Amstrad ROM permissions

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Cliff Lawson

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Aug 31, 1999, 3:00:00 AM8/31/99
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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

mri...@hotmail.com

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Aug 31, 1999, 3:00:00 AM8/31/99
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"Cliff Lawson" <cla...@amstrad.com>:

> "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.

> [...]


> 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).

I managed to get Locomotive to agree to a GBP 15 shareware fee for
!CPC in 1996 (this was on the edge of what they were prepared to
tolerate).

When, however, I tried to get them to agree to making !CPC a commercial
product (sold by www.wss.co.uk, who sell Acorn and Sinclair emulators),
they said nyet. To be more precise, the person I corresponded with (and
I'd have to check my archives to find out who it was) explained that
Loco had just reorganised and wouldn't be prepared to spend the time it
would take to consider a request to make commercial use of their
CPC copyright material.

Indeed, it was hinted that I shouldn't even push my luck, because
they might well decide to withdraw permission for charging a shareware
fee (I can't remember whether the commercial price was going to be
higher than the shareware fee)!

[I suppose we could have tried to sell the emulator without the
ROMs and just told people where to get them, but that would probably
have quite considerably reduced sales, quite apart from potentially
pissing Loco off!]

!CPC got crushed by !CPCEmu anyway. Sigh.

Mark "IIRC"

P.S.: !CPC(Src) has a ZX81 emulator buried in it, but I never got
around to spreading the word. Oh well...

--


Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Share what you know. Learn what you don't.

Philip Kendall

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Aug 31, 1999, 3:00:00 AM8/31/99
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In article <7qh1ln$uhp$1...@news8.svr.pol.co.uk>, Andrew Owen
<ao...@brandnewco.org> wrote
>----------
>In article <37cbc...@nnrp1.news.uk.psi.net>, "Cliff Lawson"
><cla...@amstrad.com> wrote:
>
>> "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?
>
>I think that settles the Scorpion/Pentagon argument - emulate them at your
>peril.

[I've had a few goes at draughting this, but none of them have come out
very well...]

I don't think it does, really. All Cliff has said is "piracy is bad".
Questions which do need to be answered:

1) What is the legal position on the Pentagon/Scorpion ROMs? Are they
illegal modifications or was some deal done with Sinclair and/or
Amstrad? (One possibly relevant point here is that the modifications may
well have been done outside Britain)
2) If the modifications are illegal, what is then the legal position on
the ROMs? Do Amstrad have the sole rights to set conditions under which
they may be distributed? I doubt Amstrad would be very happy with people
selling Pentagon/Scorpion ROMs, but I don't think they'd have a problem
with them being given away for free.
3) Where do you draw your conclusions from about _emulating_ the
Pentagon/Scorpion anyway? The only point discussed here is the
distribution of the ROMs.

My guesses of the answers to the first two questions are:

1) No-one has any idea, therefore we probably have to assume they're
illegal modifications.
2) What I would hope the position would be is that the permission of
both Amstrad and the modifier is needed (so that if, for example, I make
changes to a product which I didn't know was under copyright, I would
not lose the rights to my modifications just because the modified
product was under copyright). In that case, distributing the ROMs at all
is a problem, as Amstrad wouldn't be happy with them being sold and
whoever modified the ROMs is (as far as we know) not happy with them
being given away free. Again, it may be relevant here that the
modifications probably happened outside Britain.

I know it still doesn't read very well. Sorry...

Phil

--
/ Philip Kendall (pa...@cam.ac.uk pa...@kendalls.demon.co.uk) \
| New? Read the FAQ: http://www.kendalls.demon.co.uk/cssfaq/ |
| The Threat to Spectrum Emulation: |
\ http://www.kendalls.demon.co.uk/pak21/spectrum/threat.html /

Andrew Owen

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Sep 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/1/99
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Oh dear, this is going to be very long and technical :( ...

----------
In article <3sR75EAy...@kendalls.demon.co.uk>, Philip Kendall


<pa...@kendalls.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> In article <7qh1ln$uhp$1...@news8.svr.pol.co.uk>, Andrew Owen
> <ao...@brandnewco.org> wrote

>>In article <37cbc...@nnrp1.news.uk.psi.net>, "Cliff Lawson"
>><cla...@amstrad.com> wrote:
>>> "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?
>>I think that settles the Scorpion/Pentagon argument - emulate them at your
>>peril.
> [I've had a few goes at draughting this, but none of them have come out
> very well...]
>
> I don't think it does, really. All Cliff has said is "piracy is bad".
> Questions which do need to be answered:
>
> 1) What is the legal position on the Pentagon/Scorpion ROMs? Are they
> illegal modifications or was some deal done with Sinclair and/or
> Amstrad? (One possibly relevant point here is that the modifications may
> well have been done outside Britain)

I'm very sorry I can't prove this so I know it will not stop the debate but
the Pentagon and Scorpion ROMs are definitely illegal modifications of
Amstrad copyright. Under the Berne convention governing copyright (which
almost all countries, including former eastern-bloc, are signatories of) it
does not matter where the infringement takes place for copyright to have
been breached. A deal was not done with anyone because these machines owe
their origins to the Soviet (copyright free) system. Inside Soviet Russia
there was no infringement. Now Soviet Russia is gone, they definitely
infringe.

> 2) If the modifications are illegal, what is then the legal position on
> the ROMs? Do Amstrad have the sole rights to set conditions under which
> they may be distributed? I doubt Amstrad would be very happy with people
> selling Pentagon/Scorpion ROMs, but I don't think they'd have a problem
> with them being given away for free.

I think we have to accept that as the original ROMs were a violation,
Amstrad is not happy with their distribution, for profit or otherwise, as
the company would be seen to be condoning piracy.

> 3) Where do you draw your conclusions from about _emulating_ the
> Pentagon/Scorpion anyway? The only point discussed here is the
> distribution of the ROMs.

From the ISDA view that an emulation whose sole purpose is to infringe a
copyright (which emulating the pentagon/scorpion falls under). I accept that
if you could emulate the behaviour of the machine without using the ROMs the
emulation would be legal so long as it did not need the original ROMs to
work. It should be possible to modify Amstrad's ROMs under the terms it
specifies and get Scorp/Pent software to work but it would take a lot of
work.

> My guesses of the answers to the first two questions are:
>
> 1) No-one has any idea, therefore we probably have to assume they're
> illegal modifications.

In the absence of proof for my viewpoint I agree.

> 2) What I would hope the position would be is that the permission of
> both Amstrad and the modifier is needed (so that if, for example, I make
> changes to a product which I didn't know was under copyright, I would
> not lose the rights to my modifications just because the modified
> product was under copyright). In that case, distributing the ROMs at all
> is a problem, as Amstrad wouldn't be happy with them being sold and
> whoever modified the ROMs is (as far as we know) not happy with them
> being given away free. Again, it may be relevant here that the
> modifications probably happened outside Britain.

Pardon?

> I know it still doesn't read very well. Sorry...

You're forgiven. Basically if you want to ask Cliff to state for the record
that Amstrad takes a very dim view of Scorpion/Pentagon emulation, go ahead.
But I don't like to pester people all the time. I think we are lucky Amstrad
has allowed us to distriubte so much and if we can't use Scorp/Pent legally
we should respect Amstrad's wishes. (I don't need anyone to tell me the
likely effect of this statement - oh well).

-Andrew

Brian

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Sep 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/1/99
to

Philip Kendall <pa...@kendalls.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:3sR75EAy...@kendalls.demon.co.uk...

> 1) What is the legal position on the Pentagon/Scorpion ROMs? Are they
> illegal modifications

Yes.

Why do you want you use them?

Are they different in some advantageous way to the legal (Amstrad) ones?

Or are you just a complete-ist who thinks because they exist they should be
available?

If crap, why bother?

--
Brian

Howard Fisher

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Sep 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/1/99
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In article <7qh789$1nv$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>, mri...@hotmail.com writes
>"Cliff Lawson" <cla...@amstrad.com>:
<snip>

>>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).
>
>I managed to get Locomotive to agree to a GBP 15 shareware fee for
>!CPC in 1996 (this was on the edge of what they were prepared to
>tolerate).
>
>When, however, I tried to get them to agree to making !CPC a commercial
>product (sold by www.wss.co.uk, who sell Acorn and Sinclair emulators),
>they said nyet. To be more precise, the person I corresponded with (and
>I'd have to check my archives to find out who it was) explained that
>Loco had just reorganised and wouldn't be prepared to spend the time it
>would take to consider a request to make commercial use of their
>CPC copyright material.
>
>Indeed, it was hinted that I shouldn't even push my luck, because
>they might well decide to withdraw permission for charging a shareware
>fee (I can't remember whether the commercial price was going to be
>higher than the shareware fee)!
>
If it was in 1996 it was almost certainly me that dealt with it. Without
hunting back into the archive, let me restate the position (which is
almost the same as Amstrad).

Firstly, the Locomotive business was sold at the end of 1995. The
purchaser was Demon Internet Ltd, now part of Scottish Power plc. The
copyright holder to all Locomotive products developed to that date
remained with Locomotive Software Group Ltd, which became a wholly owned
subsidiary of Demon Internet Ltd. Shortly afterwards, I formed a new
company which has since traded as LocoScript Software. This has an
indefinite licence from LSG to develop further, supply and sublicense
the Locomotive Software programs. The agreement with our licensor is
such that they have agreed not to license the Locomotive products to
third parties.

The CPCs were supplied with the operating system ROM and the BASIC ROM
(possibly combined in later versions?). The work Locomotive did in the
system ROM was done for a one off pittance from Amstrad and therefore
(E&OE) is their copyright. The BASIC was modified from an existing
Locomotive product (Mallard BASIC as on the PCWs) and was licensed to
Amstrad for distribution in the CPC ROMs. The underlying BASIC is still
sold commercially for CP/M systems and so is not available either as
freeware or shareware. However, we are happy for the CPC BASIC to be
provided for use in CPC emulators provided that it is not modified from
the original code and that this is done on a non-profit basis (ie any
charge that is made covers purely the distribution costs). We do ask
that anyone who wishes to distribute this code writes to us so that we
can issue formal permission.
--
Howard Fisher ++ LocoScript Software ++ Tel 01306 747757 Fax 01306 885529
** 10 Vincent Works ++ Dorking ++ Surrey ++ RH4 3HJ **
** email: sa...@locomotive.com ++ http://www.locomotive.com **

Niall Tracey

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Sep 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/1/99
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Brian (br...@spheroid.demon.co.uk) wrote:

: Philip Kendall <pa...@kendalls.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
: news:3sR75EAy...@kendalls.demon.co.uk...

: Yes.

It's seems to be completist in the form of making the games that
required the respective ROMs runnable on an emulator. I don't know how
many there are, but I do know that most people are currently unable to
play them.

: If crap, why bother?

Maybe the ROMs are crap, but there are definitely some good games
available for them. (Mostly illegal rip-offs of 16-bit games, however....)

--
NT As long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any
\ \/ /conditions be brought under English rule. It is in truth not for
\ / glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for
/ \ freedom -- for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with
/ /\ \life itself. -- Arbroath, 1320


mri...@hotmail.com

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Sep 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/1/99
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Howard Fisher <how...@locomotive.com>:

> > I managed to get Locomotive to agree to a GBP 15 shareware fee for
> > !CPC in 1996 (this was on the edge of what they were prepared to
> > tolerate).

[Actually, it may have been late 1995.]

> > When, however, I tried to get them to agree to making !CPC a
> > commercial
> > product (sold by www.wss.co.uk, who sell Acorn and Sinclair
> > emulators),

> > they said nyet. [...]


> If it was in 1996 it was almost certainly me that dealt with it.

The name rings a bell!

> Without
> hunting back into the archive, let me restate the position (which is
> almost the same as Amstrad).

> [...]


> However, we are happy for the CPC BASIC to be
> provided for use in CPC emulators provided that it is not modified
> from
> the original code and that this is done on a non-profit basis (ie any
> charge that is made covers purely the distribution costs). We do ask
> that anyone who wishes to distribute this code writes to us so that we
> can issue formal permission.

Ah, but the crucial point (and the reason for my post) is that
Amstrad's and Locomotive's positions differ significantly in one
key aspect: Amstrad don't mind emulators using their code being
distributed on a commercial basis, while Locomotive do. As I said,
it's now history as far as I'm concerned, but it's something which
might conceivably be of importance to someone else.

Mark

Spike!

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Sep 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/1/99
to
And verily, didst Andrew Owen <ao...@brandnewco.org> eloquently scribe:

> I'm very sorry I can't prove this so I know it will not stop the debate but
> the Pentagon and Scorpion ROMs are definitely illegal modifications of
> Amstrad copyright. Under the Berne convention governing copyright (which
> almost all countries, including former eastern-bloc, are signatories of) it
> does not matter where the infringement takes place for copyright to have
> been breached. A deal was not done with anyone because these machines owe
> their origins to the Soviet (copyright free) system. Inside Soviet Russia
> there was no infringement. Now Soviet Russia is gone, they definitely
> infringe.

Is this kind of thing retroactive though?
A copy is produced in a copyright free area (which technically means it's
legal in that area). If that area then signs, are all copies made prior to
the signing covered by the convention???

>> 2) If the modifications are illegal, what is then the legal position on
>> the ROMs? Do Amstrad have the sole rights to set conditions under which
>> they may be distributed? I doubt Amstrad would be very happy with people
>> selling Pentagon/Scorpion ROMs, but I don't think they'd have a problem
>> with them being given away for free.

> I think we have to accept that as the original ROMs were a violation,
> Amstrad is not happy with their distribution, for profit or otherwise, as
> the company would be seen to be condoning piracy.

Hows about we get a copy and then alter it so that the Amstrad copyright
message is forced back in? Or we take a current speccy ROM, reverse engineer
the scorpion ROM, and retrofit the genuine ROM with the things that need
changing?

(Amstrad did say it was OK to alter the ROMs as long as their copyright
message remained intact)

>> 3) Where do you draw your conclusions from about _emulating_ the
>> Pentagon/Scorpion anyway? The only point discussed here is the
>> distribution of the ROMs.

> From the ISDA view that an emulation whose sole purpose is to infringe a
> copyright (which emulating the pentagon/scorpion falls under). I accept that
> if you could emulate the behaviour of the machine without using the ROMs the
> emulation would be legal so long as it did not need the original ROMs to
> work. It should be possible to modify Amstrad's ROMs under the terms it
> specifies and get Scorp/Pent software to work but it would take a lot of
> work.

Or we could do the first of my suggestions and just SAY we'd modified the
ROMS.... Oh... That won't work now... I mentioned it here, which means the
cat's out of the bag....

DARN!

:)

--
______________________________________________________________________________
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| Andrew Halliwell BSc | |
| in | "I think so brain, but this time, you control |
| Computer Science | the Encounter suit, and I'll do the voice..." |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Spike!

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Sep 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/1/99
to
<followups restored>

And verily, didst Matt Gullam <matt....@earwigs.eidosnet.co.uk> eloquently scribe:
> Andrew Owen wrote:
> As this thread seems now to be distinctly a comp.sys.sinclair issue,
> perhaps we could remove the crosspostings.

You posted the entire 100 lines, just for THAT!
Can you spell hypocrit?

--
______________________________________________________________________________
| spi...@mail.freenet.co.uk | "THIS IS THE VOICE OF THE MYSTERONS......" |
| Andrew Halliwell BSc | "I'm afraid no-one's in at the moment, but if |
| in | you leave your rank and colour, we'll destroy |
| Computer Science | you as soon as we get back..."- The Preventers|

Spike!

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Sep 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/1/99
to
And verily, didst Brian <br...@spheroid.demon.co.uk> eloquently scribe:

> Philip Kendall <pa...@kendalls.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
> news:3sR75EAy...@kendalls.demon.co.uk...

>> 1) What is the legal position on the Pentagon/Scorpion ROMs? Are they
>> illegal modifications

> Yes.

> Why do you want you use them?

> Are they different in some advantageous way to the legal (Amstrad) ones?

Many of the new Russian games probably rely on them.

Howard Fisher

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Sep 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/2/99
to
In article <7qjo7l$t33$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>, mri...@hotmail.com writes

>
>Ah, but the crucial point (and the reason for my post) is that
>Amstrad's and Locomotive's positions differ significantly in one
>key aspect: Amstrad don't mind emulators using their code being
>distributed on a commercial basis, while Locomotive do. As I said,
>it's now history as far as I'm concerned, but it's something which
>might conceivably be of importance to someone else.
>

But . . .

In article <37cbc...@nnrp1.news.uk.psi.net>, Cliff Lawson

<cla...@amstrad.com> writes


>Andrew Owen sent me the following email

>"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.

So I'm not so sure we're that different.

Niall Tracey

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Sep 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/2/99
to
Spike! (spi...@news.freenet.co.uk) wrote:
: <followups restored>

: And verily, didst Matt Gullam <matt....@earwigs.eidosnet.co.uk> eloquently scribe:
: > Andrew Owen wrote:
: > As this thread seems now to be distinctly a comp.sys.sinclair issue,
: > perhaps we could remove the crosspostings.

: You posted the entire 100 lines, just for THAT!
: Can you spell hypocrit?

More to the point, can he spell hypocrite? ;)

Robert J. Baker

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Sep 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/2/99
to
If an infinite number of monkeys were allowed to peck away at Sinclair
Spectrums, they would eventually reproduce the following, which was
posted on Wed, 1 Sep 1999 02:37:15 +0100 by Spike!
<spi...@news.freenet.co.uk>:

<snip>


>Is this kind of thing retroactive though?
>A copy is produced in a copyright free area (which technically means it's
>legal in that area). If that area then signs, are all copies made prior to
>the signing covered by the convention???

AFAIK one of the most important principles of law is that it is NEVER
retroactive -- So, for example, if you go to a country which by a
gross oversight has no law against murder, and you kill someone there,
and the government (horrified by this) rushes in murder legislation,
you technically *still* have not committed murder because *at the time
of your action* there was no such thing as murder in that country.

Unless, of course, they used a time machine to introduce the new laws
*before* you committed your darstadly deed... ;<)

--
--------------------------------------------------
Regards, Robert the Eboreg

Got a binary file to post? Go to alt.binaries.emulators.misc

mri...@hotmail.com

unread,
Sep 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/2/99
to
Howard Fisher <how...@locomotive.com>:

> >Ah, but the crucial point (and the reason for my post) is that
> >Amstrad's and Locomotive's positions differ significantly in one
> >key aspect: Amstrad don't mind emulators using their code being
> >distributed on a commercial basis, while Locomotive do. As I said,
> >it's now history as far as I'm concerned, but it's something which
> >might conceivably be of importance to someone else.
> But . . .
> In article <37cbc...@nnrp1.news.uk.psi.net>, Cliff Lawson
> <cla...@amstrad.com> writes

I think the problem is that Cliff's answer does not appear to be
self-consistent!

> >"2) Can you charge a shareware fee for an emulator that uses the
Sinclair
> >ROMs?"

Here is the "no" part of the answer:

> >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.

Here, however, is the "yes" part of the answer:

> >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.

Contradictory or what?

> So I'm not so sure we're that different.

Ah, but I have an extra data point: www.wss.co.uk sell a Spectrum
emulator. I assume they do this with Amstrad's consent (I (slightly)
know one of the owners, and I don't think ey'd do anything dishonest).
Thusly, I assume the "no" part is overruled by the "yes" part.

Perhaps "for the avoidance of doubt" Cliff could clarify. But
maybe for legal reasons he's being intentionally ambiguous...

/|ndy |<avanagh

unread,
Sep 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/2/99
to
On the date known as Wed, 1 Sep 1999 02:41:29 +0100, in the place known as
comp.sys.sinclair Spike! <spi...@news.freenet.co.uk> wrote:

><followups restored>
>
>And verily, didst Matt Gullam <matt....@earwigs.eidosnet.co.uk> eloquently scribe:
>> Andrew Owen wrote:
>> As this thread seems now to be distinctly a comp.sys.sinclair issue,
>> perhaps we could remove the crosspostings.
>
>You posted the entire 100 lines, just for THAT!
>Can you spell hypocrit?
>

I can... H Y P O C R I T E ;)
^

/\ndy
--

*'^'*.,.*'^'*.,.*'^'*.,.*'^'*.,.*'^'*.,.*'^'*.,.*'^'*
) Please read the FAQ before posting to this group! (
( http://www.kendalls.demon.co.uk/cssfaq/ )
*.,.*'^'*.,.*'^'*.,.*'^'*.,.*'^'*.,.*'^'*.,.*'^'*.,.*

Andrew Owen

unread,
Sep 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/2/99
to

----------
In article <37ce6ba4...@news.freeserve.net>, rober...@bigfoot.com
(Robert J. Baker) wrote:

>>Is this kind of thing retroactive though?
>>A copy is produced in a copyright free area (which technically means it's
>>legal in that area). If that area then signs, are all copies made prior to
>>the signing covered by the convention???
>
> AFAIK one of the most important principles of law is that it is NEVER
> retroactive -- So, for example, if you go to a country which by a
> gross oversight has no law against murder, and you kill someone there,
> and the government (horrified by this) rushes in murder legislation,
> you technically *still* have not committed murder because *at the time
> of your action* there was no such thing as murder in that country.

I'm afraid that's just not the case. The British Parliament, for instance,
can introduce any law for which it can get a majority vote and make it as
retroactive as it damn well pleases. If the majority of the lower house
voted to make being a Spectrum owner an offence with a suggested sentence of
5 years imprisonment it could make it retroactive to 1982 and, providing the
Bill got past its third reading and the Lords, we'd all be in trouble.

-Andrew

Richard Fairhurst

unread,
Sep 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/2/99
to
Spike! <spi...@news.freenet.co.uk> wrote:

> You posted the entire 100 lines, just for THAT!
> Can you spell hypocrit?

Mr Halliwell, could you stop cross-posting to csa8? Please?

--
| Richard Fairhurst www.systemeD.net
| The point is not to put poetry at the disposal of the revolution,
| but to put the revolution at the disposal of poetry.

Brian

unread,
Sep 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/2/99
to

Robert J. Baker <rober...@bigfoot.com> wrote in message
news:37ce6ba4...@news.freeserve.net...

> If an infinite number of monkeys were allowed to peck away at Sinclair
> Spectrums, they would eventually reproduce the following, which was
> posted on Wed, 1 Sep 1999 02:37:15 +0100 by Spike!
> <spi...@news.freenet.co.uk>:
>
> <snip>
> >Is this kind of thing retroactive though?
> >A copy is produced in a copyright free area (which technically means it's
> >legal in that area). If that area then signs, are all copies made prior
to
> >the signing covered by the convention???

Rest cut as it is irrelevant in this case.

The point is the copies of the ROMs in question which were made in the
soviet block were, are, and always (to all intents and purposes) will be
illegal here (in the UK) and all countries which had signed the treaty
before the soviets joined in on the system, because they were pirated from
Sinclair or Amstrad copyright material.

In other words, regardless of who signed what later, they *are* pirate ROMs
which breach copyright now in most countries. Simple as that.

It seems the way round this dilemma is to get some bright spark to write a
patch that enables the soviet-created games to be used with Amstrad/Sinclair
ROMs and their emulator versions.

--
Brian


Marcus Durham

unread,
Sep 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/2/99
to
In article <7qmluc$5d7$1...@news7.svr.pol.co.uk> Andrew Owen
<ao...@brandnewco.org> shared the following with us in
comp.sys.amstrad.8bit:
[snip]

>If the majority of the lower house
>voted to make being a Spectrum owner an offence

Crivens, that's abit OTT. Now Oric users on the other hand......

--
Marcus Durham
The UMTSDW Homepage. News, Reviews, Features and Locations.
http://www.zenn.demon.co.uk/drwho/drwho.htm

Matt Gullam

unread,
Sep 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/2/99
to
Please, since this has NOTHING to do with Amstrad 8 bit computers
anymore, can the crossposts please stop?


--
Matt Gullam

Kill the earwigs to reply.

"The intelligence of the planet is constant,
and the population is growing"

Spike!

unread,
Sep 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/2/99
to
And verily, didst Niall Tracey <nia...@dai.ed.ac.uk> eloquently scribe:
> : You posted the entire 100 lines, just for THAT!
> : Can you spell hypocrit?

> More to the point, can he spell hypocrite? ;)

No, no...

I was asking him how to spell it....
:)

--
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
| spi...@mail.freenet.co.uk | Windows95 (noun): 32 bit extensions and a |
| |graphical shell for a 16 bit patch to an 8 bit |
| Andrew Halliwell BSc |operating system originally coded for a 4 bit |
| in |microprocessor, written by a 2 bit company,that|
| Computer Science | can't stand 1 bit of competition. |

Spike!

unread,
Sep 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/3/99
to
And verily, didst Richard Fairhurst <ric...@systemeD.not> eloquently scribe:
> Spike! <spi...@news.freenet.co.uk> wrote:

>> You posted the entire 100 lines, just for THAT!
>> Can you spell hypocrit?

> Mr Halliwell, could you stop cross-posting to csa8? Please?

Ahem....
ME?

How many have I crossposted?
The only reason I crossposted that little flame was because of the horrible
way he decided to quote 100+ lines of irrelevance!

Besides, the thread started off on-topic for both.
--
| |What to do if you find yourself stuck in a crack|
| spi...@mail.freenet.co.uk |in the ground beneath a giant boulder, which you|
| |can't move, with no hope of rescue. |
| Andrew Halliwell BSc |Consider how lucky you are that life has been |
| in |good to you so far... |
| Computer Science | -The BOOK, Hitch-hiker's guide to the galaxy.|
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Robert J. Baker

unread,
Sep 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/3/99
to
New reply header wanted -- top prices paid!
In the meantime, this reply is to the following posted by Marcus
Durham <Mar...@zenn.demon.co.uk> on Thu, 2 Sep 1999 22:43:55 +0100:

>In article <7qmluc$5d7$1...@news7.svr.pol.co.uk> Andrew Owen
><ao...@brandnewco.org> shared the following with us in
>comp.sys.amstrad.8bit:
>[snip]
>>If the majority of the lower house
>>voted to make being a Spectrum owner an offence
>
>Crivens, that's abit OTT. Now Oric users on the other hand......

Let's get such a law passed! Write to your MP now!! ;<)

Richard Fairhurst

unread,
Sep 5, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/5/99
to
Spike! <spi...@news.freenet.co.uk> wrote:

> And verily, didst Richard Fairhurst <ric...@systemeD.not> eloquently scribe:

> > Mr Halliwell, could you stop cross-posting to csa8? Please?
>
> Ahem....
> ME?
>
> How many have I crossposted?

Large quantities of that "The C64 is crap!" thread, as I recall...

Roland Perry

unread,
Sep 6, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/6/99
to
In article <37cbc...@nnrp1.news.uk.psi.net>, Cliff Lawson
<cla...@amstrad.com> writes
>"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.

My recollection is that Amstrad bought all the intellectual property
rights to all the Sinclair computers [including some for which Sinclair
didn't themselves have the rights until they had to get them to complete
the package for Amstrad!!]. The only exception was the rights to the
microdrive tapes, which some 3rd party was going to continue to make.

Some QL gate arrays were sold in bulk to a company that had incorporated
them in a design for a teletext terminal, but I'm not aware that any
rights were sold.

--
Roland Perry

Robert Brady

unread,
Sep 14, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/14/99
to
In comp.sys.sinclair Andrew Owen <ao...@brandnewco.org> wrote:
>I'm afraid that's just not the case. The British Parliament, for instance,
>can introduce any law for which it can get a majority vote and make it as
>retroactive as it damn well pleases. If the majority of the lower house
>voted to make being a Spectrum owner an offence with a suggested sentence of
>5 years imprisonment it could make it retroactive to 1982 and, providing the
>Bill got past its third reading and the Lords, we'd all be in trouble.

There are several things standing in the way of such a law :

European Court of Human Rights.
The Human Rights Act (1998).
The Queen.
The Police.
The Army.

--
Robert

Tony Firshman

unread,
Sep 14, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/14/99
to
In article <37cbc...@nnrp1.news.uk.psi.net>, Cliff Lawson
<cla...@amstrad.com> writes
>"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.
The US rights _were_ bought by Frank Davis (FWD Computing) many years
ago. I know of no-one having bought the rights outside the US.
If they were, the purchasers certainly have not made themselves known.

You may remember telling me a while back exactly the statement you have
given for the Spectrum ROMs - ie you have no problem as long as Amstrad
get acknowledgement. That is what we are all working too now in the QL
field, except for US, where Frank made it very clear he would not allow
it.

Users were told that they could use free QL rom images outside the US
only. An understandable position but pretty unenforceable in practise,
especially as the ROMs are readily available in chip and electronic form
and easily copyable.


--
QBBS (QL fido BBS 2:257/67) (+44)1442-828255
mailto:to...@firshman.demon.co.uk http://www.firshman.demon.co.uk
Voice: (+44)1442-828254 Fax: (+44)1442-828255
TF Services, 29 Longfield Road, TRING, Herts, HP23 4DG

Brian

unread,
Sep 14, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/14/99
to
Robert Brady <rwb...@ecs.soton.ac.uk> wrote in message
news:37de...@news.ecs.soton.ac.uk...

> In comp.sys.sinclair Andrew Owen <ao...@brandnewco.org> wrote:
> >I'm afraid that's just not the case. The British Parliament, for
instance,
> >can introduce any law for which it can get a majority vote and make it as
> >retroactive as it damn well pleases. If the majority of the lower house
> >voted to make being a Spectrum owner an offence with a suggested sentence
of
> >5 years imprisonment it could make it retroactive to 1982 and, providing
the
> >Bill got past its third reading and the Lords, we'd all be in trouble.
>
> There are several things standing in the way of such a law :
>
> European Court of Human Rights.

Messieurs, Mesdames, je vous offre cette ordinateur tres ancienne...

> The Human Rights Act (1998).

Toll not that bell as rises up the sun, the Spectrum shall not hang this
day. Not after a hardware mod, anyway.

> The Queen.

"My has-been and I name this chip "Z80". May Gawd bless her and all who make
sailing games for her."

"Bloody ugly little box, if you ask me..."

"Shut up, Philip!"

> The Police.

" 'Ello, ello, ello! What's going on here?"

"Another Monty variant, but it takes forever to load."

> The Army.

All together now, "Who do you think you are kidding Mr Sugar, if you think
old Sinclair's done?"

--
Brian

Ian

unread,
Sep 14, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/14/99
to
RB> >I'm afraid that's just not the case. The British Parliament, for instance,
RB> >can introduce any law for which it can get a majority vote and make it as
RB> >retroactive as it damn well pleases. If the majority of the lower house
RB> >voted to make being a Spectrum owner an offence with a suggested sentence of
RB> >5 years imprisonment it could make it retroactive to 1982 and, providing the
RB> >Bill got past its third reading and the Lords, we'd all be in trouble.
RB>
RB> There are several things standing in the way of such a law :
RB>
RB> European Court of Human Rights.
RB> The Human Rights Act (1998).
RB> The Queen.
RB> The Police.
RB> The Army.

Blimey, did they all use Spectrums as well ?


--
Bye now,
Ian.

Andrew Owen

unread,
Sep 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/15/99
to
In article <37de...@news.ecs.soton.ac.uk>, Robert Brady
<rwb...@ecs.soton.ac.uk> wrote:

> Andrew Owen <ao...@brandnewco.org> wrote [edited]:
>> The British Parliament can introduce any law for which it can get a majority
>> vote and make it as retroactive as it damn well pleases.


>> If the majority of the lower house

>> voted to make being a Spectrum owner an offence with a suggested sentence of

>> 5 years imprisonment it could make it retroactive to 1982 and, providing the

>> Bill got past its third reading and the Lords, we'd all be in trouble.
>

> There are several things standing in the way of such a law:
>

> European Court of Human Rights.

Its decisions are not binding on the UK.

> The Human Rights Act (1998).

Could be repealed as there is no written constitution

> The Queen
No monarch has refused assent to a bill since George IV if memory serves

> The Police
Are the instrument of Government, not above it

> The Army.
Bound by the same constraints as the police

I was only saying that law *could* be made retroactive after someone else
said it couldn't and I gave the Spectrum example because it was late and it
was all I could think of. I spent quite a while studying British politics
and the workings of Government in my younger days and if I could have been
bothered I could have looked up some case law but it's not really *that*
important, is it? :/

-Andrew

Robert Brady

unread,
Sep 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/16/99
to
In comp.sys.sinclair Andrew Owen <ao...@brandnewco.org> wrote:
>> The Police
>Are the instrument of Government, not above it

>> The Army.
>Bound by the same constraints as the police

>I was only saying that law *could* be made retroactive after someone else
>said it couldn't and I gave the Spectrum example because it was late and it
>was all I could think of. I spent quite a while studying British politics
>and the workings of Government in my younger days and if I could have been
>bothered I could have looked up some case law but it's not really *that*
>important, is it? :/

What I was trying to say there, by listing those, was to say, that if the
Government did try to do something like that, it would be likely that there
would be a coup.

--
Robert

The ASCII Consortium : dragging character encoding kicking and screaming
into the 20th century! <http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~rwb197/ascii/>

Andrew Owen

unread,
Sep 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/16/99
to
In article <37e1...@news.ecs.soton.ac.uk>, Robert Brady
<rwb...@ecs.soton.ac.uk> wrote:

> In comp.sys.sinclair Andrew Owen <ao...@brandnewco.org> wrote:
>>> The Police
>>Are the instrument of Government, not above it
>
>>> The Army.
>>Bound by the same constraints as the police
>
>>I was only saying that law *could* be made retroactive after someone else
>>said it couldn't and I gave the Spectrum example because it was late and it
>>was all I could think of. I spent quite a while studying British politics
>>and the workings of Government in my younger days and if I could have been
>>bothered I could have looked up some case law but it's not really *that*
>>important, is it? :/
>
> What I was trying to say there, by listing those, was to say, that if the
> Government did try to do something like that, it would be likely that there
> would be a coup.

If the Government in the UK manages to get a law on the statute books the
chances are the forces, armed or otherwise, will support it because the UK
is an essentially conservative (small 'c') country. By the same token it is
doubtful the law I used in my explanation would get on the statute books in
the first place. There is no precedent of the army and police ignoring the
Government in support of the people in this country but I could name a
couple of situations where the reverse is true in living memory (but I won't
'cos this isn't the right newsgroup for a serious political debate).

-Andrew

Robert J. Baker

unread,
Sep 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/17/99
to
On Thu, 16 Sep 1999 21:31:29 +0100, in comp.sys.sinclair, "Andrew
Owen" <ao...@brandnewco.org> spake thus about "Re: Amstrad ROM
permissions":

>[...] There is no precedent of the army and police ignoring the


>Government in support of the people in this country but I could name a
>couple of situations where the reverse is true in living memory (but I won't
>'cos this isn't the right newsgroup for a serious political debate).

Unles you count the "[other machine] is crap!" threads... ;<)

Andrew Owen

unread,
Sep 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/17/99
to
In article <37e22ba6...@news.freeserve.net>, rober...@bigfoot.com
(Robert J. Baker) wrote:

> On Thu, 16 Sep 1999 21:31:29 +0100, in comp.sys.sinclair, "Andrew
> Owen" <ao...@brandnewco.org> spake thus about "Re: Amstrad ROM
> permissions":
>
>>[...] There is no precedent of the army and police ignoring the
>>Government in support of the people in this country but I could name a
>>couple of situations where the reverse is true in living memory (but I won't
>>'cos this isn't the right newsgroup for a serious political debate).
>
> Unles you count the "[other machine] is crap!" threads... ;<)

You can't have a serious debate about the C64. It's crap and that's all
there is too it! :) [I knew it was going to come down to this in the end]

-Andrew

Ian Collier

unread,
Sep 22, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/22/99
to
Andrew Owen entertained comp.sys.sinclair with the following story:

> there is no written constitution

I think there is, actually. It just isn't written all in one place with the
word "Constitution" above it in large letters.
--
---- Ian Collier : i...@comlab.ox.ac.uk : WWW page (including Spectrum section):
------ http://www.comlab.ox.ac.uk/oucl/users/ian.collier/imc.html

Andrew Owen

unread,
Sep 22, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/22/99
to
In article <20123-sp...@comlab.ox.ac.uk>, i...@comlab.ox.ac.uk (Ian
Collier) wrote:

> Andrew Owen entertained comp.sys.sinclair with the following story:
>> there is no written constitution
>
> I think there is, actually. It just isn't written all in one place with the
> word "Constitution" above it in large letters.

I understand your argument, which embraces everything from common law and
Magna Carta to present day, but I have to say that none of it is safe from
the whims of future law makers and the essence of a written constitution is
that it should be difficult to change (like the US one) at least as far as I
and signatories of Charter 88 are concerned. For instance, the Bill of
Rights (1668 IIRC) only sets out the priviliges of members of parliament,
not the common man.

-Andrew

P.S. What I like most about this group is that it is possible to have an
intelligent discussion about a wide range of topics. What I like least about
this group is its homogeny, but you can't have everything.

Tony Firshman

unread,
Sep 22, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/22/99
to
There has been a thread on Amstrad Sinclair copyrights in the ql_users
mailing list.

A US trader (John Rish) says that as far as he is concerned, all the
Amstrad owned Sinclair copyrights reverted to Sinclair Research 2
years ago. Amstrad, he says, have no Sinclair rights of any sort. Other
than use of the Sinclair ROM in the US, all control of copyright is now
Sinclair Research!

Can anyone confirm this, and if so, whom does one contact in Sinclair
Research?

This does not fit in with what Cliff Lawson has said.

Brian

unread,
Sep 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/23/99
to
Tony Firshman <to...@firshman.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:DAhYdcAJ...@firshman.demon.co.uk...

> There has been a thread on Amstrad Sinclair copyrights in the ql_users
> mailing list.
>
> A US trader (John Rish) says that as far as he is concerned, all the
> Amstrad owned Sinclair copyrights reverted to Sinclair Research 2
> years ago.

Does he give any justification for this opinion.

Frankly, I'd rather take the word of someone from Amstrad who has checked
with their legal department than someone who suddenly comes up with a fairly
unlikely proposition.

--
Brian

Tony Firshman

unread,
Sep 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/23/99
to
In article <938068471.25068.0...@news.demon.co.uk>, Brian
<br...@spheroid.demon.co.uk> writes

>Tony Firshman <to...@firshman.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
>news:DAhYdcAJ...@firshman.demon.co.uk...
>> There has been a thread on Amstrad Sinclair copyrights in the ql_users
>> mailing list.
>>
>> A US trader (John Rish) says that as far as he is concerned, all the
>> Amstrad owned Sinclair copyrights reverted to Sinclair Research 2
>> years ago.
>
>Does he give any justification for this opinion.
He bought the rights to use of Sinclair ROMs in the US maybe 10 years
ago, and has lawyers behind him (8-)#

>
>Frankly, I'd rather take the word of someone from Amstrad who has checked
>with their legal department than someone who suddenly comes up with a fairly
>unlikely proposition.
It seems John Rish only forwarded a comment from Frank Davis
<fda...@iquest.net> :


>That is simple to answer and if people had been paying attention they
>would
>have known. Amstrad does not at this time and for the last 3-4
>years...own
>any Sinclair copyright. They cannot give anyone permission to do
>anything.
>All of those rights reverted back to old Sir clive. If they want rights
>other than North America, they just have to talk to Sir Clive. Where do
>they
>get this amstrad crap? That was broadly announced when their rights
>expired
>as they did not buy them throughout the patent and copyright periods,
>only for a set time.

I would love to know from Frank _where_ that was 'broadly announced'
No-one in comp.sys.sinclair has mentioned that. I assumed it was just
the Sinclair name itself, hence the appearance of the MW/FM ear!

However even Cliff Lawson seems to have doubts about the QL rights.

Ian Collier

unread,
Sep 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/23/99
to
Andrew Owen entertained comp.sys.sinclair with the following story:
> the essence of a written constitution is
>that it should be difficult to change (like the US one)

Hmm, that's why they have all those Amendments, then... <g>

(I wonder if anyone in the US has ever claimed their rights under a bit of
the constitution that didn't get amended. (-: )

Brian

unread,
Sep 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/23/99
to

Tony Firshman <to...@firshman.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:xYFUbBAY...@firshman.demon.co.uk...

> In article <938068471.25068.0...@news.demon.co.uk>, Brian
> <br...@spheroid.demon.co.uk> writes
> >Tony Firshman <to...@firshman.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
> >news:DAhYdcAJ...@firshman.demon.co.uk...
> >> There has been a thread on Amstrad Sinclair copyrights in the ql_users
> >> mailing list.
> >>
> >> A US trader (John Rish) says that as far as he is concerned, all the
> >> Amstrad owned Sinclair copyrights reverted to Sinclair Research 2
> >> years ago.
> >
> >Does he give any justification for this opinion?

> He bought the rights to use of Sinclair ROMs in the US maybe 10 years
> ago, and has lawyers behind him (8-)#

WTF is that supposed to mean? *Anyone* in business has lawyers at their
disposal if they have any sense at all, though the former does not guarantee
the latter.

> >Frankly, I'd rather take the word of someone from Amstrad who has checked
> >with their legal department than someone who suddenly comes up with a
fairly
> >unlikely proposition.
> It seems John Rish only forwarded a comment from Frank Davis
> <fda...@iquest.net> :

I see; "he said, so it must be true, so I said..."

> However even Cliff Lawson seems to have doubts about the QL rights.

To admit to doubts on one thing does not presume he is wrong about the other
thing.

--
Brian


Cliff Lawson

unread,
Sep 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/24/99
to
I'm intrigued by this discussion. I just spoke to our company lawyer and she
confirmed that when we bouth the rights from Sinclair that included the
copyright to use the software code for production of new Spectrum models. In
order to transfer copyright there must be a written agreement and as far as
she knows (though this is obviously a long long time ago now) we have never
agreed to pass that right to anyone else. (except that I have often five
emulator authors permission to distribute the code but have always
enmphasised that w retain the copyright).

So I don't know what this guy in the US is on about!

Cliff

Brian <br...@spheroid.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:938113462.19919.3...@news.demon.co.uk...

Tony Firshman

unread,
Sep 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/24/99
to
In article <37eb4...@nnrp1.news.uk.psi.net>, Cliff Lawson
<cla...@amstrad.com> writes

>I'm intrigued by this discussion. I just spoke to our company lawyer and she
>confirmed that when we bouth the rights from Sinclair that included the
>copyright to use the software code for production of new Spectrum models. In
>order to transfer copyright there must be a written agreement and as far as
>she knows (though this is obviously a long long time ago now) we have never
>agreed to pass that right to anyone else. (except that I have often five
>emulator authors permission to distribute the code but have always
>enmphasised that w retain the copyright).
>
>So I don't know what this guy in the US is on about!
Neither do we!

OK you retain the Spectrum (and ZX80/81?) rights - that seems clear.
What about the QL rights? I assume you bought them along with the name
'Sinclair' and the Spectrum/ZX rights.

Certainly Sir Clive is now using his name again, so I assume the rights
to the name 'Sinclair' have reverted.

Robert J. Baker

unread,
Sep 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/24/99
to
On Sun, 5 Sep 1999 22:57:41 +0000, in comp.sys.amstrad.8bit,
ric...@systemeD.not (Richard Fairhurst) spake thus about "Re: [i]
Amstrad ROM permissions":

>> How many have I crossposted?
>
>Large quantities of that "The C64 is crap!" thread, as I recall...

So that crapulence[*] broke out here as well? I sympathise...

[*] IIRC, a Scottish dialect word meaning "vomit"...
Pun WAS intended, BTW...

--
------------------------------------------------
*** REALITY CHECK ***
Your universe has performed an illegal operation and will be arrested.
Evacuate it while you can...

Roland Perry

unread,
Sep 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/24/99
to
In article <PQnb5RAS...@firshman.demon.co.uk>, Tony Firshman
<to...@firshman.demon.co.uk> writes

>What about the QL rights? I assume you bought them along with the name
>'Sinclair' and the Spectrum/ZX rights.

Yes, Amstrad bought all the computer rights, except those related to
manufacturing microdrive cartridges (also used in the ICL One-per-Desk).

>Certainly Sir Clive is now using his name again, so I assume the rights
>to the name 'Sinclair' have reverted.

The deal was that Sir C couldn't use the Sinclair name for marketing
computers. I did see something that appeared to infringe this, at Comdex
in Atlanta in perhaps spring 1987 (+- a year). But I don't know what
became of that.
--
Roland Perry

Brian

unread,
Sep 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/25/99
to
One for the FAQ.

--
Brian

Roland Perry <rol...@perry.co.uk> wrote in message
news:v7ouTGA8...@perry.co.uk...

Brian

unread,
Sep 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/25/99
to
The *latest* retelling of the tale; one for the FAQ.

--
Brian

Cliff Lawson <cla...@amstrad.com> wrote in message
news:37eb4...@nnrp1.news.uk.psi.net...


> I'm intrigued by this discussion. I just spoke to our company lawyer and
she

> confirmed that when we bought the rights from Sinclair that included the


> copyright to use the software code for production of new Spectrum models.
In
> order to transfer copyright there must be a written agreement and as far
as
> she knows (though this is obviously a long long time ago now) we have
never
> agreed to pass that right to anyone else. (except that I have often

Should this read offered?

> five
> emulator authors permission to distribute the code but have always

> emphasised that we retain the copyright).


>
> So I don't know what this guy in the US is on about!
>

Andrew Owen

unread,
Sep 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/25/99
to
In article <20135-Ni...@comlab.ox.ac.uk>, i...@comlab.ox.ac.uk (Ian
Collier) wrote:

> Andrew Owen entertained comp.sys.sinclair with the following story:
>> the essence of a written constitution is
>>that it should be difficult to change (like the US one)
>
> Hmm, that's why they have all those Amendments, then... <g>

Each of which had to get a two thirds majority in the Senate, no teasy to do
and considering the constitution is over 200 years old there aren't that
many amendments.

-Andrew

Andrew Owen

unread,
Sep 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/25/99
to
In article <PQnb5RAS...@firshman.demon.co.uk>, Tony Firshman
<to...@firshman.demon.co.uk> wrote:

> In article <37eb4...@nnrp1.news.uk.psi.net>, Cliff Lawson
> <cla...@amstrad.com> writes

>>So I don't know what this guy in the US is on about!

> Neither do we!
>
> OK you retain the Spectrum (and ZX80/81?) rights - that seems clear.

> What about the QL rights? I assume you bought them along with the name
> 'Sinclair' and the Spectrum/ZX rights.

In an earlier part of this thread, Cliff confirmed Amstrad owns the Spectrum
rights. It may have owned the QL ones and sold them. Sinclair Research still
owns the rights to the ZX80/81 Interface I/II.

> Certainly Sir Clive is now using his name again, so I assume the rights
> to the name 'Sinclair' have reverted.

No. Amstrad own the 'Sinclair' name for computers. Sinclair Research never
went away but stopped selling computers under the Sinclair name after it was
bought by Amstrad. The only time anything reverts is if rights expire
because they were licensed for a set duration or the owners cease to exist
without passing on rights AFAIK.

-Andrew

Roland Perry

unread,
Sep 27, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/27/99
to
In article <Yam2NN.AmigaOS.28DFD584.879D2@f4Amiga>, Duncan Snowden
<d...@exl.co.uk> writes
>I'm sure Cliff Lawson will have a better idea than I do, but as I
>understood it at the time, Amstrad only bought the name for use with
>personal computers. Hence the "Cambridge Computers" name for the Z88.

Exactly right. Amstrad also use the Sinclair name on new computer
designs [ie not just on revamped Spectrums]: the PC200 (PC1512 in a
console) and at least one of the full-size PC1512s sold in the USA.

>Everything else (I think - can anyone confirm about the Zeta, say?) has
>still been "Sinclair".

That would make sense (but I can't confirm it).

--
Roland Perry

Andrew Owen

unread,
Sep 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/29/99
to
In article <37f170ae...@news.freeuk.net>, gree...@BOLLOCKSyahoo.co.uk
wrote:


> On Sat, 25 Sep 1999 18:30:48 +0100, "Andrew Owen"
> <ao...@brandnewco.org> sprachen:


>
>>Each of which had to get a two thirds majority in the Senate, no teasy to do
>>and considering the constitution is over 200 years old there aren't that
>>many amendments.
>

> Though that stupid flag-burning one looks like it will go in, even
> though it's against the spirit of every one of the first half-dozen or
> so.

What? They're trying to make burning a flag a crime. That's as much against
freedom of expresion as the McCarthy witch hunts!

-Andrew

GPF

unread,
Sep 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/29/99
to
On Wed, 29 Sep 1999, Andrew Owen wrote:

> What? They're trying to make burning a flag a crime. That's as much against
> freedom of expresion as the McCarthy witch hunts!

Isn't coin mutilation a crime? (cos of the Queen's head)


Andrew Owen

unread,
Sep 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/29/99
to
In article <Pine.OSF.4.05.99092...@cpca4.uea.ac.uk>, GPF
<y982...@cpca6.uea.ac.uk> wrote:

Yes but that's in the UK which is a monarchy, *not* a republic. On the other
hand if memory serves its a crime in the States too.

-Andrew

/|ndy |<avanagh

unread,
Sep 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/29/99
to
Once upon a time (on Wed, 29 Sep 1999 18:13:21 +0100), in a newsgroup known
as comp.sys.sinclair, someone one calling themselves the dubious name of GPF
spake forth the following gibberish:

>On Wed, 29 Sep 1999, Andrew Owen wrote:
>
>> What? They're trying to make burning a flag a crime. That's as much against
>> freedom of expresion as the McCarthy witch hunts!
>
>Isn't coin mutilation a crime? (cos of the Queen's head)

Try telling that to my washing machine.


/\ndy
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James Coupe

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Sep 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/30/99
to
In article <7stv48$mvf$1...@news7.svr.pol.co.uk>, Andrew Owen
<ao...@brandnewco.org> writes

>Yes but that's in the UK which is a monarchy, *not* a republic.

With the interesting problem that we're all citizens... (Pre-requisite
of joining Maastricht).

> On the other
>hand if memory serves its a crime in the States too.

It is. If you go on holiday and put a penny in one of those machines in
places like Disneyworld that stretches and stamps it, they have all the
legislation gumph on the machines, if you're that interested.

--
James Coupe If you read a uk.* newsgroup, read uk.net.news.announce

Words to try and work into conversation #5:
Eirenarch.

Robert J. Baker

unread,
Sep 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/30/99
to
On Wed, 29 Sep 1999 17:39:19 +0100, in comp.sys.sinclair, "Andrew Owen"

<ao...@brandnewco.org> spake thus about "Re: Amstrad ROM permissions":

>What? They're trying to make burning a flag a crime. That's as much against


>freedom of expresion as the McCarthy witch hunts!

Reminds me of the one about the US homophobic arsonist -- he got arrested for
lighting a fag...

GPF

unread,
Sep 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/30/99
to
On Thu, 30 Sep 1999, Robert J. Baker wrote:

> Reminds me of the one about the US homophobic arsonist -- he got arrested for
> lighting a fag...

Not as good as the guy who insured his cigars against fire, smoked them
and made a claim...

He was later arrested for arson.


Niall Tracey

unread,
Sep 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/30/99
to
Andrew Owen (ao...@brandnewco.org) wrote:
: In article <37f170ae...@news.freeuk.net>, gree...@BOLLOCKSyahoo.co.uk
: wrote:


: > On Sat, 25 Sep 1999 18:30:48 +0100, "Andrew Owen"
: > <ao...@brandnewco.org> sprachen:
: >
: >>Each of which had to get a two thirds majority in the Senate, no teasy to do
: >>and considering the constitution is over 200 years old there aren't that
: >>many amendments.
: >
: > Though that stupid flag-burning one looks like it will go in, even
: > though it's against the spirit of every one of the first half-dozen or
: > so.

: What? They're trying to make burning a flag a crime. That's as much against


: freedom of expresion as the McCarthy witch hunts!

I think it's the Japanese flag that has to buried if it ever touches
the ground. That's always a niusance for someone trying to get it onto
a flagpole without help.

I thought that burning the US flag _was_ a crime. Does that mean
they're making an amendment to /allow/ flag-burning then?

--
NT As long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any
\ \/ /conditions be brought under English rule. It is in truth not for
\ / glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for
/ \ freedom -- for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with
/ /\ \life itself. -- Arbroath, 1320


Andrew Owen

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Sep 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/30/99
to

----------
In article <Pine.OSF.4.05.99093...@cpca4.uea.ac.uk>, GPF
<y982...@cpca6.uea.ac.uk> wrote:

I remember reading about that one. It was a couple of years ago I think but
I can't remember the country.

-Andrew

John Elliott

unread,
Sep 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/30/99
to
"Andrew Owen" <ao...@brandnewco.org> wrote:
>In article <Pine.OSF.4.05.99092...@cpca4.uea.ac.uk>, GPF
><y982...@cpca6.uea.ac.uk> wrote:
>>
>> Isn't coin mutilation a crime? (cos of the Queen's head)
>
>Yes but that's in the UK which is a monarchy, *not* a republic. On the other

>hand if memory serves its a crime in the States too.

I think that's for good sound anti-forgery reasons rather than because of
the Queen's head. If you allow mutilation, then you get horrible arguments
about whether a mutilated coin still counts as a coin. Say I mutilated all
my 50p coins so that when I passed them on they were only 90% as big as
before; then I could keep the remaining 10% of metal and make more 50p coins
with it.

------------- http://www.seasip.demon.co.uk/index.html --------------------
John Elliott |BLOODNOK: "But why have you got such a long face?"
|SEAGOON: "Heavy dentures, Sir!" - The Goon Show
:-------------------------------------------------------------------------)

Chris Young

unread,
Sep 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/30/99
to
On Wed, 29 Sep 1999 22:19:21 +0100, Andrew Owen (of comp.sys.sinclair "fame")
wibbled on for an age:

> > On Wed, 29 Sep 1999, Andrew Owen wrote:
> >

> >> What? They're trying to make burning a flag a crime. That's as much against
> >> freedom of expresion as the McCarthy witch hunts!
> >

> > Isn't coin mutilation a crime? (cos of the Queen's head)
>
> Yes but that's in the UK which is a monarchy, *not* a republic. On the other
> hand if memory serves its a crime in the States too.

Does this mean those machines where you can insert a cent (or a penny,
depending on which country you happen to be in) and get it reshaped
and stamped with an emblem or something, are illegal?

Chris
--
+-------------------------------------------+
| Unsatisfactory Software - "because it is" |
| http://www.unsatisfactory.freeserve.co.uk |
| Your Sinclair: A Celebration |
| http://www.bigfoot.com/~ysac |
+------------------------------ICQ:28784166-+

Alvin Albrecht

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Sep 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/30/99
to

gree...@BOLLOCKSyahoo.co.uk wrote:

> >What? They're trying to make burning a flag a crime.
>

> It may already be a crime, I'm not very in-touch with the daily news.

AFAIK, it's been a crime forever.

Someone may have noticed that this law is unconstitutional
so they are looking to amend the constitution to
allow it.


Alvin


Glen Goodwin

unread,
Oct 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM10/1/99