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34

Try THE OLDSCHOOL PC FONT RESOURCE Looks positively awesome to me. I started by looking for IBM MDA - the classic 9x14 font, and I found this site. License is Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0. I've downloaded the file. Zip contains all the fonts ready to install in Windows. You should be able to convert it to whatever you need, including actual ...


27

The CD media for OSR (OEM Service Releases) are generally all the same; there is no unique code on the disc. Imagine what a problem this would be for commercial users with multiple machines to support - they wouldn't want to archive multiple copies of the media. Making the key unique to the disk doesn't add any protection if the disc image is easily ...


25

-misc-fixed-* X11 font "family" matches all your criteria - it originated sometime in the 1980s, thus it can be considered retro or vintage, is distributed public domain, comes in several sizes (5x7 seems appropriate for a small LCD display), it is still developped and as a consequence has a reasonable beyond-Latin1 repertoire, the BDF (or PCF) format is ...


22

CDs are made by pressing, having a new master made is expensive so the content of the disk would rarely be changed, certainly not for a single copy. Yes there are recordable CDs now but they were not common at the time windows 95 was released, cost more in bulk than pressing and generally have worse longevity. Even for media that is not pressed making a ...


17

Are there vintage or historical bitmapped fonts available for non-commercial use? I'm looking for a source for one or a few 1-bit black-or-white bitmapped fonts used in the past, available in a set of sizes. Typefaces are not subject to copyright, at least in the US, so you can do what you want (again, in the US). Bitmapped representations are ...


13

But the terminology and "legalese" changed at some point. Terminology, as used by the general public, yes, legalese no. In the 1980s or early '90s, free-to-use-and-modify software was referred to as "Public Domain". It basically means the author gave up all copyright. The modern term "Open Source" was not used back then, to my knowledge. No, yes, err, ...


12

Damien Guard's series of articles starting with Typography in 8 bits: System fonts has versions of almost all of the old system fonts you might remember. If you don't mind digging about in ROM images, there are rather more than one lifetime's worth here: https://github.com/phooky/PROM — the Osbourne 1 font is remarkably pretty. For making true bitmaps from ...


9

I think one reason that it is very prolific, is that JDV is right: in many cases the rightsholders may not have any interest in pursuing legal interests. And in the case of very old games and companies (that may not exist any longer) that is probably true. Nintendo however, has some very specific things to say about this on their corporate legal page: ...


8

While I was looking for information on the Hong Kong bootleg mentioned in Tommy's answer, I actually found information on a different bootleg released in Brazil: Ronaldinho Soccer 64 Released by TEG Peru only in Brazil in January 1998, this bootleg was a modified version of International Superstar Soccer 64 which replaced all fake roster names with real ...


7

I don't think there actually been any big move from public domain software to open source software, as these terms are actually defined. Instead it's just become much less common to use the term public domain inappropriately. The terms "public domain" and "open source" mean two different things with little overlap between the two. Public domain means that ...


7

Yes, at least if you count pirated games (which are neither licensed from Nintendo nor from whomever owns the game, so twice as unlicensed). Per this moment in a REcon presentation on the Nintendo 64 CIC: ... now I should say, unlike the older Nintendo stuff, instead of having very widespread pirate chips, this pirate game is actually very very very rare. ...


6

These ROM images are like all other software and are protected by copyright law. Most are commercial software that do not permit copying and distributing. Some copyright holders have allowed their games to be freely distributable, for example the Sega Mega Drive game, Zero Tolerance, and it's unfinished prototype sequel, Beyond Zero Tolerance. There are ...


6

One open source, non-GPL SID emulator that I have found is another one also called jsSID, but completely independent of the one linked in the original question. This one is available from http://hermit.uw.hu/index.php (latest download link) and contains the following license in its README.txt: Licenses? The license is the popular WTF license, so 'do what ...


5

The bitmap fonts that come with http://x3270.bgp.nu/documentation-faq.html are licensed under the same MIT-like terms the program is under. Some of them are too large for your application, but there is one that's 8 pixels tall. If you download the source tarfile, it'll have the .bdf fonts inside it. You can probably just grab the Signetics characters that ...


5

The Amstrad CPC bitmap font is detailed in chapter 7 of the user manual. There is an 8x8 bitmap for each ASCII character.


5

Rather than argue about the premise of the question or the distinctions between "public domain" and "open source", I'm going to answer the question. Several factors seem to have occurred: In late 1980s to the 1990s, Richard M. Stallman and the GNU project introduced the idea of a software license that allowed people to use software at no cost, but not ...


5

First to answer it: No, it's not legal. Others have already pointed out why. As an addition I'd like to point out the usual consequences: As for old software, in general ROMs are tolerated, actually even Nintendo doesn't care about, I think, GCN and older. A ROM is less likely to be tolerated if it has been remastered, or re-released as is, on a up-to-date ...


5

A very limited number of rights holders have retrospectively relaxed the license conditions (or re-released) their intelectual property, making it legal in specific situations and for specific software. In these cases rights such as redistribution or commercial use will vary, and it can be hard to track down the precise detail as ownership often changes over ...


4

MSDN always uses the key 335-XXXXXX6 for legacy software which works for old visual studio & windows 95/98 editions. I just checked and VB6 still has the same key. I don't think I ever remember typing other key back at the time (and don't forget internet access was a very new thing) I don't remember if it even came with a SLIP/PPP driver at the time.


4

A lot of software written in the 1940s, 1950s, and even 1960s was never copyrighted, because people didn't realize the copyright protection extended to software. Even when copyright began to be recognized, there was some debate about whether algorithms should be governed by patents rather than copyrights, while code should be copyrighted instead. There's a ...


2

I see a lot of technical answers here, but not a lot about why. Why copyright your work if you don't intend to exploit it for money? One possible answer: It's no fun to say, "I am the author of X" if X has been turned into crap and widely disseminated by people you don't know. Copyright lets you tell other people to cease and desist from calling their ...


2

The TL;DR answer is that they've co-existed for as long as home/micro computers have been around. Open Source software is a comparatively modern term - the Open Source Initiative (OSI) was founded in 1998 - but the principles of delivering software along with the source code under a permissive licence date back much earlier. The CTSS operating system, ...


2

No. Most popular games from a retro platform's original commercial era are not legal to distribute through the Internet, not even if you buy a used game before downloading a second copy in parallel from a ROM site. A U.S. court held in UMG Recordings v. MP3.com that buying a genuine copy does not entitle you to download a second copy to your computer ...


2

I can answer about Russia. For criminal liability the damage to the copyright holder should be sufficient (100 000 rubles, somewhat less than $2000 currently). The copyright holder should prove damages which would be calculated from the retail price of the software. If he does not sell the same or similar software, it would be very difficult to prove ...


2

Microsoft's licensing and activation functions have slowly evolved over time. When Windows 95 and then Windows 98 came out, Microsoft used keys that were unique but not tracked via a central database. When Windows 95 was first introduced, at that time access to the Internet was still very uncommon, with people using 14.4 kilobit in about 1994 or so. All ...


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