Now I have heard about Alien Shooter and even played a demo, but not about this title. My initial assumption was that this game's purpose was to be a "lite" free version of Alien Shooter to serve as an extended demo and an incentive to buy the full game. However, the tech specs here at MG define its business model as "Commercial", suggesting that Theseus was originally sold and then got re-released as a free game at some point. Is that right? If yes, is there any information on when exactly it became freeware?
On another note, is there any specific way at MG to reflect the status of liberated games (i.e. those that had initially been commercial and then got an official free release)? A special game group maybe? I'm asking because I've seen entries on some such games (Alien Carnage, Iron Seed etc.) but the information about the free release doesn't seem to be included either in technical specs, game description or the trivia section.
Indra is watching it all burn... (16449), Jan 29, 2013
Not really. Considering depending on copyright laws, they all become freeware after 25-50 years (country depending), that would be one big game group one day. Manual labour is the way to go I'm afraid.
I dare say there's a difference between a game that has become automatically transferred into public domain according to copyright legislation (I've read that international copyright law gives the figure of 75 years after first publication BTW), and a game that has become free before the end of this period thanks to the wilful decision of its copyright holders. That would certainly narrow down the list a lot.
There are also differences in licensing between freeware and public domain (in the former case, the copyright owner still retains all rights to the product, it's just that you can get it and play freely).
FYI. Standard international copyright practice is usually 50 years, at least according to most World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) members. The amount of protection usually gets higher when a country becomes more susceptible to corporate legislative bribery e.g. United States and the United Kingdom - 75 years. Countries with relatively small economic powers usually go for 25 years.
Personally, my stance towards restrictive IP laws is a crime towards humanity and technological advancement.
Liberated Games has a list of various licenses for the games in its database, and so do other sites like Remain in Play. In many cases, it's the standard GPL license, but some games have individual licenses too.
Thanks for the info! I've just noticed that Wikipedia has a detailed table on copyright expiration period length in various countries of the world
I agree, but it doesn't do a lot of real harm when things like fiction or games are concerned; on the other hand, those restriction verge on absurdity (and are incredibly frustrating) when it's about scientific/scholarly literature and publications.
Sadly, no. I once proposed that business model should be moved to release info. This way, for example, Teenagent could be listed as commercial (original Polish release), shareware (USA) and freeware (now). On a side note, I haven't seen the CD-ROM talkie edition being distributed as freeware? This would be another reason to tie this info to releases.