[The Sinclair Spectrum]

Philip Kendall - The Threat to Spectrum Emulation

Note: this page is now basically out of date, but I'll leave it up for historical purposes. It was originally written in early 1999.



The above makes pretty bleak reading: if the IDSA, or another organisation like it, turns its attention to the Spectrum scene, this could see the removal of a large proportion of the Spectrum programs from the FTP/Web sites from which they are currently available. Yet this would benefit nobody: the companies are not losing any money to Spectrum emulation (when did you last see a Spectrum game in your local computer store?), and even get free advertising from their games being distributed in this way.

Therefore, it would significantly brighten the future of Spectrum emulation if we could persuade the companies which own the rights to Spectrum programs to allow for free distribution of those programs. This task is significantly complicated by the difficulties of finding out who holds the rights to a specific program, and then contacting the relevant people. Martijn van der Heide has made a start to this task - the current status can be found at World of Spectrum, but this is only a start, and needs more people helping out.

So far, this campaign has been moderately successful: most of the companies/people contacted have been happy to allow distribution of their games. However, a few have requested that their games are not distributed. Whilst I think this is the wrong decision, it is their right as copyright holders to do so. The problem here is that these games are still available from many Web and FTP sites out there, which could present problems not only for the site maintainer, but for the whole emulation scene - if we annoy these companies, they could probably have the whole scene driven underground. Hence, I would urge anyone who maintains such a site to remove the games immediately, and for nobody else to link to such sites.

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