abandonware


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abandonware

Software that is no longer sold commercially or supported. The initial use of the term was for games that ran on obsolete hardware in the late 1990s, but all types of software may fall into this category. Although there are websites that provide links and downloads of abandonware, the software often remains copyrighted under international law. Proponents feel that abandonware distribution is not piracy because it would simply not be used otherwise, and no one is losing money as a result. For a list of abandonware sites, visit www.abandonwarering.com. See wares.
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* abandonware: Any software, generally still protected by copyright, that's no longer sold or supported by the maker but is popular enough to be illegally "shared" by software pirates.
The problem of sleeping owner parallels the problem of orphan works and abandonware in copyright.
This has led to a new class of software called "abandonware." Those projects tend to go fallow pretty quickly, but it's one more reason to invest in the same diligence that you'd undertake when selecting commercial software.