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Thread: Legal status of UCSD P-System

  1. #1
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    Default Legal status of UCSD P-System

    As some of you noticed I just sold a full set of UCSD P-System for the PC, and I have some people interested in buying copies of the disks from me. I also found out that there do not seem to be any disk images for this version available on the web, so it makes me wonder if someone is enforcing copyright on it. I know that UCSD released an earlier version of the p-system, but this version (IV.03 from 1982) does not seem to be covered. I am making images of the disks before I ship it to the buyer and I would like to make it available, but I don't want anyone knocking on my door with a summons because of it.

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
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    Check this out. According to this website:

    The ucsd-psystem-os project makes the source code to the UCSD p-System version II.0 available to retro-computing fans. This was made possible by a licence granted by UCSD in 2006 allowing the source code to be used and distributed without fee, for educational, research, and non-profit purposes.


    http://miller.emu.id.au/pmiller/ucsd-psystem-os/

    Also, bitsavers.org has the files and a release statement from UCSD here:

    http://www.mirrorservice.org/sites/w...s/UCSD_Pascal/
    Last edited by Chuckster_in_Jax; March 22nd, 2015 at 06:46 PM.

  3. #3
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    What UCSD released was early versions. The version that ran on the IBM PC (version 4) is not covered by those agreements. The V4 rights were owned by Softech Microsystems, Pecan Systems (in NY), and Cabot Software (UK). Exactly what rights remain with which company or sold to others was unclear. If you can find the answer, I think a lot of people on the Yahoo group would be very interested.

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    I'd still image the disks before shipping them out, just in case they were somehow damaged or wiped by accident during shipping. You know how the postal service can be quite unforgiving.
    = Excellent space heater

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    I already ripped a set of images with Imagedisk, and it looks like they are good. I am sending a set of backup disks and a copy of the images to the buyer just in case the worst happens.

    I would like to make them available, and I'm certainly not looking to sell them if anyone was thinking that.

  6. #6
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    The last owner appears to be Cabot Systems, and they sold a version of UCSD Pascal at least as late as 1999. They are still around so I sent them an email explaining the hobbyist interest in it and asking what the status is.

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    The main reason I'm worried is that right after the auction I got an email from a guy who was very insistent on buying a copy of the disks, claiming that he had bid $575 and lost. I checked and saw that he had not bid at all. It looked like someone might be trolling for a copyright lawsuit. There's too much of that sort of thing going on these days and I can't afford to deal with it right now.

    On another note, the buyer is in France, and I did send backup disks and disk images to him. Since the French courts had shot down that kind of copyright extortion, he could make the images available and there's nothing any American lawyer could do about it.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SGTSQUID View Post
    I got an email from a guy who was very insistent on buying a copy of the disks, claiming that he had bid $575 and lost. I checked and saw that he had not bid at all. It looked like someone might be trolling for a copyright lawsuit.
    It's probably just some kid from IdiotVille... I mean BetaArchive

    Quote Originally Posted by SGTSQUID View Post
    On another note, the buyer is in France, and I did send backup disks and disk images to him. Since the French courts had shot down that kind of copyright extortion, he could make the images available and there's nothing any American lawyer could do about it.
    That would be nice. No harm encouraging. Either way make it somebody else's problem.

  9. #9
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    first off you could claim entrapment.

    Don't be surprised if there's people out there utilizing ancient h/w and s/w. Oh 10 years ago someone from Kentucky contacted me regarding a post about TI PCs. Seems he used them, special software and some weird apparatus to do some sort of geological surveys for customers. Apparently he was just scraping by doing this - we didn't want to spend even a paltry sum for a machine. But another party might actually spend big bucks when their antiquated rig goes bad. Sure it makes more sense to upgrade. Just tell that to the people still using COBOL.

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    Let's see, a CNC wire EDM machine that dates from 1988, still running fine using CP/M-68K software; runs fine.

    Modern WEDM replacement: $150K or thereabouts, not including shipping and site prep. There's a lot old gear out there, still producing quite well, thank you. I just copied a batch of Mitsubishi WEDM floppies for a customer. He considered $25 each a bargain. His particular machine dates from 1990.

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