Started by Devilmarkus, 13:42, 01 April 10
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Quote >> Forum: comp.sys.sinclair >> Thread: Amstrad ROM permissions >> Message 1 of 1 Subject: Amstrad ROM permissions Date: 08/31/1999 Author: Cliff Lawson <firstname.lastname@example.org> Hi, Andrew Owen sent me the following email about the Spectrum ROMs and said it was being discussed on c.s.s but I can't see the relevant thread (I have a totally crap newsfeed - Psinet - who only carry about half the traffic!!). So, anyway, here's my reply about these issues: "I know you have answered the question of Amstrad's policy on the use of the Spectrum ROMs before but the debate has come up again on comp.sys.sinclair and as much as I tell people what I believe it is, they want a definitive answer. So when you have time here are the questions. Thanks! 1) What exactly do you have to do to use Sinclair ROMs in an emulator, such as acknowledgements etc?" Amstrad are happy for emulator writers to include images of our copyrighted code as long as the (c)opyright messages are not altered and we appreciate it if the program/manual includes a note to the effect that "Amstrad have kindly given their permission for the redistribution of their copyrighted material but retain that copyright". "2) Can you charge a shareware fee for an emulator that uses the Sinclair ROMs?" No. No one should be charging for the ROM code because (as a result of the point above) there are loads of freely available images anyway. If I ever thought someone was charging for the ROM images then I'd make them available as a free download on the www.amstrad.com web site. Naturally I imagine that some emulator writers want to charge a shareware fee for the code they have written and we have absolutely no problem with that as long as they aren't, in any sense, charging for the parts of the code that are (c)Amstrad and (c) Sinclair. "3) Can you modify the ROMs, for instance to enable tape loading and saving, and if so what are the requirements?" The ROM code is simply a tool to let the emulator writers make a program that works as close to the original machine as possible. If they choose to modify the behaviour in any way then that's entirely up to them (I guess you could say that that is exactly what an emulator IS doing (ie modifying the screen output and keyboard input to go via the PC bits)!!) "4) Can you distribute modified ROMs?" If you like (with that (c) proviso). "5) Does this apply to all ROMs, Interface 1+2, ZX80, ZX81, Spectrum 48, 128, +2, +2A and +3." I think Amstrad only bought the rights to Spectrum 48/128 from Sinclair and then produced the + machines ourselves. I do not believe the (c) for ZXs or IF1/2 has anything to do with Amstrad. "6) Does Amstrad own the rights to the QL as well?" Someone asked me this before and I think our lawyer at that time said that we may have had the rights to the QL stuff but then sold it on to someone else but I haven't a clue who. "7) What is the legal position with regard to distributing ROMs from legal Spectrum clones such as the Timex 2048?" Ask Timex. We only hold the copyright for code that was written by Sinclair or Amstrad for the Spectrum machines. I haven't a clue about the Timex deal as it was done in the days before Amstrad were ever involved. " 8) What is the legal position with regard to distributing ROMs from illegal Spectrum clones such as the Russian Scorpion and Pentagon machines?" Anyone pirating hardware/software should be shot.... though that may be to quick a death for them. Perhaps nailing them up by the testicles using rusty nails would be the best thing to do to them? "9) Is Amstrad happy for software owned by Sinclair to be distributed in a similar way?" I think that the majority of software, even that 10/12 game pack bundled with + machines remains the copyrighted property of its authors (Ocean etc.). Amstrad/Sincliar merely acted as a publishing house but I don't think that gave us the copyright to it, just an agreed licence to make copies IYSWIM. "10) What is Amstrad's policy on the distribution of electronic versions of Sinclair documentation?" The more the merrier. People scanning, OCRing, HTMLing & PDFing any manuals that are genuinely (c)Amstrad are actually doing us a favour because if someone asks for a copy we can just point them at a URL (please keep me informed!! ;-). So we'd welcome as many of them to be put online as possible if people can take out the time and trouble to do it. "I sincerly hope this is the last time you will be bothered with such questions. Thank you again for your time." Your welcome. It's good to have the opportunity to make our position on this clear and I've cross-posted this to c.s.a.8 because it applies equally well to all the CPC stuff (though some bits of that are also (c)Locomotive so you need to seek their permission too - however I don't think there's ever a problem in so doing). Cliff Lawson, Amstrad plc
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