In article < XXXX@XXXXX.COM >,
:i'm doing some experimenting with older SGIs, and i'm looking for
:older copies of IRIX 5.3 and 6.2 software. namely: 5.3 compilers,
:NFS, and other development software; 6.2 operating system, compilers,
:NFS, IDF/IDL, etc. basically anything useful for 5.3 and 6.2.
:if you're willing to part with anything, please let me know.
:(stevegorwitz pretzel yahoo period com.) and yes, i'm aware that
:these types of arrangements violate SGI's licensing agreement, but
:really, i couldn't buy this software from SGI if i wanted to.
The IRIX 5.3 compilers are a happy exception: SGI has given
permission for anyone to copy those. The exception does not apply
to 5.2 or 6.x, just the 5.3 compilers.
NFS you can buy from Sun. They might ask a couple of hundred thousand
dollars, but the price is irrelevant in US or Canadian law, just
whether it could be obtained legally if one was willing to meet the
There is no difference in US or Canadian law between a piece of
computer software that is no longer sold, and a book that has gone out
of print: to be eligable to copy the whole of it without asking
permission from the authors or their heirs, one must wait out the
copyright period. If I understand Canadian law on that point correctly,
that would be 70 years after first publication in the case of most
commercial software (70 years after death of the last identifiable
"natural person" author.)
In the US, one *might* be able to find a judge willing to
accept a "fair use" exemption for copying software that is no
longer sold. "Fair use" is not completely nailed down in US law.
Case law history would suggest that a "fair use" exemption would
be partly predicated on whether one had *asked* the copyright holder
for copying or purchasing permission. If there was no response
within a reasonable time, or if the response was just "Sorry, we no
longer sell that", then "fair use" might be invokable. If, though,
the response from the copyright holder could reasonably be interpreted as
having asserted the copyright holder's rights to control distribution
of their works (e.g., if it mentioned a conscious decision to
withdraw the item from the market) then "fair use" would not be
claimable, as copyright law makes it clear that copyright holders
have the right to withhold items from the market. (e.g., the
Indiana Jones movies were deliberately withheld from DVD by
the producer, at least until the '25th anniversary' marketing