one another.

Reply 34 of 91, by Dominus

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In short, help people with their games and don't assume that because the game works on your system someone must have a "pirated" version if their's doesn't work.

nice story, but unfortunately if you look through this forum you will find that it happens a lot like this:
"game xyz doesn't work, please help!"
...some troubleshooting..."Don't know why it doesn't work for you. Please reinstall the game under Dosbox."
"Can't I downloaded it from some site!"
That's where someone asks the original poster to buy the game and then ask for help again, the topic is likely to be closed after this.
And that's the only way it can go. How is anyone supposed to help with a downloaded version that is most likely not complete, maybe even ripped to be smaller?

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Reply 35 of 91, by Hazekel

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Dominus wrote:
unfortunately if you look through this forum you will find that it happens a lot like this: "game xyz doesn't work, please help! […]
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unfortunately if you look through this forum you will find that it happens a lot like this:
"game xyz doesn't work, please help!"
...some troubleshooting..."Don't know why it doesn't work for you. Please reinstall the game under Dosbox."
"Can't I downloaded it from some site!"
How is anyone supposed to help with a downloaded version that is most likely not complete, maybe even ripped to be smaller?

Well I understand you on that point. Some people do that and DOSBOX doesn't support that. Of course, I have found that sometimes games I legally own actually run better on newer systems if I do get altered ones from Abandonware sites. I won't argue the legality of it, but sometimes people who have "ripped" versions also have the original but use the "ripped" for more XP compatibility or the like. Of course, those would obviously not be DOSBOX supported, but it is something to keep in mind when someone says that. One example is the old Sierra disk which required the 3.5" disk to be in the drive. Most computers no longer even HAVE a 3.5" disk!

Reply 36 of 91, by Spikey

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Well, you (Dominus) are generalising. I pretty much agree with the sentiments of avatar and Hazekel. Although I agree about those sorts of posts (see later)

I've had this discussion at my forums before (I run the Sierra music website, Sierra Music Central).
My personal view is pretty controversial in itself, that I don't feel guilty about pirating pretty much anything from Sierra and its' days, given its' intellectual property is currently owned by a French water conglomerate.

And anyway, 'pirating' games that aren't sold any more is a strange concept in itself (ignoring of course the recent rereleases of some of the Quest series).

But back on-topic. I think Dominus' statement is a generalisation because not everyone posts saying "game xyz doesn't work".

If someone posted articulately and also said they'd downloaded the game, and the problem wasn't related to the download (e.g. a timer issue, or a sound issue) would you deny them help?

A classic example is where my brother was trying to play Pharaoh, one of Sierra's later games (well, Sierra owned it anyway). It worked fine. He installed the expansion, Cleopatra, but our disk missed some files. He downloaded a perfect copy of the image off the web, and was asking questions on Vivendi's forums. The guy suddenly ignored him (after being less than helpful anyway). I mean, that's pathetic.

I guess my view is, we should be encouraging people to play old games, whether Sierra's or otherwise.
Although don't get me wrong, people who post short, contrite statements where they demand technical help yet the problem is with them downloading it shouldn't be something you reward people for by going out of your way to assist them. I just think the potential case where you snub people when you could help them is one to avoid. But I get the feeling people are largely talking at cross-purposes in this thread.

I myself have a Sierra collection that's pretty vast, but I only ever play my 'legal' CD versions, for all the disk versions I use the versions I downloaded years ago. Why install disks, it's a pain (and as Hazekel said, new PC's don't come with floppy drives, my new one didn't).

Anyway. To wrap it up, anyone who thinks they have some moral high ground needs to get off their high horse. Laws in these areas are (in my view) scandalously harsh (check out the US's DMCA, we can't touch anything for 50 odd years after final release, guess if I want to be in some sort of moral highground I can't touch Willy Beamish's music until 2041 plus). My website is technically illegal, for god's sake- I edit and distribute game music that the original composers generally would love me to.

Noone should rat on HOTU, either. Excellent site, even though some of the games are 'illegally' hosted (although they try to not even do that).

I guess my view is- illegality in terms of video games doesn't equal immoral or wrong in the clearcut way it usually does in our legal systems at large.
Old video games that is, obviously, it's wrong to pirate Dreamfall or other new games.

Regards, and sorry for the long one,
- Spike

Reply 37 of 91, by Dominus

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But back on-topic. I think Dominus' statement is a generalisation because not everyone posts saying "game xyz doesn't work".

If someone posted articulately and also said they'd downloaded the game, and the problem wasn't related to the download (e.g. a timer issue, or a sound issue) would you deny them help?

A classic example is where my brother was trying to play Pharaoh, one of Sierra's later games (well, Sierra owned it anyway). It worked fine. He installed the expansion, Cleopatra, but our disk missed some files. He downloaded a perfect copy of the image off the web, and was asking questions on Vivendi's forums. The guy suddenly ignored him (after being less than helpful anyway). I mean, that's pathetic.

I'm writing about what I've read here. Here! Of course I generalized, how could I not? If I didn't generalized I'd have to write about every single thread...
I didn't even mention the other half of "downloaded games support threads" that begin like "I downloaded game xyz but can't get it to work!". Come on, what should be the correct reply in THIS forum be?
This brings us to this:

To wrap it up, anyone who thinks they have some moral high ground needs to get off their high horse.

At least here I do *think* that it's not about being on a high horse or higher moral standards. It is about protecting Dosbox on the one hand and there being altered pirated games out there. *I* don't care much if someone downloads a pirated game, but one doesn't have to parade the fact around, does one? It forces the devs and the moderators strong hand.
And there have been downloaded games that just don't work correctly anymore. Use the search to find those threads.

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Reply 38 of 91, by Spikey

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And I agree. I want to quickly move to apologise if I came on a little strong.

I agree, my comment about you generalising is wrong. My bad. I guess I mean in the broader sense, but you're clearly not talking about that.

Yeah, and I also agree that DOSBox should be protected, and that obvious piraters with little regard for DOSBox or the position mods/developers get put in should be treated in that way. That's fine.

As for downloaded games that don't work, I think it usually applies to CD games. I can't think of many disk version games that it'd apply to. But of course CD-rips can either be great or rubbish..

Anyway. I just want to say, I think we're more or less on the same page on those issues, and I'm sorry if I put words in your mouth or said stuff that was wrong.
<offers hand in conciliatory gesture>

It's been a while since I was here, I'm off to a rocky start already. 😉

Heh. I think the reason I was so gung-ho about my post was because there was this really awful posts by the mods down at Abandonia, about how downloading old games was like stealing a car, or something, and it rekindled my passion for debating this, and I always think of that when this topic comes up.

But at the end of the day, I care more about the games than the fights. DOSBox too for that matter.

I'm curious now- what's the actual VOGONS policy on locking/deleting threads where someone posts asking for help but mentions an illegally obtained game?

- Spike

Reply 39 of 91, by Dominus

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Anyway. I just want to say, I think we're more or less on the same page on those issues, and I'm sorry if I put words in your mouth or said stuff that was wrong.
<offers hand in conciliatory gesture>

I'm taking it 😀 But seriously, I didn't feel personally offended, just had to stood my ground on that "generalizing" thing 😀

Heh. I think the reason I was so gung-ho about my post was because there was this really awful posts by the mods down at Abandonia, about how downloading old games was like stealing a car, or something, and it rekindled my passion for debating this, and I always think of that when this topic comes up.

While I truly wouldn't compare abandonware to stealing cars, the similar comparison was in my mind before. Think of Dosbox (or actually Vogons) as an garage that fixes all kinds of car problems. How to behave when someone comes with this problem: "I stole this car the other day and now it doesn't run correctly, can you help me?"
As I said, abandonware shouldn't be compared to abandonware (the above mentioned "victimless crime" is one reason for that) but car comparisons are common, eh? 😀

As for the official Vogons policy, no idea, threads get locked mostly and links to download locations deleted.

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